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 2017
    Susie Morton

    Beautiful but brutal (on the legs)

    A whirl wind trip with amazing memories! Amazing scenery, welcoming locals, a fun group and a mountain worth conquering!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it to the top!! The altitude on such a short trip (up and down the mountain) does play a factor on this trip, so making it to the top felt a huge achievement. The views were breath taking, literally!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aziz was an excellent leader - very well organised, calm and coped well with a large group with differing abilities/needs. Aziz also had an excellent team around him, we were well looked after by the full team and the food was fantastic (both in terms of quality and quantity).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even though this is just a weekend trip, don't underestimate how exhausting it will be. My fitness levels were ok but I would have enjoyed this trip a little more had I trained a wee bit more beforehand. That said, everyone had sore legs the day after the climb, it's a long ascent/descent day! Change money at the airport in Marrakech (after security but before going through to landside) as you can't change money at the hotel. Or use ATMs near hotel (which we did without any issues). Consider doing the trip in early April to get the chance to climb on snow (without it being full on winter) for me having to use crampons added to the fun of the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's great to see exodus offering weekend mountain breaks. Definitely consider this trip if your time is tight but also consider doing the 8 day trip if you've got the time available - I'd have loved to have stopped to explore more of Morocco, even for an extra day or two.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Joseph Mateo

    An inspirational climb up Mount Toubkal

    If you're seeking a challenge and awe inspiring scenery, this climb is hard to beat. Easily reached from the centre of Marrakesh you get a real sense of the region, it's beauty and it's Berber heritage. This is my fifth time in Marrakesh and this climb has been the most memorable of all my visits and one that I'll remember in future years.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being above the clouds is pretty damn spectacular. The experience is quite surreal as you've had to concentrate on the climb, putting one foot in front of the other for hours. All that is forgotten in a moment as you see your first glimpse of sunlit mountains surrounding you and cloud below. An awe inspiring sight and a real privilege to have been able to set foot on that ground. If you can do that, you can do anything.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was amazing. Never stopped smiling throughout the trip. He ensured we were all safe and taken care of at every stage.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    For the night at basecamp I would definitely take ear plugs with you as sleeping quarters are cosy and some people talk in their sleep...

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Doing this trip has given me a real craving to do more of them. I would recommend it to anyone who's looking for a once in a lifetime experience.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Louise Gilchrist

    Mount Toubkal - long weekend

    I absolutely loved my trip, which included the relaxed delights of Marrakech (sitting on a roof terrace drinking mint tea and visiting a beautiful tiled hammam) and lung-busting strenous walking and scambling to the summit of Mount Toubkal. I'm so grateful for the wonderful guides who helped me during the stay, particularly Abdi who held my hand and helped me get up and down the moutain! I'm also really grateful to the other members of our group who were funny, inspiring and kind.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    About half way up Mount Toubkal, turning round and seeing the sun slowly illuminating the slopes below: one by one they turned from black to orange and suddenly we found ourselves illuminated in the blazing African sunshine. It was a strange sensation - as we were so high up, the air still feel cool and chilly so I kept my woolly hat on!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Just amazing. Our group leader was my cousin Jae and our main guide was Abdul. Both were wonderful - patient, kind, encouraging and they worked really long hours to make sure everyone on the trip was having the best possible time. Thank you Jae and Abdul.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get as fit as possible - I wouldn't have made it to the top without lots of help from Abdi! Also, bring walking poles. And I'd recommend buying some goodies from Mrs Mills Bakes Cakes to help you keep your energy up!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just to say thank you again - I'm going to remember this trip for years and years...
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Jennifer Mullen

    The top of North Africa!

    I took part in a private group's 5 day trip climbing up Toubkal. From the moment you start climbing up through the Berber villages, traversing walnut tree groves and zigzagging into the hills, you are won over by the beauty of the Atlas mountains. Make no mistake, you have to work hard for the views, therefore sturdy boots and plenty of water are essential. Read the trip notes, as items such as a head torch are also non negotiable (I suspect the lady I saw wearing Ugg boots probably wasn't an Exodus customer, as they gave us excellent preparation advice on what not to wear!). This jouney will challenge you physically and you do need a good level of fitness. Some parts are a bit rough, such as scrambling over boulders and scree, but the view from the top is breathtaking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm not a religious person at all, but watching one of the guides quietly praying on a rock surrounded by dawn mountains felt like I was inside a Khaled Hosseini novel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdul was a legend with his local knowledge, patience and cheeky smile. Mohammad set the pace on the way down....you could tell he had done the climb 450 times!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit, break in new hiking boots well in advance and don't forget to sun screen your neck (1 week later mine still matches my fuschia bedroom curtains!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus genuinely go the extra mile to give their customers the best possible experience. The passion and knowledge of their staff are outstanding.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Peter Rogerson

