Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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18130 Reviews

  • Ancient Egypt is great......modern Egypt is broken......

    We wanted to see the wonders of Egypt and got them mostly, although expect to pay extra to see them. I would say that having 8+ optional trips that you have to pay lots extra for means the basic trip is not as good as you think. For instance you WILL NOT see the Sphinx (and other pyramids) as part of the trip despite being in Cairo 4 days unless you EACH pay an extra £50. So do not fall for the false advertising pictures of the Sphinx as part of the trip. As for the modern Egypt, Greta Thunberg should start there. Rubbish everywhere, literally everywhere and you can watch them add to it as you travel. Cairo traffic is horrendous and the pollution dreadful, expect to be in a coach though this cannot be avoided to see the sites or get to hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Karnak, Sphinx, Abu Simbel and Pyramids. Awesome. Inspiring and as they rightly are, a Wonder of the World. Almost too much to comprehend with the sheer amount of temples and tombs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tefa was good, though Exodus need to allow the guides more flexibility to change things. For instance a late flight and getting to bed at nearly 01:00 and getting up the next day at 06:30 is not great when the very next day you get a late start at 09:00, why not swap them? Or have the tour designer change it properly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When approached every 5 seconds as you approach the sites through carefully crafted 'run the gauntlet souvenir alleys' say 'No, Thank You' as they are generally polite and usually then stop, if they hassle you further then reduce to 'No' but still politely. This is NOT a relaxing trip, I run marathons and found it exhausting, apart from two of the days. Early starts are required to get around some of the sites, but all operators are doing the same so don't expect it to be to avoid crowds.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Expect to pay tips everywhere, have the individual £65 of group tips not explained and pay TOURIST prices at 10x local prices for everything. This trip is expensive, and hard to justify when to locals it is a lot cheaper. Exodus will claim this is to be a responsible tour operator but then take you to the below. Exodus need to get this responsibility back and actually do it properly rather than lip service, I have been on 9/10 trips with them and they are getting worse with each one. There is a trip to a supposed Nubian village/house, this is poor and in my view utterly unacceptable as we were told to drink and meet at a place keeping Alligators in tiny cages. UNACCEPTABLE. The Nubian village is just another souvenir selling trip other than that.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Christopher for his review, although we regret that he was disappointed with aspects of the trip. Our local team have assured us that the Sphinx is visible for all groups as they travel around the Giza complex without further payment, we’re working with our local team to ensure this is clearly explained to future groups. We have  amended the activity level for this trip based on feedback from Christopher and others, and hope that this will ensure clients on future departures are prepared for the busy itinerary, which includes so many of Egypt’s highlights. Many of the key attractions close relatively early in the day which does mean some early starts cannot be avoided, that said, we are looking into adjustments to the order of activities to potentially allow a slightly later start on Day 2. Our tour leaders keep records of all tipping kittys, should our customers ever wish to see them, although we are sorry that Christopher did not feel that this was transparent.

     

    Exodus is aware of the unfortunate practice regarding animal welfare in some parts of Egypt, and we endeavour to make it clear in the trip notes for this tour that it is something we do not support on any level, while stressing with our local guides that all group members should be briefed to avoid encouraging this. The Nubian village visit is currently being reviewed, as we wish to maintain ways of supporting their traditional culture, which is at risk of disappearing, while also ensuring that our responsible travel ethos is not compromised.

     

    We are sorry that Christopher’s experience was not as positive as we would have hoped, but we feel it is worth mentioning that we generally receive very positive feedback from customers who join this tour, as shown by the large number of five-star reviews submitted by other clients. I am, nonetheless, grateful to Christopher for taking the time to share his comments with us, and we are taking actions on a number of them.

     

    Thomas Manchester – Product Manager

  • Reviewed March 2022

    Amazing holiday

    This was our first Exodus trip and we couldn't have been more impressed with the way we were looked after, from arrival at the airport right through to our departure. Jordan is a wonderful country - we found the people very friendly and welcoming and the scenery and sightseeing are both spectacular.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the Wadi Rum, an incredible, other worldly landscape

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eyad was very well informed and did his best to keep us on track for the tight schedules. He even tried to teach us a few Arabic words, 'yellah yellah' meaning 'let's go' was the one that sank in best!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come prepared for cold weather if travelling in March - there is a huge range of temperatures between the mountains and the valleys.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Atlas descent March 2022

