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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    SAHARA DESERT TREK

    A massive adventure, far removed from everyday life, that reveals not just some beautiful scenery but a different, and simple, way of living.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lying on my back, looking up at more stars than I've ever seen before; the gentle silence of the desert; singing songs are the campfire with our Berbers; jumping down the massive sand dunes; discovering that life without running water can be done - and, actually, it's rather nice.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I loved the lessons that Mohamed gave every morning before we set off. He was always happy to chat and was the lynchpin of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    * The flies will drive you insane, so take a thin cotton scarf to wrap around your head during lunchtime naps.* Wipes will be your saviour; you can't take too many.* Don't forget a headtorch. It gets dark early and you won't be able to find your tent - or eat with confidence - without it.* If you're squeamish about certain cuts of meat, go vegetarian. * Walking sandals were the footwear of choice and far preferrable than boots. * Take a book or games or something for the long lunchbreaks when it's not feasible to walk in the heat. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The walking on this trip isn't too arduous; it's more the mental effects of not having running water, toilets, home comforts, etc. But that is what makes it all the more special. The remoteness can be intimidating yet exhilarating at times. The sand gets everywhere but, hey, you're in the desert; what do you expect?! This trip truly is an adventure.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    THE TROPICAL SOUTH

    A wonderful holiday which ticked all the right boxes - great guide (Lukose), good mixture of city and countryside, good hotels, glimpses of local life - highly recommended as a great first time holiday to Southern India. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The houseboat.  There is something intrinsically peaceful and calming about meandering along the back waters on a fabulous houseboat where the crew conjure up wonderful meals from, seemingly, thin air, oh and banana fritters just in case we were hungry in the afternoon!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lukose was brilliant.  He anticipated our every question and had an uncanny ability to appear as if from nowhere as soon as anyone even passingly mentionned that there was something they wanted to ask him.  Very knowledgeable about the places we visited and India in general; and very quick to call someone if there was a question he didn't know the answer to.  He was very quick to get to grips with different peoples' wants and needs (beer and ice playing a large part in that!).  The trip ran like clockwork.  What can I say, a good few of us wanted to take Lukose home with us to organise our lives in the UK!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely go on this trip it's a great experience.  Don't expect to be able to go to lots of bars, there isn't the same kind of drinking culture in Kerala as there is at home, but Kingfisher beer is available in most places! The day walk from Mattupetty Dam was a lot harder than many people anticipated.  The walk is really quite steep all of the way up and combined with the humidity / heat does make it quite difficult.  That said it is worth doing, the view from the top is great and it was good to do something more active.   The air con on the house boat was  really cold at night, take layers! I wouldn't recommend the visit to Kanyakumari - we spent a lot of time queuing and there really wasn't anything much to see.  The wooden palace about an hour away was beautiful so perhaps that could be a shorter optional trip.   The German bakery, Waves, at Kovalam is a must visit restaurant - food and cake is fantastic, as is the sister Fusion restaurant.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fantastic trip.  There are some long stints on the bus but Lukose made sure we had plenty of stops to feed us and you see loads.  There are plenty of impromptu stops along the way to see fields being worked, sugar produced, bricks being made.  Book it!
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    BHUTAN: LAND OF THE THUNDER DRAGON

