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 October 2018
    Mohan Paul

    Awesome...!

    Absolutely loved every moment of the trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was getting to the top of clouds... it was breath taking, and I just never got tired of the views. Waking up and seeing some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets, was so worth it.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    JT was probably one of the nicest, most humble people I’ve ever met. He has an amazing talent to be able to encourage, and inspire people when they feel like giving up. He has a great sense of humour and clearly loves interacting with people - both the travellers and also the porters and support staff. He is well respected from what I saw and I can see why.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely take diamox with you. Altitude sickness really does make a fair few people suffer... I had some of the worst headaches/migraines I’ve ever had in my life during the trip. The medication was a blessing... and take plenty of paracetamol too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When can I go again? 😄
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Valerie Boissel

    To the unsung sheroes and heroes of Kilimanjaro

    I will echo previous reviews which have noted how fantastic this trip is - to me, time spent on Kilimanjaro was just magical... The mountain was as majestic as I expected it to be; the Lemosho route providing a great opportunity to discover the various landscapes it holds at different altitudes. Reaching Uhuru after days living above the clouds was the culmination of a special journey which would not have been possible without the incredible support, kindness, professionalism and all around awesomeness (TO THE MAX! ;)) provided by our dream team, aka JT and his crew - a total of 63 badass Tanzanian men and women, the real heroes and sheroes of this adventure! Their smiles and songs literally propelled me to the top of Kilimanjaro!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To name a few besides reaching the summit: watching the full moon overlooking the mountain turned pink-ish by the sun setting; watching Mount Meru 'float' among clouds from Cathedral Point Shira Peak; having a blast climbing Barranco Wall; being the witness and recipient of kindness and solidarity; dancing and singing with my crew in Swahili; being inspired by women and men porters alike for their strength and spirit; enjoying the journey and being present to the moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    JT is not only an outstanding group leader but simply said a pretty awesome human being who surrounds himself with an amazing crew from African Walking Company - I knew from the get go that I was in very safe hands and that I 'only had to' enjoy the ride, which I did, TO THE MAX! :) Special thanks and praise also go to our assistant guides Simon, Angela, Lucia, Happiness, Saïdi, Yohanna, Ionas, and Abdul, who were a joy to walk by and share jokes, stories and songs with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Regardless of its height, Kilimanjaro, as any other mountain, should not be underestimated - It is important to prepare physically for the challenge, ie build enough endurance to sustain a week of walking (up to 8h or longer for summit day) at high altitude (with a bagpack!), which will in turn help you enjoy the ride and adopt the Tanzanian attitude - one step at a time, hakuna matata! I personally had no issue to report with altitude during the whole trip except around 5400-5500 m when I believe I suffered a mild hypothermia I could not shake (which built up over 7h of climbing in snowy conditions despite wearing 6 top layers and 3 bottom ones) - thanks to JT's quick thinking and my fellow hikers' kindness (big up to Matt and Kieron!!), I was lended 2 additional top layers (hello Michelin woman!) which meant my body was finally able to warm up ( I tend to have high metabolism and I am naturally thin so I am not too surprised this happened) and I could complete the climb to 5895 m. All this to say, think carefully about your layering, your packing, ... and how your own body may specifically react :) (ie do not just take into account general reviews about what to pack for Kilimanjaro.)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Two weeks on, and my heart and brain are still on that mountain... Where do I sign up again? :)
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Rupert Livingstone

    The trip (and JT) was awesome and to the max

    A fantastic trip which was an experience rather than bagging a summit. The camaraderie and bond that developed between us and the crew made the trip special. Can I do it again?

