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

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122 Reviews

  • Fabulous Trip, Fabulous Country!

    A great trip to a fabulous country - having never been to South Africa before it surpassed all my expectations; the landscapes were amazing, the food was universally delicious, and the people were friendly and welcoming throughout. Although I have been on several Exodus trips before, this was my first Exodus Edits trip, and although for us some of the itinerary was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, I would definitely recommend the trip. The itinerary was varied and packed a lot in to a short space of time, and included the very active (climbing table mountain) to the very relaxing (wine tasting in Stellenbosch), with the highlight for me definitely being visiting and kayaking with the penguins at Boulders Beach.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Penguins! Both the walk along Boulders Beach in Simonstown, and the kayaking the following day were fabulous, and despite all the uncertainty and concerns over Covid-19, seeing the penguins instantly made everything better! I also really enjoyed the wine tasting in the Stellenbosch area - Stellenbosch itself is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen, and the visits to the vineyards were great fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Adonia and Ernest were great - nothing was too much trouble, and when our itinerary had to change they found other places for us to go. They were also amazingly helpful and reassuring when we were informed we would have to leave early due to Covid-19 - and despite that, we all still enjoyed the holiday very much!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If travelling in March, I would advise taking a windbreaker as it is surprisingly windy in Cape Town and surrounding area! It can also get quite cool at nights, so take a jumper or jacket too. Walking shoes/boots are a must for Table Mountain, and I'd recommend maybe sandals or shoes you don't mind getting wet for the kayaking!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fab trip!
  • Amazing trip

    Having never been to South Africa before, every aspect of our trip surpassed all expectation. From meeting everyone at the airport, all through the trip, it was well organised and our guides were great! Our activities were well thought out and perfect for what we wanted from our trip. The scenery was beautiful and the South African people were so friendly and accommodating. Nothing was ever too much trouble. We loved it, and would definitely do another trip like this.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best part for us was the kayaking to see the penguins at Boulders Beach. It was a great activity and having never done sea kayaking before I, especially, was nervous, however I needn’t have been, the kayaks were easy to operate and the paddling was fine. The penguins were a pleasure to see, and watching them bob about in the waves not far from our kayaks was a real treat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adonia was our guide and Ernest was our driver and they were fabulous. They were so friendly and helpful and had excellent knowledge of the area and history etc. By the end of the trip everyone felt like family, and we were sad to leave. Also, they were great when, through circumstances beyond their control, they had to make last minute alterations and organise things differently. 5 stars all round, thanks guys!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, it can be very windy! Especially at Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, so be prepared. :)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was delicious, and quite cheap compared to UK prices. We didn’t eat a bad meal at all, and the service was efficient, waiting staff friendly. The wines were also great too, I’m now a fan of Pinotage and a couple of good white wines as well! I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to this beautiful country, it was a truly memorable holiday! :)
  • Cabarbet & Capers South Africa March 2020

    An unforgettable trip that will live long in the memory. One that I would highly tecommend to anyone in their 30's and 40's who is short on time and keen to dip their toe into the best activities that the Cape has to offer. This was the first ever Exodus Edits trip so it was a step into the unknown. Whats more, it coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak which ultimately led to it being cut short as we had to return to the UK. Nonetheless, the small amount of time spent in Cape Town with my fellow explorers and our fantastic tour guides Adonia and Ernest exceeded my expectations. As a seasoned traveller and regular customer of Exodus, I knew that in spite of the uncertainty that came with travelling overseas as COVID-19 spread, I'd be in safe hands. After discovering on day 2 that the trip would be cut short, Adonia with support from Caroline and John from Exodus HQ who had joined us on the trip, provided regular updates and guidance on the fast-moving situation. This enabled me to make clear decisions on how and when I should return home before borders closed and airlines cancelled flights. While the trip itself was reduced to 5 days, the activities that we were able to experience were hugely enjoyable. Hiking halfway way up Table Mountain in fierce winds and getting some amazing views of downtown Cape Town before (very sensibly) being directed by Adonia to head back down as it was just too risky to hike all the way to the top. Visiting the Cape of Good Hope and hiking up to Cape Point Light House in even stronger winds was quite an experience even for someone who grew up on the windy west coast of Scotland! The accommodation across the 5 days was fantastic and leaned towards the 4 star in terms of quality. In Cape Town, the Grand Daddy Hotel was a one of a kind experience. Very quirky with Airstream style caravans on the top floor. Great rooms and very good breakfasts. In Simonstown, our hotel overlooked the gorgeous bay and offered great views of the sun setting. Last but not least, our farm stay accommodation on the outskirts of Stellenbosch offered great views of the surrounding vin yards and mountains on the horizon. Two separate swimming pools was also a welcome discovery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The natural beauty of the coastline from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope will really stick in the memory. The eyes are seduced by the magnificence of the white sandy beaches before being confronted by the dancing white horses crashing into rugged coves. As I gazed out to the horizon and with nothing but churning ocean for thousands of miles to the left and to the right, I reflected on my good fortune in being offered the opportunity to put into perspective mankind’s place on the planet. While I tapped away on my iPhone taking picture after picture of the magnificent landscape, I knew that in spite of all of the technology at my fingertips, mother nature will always have the final word.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adonia our tour leader and his able assistant Ernest were superb in very way. More so, in light of the challenges they were presented with on an hourly basis as the consequences of the South African Government's decision to impose travel restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 became apparent. At every turn, Adonia and Ernest kept us abreast of the situation and the implications on our scheduled activities. Where one activity was cancelled, an alternative was rapidly improvised. Too windy to hike to the top of Table Mountain. Ok, lets visit Signal Hill Nature Reserve instead. Bike hire company closed due to COVID-19? Let’s hike up to Cape Point Lighthouse. Highly knowledgeable, highly engaging and above all highly empathetic, Adonia and Ernest were there for us every step of the way. It really was sad to leave them in such abrupt circumstances.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are travelling on this trip towards the back of the South African summer, pack a windbreaker and a fleece as it can be really windy during the day and cool in the evening. Also make sure to pack a proper pair of waking boots as the hike up Table Mountain is largely on rocky steps so firm footing is required.
  • Reviewed January 2020

