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 2017
    Lesley Dixon

    Fantasitc trip

    Three countries with fabulous experiences in each. A great group and a fantastic group leader made this a truly great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many. Angkor Wat is a sight to behold; the Mekong Delta is fabulous and the lovely feeling you get when children in rural villages literally jump up and down with joy as you pass by will stay with you for a long time. However the most inspirational part of the trip - as well as the most difficult - was our visit to the Killing Fields and TS21. Our guide helped us to understand this terrible part of Cambodia's history, but also how the country and its people have moved forward.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chai made the trip. He is genuinely one of the nicest people I've ever met. He went out of his way to make this a trip to remember and always had a smile on his face.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You can buy cycling tops in both Cambodia and Vietnam - both tops are very colourful and a great memento of the trip. There are some great restaurants in Seam Reap, Phnom Penh and Saigon that work with street children - giving them opportunities in the hospitality industry; Lonely Planet book has details.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great trip - if you book it you won't regret it!
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Tracy Dean White

    A great 2 week adventure in Malaysia

    I truly enjoyed the 2 weeks that I spent in Malaysia, on Borneo at the beginning and on the Malay peninsula at the end. Accommodation was of a high quality with the possible exception being the long house for 1 night in Borneo. There were separate guides in the 2 halves of Malaysia, and both were simply excellent: Aldrin in Borneo and Ant on the peninsula. The trip was mostly at a leisurely pace which is what I like, and there was an ample amount of free time on some days, and that includes 1 total free day at the end on the island of Langkawi. This trip is a new one, and I think it's excellent. I highly recommend it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was great to be with the orangutans at Sepilok.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Aldrin and Ant were excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring lots of sun screen! I found mosquito bug bites to be a relatively minor almost non existent issue, but other people might have different experiences.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was excellent everywhere we went.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    anne hillman

    Sudan Desert explorer

    This is an extraordinary adventure into the depths of the Sudanese desert with its ever changing vistas and friendly welcoming people. The knowledge and expertise of the team was brilliant, from navigation and driving skills to fabulous food cooked under an an awesome African sky. The school visit we did was the best I have ever done. The staff and students we so inquisitive and happy to see us. The pyramids were astounding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There cannot be just one ..the desert, beauty and solitude as well as the Sudanese people we met on our travels are just two. The wonderful smiles from everyone we met lit up our day, so welcoming and absolutely delighted we were visiting their country. Station 6. Worth the long drive. You will know what I mean when you get there. Abdul and the drivers and their willingness to share their massive knowledge of their country was great. Something new to discover every break. The pyramids, the Nile and no other tourists...just do it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdul was simply great. Knowledgeable, skilled, funny, a great communicator and teacher. We can all draw the Nile and all its highlights in the sand now. He was observant and made sure everything ran smoothly. All the drivers were so experienced no matter what the conditions were. The food. well all I can say is simply delicious and varied. Do not expect to looses weight!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a small towel plus wet wipes and a good head torch or torch. We charged up phones etc in the 4x4s so the double car charger we took was really useful. As normal I had far more stuff than I needed. Its a warm fast drying wind even at night so easy to rinse things through. A headscarf to keep off the sun and cool you down.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had to hunt hard to find a single scorpion so dont worry about those...nor snakes. Most of the days are long (with frequent breaks) but never dull. Go with the flow and enjoy. The traditional Sudanese coffee is great..with ginger..I was converted. Only change a very very small amount of money.£10 maybe. There is nothing to spend it on apart from the occasional drink when the guys were restocking in town. At the tented camp you can pay in euros (but expect Euro prices too). We felt very privileged to explore such an wonderful country which felt like we had to ourselves. Enjoy!
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Julia Dolan

    Indonesia Volcano Trek - a varied trip with a mix of sightseeing, trekking and traveling