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing my wife get to the summit when I had to turn back. Well done my love.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    JT was superb. He was joyous and enthusiastic about Kili, Tanzania, his crew and us. He and his crew welcomed us into their family and we all left, I think, leaving a little part of us with him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to be smelly - you cannot really wash until getting back to the hotel - but when you do it is fantastic! Get yourself fit, physically and mentally, it is a hard trip and you will most likely have to go past your comfort zone and what you are used to. Close you eyes at some campsites - they are crowded and there is quite some detritus

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The crew do appreciate any spare kit you have and you will most likely want to gift some to them.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Alex Beament

    Poah cacheezy camandeezy danya frigee

    The title is Swahili for "Cool as a crazy banana in the fridge". This trip was excellent! Well organised and well operated by our leader, JT. He and his team were friendly, knowledgeable, supportive, capable, polite, skilled, very VERY experienced, professional, the list goes on! I was nervous about coming on this trip as I had never done anything like it before, but everything was so well managed that one by one, my worries disappeared and turned into excitement and even relaxation. Everyone in the group was like-minded, determined and supportive of each other so we all got along very well. I went on my own so it was a relief to find that every one of my group had similar enough ambitions and were easy to get along with, despite coming from a range of backgrounds. I don't believe this was just a happy accident - everyone climbing this mountain has more than enough in common to bond over and Exodus nourishes that bond well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top! Being above the clouds and wending through the grand rain forests at the start and the very end were all highlights for me as well. Shira cathedral and the Baranco Wall also made good scrambling (climbing) and although I got a bit of a headache at the lava tower, that was something else I had been looking forward to and it did not disappoint.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    JT and his team were friendly, knowledgeable, supportive, capable, polite, skilled, very VERY experienced, professional. He's already won the award for best group leader and he fully deserves to win it again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared, think about what you need. Your kit doesn't have to be perfect, just enough. Anything else is a comfort you're welcome to (but remember, either you or your porter, who WILL become your friend, will be carrying it). Consider what you will want to use when: - Travelling - On the plane - When you arrive - Leave the hotel - Wake up in the tent each morning - When it's warm at the bottom - When it's cold at the top - When it rains - When your camera loses charge - When you go to sleep in the tent - When you wake up in the morning - What information you need and how to store it (what reception is available) Just go through the situations of what the holiday will bring and consider what you need for those situations. Research altitude sickness. You don't need to be an expert and you don't need all the drugs - I personally did not take diamox and was just as well off as everyone else (some people did). Pole pole. Going slow sounds boring, but remember when sitting in your office thinking about the trip, but you're out in the wild by the tallest free standing mountain in the world. Make the most of it, look around, take pictures. You're only going to have to wait around when you get to camp. Even if you're really fit and the fastest walker in the world, you'll still fall short of breath at some point. And unless you can beat the record of under 5.5 hours to summit, I'm not interested in how fast you can do it. I'm more interested in what you get out of it, so just relax and see the sights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Top trip. If the world didn't have more to explore, I'd do it again. Maybe I still will one day. I look forward to my next Exodus trip - probably Everest base camp.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Paul Walters

