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 October 2011
    Anonymous

    TUNISIA EXPLORER

    Good overall view of Tunisia. The people were all very nice and helpful.  Our group was small and we enjoyed that.  The food was plentiful but I have come to the conclusion that Tunisians and Moroccans are not as good cooks as the Egyptians and Lebanese. The hotels' breakfasts were not good as there was no real fruit juice and no fruit, the cereals were too sugary (sort of cocoa pops) and the yoghurt was rarely natural. We only had French style bread although the Tunisian flat bread is delicious. Where were all the dates and oranges?I would have preferred to have been free to eat out at night in a resto recommended by the guide where this was possible. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Visit to the Bardo Museum and to the Roman sites

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sonia was very good and spoke English very well. Very helpful and concerned for our comfort and security. Went out of her way to help us get what we wanted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although the hotels were generally good there was always a small problem. Nobody seems to check the light bulbs in rooms or see if there is a plug in the sink. this is quite a common occurence in Magreb and Syria and Egypt so take a rubber sink plug with you!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The coach driver Hedi was a super driver despite all the traffic and some long days at the wheel. he was always smiling and helpful
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER SRI LANKA

    This was my second exodous adventure and it did not dissapoint, enjoyable from start to finish, there was a good contrast from the beach at the start of the holiday to the cooler mountain ranges, and then back to sea level for the Yala National Park safari.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most inspirational moments were cycling through local villages and getting a good feel for how the locals live from day to day. The white water rafting was great, went overboard but the water was warm and all the safety equipment was provided. Yala Safari was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader could not have been better, made a difficult job look effortless.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The games and meals we had with the locals were really nice, actually the best curry I had was at the Tsunami house we visited.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO CLIMB - RONGAI ROUTE

    Not a holiday. A fantastic experience. A lot harder than I thought.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit first at 5:20am. The camaraderie you can achieve with what is effectively a stranger when you achieve your goal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Florence was very good, as were all the other guides, porters and cooks of which there are around 40. He kept his eye on us and tried to tailor the speed at which we walked to each individual. He spoke to each person individually every morning and every evening to make sure everything was ok.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have enough dollars for the tip which adds a fair bit to the holiday. Wear sufficient layers but don’t over do it, you will warm up when you walk.I understand pole, pole but walk at the pace you are comfortable with. Listen to your body and what it’s telling you. Your hands get filthy.I personally didn’t wear or need to wear gaiters, but walking poles helped significantly, especially on the final push for the top. Some took Diamox some did not. Again, know your own body and listen to it; if you have a headache take something, if you don’t then don’t take something.On the day you climb to the top you will have breakfast at 23:30. You probably won’t feel like eating porridge. You will need a lot of energy so force yourself to eat.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want beautiful scenery and slow acclimatisation go to Everest and Gokyo lakes. If you want a challenging walk in less beautiful scenery in a much shorter holiday then climb Kili.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    JEBEL SAHRO RIDE & MARRAKECH

    I spent a great week in Morocco however I think a lot of this is more to do with Morocco itself and the company of a fun mixed group that than any satisfaction with the cycling.   It was hard work!  Much harder than anticipated and was a fairly exhausting trip.   There was little time to enjoy the surrounding scenery when I spent every moment staring at the ground 2 meters in front of my front wheel.   I would only recommend this trip to people who already know they enjoy off roading and if you do...it’s fabulous.Exodus staff (both local and the guide) were great and the organisation of the trip was faultless.  There were a few bad reviews previously regarding the quality of the bikes but ours were excellent.    The number of punctures was very high but when you see the terrain this can only be expected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The final ride after a huge climb on the final day involved a steep descent then riding through glorious dessert plains.  This was a great end to the trip.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was a star! Misguidedly, prior to the trip I would have preferred to be led by a local guide which I thought would aid interaction with locals.   I am very pleased to say I was completely wrong and I don’t believe any guide would have worked harder or been so attentive the groups needs as Liz.  She was friendly, fun and knowledgeable – everything you could want in a guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book your flights independently.  The cost of an all in trip is c.£450 more than the land only option and it is very easy to make considerable savings (even when independently booking onto the exact same group flights).  That said, do NOT fly Royal Air Maroc.   We missed our connection by 40 minutes which meant a day spent in a hole of a hotel 30k from Casablanca.  A taxi cost EUR50 to look at the sights in Casablanca and ultimately the whole experience meant a loss of 1 day from the holiday.   Staff were rude, uninterested and I would advise you to avoid at all costs.The best option would be to fly return to Marrakech then get a bus to Quarzazte at the outset of the trip.    There would be no faffing around changing planes and the chances of your luggage arriving with you are much increased.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Understand that this is a mountain biking holiday and in my opinion the grading is very different to a road cycling trip.   I have previously ridden a moderate/challenging road trip in India and didn’t use the support bus once….this time I was a regular!   Of the 15 people on our trip I don’t recall one person believing the trip was accurately graded.   
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    THE AMALFI COAST