    I booked this trip for the trekking and the volcanoes, and although the ascents of Merbabu (2 days) and Rinjani (3 days) are quite challenging, for me there was too much time spent traveling and sightseeing. The first week is quite gentle (with the exception of the ascent of Merbabu) and focuses more on sightseeing than trekking - if you are used to challenging point to point treks then this probably isn't the trip for you. Some of the part day walks (2-4 hours walking) are more like fillers and not really what I would call proper trekking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Bromo was just amazing, the sound, the smoke, the sea of sand, definitely a highlight for me. Also loved the ascent of Merbabu, even though it did rain all day on day one and we got absolutely soaked through! We summited on day two in time for sunrise and the views were spectacular - luckily the weather had improved!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoyed the luxury of the beach resort at the end of the trip after Rinjani, but it's a shame we only had 1 day there. We didn't arrive till 6pm so although it was a 2 night stay we only had 1 full day. I think it would be worthwhile extending it to 3 nights so you get 2 full days - not everyone can take the extra time off work to do the Gili extension.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Trevor Hamilton

    Disappointed in Experience

    Did not live up to my expectations unfortunately compared to a previous trip I went on.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Extra trip to Vinales

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was reasonably informative but we felt he did not do as much for the group as we expected.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take your own snacks as the quality and quantity provided by the tour leader was much poorer than those provided my my leader in India.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is with a lot of disappointment that I compose this email to you but as a returning customer of your company I am left feeling rather deflated after my trip with you to Cuba. I travelled last year to Kerala with you and had a fantastic time so I decided to book Cuba this year and persuaded some of my family to attend as a birthday treat for my brother who celebrated his 60th birthday whilst there. Firstly his birthday coincided with the second day of our trip ending at a beach resort. Only problem was you could hardly access the beach due to the debris on it and a collapsed beach hut. We made the best of it anyway but then the following night we were due to spend 2 nights in paladares. Allocation of these was a total shambles. Our guide knew we were travelling as a group but insisted that there were no paladares with 2 doubles and a single in one so we reluctantly split up. However, the one which my sister was allocated was totally unsuitable and she was relocated into one which had 2 doubles and a single! Slightly annoyed to say the least plus with the paladares in general, there is a huge variation in the offers in each location but we are all paying the same money so should expect the same I would have thought! The next day we all planned to go on the catamaran trip. When we arrived at the dock, the catamaran was broken and we were offered a boat which had no seats and standing room only for us all. This was supposed to be our transport for 3 hours-a total joke so we refused and got our money back but then meant we had to spend a day at the beach when we had all hoped to see the reef, snorkel etc. A wasted day! We then had a good cycle on the next day but ended up a hotel from the 1970's in the middle of nowhere. This meant that the following day we spent most of it transferring to Havana and having no time in Havana. If we had altered our cycle ride slightly to closer to the motorway we could have had an extra half day in Havana. To cap it all, on our last night we were relocated to our original hotel and told by you that we would be transferred to and from central Havana at night. When we asked about this the local rep was totally unaware of this and agreed reluctantly to do this despite him saying that his local company had not agreed this. During our cycling days, snacks were supposed to be provided but these were few and far between in contrast to my time in India when they were frequent and of good quality. Next fiasco. I had booked an extension with yourselves to Vinales and Cayo Leviso. I arrived in Vinales as planned and I had paid for an evening meal out of town starting restaurant with transfers. Turns out, the local company knew nothing of the transfers and wanted me to pay for a taxi to and from the restaurant-more than the cost of the meal. When I complained, they then suggested their own restaurant in town so I opted for this as second best and not what I had paid for! The next morning, I was due to be taken in a 13 km hike through the local area with a pack lunch. A hike was indeed provided but this was only for 5 km and finished at 11.30 am with pack lunch being a cheese and ham sandwich and a few bits if fruit. Not exactly my full day excursion I was laid to expect and certainly not a guide for the day as you stated. My transfer to Cayo Leviso went as planned but was informed on arrival that I would have to pay for lunch that day as I was not due to check in until 3 but lunch on Monday was included when I was not there to get it! The location is lovely but the cabins are basic and poorly maintained and food is canteen like with the same choice for lunch and dinner! Not exactly the picture of luxury you portrayed in your pre amble and I certainly don't think the extension cost of £699 for a half delivered promise is good value for money. All-in all, a total shambles from our point of view! I was looking at booking with you for your Vietnam trip and maybe Morocco but on the evidence of this one, I will be looking at other companies which offer similar trips to see if they deliver as promised.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Catherine Cooper

