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

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  • Reviewed July 2019
    Katherine White

    Mountains, Mules and Moroccan Memories

    A perfect holiday of exploration for anyone who is fit, adventurous, has a sense of camaraderie and can revert to the true nature of what it's like to really live , be at one and experience the wilderness of the surroundings and not be concerned with unnecessary luxuries we take for granted at home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The cloud inversion and breathtaking views from Mt Toukbal and the optional summitting of Ouanakrim on our summer solstice with its isolation and equally jaw dropping panorama while watching the incredible dawn track us on our ascent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lahcen our leader was incredible. He was there for absolutely everyone on the trip, the novice to the experienced mountaineer. To watch him enable the least confident to flourish and for all to reach way beyond their own personal goals was humbling. His pacing was spot on, slowing the potential 'bolters' from burning out and thereby encouraging us all to acclimatise slowly so that no one felt excluded from the chance of getting to the top. People made their own decisions on summitting Ouanakrim, two 4000m peaks in 24 hours with 03:30 am starts or similar is not for all but Lahcen ensured the decision was our own. His local knowledge was incredible and we felt safe at all times with his skills and acute perception of any struggling. A true leader and mountaineer.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some basic camping and toilet facilities. The heat and destination meant some of us needed the odd emergency stop by a boulder (shrubs are very scarce at altitude) so forget the shyness. Take some hand sanitiser. The fitter you are the easier it will be. You will be 'carrying' yourself upwards in heat and at altitude and despite any pacing 'extra baggage' is 'extra baggage' ! Embrace the wilderness ,the cameraderie of working as a group and remember everyone of the group wants to have the chance to get to the top . We found our filter water bottles extremely useful, we were guided on which streams to use, plastic disposal is a big problem for any country.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The camp meals were pretty amazing ! Always plenty of it and lots of vegetables. Vegetarian and Coeliac requirements were catered for. Bring your own snacks if you like . Phone signal is very limited, a great way to escape . The mules are part of the team and great entertainment! Marakesh is a full on sensory experience after the wilderness. Not showering was not a problem. For me.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    steve roberts

    Great introduction to trekking and altitude

    I was using this as a bit of a practise for my trip to Everest Base Camp, it provided the practise I was looking for and so much more. The walking was a good steady pace that suited the group, with meals almost magically appearing from nowhere. Considering all the food had be transported on the mules, the food was good, even a few welcome surprise snacks. The scenery was stunning , with some part surprisingly green. The time spent in Marrakesh was a complete contrast to the solitude of the mountains, but still great fun. The sights and sound on markets will stay with me for ever

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Toubkal was more emotional than I expected, but so worth the effort

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of wet wipes, you will go a few days with out proper washing facilities. Take plenty of layers , temperature in Marrakesh was in the mid 30, and we camped on zero degrees. Don t forget sun hat and a warm hat and gloves. You can leave some clean clothes in the start hotel so you have some clean clothes when you get back to Marrakesh Keep a pen handy to fill out forms at the airport.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only negative was the camping at the refuge , there was a lot of rubbish lying around, the staff there need to make an effort to clean the area up. Appreciate this not in direct control of Exodus but as a repeat customer they may be able to put pressure on them to take more responsibility for the environment at the site.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Elaine Collins

    Toubkal Long Trek

    Epic experience, very well organised and a great group of people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view from 4000m was amazing, didnt expect it to affect me the way it did, I i will never forget it! Our guide was fantastic, he took time to work out our abilities and tailored the walking so that we were all able to keep together. The summit day was excellent thanks to his pacing and care.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As above

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were lucky with the weather but if it would have been wetter then the sleeping mattresses could have gotten damp so take a binbag or something to form a barrier with. Food was great but a little light on protein for my metabolism, though it would be so I took some sachets of protein powder to add to my porridge. Carry and drink lots of water, 3 l per day
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Mary Tebb

    Great trip.

    We were a large group of 16 but all got on well. I would say this is a great trekking trip with a serious mountain to climb. Morocco is an interesting country with a very different culture to ours.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Experiencing a different culture.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lhasan was really patient with us and made us feel very looked after and safe. He clearly wanted us all to experience the summit and enjoy his country. Despite being on Ramadan, we had no concerns about his ability as our guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please do prepare physically for this trip as it is frustrating to be held back by slower group members who didn’t appreciate the leg work needed. We had a 12 hour walking day on the mountain so you should be prepared for that on mountainous terrain. Temperature ranges were huge on the trip from the high 30s in Marrakesh up to just above freezing overnight at Toubkal refuge.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It’s Morocco. Accommodation is basic and toilets are usually the squatting type. Strengthen those thighs before you go!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Amber Atouguia

