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 August 2011
    Anonymous

    HIDDEN GEMS OF SLOVAKIA & THE CZECH REPUBLIC

    My first Exocdus trip. A great introduction to a country I knew nothing about. Stunning scenery & plenty of activities. Excellent guide and friendly travelling companions

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ice cave experience was stunning - although you need to be fit to do the 20 minute steep climb to the entrance of the cave. Also enjoyed the raft experience down the Dunsajec Gorge. Also loved the candlelight tour of Bojnice Castle - fun was had by all!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zuzana was everything a group leader should be. Knowledgeable, caring, friendly, flexible & with a sense of humour. She obviously cares about her country very much and this came across in her in depth knowledge of all the sites we saw. She put 110% into her job and we all felt we had made a good friend when we parted at Vienna airport.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As one of my fellow travellers on the tour, Margot mentioned, be prepared for some uncomfortable journeys. The a/c wasnt particularly effective and the seats on the minibus had limited legroom. The itinerary is not leisurely, as much is included and you need to be prepared for packing & unpacking almost daily. No very early starts though!Take your own decaff coffee as Slovakia doent seem to have heard of this and many of my co-travellers weren't impressed with Slovakian teabags!It is cold in the ice cave & coal mine so take a fleece & waterproof, also good walking shoes or trainers are a necessity. I would also take some Czech currency as it was very tedious having to wait inline in a bank to change euros!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As Margot mentioned the transport really needs to be addressed. My husband is 6'1" and spent a very uncomfortable day in one of the front seats behind the driver.On other days he had to seat on an end seat with his legs in the gap by the door! I am 5' 7" and also found the seats short on legroom. Everyone changed seats daily but this didnt alter the confined feeling we all felt.  I understand a bigger bus would be more expensive but several of us agreed we would definitely  pay more for a greater degreee of comfort.I would not use the 4* hotel again either and would prefer a reverse itinerary with Bratislava at the end of the trip.Or either - an earlier flight from Vienna to London on the last day would be better or spending more time in Mikulov and leaving for the airport after lunch. We hadn't factored in being at Vienna aiprort by 10:30am for a flight home at 8pm. The trip notes just say return to Vienna for flight home. The only alternative to spending the day at Vienna airport was to go into the city. It was 32C and we had to spend 12 euros each on the bus to the city, plus lunch & Vienna isnt a cheap city! 
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    CUBA: LA ISLA GRANDE

    I really enjoyed this holiday which was made very interesting and entertaining through the help of our guide and driver. Although August is a bit hot and very humid, it didn't stop our ability to get a real taste of Cuba in every way from swimming in the clear waters of the sea, walking up the Sierra Mastra to Che Guverara's hidehout and the fascinating towns and cities. A wonderful holiday which I would certainly recommend - just go at a different time if you don't want to drip with sweat all the time - the coach was a pleasant place to be after a long walk!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The music everywhere - at every meal!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An excellent group leader who made sure that we all knew about the fascinating history, the social situation of the people, the flora and fauna and made sure that we were all comfortable all the time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel in May - this is supposed to be a good month to travel as Cuba is not so hot or humid or quite so busy.
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    KERALA & TROPICAL INDIA

    This is an excellent trip. Every day is so different and there is something new around every bend. Cycling is a super way to see what this part of India has to offer. Not only do you get to see the sights but you also get to hear the sounds and smell the smells as you cycle by. You would miss so much if you travelled by bus or car. The cycling is very doable with the climb to Ooty the only really big challenge. On some days we did cover large distances but these are broken up with tea stops and a lunch stop. The trip covers a hugh variety from the busy streets of Mysore to the stunning Bandipur National Park and the quiet backroads and backwaters of Kerala. One of the best trips I've been on! 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of Ooty was a great achievement, having counted every one of the 36 hairpin bends on the way up! We were also very lucky to see a tiger while on the jeep safari in the National Park which was fantastic. Another enjoyable morning was cycling through the heavy rain and trying to cycle through an almost foot deep flood! The houseboats on the backwaters were also fantastic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leaders Safi and Joseph and our backup driver Shibu were all superb. They were very knowledgable of the area and did everything they could to ensure we were happy with the trip. They were very diligent in looking after and maintaining the bicycles. Safi gave us a run down on the following day each evening after dinner and gave us directions each morning on the day's cycle.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No need to bring bicycles from home as the bicycles used are of excellent quality. Would recommend bringing a gel saddle or saddle cover from home as some days are quite long.Safi suggested a group kitty which covered all tips and meals not included on the trip. This was a great idea as we all joined together for each meal and it saved all the hassle of splitting bills etc. We were also brought to some very different places to eat which we possibly wouldn't have gone into on our own.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're thinking of going on this trip I would say "Hurry up and book it!"
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    HIDDEN GEMS OF SLOVAKIA & THE CZECH REPUBLIC