    Lovely walking holiday on a rural Greek island

    I really enjoyed the week on Evia in October, made all the more special by excellent leadership from Cecile Deltreil. The walking is good, scenically varied and very rural (we only saw one other walker the whole week!). Paths were sometimes good, sometimes non-existent on hilltops and sometimes through scratchy scrub - take your long trousers or gaiters. The trip is rated leisurely-moderate and whilst I felt the 4 day walks were 'moderate' in difficulty, partly because of the rough paths, the whole trip is fairly leisurely because you are based in one hotel and have some relaxation time at the end of each day (gin and tonics on the beach!). The Galaxy hotel in Karystos was fine with friendly family staff, good breakfast, but awful showers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Roman quarries where they chiseled out whole columns of rock and transported them down the mountain to ship to Athens, and then seeing some of those very same columns in a temple in Athens!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fab, great fun and quietly assertive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Two bits of advice: take a good jacket/fleece for October because you will be sitting outside to eat in the evenings in restaurants and it's a bit chilly; the ferry across from the mainland is a large car ferry so there's almost no risk of sea sickness.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Kevin Tappenden

    Tigers in Focus, Tadoba

    We have been considering a tiger watching holiday for a number of years, and decided to go ahead with the Tigers in Focus trip as Tadoba sounded like a less busy national park but one which offered good opportunities for tiger sightings. We were not disappointed! We had set low expectations perhaps just having a brief glimpse of a tiger crossing a track, however we achieved so much more. We had great sightings on the first 4 days of the trip, overall on 5 of the 11 safaris, and in total saw 10 individual tigers, 4 adults, 2 sub adults and 4 cubs. We were also able to enjoy the other wildlife with sightings of leopard, sloth bear and wild dog and many birds. The accommodation at V Resorts Tadoba was very good, especially taking into account the isolated rural nature of the resort. The rooms are all air conditioned and clean and comfortable. The resort is a 25-30 minute jeep ride from the gate to the national park, however this journey helped give a greater insight into rural life in India. The food at the resort was very good and varied, with varying levels of spiciness.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    With such good tiger sightings it is difficult to choose one, but probably the time we spent with Sona and her 4 cubs who are about 3 months old.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gordhon Singh was an excellent leader, who provided a good insight into life in rural India and was very knowledgeable about the local wildlife.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for very early starts, you set off at 5.30am each morning, but seeing a tiger makes up for the effort. Be prepared for the safaris being very dusty, and as you sit in an open jeep during the safaris you will get very dusty, and take some protection for your cameras.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Tadoba seems to be a quieter national park than others in India, and is mainly used by Indian visitors so do not expect to see many European or American visitors, and for us this was one of the attractions of choosing this trip.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Trevor Hoyland

    Japan - Ancient and Modern

    Having wanted to visit Japan for some years my wife and I picked the Exodus trip - 'Japan - Ancient and Modern' because it seemed to offer an interesting range of locations and was a few days longer than trips offered by other companies. The opportunity to spend nights in ryokans sleeping on the floor, bathing in onsens and experiencing traditional Japanese hospitality was also a factor as were travel by train between destinations and sightseeing on foot. The reality lived up to and beyond our expectations, we loved Japan and its people. The country is safe, ordered and steeped in a unique culture with a wealth of sights and sounds so very different from western societies. The trip took us to many historically important sites, to places of religious significance, both Buddhist and Shinto and to the quiet back streets and public spaces and gardens of ancient towns and the serene districts of the bigger cities. These were juxtaposed with the ultra modern cityscapes of Tokyo, a city which would take half a lifetime to explore and the reality of travel by bullet train and the technological wonder that is the Japanese toilet. Although the trip is full on, up early and off most days, there is also built in some time for personal exploration or just resting and taking in the passing scene. My only negative comment would probably be about the snow monkeys, which are never at Yudanaka at the time we visited, they are still feeding in the woods and have recently had their babies and don't come down to the hot springs until later in the year when the snows come. I suppose the clue is in the name. In any event Yudanaka itself is not to be missed and the hotel and onsen at which we stayed were superb. Through Exodus we arranged to fly home seven days after the 16 day trip had finished and spent a further week visiting two locations of particular interest to us with an extra day and night in Tokyo. Exodus staff were extremely helpful during our researches and the success of this extra time was in no small way down to their expert knowledge and readiness to give advice. All in all a wonderful experience which has whetted our appetite for a return visit to Japan to explore some of the many fascinating destinations it has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many inspirational moments, first ride on the bullet train, the view from the top of a skyscraper of Tokyo at night, monks moving quietly through the grounds of their temples, watching the devotions of local people at the various shrines and temples, the sudden view of Mount Fuji from the window of a train and entire hillsides covered in trees in their autumn glory illuminated by the afternoon sun. There were inspirational moments around every corner.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was Alena Eckelmann and the success of the whole trip was linked directly to her hard-work, enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the country. She has excellent language skills, has lived in Japan for the last 10 years and was able to move us around the country safely, despite the obvious pitfalls in moving a group of 18 on and off crowded Japanese trains and buses. Her priority at all times was for the group to get the maximum enjoyment from their holiday whilst keeping us safe and well. This she did with a gentle sense of humour, clear historical and cultural information when appropriate and precise instructions about what was happening next, where we would meet and what our options were for our free time. Always patient, always good-humoured, flexible when necessary, Alena was the cornerstone of what was for us a wonderful experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As a taster experience for what is a fascinating country with many, many regions to explore I believe Japan - Ancient and Modern is excellent. A well chosen itinerary with good accommodation and comfortable travel arrangements for a pretty full-on trip. Much of the exploration is on foot and days start early and sometimes finish late. Pack light, bring your comfortable walking shoes, an umbrella and an open mind and you will have a great time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to Marta Marinelli and Andre Lopes - Exodus Travel consultants for their patience and help in planning our extra week. We visited Nikko and Hakone for 3 days each and had a lovely time. If extra time is an option Nikko in particular is a good choice for a few days in the mountains.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Elizabeth Williams

