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 July 2011
    Anonymous

    VIETNAM ADVENTURE

    Although this trip is full on we enjoyed every moment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlights of the holiday were sea kayaking and swimming in Ha Long Bay; snorkelling off Nha Trang and visiting the orphanage there;  climbing the 150 steps up the Marble Mountain and seeing the caves used as a hospital by the Vietcong during the American Vietnam War in the 1960’s; cycling to the beach at Cua Dai; shopping in Hoi An; riding on the reunification express and culminating in the Mekong Delta homestay where our hosts made us very welcome.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Although the travelling group of 15 people ranged in age from 24 to 65 we very quickly bonded, and a good time was had by all, thanks to Tom our marvellous guide who gave us just enough information to make everything interesting and created opportunities for excitement and fun too.   The evening on board the boat in Ha Long Bay was a great ice breaker. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When we told our friends and family we were going to Vietnam the general response was “What do you want to go there for?”  We had heard that Vietnam has beautiful scenery, that it is not yet very commercialised, the food is enjoyable, and that there is some interesting history and culture. We found plenty of history and culture and delicious food, but also enjoyed the shopping, the variety of activities provided and the friendliness of the Vietnamese people.  They are very poor, but seem very happy.  The traffic is insane – imagine China’s bicycles replaced by mopeds! Red traffic lights are there to be ignored and the mopeds use the pavements as much as the roads...  Building is going on everywhere and the country is just beginning to become more commercialised. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks Exodus for a truly great time!
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    KAYAKING ON THE TURQUOISE COAST July 2011

    A great trip, would recommend it to anyone of average fitness (strongish arms required!)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being on the back up boat was funSwimming in the bluest, clearest sea that I have ever seen.The Smugglers Inn was great but very expensive!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    OK. He sometimes forgot ther names of the group members. He started calling me Gemma half way through the trip and also kept referring to a lady called Stephanie as Heather....??? Overall I felt safe on the kayak as we had another leader whe remained at the back of the group. However I was the slowest kayaker in the group and was shocked on one occasion to find myself way at the back with no leader behind me. I certainly felt my safety was compromoised.  It turned out that he had remained on the back up boat that afternoon....

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Know whether you want a double or a single kayak. I got on much better in a single but apparently they are slightly more unstable.Take LOTS of water resistant SPF 50 suncream (in July)You dont need to take a sleeping mat as you can use the ones from the boatIf you are prone to motion sickness, take plently of travel sickness pills!
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    TRINS: THE AUSTRIAN TYROL

    The best walking holiday of the four that I have done over the last couple of years.  A great location, good food, excellent leaders and, above all, a fantastic group of people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking over the Portjoch onto the 'balcony path' just inside the Italian border with views of the snow-topped Marmolada and famous ridges in the Dolomites in the distance.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bob and Chris were both excellent at organising and leading the walks and all other aspects of the trip.  Between them they had very good knowledge of the local area, German language, local politics, wildlife, flowers and geology - all of which added to the interest and enjoyment of the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As others have said, warm clothing may be needed as it can suddenly turn cold at altitude even when the day has started apparently warm.  Also be careful about the strength of the sun.  Be aware that if you are 'follicly challenged' like me, then you need a hat that will stay on when you get strong wind and sun at the same time!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I booked quite late and therefore ended up staying at an alternative hotel nearby but with all meals (including breakfast) taken with the group in the Hotel Wienerhof.  This was hardly any inconvenience and as I had travelled to Trins by car was actually an advantage for me as the other hotel has a large car park (some parking is available at the Wienerhof but there are a limited number of spaces).
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    WILDLIFE & WILDERNESS OF ALASKA

    A fantastic holiday with a variety of activities to choose from. Stunning scenery and an great experience! It was excellent that the float plane bear viewing, and the wildlife cruise were included. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Glacier walking was amazing... the daredevil flight in the float plane... getting to the top of the Harding Ice Field hike... There is so much incredible scenery everywhere you look, it is difficult to pinpoint one place!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had an excellent chef to do the campfire cooking, which was fantastic. They had obviously done a lot of research on Alaska even though only one of them had actually been there before. As we were the first trip of the season there were a few organisational / timing problems from the Exodus itineracy but the guides sorted these and did everything they could to make sure that everyone completed all the activities they wanted to. Thank you!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    With the trip notes as they are now, there is more hiking suggested on the itinerary, i.e. when you 'stop for a short hike' during a driving day. These tend to be just lunch stops or a short train (a mile at most) to a viewpoint. Take advantage of laundry when you get it, and collect quarters for the varying prices of showers and washing machines. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip was fantastic, with such a range of activities... plenty of variation for a great holiday!
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    MT KENYA ASCENT

