Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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’!

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  • Reviewed August 2018
    Sheena R

    An Amazing and Incredibly diverse Adventure

    This trip was the ultimate collection of culture, animals and sightseeing. From metropolitan Cape Town to the beauty and remoteness of Namibia's deserts and sand dunes, the thrill of game drives and the beauty of Victoria falls, this trip has it all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing Dune 45 in a sandstorm or feeling the rain of Victoria Falls covering you under a lunar rainbow were incredible highlights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I've been on many group tours and Andrew and Ende have to be some of the best guides I've ever had. Inspiring, hard working and patient as well as able to overcome anything Africa and her bumpy roads had to throw at us. These two were excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    TIA. This is Africa. Be open to the fact that this country is incredibly different from where you might be from and enjoy every part of that experience. It's a completely different culture and world and embracing that gives you a one of a kind experience and memories that will last lifetime.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Susan Mann

    Excellent wildlife

    A fantastic trip to a beautiful country. My main purpose was to see orang utans in the wild, although I was prepared to be disappointed. However expectations were exceeded and we saw several in the Danum Valley and at Kinatabangan. Also many monkeys, birds, amazing insects and reptiles. Seeing the pygmy elephants was the icing on the cake, although it was a it disturbing to see how close all the boats got to the elephant that was in the river - I think they stopped her going where she wanted to go.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick one as always, but watching a couple of orang utans making their nests for the night and the next day watching a mother orang help her baby by holding onto tree branches so you could get from one tree to the next are both special memories

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Beverley was very good, extensive knowledge of Borneo culture and history that she shared with us. She went out of her way to organise extra activities for us to increase our wildlife spotting. She took us to some excellent and very cheap restaurants that the locals frequent, which is actually what we want as tourists.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    July is the dry season so our trip was not affected by the few torrential downpours that we had, most of which happened during the evening/night. Maybe that's a good time to go. Even so, a poncho is a must. When it rains, it rains! I was glad I took my walking boots, though I had thought long and hard about it. Prepare to be hot and very sweaty a lot of the time! I'm not a mad-keen photographer myself, I think you can spend so much time and effort trying to get a photo that you don't actually watch. However, if you are a photographer, remember the light is low in the forest and also a lot of the wildlife is high up so a good zoom is needed for good photos!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make the most of it and join in with everything on offer! This is a very enjoyable trip
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Amanda & Martin Randall

    Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari

    This was our first trip to Africa and it far exceeded expectations. The itinerary was balanced and very well organised and we were fortunate to see a huge variety of wildlife - including four of the 'big five' on the first day! Although there were (by necessity) some long drives, the vehicle was comfortable and well-driven by Sofiso. Our guide Rowan both entertained us and still continued to point out interesting features and wildlife all along the way, making sure we didn't miss a thing! There was a variety of accommodation and even the tents in the Delta were comfortable. Our focus was the wildlife and the amount and variety were superlative.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were just so many highlights that choosing just one is impossible! The visit to the Okavango Delta via mokoros, camping and the game walks were inspirational. Whilst here, we watched an elephant approach our camp and then wander over to a palm tree where it proceeded to shake the tree trunk vigorously, causing the palm nuts to rain down. We watched it eat the nuts and then repeat the performance - magic. Watching a huge flock of vibrant lesser flamingos flying in the evening light at the Makgadikgadi Salt pans. In Chobe, seeing a leopard resting up a tree twitching its tail, guarding its impala prey. At Matobo, standing within a few metres from a mother white rhino and her baby (and her teenage calf) and then going to visit centuries old cave paintings which captured the wildlife so accurately (including rhino!). In Hwange, looking into the faces of lion cubs who were resting in the shade after a big meal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rowan was very knowledgable, friendly, fun and enthusiastic and helped us to get the full benefit from all our trips. He quickly made sure that the group was a cohesive unit in which we were all equal. He was extremely well organised throughout the trip and at border crossings gave us all very clear guidance as to what we needed to do, making these parts of the trip go as smoothly as possible, too. Rowan prepared and served us some great meals after long days on excursions. We often enjoyed these sitting round the camp fire at night and he still had the energy to entertain us into the evening! Couldn't have asked for more!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were surprised just how cold the early morning game drives were in open vehicles (we were there in July/ August; winter). The blankets provided certainly helped, but we probably should have taken light windproof jackets as well as fleeces. We had hats and gloves and also neck buffs - the latter very useful to protect against the dust as well as to keep warm/ stop any biting insects/ protect from the sun! We weren't troubled by insects, as it happened! We took US dollars which were fine for Zimbabwe, but local shops & traders in Botswana preferred pula. There were plenty of opportunities to stop at ATMs for these so this was not a problem.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are thinking about booking this trip - do it! It is worth thinking about what you hope to see and planning the time of year accordingly. (Victoria Falls still had plenty of water, even at the beginning of August). We certainly had an experience of a lifetime.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Rod & Mo MacInnes

