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 September 2012
    Anonymous

    TURQUOISE COAST RIDE

    A really enjoyable holiday, with spectacular scenery and a great group to share it with.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the amazing sea views in our descents towards Kas. Got me every time - the beautiful turquoise colour has to be seen to be believed!Also sleeping under the stars at the village house-stay.  (Was quite surreal listening to the 5.30am call to prayer echoing around while watching the moon and stars blinking above.)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Maho (with help from Yasha and our driver) worked really hard to make sure we all had a good holiday (not easy when you have 14 people with a wide range of route/terrain preferences!) and to help us learn more about the local culture.  He never seemed to stop - even after a long day of looking after us on the trails he took the time and trouble to show us some good places for nights out in Kas.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The distances/terrain/lack of single track are definitely in line with the 'moderate' rating, but beware the effects of the sun.  It was really intense at times, especially on some of the climbs, which definitely made them feel more 'challenging' than they should have been. (The bus was always right behind just in case anyone needed it though.)I definitely recommend the option to sleep outside at the house-stay, but it's worth having some layers to sleep in (and maybe a wooly hat) as it gets a bit chilly.   Prepare yourselves for lots of delicious fresh food, and very friendly, welcoming locals (who often stopped what they were doing to wave and shout hello as we passed). Make sure you remember sun cream and insect repellant (as quite a few of us got some bites).Despite what the trip notes say, it's apparently not a problem to wear lycra shorts.Bring/buy a few extra snacks just in case you need them for the climbs (some chocolate/cakes were provided most days, but not all, and not always enough to last until lunch).  Also there are no drinks provided at lunch (other than water to top up bottles with) so you might want to bring something with you, or leave it handy in the bus.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The kayaking option is definitely worth doing if you have the energy left over.  A bit of a workout for the arms, but beautiful scenery and so refreshing to be in the water after a few hot days of cycling.  Yet another lovely lunch at the end of it too!Likewise, the sunset cruise/dinner was well worth doing - a very chilled way to spend an evening as a group.
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    INCA TRAIL, TITICACA & NAZCA

    This trip was all I hoped for and so much more!  The Inca ruins were spine tingling throughout the adventure. Daily fabulous experiences.  So much to talk about; so many awe inspiring scenes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lake Titicaca and the reed islands; Saqsayhuaman; Tambomachay; Raqchi;Dead Woman's Pass; Machu Picchu; Ballesteras Islands.  All breathtaking and all " wow " moments.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Karlos, was knowledgeable, organised and so hard working with all his focus being to make this the best experience for all of us in the group which brought our diverse group very much together.  Excellent chap who brought out the best in his support groups too from porters to drivers.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared - physically and emotionally.  Also remember it is a developing country and there will be problems with plumbing and toilets.
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    HIKING IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

    My expectations were high and this holiday far exceeded them. It was the trip of a lifetime fo me and I loved every second of it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many inspirational moments I cant choose one. Every hike revealed the most stunning scenery I've ever seen and its impossible  to choose a favourite hike or place.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were lucky enough to get Renee and Catherine to guide our group. I cant speak highly enough of them. They are so professional and knowledgable, there was nothing they hadn't thought of and they made it an easy holiday.The meals they produced were amazing, not what I expected in a campsite! They were delicious, imaginative and well presented as well as plentiful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack for all conditions. We had snow and warm sunshine but mostly I needed my cold weather stuff. I'd taken a good 3/4 season sleeping bag, thermals and a down jacket and was glad I did.The only thing I lacked were waterproof gloves, mine got soaked and my hands were cold a couple of times.Dont take your best stuff! You'll be sat around a campfire each evening so you'll smell of smoke the whole time and might get 'sparked'.Ladies  I wouldn't bother with makeup or hairdryer either, we pretty soon stopped bothering with any of that... although Catherine did bring a hairdryer and we were all welcome to borrow it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I just had the most fabulous time on this holiday, the group was great, the leaders were great and the Rockies?What can I say about them....more than stunning!This is the only bit of Canada I've seen but its such an easy place to be. Everything is so well looked after and Canadian people are so polite.I booked this holiday because it was graded challenging and bits of it were but in my opinion moderate would be a better description. Thats not a complaint though, I have no complaints about this trip. Knowing what I know now, I'd book it quick...whatever the grading.Exodus deserves its great reputation.
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    HIKING IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

    Really excellent in every respect, the trip content, the guides and the company. The scenery was breath taking and the walking great. Don’t be put off by the ‘challenging’ description it was easier than many Peaks or Lakes walks and the paths mainly well-manicured. Some of the slopes are steep tough so you do need to be fit. We did see wild life and our guides went out of their way to try and find it. Which we did but unfortunately the number of animals sighted was limited but there is nothing anyone could do about that if they’re feeling shy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots of them. The sheer number of great views and the number of peaks was staggering and every day brought more. I think for me the most spectacular was the walk on day 4 taking in Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Renée and Catherine our guides made the trip. They were simply excellent and worked tirelessly from dawn until night. Nothing was too much trouble or effort and breakfast, lunch and dinner were magiced up effortlessly without a repeat meal in the whole trip – the standard was excellent too. Their local knowledge of the trails, wildlife and fauna was also top notch making the whole experience even better. Many thanks to them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nothing is going to challenge the regular traveller too much but the weather was mixed from very warm to snow so you need to be prepared for it all.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Simply that it was great so don't miss it!
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    GORILLAS & MASAI MARA