    Great countries to visit wonderfully introduced to us by Zuzana our fantastic group leader. Rather too much driving though.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Raft trip down Dunajec Gorge. Wandering round beautiful Czech towns like Mikuluv.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As good as any I've had in 7 Exodus trips. She was very knowledgeable, inspirational and an all round lovely, fun person to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some very long journeys in a hot, rather uncomfortable van.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

     Transport really needs to improve - a proper minibus would be much more comfortable. I'm only 5' tall and was squashed ! I think the itiniary could be improved - spent time in the High Tatras but only did a short stroll around a mountain lake. whilst the trip was graded 'leisurely' it still seemed a wasted opportunity not to do at least a half day's walk. The overnight stay at Skalica was 'wasted' - dull hotel (even if it was 4*)  in a dull setting. Would have been much better to spend 2 nights in nearby Lednice - good hotel in stunning location.
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    HIKING IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

    An excellent holiday. It was fun mixing with people from different backgrounds and ages (37 to 66). Everyone bar us was a regular Exodus traveller, and I think we will travel with them again.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Audrey was very well organised (and amazingly fit!). We also had Fernando on the trip to learn the ropes, and they made an first rate team, complementing each other very well. Both had a good sense of humour and were immensely patient and encouraging even when the group was feeling a bit low due to occasional wet weather, tiredness and mosquito bites.  They were flexible in responding to individuals' requests. The cooking and catering was superb.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes suggested that regular walkers in Snowdonia (which we are) could easily manage this trip. In fact we found the altitude made quite a difference, although we did acclimatise as the holiday went on. There were no drying rooms in any of the camp sites, which we understand is standard for Canada. Apart from the odd thunderstorm, we enjoyed excellent weather. All the walks were first rate, and very different from each other.Air Canada wre friendly and efficient  and the Canadians really are amazingly polite and welcoming. Going through Canadian Security at the airport was a pleasure (a rare one for most of us). 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes said we would be housed in 4 man tents and this was a consideration when we booked. In fact we were supplied with 2 man tents, which was very cramped for 2 people.I discovered Ben Gadd's Handbook of the Candian Rockies on the internet and got a copy sent over before the trip (the latest edition is not available from on line booksellers). This is the "bible" (our guides had a copy) and I think should go on the recommended book list.  
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO CLIMB - RONGAI ROUTE

    The stars don't really do this trip just.  The trip was INCREDIBLE and I would recommend climbing Kilimanjaro to anyone, without hesitation.  I'd do it again, just not with Exodus.   Exodus added no value (in fact at times they negatively impacted my trip); the real superstars were African Walking Company.  AWC made the trip the unforgettable, fun, safe trip it was.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trail of lights snaking up the mountain on summit day.Getting to Uhuru despite hours of altitude sickness and the constant fear that I couldn't go on.Arriving at Mwenzi camp in the glorious sunshine and being faced with the awesome terrifying beauty of the rocky landscape.Singing with the guides.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tosher and his assistant guides were rockstars.  They're genuine and kind and have awesome senses of humour.  They were incredibly patient.  My Kili Angel was Christopher who kept my buoyant (and held back my hair when needed!) on summit day.  He kept me smiling and walking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Eat lots the day before summit day.  You'll need the energy.Bring with you waterproof cover for your pack.A body warmer/gillet is an essential clothing item.Don't forget hand sanitiser or tissues.  You'll need to blow your nose a lot.Camel pack is the best water carrier.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'll never forget this trip.  I can't tell you how much it means to me.  Do it; just don't book it with Exodus.  The trip was brilliant despite the company letting me down; however, that's to the credit of African Walking Company.
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    THE AMALFI COAST

