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 September 2011
    Anonymous

    CANADIAN ROCKIES & VANCOUVER ISLAND

    Mountains, glaciers, amazing blue lakes and lots of trees were on offer in abundance. Keep a sharp look-out and you might see bears and elk but you couldn't fail to see the cheeky chipmunks and the ground squirrels. This is just the trip for the outdoor type of person.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The amazing blue Peyto lake and the glacier and mini icebergs (and big fat snowflakes) at Mount Edith Cavell were some of the highlights of the trip. Pre-dawn over the bay with the tide out at Parksville gave us a magical moment. This was an unexpected hotel stop caused by the extra day spent on the ferry from Bella Coola to Port Hardy - sleeping on the floor of the ferry for the night had it's compensations!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michel was efficient and friendly - he seemed to enjoy the trip as much as we did. He worked hard to pace the days according to the capabilities of the group and was always around for queries and questions. If he didn't know the answers to the questions, then he'd find out or lend us a book with the facts (obscure botanical questions were not his forte).When the ferry captain of the boat between Bella Coola and Port Hardy was delayed at anchor by 20 hours he and the local company worked hard to re-arrange the accommodation. This had to be done several times as the captain changed his mind about the situation and the timing of our arrival in Port Hardy. Michel consulted with the whole group and a joint decision was made to drop the night in Victoria, keeping two nights near Tofino.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    ATMs - make sure you know which banks use Visa and which use MasterCard. The banks in Canada use one or the other and you can waste some time finding a bank which will accept your card. Shops and restaurants will accept either.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There was not much cultural content - we learnt more about the first nations and the early history from our own museum visit in Calgary than we did on the trip.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    CUBA: LA ISLA GRANDE

    A great trip around Cuba - visiting towns, cities and countryside! This was my first 'group' holiday and having always travelled independently I was a little unsure beforehand, but I enjoyed it very much. I had a nice group to travel with, and travelling this way in Cuba ensures you get to see as much of the country as possible (not having to rely on public transport), and that any problems (like hotel overbookings etc) are dealt with by the group leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed many parts of this trip.  The walks were very enjoyable, as was ambling around towns and cities.  The optional trip to the eco reserve near Baracoa was great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Juan-Carlos was very good.  He made sure we got to see many things. A couple of times he could have provided a little more information about activities/options.  Our bus driver Jose was excellent too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Vegetarians - beware the rice and beans (which may also contain pork)....

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoy it!
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN SARDINIA

    For anyone with coeliac disease, this trip is perfection. You get wonderful food, and lots of it. I managed to put on weight in spite of the energy expenditure, which was considerable!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was the scrambling bits - both the boulders at the end of the Gorropu Gorge, and having Rudy encouragibng me to climb right up to Tiscali. I never thought I would be able to do such things. I can't thank him enough for saying go ahead

    What did you think of your group leader?

    see above. Rudy is a gem, and a gent, what else can I say

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Anyone my age (63) have a go. I walk a dog 3 hours every day for exercise, I have a degenerative nerve condition which makes me weaker than I would like to be but the walks were great and certainly stretched every joint, plus overcoming the fear of heights - go for it. I wish I was still there

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you want a fascinating view into prehistoric Sardinia, plus some amazing walks, plus some adventure, plus some swimming, plus the best food you will ever eat, go for this holiday
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    A WEEK IN JORDAN

    It would be hard to think of a more varied and inspiring trip encompassing the ancient world, natural history, lovely local people and fine cuisine. Our guide really was a polymath of inspiration, knowledge and good humour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The blissful silence and exquisite colours of Wadi Rum and the desert Bedouin camp reminded one of how much simple pleasures are still central to the human experience and our contemplative side.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - a man for all seasons and travellors with asense of adventure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to do a few "local" things yourself. There's plenty of opportunity.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An extra night in the Desert to have enough time to see all of te main attractions - e.g. the arch bridge, Lawrence's spring.The Petra hotel was a bit dismal with poorly motivated staff and some facilities not working.
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & BEACHES OF SOUTHERN AFRICA

