Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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17894 Reviews

  • Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana Trip

    "Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana trip is great." No matter where you go, Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana trip is the coolest, most happening thing around!"

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Safari
  • Trip of a lifetime

    Our first trip with Exodus, and first adventure on the bikes. This trip with Roberto and Jeyson guiding and Luis driving exceeded all of our expectations. We are hooked on this type of trip now and cannot believe we haven't found you before. We packed in so many wonderfully different terrains, views and wildlife experiences, it will be hard to replicate. The bikes were great, the cycling was the perfect amount for reasonably fit older adults. The first cycling stop where the water container was opened and we had the vision of perfectly arranged fresh pineapple and papaya was when I knew we would love it. This was the perfect time of year no rain, occasionally a little too hot but no need to carry excessive cold weather baggage. The tour guides at the national parks were exceptional and our tour guide Roberto had done all the upfront work to make our travel and experience of these phenomenal sites as smooth and streamlined as possible. We are truly grateful for a magnificent experience in difficult times pura vida!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are a few inspirational moments. Firsly finding that we had a great mixed group to share our holiday with. Some couples, singletons, siblings and lifetime friends, many who had been on previous trips and had advice and experiences to share from those. In particular two wonderful 70 old ladies who often headed up the group on our way up the hills gave me hope for another 15 years of these type of holidays. Along with the wildlife which was exquisite and varied I found the vegetation to be awe inspiring. I loved the Wilson Botanical gardens and the rides through the mountains as we descended from that area. Seeing the various different plantations from pineapple to coffee and bananas was fascinating. And finally our beautiful afternoons by the the beach first the Pacific at Agua Dulce and then the Carribean for our impromptu swim, which Roberto realised was a necessary addition to the itinery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roberto is an excellent locally based leader , who is fluent in English, with the skills to manage and rearrange the itinery to suit the group requirements and the ensuing pandemic that we sadly were having to contend with. He was prepared to manage finances for various meals to enable us to get the best out of our time in the country, a truly experienced and skilled leader. He patiently repeated his instructions when asked, and pulled us into line when needed. His knowledge of the country and the wildlife was exceptional and he sets the standard very high for all our future trips. His helper Jeyson was also a delightful young man, who is a valuable addition to the team. With Luis and his exceptional driving they are a formidable group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As we were new to this style of trip, we hadn't thought through how it would work, it did perfectly but here are the things we learnt. Moving accommodation every night was an organisational challenge and being very prepared for this in your packing would help. 'Packing cubes is a recommendation I will take home from another guest'!! We set up early a group whatapp which enabled us to share photos and co-ordinate meeting in a timely manner this was essential. We had a fair degree of bus time and these journeys were made much more fun by having an inclusive group vibe, where everyone was helpful regarding possessions and spotting bathroom opportunities. Each person, couple is looking to get something slightly different out of the experience if everyone in the group is mindful of that it works brilliantly, as it did for us.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were somewhat anxious about various different aspects of this type of trip, even before the coronovirus effect. However within a very short space of time our fears were allayed. we weren't sure that our cycle level would be ok, but with the back up of the bus that becomes irrelevant, so long as you are comfortable covering the required distance at the pace that is recommended if you want to have bus break time that is no problem. We felt under a little pressure the first couple of nights, as we had missed our connection in Madrid ( do not book flights with only 2 hours connection window) due to French air traffic control!!!! It took us a while to settle in but having a positive attitude to dealing with hiccups helps and it was no big deal. A night in Madrid gave us a chance to practice Spanish in a plaza, and I had a couple of hours reading by a pool. We have loved our hotel based activity holidays for many years especially as the children grew and we had busy work lives. This more immmersive experience of travel though will suit us for many years to come.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Awesome trip, feel close to nature

