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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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17544 Reviews

  • Reviewed October 2019
    Sue Potter

    Sicily is truly a treasure

    A fabulous trip with a fantastic mix of scenery, walking , culture and food experiences. An outstanding guide, Alessandro who helped the trip run smoothly, was always friendly and informative. The pace was good with plenty of time to explore on your own. Walks could be taken at your own pace and adapted.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the craters of Etna. Walking in Zingaro. Views from Erice. Selinunte ruins in the sunshine by the sea. Monreale mosaics. Greco RomanTheatre in Taormina .I could go on. Everything was excellent

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alessandro was outstanding, one of the best guides I've had the pleasure to travel with. He provided lots of handouts on food, language, maps, what to see in the towns. He was extremely knowledgeable about his homeland, its history and geography. He was always patient, caring and friendly. A real treasure himself.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take wet shoes if you want to swim in the sea, it's rocky. No need to bring a lunch box. Go on a diet beforehand so you can enjoy all the fantastic food.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go!
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Phillip Burrows

    Trekking in the dramatic Pindus Mountains

    Beginning in Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki, we travel westwards by minibus for 4.5 hours to reach Zagoria with its spectacular arch stone bridges. The scenery was spectacular walking amongst 5 of the bridges which date back as far as the 17th century and is a masterpiece of local architecture. There was a hike up to the Astraka Mountain refuge which commanded a 360 degree awe- inspiring views of rugged mountains and watching the sunset was amazing. The trek ended in Meteora where we arrive to another spectacular sunset over the rock pillars of mountains where monasteries are located on the tops. We followed the hiking paths of the 12th century monks and visited one of the top-cliff monasteries.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the Astraka Mountain hut and seeing the breathtaking mountains surrounding the area. Also one of the best sunsets I have ever seen. Seeing the monasteries perched on mountain tops and the formation of stone column type mountains was also another highlight for me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Stavros was very knowledgeable and insightful of the history, geography and culture of all the regions and imparted this on to us with enthusiasm. The group was large and he had many questions to deal with which he did patiently. He was aware of people's abilities and kept everyone in sight and waited at regular intervals for the back markers including myself. He even carried my rucksack at the end of a grueling long day. Stavros was an excellent and patient guide with a great sense of humour and seemed to care for everyone in the group. You always felt in safe hands with Stavros leading.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do train hard for this trek. There are some steep ascents as well as hot weather conditions to contend with. Some of the days are quite long arriving back to the guest houses after 6.30pm. Trekking poles are essential especially helpful on steep descents.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trek takes you through some dramatic and awe-inspiring scenery in the Pindus Mountains. Be prepared for sensory overload!
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Jane Leney

    A delight from start to finish

    From the chaos of Ho Chi Minh city with its people, millions of motor bikes and high rise buildings to the utter tranquility of Whale Island, the wonderfully colourful lanterns of Hoi An, bobbing about on a beautiful houseboat on Ha Long Bay to finally the majestic buildings of Hanoi. This was a trip that encompassed everything. A cycling trip from South to North enabled us to immerse ourselves in the history and culture of this fast developing country. Our leader Loc Phan was an encyclopaedia of knowledge and organised our holiday like clockwork. Nothing phased him, even the jack knifed lorry obstructing the Hai Van Pass was no problem for him and all this was achieved with a great sense of humour. He was supported by a fantastic team that had drinks and snacks ready for us at every stop. Our water bottles were continually filled and our bikes checked over. The cycling was of no real problem for anyone who is reasonably fit. Our group that was made up mainly of British couples and a couple from New Zealand was incredibly easygoing and a joy to spend time with. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this trip to anyone who enjoys cycling and wants to see and experience an amazingly interesting and colourful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling in rural Vietnam with children shouting hello and running to greet us. Wonderful food throughout.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Loc Phan was outstanding in every way. I am sure it is not easy to ensure a group of 50/60 yr olds manage to complete the holiday on time and completely intact. Nothing was too much for him and every day was explained in great detail so we always knew what to do and what to expect. He was much loved and admired by the whole group.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for providing a wonderful holiday which has both inspired us and will remain in our memories for ever.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Yvonne Fitzpatrick

    Excellent

    Adventurous walking & scrambling along the dramatic coastline & remote villages of Island of Evia. Tasting delicious cousin of their culture.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving, meeting the group leader & the rest of the travellers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cecile was very passionate about Greece, Karystos Isle of Evia & the adventures she was taking us on. Safety conscious & a lovely sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take all equipment that has been advised. Strong boots which supports your ankles very important as you could easily twist your ankle/s in the rough terrain.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be open to your adventures & enjoy every moment.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Joanne McMullan