    The most amazing experience of my life

    Going on this trip had to be the best decision I've ever made regarding a holiday. Everything was perfect- the weather, the scenery, the route, the accommodation, the food, the guides. I've never been trekking before or climbed a mountain or anything along those lines, the rating Exodus gives the trip for difficulty is very accurate. It was a challenging trip, with two 12-hr days of trekking (this only happened because the route had to be changed as the pass we were supposed to take was blocked by snow (we were also walking quite slowly as had an older gentleman in the group)) but it was certainly do-able and 100% enjoyable. The food was amazing the whole trip, the best food I have ever had- nobody in the group complained about the cooking, the portions were incredible also. There were 16 of us and there was always plenty of food available, they are very good at catering for different diets. Around 50% of our group was vegan or vegetarian (I am vegan myself) and I have to say I was worried before we started the trip that we wouldn't have enough food available but there were certainly enough! The guides and even the locals we interacted with were the most friendly group of people I have met, the were all lovely and easy to talk to- most had extremely good English and spoke around 4/5 languages themselves so very interesting and intelligent people. It also cannot be put into words or even captured in a picture how beautiful the Atlas mountains are, you'll just have to go and see them yourself!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the summit of Toubkal was just incredible. After 4 days of walking, finally being up there was so fulfilling. It was amazing to think that 'I just climbed a mountain'.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Lahcen Idblaaid really made the trip! He had so much knowledge of the area that you could ask him anything. He was extremely attentive throughout the whole trip, we never had to ask for anything because he would already have it covered. Even after our 12-hr summit day, when we got back to base camp he was running around making sure everyone had enough hot water for their tea etc- even though it was during Ramadan so he hadn't had anything himself the whole day. He also made sure that everyone was comfortable at the pace we were walking and that nobody needed any special assistance. When my auntie was struggling with the hills on a few of the days, he even carried her bag for her along with his own. He was altogether a very lovely and hardworking chap- I could not think of someone more deserving of a holiday themselves! Will definitely miss him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    They weren't kidding when they suggest you bring hat and gloves for summit days, I thought 'Nah I'm from England it won't really be cold' but it's actually quite chilly. Especially as we woke up at 5.00am to get an early start up Toubkal! I just wore my sun bandana instead of a wolly hat and this worked fine but I would recommend gloves, especially if you end up using crampons and ice axes as we did.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Paul Walter

    Amazing hike

    We had a great trip with a really good mixed group of people (ages ranged from 23 to 63). It was a quite a hard hike over mountain paths but the views and scenery reward your efforts at every turn. Being early in the spring season we encountered snow and ice on summit day but was provided with crampons and ice picks to help our assent. Climbing at altitude was very hard but the whole group made it by adopting a slow but steady pace and we had blue skies and great visibility at the top so could see for miles. It took us 7 hours to get up and 2 hours to come down and I would recommend building up your stamina before the trip as it is quite strenuous. The camping was good and the guides and porters did a great job. Temperatures vary enormously from day to day - we saw + 35 mid day and -10 at night - so take lots of clothing options, layers and the best sleeping bags you can afford (we hired ours). Overall a great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summit day was great - starting at 5.30 am in the dark, watching the sun come up and finally summiting. Having to use crampons and ice picks was actually very interesting as well.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leader was very good on the Mountain keeping us all motivated and together. Two of the ladies had some trouble along the route and the guides kindly took their packs to make sure they could complete the hike.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack lots of layers and clothing options as the temperatures vary so much day and night. The best sleeping bags you can get are really worth it - some on the trip had the 'cheaper' 4 seasons bags and clearly they were not as good as some of the more expensive ones.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was better than I expected and I was really amazed at what they could produce in the middle of a mountain!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Paul Walter

    Amazing Experiance

    We enjoyed an amazing week in the Atlas mountains culminating in the climb to Mount Toubkal's summit. As it was snowy and icy on the peak we used crampons and ice axes but that just added to the overall experience. It was a very hard climb (9 hours up and down) but all of us in our group made it. The food on the trip was great and we were amazed at how such good meals could be made with limited cooking facilities (even freshly baked bread every day) and no-one got sick or had any problems. Camping at altitude was cold so make sure you take really good sleeping bags and have plenty of layers and down jackets for the assent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many great moments including the summit, using crampons for the first time, clear blue skies, clean air and wonderful vistas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was great in supporting us all and guiding us on the mountain.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Lots of layers of clothing as it can be - 10 with the wind chill before the sun rises and we saw + 33 mid day so you need to be able to take off and put on clothing as required. Take the best sleeping bag you can get hold of as night temperatures in the tents are low.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    David Atkinson

    Rugged, beautiful but not always as described....

