Turtle, Ecuador

Review Centre

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.

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’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

Haven't posted your review yet? Here's how to do it...

After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

  • Reviewed June 2019
    H B

    Excellent and varied whistle-stop tour of Central Asia

    Great two weeks in Central Asia. The first week was in Uzbekistan and more focused on the history of the Silk Road and the gorgeous architecture in the three cities of Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara whilst during the second half in Almaty and Kyrgyzstan we learnt more about traditional & modern culture, history from different eras and got a taste of the alpine climates in the gorges and beautiful Issyk-Kol lake

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say given that we saw so much and there was so much variety! Watching a golden eagle train for the hunting season was pretty spectacular. Also we were in Bukhara during the annual Silk and Spice Festival so the city was heaving with Uzbek people and tourists alike experiencing national music, fashion, dance and goods sold all over the streets - it was an incredibly fortuitous addition to an already fascinating place

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Two great group leaders in Dilshod and Ermek; as other people have commented they are quite different personalities but they both made me feel relaxed and well supported throughout the trip with their welcoming and helpful attitudes, conscientiousness and knowledge. Ermek's thoughtful reflections about Kyrgyz culture and Dilshod's tales of growing up in Uzbekistan as a former Soviet state were both very engaging. I don't know how they keep up the energy to help us have such a good time for weeks on end!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most of the hotels didn't have lifts; the hotel staff and tour guides were very happy to help with carrying luggage but we also needed to load the trains with our suitcases ourselves so it would be worth making sure you're able to lift your luggage without too much difficulty. Furthermore most of the souvenir opportunities were in Uzbekistan so this means anything you buy (that you haven't shipped home) you'll need to carry for the remainder of your trip. Don't think you need to bother with bringing a whole loo roll as the toilet paper at its worst felt like bandage wrap but certainly wasn't rough! Tissues may be more worthwhile as not all public loos had toilet paper. Also be aware that almost all the public toilets had only squat loos, and these weren't always in good condition. You will need clothes for both warm and cold weather as well as rain - I brought something for all these weathers and ended up wearing everything in my suitcase!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A few suggestions: 1 - given that people might want to do souvenir shopping, and that there are more opportunities for this in Uzbekistan (with the trip being more focused on Silk Road centre points during this part of the tour) maybe it might be worth doing Uzbekistan second rather than 1st to save the carrying the gifts around for the remaining two weeks? 2 - a free day during the trip might be nice if possible to allow people to choose their own activities to do or rest; perhaps this could be in Almaty or Cholpon-Ata? While the hike to Bear Waterfall and Issyk Lake were enjoyable activities I think this is the day I would replace with a free day 3 - the trip notes were slightly outdated; I know our guide has submitted an updated version so think it will be helpful for prospective travellers once this has been filtered down to the website to guide people's expectations further 4 - in both parts of the trip the lunches were sit-down meals; apart from the fact these were normally proper meals (which didn't really feel like we needed) they did take up at least 1.5 hours from the afternoon. I wonder whether it would be better to do more packed lunches and then a group meal in the evening? As per a lot of the other reviews I would say you aren't doing this holiday for Kazakhstan; but I did like Almaty and certainly enjoyed the overnight sleeper train to get there from Tashkent All in all though I had an absolutely fantastic time and I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone wanting a taste of the Silk Road and/or an introduction to Central Asia
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Paul Grundy

    Uzbekistan Uncovered

    A good overview of the country taking in the historic and architectural highlights of Uzbekistan. Transport was Good although it was evident that the train journey was more often than not unavailable. On a personal note, I felt that the group size (16) was too large.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The city of Khiva was the highlight for me. Still relatively unaffected by mass tourism and the locals were pleasant (as they were throughout) and interested to learn about their visitors.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, well informed and concerned for the welfare of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go now before mass tourism makes its mark.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes seemed ‘generic’ and need updating
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Gary Lavin

    Sucessful and Safe

    It was a marvellous trip. Each day was filled with new wonders and excitement. Plenty of wow moments. A visit that was completely safe and rewarding

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The city of Samarkand was full of wonder and genuine WOW moments

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A fantastic and informative tour leader. Very informative and knowledgeable. Exodus are lucky to have him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not miss out. Uzbekistan is a hidden jewel

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Uzbekistan is a very safe place to visit and Uzbeks are genuine, friendly and helpful
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Roxy Hooton

    Unbelievably beautiful Uzbekistan!