    Sri Lanka With Suresh And The Team

    So many experiences in a wonderful country with such a wonderful guide - DO IT - you will not be disappointed!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to 'The Hill Club' after an epic climb and with our fellow cyclists savouring that first (that day) Lion Beer!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Several years ago we we had our first cycling holiday in Vietnam and had the pleasure of being guided by 'Yan The Man' (subsequently guide of the year) on a fantastic holiday which we did not think could ever be bettered. However this year found us on our 5th cycle holiday with Exodus and Suresh and his excellent team ensured this one was the best yet! Big of frame, enthusiasm and fun Suresh was a total pleasure to be with. His love of his country and intimate knowledge of it's geography, wildlife and history ensured that he was able to give context and description for all we experienced. It was clear he was well respected in the way others interacted with him, whether hotel staff, householders or total strangers he happened upon. He was well able to gently 'crack the whip' when required and we very much knew that although it was our holiday Suresh's instructions were always for a reason, primarily our well being, safety and comfort. It was clear that Suresh cared for his guests and he was constantly checking how things were from meals, accommodation through to cycle stages and throughout put us all very much at ease knowing that there was nothing our guide would not do for us or could not fix. There are so many fond memories of Suresh; from his buffet exhortion of "Maximum Damage!" from the CD disc he gave to us all of photographs he had taken through the holiday of us and other sights, to arranging taxis once we had taken our leave of him, but the highlight was Suresh appearing at the meal table with a cake to celebrate our wedding anniversary along with framed photograph. Suresh has been conducting this tour for many years but it is the mark of the man that he has clearly never lost the the delight and 'buzz' from leading, sharing and giving.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take isotonic tabs for your water bottle together with a spare water bottle

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Suresh was well assisted by the rest of his team who were always there to assist and Serenga was awesome on his traffic stops to get us out at junctions, together with his knowledge of the flora and fauna of the country.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Jacqui Bunce

    Chalet Chocolat - Simply delicious

    If you are looking for a weeks hiking within one of the best mountain valleys in Europe, you should take this trip. The scenery is awesome and this trip enables you to see Mont Blanc from a wide variety of perspectives. Our hosts Zoe and Ben at Chalet Chocolat were so welcoming and accommodating. The food was delicious, of an extremely high standard and always beautifully presented. Ben would always head out early to get the fresh baguettes. The range of salads to select for your packed lunch changed daily. The cake ready for your return from a days trekking was always delicious. They were always smiling and cheery and wanting to ensure you had the best possible stay. Mike was our guide for the week and his knowledge of the area and his leadership was outstanding. The banter and humour throughout the week and his skill at ensuring the pace and routes met the needs of all the group was fantastic.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The view of Mont Blanc from our balcony as the sun set. The view from the top of the Aiguille de Midi on our day off, seeing the climbers starting to walk off The view of Mont Blanc from the top of the Aiguillette des Houches

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike Rhodes is an outstanding highly experienced leader who led the group extremely well. There were two days where extenuating circumstances beyond his control i.e. ski lifts out of action and landslides meant that he had to quickly come up with alternative suitable routes. He did this quickly and ensured that the days were still enjoyable and we had the opportunity to have fantastic walks and views

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to be nearer to the centre of Chamonix then the other chalet offered by Exodus may be preferable, but you would miss out on Zoe's cooking.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Sheila Parker

    Great Holiday and Superb Walking

    A great holiday with excellent walks which were enjoyable as well as being physically quite demanding. Liz, our guide for the week, made the holiday extra special as she was a superb leader who always went the 'extra mile' to please everyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 2 day trip to the hut was a fantastic part of the holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was excellent. She was knowledgeable about the area and always got the best out of group with her support. She had a great personality and was never bossy as some leaders can be. Her own level of fitness was an inspiration.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food in the Braccicorti was a little disappointing. Breakfasts were good and it was helpful to be able to make your own packed lunch from the ingredients provided although there was room for improvement with some of these items eg the bread and the packet cakes. Dinners could have been better eg salad was usually just a bowl of chopped lettuce, pasta was quite bland and the meat was disappointing. The red wine was however much appreciated.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Zoe Medlock

    Superb mix of natural beauty and culture

    The trip exceeded our expectations. You start on the coastline of Croatia and Montenegro, which is totally stunning. The drive into the mountain is breathtaking and the scenery continues to delight throughout the trip. The exposure to the impact of the 90's war is sobering and I was glad to be able to learn so much about it. Our tour guide Sabina did a fabulous job of keeping us running to time but creating a relaxed atmosphere. I would highly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the bobsleigh track.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very efficient, funny and thoughtful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Fiona Crawford

    Peru

    Trip to Inca trail/Machu Picchu was amazing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inca ruins on inca trail & Amazon Lodge

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader from Peak DMC was 10/10. Frank dealt with lost luggage, last minute bookings, questions on environment, fauna, flora, everything with a smile and a giggle; nothing was too much. He and his colleagues from Peak made this trip, every aspect of it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Patrick Finn

    Forget "coconuts". This one's much more about "chopsticks"!