    Topped and tailed by two iconic experiences - gorilla tracking and ballooning over the Masai Mara, this journey through three countries offered it all in abundance -  amazing wildlife,  stunning scenery and delightful people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    -Ballooning over the Mara had the edge over the gorillas for me personally - although it was fabulous to actually be so close to these serene and gentle animals and the moment surpassed my expectations, I cannot get enough of the wide open vistas of the African plains. To float gently and peacefully over the vast landscape as dawn broke will be something I remember for a long time.- Getting lots of hugs from the children at the orphanage was quite emotional. Sitting in on the lessons listening to the enthusiasm of the children, it was apparent that they are keen to learn and are very attentive. However, littlle hands reaching out to hold yours is a big reminder that these small people who have no parents to cuddle them just enjoy being close to someone.Visiting the genocide memorial in Kigali was an eye opener - in particular the mass graves at the site. I recall that we had a fairly sanitized version of events in the news in 1994.  However, I was left with an uplifting impression of how Rwanda as a nation has moved on - in particular the cleanliness of what we saw of the country - no litter to be seen anywhere.Other moments -  visiting the point where the Nile flows out of Lake Victoria near Jinja, seeing cheetahs for the first time, so many people waving to us on the truck when we were driving through all three countries, looking across Lake Naivasha from the viewpoint on a cloudless day, revisiting the ele orphanage. I could go on...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I was really pleased to see on the joining notes that we were to have the legend that is Often Konzoro as a group leader. His reputation precedes him and he lived up to it! In particular, on the day that we were going to see the gorillas, I fell ill and couldn't go on the trip. Often took me to the hospital (and seemingly bypassed all the queues!) and then to the pharmacy. The following morning (and I still don't know how he did it) he managed to persuade the organisers of the gorilla tracking to let me go with a group so I didn't miss out on my 'special day'!  No 'use it or lose it' for the permit on this occasion thanks to Often.Often was kind and caring. A member of our group had an accident which required medical attention and this was dealt with quietly and efficiently. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he certainly went out of his way to make sure that our group of 18 were all happy.He was meticulous about hygiene making sure hands were soap washed, dettol rinsed and rinsed again before meals!Often had an excellent team in Ben (our wonderful driver), Wilson ( who kept us fed and watered) and Onesmes (general factotum and my fellow spud peeler). They worked very well together for our safety and comfort and were always cheerful and helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    An iPod is useful for the journeys in the truck, but having said that, the scenery is outstanding and there is always something to see or people to wave at!We had no inverter in the truck but managed to keep camera and phone batteries charged with the truck's extension cable rigged up in the evenings or, at the permanent tented camps - no adapters needed as there were UK plug sockets in all three countries.Staying in the Masai Mara, you can take kit for a couple of days in a small holdall and also take your daysack for camera, binoculars etc.Personally, I'm really glad that I started in Kigali and ended in the Mara (altho my plan to start the trip this way in order to stay healthy to see the gorillas at the start of the trip went slightly wrong...). Just spending some time in the Mara left me wonderfully relaxed and the thrill of the balloon trip was just a superb way to end the trip.Quad biking at Jinja was a fun alternative to white water rafting ( which I didn't fancy too much), We did the two hour trip and all agreed that two hours was just right - we were really getting into it after an hour, and after two hours we had all had enough. It's a great way to see the villages though you are required to steer with one hand and wave at people with the other!For your locker, take a padlock that has a key rather than a combination - it's far quicker than trying to read the numbers particularly at night with a headtorch.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although I had studied the trip notes and read the other reviews, I don't think I had anticipated just how much time that we would spend in the truck. Having said that, we were crossing three countries, not three counties! It would have, on occasion, been nice to spend a little more time in some places.There seemed to be a lot of tipping involved - from gorilla tracking porters to the boat driver on Lake Naivasha so keep low denomination US dollars handy! There are plenty of opportunities for changing money into local currencies (doing mental calculations for exchange rates by the time you get to the third country is a little challenging!)The trip had a variety of accommodation but there only a couple of nights without a hot shower which was no problem. Be prepared for some loos which are definitely not 5 star though!This holiday does not have a lot of 'down' time, so if you want an adventure where you see lots more than you expect and have some amazing and memorable experiences all in just a couple of weeks, book it now.
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    CAPE TOWN TO VICTORIA FALLS

    This trip was the most amazing adventure I have ever experience, I would go again in a heartbeat!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved every second of this trip! From seeing our first animal of the trip, a beautiful Eland, to the helicopter ride over Victoria falls. So many breath taking moments!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronnie and Gecko could not have been more brilliant! Friendly, knowledgeable and extremely hard working, they are a credit to Exodus. They really took care of us and made the trip all the more perfect.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take a very good sleeping bag and warm clothes. The nights are freezing!!! Hats and gloves are a must. Other than that, relax, go with the flow, and simply fall in love with Africa.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book this trip now! It truly is the best thing I have ever done.
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    GORILLAS & MASAI MARA