    Fantastic trip to a wonderful country! So much beauty it hurts your eyes, and the people are incredibly warm & friendly. Each of the main cities has a totally different feel to it, & I loved them all! Khiva was my favourite though : be sure to wander around in the evening after the crowds have gone home - it’s a completely different vibe to during the day. Some tips: If you climb the minaret in Khiva you need a proper torch, strong knees & no fear!! The view is wonderful but coming down is terrifying! Being Vegetarian isn’t too hard but it’s not very exciting- just check the soup has ‘no meat’ even if it is called a vegetable soup it will often still have meat in.Vegetable kebabs lack imagination - best option is the pasta based dishes. Be willing to have your photo taken by the locals - it will lead to some wonderful interactions Do bother to get up for sunrise in the desert (if the Vodka the night before doesn’t prevent!) - it’s worth it! Do have comfortable shoes & some energy! This isn’t really a leisurely trip - the pace is quite full on, but totally worth it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dinner & a cold beer on a roof top terrace with a fabulous view over Khiva as the swifts whirled overhead and the sun set!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Full of knowledge and always ready to help.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See Summary
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Nicola Peers

    a trip along the silk road

    This was a busy trip through three very contrasting countries. Almost a surfeit of historical monuments in Uzbekistan, just a glimpse of Kazakhstan and then the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan. Some long bus drives but with plenty of "photo stops" and the drives are a great way to appreciate the scenery and see a little of local life along the way. The food was fine, and it was fairly easy to avoid meat, with plenty of delicious salads and pumpkin manti (a type of dumpling) usually available. Also some lovely soups, but often with unexpected chunks of lamb or beef. I did also enjoy the plov and the kebabs, as well as the fresh bread. The people were mostly friendly, welcoming and curious - we encountered no problems.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Kyrgyzstan - especially the yurt stay and the walk, but also the sheep, cattle and horses with their herders on horseback, coming down from their summer pastures.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    For me, both Dilshod and Ermek were great leaders, despite their very different pesonalities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a small towel for the yurt stay, and reasonable walking shoes. Do your shopping in Bukhara as there aren't many other opportunities. Learn a few words of Russian - it is spoken in all three countries and English isn't widely understood. Be able to carry your luggage a short distance - some of the hotel rooms are upstairs (no lifts) and also you have to carry it across the Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan border.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a privilege to visit these countries at this time - go before the tourist industry develops too much!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Christine Raines

    Varied and Interesting Trip

    A busy and varied trip covering five countries, encompassing a wealth of culture and history, and some amazing scenery.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding a horse above Lake Song Kul. Beautiful blue and gold ceiling in the Registan in Samarkand. Many encounters with friendly and welcoming local people, especially when we had homestays in the villages.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suzie Grant is one of the best leaders I have come across. The trip would not have been half as good without her. Very well organized, very attentive to the wishes of all her clients, and a lovely personality.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a busy schedule: you are moving on almost every day, and there are long hours of driving. Bring clothes for all climates: temperatures ranged from 40 Centigrade in Ashgabat to near freezing at night in the highlands. Learn some Russian if you can: it is the lingua franca in all the countries, restaurant menus are usually in Russian, and all our drivers were Russian. Be aware that there is often no internet.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Peter & Pamela Ackerman

    Outstanding Trip

    We have been on a number of Exodus trips and without doubt this is one of the best we have undertaken. Uzbekistan is a stunning country with wonderful buildings and monuments and incredibly friendly and polite people. Our guide was the best guide we have had on an Exodus trip, he was so enthusiastic about his country you could not fail to enjoy your time there. Kazakhstan could really be missed from the trip with the time saved being spent in the other two countries, we just saw lots of open plains and a big busy city in Almaty. Kyrgyzstan is a stunningly beautiful country with wonderful scenery. Some days involved long drives and perhaps driving all the way around Issyk Kul may be a little excessive but you get great views of the snow capped mountains and have the opportunity to stop at various sites along the way. The food overall was very good though the service in all three countries is very slow, haphazard and random. Whilst the dominant religion in each of the countries is Islam they are open to western culture and dress and therefore provided you offer the usual respect in mosques etc. there is no issue regarding the suitability of clothing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Eagle hunter in Kyrgyzstan Registan Square in Samarkand The people of Uzbekistan

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader in Uzbekistan was outstanding

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If possible only take a rucksack with your overnight gear to the yurt.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Jacqueline S

    A long and hard road.