    Mount Toubkal Long Weekend - June 2016

    Another faultlessly organized Exodus trip that did exactly what it said on the tin. We actually stayed on in Marrakech for 2 extra nights as, our group of 5, had not been before. I can imagine it being quite a rush otherwise, which is obviously what the trip is all about - doing the mountain in a weekend. Marrakech was a lot nicer than I imagined before I went, wide boulevards, gardens and very friendly people. It's only the centre with the souks and markets that are busy are touristy. The hotel is about 40 minutes walk from the centre, but cabs are plentiful and cheap and at least the walk is straight forward. We were there in Ramadan, which was actually fine as all the restaurants (& bars) were still open, but empty and it didn't inconvenience us at all. Marrakech feels quite cosmopolitan and open, although I did find people really didn't like having their photo taken, even from a distance. There seems so much for sale in town, far more than would be possible for tourists to purchase, so sales techniques are tough - you should be prepared for that. The mountain itself is fine - on the first day you walk for 2.5 hours, have lunch, and then for a further 3, until you reach the refuge, which is surprisingly solid and well built. Mules take your main luggage and the muleteers will prepare your food for you at the refuge. The beds are in dormitory rooms, which if full, would be very cozy, but our group of 6 had a room to ourselves and plenty of room. The climb to Toubkal summit starts early on day 2 and is a stiff climb of around 3-4 hours, depending on breaks. You only really begin to appreciate the views once you're approaching the summit as up to that point, you're walking through a valley staring at the Toubkal mountain in front of you. The views from the top, however, are amazing and worth the climb. The temperature in June was, on day 1, HOT .. I got very sunburned so take hats and cream. The climb to the summit required only a thin fleece (June). On the way down, you will slip on the scree slopes, and likely end up on your backsides a few times, but it's great fun. Once back at the refuge for lunch, you then head back down the valley to the hotel in Imlil, which is basic, but actually very pleasant (but they don't have beer) and then back to Marrakech. June departures do not need warm clothes (although apparently waterproofs if it rains - it didn't for us). I managed with a light fleece on the summit day. The heat means you will drink a lot of water, so a bladder for your rucksack is very useful. You can buy water at regular intervals on day one, but not between the lodge and summit. The lodge does sell soft drinks, but these can run out late in the day (as everything is brought up by mule) so buy some drinks on the route through the valley on day one.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I wouldn't call Toubkal a particularly impressive mountain from a distance and you only really get the views across the Atlas range when close to the top, but when you are close to the summit, the views open out before you and you will have some great views across the Atlas range. However, the only answer to the question has to be finally making it to the top, which of course was why we were there.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hameed was our guide - very experienced, he had climbed Toubkal over a hundred times I think he said. He was partaking in Ramadan, i.e. no food or drink from about 3 am until 8pm, which, if true, was a staggering achievement as we were drinking half a dozen litres of water during this time. We were a small group of 6 and there were no issues across the weekend. He was also very happy to take us out to restaurants that sold beer on the final night of the tour in Marrakech, even though he didn't eat or drink himself. A solid performance.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I've mentioned a few things in the summary, but Toubkal, although a stiff climb on the summit day, is very accessible, however, I have to be honest and say it's not the most attractive of mountains for views - it's quite rocky and the first day you are walking through a valley. In June, however, it's hot and sweaty on the first day, and pleasant on the summit day. If you are genuinely looking to tick off a mountain in a weekend, then this would seem to be ideal.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I don't think so - but perhaps if you're thinking of this as a training exercise for Kilimanjaro, for example, it's actually very different and can't be climbed in the same way. Nothing prepares you for altitude - Toubkal won't prepare you for that, it's not high enough, and there are walks in Snowdonia or the Lakes that would prepare you just as well, although that's just my opinion.
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Ryan Langridge

