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 December 2008
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN THE CANYONLANDS

    Great holiday overall. The trip notes need a little updating though - there was significantly less walking and more 'free time' than anticipated!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Grand Canyon in the snow, helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, walking in the Narrows

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 2 group leaders both of whom were great and really accomodating

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    USA is more expensive than you think! The trip notes need updated as underestimate the cost of the food and the additional activities. Remember that for a $10 meal you don't pay $10!! There is tax and a pretty much obligatory 20% tip to be added... the tipping really adds up (especially if you haven't accounted for it) and is expected (i.e. tip if a doorman whistles for a cab, tip the taxi driver, tip $1 per drink at a bar... the tip could be almost as expensive as your round!!). It took me by surprise!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip has fantastic sights to see and the National Parks are amazing. There is less walking on this trip than I expected so if you are coming purely for the hiking, it may not be quite your thing.. more of a walking/ discovery holiday... but really lovely nonetheless!
  • Reviewed December 2008
    Anonymous

    LIBYAN DESERT EXPLORER

    The blue skies and changing colour of the Sahara desert was unlike any trip I had been on before. I came back from Libya on a high and started making plans to return to the Sahara. I fell in love with Libya and the Libyan people I met (one in particular made my trip sparkle), we were made so welcome by everyone and complete strangers would come up to us in the street and say welcome to my country. Go to Libya and enjoy warmth and hospitality with no ulterior motive.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the stars at night as I lay in my sleeping bag, watching the sun rise over vast sand dunes; basically the whole desert experience from having juice and cake for elevenses to sitting round the campfire at night. There was a lot of laughter and fun. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdul was friendly and informative, some of his tales were a little tall but always entertaining. He didn't like to talk politics but on the odd occasion he was drawn into discussion he was very passionate about Libya and talked about things from very different perspective to ours. He did become a little short tempered with some people towards the end of the trip but he was always friendly with me and I would recommend him as a guide for this trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is wild camping in the desert so remember your wet wipes and toilet paper (not everyone on our trip did!). Money changing is best done at the airport on arrival, there are very few opportunities after this so take your guide's advice. There are shopping opportunities in the desert if you like jewellery but no ATMs so be prepared.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Try and learn a little arabic, our drivers in the desert didn't speak much English and really appreciated when we learnt a few words. Also they sung every night and asked us for some British songs in return; we tried but failed miserably. I had a great time, one of the best trips I have been on and I think this was because our group got on well (some more than others but isn't that always the way), our guide and local drivers were fun, the sights were interesting and varied (though some of my pictures of rock art and carvings have blurred in my memory) and a lot of people we met were pleased we had come to their country (shopping in Tripoli was fantastic).
  • Reviewed December 2008
    Anonymous

    NEPAL: EVEREST & ELEPHANTS FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Had a wonderful trip with our grandchildren (10 and 11 years old ). Our leader - Chandra - was great with the children and kept them occupied at all times. The guides and porters looked after us on the trek and we were able to see Everest. Chitwan was memorable for the elephant rides in the jungle and bathing them in the river. The food was good throughout - all in all a memorable trip for two 70year olds!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Everest

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent
  • Reviewed December 2008
    Anonymous

    AEGEAN FAMILY CRUISE HOLIDAY

    Simply the best family holiday we've ever been on.  Roger the Exodus rep is a gem and the boat and crew were wonderful.  A perfect break to get away from everything!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Night-swimming off Picasso's island.  Absolutely magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One of a kind!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some pyjamas if you want to sleep on deck 'cos it gets very cold at night!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just a wonderful, perfect holiday for all the family.
  • Reviewed December 2008
    Anonymous