    Everest Base Camp

    Fantastic trip with incredible scenery in a beautiful country. Getting into the real scenery with an authentic experience and a great trekking challenge. Loved it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Base camp. Whilst not the highest or hardest trek I’ve done it was tough and seeing our group of varied age and ability persevere to reach the target was amazing. Kala Pattar trek and watching the sunrise hit the mountain tops on a crystal clear morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant! Helpful, friendly, knowledgable. Bikash got to know each of us and any issues or challenges we had to support us on the trek. He was good company and a great guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare well, follow the trip notes advice, it’s very accurate. Be prepared to hire helicopters to get to lukla if your flight is delayed as once it starts to back up it’s chaos.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wonderful, highly recommend it, it’s nit for you if you want luxury but it is if you want amazing scenery and a real adventure in a beautiful country!
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Oliver C

    The Roof of Africa & The Big 5!

    Everything about this trip was fantastic from beginning to end! The mountain hiking was brilliant, with the scenery changing slowly from lush tropical forest to the barren moonscapes of the summit with almost everything in between. The help, encouragement and guidance we received from the whole team, from the leader to the porters, was incredible and they played a huge part in ensuring the entire group had the privilege of standing on the roof of Africa. The summit is a grim 6 hour uphill struggle through the night, but it is almost instantly forgotten as you stand on Stella Point to watch the sun's first rays light up Mawenzi Peak. From there it is a further 45 minutes to Uhuru Peak - the highest point in Africa. After 6 days and a night of walking at this point the sense of relief and achievement cannot be overstated! The food on the mountain was plentiful, and given the circumstances, very tasty. Spirits in the camp were high throughout the trip (even when the zip for the toilet tent broke) and there was a real sense of togetherness in the team to ensure everyone reached their goals. Once we were down and showered, and had had a few beers to celebrate the achievement, it was time for the safari. Over the following 3 days we were lucky enough to see everything we could have hoped for, including close encounters with a leopard, a pack of lions with cubs, elephants, giraffes and countless other animals. The sheer numbers of wildlife in both the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti was breathtaking, and it was wonderful to see the animals interacting with each other in their natural habitat. The base for the final two night of the trip was a permanent tented camp on the outskirts of the Serengeti, which although it took a little getting used to (being escorted back from dinner by a man with a gun was an interesting experience!), waking up to the African dawn chorus in the midst of so many amazing animals was a great way to end the trip! I just want to put a little disclaimer on this review that I work for Exodus in the UK Head Office, but this was my first time travelling with them and it has made me extremely proud of the company I work for.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on the summit of Kilimanjaro. Seeing a wild leopard stalking her prey up close.
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