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 November 2010
    Anonymous

    TUSCANY SINGLETRACK

    Superb mountain biking territory, great location with some long, tough ascents and exhilarating descents, good food and a tour leader and his family who want you to have a good trip enjoying their countryside. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several long descents on both mountain tracks and country roads where experienced mountain bikers could not help but be impressed.  The groups phrase of the week was "You have to earn your Metres" and on this trip you do. Its tough going up  (helped by some early morning vehicle transfers to our start point) but is more than made up for on the descent. I'm still smiling at the thought of them.  Lunch on the final day, taken at a cliff edge, surveying the mountains behind and the valleys with all the small picturesque villages below and working out where we had been cycling during the week. Then, later in the afternoon, looking back at our lunch spot from the valley and realising how big our descent had been. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb.  His knowledge of the area with its intricate network of mountain tracks is outstanding.  The weather during the week was very mixed, wet and cold on several days and his main concern was that we get the most out of the trip.  He kept us updated and changed the itinerary and rest day around to ensure we did. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get Fit.  This is a very good test of stamina.  Our average daily ascent was almost 1000 metres and each day there is at least one section where you are steadily climbing for a minimum of 30/45 minutes on rough tracks so be prepared. The brochure for 2011 has increased the grading from B/C to C (challenging) which I now think is correct.During the cycling day this is primarily an unsupported ride so take a pack or carrier suitable to carry your lunch, spare clothing etc. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Rupert and also his family, who produced some great meals, made us very welcome at  Casine di Braccicorti.  The group were all fit and kept up with one another and this added to the enjoyment of the holiday.  I feel privileged to have been on this trip.My only regret (apart from the weather) is I did not have enough time to play the golf course. I will save that for another year.  
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    EAST AFRICAN GAME PARKS & BEACHES

    The trip exceeded all my expectations, really enjoyed the safari itself but also loved travelling through, and camping in the midst of, these two very vibrant countries Kenya and Tanzania. The tour leader Chris Ncube and driver and cook Nebert and Bernard were brilliant, and travelling in hard conditions as a group added to the specialness of the trip. The rooms by the Indian Ocean at the end provided a much-needed holiday!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    In the last of our 3 days in the Masai Mara, our 3 vans came across a huge group of elephants enjoying a wallow in a water hole. The big bull got in first and stamped and stamped to bring the water up, then family group after group came down and splashed about, while other groups waited patiently in the bush behind. There were well over 100 elephants, and we were able to stay with them for a long time, about 50 yds away.Also, just travelling through all the villages and towns - continually interesting and heartening to see so much vibrant life, such entrepreneurship and ingenuity, so many schools and churches and thriving small farms.The first reaction of people was to smile or wave - people were genuinely welcoming and appreciate the economic benefit that tourism brings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chris is great fun, very knowledgeable, and able to deal with any situation that arises. I noticed that he was always on hand to help different members of our party when they needed particular assistance. We were a very mixed group in age, nationality etc but by the end felt like a group of real friends - and that is at least partly to do with Chris's leadership.  He is a great guy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We took too many warm clothes which we did not need - but I guess another time it might be colder. The packing space is small so I suggest pack your bag then remove half before you go. I also took too many books but was far too tired at the beginning to read in the evenings - I only managed about a third of one book for the whole trip! Wet wipes are very very useful - take lots. We used deet every evening and changed into long sleeves, trousers, and shoes with socks and were hardly bitten at all. Other people got a lot of bites on legs and ankles. We took pens and paper for children. What people would also like to receive is small souvenirs from your home place - pens with writing on etc etc  and also (strangely!) coins from your country as souvenirs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a fabulous trip. We took our sister in law who was very nervous and had never camped but by the end was loving it as much as we did. There are a lot of longish journeys, but the truck is very comfortable and you sit high up so can see everything around - and I found everything fascinating.It was great seeing all the animals - and we saw LOTS, especially in the Masai Mara, but for me even more thrilling was just to be in that big wild space with fabulous air. Also don't forget the wonderful trees and birds!I recommend the walk through the banana and coffee plantation - it is very long but fascinating as all imaginable things are grown next to each other in this very fertile forest garden technique. If you go, you will visit a school so you may want to take some exercise books and pens with you for the children. Don't forget  a swimming costume - some of the camps have swimming pools, and the Indian Ocean at the end is idyllic - you will also be able to go for a snorkelling or diving trip if you want. Stone Town in Zanzibar is your main shopping time. I recommend buying as many (£1 pair) bottle top earrings as you can find - they were universally admired, even by the Nairobi shop girls!
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    THE TURQUOISE COAST