    This was one of the most relaxing holidays I've been on and the food and wine at the hotel were very good.  You are up and down many steps on the walks, although you will be mainly descending.  I was amazed how much you can fit in throughout the week, but this is down to good organisation.  You will find your fellow travelers make very good company.  Most of my group were very interested in booking future Exodus breaks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pompeii and Herculaneum were fantastic halve day trips, so I strongly recommend those, but our visit to Ravello had to be best excursion, with it's small winding streets and relaxing tea garden on top of cliff. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suzy was the most helpful and knowledgeable guide that has led any of my many activity holidays.  Her advice on where to eat, drink and visit was spot on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy yourselves! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Italian people are very friendly and welcoming, so it's very difficult not to enjoy this break.
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    MONT BLANC CIRCUIT

    A really enjoyable circular walk with a mountain pass to cross each day. Weather was very variable in mid August, including horizontal hail and ice on the tents, but bright sunshine too. A great bunch of people to be with and an excellent leader, Graham. Chris cooked us amazing camp food.  We all felt that this walk should be graded C rather than B/C, because of the lengths of the walks each day, the 1000m up, 1000m down  and then the camping  aspects.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Grand Col de Ferret with its outstanding views in both directions. The campsite the night before at Le Fouly had tremendous mountain and glacier views.Also - if the weather is good,  don't miss the Hellbronner crossing on the rest day in Courmayeur.  This was very expensive but AMAZING to see the climbers on Mont Blanc, the tents in the snow and the Mer de Glace from above. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Calm, safe, sensible, inspirational at times! No-one argued when he said to don full waterproofs and cross a col in seriously bad weather - we just got on with it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    (1) Be as fit as you can. These are big walks.(2) Camping is DEFINITELY the best way to do the trek, not hotels. Much more of a sense of travelling round the circuit. Also food, wine, beer, tea and coffee all excellent and cheap, unlike the hotellers. (3) Don't worry about charging up phones, camera batteries, the support van has plenty of electrical sockets for this. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were some significant inaccuracies in our trip notes - hopefully Exodus will have corrected these now.There are 3 short bus journies on the trek so it doesn't feel quite 100%  that you can wear the TMB t shirt....One of the bush camps was very basic and grotty - beside the road and next to a cement factory which started up at 07.30 and had only one toilet and no showers. All the other camping was excellent or at least good enough. 

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    It is great to see positive feedback on what has become one of our most iconic and popular treks. We continually review our trip notes to ensure that they are as accurate and informative as possible and following the above comments we shall ensure that these amendments are made. As described in the Trip Notes to make the route we need to include 2 rough camps, these are basic but we do feel they are suitable. The campsite mentioned above is near a rock grading plant, work stops there at 17:00hr and starts at 07:30 at which time a low grumbling sound can be heard. The group leave the site at 08:15hr. There is a huge wooden pagoda that is great for eating under and this is also the one opportunity to have a camp-fire. There is only one toilet, but many sinks. There is no hot water but we boil up extra for washing and the site is cleaned daily. There are no better alternative sites in the area and for one night we feel that this is the most suitable option. After walking this fantastic route we do feel that you are entitled to wear the TMB t-shirt loud and proud!

  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    Memories staying for ever...!!