    This trip was fantastic, as well as hilarious, from the jump.  The planned route, excellent guides and an easy mix of travelers combined to make this an incredible experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip from mozambique to the island for swimming and lunch and the return trip was particularly breathtaking.I particularly enjoyed watching the giraffe slowly, alertly, approach the watering hole at hwange.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Crispen is a great group leader and fine man.  He is knowledgable, organized, kind and has a fine sense of humor.  He always explained to us the plan for the following day.  He was kind, but firm as to when we had to be up and out.  He kept us on track so we could see and do so many wonderful things.  JB our driver made us feel secure in his ability to take care of us and the truck over some pretty tough terrain.  He was also always helpful with tents, luggage, information.  Kelvin seemed to be everywhere doing everything and was very valuable to us in his quiet way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to do some walking two months prior to your trip.  also, five o'clock wake ups were pretty standard as we often had to be up packed, breakfasted and out of there by six.  and if you are going to do the white water rafting at victoria falls be prepared to walk all the way down the gorge with your lifejacket, paddle and helmet....not real bad until you have to walk a very steep trail all the way back up.  The white water rafting was well worth it. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only one of the camp sites was iffy.  The campsite outside mutare...perhaps that can be changed.Also, if everyone got their visa's for both mozambique and zimbabwe things would go faster at the borders, i believe. We had eleven folks on the trip along with our three wonderful quides.  Any more than one or two more people would have been too many for the space and for the need to get up and get going.I can't wait to see what trip i'm going on next.....
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    GORILLAS & MASAI MARA

    A photographer's dream come true really, even if you're a novice you're going to come back with amazing photos. Its not just the Masai Mara where you get up close to the animals - Lake Nakuru also has outstanding opportunities to get close to rhinos, flamingos, pelicans and lions, Lake Mburo was brilliant for hippos and birds like the Fish Eagle and kingfishers, and Lake Naivasha was also good for birds. As for the gorillas, well what can I say - you will undoubtedly get very close to them as the trackers and guides go to great lengths to ensure you get the shots you came for, but it's the luck of the draw whether you will see them in the open spaces and hence good lighting conditions, or whether they'll be going about their business in the shady darker parts of the forest where they live.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm not going to go for the obvious and say meeting the mountain gorillas for the first time - it was seeing a lone cheetah up close in the wild just lying in the sun completely unperturbed by us all, then putting on a show for us as she rolled around stretching and yawning. Completely natural and uninhibited behaviour but a total joy to behold, with all of us completely bewitched.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Often was a very good leader indeed, and he was brilliantly backed up by his team of Benard the cook and Patson the driver. All 3 worked very well together and had us all entertained and in good humour for most of the trip, which made a great holiday even better. Often was always kind and curteous to us and handled any potentially difficult situations that arose within the group with tact and charm. He also showed that he is very knowledgeable about the wildlife whilst we were on safari in the truck, as he was inside with us being the spotter and guide. His evident pride in his country shone through and was a great inspiration to us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to book the Nairobi to Kigali itinerary rather than in the reverse order. This way you start off with camping and finish off with reasonable hotels, which all in our group said they preferred. You also get to finish on a high with the mountain gorillas and are "hardened up" a bit by then for the trek up the volcano to find them. Just as importantly you don't start the holiday with a trip to the Rwanda Genocide Museum in Kigali. I fully understand and agree that Exodus have included it in the itinerary as it really raises your awareness of the human tragedy that occurred, but I just feel relieved that I made the visit to the museum at the end of the holiday to bring you back down to Planet Earth and not at the beginning, which may have kicked the holiday off on a bit of a downer, but this is just a personal feeling. Either way its going to be an unforgettable holiday. If you are into photography, take your longest lens with you. I had a 70-400mm zoom which was ideal apart from phographing the gorillas, where my smaller and much lighter 70-300 mm zoom was just about right. Read the Trip Notes and Last Minute Information carefully - the bit about taking a day pack with you is important. You will need to pack clothes and toiletries for 2 days into it as you will be leaving your kit bag in the truck when you go to the Masai Mara, as you travel there and back in the smaller 6/7 person jeeps which you also use for the safaris. You will also need to take your camera bag with you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This holiday is rated as "Moderate" with good reason - although it's not the level of physical activity that tires you (although our trek to find the gorillas took 2 1/2 hours up and 1 1/2 hours down again and was fairly steep) it's the camping, long journey times on poor roads and the early starts that begin to take their toll. Maybe its just an age thing though, as at 54 years old I was one of the oldest in the group!! The mattresses supplied by Exodus for use in the more basic campsites are stored in the back of the truck and seem to vary in thickness depending on age - the older ones are quite thin and not very comfortable to sleep on, so luck plays its part on how well you may sleep. The beds in the tents on the permanent camp sites are a most welcome sight!!
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    PETRA & WADI RUM BY BIKE