    Two week family trip going north to south through Vietnam. It's graded 1 for effort, but it moves at a brisk pace and manages to cram in a whole lot of places and activities. There is some 'free time' but this tour gets you up early and gets you out and about. Combining this with the humid and hot weather it can be surprisingly tiring. It is a family trip so we had beach days, canoe-ing, cycling, snorkelling and a trip to a water-park, which were really good fun for everyone. FOOD!!!!. Vietnam is a country with a cuisine (excellent) and food figured prominently in the tour. We ate and drank well and are now very proficient with the aforementioned chopsticks! It is also a country with a complex and troubled history and this was not glossed over. We left with a real feel for the place and its people. It is an amazing place full of very warm and friendly people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A trip to the War Remnants Museum in HCMC. This provided a graphic account of events during the Vietnam war. The viewpoint given is not particularly balanced as atrocious acts were known to have been carried out by both sides in this conflict. That being said, the factual information provided and the photographic records displayed give a sobering account of a very dark moment in time. Some of the material exhibited is quite upsetting and this museum is not really a good one for young children. What is particularly inspirational is the contrast between the events of the war and moving forward 40 years to the Vietnam of today. Modern Vietnam seems to have come through it all and is in a pretty good place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Duy Nguyen was an excellent group leader and the tour was a great success. He clearly knows his job well and gets things organised. He has a degree in history and tourism and is a font of information about his country. No question is ignored and he has considerable patience answering the same series of enquiries from different families! We learned a lot about modern Communist Vietnam as well as its ancient history, colonial conflicts and all things in between. Best of all, he is very good with children. All of the kids on our tour really liked Duy, and he clearly very much enjoyed their company which made the holiday even better than anticipated.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were advised to consider an extra day at the beginning of the trip to help get over jet lag. We followed the advice - the extra time was nice to get in a bit of extra sight seeing, but we feel that it is really not that necessary. Just turn up Day 1 and get into it!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Vietnam is a long and narrow country and its road infrastructure isn't always brilliant. In order to get the tour moving from place to place there are quite a lot of bus journeys which are often pretty slow. There is an overnight train journey and two flights involved. Consequently and of necessity, there is a fair bit of down time with travelling.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Jane Barber

    Peru Explorer -

    A very special and well coordinated trip, crammed full with different places and experiences - from amazing and varied scenery, plants and wildlife to interesting Inca and pre-Inca history, plus the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our hard-working porters who amazed us everyday by setting off after us on the trail, carrying their enormous packs and by the time we finally arrived, not only clapped us in, but had warm drinks and tasty meals ready, and our tents all set up! In terms of what we experienced - amazing condors soaring on the thermals in Colca Canyon; the huge numbers of breeding Peruvian boobies and pelicans on and around the Ballestas Islands (not to forget the penguins); tarantulas and ghost spiders in the jungle, and brightly coloured humming birds in so many places - and finally the brilliant clear night sky in Nazca!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Renaldi (Reny) was informative and helpful throughout and mindful of group members' different needs, particularly on e.g. long travel days where travel sickness affected some of the group. He gave us interesting insights to Peruvian life and culture and brought alive what we were seeing day to day in the countryside, villages and towns, as well as describing the challenges of a society in transition from a largely rural way of life to an urban one. He worked well with local guides, and all the guides we had were personable and well informed and made the places come alive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's not really a holiday more an experience! Read the trip notes carefully - this holiday calls for stamina and resilience because of the early starts, long road journeys and the altitude changes. Once at altitude pace yourself - it's surprising how quickly you get out of breath! The Inca Trail length is moderate but the altitude make it tougher, plus Peru weather is more variable than it used to be. For example, although dry season, we had two days of rain on the Inca Trail. So go prepared for all seasons and seek your guide's advice on what's expected for the days you're walking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Generally having a briefing each evening for the following day, (along with a quick note of the start time for the day after that) worked well. The exception was arriving in Cuzco after a long day on the coach, complicated by the need to decant into a minibus to negotiate the narrow streets. It then came as a big surprise to find that we would in effect have to pack for the Inca Trail by breakfast time next morning. This generated more questions from the group than all the other briefings combined, before we got to a clear understanding about the logistics i.e. that we would need to pack an overnight bag for the hotel in Ollantaytambo as well as stuff for the trail, and have both of these on the bus for the day in the Sacred Valley. Ideally the trip notes would contain a clear bullet point summary to read in advance, or a handout given earlier on the trip, to make it clear that we leave the main luggage a day earlier than everyone anticipated.
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