Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    PANDAS & WARRIORS FAMILY HOLIDAY

    The itinerary was fantastic. China is a big country and the travel can be a bit hectic at times. Most of the locations were generally well chosen. The Shaolin temple was distasteful and tacky. It was nothing like what we had imagined and an overnight train journey to see it ,seemed so unecessary in the end.Totally avoidable and Exodus should probably remove it from the itinerary/replace it. Yangshuo was the absolute highlight. What a beautiful place! The Panda Reserve at Chengdu was another disappointment, but something unavoidable ,as the children do look forward to it.Hong-kong was quite a 'sterile' place generally except for the giant Buddha on Lantau Island.Immigration into Hong-kong was a nightmare and very stressful.Michael,our guide was absolutely great,very helpful,sociable and generally very friendly.The children enjoyed each other's company and had a great time together.  We saw most of the highlights of China and it was a great educational experience for the children. They made lots of new friends as did the adults.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to choose from!! Yangshuo stands out.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michael, our Group Leader,was fantastic. He was very cheerful, helpful and kept the group together very well.It was a challenging job which he carried out admirably.The kids liked him and he made our trip easier than it would have been.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it. Great tour. Haggle and shop in Xian and Yangshuo.Visit Lantau island in HongKong and avoid Stanley market.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fantastic tour. Would recommend to families with small children and teenagers (Our son was 7 yrs old and enjoyed it immensely).
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE INDOCHINA & ANGKOR

    The Cambodia part was great, the Vietnam part really nice too, however the first few days in Thailand (300km or so) was just tiring and a bit uninspiring with little to see - high mileage when everyone was jet lagged and short of sleep. The Mekong delta in Vietnam was lovely although some of the roads were really quite busy and it felt a bit too rushed at times with too few opportunities to take photos. More time in Cambodia and Vietnam to replace the days in Thailand would have suited me, plus more quiet backroads and tracks. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The temples at Angkor, the sunset on Tonle Sap, the homestay / guest house on the Mekong and the friendly local people everywhere.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good fun and well organised but could have been more aware of health and safety issues and less dismissive of customer concerns.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get bike fit - although it is very flat, the roads can be a bit rough and it is hot and humid! Don't go if you want to have a relaxing holiday. Most of it is quite early starts and some days are quite hard work.    

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I get a bit tired of the whole tips things. On this trip we tipped staff in three countries. To give an example, $40 to $50 was suggested by Exodus for the main tour leader. While not a lot as an individual, for the 17 people on our trip that was $680 to $850 for 2 weeks. Is that a tip or are we paying a big part of the guy's wages? A hidden charge I would suggest Exodus.     
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    CAPE TOWN TO VICTORIA FALLS

    The itinerary was the major reason for choosing this holiday.  It fulfilled all of our expectations but the vehicle, although kept clean and well driven, was poor in terms of comfort and visibility compared with vehicles used by other adventure companies with whom we have travelled.  Travelling times indicated in the itinerary were rather optimistic!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Everyone should be aware that they are expected to assist with domestic chores e.g. preparation of lunch etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My comments are intended to offer constructive criticism and if published should be used in full without selective editing.
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF MOROCCO

    Except for the weather, which unfortunately was incontrollable, it was a very interesting trip, we did and we saw a lot of things without any rush.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Essaouira, hiking in the mountains, sleeping in the desert under the stars

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was great.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go during November take warm clothes and your sleeping bag with you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked to spend one more day in Fes.
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGH PASSES OF EVEREST

