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 April 2011
    Anonymous

    ANNAPURNA, CHITWAN & EVEREST

    As recommended by Exodus, this was a good trip for a first time visit to the Himalayas, by trekking in the Annapurna and Everest regions.  On reflection, we would have preferred more time in Pokhara, rather than visiting Chitwan.  This trip is all about the greatest mountain range on earth, and not about elephants and rhinos. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The stunning early morning views of the Annapurnas, the first sight of Everest, the majesty of Ama Dablam, and witnessing village life along the trekking routes. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Mr. Lakpa Lama.  We cannot praise him enough for his kindness, and  his amazing knowledge of the Himalayas, Nepal, and  Buddhism.  He found time for everyone, was always willing to stop to admire a view or explain something, and had a lovely sense of humour.  We found all the guides pleasant, and very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of plastic bags, a good sleeping bag, a torch (essential), and an open mind! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Being in the 60+ age range, we would say go to the Himalayas as soon as you can, as you may well wish to return to enjoy other routes in this fantastic part of the world.  The ratio of guides to trekkers was excellent, and we felt very well cared for throughout the holiday. 
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous
    Trip:

    CYCLING CUBA

    An amazing country, friendly people, excellent cycling and lots of strong mojitos.  Everybody should do this trip!   

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were quite a few: Arriving at our hotel in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra after a gruelling morning cyclingGetting back on my bike after a minor collision (after being patched up by Juan Carlos)Drinking more rum than I ever have before and salsaing the night away in Trinidad/Santiago de Cuba/Camaguey....   

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan Carlos was organised and worked really hard to make sure that we were all having a good time.  He clearly enjoyed his job and joined in with the childish banter that the rest of the group were having.   Lazaro and Jose Luis (our 2 support drivers) were also a vital part of the team, and very willing dancing partners, who didn't let the language barrier get in the way of the fun we were having.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is an amazing trip which is within the capabilities of an only occasional cyclist who is reasonable fit otherwise.  Remember your dancing shoes for the evenings!    
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE INDOCHINA & ANGKOR

    A fantastic trip. Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam have such differernt way of life from the West, I had to immerse myself in their culture from the moment I landed. This helped me get out of my usuall day to day routine in Ireland. Cycling makes it easier to notice small details of visited countries, gets you closer to people and allows to see, smell and taste the places

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day when we were on the boat on Mekong delta, it was fascinating witnessing life happening on the river. Making my own spring rolls while staying in traditional house on one of islands in Mekong delta.and many more  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    very friendly, very helpfull, great leader

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    cycling is suprisingly easy, lot of stops, even on long days, what made cycling 70-90km most days an easy trip   

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I choose this trip on base of good reviews it got and I found them to be very accurate.It was my first trip to Asia and surely not the last one! My boyfriend still regrets not comming with me! 
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    LAND OF THE TIGER

    This is not a trip for cissies! Early starts, long bus and train journeys, heat, dust, cold, and sometimes days without sight of a tiger (plus the dreaded Delhi belly) – this is a trip that involves hard graft. But the rewards, if you see tigers, are beyond compare. We were fortunate enough to see 11 tigers and those moments will live in my memory bank forever. Equally, we endured the disappointment of four back-to-back drives in Bandhavgarh without seeing a single stripe. You have to be prepared for both eventualities. However, one of my favourite drives in Kanha was when we saw no tigers but witnessed a whole range of wildlife including Barasingha, jackals, jungle cats, Gaur, deer, wild boar, wild dogs, monkeys and a spectacular array of birds