    Kilimanjaro - Adventure of a Lifetime

    Kilimnjaro - Awesome - To the MAX !!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Clambering out off my frozen tent at Shira 1 Camp, and seeing the snow-clad summit of Kilimanjaro in the distance, and knowing in only a few days, we would be at the top.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was one of the funniest, happiest, and most competent outdoor professionals it has ever been my pleasure to meet. A totally indomitable spirit, and for whom I grew to have the utmost respect.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In the form of a list:- 1. Don't under-estimate the extremes of temperature. Days are hot and sweaty. Nights can be bitterly cold. 2, Make sure you have a very good sleeping bag... you're going to be spending a lot of time in it. 3. Don't under-estimate how cold it will be on the summit attempt. We had wind-chill down to -20deg. You'll be making the summit bid at night and we did ours in a snowstorm, even at the end of March. It was very very cold. Take lots of thermals, and layer up.... 4 or 5 layers is expected. 4. Don't use a Camelbak, Platypus or other water bladder system. Trying to suck a mouthful of water through a 1m length of tube at 4500m will disrupt your breathing and make you gasp for breath. Better to take a couple of 1litre bottles so you can pour water into your mouth and swallow. Your mouth will get very dry due to the dry air at altitude. 5. Don't take a Camelbak etc as the drinking tube WILL freeze solid on summit day. 6. Take some form of insulation for your drinking bottle. 7. Take a pee bottle for use at night. Campsites can be busy, and struggling to get out of a sleeping bag, get dressed and walk across to the toilet tent can be a real pain. Pee in a bottle and empty it in the morning. Much easier. 8. Take lots of snacks you enjoy, and comfort foods. The food on the trek is good, but nibbling something you love when you need a lift is the best feeling ever. 9. Take high energy foods, gels or "power bar" type snacks for summit day. You will need them. 10. Take factor 50 sunblock and apply it every day even if it's cloudy. I burned my arm and wrist in about 1 hour on the journey from the airport to our hotel, and it only got worse as the trek went on. Do not ignore this advice. UV effects are far more intense due to the thin air. Every one of us suffered with sun or wind burn. 11. Weigh your stuff. The porters will only carry 15kg, and you don't want to be carrying more than 6kg in your day pack. Anything heavier will affect your breathing. Leave spare clothes at the hotel to change in to when you return. 12. Enjoy every minute of it. The landscape is awesome. The experience is awesome. You will make some solid friends in the group as everyone suffers and shares the same. 13. Make sure you take enough cash in US dollars. They can be used everywhere. You will want to tip the porters and guides much more than they state in the trip notes..... these guys and girls are truly what makes the trip. 14. You will probably want to donate some of your equipment to the porters. In my group, we left behind rucksacks, sleeping bags, trekking boots, thermal gear, gloves, hats, buffs, water bottles, etc. Tanzania is a very poor country with around 30% unemployment. Working as a porter is a good job, but many of them have very little specialised equipment. They do not expect it, but are honoured to receive it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have any specific questions, I will be happy to receive them by email and answer as best I can.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Richard Atkinson

    The Lemosho route to success on Kili

    Just back from a great trip. From the moment you land your African adventure starts. The Moivaro lodge provides a relaxing and comfortable start and end point, but your focus is inevitably on the challenge ahead. Our guide JT gave an excellent pre-trek briefing and throughout the trek provided support and motivation - always with a smile, a laugh or a song. If you have even the slightest concern about altitude and acclimatisation, the Lemosho route is an excellent choice: the extra time allows for a gradual approach over the Shira Plateau, with some acclimatisation walks (going higher and sleeping lower). And it’s attractive. Don’t expect to be trekking in splendid isolation on any route. Even on the supposedly quieter Lemosho route (which eventually merges with two other routes) there is the daily traffic of porters passing you every morning...and you get to recognise and chat with other groups as you pass each other on the way. I hadn’t realised when I first chose my dates, that this trip was a ‘female crew’ trip. I’m so glad it was. Apart from the value of this scheme in providing opportunities for females porters and guides, having a mixed crew really added to the friendly atmosphere of our camp. All organised groups seemed to have moments when their crew sang for the clients, but for us this went to a different level. Not only did their voices (and smiles) really lift the singing, but you never felt this was a performance; it carried on even when they were in their own tent in the afternoons. Oh, and although we were a small group, we all reached the summit!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit was the highlight, but scrambling on the Barranco Wall was exciting (there is a little exposure in short patches which could cause some anxiety for anyone with a fear of heights, but is otherwise quite manageable. Porters manage it with big loads!). And listening to the female crew members singing!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    JT: exceptional. Highly professional and with a great personality. Always motivating us and ensuring we were ok. And he showed similar care for his crew.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! The Lemosho route is great for acclimatisation, and is an attractive route. Don’t be put off by the female crew departures - indeed, I can’t recommend it enough.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Mark Rendall

    Exodus delivers again!