    Not a great start, our flight was late ( absolutely nothing to do with Exodous) but I expect nothing less from British Airways, not sat together with my wife and no food to purchase on the return trip. So once again British Airways never cease to disappoint and if any future Exidous trip has nvokved flying with BA... I’ll go with someone else. It’s not the first time but it is the last when “Blooming Awful” spoil my holiday.... and then after being an hour late arriving the Exodous rep was another 45 mins late in Marrakesh! Now for the good bit.... our guide was just brilliant. He had a great sense of humour, awesome local knowledge and unparalleled mountain knowledge. He brought an incredibly diverse group together and all 15 acheived the summit. Well done Hamid... we’ve nominated you for guide of the year! And now for the final bit that Exodous managed to deliver.... the itinerary.... other than the start, finish and summit it bore no resemblance to the actual distances, locations, times or camps on the ground. It was worthless. So would I go to Marrakesh again - probably. Would I climb Toubkal again... definitely but preferably in winter next time Would I use the guide we had again.... without doubt - he was awesome Would I use Exodous again after 2 awful flight experiences and having to wait to be collected even after arriving late because of their choice of operator? No.... would I trust any itinerary from Exodous - never. As I have said in my feedbackbdirectly ( which no one has responded to even though 2 people read everyone apparently) .... I’ll stick with the smaller operators for similar trips that pay attention to detail and truly care for their clients and their experience unlike Exodous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The guide helping some very inexperienced and exhausted climbers summit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Awesome - I’ve nominated him for guide of the year :-)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t rely on thevitinerary - it beats very little resemblance to what you do on the climb

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank David for taking the time to provide us with feedback both on his holiday evaluation form (HEF) and in his review. Whilst HEFs are read by 2 members of staff, we endeavour to make it clear both in the email we send inviting clients to complete their HEFs, as well as at the end of the survey itself that due to the volume of feedback we receive, we are unable to respond on an individual basis to the comments our clients make. We do, as a result of this, provide an email address which clients are welcome to use if they would like to raise any specific concerns to our customer services team. We would like to apologise if you feel this could be further clarified, but we do hope this explains why we did not get in touch with you previously. We regret to read that your flight experience has reflected poorly on Exodus and that you did not find the itinerary outlined in the trip notes accurately mirrored your experience. This is the first time I can recall receiving feedback of this nature and I would like to sincerely apologise that you found the distances and camp locations to be incorrect. I intend to join a departure of this trip next month and will update the trip notes as necessary. I am glad that despite some disappointment, you found your tour leader, Hamid, to be awesome – Frances Spowart, Product Manager.

  • Reviewed September 2018
    Adrian Roebuck

    Mt Toubkal Climb 7 day trek

    I have a wonderful time met some amazing people and shared the adventure of a lifetime. I would have no hesitation in recommending this holiday to anyone who loves hiking/trekking

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the summit

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohamed Idali was a very well informed local guide from the Berber community who spoke good English. His extensive knowledge of the High Atlas put everyone’s mind at rest whilst in remote areas.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink lots of water to prevent altitude sickness

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Get a good pair of walking boots
  • Reviewed May 2018

    Mt. Toubkal Climb - A Tale of Two Peaks

    The Mt. Toubkal Climb provided a wonderous view of the Atlas Mountains. A straightforward trek, the trip offered many picturesque vantage points. This trek may not be the best trip for the more aspirational mountaineer as this trek could be done outside of group travel. However, I was lucky that the group provided a camaraderie that made the trip. Our guide, Hussan and the muleteers were hardworking and exceptional throughout, ensuring that our best interests were met. A questionable hotel in Marrakech was tolerable due to the short length of time there and the rest of the accommodation was good when compared to the alternatives on offer in the region. Mt. Toubkal Climb was a start of an even bigger aim for myself, a trip that I shall look back on with fondness.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Three moments stand out for me; Lorna, a group member, suffered from sunstroke the previous day and on climbing Mt. Toubkal was evidently struggling with altitude sickness. With the help of our guide and the conviction of spirit, Lorna made it to the top and we were there to give her a guard of honour. Brian, 67, managed to summit bot Mt. Toubkal and Mt. 0uanoukrim. This showed me that a life of adventure can be a long and healthy one. Inspiration taken from my own success in easily summitting the first and second highest peaks in the Atlas Mountains. This showcased that the dieting and training had paid-off. Giving me the confidence that I can push the limit further next time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It was evident that Hussan was widely respected amongst the local guides. All eager to stop and embrace him, holding him in high esteem. Geologically not the greatest, Hussan was able to tell us information regarding the mountains upon request. Pleasant at all times, he was a delight to converse with and always looked after his heard of tourists.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are an experienced hill walker with a good level of fitness, you may want to consider doing the trip on your own. This is an easy trek, with the only challenge being the altitude.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would review the use of Hotel Gomassine. The Reception wasn't very helpful and the rooms were of poor standard due to the fact that half the appliances were broken. Breakfast at the hotel was not even to a continental standard. No information was provided to me when I arrived in Morocco by the hotel or member of the Exodus Team. The Joining Instructions mentioned a meeting on the first evening, however, I would have not known the time or location of the meeting unless I had bumped into another group member and introduced myself.
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