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Any time spent in the presence of a tiger was simply magical. I’ve been lucky enough to see wildlife all around the world but these magnificent animals take the prize for sheer magnetism. Unfortunately our first tiger sighting in Ranthambore was accompanied by a hideous cacophony of shouting and screeching as canters reversed into each other to try and get into the best position. I hated the whole noisy circus, but looking at the photos now, I only remember the majestic beauty of my first gorgeous tiger. Jeep game drives in Kanha and Bandhavgarh were a lot more civilised!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Harish was a great tour leader, a real ‘fixer’. The trip ran very smoothly due in no little part to the care he put in to arranging as much as he could for us; from trying to sort out our jeep routes in advance, to changing our train seating so as to keep the group together. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the flora and fauna of India kept the wildlife junkies among us fully informed. He was also good company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even in March/April with lunchtime temperatures nudging 40 degrees it was still freezing in the early morning, especially in Kanha, where we each wore four layers, a blanket and some even had hot water bottles! Overnight trains were either sweltering or freezing, so have the appropriate clothing to hand. Occasionally there is a cavernous gap between meals, so have a few muesli bars or similar with you: they’re also useful if you get an upset stomach and can’t face curry (you can go off curry quite quickly!). Take the longest image-stabilised lens you can, plus lens cleaning gear to combat dust (also a scarf or similar to stop your hair turning into a fright wig). My 70-300mm lens was the best option for photographing tigers from the back of elephants. Do as many optional game drives (especially in the morning) as you can and don’t miss a single elephant ‘tiger show’ as it’s the best way to get close-ups. Use manual focus or you’ll end up with lots of fuzzy tigers behind pin-sharp foliage!  Because we were a small group (7, reduced later to 6) our tips bill was proportionally higher (tips are a flat rate per vehicle and not per head, and NOT related to service!);  with the optional game drives it all adds up. Would I go again? Just try and stop me!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The awful statistics about the demise of the tiger really hit home once you’ve witnessed these monarchs of the jungle in their own habitat. Having seen the extensive bureaucracy in India at first hand, it would appear that contributing to initiatives at the ‘business end­’ of tiger conservation (like those supported by Exodus) may be the only way to save this incredible species. The latest tiger census figures were released during our trip; the opinion of the guides and other experts we spoke to in Kanha was that these ‘official’ numbers weren't so much massaged as plucked out of thin air. The thought that tigers may be extinct in the wild within 20 years is utterly depressing. Wildlife lovers need to do more than just take photographs now.
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: KVITAVATN

    Overall a good holiday for both myself and my daughter. Kvitavatn was a bit low for so late in the season (April) and the snow hadnt been great there this year, but the accomodation and the instructor were both great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My daughters enthusiasm for cross country, (it was her first time x-country) and how much she enjoyed herself.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent balanced instruction, Mary managed the different needs of the group brilliantly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I am sure Kvitavatn would be brilliant earlier in the season, when the higher fjells are too cold. In a good or even usual year it would still be OK in early April, but there is a steep climb (and desecent) to the best tracks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Good holiday for both of us, and our instructor/leader really enthused my daughter for X country. I should add that everything was very well organised.
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    LEBANON & SYRIA EXPLORER

    The trip provided an excellent insight into two fascinating countries. Supported by a substantive and varied itinery the group was fortunate to see the very best both countries had to offer during a period of uncertainty in the region. Having so many great sites largely to ourselves certainly added to the value of the experiences

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a significant number of highlights during the two weeks with every day bringing great sights and some pleasant surprises.....but as a summary.1. Baalbek - staggeringly huge temples and Romans ruins with the backdrop of snow tipped mountains. The scale of the site was quite something2. Damascus - fascinating city of alleyways, hassle free souks with charming shopkeepers (you don't have to be a shopper to enjoy the experience), magnificent mosques where we felt very welcome and terrific opportunities to sit back and watch locals go about their business3. Palmyra - Beautiful colannades of well preserved temples and monasteries, beautiful sunsets4. Krak des Chevaliers - Wonderfully preserved Crusader Castle with beautiful views over rich green landscape

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both excellent. Very informative on all matters Lebanese/Syrian providing the group with excellent insight into local history, politics (ancient and modern), geography and culture. Mohammed in Syria was particularly reassuring given the political situation there and gave some excellent local tips for restuarants, shopping, money exchange etc

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! Two countries with grave histories and challenges, but both are terrific destinations to travel in with surprisingly varied and rich landscapes. I always felt extremely safe in both countries - the shopkeepers and salesman in the souqs are friendly and don't push too hard at all, certainly in comparison to Morocco and Egypt.Embrace the fascinating and character full colonial relic of the Palmyra Hotel in Baalbek. Wonderful views of the ruins and mountains, the hotel retains its colonial charm with ghosts of past visitors felt along the corridors (you may wish to ask for Room 30 where De Gaulle stayed). The staff may need a little reminding to make sure the heating and hot water comes on in reasonable time, but a little confusion should only bring a smile and laughs later. Take more money to Lebanon where food and drink is close to Western prices.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Syrian situation has changed since we returned but the group were very well looked after during our stay and I would highly recommend readers to book this trip when the situation improves. This trip has an excellent and varied itinery which will keep you fascinated for the two weeks you are there.
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

