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After much deliberation, the results of our coveted Tour Leader Awards are now in...
With the fear of sounding like a broken record, we’ve never found the judging harder than this time around! Every year the decision gets more difficult and the judges fought the corner of each shortlisted leader for the title of Exodus Leader of the Year 2013!
With a Judging panel made up of Senior Exodus staff who can proudly say ‘been there, done that’… scrutiny was at its highest and finding flaws in faultless leaders was a task that nobody would envy.
On this note we’d like to congratulate Samer Hadric and announce him as The Exodus Leader Awards 2013 Overall Winner.
Samer has been voted this year’s Overall Winner because of his fantastic attributes as a leader, not only does he show you a country in which is very passionate about, but he is continually trying to improve the trip. He is the kind of guy who will always want to make the next trip bigger and better than before. Samer is one of only a handful of people who have made the mountains, guiding & leading into a full time profession, and we think that this can only come about if you are good at what you do! He has been leading in the mountains since 2001 and we can only hope that we see more of him in the future. On a final note, we would like to recognise his commitment to running trips throughout a region that is sometimes still divided.
Along with his Exodus Leader Award Certificate, Samer will also receive £1000 which will be split equally between himself and the charity of his choice.
"Quite simply put the nicest guy in the world with a gentle soul. Was kind and considerate to everyone on the group, spent time with each person and having grown up in war torn Sarajevo has a beautiful philosophy in life that you can see translates into the person he is."
Trips led by Samer:
We’ve had to put Valerie in a class of her own! This year she will be the first Leader to be elected in to the Hall of Fame. Valerie is a leader who works relentlessly for perfection and her consciousness in pursuing Responsible Tourism in Nepal and India is second to none. Having Valerie on our team for 25 years is such an honour, and hope she continues with us for the foreseeable future.
Valerie will receive £500 that is to be donated to a charity of her choice and certificate.
Trips led by Valerie
"If Exodus is in the business of making tourists into travellers then Valerie epitomises this ethos."
Runners up will each receive £500, which is a 50/50 split between themselves and the charity of their choice.
Being our Chinese Operator’s longest serving leader shows that his high standard of professionalism comes with experience. This, in turns supports our thoughts that no problem is too big for Kevin. He is able to take every request in his stride and consistently gives clients the unforgettable trip they go for.
If you'd ask me to describe the ultimate guide, I would describe Kevin! He IS the standard how good should look like!
Trips led by Kevin:
Often is applauded for helping Exodus clients get under the skin of Africa. He has an eagerness and enthusiasm about sharing knowledge of Africa including Wildlife, people and culture. Often is a standout leader in terms of customer satisfaction for us in Africa and we’re delighted to see him on the shortlist once again.
His passion for all 3 countries was evident from the moment we stepped on the truck. His leadership skills are exemplary; his sense of humour a real tonic! His knowledge of the countries and local culture was is first class.
Trips led by Often:
Sara Bull is the definition of a top class leader. She works tirelessly to give clients the best holiday ever! On a trip with Sara you will always know that every single client expectation is not only met, but exceeded by far. The ultimate professional!
"She is simply the best tour leader we have ever had on any holiday. She really knows her job and gives 100% to everyone in the group. We have never stopped praising her since we got back. With her in charge, individuals can achieve things that they could never dream they could."
Trips led by Sara:
Nee has only been with Exodus since 2012 and to have already made it in to the Leader Awards shortlist is an incredible achievement. Let alone, being recognised as Best Newcomer. Nee has a racing background so has clocked up plenty of time on the bike. She know exactly what kind of service clients expect and will endeavour to meet their every need at the same time as keeping their safety paramount.
"She was so organised and wonderful! I never felt unsafe or worried about anything. She took all of our needs and requests into consideration. I never felt pushed into anything, but I felt encouraged and boosted."
Trip led by Nee:
Well, to find 3 leaders from the same Operator in the Leader Awards shortlist can only mean that these guys are definitely doing something right! The professional approach they have towards leading is never less than 100%. Individuals in their own right, they do an incredible job whether it is Roshan and his incredible knowledge and passion about his country, Sujan’s exceptional organisation skills or Suresh’s amazing attention to detail. There is no doubt that these guys are doing something right, and I’m sure they would love to welcome you to Sri Lanka in the near future.
Roshan - "Incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about his country and a great ambassador for Exodus."
Sujan - "Nothing was too much trouble for Sujan and his sense of humour was second to none. His knowledge and tour leadership skills were excellent which enabled us to get the most of our group holiday."
Suresh - "He was warm, generous, encouraging and he couldn’t do enough for you. So I could just get on and enjoy the holiday knowing that all practical or unexpected difficulties would be dealt with. He was worth his weight in gold."
Trips led by Roshan, Sujan & Suresh:
Voting for the Leader Award 2014 is now open.
Please nominate your leader today!
Wanderlust Photographer of the Year competition showcases the best amateur travel photography. This year, two of the winners just happen to be Exodus clients...
By Paul Goldstein
Andy and Angela are both outstanding photographers, this I already knew. Imagine my surprise, though, when I joined the panel of the Wanderlust Photographer of the Year judging team only to see these two shots in the short-list.
The images make me both proud and angry. Proud because they are clients of mine, and angry because I missed both of these opportunities. In Angela’s case, I saw this happen and took the whole sequence at a desperately unimaginative fast speed, for which I hate myself. By gambling on a slow speed, she was practising everything I preach, and I bottled it. Moreover, it was the first game drive of the safari and she was straight out of the blocks as
I was languishing tying my laces. These photos are not easy; to get the muzzle of the male lion sharp is majestic and really makes the photo. Top work Angela.
As for Andy, this shot demonstrates superb technical skill. Taken in portrait with a little interest down low, he has captured a brief but captivating lenticular cloud build up. He has also resisted the urge to cook it in Photoshop, which I applaud. It was a brilliant moment and a perfectly executed shot. Meanwhile I was on the bridge looking for a distant polar bear, eyes glued on the horizon instead of minding my immediate surroundings, another schoolboy error.
Brilliant and worthy winners - well done. Meanwhile, it's back to the drawing board for me.
The winners of our 40th birthday competition are in!
As you may know, Exodus recently turned 40. We felt like 40 years of adventure was something worth celebrating, so we ran a competition offering 40 lucky winners 40% off their next trip with Exodus. All they had to do was answer a simple question about our heritage to be in with a chance of winning.
Exodus extends a big thank you to the 11,000 plus adventurers who took part in the competition, and helped make our birthday special.
The results are now in, and the ecstatic winners are already planning their next great escape.
Travel writer and competition winner Marcus Sorenson is preparing to trek through the Amazon Rainforest and traverse the Inca Trail. Phil Born is torn between the snowy wilderness of Alaska and fulfilling a lifelong dream of climbing the colossal Himalayan peak of Stok Kangri, standing at over 6,000 metres. Jill Kennedy is thrilled to be climbing the great African mountain Kilimanjaro in September, along with her friends Cat and Naya, which is sure to be the trip of a lifetime.
Exodus wishes all the winners a truly fantastic holiday. Here’s to 40 more years!