    TUNISIA DESERT EXPLORER FAMILY HOLIDAY

    A wonderful holiday of culture, scenery & fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Camping in the Sahara Desert. We met our camel drivers away from the main tourist madness & the whole trip was magical. The children loved playing in the sand dunes & the camel drivers were warm & friendly, cooking us a delicious meal on the camp fire. Watching the sun set in the West & the full moon rise in the East casting a silvery light over the sand dunes is a memory we will never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sonia was absolutely wonderful. She was very knowledgable about all the places we visited and was brilliant with the children. She made us feel more like guests than tourists & by the end of the week she felt like a good friend.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the days are quite long for the children & there is an itinerary to follow which means you don't have the freedom to do what you want (the kids just wanted to play in the pool on one occasion). We stayed in a different hotel every night so had to be organised with our packing - some of the hotels only have twin rooms & so we were split into 2 rooms on a couple of occasions. We packed one bag for my husband & son & one for me & my daughter so this worked ok. There wasn't always a choice of food but it was all really good, just tell your children that they must have a great sense of adventure try lots of different things (like in Indiana Jones!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We all loved this holiday, the children learnt so much about the country but also had a lot of fun, especially in the dune buggies & 4 x 4 trip!
  • Reviewed December 2008
    Anonymous

    THE HILLS OF RAJASTHAN

    This trip was a wonderful introduction to India, which I have been wanting to visit for 37 years. It was an excellent mixture of sightseeing in Rajasthan with the added bonus of the camel safari and three full days' trekking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving on our camels in late afternoon on a high desert sand dune with the camp already set out for us.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought he was very good: very informative about the sites, the countryside we passed through and the wildlife, history, politics and religion of the region. He introduced these topics at well spaced intervals. We were given some optional excursions such as the early morning camel cart ride and climb up to the Savitri Temple in Pushkar, and he periodically introduced us to local treats of cakes and sweets, and someone tried paan. I was presented with a coffee sponge birthday cake on my sixty ninth birthday in Bikaner, which is the Rajasthani capital of sweets. Our guide's spoken English is very good and he seems to have quite a way with local people, managing to arrange what he needs for the group. A lot of arrangements went on by mobile phone on our long journeys and we always stopped at pleasant eating places that were expecting us. Our driver was very good too, a skilful driver, observant, good natured and provider of bottled water at 30 rupees for a litre.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In early November we did not need as much warm clothing as we took. Two layers of light fleece would have been enough. We were told that the early winter was warmer than usual, however. A sleeping mat was not necessary as we were always provided with one when camping, nor were waterproof trousers. Bottled water is easily available but a few iodine tablets would be useful as a standby. Also useful is a second, smaller holdall for holding non-essentials during the times one is relying on the big bag for camping. We were able to leave surplus bags in the bus safely.There are some long journeys but these can be used for seeing the towns and countryside one passes through, talking, sleeping and reading. Most of the exercise happens in the second week; by that time one is well acclimatised. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would suggest that preparing for this trip with some reading is well worthwhile. There are good suggestions in the Lonely Planet guide. William Dalrymple's The Age of Kali, and No Full Stops in India as well as India's Unending Journey by Mark Tully,  novels like The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, and titles by Amitrav Ghosh and Anita and Kiran Desai helped to prepare me for the rich medley of experiences that one encounters in even just a corner of India.It would have been interesting to have some geological background when we were walking in and driving through the Aravilli Hills.  
  • Reviewed December 2008
    Anonymous

    KRUGER AND ZULUS FAMILY HOLIDAY

    We were a family of parents with teenagers who had never done an adventure holiday before.  We experienced different communities, landscapes, wildlife and crops.  Kruger, Hlane and St Lucia Wetlands were all very different and had their own specialities.  The camplng was well organised and comfortable.  We all learned lots about a  culture and country very different from our own. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A big bull elephant came so close to us in Hlane Royal Game Reserve that we were all holding our breath and no one even dared take a photo in case it spooked him.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly, hardworking and helpful, willing to try and accommodate everyone's wishes and above all very knowledgeable about animals, trees, flowers and agricultural crops

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We took anti-malarial tablets travelling in late august.  These were expensive (Malorone) and turned out to be totally unnecessary: not a mozzie in sight.  The best thing we took was head-torches for in camp in the evenings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our children were the perfect ages to really appreciate the whole trip (11, 13 and 15).  There were younger children on our trip, and realistically I think their mums had a much less relaxing time.  They need to be old enough to cope with quite a bit of travelling and be old enough to pack and unpack their own sleeping bags and clothing every night and morning.
  • Reviewed November 2008
    Anonymous

