Turtle, Ecuador

Reviews

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

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61 Reviews

  • Reviewed September 2019
    JILL JAMES

    Marrakech and the Sahara

    At 72 l was a bit worried if l would be a stumbling block with the other travelers. None of it. lt was the most amazing trip l've ever had. We were looked after from the word go and l never felt the odd one out. lf l did have a hic cup, my friends would help me. They called me the tough old bird!!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The camel ride in the Sahara. When we got to our destination we all decided to sleep under the stars. AMAZING !!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. No other words.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to enjoy

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Have already decided my next trip with Exodus!!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Kat Burke

    Camels, souks and tagine!

    The holiday was fantastic from start to finish. We started from Marrakech and headed to Ait Ben Haddou, a fantastic historic city used as the backdrop to loads of famous films. The following day we picked up our camels and headed out into the Sahara dessert, staying in a bedouin camp. This was the highlight of the trip, the camels were placid and, although the rocking motion takes a little getting used to, it was a generally comfortable ride. This was followed by a night in a gite up in a village in the mountains, the Hamaam was a great bonding experience and the village women were really friendly. Marrakech itself was interesting and steeped in history. The tombs and palace buildings were beautiful and the souks were vibrant and fun for trying to grab a bargain! The food throughout was excellent, although it is slightly repetitive. Tagine is on most menus, the meat was always lovely and tender with an array of veg. Other favourite was the chicken pastilla. Whoever combined shredded chicken and almonds with filo pastry, icing sugar and cinnamon is a genius! The trip had variety in its hotels and stops. Sometimes it felt like we were on the minibus for agaes, but the destinations were always worth it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sharing a Hamaam with 10 women I'd only met 2 days previously. I'm usually very self concious, but it was a great and funny bonding experience for the group. The camel ride was amazing, the peace in the desert and the shapes created by the winds in the dunes are hynotic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdellah was a great leader, he was informative with a good sense of humour. He was well organised and always happy to help answer questions.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We didn't need the water purification tablets recommended as there was plenty of bottled water. Take your good walking shoes, not just your sandals. Don't pick this trip if you like a drink every night, alcohol is largely unavailable. But mint tea and fruit juices are great!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Martin Samuels

    Great intro to Morocco

    This trip was a great way to see varied parts of Morocco, from city life in Marrakesh to the desert and up to the High Atlas Mountains, where there was a good amount of snow. This meant that there was quite a lot of time spent on the minibus, but there was some impressive terrain to see. In February, the nights and mornings were cold and dramatically different to the temperature in the mid-late afternoon. There were local crafts to visit (rug making, pottery, argan oil production, spice and incense stores) with retail opportunities, the camel ride into the desert, the steam baths and some down time. I really enjoyed the week, and if this is your first visit to an Arabic country, it's a tough call between Morocco and Jordan, as the latter has the Lost City of Petra, a great sight / site, which Morocco doesn't have.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The visit into the High Atlas Mountains... or maybe the camel ride into the desert... or the souk in Marrakech...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rashid was very friendly and helpful. He looked after us and gave us a lot of information about Morocco and where we were visiting.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If visiting in the winter, make sure you have clothes for hot & cold weather.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Rebecca Parker

    Too much shopping.

    The only reason this trip did not receive a rating of poor is sure to the fact of the our guide Rashide. The were good points for example the camel ride and the desert as week as the time in Marrakech. However there didn't seem much time for anything else, we always seemed to be running late. There was far too much time travelling and most of the stops we made were to places where we were expected to buy something. It would have been nice to have the opportunity to explore more of the sites. The driver was not very safe he seemed to drive far too fast and swing us around a lot which caused our belongings fly all around the bus. In the Atlas mountains we were involved in a car accident which was a frightening experience that lucky didn't involve any injuries to anybody. Accidents do happen but in this case, as previously stated the driver did not seem to be driving with due care and attention . The hamman in the mountains was posponed until the next day and then cancelled which ment that some of us missed out on the walk. Overall this trip did not live up to expectations and was a disappoint ment. There were some good point, the group was lovely as was the guide, but too much time was spent in the bus with few stops to see the sights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The desert