    An awe inspiring trip that delivered amazing views, outstanding guides and physical challenges that took every last ounce of determination.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing the Kong Ma La pass the feeling of sheer exhilaration was fab! Seeing the sunset over everest and then popping to the local bakery for hot chocolate and cake, superb!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pasang and his team were amazing, for one so young he had maturity and experience well beyond his years and assisted the group at every step of the way both physically and mentally supporting the group when moral occasionally dropped. The porters and assistant guides were always happy and smiling and willing to go the extra mile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Anti bac hand wash religiously before and after EVERYTHING!!! I'm a meat eater but staying clear of any meat based food from Namche Bazarr upwards def saved me and many of my group from getting too dodgy a belly the noodles, rice and soup provided a good source of energy food with the occasional treat of egg and chips!The sleeping bag I hired from Exodus was clean and warm but absolutely massive and needed to be carried seperately from my bag as barely fitted in the exodus kit bag on its own let alone with the rest of my kit in it. This meant that although the porters were very accomodating about carrying it, sometimes it got a little damp and grubby en route if the weather was wet and snowy (which it frequently was)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was an amazing but pretty challenging trip, I trained a fair bit before going to make sure I was at a good fitness level but nothing really prepares you for the altitude. I had been trekking and climbing at altitude several times before with no ill effect but this time at about 4500m I got hit hard by the altitude for a few days, but think making sure you have a very good fitness level prior to departure is a must!
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    SLOVENIA: JULIAN ALPS TRAVERSE

    Love the high alpine traversing.  The guides were fantastic.  The scenery was breathtaking.  The trails were not crowded.  The high alpine lakes were gorgeous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I felt a great sense of achievement when we reached the summit of Triglav.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both group leaders were great.  They went above and beyond what they were required to do.  They also hired a third guide for summit day.  The guides really enhanced our enjoyment of the entire journey.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Realize the accomodations are bunk / dorm.  You can ask for an upgrade and pay some additional $$ at some of the lodges if you need a good night's sleep.  The food at the huts was basic and bland.  There were few vegetarian options.  Stay a few days in Lubjiana either at the beginning or the end of the trip.  It is a great place to explore and you don't get to see it during this trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not for beginner or unfit hikers!  There are lots of steep drop offs, and not just on summit day.  A good sense of balance with your day pack on your back is required.  Also, be prepared for the weather to change quickly at altitude...........and there is no shelter on those high altitude trails.  But the scenic rewards are worth it!
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    RIO TO BUENOS AIRES

    Lots of super things to see. However there was too much travelling as percentage of the time away.We suggest extending the length of the holiday and the time spent at each place

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing swifts flying into the Iguazu waterfalls to their nests behindThe sheer scale and beauty of Christ the RedeemerFirst sighting of hyacinth macawsFloating down the river at Bonito and coming eyeball to eyeball with a Caiman!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ezekiel was extremely enthusiastic, and went to enormous lengths to help us make the most of the holiday.However, we felt he had not quite had the experience of the trip to be able to give us the best advice on options.(he was not the guide we expected from the reviews or from staff we spoke to before departure)For instance the trip to Itaipu dam was very disappointing, and added ~4 hours in a bus the nearly 20 hours on the overnight bus andtransfer bus that followed. We would have been much better staying at the Falls for a leisurely afternoon.Also the only real shopping opportunity was in the market at Buenes Aires which he rushed us through without chance to buy any souvenirs. It would have been helpful to know this was the best market even so early in the trip.Finally we were split into 2 groups for the overnight bus trip by the Bus company.  Eze coped very well with this but didn't quite get the timings right so we were a little unsure where to get off. (not helped by it being 4am!)Overall though a charming and hard working and kind young man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect a lot of travelling, on buses and planes. Very little chance for any excercise.Don't do the Itaipu dam trip, stay at the Iguazu Falls which are stunning and deserve more timeExpect it to be very hot (40 C) in the Pantanal and Bonito at this time  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The guide at the Brazilian side of Iguazu was totally uninterested in us. Going through the motionsThe guide in Paraty was excellentThe boat trip in Paraty was disappointing. It went only a very short distance and one can only swim for so long.( although the food was excellent)We nearly missed the flight home due to taking 2 hours to travel 10 miles in the Rio rush hour. Strongly suggest more time allowed as it was a VERY close callWe suggest you consider extending the trip to allow more time in each place, to minimise the impact of the travelling. Also there were some good looking walking places en route especially in Paraty, which could be offered.
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    CUBA: LA ISLA GRANDE