    MERA PEAK EXPEDITION

    Potential for a trip of a lifetime but failed to deliver.trip made harder due to suffering a knee injury for the entire trip - temporarily alleviated by taking 400mg of Ibuprofen. Food was also disappointing - i don't expect ringed out fine dining, but vegetables don't need to have their nutritional properties boiled out of them. I have done trips like this before but this was most disappointing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1. flight to Lukla 2. walking up the Mera La & seeing Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Cho Oyu & most notably Everest 3. coming down the Zataware La was awesome

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I got the impression that group leader Ngima was more concerned about his tip at the end rather than the welfare of the whole group, this was evident when one of the group was struggling with a trapped nerve & had no sleep & Ngima had to be reminded by one of the group that this person was being neglected by the group leader, I found this attitude quite unprofessional as disappointing.I also hired a pair of crampons from a shop recommended by the head guide Ngima - these crampons came off 15 times (yes i counted) this seriously compromised my safety as the Mera La is littered with crevasses & there are also steep ridges to negotiateNgima made a serious mistake on the route backThe group had to traverse a very narrow ridge 6-12 inches wide & about 2 hours+ long - the drop to our left was 500-1000 metres down & we had to traverse this ridge in hiking boots when Mountain or plastic boots would have been more suitable. This ridge is extremely dangerous & should not be negotiated without appropriate footwear & even crampons. i believe this was a serious error of judgement by Ngima & believe he should be trained further.this affected the tip i gave him on the last day & gave him what i think he deserved - nothing

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take your own crampons - do not hire them out there as once you get to Lukla & eventually above the snowline there's no turning back.The ridge i mentioned above is not mentioned in the trip notes but be warned there's no other way of getting back - this ridge comes the day before the Zataware Lapay the extra £5.00 on your hotel room when you get back to Lukla - this gets you an En suite shower with hot water, very welcome after 3 weeks on a very cold mountain

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    if you are thinking of booking this trip then call exodus & bolt on Island Peak for a relatively small payment extra - if you can handle the altitude of Mera then Island Peak is a bigger challenge (technically)Mera Peak is a tough trek & gives you an insight into basic technical mountaineering - it does have rewards of stunning views - for me Kilimanjaro & the Volcanoes of Ecuador were far more rewarding
  • Reviewed November 2008
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF LIBYA

    Impressive Roman ruins (or rather more than ruins in the case of Leptis Magna!) set in a country just emerging from international isolation, with the image of Pres Gaddafi ever-present.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Leptis Magna!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Knowledgeable, efficient and organised, but did not volunteer very much information about the country in general (history, recent background etc), as is reasonable to expect on trips of this nature.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come with an open mind and be prepared for a country sometimes lacking in the basics we take for granted.
  • Reviewed November 2008
    Anonymous

    LAKES, WINES & WATERFALLS

    The Lakes, Wines & Waterfalls trip was an unforgettable experience. Not only did we see some spectacular scenery, sample lots of glorious wines and eat the very best food imaginable, we also encountered some of the friendliest and most beautiful people in the world. The group was wonderful, we were very like-minded and laughed all day long, every day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Mendoza, Argentina was the most memorable part of the trip. The experiences we had there (visiting a selection of vineyards and sampling their produce, horse-riding, fine foods, great shopping, friendly people, opportunities to do white-water rafting and other activities) were wonderful and will stay with me forever. My three words of Spanish were no impediment to interacting with the locals who made every effort to engage with me which made shopping a delight! There were loads of interesting places to see and new experiences to have.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, José, was outstanding. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he understood very early on where our interests lay and offered us possibilities accordingly. He made all of us all feel special and everyone in the group loved him. A lovely, interesting and interested, clever guy who is a huge asset to Exodus. We were fortunate to have him as our leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The shopping opportunities are great - bring enough spare money (or credit/ debit card) so that you can take advantage of what's on offer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    What a great trip! A lovely taster of what's on offer in Chile and Argentina. I will definitely re-visit this part of the world to experience more of these beautiful places.
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