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.

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  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    VIETNAM ADVENTURE

    A wonderfully varied trip with lots of fun activities and lovely scenery in a country with a complex and interesting history.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Impossible to decide on one moment as there were so many highlights.  I really enjoyed the various activities from the bike ride in Hoi An and the cyclo ride in Hue, to drinking coconut juice from a freshly cut coconut in the Mekong Delta.  There are plenty of boat trips and these were all superb.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Giang was excellent, he was very passionate and knowledgeable about his lovely country.  He was always willing to provide ideas and help sort out arrangements, even in his free time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was very easy to get laundry done in Hoi An.  The hotel service was relatively expensive so our tour leader arranged for us to drop our clothes off at the bike shop!  Everything arrived back clean, fresh and pressed, all at a reasonable price.Like all Exodus trips this is a busy and active holiday, however, I did not find it too tiring.  The bonus of this type of holiday is that you come home with so many wonderful memories and photos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was absolutely delicious.  I'm not a fan of spicy dishes so I was pleased to find out the food was not overly spicy.  Lots of fresh fruit and veg, endless seafood and of course plenty of rice and noodles.The group gelled very well and this just added to the enjoyment of the trip.
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    SOUTH AFRICA WALKING & WINE

    A great trip well balanced between some arduous walking and some excellent wine tasting. The guides (especially Andrew) were really very good and were instrumental in the high level of enjoyment all round.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Table MountainThe barbeques (braais) and the wine tasting.Outstanding B&B in Stellenbosch

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good indeed - see above

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you are fit. Read the trip notes beforehand
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLE MOROCCO'S GREAT SOUTH

    Wow, what a trip! Being a newbie to Morocco, group tours, AND cycle trips I had no idea what to expect, and being honest I was a bit daunted by it all. But this didn't last long..As soon as we were off on the bikes I loved every minute of it. We had a great group and Andy, the group leader, knew his stuff and put us all at ease. While the cycling is quite demanding at times, it is well worth it and the scenery was so inspiring that you can almost forget about it and just look forward to what spectacular view greats you round the next corner. It's definitely the best way to see Morocco and it is very difficult to fault the trip at all. I will definitely be signing up for another cycling trip very soon!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, this was doing the Tizi n Test pass..20k ascent on roads bending in and around the mountains, and to reach the top and see the road back down from where we came on one side..and an awesome view across the next valley, where we were to decend, on the other. Absolutely incredible - a great reward for the mornings climb!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andy was great as our group leader - very calm and organised, and put up with our constant questions on the routes. It added to our holiday that he is so taken with Morocco and was keen to pass this on to us. The trip to the women's group, and also the morning walk around Marrakech on the day off really made us see and appreciate the more hidden side to the country more. He was also a good motivator in terms of the cycling..never would I have thought I would be racing up mountains!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you go in Feb take warm clothes

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you go on any cycling trip with Exodus it should be this one!
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF MOROCCO

    We had a great time and Morocco was a wonderful experience.  The Group of 15 merged together very well and we were inspired through all the extremes of temperature by our sensitive and entertaining Tour guide, Mustapha and his excellent driver Mohammed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to select as the trek up and down the Todra Gorge, the camel ride into the Bedhouin camp in the Sahara and the scenery in the High Atlas were all up there.  Not forgetting the relaxing time back in the warmth of the resort of Essaouira, with it's fascinating port and wonderful fresh sea food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mustapha was informative, knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about his Country, sensitive to the Group's needs and had a wonderful sense of humour.  He seemed really happy and excited when he was able to manoeuvre a mock Wedding celebration between a pair in our group the man[Tim] of which was going to propose to his partner[Kensie] on Valentine's evening, for which he had already invested in a beautiful engagement ring!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do believe the weather advice that Exodus give you in terms of the cold temperatures at this time of year and take plenty of warm clothing.  After 6pm and through until about 10am the temperatures were very low and some of the buildings had no heating[as 75% of the year, I guess the temperatures are so high as to be uncomfortable].  However, our own cocern from the Climate sites we had investigated, which predicted up to 9 days of rain in Morocco during February, were totally unfounded from our experience of 5 minutes of showers in Marrakech on the Friday before we came home on Sunday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were quite taken by the outline of the trip before we went, giving us the opportunities to see Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, whilst travelling through the Middle Atlas, experiencing the Sahara on a camel.  Trekking the Todra Gorge and driving through the High Atlas.  It turned out all to be a great trip with like minded people[of various ages from about 27 to 72], an inspiring Tour Guide and an excellent, safe driver. We stayed in a Gite in a remote mountain village in the Tijhza Valley, which we had to walk an hour and a quarter to get there.  This gave us a real sense of isolation that the village people happily live in, including the opportunity to have mint tea & cakes in one of their houses.Our first trip with Exodus, but I'm sure it won't be our last....plenty of interesting Countries still to explore!
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    Comfort and variety, well paced