    Cuba - interesting, even fascinating - but food lovers beware!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved the snorkelling on the optional catamaran trip. Never before eaten lunch on a desert island eyed up by iguanas and tree rats! La Habana Vieja is wonderful: stunning architecture. But note: the past 50 years or so have seen a wholesale (presumably unintended) programme  of converting grand palaces to miserable hovels. The UNESCO-sponsored refurbishment is restoring many of these magnificent buildings to their former glory, but there remains much to do. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    George was great - tireless in his efforts to organise the local services, and largely successful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely take snacks - food for tourists is plentiful (I suspect the locals would be aghast to see how much is provided), but very, very bland, and a very narrow range of choices as a rule. But lobster (where available) can be surprisingly inexpensive and properly cooked. Steer clear of the beef - by and large the locals seem to have no idea what to do with it. But I'm a bit of a foodie ... however we ate at a couple of good places in Habana Vieja (Cafe Del Oriente and El Patio - both v good).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All loos are manned by women (usually) demanding money with thinly veiled menaces. And they are quite clear about how much they expect to receive for handing you a very short strip of flimsy toilet paper. No idea whether they work only for tips, or get paid by the establishment, but it gets really irritating. And the loo cublicles are barely high enough for decency, and hardly any have locks - and some open outwards so you can quite easily appear revealed in all your glory to any bystanders.
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO CLIMB - RONGAI ROUTE

    This holiday (if you can call it that) was the best but hardest experience of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and couldn't have asked to spend my 10 days with a better bunch of friends or porters from the African Walking Company!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the Summit of course - but i could not have done it without the great friendship from the other members within my group, or the experteese of the porters.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    My group leader was amazing, his English was brilliant and very knowledgeable - he was very thorough in explanations and i would go as far as saying he saved one of my friends - he was very ill and despite wanting to complete the challenge my guide gave him medication and advice to stop! He was very funny and an asset to our team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take disposible wipes with you - i brought mine from waitrose! Take a good waterproof jacket if not a poncho. my waterproof jacket turned out to be non waterproof and i got soaked, plus my back pack soaked, however one of the porters leant me his spare poncho which was brilliant, it covered me and my back pack so thats defo an essential. Take a high factor sun cream!!! if you think your just going to face snow your wrong, the sun is very hot and i got sun stroke - one of my friends got badly burnt so take like a 25 or even a 50 factor of cream. Make sure you take a hat too. otherwise i couldnt have had better thermals then morino wool. They were amazing, expensive yes but the best thing. Otherwise pack light!PS you dont need the yellow fever vaccine, i didnt take malaria tabs but i was the only one in my group that didn't. I did take altitude sickness drugs! Make sure you take some anti biotics with you! MUST!!! i got very ill and had gastroenteritus and UTI if i had anti bots with me i would have been able to start treatment alot earlier. I went to see the waterfalls and the villiage before we left but wished id have had more days to do a safari or zanzibar so look into that

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The guides from the African Walking Company certainly made my challenge special, i was shocked at the outstanding level of hygiene and facilities we had, the meals were out of this world and the tents were up ready for you on arrival. I was disgusted though at what little equipment the guides and porters had, some were walking the mountain in flip flops and jeans. This was appauling considering the amount of money we paid for the trip that the company couldnt even provide boots or decent clothing for them. I think i only brought a pair of trousers home with me i gave the rest to the guides. They go out of thier way to help you and would rather go without then see a member of the group suffer. I couldn't have got to the top without these guys so thanks!
  • Reviewed December 2011
    Anonymous

    WHALES AND LEOPARDS OF SRI LANKA

    A great trip, amazing to see so many whales and spinnder dolphins surrounding the boat. The safari was a little disappointing as the leopards we saw were at some distance, however other members of our group had fantastic close experiences - its not a zoo so you cant guarantee you will all have the same experience. The park was beautiful lots of great animals and colour and life - if you love birds then we saw a huge range of birds of prey all at very close quarters. Hotel in Yala is fantastic - just reopened and very clean and shiny, food exceptional. The other hotels were clean but tired. Beware that road trips although short in km take an age as there arent many roads and everyone including the herds of cattle use them. Overall a great holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing over 10 whales and maybe 200 spinner dolphins

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great - really organised and helpful - the naturalist was also fantastic, helpful and engaging wanting everyone to have a great experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the transfers taking a while - good tunes or the ability to snooze on a bus. 
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