    A Fascinating trip

    Fast paced trip from north to south Vietnam yet with time to explore the places we stayed in. We slept in a great variety of places from lovely hotels to sleeper train via three great homestays and overnight on a boat and enjoyed the varying sights and tastes of the country as we travelled.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say; there were so many. Experiencing the street life in Hanoi where traders carried their wares on paniers balanced on their shoulders as they wove between the traffic. Sharing a long house with all the other members of our group on only the second night of the trip. Wondering why there was a large boat travelling towards an end of the Da River reservoir and then later finding in moored by our homestay and discovering it was the mobile supermarket; stocked with almost anything you might wish to buy. Kayaking amongst the rocks in Ha Long Bay. Eating in a restaurant across the road from our hotel in Hoi An where we were the only western diners, live fish swam in plastic bowls at the side of the restaurant and we enjoyed the best seafood noodles of the trip (and we had enjoyed quite a few) Trying the many variations of Pho. The cooking lesson in Hoi An and helping to prepare dinner at our wonder Mekong Delta homestay ……………………………...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tuyen was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble. He opened his country up to us with great enthusiasm and supported all of us throughout the trip. The mix of history, culture, food and personal experience was amazing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I ignored advice from other travellers to take your own bike saddle and regretted it as I couldn't cope with the narrow saddles and had to give up after a few miles; which was a shame as I had been very much looking forward to the bike rides.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Expect some hot weather and some humid. Take lightweight waterproofs for the occasional wet day, we had one but it was a great day nevertheless, and then enjoy it's a great trip.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Roddy MacLeod

    Excellent introduction to Vietnam. Requires stamina rather than fitness

    Just completed the Trails of Vietnam holiday. Great experience. Very full-on trip which requires stamina rather than fitness. It gives an excellent flavour to Vietnam. Every day is different. The homestays, hotels and restaurants were all well chosen. Here's my video of the trip https://youtu.be/VpW1TxlsAWI

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Halong Bay boat trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sometimes difficult to understand what he said, but he was very hard working.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Linda Booth

    Trails of Vietnam

    Wow, full on Vietnam! This trip was great, if a little rushed at times. You get to see a lot of different areas of Vietnam, from rural villages to chaotic cities. Also many varied experiences such as religious sites, historical sites, walking, cycling, kayaking, boat trips, cooking class, local music and dance shows. Be prepared to be on the go most of the time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My favourite part of the trip was the homestays. To experience local /rural life with friendly people is such a contrast to the chaotic, bustling cities

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cong was great and his English is excellent. He managed to keep a group of 15 all together and heading to the right places and excursions on time. The itinerary was very busy but ran smoothly thanks to Cong.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As the trip notes suggest these items are very useful: refillable water bottle, day pack (for shorter day trips), overnight bag (for 2 or 3 nights away from your main suitcase), sleeping bag liner (for the sleeper train & homestays), insect repellent, sun cream, small hand sanitiser. Personally I wouldn't pack (but this is up to each individual): cycle helmet (this is provided), walking boots (I was fine with walking trainers), sleeping bag (unless colder months).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    -
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Polly Vallance

    Brilliant adventure week!