    I had wanted to do this trip for some time, and specifically chose it to avoid any long bus/train journeys. I enjoyed it greatly, particularly thanks to Dzung, the tour leader, who made an incredible effort to ensure we all experienced whatever it was that had drawn us to Vietnam.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling for 4 hours in the countryside surrounding Hoi An in a small group with a local guide (organised by our TL) who knew his ways through the many waterside paths. It rained but that made it a truely Vietnamese experience.The variety of food available. The cooking school in Hoi An was enjoyable and a nice inclusion.Kareoke with some of the group in Saigon; organised by our tour leader in a private room place which also had good food and cheap beer. The Mekong Delta - I knew little about it before going and the various boat trips took us to see a variety of industries and environs.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb. Dzung is one of the best tour leaders I have experienced, and mature beyond his 26 years. He established early on what sort of experiences, food etc that we were all interested in and made sure we were given the opportunities we sought.My only disappointment with the tour leading is that Dzung was left behind when we left for the last 2 days in Angkor and the "tour leader" in Cambodia was sub-standard - basically he was a historical guide who did not look out for us at all. It was a flat end to what had been a good tour, and given it was the most "deluxe" type of Exodus tour, it seemed mean not to keep the Vietnamese tour leader for the last 2 days to ensure the group ended on a "high".

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect Halong Bay to be the highlight; it's a mass touristy experience and care for the environment seems minimal. The water was full of floating rubbish and the boats didn't appear to have holding tanks or the courtesy not to run noisy generators all night. Eating out in Vietnam is cheap so order more than you think you might eat and share some of your "finds" with others in your group.Try to take lots of US$1 notes if you can get them as they are useful for tips, purchases etcDon't sit at the front of the bus if you are a nervous passenger as Vietnamese road usage is scary! I didn't take the group flights, and the others complained about them (seat size, route and stopovers). I paid a bit more to fly via Bangkok, but it saved me 8 hours travelling on the way home, so I thought was money well spent.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Earlier reviews mention going to a beach and it looks like Exodus removed that component, which we didn't miss at all. Personally I would have liked to spend another day in the Mekong Delta area as a contrast to Saigon and Hanoi, but overall the timings weren't bad, aside from the 2 days required to "do" Halong Bay. This was a confortable tour with good hotels, nice breakfasts, a big bus (in Vietnam) and enough free time to do our own thing as well as see the "must see" highlights with the group.
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    GORILLAS & WILDLIFE OF UGANDA

    Although we knew this was no longer a premium trip some of the accommodation was still below expectations.  However, the driver / guides were excellent and made up for the accommodation shortcomings, which we hope will be addressed for future trips.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The boat trips, game drive in Murchisson NP and chimp tracking in Kibale Forest were all excellent but the gorilla tracking has to be the highlight of the holiday.  We were split into 2 groups and both saw one of the larger families, so more than a dozen gorillas, including silverback and babies.  As it had rained most of the previous night and that morning it was slippery in places and hiring porters was definitely an excellent way of lightening the load and making things easier for us, as well as providing direct local employment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There was no group leader as such but the lead guide / driver and his colleague were both well informed and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that this is still very much a third world country with mainly bumpy dirt track roads and few shops as we have become accustomed to, so bring what you need from home.  You'll need plenty of cards for your camera - we took 1500+ photos - and that was after deleting as we went along.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Meal times can be a little eratic on travelling days, so have some snacks with you to keep you going on the longer days.
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLING VIETNAM

    This is a great way to experience Vietnam, cycling added an extra dimension to the trip allowing us to get closer to the people, the beautiful scenery and off the beaten track. The planning was faultless, the guides could not do enough for us and I came away with some fantastic memories (and friendships).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Despite the breathtaking scenery for me everything about the was encapsulated in a brief moment whilst we were riding through a village. I was 100 metres behind one of our group and could see clearly children running and skipping out of their homes to shout 'hello' and give him and then myself high fives as we went past. This was par for the course everywhere we went - as I was riding up the Hai Van Pass motor cyclists pulled up alongside to say hello and chatting to me as I was fighting for air! Vietnam is a beautiful country with wonderful genuinely friendly people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Lynn was excellent. Planning and execution of the trip was faultless but the extra dimension was brought to the trip by his personal stories of his experiences growing up in a war torn Vietnam. It was not only interesting but allowed us to understand on a personal level the challenges the Vietnamese have faced in relatively recent times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My only concern about the trip was me travelling on my own - there was the unknown element what the other of the other people on the trip were like. Do not let this put you off! Of a group of 10, 5 of us were solo travellers but we soon realised we all had the similar ideas, values and reasons for going on the trip and this made the basis of making some really good friends - in fact they made a good trip great. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You need to have a good level of fitness if you are to complete all of the cycling. There is nothing stopping you catching a lift in the coach if the going got too tough but to get the most out of the holiday you need to be prepared. Don't plan on losing despite this being an activity holiday - the food was fantastic.
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF EGYPT

    all the sights in a whistle stop tour, very well informed guide,  nearly every temple,tomb,obelisk, museum  between cairo + aswan + beyond seen...oh yes and the pyramids + felucca on nile,and camel ride..all done in a week!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    loved the felucca...much better way to travel than the vast nile cruisers that churned pasteach day bought a different 'wow'....how did they build these things over 3,000 years ago? how did they carve these in such fantastic detail? has to be seen and some photos need to have the odd person in so you can see the enormous size of the achievements  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader was Fouad who certainly knew his egyptoloy...could tell you everything about any temple, carving, god,etcone or two in group found him a little arrogant at times butI thought he was ok  Arranged meals in advance,made transitions very easy from place to place, seemed to know everyone and had many 'friends' in every place we went to