    An excellent tour with a fine mix of culture and activity. Varied, well organised - we enjoyed it very much.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational? an extreme word ... but very enjoyable or interesting?Flying into Paro and finding even the control tower was in local Bhutanese architecture! People wandering around the tarmac taking pictures instead of rushing into the arrivals hall.Finding that on trek we were actually provided with seats with backs!  (I may be 'sad' but, as you get older, it can be pretty uncomfortable camping without.) Rising early to enjoy the pink rising sun on the snowy mountains and frost at 4,000 metres. (Not a requirement of the trip!)The fantastic perfume from some of the small rhododendrons as you walk past.  This was not from flowers but the bushes themselves. Apparently they are used for incense.And, of course, the Thimpu festival, especially all the happy children, many lining up for photos.  The combination of proud, colourful traditional dress with modernity - the mobile phones and the man taking a picture of his grandchild on his iPad.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two - in our view both excellent but in different ways, with different approaches and different personalities.We were on the same trip as the previous review so it just shows how much your view of a leader can depend on your experience of him/her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yet another warning about fitness. At normal UK altitudes I would not have found the trek any problem at all. Add 3000-4000 metres, deduct the relevant amount of oxygen and it becomes a bit more of a challenge - even if you don't get real 'altitude sickness'. So make sure you are fitter than you think you need to be.  That said, it was only 2-3 days at that altitude.Plenty of water was provided for drinking so don't bother with supplementary filtering etc. equipment.Don't worry about changing money beforehand.  Just take a good number of smallish GB notes to change when there (or dollars or Euros but they seemed to prefer pounds.)  Much can be paid for in sterling anyway.Pay attention to the dress code advice for temples and festivals. Unfortunately, requirements can change but on our trip it was important to have long sleeves and a collar - including on the first day in Paro, as you visit the Dzong in the afternoon.Don't underestimate the potential cold at night on trek. A 4-season sleeping bag is absolutely fine but it depends on your 'internal central heating' - and the weather - as to whether 3-season will suffice.  In October, it could be quite hot during the day - especially up hill(!) - say 20 degrees - but below freezing at night. It rained lightly one day and we had a short hail storm on another.There was the usual problem with tipping.  There is a need to pay small amounts into a kitty for water and, unless you object, small offerings in temples.  There are large numbers of people who are due tips - if you consider the support staff on the trek and the drivers, too.  So you can have arguments to your heart's content in the group as to the best way to organise group tips but be aware that it can add up....

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All the staff were excellent.  I learned with approval the extent Exodus go to to train their leaders.  The staff on trek were extremely helpful and efficient and friendly - and the food was fantastic up there - possibly better than in the hotels...Definitely a worth-while trip.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    KAYAKING ON THE TURQUOISE COAST

    The holiday lived up to my expectations, great weather, good food an interesting group of people. I had very little kayaking experience before the holiday and am not a good swimmer but I found the going easy although I was in a double kayak and am generally quite active.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing 'inspirational' really but then i wasn't expecting to be inspired. The weather was great though and it was fantasitc to be able to get out of the kayaks or jump off the support boat straight into clear warm waters for a swim. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were eleven of us on the trip so we had two 'leaders'. One was not great, he wasn't the most communicative but he did mention the first day that this was his first time doing this particular trip so maybe he was pre-occupied with getting to know the ropes himself. The second guide was much better and ready to help with anything. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Might be an idea to pack some snacks for the days when you stay on the support boat (days listed as Camping on the itinerary), they sell drinks on board all day but no food (apart from the specific meals). This means that if you happen to have a very big appetite (particularly after a day of strenuous kayaking) or have a food allergy and can't eat some of the food at mealtimes then you may find yourself hungry unless you have packed some snacks. Also apply mosquito repellant EARLY in the afternoon on the days on the support boat. I had read reviews warning to bring insect repellant, but having spent a week before the start of the trip  in Turkey in rural locations and by the coast without a sign of a mosquito I though perhaps there weren't any after all. But the first night on the boat I got six bites. Its not that I didn't apply any repellant its just that I didn't apply it until about 6pm when I noticed a mosquito flying about on the boat but it seems I was too late. 
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT

    The sort of trip that grows inside you, like a fine wine, maturing with every moment of every day. As I close my eyes, I reflect upon my experience and smile gently to myself, my life enriched for ever by the simple beauty of the Himalayas and its people. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The children of Nepal worked and played so hard, smiling with genuine affection. The reflection of the mountains shining in their happy faces, inspiring me to want more of the surroundings and life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, if he were not working for Exodus, would be working for the United Nations, a diplomat for all occasions. He was professional, organised and reassuring, providing a center point for the relationship of the group to develop around. He fostered the growth of good will and tolerance amongst each other. He had a great smile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a trip which is physically demanding. The better in shape you are, the more enjoyable it will be. Watch the group leader and guides and follow their actions, it will save you time. Exodus will attend to you individually, which is nice, but don't forget it is a group effort, so getting ready and leaving on time each day is important. Plenty of time for chin wagging once you get to your destination! I  cannot emphasise how important it is to stay within the weight restrictions for luggage. The porters do a fantastic job, but are only human and cannot carry too much. You will be surprised how little you can manage with for 3 weeks. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't wear a bikini in the hot springs. Make good use of your loo at home now, you are going to miss it on trek, take loads of photos. Try not to talk to the locals in an Indian accent, they will think you have gone mad!Get that credit card out and book the next trip now! Don't think too hard about it.  
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    A WEEK IN JORDAN