    Whenever I think about to travel, every time I think about South zone because of their diversity, culture, beauty and nature. Finally I decided to visit South Zone and trust me nothing can be better than this. You can get everything here like colonial hill stations, beautiful temples, relaxed lifestyle, extra-ordinary scenery and the best food in India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Houseboat trip is the one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Excellent Tour with superb Tour Guide

    My first trip to India and with Exodus, this certainly wont be my last. Everything ran smoothly and was so informative and magical due to the charismatic and thoughtful tour leader Sam G Benjamin.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So much culture! Impromtu detours courtesy of Sam which was so interesting and which if we were travelling solo we would of missed. For example the Hindu festival at a temple with elephants, magical. The tuktuk rides! The walk around the rural village.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant could not have wished for better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with the flow!
  • Fabulous Trip, Fabulous Country!

    A great trip to a fabulous country - having never been to South Africa before it surpassed all my expectations; the landscapes were amazing, the food was universally delicious, and the people were friendly and welcoming throughout. Although I have been on several Exodus trips before, this was my first Exodus Edits trip, and although for us some of the itinerary was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, I would definitely recommend the trip. The itinerary was varied and packed a lot in to a short space of time, and included the very active (climbing table mountain) to the very relaxing (wine tasting in Stellenbosch), with the highlight for me definitely being visiting and kayaking with the penguins at Boulders Beach.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Penguins! Both the walk along Boulders Beach in Simonstown, and the kayaking the following day were fabulous, and despite all the uncertainty and concerns over Covid-19, seeing the penguins instantly made everything better! I also really enjoyed the wine tasting in the Stellenbosch area - Stellenbosch itself is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever seen, and the visits to the vineyards were great fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Adonia and Ernest were great - nothing was too much trouble, and when our itinerary had to change they found other places for us to go. They were also amazingly helpful and reassuring when we were informed we would have to leave early due to Covid-19 - and despite that, we all still enjoyed the holiday very much!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If travelling in March, I would advise taking a windbreaker as it is surprisingly windy in Cape Town and surrounding area! It can also get quite cool at nights, so take a jumper or jacket too. Walking shoes/boots are a must for Table Mountain, and I'd recommend maybe sandals or shoes you don't mind getting wet for the kayaking!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fab trip!
  • Great insight into Catalonia

    A week snowshoeing in the Catalan Pyrenees, with good snow and a great guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Great views on our last days when the skies fully cleared.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miguel was particularly good and gave a detailed and very personal insight into Catalonia and the Pyrenees. He give evening talks on Bears, the geography of the Pyrenees and even local cheese sampling with very good wine provided to ensure an authentic experience. He was clearly well informed about the region and picked each days walk with a critical eye on the weather and where we would experience the best snow conditions and weather. He has a wealth of experience and was open to sharing his views on the region, its politics and its challenges which gave a more in depth view adding to the overall experience. He is someone I would be delighted to meet up with again.
  • Amazing trip

    Having never been to South Africa before, every aspect of our trip surpassed all expectation. From meeting everyone at the airport, all through the trip, it was well organised and our guides were great! Our activities were well thought out and perfect for what we wanted from our trip. The scenery was beautiful and the South African people were so friendly and accommodating. Nothing was ever too much trouble. We loved it, and would definitely do another trip like this.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The best part for us was the kayaking to see the penguins at Boulders Beach. It was a great activity and having never done sea kayaking before I, especially, was nervous, however I needn’t have been, the kayaks were easy to operate and the paddling was fine. The penguins were a pleasure to see, and watching them bob about in the waves not far from our kayaks was a real treat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adonia was our guide and Ernest was our driver and they were fabulous. They were so friendly and helpful and had excellent knowledge of the area and history etc. By the end of the trip everyone felt like family, and we were sad to leave. Also, they were great when, through circumstances beyond their control, they had to make last minute alterations and organise things differently. 5 stars all round, thanks guys!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, it can be very windy! Especially at Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, so be prepared. :)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was delicious, and quite cheap compared to UK prices. We didn’t eat a bad meal at all, and the service was efficient, waiting staff friendly. The wines were also great too, I’m now a fan of Pinotage and a couple of good white wines as well! I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to this beautiful country, it was a truly memorable holiday! :)
  • Reviewed March 2020

    A fantastic introduction to Northern India.