    One of the best holidays I've ever been on. The crew were very friendly & our tour leader Moses really made our trip such a fantastic trip with his exceptional knowledge and friendly persona - he soon picked up the art of English 'sarcasm' and joined in the groups jokes. The holiday itself was everything I had hoped for and more. I packed so much into it but it was relaxing at the same time, most probably due to the African laid-back way of life. I would definitely go back I loved it that much.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was so many it's hard to say. The balloon ride over the Maasai was very awe inspiring & breathtaking - the sheer size of it plus seeing the wildebeest and zebras migrating will be an image I won't forget. Getting up close to the animals - we stopped near a bush and two male lions just wandered out and came right past our truck, I'd never dreamed of seeing a wild animal that close in its natural habitat. Also the fact that I had no idea what to expect in Uganda, but it blew me away - so beautiful. The chance to bungee jump and white water raft in Jinga is another experience I will always cherish. Of course, the gorillas in Rwanda. I'm still speechless now to put it into words what it is like seeing them so close in their natural habitat. Amazing!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Moses out tour leader was exceptional. Any questions we put to him he answered with a lot of pride and knowledge. He always made sure we was ok everyday and tried to make the trip as flexible as possible so we could make the most out of any free time we had. I'd also like to say how good the rest of the crew was - we never had a bad meal once all holiday thanks to our chef and helper, and Jackson our driver most certainly knew how to handle our truck!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind and embrace the trip. There's lots of opportunities to be had, use your time to get to know the locals where possible and just sit back and enjoy the adventure.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were quite a few optional extras in the trip notes that weren't actually possible to do due to time restraints, so maybe check with Exodus first if there is anything in particular you may want to do. Other than that, I had a great time with so many memories. Thank you Exodus and thank you Moses.
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    ESSENTIAL PERU

    our first long haul holiday. saved for three years but well worth cost.good value, very little to pay for except meals,drinks(cheap) and souvenirs. Good company of fellow travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Machu Pichu , seeing condors, lake titicaca. Cusco  ( a beautiful place) santa Catalina convent (beautiful and peaceful)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio Cornejo was excellent and very helpful re timings,clothing to wear and avaoiding ams. he was passionateabout his country

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    travel via Amsterdam, much less hassle and local connecting flights rhere from most/all local airports plus no ESTArequired. would recommend exodus, already saving for next hol

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it, well organised but be prepared for long tiring days travelling- the price you pay for seeing the sites in such a vast and diverse country.
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    GORILLAS & MASAI MARA

    Saw some amazing things along the way but found the trip tiring. Postive side was the trek to the Gorillas was not nearly as challenging as expected.  There are porters from local villages and for a mere $10, will carry your pack, drag you up and stop you slipping down! Have one whether you need it or not, it gives them an income which indirectly protects the wildlife and its environment. Think of it as a conservation donation.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Balloon ride over the Masi, Rafting in Uganda and of course, the gorgeous gorillas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julios was great, got us through the borders quicker than I have ever crossed borders anywhere in the world.  I wanted to go 'off schedule' a bit and he was more than happy to help me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont underestimate the amount of time spent  travelling in the bus and the early starts.  At least 4 -5 hours nearly every day is spent on the road, during our trip, this was when the sun was shining and by the time we arrived at most places, it was raining - hard!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Im more than used to 'basic' and roughing it but some of the fcilities at the sites were very unpleasant
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    DISCOVER COSTA RICA

    This trip is suited for anyone who is interested in wildlife, birds and nature. You will be taken to places off the beaten track, learn about Costa Ricas diverse and fascinating ecosystems and escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life (If you are a city worker like myself)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the 3 toed sloth trying to negotiate it's way onto the tree hanging from a telephone wire, with a black and white owl sat next to it. The leader showing us a anteater asleep in the tree, using his telescope which shows every minute detail. Amazing! The hummingbirds are fairytale like and wonderful to watch hovering midair.Watching the monkeys swinging through the trees, howling (Howler monkeys) and interacting. They are great entertainment and we were very lucky as we saw all 4 different types of monkey native to Costa Rica.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gio was absolutely fantastic. His level of expertise, professionalism, emotional intelligence makes him top of his game (He has been leading tours for 12 years so he knows what he's talking about). He carried a telescope (which is really heavy) so we could get a better view of the wildlife and was keen to offer additional walks to spot as many birds as possible. His enthusiasm is infectious, I found myself twitching which is a new concept for me.For me a leader can make or break a tour. He made it a fantastic experience for everyone and we wouldn't have seen half of what we saw if it wasn't for him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take something waterproof to protect your bags because when it rains, the heavens open..I think it's a good idea to take walking boots/trainers with closed toes with good grip as there will be some treks on potentially slippery terrain. Book early to avoid disappointment as this is a trip of a lifetime.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    BOOK ON, YOU WONT REGRET IT ... AND BRING YOUR FRIENDS, THEN YOU CAN SHARE THE SPECIAL MEMORIES!
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