    I really wanted to see Jordan and Petra, but as sightseeing by itself can be a bit tedious this cycling holiday was a perfect way persuade the family to join me. With the help of our guide and his team and a great group of fellow travelers, we and our 18 and 19 year old, all had a brilliant time. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most of it was inspiring but I suppose I would have to choose the free afternoon in Petra when our guide took those that wanted to, for a hike round the back well away from the usual tourist route. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We couldn't have wished for a better leader,  Zuhair was able to explain things with interest and humour. He and his team organised everything to perfection and went out of his way to give us the best time ever, he even entertained us with many stories eventhough one or two of them ended with a dodgy moral.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't go if all you want is a cycling holiday. Some of the experts found fault with the equipment but we were perfectly happy, the bicycles were better than those we have at home. September in Wadi Rum, we really didn't need the sleeping bags, a liner would have done as the blankets were the thickest I've ever seen. Some of the group slept round the fire with the locals.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked to have seen in the trip notes : -that after Aqaba we would not have access to the suitcases till Amman, that meant in the bus with us, we needed gear for the morning snorkel, the afternoon cycle, the night in Wadi Rum and the next day. Zuhair told us the night before and we had a bit of organisational panic that was only alleviated by a many plastic bags. The four hour drive to Amman was rather cramped with all that gear floating around. - and that the bike crew was leaving us at Wadi Rum, we needed to have the tip ready.  Well the children would say it wouldn't be me if there wasn't something to complain about, but all I could find was a bit of a let down on the bus back to Amman. The first was the tourist motorway stop we had for lunch, it had little food available that any of us fancied eating. Where were all those fruit and nuts that were to be seen on stalls that we passed on the side of the road. The second was the detour made round the millionaire part of Amman before getting to the hotel, If anything we would have prefered to have had a look at the center which I was told had bags of interest. Sorry kids, that's all I have.      
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    THE INCA TRAIL

    Exodus couldn't have arranged a better trip - our time in Peru was brilliant, start to finish, and our guide was fantastic. Exodus blew us away.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After three days of solid trekking, and a LOT of uphill, we finally breached over the mountaintop and through the 'Sun Gate' looking down over Machu Piccu. The sun was shining brightly on the ruin; lighting them up as if it was still a bustling Inca town. The scene was wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader/guide was phenomenal. An intelligent guy with a wonderful sense of humour and fluent in English. He joined in with all our activities (including a rather messy trip to a bar in Cuzco on our last night), taught us about the Incas, answered all our questions, and took care of us when we needed him. Top guy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't underestimate the fitness required to do this trip. While the trek is short, it can be very strenuous at times, as the Inca Trail has a LOT of steep and high steps that you must traverse. Furthermore, at one point you will ascend to 4,200 metres, so be careful of Acute Mountain Sickness.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Trust Exodus. They will absolutely do you right. 
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    HIDDEN GEMS OF SLOVAKIA & THE CZECH REPUBLIC

    Slovakia was completely unexpected. It was incredibly clean and bright and colourful and we were amazed at the good condition of the many attractions. We loved the humour in the architecture, the art and the people. The scenery is lovely and the weather was fantastic. And for us, it was incredibly good value for money. The cost of food and drinks was so reasonable. Slovakia is without doubt a hidden gem. The greatest pity is that the major producers of guide books do not seem to have much information on Slovakia, so relying on local knowledge, as Exodus have done, throws up some really unexpected pleasures. It was a fantastic trip and I’m looking forward to my next one!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Instead of the usual tour through a castle, we had a specially arranged night tour through Bojnice Castle. It was clever and different, and everyone in the group loved it.We had a dinner arranged by our guide at a traditional restaurant, complete with gypsy music. A lovely, memorable evening. Although it wasn't on the itinerary, our guide managed to fit in a morning in Skalica because there was a festival in town. There was enough interesting and scenic in the town to have kept us a lot longer

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was simply fantastic. Her English was very good, her knowledge of the country was amazing, she managed our itinerary to best fit in with weather forecasts, and other events so that we got to do and see everything we expected to, and more. She was friendly and pleasant and organised. an absolute star

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For people intending to do extra time, I'd suggest a good phrase book. Not everyone spoke good english, although a lot did
  • Reviewed September 2011
    Anonymous

    TREASURES OF SICILY

    An enjoyable holiday to a very interesting place.  But Exodus need to take a good look at the programme; eleven hour days are not so much fun.  Nor is spending 4 or more hours a day in a minibus in temperatures of 35C, one with poor aircon, one with none.  Better planning and a little less penny-pinching perhaps?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking along the cliffs in the beautiful nature reserve with the sparkling sea below.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A delightful person but perhaps a little opaque at times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Recommended but check to see if Exodus have improved the programme and found the money to hire a coach.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We have very much enjoyed Exodus holidays in the past and this one was fun.  However, it had its issues.  I hope it is just teething problems, not a sign that Exodus is moving down market.
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