    This week had all we were looking for ...... heaps of action, a beautiful scenic country & a relaxing place to be. We did all the activities included in the week (white water rafting, canyoning, kayaking, biking & zip lining) & did additional paragliding & advanced canyoning. Such a fun active area to be in.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Oh my ....... too many - we all loved them ! Too many awesome highlights to single out a particular one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We didn’t have a group leader as we were just a group of 4. But the company that organised all our activities were awesome & any questions were dealt with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    GO ON THIS TRIP!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a superb sleek fun filled week full of adventure, excitement & fun. A beautiful area & the hotel was all we could have wanted. Perfect!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Katy R

    Amazing insignt into a fabulous country

    This trip was FULL ON. The activity level maybe doesn't reflect the amount of actual physical exercise taken on the trip, but it does reflect the pace. It was completely non-stop from touchdown at Hanoi airport, to hikes and village walks through the hills of the north and absorbing all the culture of Hue and then down to Saigon and the beautiful Mekong Delta. 6am starts and late nights made for a lot of naps required on the bus but to pack this inspiring and amazing country into 16 days was a definite success!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Halong Bay has got to be up there as an all time highlight, the kayaking was brilliant too! Along with the guest-house in the Mekong delta and the cycling tours through the countryside Hanoi on a Saturday night for tired, jet-lagged brits who had only been in the country a few hours was a bit overwhelming but Saigon was a dream!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Unfortunately this is where the trip fell short of 5 stars. Having travelled with exodus before and only experienced amazing, intelligent, organised and inspiring guides full of knowledge and humour, perhaps I was a little spoilt. Linh was both disorganised and overly-regimented in his planning. He constantly failed to tell us vital information regarding the days structure ahead which meant that an already packed trip was full of confusion. He was indecisive but at the same time failed to take on suggestions from the group about what they wanted to do. We were given very little freedom or flexibility with regards for activities and he had a very odd idea of time eg City tour in Hoi An was supposed to take 1 hour, ended up taking 3 hours then straight to dinner then another tour after dinner = very tired tourists. He also showed no interest in conversing with any of the group and preferred to lecture us in the coach (very interesting if a little egotistical at times) yet was not open to any two-sided discussion over dinner. In my experience, exodus guides have been quite the opposite and this is just a one off (for anyone reading who has now been put off!). I was also under the impression that Linh did not often take the 'trails' group and usually did the cycling tour - perhaps that is his real forte!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes lots! When going to the home-stays with the village tribes, pack lots of clothes and socks (you will need them) and also all the young girls in the villages were desperate to have their nails painted! So bring a pot, it won't take up much space and will really brighten their day! (Wish I had had this advice before going) There won't be many opportunities for buying souvenirs etc so make sure you take time in Hoi An to do that. If you're at all travel sick then stock up on pills - the coach journeys have wonderful scenery but that comes at a cost! You don't need to bring many clothes either, laundry services are cheap and quick and so are the clothes if you need an extra t-shirt or something. The food has a reputation for being dirt cheap, however the places we were taken to were cheap compared to British standards but don't go expecting dinner to cost £5 If you go in August it is constantly hot and sticky, lots of sun cream, lots of DEET, expect to be a sweaty mess most of the time!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip overall was incredible. We got to meet the local people and see some amazing sights and eat the local food, really get stuck in to the Vietnamese culture. The high pace was really tiring but worth it to get everything squeezed in to two weeks. The only thing that let us down was a very poor guide, however as it is such a crucial part to any holiday that's why I had to give 4/5 :( Thank you exodus and thank you Vietnam!
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Kim Norton

    Awesome Vietnam experience

    The whole experience exceeded my expectations. The trip had a great mix of experiences, my personal favourites being the Halong Bay boat trip and Mekong delta homestay with added birthday cake (surprise from our guide, Tung) for the August birthday celebratees.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard for me to choose one, but I am inspired by how welcoming and friendly the people are and their resilience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Tung, had an amazing knowledge of the region and always ensured everyone was in their happy place 😊. Vote Tung for guide of the year!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Stay an extra day or two after the tour ends, to rest. Although the tour is well paced it is still tiring if you are not used to the busy city travel.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Tracey Podger

    spectacular Slovenia

    Surely one of the most beautiful countries - unspoilt, natural and breath-taking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    it was all inspirational - being amongst nature, it's beauty and power. The Soca river is a wonder in it's own right and as you travel via various modes of transport it takes you through mountains and valleys equally stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader worked hard to meet everyone's needs and was flexible with the itinerary. He was knowledgeable and keen to share his country and experience with the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of sun cream and if you aren't keen on heights the zip wire might not be for you...but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    highly recommended