    A great experience but harder than the impression given from the daily height gains shown in the trip notes. There's a lot of additional ups and downs involved.  This isn't just trekking straight up a mountain. Several people in the party who've done Kilimanjaro said Mount Kenya was more beautiful, varied and difficult and required a wider variety of mountaineering skills. The trip notes for the final two days need to be revised as they don't reflect the situation on the ground.   

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is a really beautiful mountain and the final scramble to the summit is exhilarating if a bit unexpected and hairy! The surrounding scenery through which the acclimatisation treks are completed is also beautiful with valleys and tarns reminscent of the Lake District enhanced by several thousand meters. Although it may sound a little exaggerated, in comparing Mount Kenya to Kilimanjaro one of the guides commented that if the latter was Africa's Everest the former was its K2.  I understand what he means.    

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Francis and his sidekick Ceasar, who was particularly good on local flora and fauna, made sure we were well and steadily prepared for any problems with altitude sickness which was vital on this sort of trip which after all is only five days from arrival to summit.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I went in July and although you actually cross the equator on the trip up from Nairobi to the first mountain hut do remember it is really cold on the summit. Gloves, fleeces, down jackets or the equivalent windproof outer gear are essential.  And do be prepared for some long and arduous treks up and down the sides of some pretty steep valleys before you get to the final ascent. Over the course of five day's trekking you are probably looking at covering a total ground distance of around 70 kms, and although gaining a straight up, top to bottom equivalent of 3,000 metres from start point to summit there is considerably more total height gained if you add in all the ups and downs of getting to Mackinder's camp which is the final set off point for the summit.Many summiteers start their ascent from Shipton's camp but for good reasons of acclimatisation this trip takes you on a grueling trek round the mountain to Mackinder's. The scenery is spectacular but although the total start to finish height gain for the day is less than 100 metres your legs tell a different story as you have also ascended the Hausberg Col at 4,600 meters and then come down again in order to reach your destination.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Okay, so maybe it was harder than I expected. But the sense of achievement at having done it more than compensated for any additional effort expended. However I would have appreciated an extra day of R&R in Nairobi at the end of it in order to enjoy a proper celebration dinner with the really great group who helped me achieve it. 

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    The trip notes have been revised for 2012 as we now ascent via a different route to that used in 2011. The path for the final ascent to the summit had become unpredictable underfoot especially when it has snowed a day or two before any ascent. The park authorities had promised to put up a cable for trekkers to support themselves with, but this has not happened at the time of writing, so we now ascent via an alternative route.

    Nick Nikolsky - Trip Manager for Kenya

  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN THE SLOVAKIAN TATRAS

    Normally my husband and I travel independently, so a group holiday was something new to us.  It was a real change not to know exactly where I was going and not to have spend hours poring over walking maps planning our itinerary.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On our last day it was too stormy to walk high up in the mountains, so we visited the botanical garden at Tatranska Lomnica amongst other places. Being a bit of a devotee of botanic gardens, I found it interesting to see some of the flowers we had seen in our previous 4 days of walking.  However, what was really inspirational about it for me was the realisation that we had been walking in a perfect botanical wonderland, far more impressive than the bortanical garden itself.  At times the scenery in the High Tatras was dominated by granite boulders but occasionally we walked amongst some amazing flower meadows.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was one of the most caring and knowledgeable people I have come across.  From having pictures of the wild flowers on his mobile with accompanying names, to bandaging sore knees, to love of local products and absolute understanding of the terrain we were walking through, his attitude was always cheerful and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Considering 300 or so bears roam the High Tatras it is a good idea to be in a group with an experienced leader who wears a bear bell.  Not long ago one of these bears attacked a man with a chain saw!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The mountain hotel, the Bilikova Chata where we stayed provided an excellent assortment of local cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The soups at the evening meal were especially welcome and we got hooked on the wafery biscuits provided with the packed lunches.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    MT TOUBKAL LONG WEEKEND