    The trip travelled through Uzbekistan, Kazestan and Kirgizstan. We have been on many Exodus tours before but felt this was the least well designed and involved the most travelling for little outcome. The first week in Uzbekistan travelling to the silk road cities was excellent. Lots to see and do and some ability to wander as well as being led. When we got to the other two countries there were several consecutive days on the coach for 5 to 8 hours. The night in the Yurt was just that; we arrived at 6 pm and in the morning had a 2 hour stroll before setting off again. This was the one place where a full day walk and an extra night in the yurt would have been preferable to travelling all the way around Issyk Kul Lake. No surprise that everyone was coughing and a cold was quickly transmitted around the tour participants. During the whole tour we only stopped at two hotels where we could walk out of the doors and go into the town. All the other hotels were a bit out of town and needed transport to get anywhere. The food was great and most hotels good. Though why choose a hotel next to a railway line with trains that went past every half hour of so all night? The night in the Club resort was bizarre. it was empty except for us and a Dutch couple who had booked for three nights but were leaving after one. You could not walk to the town so you were stranded. The facilities such as tennis or the pool were closed. The meal was the worst we had and the bar closed at 9.30. This was our last night as the next night we would have to be up at 4 am to get to the airport. No last night party for us. Exodus please think again.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Samarkand

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dilshop in Uzbekistan was brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Unless you like sitting on a bus a lot just go to Uzbekistan for the Silk Road don't try to combine too many Stans.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Keris Mcdonald

    Two Out of Three Aint Bad

    We did this trip as a private group of friends. We're all keen on history and museums - we'd also managed as a bonus to book tickets for the closing ceremony of the World Nomad Games, which coincided with our visit to Kyrgyzstan. The Islamic monuments of Uzbekistan were breathtaking, and the natural scenery of Kyrgyzstan was lovely. Both countries are clean and well-ordered and felt safe. I enjoyed the yurt camp far more than I expected too - it had the best beds of the trip ;-) Kazakhstan I cannot recommend. It's the only country I've *ever* been to that I'd consider not worth the effort. It feels like going back into the Soviet era - there was a plainclothesman lurking outside our hotel reporting on arrivals for example - and the police are flat-out corrupt. One of our number was held at the Kazakh border for 7 hours on the way out - there were strong attempts at intimidation (though luckily he kept his cool) and it all ended with him slipping a £100 bribe to an officer to get out of the country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finding out about Ulug-Beg and his astronomy was inspirational. Bukhara is wonderful - a golden jewel of a city. Samarkand's mausoleums are unforgettably beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two leaders - Tahir in Uzbekistan and Ermek for the rest of the trip. Both were conscientious and flexible, and were willing to put in extra hours to take us to museums we wanted to see that weren't in the official itinerary. Ermek stuck with our detained friend right throughout the crisis - he was our hero.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    All three countries on this tour are police-states to some extent. Mostly this means people are well-behaved in public, but BE REALLY CAREFUL. In Uzbekistan you will not be able to avoid tourist shops as they are literally set up within every corner of every historical monument. Don't feel hassled to buy anything - there isn't any hard-sell. Do take the opportunity to shop in the food markets though - and buy the smoked cheese strings, they are awesome! Kyrgyzstan is the opposite - if you want souvenirs you might well have to ask your guide to find you a shop. In Kazakhstan DO NOT SMOKE IN PUBLIC - the police are looking for a chance to shake tourists down. DO NOT BUY A SOUVENIR KNIFE AT ANY POINT ON THE TOUR, even if the vendor tells you it is certified to be allowed across the borders. It isn't. If you do get detained, stay absolutely calm despite every provocation; they're just trying to pressurise you so that they can extract more money. And remember to refer to your guide only as your "translator." PS: Take Enterosgel with you. It's better than imodium.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's a very diverse tour - Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan are real contrasts and we enjoyed visiting both immensely. I'm afraid I think they should drop Kazakhstan out of the itinerary altogether in future, as the place has little to recommend it and the risk is too great.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    John Cross

    The must see's of the Five Stans

    This is my 17th trip with Exodus and this has been one of the best so far, if not the best. There is so much to see, though there is quite a lot of travelling to enable this to happen. However the scenery, mostly deserts and mountains, are delightful. The accommodation ranged from the sublime (A Sheraton!) to the plain and simple, homestays, which gave us an even better chance to interact with local people. If you have the time to do this trip, do it, the scenery is stunning and the history of this region is the history of the civilised world. Brilliant!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Gur E Amir (Timur's tomb) during the day and then again by Moonlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suzie Grant's organisational skills are simply outstanding. Her experience and endless patience ensured that we all had a fantastic, trouble free trip, without feeling rushed or manipulated in any way. Don't ever let her go, your company will be much the worse for it

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on this trip and maybe read John Frankopan's 'The Silk Road' first?
Call us on 074 340 4587