    Despite some inclement weather I had a really good time in Morocco. The people, places and activities were all amazing. The cycling was very varied with tarmac as well as off-road and single track and always with the picturesque backdrop of mountain scenery. Be warned though, despite the trip being named Atlas Descent, there is a fair amount of lung busting uphill to get through as well. The reward for getting to the top ... you get to enjoy the blast back down again! I saw goats, gazelles, camels, working donkeys as well as endless dogs resting in the shade. Each day was different in terms of scenery, riding, landscapes and points of interest. On the bad weather day (literally blizzards, snow and ice) we instead visited a historic Berber house and Hammam steam bath - both were excellent. Food throughout was excellent and the hotels were good. Organisation and running of the trip was excellent. This was my first time traveling with Exodus and, on the basis of this trip, I will certainly do so again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top! Blasting back down. Learning about Morocco from the trip leader and guides. Having a Hammam steam bath. Buying a rug. Meeting amazing fellow travelers. Being welcomed everywhere with mint tea. Exploring Berber culture. Plunging into the Atlantic waves on the final day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Hicham and his team were truly magnificent!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I read the trip notes about colder weather but did not take them seriously enough ... Morocco, desert, sand, hot ...?. I only took shorts but wished I had more to keep my legs warm on some days. Plan accordingly. A bit of off-road experience necessary. The first day went straight into an off-road rocky downhill.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    After COVID - first long haul for us, first tour for Exodus in Chile

    Very good tour but with a few niggles. This was the first Discover Chile tour for 2 years, both for Exodus and for our guide. The first niggle was that the guide didn't have accurate or complete guest arrival information. My wife and I were successfully met at the airport the day before the official land tour start. However the guide didn't have any information about four guests and thought that the remaining guest was only arriving the next day ( which meant she would be quarantining). So the Santiago tour was cancelled. My wife and I went on our own to explore, as the guide was expecting to have to meet the remaining guest. However it turned out that all of the other guests had arrived before us and turned up in the hotel lobby for the tour. The guide tried to contact us but we didn't see the messages until it was too late to join her. There was some confusion for one of the plane trips where our tickets were all marked as standby! We all got on but it was confusing. For our stay in Punta Varas it was a little disconcerting when many of the restaurants closed at 7. This also surprised the guide, who hadn't been to the town for 2 years. We also missed out on the boat trip in the lakes because of a landslip and the back-up view from the ski resort was stopped by treacherous sleeting weather. It felt like there could have been an extra day in the Lakes region. The first breakfast in the hotel in Puerto Natales was very disappointing, but they made a much better breakfast the next time. Perhaps they were rusty after a long break from foreign tourism. In all the to-ing and fro-ing with Easter Island extensions our final transfer to the airport dropped off. Not a big issue because the guide sorted us out very efficiently. The scenery was stunning throughout and more than made up for any long journeys
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Cycling Costa Rica

    Amazing trip! The wildlife, from monster crocs, toucans ( group joke!!) Sloths and turtles and the flora is just out of this world! March is hot! Roberto, Paul and Luis were a brilliant team. Go there to pedal hard, have great fun with the group and just take it all in!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many! I loved the biological research station as I'm mad about plants! But the boat trips were great, the guided walks, the wildlife ( I never got the sloth thing, now I do!!) Swimming in the Pacific and Carribean. And pedalling every inch of the trip!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto is just lovely! His enthusiasm and knowledge about his country is infectious. He's also very good at keeping a group focused , as in herding cats! Couldn't ask for a better team leader. Shout out to Paul our other rider and mechanic. The most lovely, smiliest and helpful guy and Luis our driver. Totally unflappable and finder of the best fruit!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy every moment!! It really helps to be cycling fit as it got to 43°C on several days! Take a decent camera, a phone just doesn't do the closeups, was so glad I did. Learn a few Spanish words! Mozzies weren't really an issue. Sunscreen is a must! I was glad I had a helmet with a visor! Your washing doesn't dry outside, it's too humid! Do it when you have a room with aircon! I took way too much luggage. Take half what you think you'll need. Meals were not quite as expensive as the Exodus trip notes suggest. Roberto paid for all lunches then billed us at the end. So much easier than faffing about individually and saved a lot of time. The first couple of days are really hard. Jetlag, acclimatising to the heat and a lot of busy roads. However, the traffic is totally bike friendly and you do get used to the heat fairly quickly!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it!!
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Amalfi Coast

    It was a great week and it was very well organised and we had a superb guide in Veriano

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Path of the Gods

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Veriano was absolutely excellent, he was very friendly, very helpful and his local knowledge was first class, I can't speak highly enough about him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There's a lot of steep descents so walking poles could be useful for this. Walking boots were OK but it was all on paths so good walking trainers would be my preferred foot wear. Some of the paths were quite narrow with severe drops at the side so you'd need to be comfortable with that.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip included a visit to Pompeii, however on the free day some of us went to Herculaneum and if I had to make a choice between the two I'f definitely opt for Herculaneum
  • All expectations exceeded and some