    This was a wonderful trip. It needs some stamina as there are a lot of early starts and long journeys. Keep an open mind and take it as it comes, there are many rewards. The group got on really well and we had some great laughs. The tour guide was brilliant and was central to the success of the trip. It's made me want to see more of India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many of these. Some of the hotels were so pretty with gorgeous gardens. I really value this on a busy trip so you have a bit of down time in the sunshine. We saw 2 young tigers in Ranthambore and this was a highlight. They were beautiful .Felt a bit alarmed the number of trucks all scrambling to view them, but they seemed ok and not traumatised. The Taj Mahal is very beautiful and Varanasi is beyond belief, especially the evening prayers which are akin to a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was amazing. Such a lovely friendly man, had us all eating out of his hand I'd say. He has done the trip so many times and knows every inch of it. He joined in with us and shared the fun. He was organised and gave very clear instructions for the itinerary each day. Was sad to say goodbye.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to love curry, journeying and you need, as on many adventure holidays, patience and an ability to take things as they come. The e-visa service seemed to cause problems at the airport, but it was a difficult time with Covid19. I had a year visa which meant I got through immigration very quickly. Those with e-visas took forever. Take your Powerbank out of your main luggage. Take some warm clothes for the early starts, it takes a while to warm up. No-one was ill, the facilities were nowhere near as bad as you might think they would be, even on the overnight trains and stations. Didn't open my medicine pack. Due to the time of year, I came back with pink and orange hair from Holi, but I'm getting used to it. All but 2 hotels were really good, but you take the rough with the smooth on these trips.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go. You'll love it. it was one of my best tours and I can't wait for the world to get going again.
  • Cabarbet & Capers South Africa March 2020

    An unforgettable trip that will live long in the memory. One that I would highly tecommend to anyone in their 30's and 40's who is short on time and keen to dip their toe into the best activities that the Cape has to offer. This was the first ever Exodus Edits trip so it was a step into the unknown. Whats more, it coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak which ultimately led to it being cut short as we had to return to the UK. Nonetheless, the small amount of time spent in Cape Town with my fellow explorers and our fantastic tour guides Adonia and Ernest exceeded my expectations. As a seasoned traveller and regular customer of Exodus, I knew that in spite of the uncertainty that came with travelling overseas as COVID-19 spread, I'd be in safe hands. After discovering on day 2 that the trip would be cut short, Adonia with support from Caroline and John from Exodus HQ who had joined us on the trip, provided regular updates and guidance on the fast-moving situation. This enabled me to make clear decisions on how and when I should return home before borders closed and airlines cancelled flights. While the trip itself was reduced to 5 days, the activities that we were able to experience were hugely enjoyable. Hiking halfway way up Table Mountain in fierce winds and getting some amazing views of downtown Cape Town before (very sensibly) being directed by Adonia to head back down as it was just too risky to hike all the way to the top. Visiting the Cape of Good Hope and hiking up to Cape Point Light House in even stronger winds was quite an experience even for someone who grew up on the windy west coast of Scotland! The accommodation across the 5 days was fantastic and leaned towards the 4 star in terms of quality. In Cape Town, the Grand Daddy Hotel was a one of a kind experience. Very quirky with Airstream style caravans on the top floor. Great rooms and very good breakfasts. In Simonstown, our hotel overlooked the gorgeous bay and offered great views of the sun setting. Last but not least, our farm stay accommodation on the outskirts of Stellenbosch offered great views of the surrounding vin yards and mountains on the horizon. Two separate swimming pools was also a welcome discovery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The natural beauty of the coastline from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope will really stick in the memory. The eyes are seduced by the magnificence of the white sandy beaches before being confronted by the dancing white horses crashing into rugged coves. As I gazed out to the horizon and with nothing but churning ocean for thousands of miles to the left and to the right, I reflected on my good fortune in being offered the opportunity to put into perspective mankind’s place on the planet. While I tapped away on my iPhone taking picture after picture of the magnificent landscape, I knew that in spite of all of the technology at my fingertips, mother nature will always have the final word.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Adonia our tour leader and his able assistant Ernest were superb in very way. More so, in light of the challenges they were presented with on an hourly basis as the consequences of the South African Government's decision to impose travel restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 became apparent. At every turn, Adonia and Ernest kept us abreast of the situation and the implications on our scheduled activities. Where one activity was cancelled, an alternative was rapidly improvised. Too windy to hike to the top of Table Mountain. Ok, lets visit Signal Hill Nature Reserve instead. Bike hire company closed due to COVID-19? Let’s hike up to Cape Point Lighthouse. Highly knowledgeable, highly engaging and above all highly empathetic, Adonia and Ernest were there for us every step of the way. It really was sad to leave them in such abrupt circumstances.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are travelling on this trip towards the back of the South African summer, pack a windbreaker and a fleece as it can be really windy during the day and cool in the evening. Also make sure to pack a proper pair of waking boots as the hike up Table Mountain is largely on rocky steps so firm footing is required.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Snow leopards found