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Food on overnight train was not brilliant. If you think you are going to be hungry...take some with you.I was advised to take a supply of 1dollar bills for tipping...none were needed as Fouad sorted all tipping outTake plenty of money..only a couple of trips are included all other excursions need to be paid for when over there Once there, you tend to go on most trips as you probably work on assumption you may not go back to egypt again ( or for some time ) so might as well see what you canCrop trousers are fine for women, pack shorts /bikini-swim wear for hotel swimming pool..no problem in hotel.Take scarf to cover shoulders + head....needed in a few places but not many. Mosquito spray only used on felluca...well we were on the Nile..was only a precaution. Take small bottle of hand hygiene gel ...everyone used this all time. Have loads of tissues for loo paper in pocket all time. Take ear plugs if you are light sleeper...Cairo traffic can be heard if you have a room overlooking main street. Water can be obtained from driver of bus - 3 bottles for 10 Egypt pounds Meals about 70 egypt pounds and then drinks extra eg coke/pepsi =15 egypt poundsTake charger for camera/phone you are in hotels 4 times during week so can recharge no problem. Enjoy the time. I did!! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Gaddas hotel in Luxor was grubby and not up to exodus standard. We had a room that had been occupied by smokers ...wasnt worth complaining as only there for one night and hotel was full of wedding guests but it certainly spoilt the memory of Luxor
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    A TASTE OF CUBA

    Cuba offers visitors so many fascinating aspects, it is so close to mighty America and yet so different !  It is one of the last bastions of communism, there was nothing on which to spend money (except Rhum and tobacco) and it has none of the trappings of consumerism / no advertising! Refreshing world and a beautiful island, clean, people are well educated and peaceful but poor! Cuba is slowly opening up - go now and you should not be disapppointed. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the Bay of Pigs and our visit around Trinidad! I wish we could have spent more time around Vinares (at least one night hotel around there instead of Havanna on the last days!) 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Umberto was fabulous - very thoughful and well organised.  He made sure we had what was needed and nothing was too much trouble for him.  Very chatty too! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Relax - climate is good - do not take too much stuff - food is not that bad for tourists (infact quite good and comparable to many other holiday place).  Take small presents for kids if you like (preferably not money).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wish we had more time to explore the Island on our own and listen to the music - people have time to chat - it is a relax place.  Havanna is an absolute jowel in terms of architecture - many building unfortunately are falling apart but The Old Havanna is being beautifully restored.. a wonderful place to strawl and have coffee - local coffee is very good .. enjoy!JP Feb 2012 trip. 
  • Reviewed March 2012
    Anonymous

    ARCTIC CIRCLE DOGSLED EXPEDITION

    A well thought out trip which was worth doing for anyone looking to get away from their hectic lifestyle to one of the most serene and idyllic landscapes in the world. It basically gives you 4 days of sledding throught the most calm and peaceful landscape in the world as well as the opportunity to see the Northern lights and the ice hotel on the same trip. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to see the Northern lights was my highlight, Incredible to see and lying own in the snow for 10 minutes as they just drift by was a once in a lifetime moment.Seeing the dogs getting hyper in the morning was also a lot of fun as they are just mad to get going.Seeing the Ice Hotel was also interesting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Jan, the owner of the local organisation white trail adventure. He went out of his way to make this an incredible trip and everything from the accomodation and fires to the food was brilliant. The food was always well cooked and there was plenty for everyone.He was very hands on with the group and helped anyone strugging and always stopped to let everyone catch up as well as randomly stopping to check that the dogs were okay.All in all he made the trip really enjoyable and would highly recommend the white trail adventure company to anyone.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you bring the headtorch and extra batteries, also something to read as it gets dark pretty early, there was power sockets in the suomi village on the 2nd night sleding so there is the opportunity to recharge electrical items. You also really do need to either like dogs or at least be willing to put up with them as they are pretty hyper in the mornigns once they are about to be harnessed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip notes were a bit vague about clothing requirements for the freezing temperatures. All you really need is loads of baselayers and a good hat and balaclava to wear while sledding, You`ll only really get cold when your not sleding so the standing around before you sled is when you need to be warm. For people hoping to see the Northern lights, it does appear to be completely random when they appear, we saw them on our 2nd night but didnt see anything after that.
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