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 June 2011
    Anonymous

    MONT BLANC HIGHLIGHTS

    Amazing scenery, delicious food, great fun!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views of Mont Blanc after a cable car ride & fairly steep walk.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Obviously V experienced & made the whole thing stress free. Vast local knowledge. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A real variety of walks, plenty of stops, many in "refuges" with coffee & tarts! Comfortable accommodation with lovely home cooked food.
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    A TASTE OF CUBA

    Very enthrusiastic guide - Mariella, who bent over backwards to do her best for us. This resulted in us all eating the finest cuisine Cuba had to offer - 3 lobsters in a week!! Accommodation - though basic was more than adequate for our needs.In addition, I feel that this trip strikes the best balance between travel and seeing the place without the travel aspect of it overwhelming the whole holiday as I have been told can occur on the longer Cuba trips.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a few really. Overall, it was good to see a country very different to the one we are used to before it too becomes just as commercialized as anywhere else.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exceptional. A real asset to her country and EXODUS. Talks alot though.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the one week trip. Not the 2. The complaints surrounding the long bus journeys on poor roads on this trip indicated that the amount of travel on it was too much. By contrast, the one week trip strikes the balance just right.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very good trip with very friendly group of people. Anybody going on this trip needs to be aware however that it is not that relaxing and does involve packing alot into your week. If this is what you are after in a unique land unlike any other then I can wholeheartedly recommend this trip and EXODUS's operation of it.
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    LYCIAN ACTIVITY WEEK

    When I read other reviews on this site saying how great this trip was I thought they must be exaggerating, but they weren't. I had the most fantastic time and can't recommend it enough!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyone talks about canyoning as being the highlight of the trip, and from an activity point of view it really was the most exhilarating and challenging part of the holiday, but a word must also go out to the tubing and especially the mud bath. We laughed a lot and the photos provide a hilarious lasting memory. We really bonded as a group and enjoyed some fun meals and some great nights out in Kas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Initially, I wasn't sure about Maho. He seemed very nonchalant and disinterested in us but actually he was an amazing group leader. Most importantly, safety was his number one priority and his experience really showed on the kayaking and canyoning days in particular. I never worried about anything other than having fun, as with Maho I always felt safe. He took us to some great restaurants and we got loads of free food and drinks because we were with him. He certainly likes to party and the other reviews on this site that describe him as 'crazy' are certainly not far from the truth. Even if we had an early night, Maho generally didn't. But by the end of the week our group gained a huge amount of respect for Maho and we have since been known to describe him as a 'legend'. Love him or loathe him, he will certainly make your holiday memorable. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do everything you get the opportunity to so, or you will regret it. The paragliding, the biggest jump in the canyon, everything... Sunglasses strings were really useful as was waterproof (or very high water resistant as its now called) sun cream. I bought some spray stuff in Boots at the airport and ended up lending it to everyone else. As you're in and out the water all the time, its really easy to get burnt. A cloth hat or bandana for kayaking/walking is a good idea. A few nice-ish tops (ie a notch up on the stuff you'd happily ruin) for the evenings are worth throwing into your suitcase if you have space.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a fantastic trip! Kas is a great place, and the locals were really welcoming. There are some nice beach restaurants if you walk left or right from the harbour - good for the 'free' day if you need to relax. The hotel pool is pleasant enough and our group often enjoyed a post activity drink by the pool, chatting about the events of the day. There was an Exodus walking group on our flight and staying in the same hotel so it was nice to swap stories and chat to other people at breakfast etc. It truly was a great trip, I only wish it could have lasted longer!
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    Great way to see Jordan

    This holiday covers all main sites and attractions in Jordan. It's packed with things to do and there is a great mixture of different activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hiking in Petra, which many tourists do not get to do.The 4x4 ride in the desert, followed by sunset, food, dancing and then a silence that you cannot get anywhere else.Snorkelling in the red sea is like entering a completely new world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was really friendly, helpful and most importantly very knowledgeable. We were a small group, so he tried to accommodate different people's needs and helped getting good bargains when shopping. I spend additional days on my own, met other tour guides and none were anywhere near as good as the exodus group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On some days you might have to be adaptable in terms of food as you don't get much choice in some tourist areas. If you are spending additional days on your own as a solo female traveller, make sure you have enough appropriate clothes for a muslim country.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I loved smoking the shisha!
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    GORILLAS & MASAI MARA