    This was a much anticipated trip - 4th time lucky and it was absolutely worth waiting for. Kicheche camps, the guides James, Dickson, Sarumi, Johnson, Bernard and Eliud were all excellent. They found us elusive leopards and cheetahs and got the vehicles into the best positions for photographs. Paul was an inspirational lead - pushing us to go for something different in our pictures and ensuring we had the basic camera settings correct. Just don't ask him what ISO to use or wax lyrical about the stunning vista. Kicheche camps and the conservancies are something special - they're very connected with local communities, the wildlife aren't "hassled" by lots of vehicles crammed full of people. As a guest Kicheche felt very respectful of the local area and we were also wonderfully looked after - amazing food from game drive breakfasts, delicious lunches and dinners at the camp and sundowners in the bush, comfortable tents and communal areas all with stunning views and the odd elephant just walking by. It was my first safari but some people in my group of 7 guests had been many times and I can see why.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The game drives - seeing leopards and cheetahs close up - unphased by the vehicles and just going about their business. I thought we had been incredibly lucky with the drives we had and what we saw but no the guides really are excellent at finding even the most elusive of animals. Inspirational moments include cheetah cubs playing under our vehicles, a leopard and her cub coming down from a tree with their kill and a cheetah fending off a lioness to protect her cubs. For me the photography coaching - learning how to take photographs of weaver birds for example was a huge highlight of the trip and not something you would get on any other safari.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All of the guides and Paul Goldstein were excellent. Paul knows what he is doing and will push you to get the most out of the experience and your photographs which is exactly what you want from a trip like this. Paul, the guides and camp staff all work incredibly hard to make this the most amazing experience - you can immerse yourself in the safari and know that all the fiddly bits and pieces like PCR tests, early pick ups etc are all being sorted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are keen to develop your photographic skills or want to experience a very special safari experience then this is the perfect trip. Be aware, though, it may ruin you for any other safari.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I extended my trip with 5 nights in Zanzibar at Fumba Beach Lodge which was the perfect place for being indulgently lazy or having an explore. I was picked up from the airport by Kassim Mbonde (he worked with the local operators who liaise with Exodus) and he was happy to act as my guide whilst in Zanzibar. As a first time visitor and solo traveller I was very happy to take him up on this offer and two excellent days exploring the island - Stone Town, Spice Tour, Jozani forest for Red Colobus monkeys and Mnemba Island for snorkelling and swimming with dolphin (an amazing first time experience). I felt very safe with Kassim and looked out for and got to explore parts of the island I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. If you are able to I would definitely recommend a Zanzibar extension.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Amazing

    Loved every minute of this trip. The leader and the specialist were so informative and very helpful to me. I am 74 and they looked after me excellently. This is my 3rd trip with Exodus and hopefully not the last!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The rain forest and the elephant orphanage. Also the safaris and the beach time Very

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very informative and extremely thoughtful 1 minor thing

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    One minor thing. You put leech socks on the list which l got, but didn't need them as they were supplied.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No. Amazing trip
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Magical Iceland

    Iceland in March is a challenge.....ice and snow underfoot (boot chains provided!) high winds, intermittent torrential rain, bad road conditions. But the beauty of the country more than makes up for any discomfort. Travelling around the whole island, the scenery is constantly changing....wild coasts, snowy mountains, sparkling fjords, black lava flows and of course, wonderful waterfalls. For any lover of the great outdoors, this trip is a must

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking among the icebergs on the black beach. Entering Hallgrimskirkja and being blown away by its beauty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jon is amazing, singlehandedly driving, portering, organizing, commentating......always full of energy and enthusiasm. I loved that, as well as information about Iceland, he also treated us to tales from the sagas, norse mythology and folklore.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring lots of clothes and be prepared for all weather types in one day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Maybe the itinerary needs reviewing. We struggled to fulfill the schedule on some days because of road/weather conditions, resulting in very long days and late hotel arrivals. That's why I gave this tour 4 stars, not 5.
  • Reviewed March 2022

    Wonderful country, lovely people

    A wonderful trip with SO much packed in. The Scenery is absolutely spectacular, the Jordanian people warm and hospitable and the food delicious. The variety of activities made for a very memorable trip, including the spectacular Petra, floating in the Dead Sea, a little bit of beach, camping in the desert, riding camels etc. Cycling scenery spectacular. Don't expect very challenging cycling, distances short and lots of downhill. One or two challenging climbs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dancing with the cycling team and other guests on top of a mountain in the desert after a quite steep ascent - after an exhilarating ride with lovely refreshments, fun and joy! Also Bedouin feast and camping in desert (although freezing at night!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was organised and professional, a bit defensive at times. (Eyad) I think not having a cycling guide was a shame but probably difficult to find people with the appropriate skills to do both.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went in March and the weather was unseasonably cold. In Amman and Petra it was between 4-10 degrees. It even snowed on our Petra visit. I was unprepared in terms of warm clothes packed and had to buy a hoodie - wore same warm clothes for days! A couple of days we had rain and freezing wind for cycling - wish I'd brought full fingered gloves!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Despite the poor weather we had a fantastic trip, would highly recommend