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 May 2011
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN INDIA

    I absolutely loved it! Great start as that was not only my first trip with exodus but also my first trip of this type, never thought of visiting India but I'm really glad I did. Its a great trip if you want to see all the sights in a short trip or if your looking for a taster to help plan a longer trip around India. Be warned there is a lot of traveling and the roads aren't great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Couldn't pick one instance, the trips still a massive blur, but all the sights were amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gopal was a great group leader, he has a wealth of knowledge on all the sights and the history of the country. He arranged every little detail so there was never a need to worry. We were all apprehensive about the sleeper train but Gopal was up several times a night on both trips to ensure we were ok (Not that I noticed as I was well away in dream land)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try and get sleep at every free opportunity, dont expect to sleep on the coach between destinations as the roads arent in great shape and the routes are extremely bumpy. Also make sure you keep well hydrated, re-hydration sachets and Imodium are a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The overview states moderate / leisurely but there is alot of traveling over the 10 days so be wary of this (approx 20hrs train and 30hrs coach)
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous

    TREKKING IN MADAGASCAR

    From the hustle and bustle of Antananarivo to the remoteness found within Andringitra National Park, this trip offers ever changing scenery and thought provoking experiences for all. I would unreservedly recommend this trip to anyone interested in walking in unspoilt and peaceful scenery

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Perhaps the most inspirational facet of the trip for me was the moment of realisation that 'personal wealth' cannot in any way be attributed to, or influenced by one’s own economic status. Having taught Geography for many years here in the UK, I have discussed with students on many occasions the principals behind GDP, First/Third World Classifications and the importance of trade on a Nations economy, but perhaps all this was in some way flawed because my own preconceived notions of Madagascar (The world’s 4th Poorest Country, limited power supplies/transport infrastructure, unstable politically and high levels of depravation) were all for the most part completely and utterly wrong. Yes Madagascar is economically poor on a scale developed by western societies, but in the remote villages away from the hubbub of emerging tourism routes, there is evidence of strongly cohesive and stable communities, who have ample food, well built homes and a passion for family and community that the West can only dream of.So while travelling South on Route 7 in an air conditioned mini-coach, I recognised that although I may have some higher degree of economic wealth than many citizens of rural Madagascar, I was able to appreciate for the first time that I do not have their social wealth, and within the society we live in today, this would be almost impossible to achieve. Trekking in Madagascar has thus afforded me the opportunity to reflect on the importance of my own family and friends in my daily life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Upon arrival at Antananarivo airport we were greeted by the usual pandemonium and confusion surrounding passport control combined with an intense stale heat that no ceiling fan was able to cool. Yet beyond the etched sécurité glass panels stood an individual wearing a pristinely ironed black exodus polo shirt waiting to meet us. Solofo welcomed us with a broad smile, impeccable manners and an enthusiasm that is rarely seen. He immediately took care of our luggage and helpfully directed us to the windows of the Bureau de Change. I was once told as a child that you can only make a good first impression once, and following our brief encounter I was left considering my own politeness as it had been totally eclipsed by that of our group leader Solofo.Throughout the whole tour Solofo ensured our every desire and need was catered for with an unflappable enthusiasm and unfaltering energy. He took time to ensure that our knowledge of local customs and traditions was kept sufficiently full and helped us to decide from many an endless menu which zebu dish would be best for dinner. Perhaps for me my abiding memory of or group leader will be the term ‘Congratulations’, which he often imparted upon us at each evening briefing, yet it is with hindsight, that I think it is I who should had said ‘congratulations’ to Solofo each evening for his wonderful daily efforts, his patience and meticulous attention to detail.Solofo is a wonderful group leader whose realistic enthusiasm towards Madagascar is enchanting.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As a first time traveller and a real novice of global travel I’m not sure I can offer a seasoned traveller any meaningful or useful tips, so apologies in advance if you have already considered all of these points, but they are specific to this trip;1.       Consider what bags you take on the trek. I opted for a small Osprey day sack and an Osprey Transporter 65 holdall. This worked out excellently well as it can be carried by hand and easily converts to a rucksack should your porter prefer. This provided me with more than enough luggage space yet was compact at the same time.2.       Cable-tie everything you check in or leave out of sight. One small cable tie can secure your bag and offers you peace of mind against opportunistic theft. Some of the airport connections are a little lengthy especially in Nairobi.3.       Espadrilles are an excellent choice of footwear for this trip at all times when walking boots are not worn. Mine started off light grey but through constant use are now much more of a ‘well used brown’ in colour. 4.       Madagascar is a very beautiful country and you may want to capture its many facades but ensure you spend time enjoying the scenery through your own eyes and not just through the lens of the camera.5.       At the top of Pic Boby is a small note book where you will have the opportunity to write a short note to say you’ve made it. I would advise everyone to think about what to write on the way up to take your mind of the endless steep steps J