    WOW!  Talk about a holiday of a lifetime. This has to be one of the most amazing and special trips I have been on. From meeting the group at the airport I knew that it was going to be something special. Often as group leader, Benard and Nebert are fantastic at making you feel welcome and involving the entire group. There is a great bond between them and it was this bond and their fantastic characters that made the holiday so enjoyable for me, they are an ace team. A special mention to Benard as well for his cooking throughout the trip, he always accommodated people and the BBQ steak was awesome. Seeing all of the ‘big 5’ and all the other wildlife in their natural habitat is very special most of all, the Gorilla’s, for which we were incredibly lucky to see the famed Susa group. Most emotional and moving for everyone was definitely the orphanage which is doing such wonderful work, and the genocide museum which really hits hard. Thanks to each of the leaders and the rest of the group for making it such good fun, certainly memories that will last a lifetime.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the moment that stands out most was visiting the little angels ophanage and seeing what an amazing job Duncan is doing. He is an inspiration as a young man that is driven to help others and go out of his way to promote the good work he is doing in order to help more youngsters. He should be commended for what he is doing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Often was an absolute star. He makes you feel welcome and at ease from the off, he has a great sense of humour and pulls the group together well. Its refreshing to go on a trip with a leader who is so knowlegable and willing to discuss things with the group. Most amazing of all is his eagle eye vision, managing to pick out a Lion in a tree that took everyone else about 15 minutes to find. Benard and Nebert also require mention as the camaraderie between the three of them is what makes the holiday so enjoyable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take a small ruck sack big enough to carry everything you need plus 2 litres of water, as sometimes you are out for some time and it can get very hot. If you do the quad biking, remember to put sun creme on your arms as the overalls are short sleeve and you can burn easily.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A massive thank you to Often, Benard & Nebart for making the holiday one which I will remember for a long time, its going to take some beating!
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    THE AMALFI COAST

    A really fantastic holiday - exceeded my expectations. The walks were truly spectacular, through lemon groves, beech woods and along the most beautiful coastal paths. Calves still aching from all the steps up and down, but still fun! Really great group of fellow walkers who made the days a really enjoyable experience and were great company. Wonderful, family run hotel with the most fantastic 4 course dinners and nice accommodation. Very well organised week - didn't have to think of anything! We had a number of options for our free day and they all turned out to be very good.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved all the following things:The amazing food, stunningly beautiful coastal walks, ferry trip back from Positano, our free day spent at the Ravello gardens.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Liz, was brilliant. She was very well organised and all the days plans ran like clockwork. She looked after us all very well and gave excellent briefings each night - so that we were well prepared for the next day. She was kind and very considerate towards everyone. She was super fit and walked up and down the coastal paths with ease!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't forget waterproof's - the weather on the mountains changes rapidly. You definitely need a good pair of walking shoes for this holiday. A long pair of lightweight trousers helps - as there are a lot of grasses and bushes on the edge of the coastal paths. A few of us got rashes on our ankles and lower legs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would have really appreciated a later flight home - 4:00am rise wasn't the best end to the last day! The grading of the holiday should be 'moderate'. Leisurely is a little bit misleading for the coastal paths of Amalfi!
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF BOTSWANA

    The trip name is certainly appropriate - you definitely get the highlights of Botswana, and it didn't feel rushed at all, as some highlight trips might suggest. The distances travelled were quite long on some days to get between camps, but the scenery and wait was always worth it.  Compared to other safaris that I've been on, this one was very difficult to spot animals due to the length of the grass and density of the trees.  It might be better later on the dry season (July / August).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side - which is certainly the best side to see it from.  It's not mentioned anywhere in the trip notes, so might be subject to your tour leader.If I'm allowed a second inspirational moment, I'd say the optional river cruise on the Chobe river  - don't miss it under any circumstances - we saw more wildlife in those three hours than on any game drive in the parks.Can I have a third?  I'd say the trip into the Okavango Delta - a great introduction to wild camping, with the opportunity to do a bush walk - it might sound dangerous, but I felt safe with the very experienced guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Sam, was very knowledgable, organised, and had good cooking skills. He was always helpful, and was flexible enough to amend the itinerary in places where the group wanted to see something or take a detour.  Communication could have been a  little better on occassions where we came across unexpected problems, but overall was very good.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Take an iPod or something similar to listen to on the long journey, and a book to read during the afternoons when it's too hot to do anything. 2. Take a South African and European style plug adaptor  (covers you for the vehicle and lodges where electricity is available for charging.3. Take at least one spare battery for your camera.4. UK travellers - Buy your Visa for Zambia on entry to Zambia (rather than via the consulate in London) -it's very easy indeed, and gives you the option for a single or double-entry visa (useful if you cross from Zambia to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls from the other side)5. Don't do the 15-minute flight over Victoria Falls, opt for the 30 min flight, or microlight, or give it a miss entirely. Very disappointing. 6. The camp beds were old and uncomfortable - I'd recommend that you ask for two matresses and sleep on the floor if you can't get on with them.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think I've been spoiled by my experiences on some other Exodus trips.  Had this trip been my first, I might have given a higher rating (probably 4 stars), but when comparing it to similar trips, I was a little disappointed by the lack of animals on a couple of our game drives, and the poor comfort of the camp beds. If you can't decide between Namibia and Botswana, then opt for Exodus' Namibia trip. If you want to see Victoria Falls, and the Okovango Delta, then this is definitely for you. It was great to have such a small group (there were only five of us), so no problems when taking pictures of animals from the vehicle - I think if there were many more than 8 then it might be a bit crowded.  
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    MONT BLANC HIGHLIGHTS