    Just the right amount of time to have a great taste of this amazing country and seeing the gems that it has to offer.  A lot of fantastic experiences and places in one week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My favourite place was the Wadi Rum, it felt so remote from everywhere and sleeping under the stars is highly recommended!!  The Dead Sea was also an incredible place, floating in the salty water - don't get it in your eyes though!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide, Zuhair, was fab; passionate, informative, caring and humorous.  He went out of his way to make sure that we were all ok and had everything we needed.  He got to know all of us enough to make sure that we each got the best out of our trip. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We went on the trip in October, and the weather was hot without being too hot.  Some of the days involved quite a bit of walking around Petra which would have been more difficult if very hot.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our guide, Zuhair showed us a different route to view the treasury from above which was spectacular.  In order to get the most out of Petra, you need to put the effort in to walk around.  This is no reflection of the Exodus package or tour leader, but I felt quite shocked at the use of donkeys to carry people up the steps in Petra and their treatment by their handlers.  I doubt that UK animal standards would allow this and I would hope that future visitors don't use them. 
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO CLIMB - RONGAI ROUTE

    I can see now why the trip notes refer to some people saying this is the hardest thing they have ever done. I'd agree - but the exhillaration and sense of acheivement made this one of the most rewarding things I have ever done too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Uhuru Peak - the holy grail for all kili climbers!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Henry Fernandes of African Walking Company was fantastic. A true gentleman with exceptional mountain knowledge and a sense of humour - a real gem! Henry we salute you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Summit day is tough, making things comfortable on the way up really helps. Make sure you take serious  sunscreen - proper high factor ski-type sunscreen. Even the standard factor 30s-50s were struggling at altitude. Take boiled sweets, they really help with energy and motivation. Take rehydration salts. Number one - listen to your guide!
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    LYCIAN ACTIVITY WEEK

    An amazing holiday with a wide array of things to do and challenge you. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many!First trek to Patara set the pace of wonder and feeling free. Probably hurtling down the side of a mountain when mounatin biking and my first scuba diving experience where I really did have to relax and trust myself. And then the chance to go paragliding which I will be doing again sometime! 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic guide whom I felt I could trust if ever a situation demanded an emergency response- this was an activity holiday after all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to challenge yourself. It's worth it. An amazing part of the world with a lot to do. Take a few good jumpers for cold evenings and after getting wet to warm up.If you get room 309 change it as it is the only one that does not get hot water- it gets there last! The staff were very happy to move us. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A brilliant short holiday. Another week to relax would be good as there is a lot to do around Kas as well as the activites.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    NATIONAL PARKS OF THE WEST

    An excellent tour, covering a wide area but allowing adequate hiking time in the famous National Parks.  The variety of trails available in the Parks make the tour suitable for people of different abilities.  The scenery was tremendous, and the hotels generally of a high standard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Undoubtedly, the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight, but the rim views of Bryce Canyon and particularly walking the trails in that Canyon were probably the best moments of the tour.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was fine.  An experienced tour leader he was well acquainted with the region and organised the various walking options in the Parks well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Limited time is allowed at San Fransisco or Las Vegas at either end of the tour.  Potential travellers might consider whether they wish to add a couple of days (or more) at these locations.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The tour vehicle was very cramped.  Fortunately one person booked on the tour did not appear, otherwise with a full complement of passengers for the vehicle, the situation would have been worse.  The improvised lunch arrangements worked well enough. 
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    UZBEKISTAN UNCOVERED

    A well constructed tour, culminating with the visit to Registan Square in Samarkand.  The hotels were adequate and the local food passable.  Each of the towns Khiva, Bokhara and Samarkand have there own individual attractions and were well worth visiting, particularly when one reads into the turbulant history of the region.  An excellent and eye-opening tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Perhaps the first sight of Registan Square was the most inspirational

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader, an Uzbek national, had a good knowledge of the region and organised the tour well

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It seems that the whole road between Khiva and Bokhara is being upgraded at present - be prepared for a rough ride. Always take the group leader's advice on suitable places to eat
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