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

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  • Reviewed September 2019
    Mark Coates

    Madagascar in June

    This was our first holiday with Exodus and our first group holiday and looking back was probably one of the best holidays we have had. It was great to see such a wide variety of landscape and we were very lucky with the amount of wildlife we saw. We were in a group of 10 people and it was nice to share the experience with others. Our group leader, Rija made the trip so interesting. The final few days on the beach was very relaxing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed the trip to the Chameleon research center which wasn't on the itinery but was great for getting up close to such a wide variety of chameleons.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Rija was excellent and what really made the holiday great. She was very knowledgeable, full or tales about the different tribes and passionate about her country. She made the trip special, organising birthday cakes, local dancing and when someone mentioned the beach would be a great place to have a camp fire, the next evening it appeared with more dancing. Thanks Rija.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The days were very full with lots of early starts, but it gets dark around 5:30-6:00 so plenty of time in the evening to recover. Make sure you have a good torch for the night trips. There are plenty around but it's better if you can direct it where you're looking. I had an old camera but still managed to get some great photos. I could have done with a better zoom for the lemurs but a lot of people had phone cameras which worked fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We're now looking at other Exodus trips.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Peter Barrie

    Wonderful Cycle Trip

    Fantastic trip to fascinating but very poor country.Quite hilly cycling but well supported with regular stops for refreshments such as fresh pineapple and papaya.Lovely people with friendly children always running up in rural villages to see you

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting small house in rural village and being invited in to see the house and even have coffee.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely fantastic.Lovely Malagasy man with real passion for his country.I can’t think of anything he could have done to be any better.Fantastic work ethic .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Cycling quite hilly so 100 Km and lots of hills needs some preparation such as regular cycling 30+ miles to get full enjoyment

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Like many countries sadly there is deforestation occuring which is so sad as it is beautiful country but desperately poor and lacking investment
  • Reviewed September 2019
    David Denyer

    Madagascan Discovery review

    This trip fulfils its promise of seeing Limas in their natural environment. However the country is extremely poor. All the sealed roads are riddled with potholes and the dirt roads are rough. Electricity is hit and miss and there are no street lamps even in the cities. Piped water is a rarity, Meat is butchered locally and sold from wooden huts (no fridges). If you survive this trip without diarrhoea then you are extremely lucky

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lima watching

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Generally excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take extra care of hygiene
  • Reviewed August 2019
    adam espir

    Adventures in Madagascar

    great trip in an exciting and interesting part of the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Breakfast on the road watching the sun come up. Lunches cooked by Madame Le Chef from Tana Seeing the countryside change as we cycled south.... Relaxing on the beach at the end.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Mel, was excellent. Put his heart into making us have a special adventure in his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Madagascar is off the map for a lot of travellers, but it has interesting wildlife and stunning scenery. It is also a very poor country, but the people were very friendly. A lot of the locals speak French, rather than English, so be prepared to speak some basic French. In August, its winter, so cold nights but warm days - ideal for cycling...and less mosquitos !
  • Reviewed August 2019
    SF Ho

    Madagascar

    "Madagascan Discoverer" was a truly wonderful, very enjoyable, multi-faceted trip with a really excellent guide, Rija. I am writing this review to inform future customers about 1 less-than-good aspect because it might be a safety issue for some people booking this holiday. In addition, Exodus has failed to respond to the comments I made in my on-line post-holiday evaluation about this, so I do not know if Exodus has read the evaluation and is going to do anything to improve the situation. My criticism relates to the harnesses provided for the walk in the Grands Tsingy. Mine was too big for me, even when the smallest harness the company had was adjusted to the smallest possible size. This same problem also affected another person in the group. Both of us are slimmer than most other British adults. Fortunately, neither of us fell and came to any harm. If we had fallen and had had to rely on the harnesses to keep us safe, there would have been the potential for an accident or injury. If you are slim or if you have children who are intending to do the Via Ferrata in the Grands Tsingy, please consider bringing your or their own harness(es) that fits you/them. A harness that does not fit the wearer is of little use. I climb regularly and know how important this piece of equipment is and how a proper fit is necessary for safety. This deficiency on the part of Exodus is made worse because I had actually queried with Exodus BEFORE the trip whether I should bring my own harness to Madagascar. The reply that the Exodus rep gave me was that we would not be doing Via Ferrata and there was no need for the harness. This reveals that the Exodus representative does not know her product: we definitely did a Via Ferrata and we used climbing equipment. Other than this failing, and one or two things which were beyond the control of Exodus, the holiday was very good, hugely interesting and varied and I had a great time. I fully recommend this holiday and in particular, commend Rija for her excellent guiding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    .
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Holly Bayfield