    A well planned itinerary with very hospitable hosts at a well located , comfortable chalet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our final day finally revealed Mont Blanc in all its magnificence after hiding shyly behind a veil of cloud all week.The ibex appeared as if by magic at the most photogenic of moments.Fantastic profusion of wild flowers

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A real character with a whacky sense of humour.  Very competent and insightful leader in the mountains.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Very achievable- just go for it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An excellent week- walking, scenery, hospitality, company. 
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    EGYPTOLOGY

      Exceptional!!   As a result of the recent problems in Egypt our group was very small (5) and most of the tourist sites were empty. The Great Pyramid to ourselfs!! No crowds in the Valley of the Kings. The cruise boat had only 11 tourists in total -  way outnumbered by crew. Similarly at the hotels so we probably got much better rooms than normally.  So all in all very good for us but of course but you cannot but feel for the locals. Hope business picks up again soon.   Our guide Fouad was very good indeed.    To anyone undecided go as soon as possible before the crowds return - you will not regret it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

       Tombs at the Valley of the Kings also temple at Dendara.  I went to Egypt around 1988 but do not recall the colours on the walls and ceilings being so vivid after 4000 years.   The journeys by train were an experience. Actually for sleeping a lot more comfortable than at first glance.   Because of lack of tourists there was no queue for the adventure into the Great Pyramid (and others which were open). Not much to see at the end of the climb but certainly an experience.  Wandering around the sites with only a handful of other tourists was clearly something which doesn't happen often. The Sound and Light show at Philae Island was a private showing - noone else turned up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

       As I have mentioned Fauad was exceptional. Having such a small group who all got on well helped. He was able to arrange a lot of additional activities. Also took us out in the evenings when possible to local restaurants (lamb was fantastic) and walking tours around the markets.   Had a very good knowledge of his subject and explained to us the main points of interest and significance of each site. He very quickly got the split between talking and allowing us to explore on our own just right.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As I have mentioned.  If thinking about Egypt go as soon as possible before the crowds return.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

     I have not uploaded photographs to the Exodus site since there are 800 and total size would be around 7GB. However all can  be seen at http://npg.dl.ac.uk/nf/Gallery-Egypt_May11/index.htm
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLING THE DANUBE - VIENNA TO BUDAPEST

    A great way to see the north Slovak/Hungarian border - which remains largely unspoilt.  The cities of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest are all different and well worth spending time in.  An easy trip for the cycling novice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspirational would be too strong a word - but Budapest is wonderful and the basilicas at Pannonhalma and Esztergom (view from Slovak side of Danube is breathtaking) are outstanding.  Being out on the road through rural Slovakia and Hungary - reminiscent of UK in the 1950s - was cool.  We had really good weather which made it an easy trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    This Exodus trip was actually run (well) by Rad and Reisen.  There were 18 of us on the trip (largely German and Dutch, the latter were incredibly rude and unfriendly); we were the only two from Exodus and the UK although there was a couple from NZ.  Alex, an early 20s local lad from Vienna, was very helpful, but was unstructured when it came to the briefing and bike handover - and the rude Dutch with their constant demands and interruptions won hands down.  We were supposed to leave Vienna at 9.30, but we got our bikes last and left last at 11.15 am!  Exodus literature states that you get a "free" high viz vest - you don't; you get an instruction to buy one at the local garage [Alex succumbed and gave us each one on the proviso we returned it a the end of the trip, which we duly did].  Alex was excellent when one of us was sick and he took him, bike and luggage to the next hotel as part of his luggage drop off visit - nice one Alex.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most Exodus cycle trips are good for the single traveller - if on your own, you might find this trip lonely as the locals are distant at best [but will brusquely give directions if asked] and your travel companions, whom you might not see much of, are likely to be largely Dutch and German.  You don't all stay in the same hotels, or towns for that matter, and this varies from night to night.  On the last two days cycle as you go towards Budapest there are dense swarms of small (non biting) flies close to the Danube - if you use sunscreen or insect spray then expect to arrive like well used flypaper.  Apparently the Passau to Vienna cycle is far more scenic and better serviced - there are few quality stops enroute at which to eat on this one! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bikes were good, but needed a full service.  Gear changing on both bikes was noisy and problematic - I sat in 3/5 for most of the trip and 2/2 to 2/4 on hills.  Alex sorted one out so that lower gears were possible - but both bikes were overdue a service.  The information/route maps provided by Rad & Reisien were first class - we got lost a couple of times, but easily rectified from the information we had.  Hotels were good - especially liked the Regia Pazio in Halaszi - good dinner and breakfast on a patio overlooking the river.