    From the vibrancy and smog of Bangkok to the wonderful journey on the Mekong and through the mountains of Laos, with its lovely gentle laid back people, this trip ended in amazing Cambodia a country to have you gazing in awe at its wonderful sights, tearing at your heart strings as you learn first hand of its tragic history and inspire you with hope for its young people to pull it back up by its boots.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    .  Even though I am not a particularly cultured person, the highlight has to be the temples at Angkor.  Awesome is not too strong a word to describe these amazing places.

    What did you think of your group leader?

     Had a fabulous time with a very nice mixed group of 4 couples and 8 singles ably enticed in the right directions by 3 lovely native guides who all showed great knowledge and understanding of their countries cultures and history.   Each in their own way brought humour, pride and interesting perspectives to the contrasting cultures of the 3 countries visited.  For me the mix of organised activities and events both as part of the itinerary and as optional extras and free time worked perfectly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some people preferred direct flights from London but for me the breaks in the journey in Mumbai were a welcome respite from the claustrophobia of the aircraft.  Whilst you will need a reasonable amount of stamina this is not a taxing trip, take lots of light clothing because it does get rather sticky, but there are opportunities to get your clothes landered at no great cost.  Make sure you have a good camera

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great holiday exceeded my expectations
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF BOTSWANA

    A very well organised, enjoyable holiday.  Friendly, helpful staff and good companions.  Far less wildlife than anticipated.  Double tents very cramped.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sunset Chobe River cruise - wonderful views and a good selection of wildlife.Very close  encounter with wild dogs - brilliant!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very helpful, a super cook and good organiser.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are travelling as a couple, book two tents - single supplement is only 65 GBP and is well worth it for the extra space. We took but didn't need water purification tablets - bottled drinking water was available to buy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A good value for money holiday, despite lack of numbers of animals on our trip.
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    WHALES AND LEOPARDS OF SRI LANKA

    Whales and Leopards was exactly that I cannot believe how lucky we were, and some were more lucky with the Leopard spotting than me. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and everyone I met was happy to do what they could to make the stay an enjoyable one. At least 6 Blue Whales over 20 Sperm Whales, 3 types of dolphin and 6 Leopards the highlights of the trip. Just 2 things to note - Going whale watching on an empty stomach can make any sea sickness worse and when reading transfer times between resorts you need to double it. We moan about our roads and these are not the worst the planet has to offer, but lets just say there are no straight bits.But these are minor matters to have on what is a fabulous experience. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just realising how lucky we were to be having the experience in the first place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our main leader appeared a little shy at first, but he came out of his shell and our naturalist guide smiled all the time, I think he was still smiling when caught napping on the bus : )

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As above going whale watching on an empty stomach can make any sea sickness worse so buy some cream crackers if you can something plain and dry for breakfast is the key.And when reading transfer times between resorts you need to double it. We moan about our roads and these are not the worst the planet has to offer, but lets just say there are no straight bits.Also when it comes to changing money £10 a day is more than enough for drinks, snacks, lunches and tips.Put 4000R away to tip bag carriers, drivers etc and then it's up to you what to tip with the trip leader and naturalist.If you are a shopper you may need to complete your retail therapy once you get back home. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    To anyone considering this trip. Just enjoy the experience.Remember how lucky you are to be there no matter how long you've saved.As much as there may be some wacky racing on the game drives, seeing wildlife is sometimes about patience and luck..... 
  • Reviewed April 2011
    Anonymous

    MOUNTAINS & VILLAGES OF EVIA

    explore an untouristed greek island, sampling great food, countryside and views.  relaxed hotel is a friendly base for the week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Springtime flowers all along the hillsides.Ancient ruins you feel you have just stumbled across - the quarried columns and the dragon houses especially. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    roger and thanos made everyone feel welcome and at ease. made sure we were all comfortable with the walks ahead and fully aware of what to expect. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    the sea is chilly in march! expect to be well fed......less choice for vegetarians.make sure you get to the naughty cake shop in Karystos. 
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