    The holiday fulfilled my expectations, because I am an experienced kayaker, and therefore fairly independent  and not in need of significant supervision by the group leader. I am aware that some of the less experienced kayakers were less happy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was no one moment. I enjoyed the kayaking. I enjoyed having the benefits of the support boat. The skipper was charming and responsive to requests. The food on the boat was delicious. The days itineraries were well planned with manageable distances and well-timed breaks for a swim, lounge on a beach or exploration of an island.The accommodation on land was adequate and welcome, to be able to have a shower and my own space with privacy - essential on a group holiday with starngers

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought she was delightful as a person, and clearly a strong and able kayaker, who has the potential to be a good group leader. She offered her mobile number, in case we wanted to contact her, but did not press it on us. It was up to us to choose whether to take it. She treated us with respect and as mature responsible adults. I suspect her youth might have been a challenge for her as leader of a group of older, strong minded and at times opinionated individuals, some with considerable egos.Her lack of experence as a kayak group leader was evident, and this is an area where time will lead to learning. Perhaps more time spent as assistant to a more experienced group leader would help. It is important that she is aware at all times of the abilities, strengths and weaknesses of the individuals in her group. She was not always aware when people were ill (sea sick), and it was left to others in the group to look out for and after unwell group members. She needs to keep the group closer together on the water. At times the group was spread out over a considerable distance. Her assistant also must be more disciplined and keep his place at the rear, instead of joining her at the head of the group, particularly when there are group members who are unwell, less experienced and less fit than those at the front.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was pleased to be able to sleep on deck on the support boat on 3 nights. It made the holiday for me. I would not have enjoyed having to camp in a tent. I was annoyed that I had asked beforehand for confirmation that we could sleep on the boat, and had been informed in no uncertain terms that we would not. I asked, because I had been told that we would be able to, and I wanted to know what equipment I needed to take. I had bought a sleep mat (expensive) for the tent, which I did not need. I could have done without the cost and having to carry it in my luggage.
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    KILIMANJARO & MERU

    The most incredible experience. Challenging. Rewarding. A beautiful country, stunning scenery, helpful guides, friendly porters, a fun group. Awesome!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the summit of Africa's highest and tenth highest peaks were, of course, the most inspirational moments of my trip. In fact, so incredibly rewarding that I shed a tear. Looking down from above the cloud line across African plains felt almost unreal, and watching sunrise from the top of Kili created an unforgetable memory. Each day of trekking brought with it a different kind of landscape to admire, and it was exciting to see wildlife such a giraffe, zebra, antelope, buffalo, warthogs, and various monkeys on the trip up Meru.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guides were all fantastic: good fun, encouraging and knowledgeable. They even sang throughout much of the night-time walk to the top of Kili, which was a very moving distraction from each tiring step. The leader, Musa, was particularly good. He had a great sense of humour, was incredibly helpful and very reassuring. He took great care of us and was very responsible. We were in safe hands.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I highly recommend adding the Meru trek to any Kili climb. Not only is it an equally impressive yet very different experience to Kili, but I have no doubt that climbing Meru first significantly helped us to acclimatise ensuring that we all reached the summit of Kili. I also recommend that you take some good 'summit snacks' for the summit climb on Kili. It is a long and tiring day and I found that the energy drinks and caffeine shots I took were invaluable. Furthermore, be prepared for extremes of temperature and take everything on the kit list Exodus supplies. You will use it all.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do it! You won't regret it.
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    INCA TRAIL & GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    Just the most fantastic experience, trek to Machu Picchu followed by (as one of my fellow travellers put it) a 'wildlife overload' on Galapagos.  Will never forget the three weeks they were that special!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After having to dig deep on the Inca Trail, especially as we crossed Dead Woman's Pass, it was a stunning sight to see Machu Picchu below as we walked through the Sun Gate, a very emotional moment. On Galapagos it would have to be snorkelling with Pacific green turtles and sitting close to the almost prehistoric looking marine iguanas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Arturro on the Inca Trail was very supportive and gave lots of advice about how to cope with altitude.  He had a good sense of humour and looked after us really well.Monica on the Galapagos Islands was a very special lady.  Her love of the islands and its wildlife was obvious.  She had so much knowledge and we came back having a real understanding of the islands, its environment and the incredible wildlife.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There's a book called '50 places to see before you die'.  Along with Mount Everest, which I was fortunate enough to see last year, these would be my top three destinations.  Go!!When walking at altitude go slowly and drink plenty.  There's always enough light during the day to take your time and just enjoy being in beautiful surroundings.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was our first booking with Exodus and it will not be our last.  The whole holiday was well organised, everything went smoothly and it was great value for money - we even had banana flambe as a pudding on the trek!
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    INCA TRAIL & GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