    Our first trip with Exodus, or any organised walking holiday, so we were not sure how we would get on but we had a great time. Our Group Leader (Christine) was excellent, the members of the group were all good fun to be with, and the walks were all terrific. I think the Leisurely/Moderate rating for the walks is correct - although there are plenty of ups and downs none of the walks are particulaly long.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the visit to the Colloseum at Pompeii, but every day had its highlighlights - Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Positano and Ravello were all well worth seeing along with the superb views of the Amalfi coast on each of the walks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Christine was brilliant - knowledgeable and enthusiastic, much-loved by the hotel staff and other locals we bumped into on the walks - she added a lot to the whole experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It will probably be colder than you are expecting at the hotel in Bomerano so pack something warm. If you suffer from any knee problems be aware that there are many steps to walk down. The food and staff at the hotel are great and they cater for vegetarians - unlike British Airways! There are no kettles in the rooms. The water is safe and fine to drink. The local public buses are used on several days - don't turn up late, they are very busy. We took the optional trip on offer on our day off to Herculaneum and Ravello (35 Euros each and 10 Euros each for the guide, who is excellent) - well worth doing but be aware you spend quite a long time travelling on the minibus.  Enjoy!   

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The last day requires getting up about 3.30 am to get the bus at 4.30 to the airport, which is not an ideal way to end the holiday. When you get to Naples airport there are a few places to get a drink and a bite to eat at various places before security, after security, and close to the boarding gates. Almost everyone in the shops and restaurants in the region speaks enough English to get by if your Italian is limited. You can pay your drinks bill at the hotel at the end of the week using a credit card.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN TUSCANY

    Wonderful days walking through forests and hills with inspirational views of the Tuscan countryside followed by Mamma's home-cooked food in the evenings - great combination.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views of the Tusan countryside were amazing on all of the walks but the 360 degree views from Monte Sumbra were particularly breath-taking. Also the autumnal colours walking through the beech forests were beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was brilliant. She made time for everybody and ensured we all had a great time. She provided encouragement for us on the walks and made sure that everyone in the group was able make the ascents. Sara also has a passion for the area and this shone through and was really inspirational.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have a think about what you would like to do on the free day before you arrive. Several of us went to Lucca and had a great day walking on the old walls, visiting the cathedrals and generally relaxing in the town.   

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had an amazing group for this trip - everyone got on well and was very social. We also had the opportunity to visit Pisa and the leaning tower whilst waiting for the flight on the final day which ended the holiday nicely.  One final point - I have to mention the food as it all comes from local produce which supports the local community which is great. The meals are home-cooked by Mamma & family and are delicious and you are encouraged to have seconds!
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF BOTSWANA

    From the moment we arrived in Maun, every day brought another highlight - it will be hard to find another holiday which tops this one. Just outstanding from start to finish

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Where do I start?Here are just a few of the many moments - In the delta, sitting round the campfire enjoying the polers singing and dancing whilst a meteorite with a spectacular tail flew overhead.  -Flying over the Delta. - Walking with lions in Livingstone, the helicopter flight over Victoria Falls and going into Zimbabwe to view them. - The vastness and isolation of the Salt Pans. - Watching leopards at close range in the Moremi Reserve. The sunset cruise (thank goodness for digital cameras...) Watching and listening to the nearby hippos splashing in the moonlight. The friendship of my fellow travellers (none of whom I knew beforehand) contributed greatly to the holiday, we all wanted to do the same activities, had the same interests and shared many laughs

    What did you think of your group leader?

    From the moment we met Sam at the airport, he was absolutely brilliant. Nothing was too much trouble, he was well organised and unflappable and somehow produced really tasty food all cooked on the campfire. He made sure that we could all do our chosen activities including taking us across the border to Zimbabwe when he should have had a relaxing afternoon. Jamie our driver and guide was also excellent - we had some long distances to cover but he stopped when we saw game on the way, and in the reserves, he could spot animals without having to reach for binoculars like the rest of us! Bruce and James were a competent support team

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some swimming things to the Delta, we had an opportunity to go for a dip and there was some very hastily improvised swim wear on show. Baby wipes are always useful because it is very dusty (dust coloured clothing helps too. It is possible to do several activities in one day at Livingstone so enjoy!! Binoculars come in handy. There is an inverter in the truck so  lot of battery charging was done on route (take a South African adapter). No need to take masses of clothes as there is plenty of opportunity to wash clothes at the camp sites in Maun, Livingstone, Kisane and Savuti. Sturdy sandals and walking shoes are all you need for footwear. You will take a lot more photos than you might think so take high capacity memory cards for the cameras. Most importantly - just relax, let it all happen and enjoy every moment!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having travelled quite a lot,I can honestly say that this is the best holiday I have ever had, made possible by the surroundings, the range of experiences on offer, our tour leader and my fellow travellers. Don't expect to see too much game in the Delta but the surroundings are intoxicating. Viewing the Falls from the Zimbabwe side was well worth the effort of crossing yet another border for the afternoon. Be prepared for some long journeys, but strangely they seem to pass very quickly. There are some early starts, but some beautiful sunrises to accompany them. I took a journal to write up my experiences on the day, what we did and what we saw - its nice to read again when you get home.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    BASE CAMPS OF TIBET