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I can only hope you enjoy your trip Madagascar as much as I have.
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER NAMIBIA

    Great trip, wonderful group and marvelous guides. Be prepared for early mornings and long drives but the pace of the trip is about right with plenty to see and do with "down time" when you need it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Has to be seal colony, smelly, noisy but utterly brilliant could have stayed there all day!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tour leader was great, he came across as quiet at first but worked tirelessly to help us all get the most out of our trip and was always helpful and knowledgeable. First rate.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Early mornings and long drives in the vehicle but the trip is well balanced to prevent boredom setting in and also to prevent you being on the go all the time. Access to charge points for cameras never a problem neither was mobile phone coverage for those that wanted it. Namibia is a well organised country with a good infrastructure, I've been in parts of Europe that felt more remote so if this is your first to Africa it is a great introduction with stunning scenary and wildlife. Loved it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would have preferred an extra night at the Wartberg plateau campsite even if it meant a longer drive the day before and missing the previous nights campsite. It would have given us a bit more time to rest up and relax before a long drive home and flights the next day.
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous

    TUNISIA EXPLORER

    A Very enjoyable trip, not too far from the UK in distance but a world away in culture and history.  Varied over the short period, it offers contrasts of many aspects of the country's history, from the ancient Roman ruins, to the sweeping sands of the Sahara, to the cosmopolitan city of Tunis, taking in lots of striking sites and towns along the way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing in the amphitheatre at El Jem, imaging the Gladitoria and jeering crowd. Quad biking in the sweeping sand dunes of mighty Sahara was certainly also a memorable experience, and highlighted the amazing scenic diversity which exists in such a small country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was very knowledgeable about all aspects of the history and the classics associated with the Roman sites, and knew the local towns like the back of his hand.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect some long drives to cover the distances needed to explore this great country, but the journey is well worth it, for the chance to explore the less "touristy" side of the country, and is a fabulous introduction to North Africa.
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous

    MALLORCA: SIERRA TRAMUNTANA

    This is the second time I have done this trip as I love the island and its diversity and more than that I love the Exodus trekking holiday.  The accommodation is in 3 locations all entirely different and with a strong Majorcan flavour to each.  Food traditional, interesting and varied.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The views are amazing.  Coastlines, blue skies, wonderful coves and beaches, mountains at each and every turn, all diverse and never boring vistas.  The trekking at C grade is manageable and the guide we had produced the most amazing picnics enjoyed during the trek in beautiful outdoor places. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eduard, having met him twice now, is so helpful, kind and encouraging.  No-one is left behind on the trek, the pace is just right.  He is friendly, professional and keen to ensure all the party enjoyed themselves.  Excellent leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go........if you enjoy a slightly tropical environment with excellent walking and great views and certainly travel to the island from the UK is easy with only a short transfer from the airport.  Take a small extra bag in your luggage for the overnight stop at Balix Farm.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Superb all round trip - the only Exodus trip I have been on twice and would definitely go yet another time!!
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous
    Trip:

    CYCLING CUBA

    A bike, stunning scenery and an amazing group of people to spend time with - what more could you ask for?!? This trip was amazing although a bit more full on that I was expecting but I suspect that was because we all wanted to try and do and see as much as possible so just kept running! Mohitos and Cristals to recover though and off we went again - what are you waiting for? Go for it!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip far exceeded my expectations so its difficult to pick one inspirational moment but I think the mountain day takes the biscuit!  Bob had just taken a nose dive off his bike (moral of the story always wear a helmet!!), it was hot, hot, hot (somewhere around 38 degrees) and we were flagging a bit when out of nowhere came the hotel - nestled in the middle of a jungle down the bumpiest road you ever did see! Never have I been so pleased to see a waiter with a cool drink and the natural swimming pool was stunning... even if we didn't find it til too late to use and just sat in the green pools out the front to cool down!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose lead the group and Tuna and Alberto were the mechanics come bus drivers. Loads of local knowledge, plenty of dance steps to teach, lots of patience when we kept finding the nearest bar for drinks and ice creams to cool down... and many a catch phrase learnt to keep us chuckling... Well done "my children"!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There were a few things that I think would have helped me:Take old clothes to leave behind for locals - apparently shoes are very expensiveIf taking gifts school kids want pencils not pens, these are better given to the office workersLearn to use your gears on the bike properly - using granny gears is not a failure! (It was very windy and sometimes harder on the flat into the wind than the hills!)Take sudacream for any er... delicate bike sores... or even just sun burnI wish I'd taken 'thank you' pressies for the guides as well as the tip - they definately deserved themNo matter how tired your legs are or if you're at the back of the group, if you see something you want to take a photo of stop and take it, you only get one chance!Do take a 'good' camera, mine was a few years old and just really slow to take pictures and quite often what i wanted to snap had long gone before my camera fired into action!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have more photos of old cars than any girl can possibly ever need - in fact I have more photos than anyone could possibly want to see (900 in total, but I did stay an extra week in Havana!) and its proving really hard to edit them down as they all hold such great memories! I would recommend this holiday to everyone - the food was fantastic (no need for chili sauce or the like), the people were great, the support out there and whilst booking was amazing and the scenery when cycling was just stunning (and if you can't make the daily miles just jump on the bus if you get tired!) Where's next!?!
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING THE GREAT WALL

    The Wall of China has to be seen to be believed.  You can read the fact that it is 5,500 miles long but the real impact is to see it stretching away from you for miles which ever way you turn.  The sheer feat of human endeavour shouts out from every laid brick.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on the Wall as the sun set.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Danny Mao was well informed, patient, helpful and humorous.  The perfect mix for a walking guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure all drinks are purchased in sealed bottles.  This small precaution ensures a troublefree, healthy holiday

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The first home stay at Gubeiko was far below basic.  It was sub-standard and out of sinc with the other accommodation which had character as well as clean, functioning facilities.
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous

    WALKING THE GREAT WALL

    This trip packs so much into such a short period of time. A combination of stunning scenary, fabulous tombs, temples and palaces, wonderful food alongside the opportunity to witness chinese acrobats and kung fu masters and explore Beijings markets and alleyways.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Few words can do justice to describe stepping along such a formidable path steeped in so much history! Incredible!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Danny was a fantastic group leader, organised, kind, accomodating and fun! He worked so hard to ensure everyone had a fabulous holiday and his knowledge of Chinese history, the Great Wall and monuments is astounding. He was not only a group leader but a tour guide!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would rate this trek as moderate not challenging. The timings given in the trip notes are for the summer months. In the spring with a more temperate climate each trek is completed in a faster time frame and there is more time at the end of each day to relax or explore further.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I regret not extending my trip to see the Terracotta Army so I would recommend people seriuosly consider it when booking! It's a long way to travel to miss it!
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous

    CYCLE INDOCHINA & ANGKOR

    Cycling was easier than I thought it might have been, at 50 I feel I have time to notch up a few more trips like this one.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Optional tour to the floating village- almost didn't go after a day spent sight -seeing but this was better than Angor Watt!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was fantastic, dedicated to getting the best out of the trip for everyone.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There were a few on our trip who hadn't really cycled much before  and they got on great.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Already asked for the cycling brochures to be sent !!
  • Reviewed May 2011
    Anonymous

    TREKKING IN MADAGASCAR

    A good all-rounder of a holiday - mixture of excellent landscapes to walk in, villages/ towns to explore and culture to experience.  Good blast of exercise spread throughout the 2 weeks, topped off with a day at a beautiful pool, right on the Indian Ocean.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

     The lemurs were wonderful, especially when they came around the tents in the evening you could really see how they interacted with each other! And the chameleons, you got at least one an hour just on the paths we were walking along.And finally, after all the hard work trekking, the day by the pool relaxing was a particularly inspired entry in the trip itinerary!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group Leader Solof was a great guy. Really knowledgeable about the whole country and couldn't do enough to ensure all clients had a great holiday.  The other walking guides and camp teams were also great  - made all parts of the walking and camping run smoothly and put on some great entertainment.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Real good mix of a holiday so be prepared for the changesSome long travel days to get around the country - though these are helped with interesting stops, followed by  days all on foot.Accomodation varies between hotel and one-man tent, all great quality - do take an extra soft bag to split luggage for camping.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are thinking of a holiday here then go now!  Tourism is still in its infancy and the country can be experienced without major western influences spoiling it.
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