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Rebecca for taking the time to review her holiday, although we were concerned to read that her group experienced an accident, and that some other aspets of the trip were disappointing.  We would like to assure Rebecca that all Exodus drivers hold the appropriate licences to carry passengers, and Rachid, the tour leader on this trip who has many years of experience, has explained that on this trip he did not consider the driving to be irresponsible.  The accident was very minor, involving a local taxi, and fortunately was quickly resolved with no injuries or damage to either vehicle.  We appreciate that some of the roads on this tour, especially in the mountains, are steep and windy, and are sorry for any distress experienced.

     We are sorry for any disappointment caused by the cancellation of the hammam; this activity is offered in a remote village, and unfortunately at the time of the group’s visit there was not sufficient firewood available to provide this, although we understand that an alternative hammam was available upon the group’s return to Marrakech.

     We regret that it was felt too much time was spent shopping.  Generally speaking, the most convenient locations to stop in Morocco with suitable facilities will often have shopping areas.  We find that many of our clients enjoy having the opportunity to browse and purchase souvenirs and local handicrafts, should they wish, but would like to assure Rebecca that people are of course under no obligation to do so.

     We were pleased to read that Rebecca enjoyed other parts of the holiday, such as the camel riding and time spent in Marrakech.  Tom Harari – Senior Product Manager

  • Reviewed January 2019
    Claire Welford

    A true taste of Morocco

    Spent a memorable Christmas in a beautiful country with some wonderful people. The trip give you a great taste of what this wonderful has to offer

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many highlights of this trip but waking up in the desert on Christmas Day was perfection.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Omar was was excellent. He managed to pass on enough information about the county and trip without making us feel that we were being controlled.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are travelling in winter take warm clothes for the evenings as some places are really cold. There is no need to take a sleeping bag with you as there are plenty of extra blankets available in the Gite and at the Bedouin camp if you need them. Walking boots or good walking shoes are needed if you want to experience the trek without risking twisting an ankle.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is worth taking and I’m sure I’ll visit wonderful Morocco again.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Sue Curran

    An unforgettable trip to a great country - Morocco - I will return!

    Although there was a lot of travel in the week, it meant we saw, and experienced much more of Morocco - a special country. It was such an enjoyable holiday, and I truly relaxed! The itinerary was well planned so that we did not get caught up in the big tour groups at busy times of day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlights were the camel ride and camp in the desert, and the stay in the gite/hostel in the mountains (including the hammam!). The scenery was beautiful and peaceful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdelhadi was a fantastic group leader - very knowledge and enthusiastic. He developed a great rapport with the group, which made the trip so enjoyable. I travelled on my own and the group dynamic to which he contributed, made me feel welcome, and never alone.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    In Marrakesh, visit the Jardin Majorelle - but arrive before 9 am to miss the crowds. Don't miss the Berber museum there - it was a real gem!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus!
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Margaret Baker

    Magical Morocco and the Sahara

    This was a great trip as a taster for what Morocco offers. There was a lot of travelling in the minibus but it was worth it for the variety of experiences we had.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to say really but the camel ride and the night in the nomad camp in the desert was really special. Some of us slept outside under the stars which was amazing. It was mid April but it was not cold although I kept many clothes on and slept in my 4 season sleeping bag. A 4 season bag was not suggested or necessary but it was my only one. Some even took just a sleeping bag inner which was fine on this occasion as blankets and pillows were available and the temperature didn’t drop too low. Didn’t meet any beasties or scorpions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Abdul was excellent and very knowledgeable and great fun although his idea of “just next door” or “it’s an hour’s walk” didn’t always match ours! He shared a lot about himself and his life in Morocco and enjoyed learning about ours without being intrusive. It all added to the enjoyment of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Towel and shampoo essential for the hammam visit, and a sense of humour and adventure will also help! The optional morning trek from the gite was significantly longer than advertised. Check the exact itinerary and time before you set off. Our 3-4 hour walk was 5 1/2 hours. Good walkers only should tackle this one. It appeared much harder than suggested in the trip notes. An optional 1 1/2 hour walk around the village took 2 hours. However, time that day was relaxed and everyone who did the walks enjoyed them. I was in a small group who took the third option of staying put and relaxing on the balcony of the gite!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Despite the long drives, this was well worth the travelling to get down into the Sahara for the nomad camp site visit. The scenery along the route was simply stunning, from the High Atlas Mountains to the sandy Sahara.
  • Reviewed January 2018