    The trip was defonately a trip of a lifetime. The trek was amazing and the views just spectacular! We didnt even mind when it rained on our final day! The atmosphere on the trek was superb and we were always very well looked after. I didnt think anything could top this part of the trip, then we reached the galapagos islands...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all very inspirational, the whole trip but the best moment for me was seeing the penguins on the galapagos. Also seeing the spectacular Boobies synchronised diving was a sight i didnt expect to see.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leaders were brilliant. Their local knowledge was second to none and their commitment to looking after us and ensuring our every need was catered to. On the last night of our trek our leader organised celebratory beers for us from the nearby town! :)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book now! Its definately a trip of a lifetime and will give you the travel bug. The only advice i have is make sure you have a well fitting back[ack for the trek as it will make your life a lot easier!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Worth every penny! I'm now saving up for my next trip...
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF LIBYA

    enjoyed all the trip with 1 or 2 reservations.The air con in our room didnt work,it didnt bother my wife and I,but some people it might.Your booklet suggested taking U S dollars.Ifyou are resident in Britain take sterling

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Leptis Magna I thought was superb.I first read about it 30 years ago and  wanted to visit all that time.I fulfilled a dream

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mr Nasser wasalways available to answer questions.I thought he did a very good job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont try to cross on pedestrian crossings the way you do in Britain.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    JOURNEY TO PERSIA

    The trip was run very smoothly with high standard of transport and accomodation provided. Iran is an amazing country that I would recommend visiting.  The local people were very welcoming.  It would have been great if more time could be allowed for interacting with local families. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first glimpse of the Naghsh-e-Jahan Square in Esfahan - amazing!  Soooo beautiful.  Would go back again just to spend more time here. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was very experienced in running tours in his home country. 
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    A WEEK IN OMAN

    I have already written to your Customer service manager about the appalling flight arrangements which are the remaing memory of this Exodus holiday. A discusting way to be treated.
  • Reviewed November 2010
    Anonymous

    TUSCAN DELIGHTS

    This was a great holiday - friendly welcome at Bracciorti, a good mix of walks, discovering the area and relaxation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking around the Bracciorti area, led by Sara, the group leader. Wonderful autumnal chestnut woods, the mist hanging in the valleys and a relaxed pace, with Sabena/Spottie and Pitch (the family dogs). We really felt in touch with the landscape of the Garfagnana taking in the views, passing vineyards and villages, farms and woods. But so many highlights - vibrant Lucca, the chestnut festival at Castellina with all the towns people, market day at Castelnnuovo, excellent expressos/gelato and wine and the quiet walled city of Barga..plus Florence of course!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara was excellent - rarely have I met such a dedicated and knowledgeable group leader. She really gave everything her all, not just in answering questions about Tuscany, but organising everything to pinpoint detail for our day off and serving at dinner (delicious hearty food from "Mamma"). Nothing was too much trouble for her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Leave plenty of space in your luggage for presents to take home (particularly local produce). Despite quite short distances and relaxed pace, there was still so much to take in. Have an idea of what you'd like to do on your free day (Lucca, Pisa and Florence were the choices taken by our group). Train travel times are quite long given the location of Bracciorti.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would really recommend this trip, particularly if you want to combine some sightseeing of the "big"  sights (such as Lucca and Florence) with smaller, friendly towns, and walking and relaxing in well known places such as busy Cinque Terre but also tranquail Garfagnana.
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