    This was truly the trip of a lifetime.  I have wanted to gaze upon the North Face of Everest for many years, and to have done so in such outstanding conditions, as part of this incredible trip, surpassed every expectation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    28 September 2011 - a day I will always remember. This was the day on which our group trekked from the monastery at Rongbuk up the valley to the Base Camp of Everest.  The mountain filled the head of the valley majestically, almost too large to fit into the view finder of the camera.  Everest was bedecked in swathes of fresh snow, the ridges and topography sharply etched against an astonishingly clear azure sky. That night, as the sun set, we watched the sun's rays play their way up the North Face of the mountain until only the summit tip was illuminated in the last orange glow of day.  Eventually too, that fell into darkness, and as the sky darkened to black, the temperature plummeted, and we scurried for the shelter of our tents.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Prem, an inspirational leader, friendly always, with a perpetual smile on his face. He genuinely cared: he would watch us closely when eating to check whether any of us had lost our appetite (a first sign of the effects of altitude). He was outstanding, and he made the trip the huge success that it was. A real gentleman, we felt completely safe in his care.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are thinking about this trip, then you have probably already made up your mind. Go for it, you won't regret it! Be prepared for all conditions: it was very warm and sunny when the sun was shining (with risk of sunburn), but bitterly cold when the sun dipped below the horizon and the bone-chilling winds tugged furiously at the tent flaps. And, in Kathmandu, the monsoon rains were still lingering, so waterproofs were essential.  Don't take too much food with you - I took far too many mars bars and marathons, and didn't eat most of them. The food on trek was outstanding - porridge and toast for breakfast (yum).  All sorts of incredible foods came out of that kitchen tent at 5,000m (homemade bread, even pizza and cake, as well as all manner of Nepali and Tibetan delights).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'll say it again - it was the trip of a lifetime. How many people can say they have watched the sun set on Everest? Thank you to all at Exodus, but particularly Prem, Ratna (Jetta), Dorje, Bihm, Ganesha and the whole crew - they made the trip the success it was.
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    LAKES & MOUNTAINS OF SLOVENIA

    I had a complete blast on this trip, everything about it was fantastic! oh except Slovenia has the largest wasp population in the world! I had been expecting a wet soggy week but the weather was fanstastic, the group was one of the best I've travelled with, the pension was lovely, the guides top notch. I have travelled to over 65 countries and never go anywhere twice - I would go to Slovenia again in a heart beat and that for me says it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many - the scenery, the food, the wine, the beer, the group, the guides. Everyday I looked forward to getting up and came back laughing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two guides - both spoke perfect English, had a huge knowledge of the area and made me feel totally safe. They fitted right in and became friends to all of us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it! I loved this trip and I've been on loads of this type of thing. I can imagine it's a bit miserable if the weather isn't good but then it is mountain terrain and it goes with the territory.This is a really easy trip to do alone. I was supposed to go with a friend but she was taken ill and couldn't come. Slovenia is such an easy place to be in and well worth what little effort it takes to be there.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Any trip that ends up as a lock in at a local restaurant is OK with me! I would do it again in a heatbeat! 
  • Reviewed October 2011
    Anonymous

    CLASSIC COLS OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE

    Overall a great trip. I had some concerns about riding in the mountains but that was a personal issue I had to overcome. The support infrastructure on the trip took care of everything else for me. I just had to ride my bike.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of not one but 12 mountain passes including 3 in one day (2500m climbing) and the much feared Tourmalet. If I had to pick one I would choose the top of the iconic Tourmalet. I've been up there, so has Mark Cavendish and a long list of other TdF luminaries. Having been up these mountains my respect for these athletes is even greater than it was.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    James was great. He has been doing this long enough to be able to judge how much support each person needs. Everything worked out as he said it would and his sense of humour was wicked.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great trip and we had a wide variety of fitness levels and skills. Most people wanted to do more than the basic route and in general I think most people were pretty fit. For me it was the hardest physical challenge I have undertaken (at age 50), but I did it, loved it and am going back next year to tackle the Alps. I just wish I had done it years ago.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are a reasonably fit cyclist who likes a challenge then try this. The satisfaction of arriving at the top of each mountain pass is amazing. The descents can be as challenging as the ascents in their own way. The camerardarie amongst the participants was great, everyone understanding what the other was going through and providing some support and encouragement. There is not much night life on this trip, generally it was shower, dinner, a beer and bed at the end of the day. And to be honest that was all most people wanted at the end of a days cycling in the mountains.
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