    What can I say...? There aren't probably enough words to describe this unforgettable experience!!! Being welcomed in the Mara on the way to Kicheche Migration Camp by a leopard with her cub, devouring a wildebeest, to the spectacular crossings of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, fearing for their lives, but attracted by chances of rain on the other side of the river bank, to the privileged moments we had to spend some special time with new born lion cubs... We were speechless at times, excited at other moments...  We left with lots of questions and a promise to come back!Meanwhile only one thing I can assure you... The memories will stay for ever!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The huge numbers of wildebeest, grazing happily, at times not aware of the dangers surrounding them, the exhilarating moments of lions chasing the wildebeest and narrowly missing their catch, the confused impala, probably realising too late, that one step in the wrong direction would cost her life! But on the other hand the cheetah being rewarded after a short pursue with a delicious meal whilst the sun set.This all happened during the course of 1 day!!! Unbelievable!  And when you think it can't get any better anymore you are wrong...  Only minutes after the sun had risen again, 3 generations of leopards passed our vehicles, on the way to consume, just in front of us, their kill.Not long after, we were enjoying the sight of some 4 months old lion cubs, basking in the sun, followed by the playfulness of some smaller ones, only 1 months old. The interaction of the cubs with one another was just a joy to witness.  Meanwhile thousands of wildebeest would attempt to cross the river, hoping to find a more promising land. For lots it would be a real test of their strengths as crocodiles would be luring in the water and other predators would be wandering on the other side, waiting for the weakling who would struggle to reach save ground.  Nearing the end of the week, but not of the excitement... Three 2 week old lion cubs, looking so cute and small, soon seemed to have grown up dramatically in comparison with their two 2 hours old cousins!!! Yes, you are reading this right, sitting in the pouring African rain, 2 tiny new born cubs where shivering as they tried to find protection near the young, inexperienced mother. Unaware of how fragile the 2 little ones where, the 2 week old ones looked monstrous and our hopes weren't too high, considering the cold, wet weather and the day drawing to a close. No surprise there that - first thing in the morning - we were back at the same place as the night before. Huge relief when we discovered that both new born cubs were still alive and were doing well...With mixed feelings and lots of questions we had to leave them several hours later, aware of all the dangers around. Will they survive? Will the mother be able to protect them to the full? Will we see them as fully grown lions next time we come back to the Mara? Please keep us updated...  One thing is for sure... Going to the Mara ensures you moments NEVER to forget!!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This is my second trip with Paul and I hope it won't be the last one. Through hard work and an enthusiastic approach he manages to transfer his interest and passion of nature resulting in an unforgettable time in an amazing place... the Mara... and a desire to come back...  Special thanks also to Donna, her hard working Kicheche team and our three fabulous, knowledgeable drivers, who really went the extra mile!!! Much appreciated! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are one of the lucky people going to the Mara, don't forget to put - just once in a while - your camera on the side and enjoy the moment through the naked eye. Treasure these moments... they are special!  If you are still unsure... don't hesitate too long... Places are limited. You wouldn't want to be the one missing all these wonderful, magnificent moments, would you...?! 
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    LADAKH: STOK KANGRI CLIMB

    A fantastic intorduction to the Indian Himalayas with a chance to climb a 6000m peak at the end.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Palam Peak and having a 360 degree view of the mountains was amazing. Obviously the summit of Stok Kangri was amazing as well but the 360 degree view was totally unexpected and absolutely beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ngima was fantastic. He really knew his stuff about avoiding headaches and acclimatising well as well as inspiring total confidence about his climbing abilities and skills in helping the group to stay safe and successful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't underestimate the Stok Kangri climb - this is not for everyone and is incredibly hard work. It's definitely for experienced mountaineers and for people who have high altitude experience. That said, the surrounding countryside is beautiful so if you choose to not do the climb there is still plenty to do on the day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You need to ensure that you know how to fit your own crampons and that you have appropriate mountaineering boots and not just walking boots. Walking for 12 hours in the snow will not go well in normal walking boots and expecting guides to fit your crampons is not really appropriate when the rest of the group is waiting in the cold! Be aware that there are lots of visits to monasteries during the acclimatisation days in Leh but that this does not continue throughout the trek. It's worth noting that this is not for you if culture and a gentle walk are all you are interested in. If you're after amazing mountain views and a good challenging peak then this is perfect.
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