    If you have ever dreamed of seeing the elusive snow leopard then this is the trip for you. Don't think about it just book it. Ladakh is an incredible region and you couldn't ask for a better guide than Valerie. Been there, done that and probably knows the location of every rock on the mountain. As for the area - if you saw nothing but the scenery you would get your moneysworth, however the team scour the countryside for wildlife - with lammegeiers and golden eagles regularly sighted overhead. As for the snow leopards themselves we had 12 sightings - an extraordinarily good year, some were very distant and only visible with the fantastic Swarovski scopes. However we were also lucky enough to get a mother and cubs sighting and a mating pair at distances under 600m - this isn't a petting zoo - which is clear enough for binoculars and long lens cameras. Photographers with a dslr need to thing 500m or bigger with tripods and teleconverters. It will not be Africa Serengetti encounters, but that makes them even more magical. Failing this kit the guides are adept at taking mobile shots through the spotting scopes - good enough for keepsakes and memories of an incredible trip. It is cold though and involves trekking on rocky trails - so heed the trip notes, get good warm boots and kit and enjoy your complimentary hot water bottle ( after a lovely filling meal) Icing on the cake is the Street Kids tour of Delhi and the inspieational stories of the work done by the charity. Can't thank Valerie and team enough and gladly go and do it all over again - if she can take the stress of getting my mountain of camera kit through customs.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a mother and two cubs on the same day we saw a pair of snow leopards above camp. Everyone raced up the hill to the spotting scopes, forgetting the altitude. We were still chatting excitedly over our luck at evening meal, having watched them for 3 hours.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Valerie is rightfully a legend - she knows everyone and even read us local tales from a book. She lives and breathes the region and that in turn feeds into the group and how good the trip turned out to be. She is also widely respected by the local people and staff, case in point one evening a ranger had his own client with an eye problem - first port of call was Valerie to see what she thought.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't scrimp on a warm sleeping bag, proper boots for the terrain and warm layers. This is not extreme terrain but you will enjoy life a lot more if you are comfortable. Take a small bag to leave in Delhi and another drybag of something to change into when you get bag to Leh. Likelihood is you will be wearing same clothes for daysin camp so just be warm.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Probably one of the best experiences I have done. I had thought I'd be lucky to see snow leopards once. To have 12 sightings, a lynx and then high tea in The Imperial just made the trip beyond my wildest dreams. Thanks to Valerie, the crew and my camera porter / assitant photographer Chosgun. Without whom the 600mm lens would have travelled up trails a lot slower.