    Cape Town to Victoria Falls Lodging

    Have just completed this epic journey and can honestly say it’s been one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken. It’s really more of an expedition than a holiday, but for that very reason delivers so much. We covered around 5600km in 3 weeks so that involves a lot of early starts and long days spent bumping about on dusty, rocky roads. The diversity of experience however makes it totally worthwhile - from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town to the red sands of Namibia and the quiet majesty of the Okavango Delta.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, the most inspirational moment was when our guide Timon organised for us to have dinner with a local family in one of the townships in Swakopmund. I have never been made to feel so welcome by complete strangers in my entire life. The memory of the hospitality, good humour, excellent food and crazy dancing will stay with me to the end of my days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Timon was absolutely superb, demonstrating great patience, empathy and outstanding leadership throughout. Some of my best memories are as a result of the nights we spent listening to his stories from years of experience in the tourism industry - all told with such energy and genuine enthusiasm. He was also an exceptional cook - anyone who can rustle up Chicken A La King from the back of a truck in the dust and heat in the middle of nowhere gets my seal of approval! A real asset to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please, please come with an open mind and prepare to step out of your comfort zone. You will stay in a variety of places - some very comfortable, some less so .... they’ll all be clean and safe. That’s all you need. Also, take the advice of your guide/s. They are all well trained and know the conditions/circumstances on the ground. You’ll get so much more out of the trip if you just go with the flow and let them lead the way.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Africa is a huge and diverse continent. There are sights and sounds you’ll never encounter at home, and some traditions and conditions that might make you uncomfortable. The landscape is incredible and the food is top quality, but for me it was the people who made my trip - from fellow travellers to our crew and the local people along the way. If you take the time to listen to their stories, your experience will be even richer. Oh, and finally, take more $$$ than the trip notes suggest - I think the amount recommended somewhat underestimates how expensive the countries visited actually are.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Jane Stevenson

    Undoubtably the most amazing experience of my life!

    Anyone with a genuine interest in seeing wildlife in its natural habitat should aim to experience the Panatanal in Brazil. It's a long journey, but you will be visiting a true water wilderness, where cayman lurk in the rivers and jaguars give a tantalising glimpse of their magnificence through the trees. Being Exodus, the guides are not just knowledgable but have a genuine love for the Panatanal and its inhabitants, which manifests in their willingness to spend every daylight hour searching for wildlife. We were fortunate to see 16 different jaguars (recognised by the guides from their different facial markings). Looking into the eyes of a jaguar changes you forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing 'the two brothers' - two young jaguars still living together which is highly unusual for these solitary creatures. Watching them play and interact together was a breath-taking moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein is a ridiculously gifted photographer, who challenges rules and breaks conventions with spectacular results. But he is also incredibly generous with his knowledge and always willing to share his expertise.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just find the money somehow and go.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Ray Wronski

    Great way to get into nature

    Nepal has always been a place I have wanted to visit, especially due to the fact it hosts some of the tallest mountains in the world. I chose the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek because I wasn't sure my reaction to the high altitude of Everest Base Camp and also it was different. I lucked out with my trip for many reasons: small group (5 trekkers, 2 guides, 3 porters), good weather (sunny and clear mornings, no rain while walking), great guides (Ram and Maila took great care of us and made sure we all made it up to ABC and back with no incidents). During our trek we saw many other groups, specifically on the first few days and it surprised me that their "guides" did not keep the group together or seem to be properly pacing. The Exodus guides made sure we took smart breaks and typically had one person leading, the other at the back so as to not leave people behind or spread the group out too much. For me, waking up each morning getting closer and closer to ABC, seeing the sunrise gleaming off the white snowy peaks of the Annapurna range, those are images that are forever engrained on my memory (and camera). This trek has lots of stone steps, and although I consider myself physically fit, it is demanding. However, the payoff is seeing the beauty of Nepal and being removed from modern amenities like cars and other conveniences. I found the food in the tea houses good value for the money, especially Dal Bhat, which is almost an 'all you can eat' meal. Overall the trip is a great way to see the Himalayas and experience a bit of Nepalese culture.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the porters, not just for our group but on all the paths. The loads they carry and the means by which they carry the bags/construction materials/etc. should make you rethink what you may complain about back at home. We sometimes struggled on the trails with our day packs (maybe 7-10kg total) and some of these porters were transporting 50kg worth of concrete or long steel bars for buildings. Besides that, just seeing the mountains every morning. I took lots of photos, many of the same peak but from various distances and angles. For me, I couldn't get tired of seeing that beauty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ram and Maila were great. They took excellent care of us, made sure we stayed healthy and safe, and had fun with us. The small group allowed us to get to know each other and that made a big difference in our experience on this trek.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definite items to bring if you are unsure what is really necessary: toilet paper, walking poles, layers. Don't worry too much about brings lots of clothes; if I were to do this trek again or another similar one, I would stick with maybe 3 changes while trekking and 2 more for the days in the cities. Also the food is quite inexpensive so if you aren't ordering dessert or soft drinks you can expect to spend about $12-17 (or equivalent) per day (about 1500 - 2000 NPR). If you forget any trekking items and arrive in Kathmandu early, go to Thamel, you'll get great deals.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be open and don't expect 4 or 5 star quality in the tea houses. Saying they are basic is being kind; however were we surprised in a few (positively).
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Moira Chaplin