    An amazing trip up Kilimanjaro, with a professional leader, guides, porters & support team (66 in total). The team got all 16 in the party up and all were very supportive!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making the rim for sunrise and of course the summit at Uhuru Peak - a moment and memory to savour!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Professional and dedicated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Put in some training, it will make the trek more enjoyable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Has to be one towards the top of the "bucket list" & to be proudly crossed off!
  • Reviewed September 2017
    ah mak chow

    kilimanjaro lemosho route

    amazing holiday, professional n experienced guides. felt extremely safe. look no further book with exodus. i"'ll do this trip all over again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    scaling Baranco wall.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    professional n experienced. felt safe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    recommend Exodus

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All guides n porters, extremely helpful would like to do it all over again.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Amanda Brass

    Kilimanjaro Climb- Lemosho Route

    The whole trip has been incredible, very well organised and everything has been thought off. The climb was amazing, beautiful scenery and wonderful people. Easily the hardest physical challenge of our lives to date but also the most enjoyable and rewarding. The crew were first class and we will never forget this wonderful experience for the rest of our lives. A real privilege and a life changer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Stella Point was incredible as we were getting to the stage where we were so physically tired that we were doubting whether we could make it, our wonderful guides gave us the support, encouragement, positivity and inspiration to get us to the top, allowing us to adopt the mind over matter approach and they were with us all the way. I can honestly say the crew have had a huge impact on us as people and they have inspired us as much as the climb of beautiful Kilimanjaro itself.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I will be writing to Exodus separately from this review with a glowing and detailed letter of praise for the crew as I feel Justine was outstanding in his role as our group leader. He was thoroughly deserving of the award that he won and I would go further to say if there are any other awards in the world of mountain guiding on a national or international level I would not hesitate to nominate him. It was a real privilege to have met him and to have been guided up Kilimanjaro by him and as my family were on the trip with us I would like to say we felt so secure, safe and had complete trust and confidence in him. He was positive, encouraging, sensitive, thoughtful, very kind and was very well organised and thought of everything. To top this all off a great smile, personality and a brilliant sense of humour- a very inspirational man! I would also like to point out that the entire team were first class. The other guides were also outstanding, I would like to point out that Mussa was a wonderful guide, also incredibly positive and supportive with also a lovely personality/sense of humour. We had complete trust in Mussa and he was so helpful and kind to us, again I will be writing to you to explain in detail. He would make an excellent tour leader too. James aka King James was a fantastic guide who was very knowledgable, kind, helpful and again encouraging and supportive and kept giving us boosts of positivity. We were never rushed along,even though we were walking a slower pace to some of our fellow climbers. Again we had 100% trust in James and he would also make a brilliant lead guide. It was an absolute pleasure to have 2 female guides, Anjela and Lucia who were both a pleasure to walk with. Again, both very supportive, kind and could not do enough for you. Both very smart and strong ladies who we had our trust in. We feel so lucky to have had this team of 38 looking after us so well and we have so much praise and admiration for all the porters, cook etc. I cannot fault any of them, they were all brilliant. I will be mentioning a few of them in my letter.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would say if you are thinking about doing this challenge, just book it! You will not regret it and I doubt you would find any other trip where you are looked after so well, I read that they 'have your backs' before we went on our trip and I can honestly say it is true. Go for it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I will be writing to you in detail shortly, so not at this time.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    John Farrington

    Kilimanjaro - Lemosho route

    An outstanding trek. Organisation was superb in every detail. Special mention to the African Walking Company for their guides, porters, cooks and everyone involved.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Crater Rim summit in clear sunshine, and earlier in the week The Baranco Wall and Lava Tower

    What did you think of your group leader?

    JT was really outstanding - in leadership, organisation and motivation

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Whatever your age, it is essential to get as fit as possible ahead of the trek - whatever anyone else says. Particularly practice uphill severe walks with a backpack (eg in UK hill country).
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