    A stretching four days ideal for those wanting to clear their mind.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Booked only 8 days before departure my requirement of this holiday was to "reset my compass" in four days flat. It met the brief exactly.Thoughtfully structured, given so much to fit in, the pace was well judged at all stages leaving room for some free exploration of the fabulous Marrakech (I'll be back!).  Having read some dubious web reports about Hotel Hansa I was expecting much less than the clean, cool and very acceptable accommodation it provided.  The swimming pool and deck, whilst not huge, was ideal (and essential quite frankly in the dry heat of July)But let's get to the meat of the thing - the climb.  Challenging is a fair description. Pensioners, couch potatoes or those with an injury need not apply but up to, and including, the gently greying if you have donned sporting garments more than three times in the last month, done a 10k or two in your time and gone up Snowdon without a train ticket you'll be comfortable.  We made the top in morning sunshine and a light breeze, a hugely rewarding experience.Central to the experience was our guide Hassan. From arrivals lounge to mountain top and back, his depth of experience and knowledge inspired respect and hence relaxation.  Could I have assembled a similar trip?  Yes - I might have thought so given a few days on the internet.  Would I even remotely bother after this?  No. The seamlessness and lack of hassle was central to the experience.Dodgy tummy? - No.  Hassle in the markets? - No (but then i'm in sales so i like a bit of a goodnatured josh!).   I liked every single bit of this trip, and was left with a huge respect (and a bit of love) for an amazing and beautiful country and a people clearly at ease with themselves.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING THE FJORDS

    I have been on numerous Exodus trips over the past ten years and the Walking the Fjords has been the best. Why! Quite simply the accommodation and food was first class and plenty of it. The Hosts and staff at Nes Gard worked tirelessly to make our week memorable.  As for the treks each was unique in scenery and condition under foot, ending with a course on using crampons which included a climb over the glacier. It also helps being blest with excellent weather. Making this a trip to remember.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Asbjorn had it all planned out in advance and everything went like clockwork
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY

    The best Exodus trip I've done to date. Tranquil in the morning, challenging if the wind picked up, with amazing wildlife on the banks and in the river. We had an excellent tour guide and the group camaderie was second to none. This trip provides the unbeatable joy of getting right into nature coupled with happy exhaustion to get you to sleep at night.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Slowly paddling down river watching the sun rise and listening to the early day bird and hippo noises - a level of tranquility you just can't get in London!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Legend. Knew exactly what he was doing and how deal with everyone in the group, whilst providing plenty of entertainment during the day and around the camp fore at night.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check out the flight times before you book flights with Exodus, BA direct may be a better option. If not, you can get out of Nairobi airport and into the city easily for dinner to pass the stop-over on the way back.
  • Reviewed July 2011
    Anonymous

    THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY

    If you want to be in 'real' Africa without the queues of game viewing vehicles and not a fence in sight then this is perfect. A brilliant way to see Africa from the water and certainly no shortage of Hippo or Elephant viewing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to just float within a few metres of Elephants at the waters edge while they got on with doing their own thing.Setting off just as the sun has risen -the tranquility on the water as wildlife starts to show itself.Sleeping at night with the sounds of the bush all around you.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    TK and Carlos were brilliant . Looking after our tummies (excellent meals ,including full english breakfasts , prepared on 2 gas rings!).our safety and generally being there to help and inform whenever it is needed.Such lovely guys.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the Trip notes ! They are there for your benefit :-)Be prepared that if you come in July you will most likely have some big headwinds winds and rough water -2 days were a tad hard work .I definitley want to canoe on the Zambezi again but i would opt to miss out on July next time!If you have hands liable to blister easily i would suggest a pair of fingerless sailing type gloves.Travel very light - you have to carry that bag in and out of the canoe a lot !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Based on past reviews and my own experience of the unreliabilty of Kenya Airlines and Nairobi airport i opted to fly direct to Lusaka (only £114 more to arrange myself).That way you arrive in Lusaka by 6.30am -as it was the others were delayed on Kenya airlines and we didnt leave Lusaka till after 3.30pm which became a mad rush and arrival at camp in the dark.I would suggest Exodus need to seriously consider the direct route -all who had done the Kenya divert agreed they would have paid the extra for an easier journey. For the return journey i got home on the Saturday night and the Kenya route arrived Sunday morning-an important consideration when having to get back to work on a Monday.If everyone arrived in Zambia earlier in the day it could be a leisurley transfer to camp and the ability to canoe to the intended first night's camp as had been planned .
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