    Manaslu Lodge Circuit

    A wonderful and inspiring experience Crossing the

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the Larke pass was awesome even to the point of being spiritual. Visiting the Tibetan villages high up near the border was a privilege and seeing how the villagers live and survive in such austere circumstances given the altitude and logistical challenges with getting supplies across the mountain passes

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dorjee was just brilliant; intelligent, entertaining , respectful, attentive and informative. He ran an excellent team of porters and guides who all got on very well together

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Potential travellers do need a certain level of fitness but you don’t need to be an elite Athlete or a regular on the triathlon circuit. The main issues that can cause pain and grief are of course the lower limb joints namely feet, ankles, knees and hips, so be prepared. The trip allows for good acclimatisation for the high pass at just over 5100 meters. Personally, I did take diamox which caused me no side effects although I did continue to suffer from early morning headaches over 3,000 meters and I would definitely take it again if I do another high altitude walk. I suppose in some ways I was using the diamox as an insurance against feeling very unwell with the altitude. The exodus team also insisted we complete the lake louise scoring system for AMS every day which ensured that appropriate action could be taken in good time in case of AMS

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Considering I was very apprehensive when the holiday was approaching in case I wouldn’t cope with the physical challenges and fitness required, I managed extremely well; just sore knees on the last day. The trip proved to be a memorable experience and I would not have missed it for the world.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Paul Daly

    An African Adventure

    Long travel days, early mornings, tough tracking terrain, beautiful scenery, very changable weather, history lessons, amazing animal sightings, upset tummies, Masai and Batwa villages, hot and cold showers, trucks in ditches, border crossings, picnic lunches, and sooooooo much more

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many memorable moments from the Rwandan Genocide Memorial which was heartbreaking, the silent power of the Gorilla family we tracked, seeing a leopard ( 3 actually ), black and white rhino, jumping and spear throwing with the Masai, speaking with Helen who rescues young girls from FGM.....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gilbert was an excellent all rounder with vast local, national and historical knowledge. All information was given clearly and our nightly meetings to tell of the plans for the following day often ended in stories about previous trips, historical figures and African culture. The other members of the team were super too. The driver, Stony, was unreal and Albert and James, the chefs, made sure nobody went hungry. If you are lucky enough to have this team looking after your group, you'll have a fantastic trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please, please, please, don't underestimate the level of difficulty involved in the Gorilla trek. The trip notes do not adequately reflect the gradient of the slopes, the neccessity of a porter, or the toughness of the terrain. Having said that, its an amazing day and a once in a lifetime experience. I'd absolutely recommend doing the reverse trip. Get the gorilla trek done in the first few days and then you can enjoy the wonders of Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara in comfort.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go!! Don't overthink it and just go. It is a great trip with so many different things to see and do. One thing to avoid however is the optional trip to the source of the White Nile. A huge disappointment for the money that was paid. Be prepared for medical problems like reactions to malaria pills, upset tummies, sunburn, and frankly, a roll of toilet paper in your bag could very well be your best friend.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Vishakha Phatak

    Trip and group leader review

    Absolutely wonderful trek with stunning scenery each day. The whole trek was very well organised. The accommodation was good and the staff were really amazing, always ready to help with a smile on their face. The food that Jim, Pilar and the team served was delicious! Had not expected to be served 4 course dinner everyday ! Saw plenty of vultures, mountain goats,horses and of course the cows with cowbells! Would definitely recommend the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Nacho was the best group leader amongst all the treks I have done with Exodus. Nacho had excellent knowledge of the local area, and had fantastic organisational skills. I would definitely vote for him for the star Leader award !