    Honeymoon

    We booked a personalised tour of Madagascar for our honeymoon. We saw everything we wanted to see and had local guides to help us spot the rarest of animals on our list. We arranged for a few additional days in Nosy Be (unguided) so we could finish our adventure with some scuba diving.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The animals; a grey mouse lemur seen at night just inches away from us in Kirindy Reserve. A satanic leaf tailed gecko and brown leaf chameleon hidden in the rainforest of Ranomafana. Playful King Juliens. Turtles while diving. Many wonderful lemurs including seeing baby sifakas attached to their mothers. Truly wonderful to see so many amazing animals in their natural and protected habitats.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bodo was excellent and a credit to Exodus. She gave us detailed information as we went along, a particular nicety was her writing down the animals we had seen so we could keep accurate records. She struck the perfect balance between being with us and giving us information and letting us enjoy some time alone. Besides being a great tour guide, she also showed extraordinary kindness and generosity as we explored the country, often handing out small gifts of food, water or school supplies to children along the way when it was appropriate to do so. It was a pleasant addition to our trip to spend time with such a lovely person.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Air Madagascar internal flights can be unpredictable. We had two problems which scuppered some plans including missing a connecting domestic flight because of a flight delay, and moving another flight forward 5 hours so we couldn't do an island tour to Nosy Komba that we had arranged. Not terrible as we adjusted our plans, but worth knowing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had a great trip! Credit also to our various drivers who were all superb.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Jess Ormerod

    Review

    Loved the trip! See a lot but flip side is you are constantly travelling and some very long drive days. It would have been good to have more free time in places. We also had quite mixed abilities in the group but I think our tour leader managed this really well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tsingy was the stand out but all the landscapes and parks are beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mel was awesome. He really made the trip!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring snacks.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Maddie Hallwood

    A bladder stretching, inspiring, bumpy, simply amazing adventure!

    This is not a trip for anyone seeking a rest. The days are long and you aren’t going to get a nap on the bus unless you nab a front seat or can sleep literally anywhere. However, you will get to see some absolutely amazing creatures in the wild that you will not see anywhere else, see the magnificent baobabs, fake baobabs and fake fake baobabs and find yourself in more different landscapes and climates than you can reasonably expect in one country. So many people have told me Madagascar is on their wish list but, until you have been there, you can not imagine it. They need all the tourism they can get in order to help more locals understand how conservation can actually benefit them and, with the rarity of species that Madagascar has, the sooner you go, the better.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I admit to getting tearful at my first sighting of an Indri in the wild - these animals do not survive in captivity. And actually finally getting close enough to a mouse lemur for me to see it with my own eyes - I could have watched them all night ( as they didn’t pay any heed to us). And, of course, actually getting up ( and down) the Tsingy. And the photos of the Alley of the Baobabs at sunset still take my breath away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rija is simply fantastic. She exudes passion and knowledge for her country and its peoples and nature, always seeking ways for us to understand more or have the answers to our questions. I particularly appreciated how she sought ways for us to interact with the locals so that we could all gain from the experience. She is very thoughtful, seeking to consider everyone’s particular preferences or circumstances and maintaining a sense of humour through out that is positively delightful. However, the test of a good guide is when things don’t go to plan and we had a little bit of an unscheduled extension to our trip. Rija was calm, clear and reassuring and, even when we had no idea when and how we would get home, we were happy to trust her judgment. I trust Exodus to treasure their relationship with Rija, she is an ambassador both for Exodus abs Madagascar.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good torch and spare batteries. I hadnt realised just how many hotels do not have 24 hour electricity and I used my torch for pottering around inside my bungalows at night much more than for the night walks! The roads in Madagascar rival any I have seen anywhere else in the world for poor condition. But Dama, our main (modest) driver is capable of taking that bus anywhere. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised at the standard of hotel and food throughout the trip. There is an opportunity to do laundry after a week. All hotels we were in had WiFi at reception when they had electricity on and some had sufficient connection to support WhatsApp calls... how times have changed.. I suffer from vertigo and I managed the Tsingy ( with the help of my fellow travelers) - and I am glad I did. This trip ends with an internal flight back to the capital. When the trip notes say that internal flights can be unreliable, take that very seriously and don’t plan anything you really can’t miss for the days immediately after you get home just in case. Exodus did a brilliant job in getting us back as soon as they could, just like we knew they would.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you have a sense of humour, a sense of wonder and like an adventure, do this!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Charlotte Meller

    Memorable Madagascar

    This trip gives you a glimpse of an incredibly varied country rich with unique wildlife and landscapes. Yes the roads maybe a bit bumpy :) but you soon forget that when every day you see so many endemic lemurs, sifakas, chameleons and, if you are lucky, a fossa. The tour leader Rija is the best that I have ever met on an Exodus trip. Her vast knowledge and infectious passion made the trip even more special and memorable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each type of forest -rain, spin and dry offered something different but they don’t prepare you for the spectacular limestone forest at Tsingy. Simply stunning. .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for delays on the internal flights !
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Annemarie Cavana

    Madagascar wonderful adventure

    our guide Armel was fantastic he showed us so much on our journey through Madagascar, he was so proud of his country and wanted us to experience as much as we could in the short time we had in each place The experience from start to finish was amazing, we got to see the variety of scenery, culture, wildlife and so much more. I would highly recommend going to see this part of the world 🌍

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The time we walked up peak Toby Camping overnight then setting off at 4.30am having breakfast on a ledge with our porters were all set up and organised Then finally reaching the top with an amazing view

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armel is a credit to your company taking great pride in his job and organising everything to presision We had some lovely surprises Even had a Easter cake delivered in the middle of nowhere on Easter Sunday That was something that wasn’t expected Voiding to malagasi homes The list goes on

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Buy malagasi dollars

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I can’t wait for my next adventure x
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