    Adventurous trip

    It is an adventurous trip which offers an interesting overview of the country. The tour was generally well organised and ran smoothly, the driving was safe, the only criticise is about the comfort of the vehicle: the group of 16 people tried to be fitted in the small van, and one of tourists had to share the seat between driver and the guide in the front… The group leader Lahcen Hamyouy was very knowledgeable guide, friendly and responsible person. The best day of the journey was camel riding through Sahara desert and star gazing in bedouin camp. Also the Atlas mountains scenery was magnificent while driving and walking as well. One of the highlights was visiting kasbah  Ait-Ben-Haddou, in Ouarzazate province, after seeing this ghost town you understand why this place has attracted a lot of directors and writers of various film industries to shoot movies such as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘The Mummy’, ‘Gladiator’ etc. Tour organisers should consider to spend more time in this beautiful place rather than wasting it in the remote village in Atlas mountains in freezing prison cell-like plain rooms. That guest house was very uncomfortable to stay in and needs a lot of improvements (little mobile heaters can make big difference). The food was good overall BUT hygiene and sanitation was very poor I am afraid (most of places with non-working flush toilets, missing toilets paper and open rubbish bins). The last part of the trip - visiting Marrakesh - was not that much exciting than others. Central square with its chaotic market is really dangerous place to walk because of annoying street hasslers and pickpocketers. One Italian restaurant “Portofino” recommended by the group leader was very decent place to have a meal…

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    star gazing in Bedouin camp, riding camels through Sahara desert

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Lahcen Hamyouy was very knowledgeable guide, friendly and responsible person.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Ronnie van der Ploeg

    Ronnie

    An enjoyable adventure with a friendly group of fellow rptravellers of different ages and backgrounds, ably looked after by our guide and driver.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A camel ride into the Sahara, followed by a camp meal, after-supper entertainment from the locals and the unforgettable highlight of sleeping under a sky lit up by a million stars.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An engaging and welcoming young man who looked after the needs of his travelling guests and shared his enthusiasm and knowledge for his country and its people.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect gourmet cuisine, the food en route can be quite bland and quite limited, but it is a travel adventure, not a gastronomic trip.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Patricia Weber

    A Wonderful Moroccan Experience

    I had always wanted to go to Morocco and this 8 day journey did not disappoint! The week took us through varied landscapes and sights! Wonderful and beautiful whether looking out the windows of our mini bus or our trek through the desert or our stay in the gite in the High Atlas Mountains! And of course chaotic, magical Marrakech. Just go!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two highlights for me were our desert trek and sleeping out in the Sahara! As well, our stay in the gite was an experience I won't forget!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Hassan, was extraordinary! He made this trip even more fascinating and interesting with his knowledge of the country and it's people. He has a great personality and sense of humour! Our whole group of 12 travellers would agree! Thank you Hassan! I am proud to now call you friend!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No need to pack a sleeping bag for the overnight stay in the gite or desert. All sheets and blankets are provided. I was happy I had my hiking boots as we did a fair bit of walking. Take extra tissues, hand sanitizer or wipes as toilet paper may be scarce in some places. Just enjoy the many cultural differences and enjoy the people!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My husband and I had a wonderful time and we would go back to Morocco again!