    Amazing weekend

    Had a great time from reaching the airport right through to being dropped back off for the flight home, our guide was brilliant and put us all at ease straight away.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of the mountain will certainly be something I won't forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very hospitable and was very funny to be around, he also made the group feel safe
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Erin Callaghan

    Great experience and very good guide

    This was the highest mountain I'd been to so was a little worried about whether the altitude would affect me. In the end it was totally fine and I needn't have worried. This may have been partly to do with the group I was in as the pace was much more leisurely than I'd imagined, and in actual fact I was hoping for something a little more strenuous! Our guide, Hassan, was very good and made sure everyone was looked after.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of course!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan was excellent and kept everybody in order and happy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring walking poles, they're an enormous help for the descent.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Caroline Powell

    Toubkal Long Weekend

    This was an excellent trip and good value for money. The only things to be wary of is that the trip notes state that some of the paths are stony, well actually ALL of them are rocky, its like climbing stairs for 8 hours.......the only reason i mention it is that my group found this a bit more high impact on knees, thighs and calf muscles than normal trekking. Two of us did the Kilimanjaro Rongai trip and found it easier than this

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to say what the most inspirational moment was, on the way down i sat and cried but that was exhaustion, i also cried a little when one of the guys got out a bottle of gin once we were back down. It was a bit too short to have any real inspirational moments, if i could do it again i would do the 8 day trip instead.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Out group leader was Abdullah, and he was great. Even when one of our group decided they knew better (there's always one!) he dealt with her in a very calm way. Very professional. Abdullah dealt with the fears that one of our group had dealing with asthma coming up the mountain, all in all he was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You can buy water along the way for 12-15 dirhams for 1.5L but that gets costly since you can consume a lot in a day. Also its really really rocky, i keep emphasizing this as i read the trip notes and wasn't expecting it to be as bad as it was. the trip notes state that some paths are stony when in reality over 5 hour of climbing and 6 hours of descending were via rocks, not small ones either, which had a higher impact of my knees than i was expecting.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really think if i did this again i would do the 8 day trip instead.
  • Reviewed May 2015
    Vinayak Bapat

    Mount Toubkal May 2015

    One of the best treks I have ever done. Organisation was without fault. Thanks tot he cooks and the boys helping with luggage and an excellent group, it was the most enjoyable experience I have ever had. Accommodation in Marrakech and Aron was comfortable. I liked the night stay in Aron when we walked down after the summit day. It was peaceful, good showers and dinner under the stars. I would recommend this trek to those who want a challenge or those who want to use this as a training to tougher treks such as Killimanjaro.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Coming down in crampons !! Lot of snow on way up and we all were worried how we are going to walk down. Hassan and Lskar helped us to put on crampons (I had never walked with one on and had never skied) but it was amazing as I followed two of my fellow trekkers and it was easy and fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hassan was fantastic and a perfect Gentleman. I have never met any team leader who had a good control and understanding of every situation and knew when to tell us what and when to leave us alone. Given that all of us were grown up professionals I can only admire how well he did it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a brilliant two and half day trek. Do take a day off in Marrakech as you need time to recover. Layers are important, not so much of a Down jacket but waterproof layer which acts as wind breaker is important as climbing to the summit.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Refuge is a great experience and you meet many people of different age, nationalities and walks of life. It is not a luxury accommodation hence if not had experience of this before do not have negative impression. It is part of the experience of mountain climbing in remote area.
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Elise Wortley

    Amazing Adventure!

    This trip was fantastic, a really great way to see Morocco in a short time. Excellent leader and the food was outstanding!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We went early in the season so there was quite a bit of snow, making it to the pass was so rewarding and we all had a great sense of achievement.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Yaya was absolutely amazing. He knew the mountains inside out and was brilliant with the snowy conditions. We also had Mohammed, a second leader while we made our ascent who was incredibly calm and went at a steady pace which the whole group could keep up with. Yaya made sure we were always happy and nobody had any problems and always asked how we were when we got to the higher areas. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you visit the souks in Marrakesh, they are amazing and don't forget to haggle! Definitely worth taking lots of pairs of socks and warm clothes for when you're up high. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was a really great trip and ideal for those who only have a short time to holiday. You feel as though you are there for a full week as you fit so much in, the food is amazing and the scenery when you start walking is exceptional. I would definitely go back and do this trip again!
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