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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 April 2019
    Jules McKittrick

    Awesome trip

    This trip packed in a lot in the confines of a two-week itinerary! I really liked the variety of the trip - the first half takes you to less touristy places, such as Garli, Mandi. Even at the Golden Temple I felt like we were the only non-Indian visitors, and that made it very special. A stop in the home town of the Dalai Lama was made even more special by actually seeing him at his home - this was due to a well timed visit to the temple. Agra and Delhi are crazy busy places and not for the faint-hearted! But again a great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the incredible logistical exercise of feeding the masses at the Golden Temple - even joined in with a bit of chapati making!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There was a great joint-effort between our guide, Sonham, and our two drivers. Anil, one of the drivers, went completely out of his way to look after us. His driving skills were quite something - especially the navigation around Delhi and some of the mountain roads. I have no idea how he did it but kept us safe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A great trip if you want to get a bit away from the big attractions of northern India (but a nice bonus at the end of the trip with the Taj Majal).
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Steve and Tracey Chivers

    Good trip which could be great

    We thought we should start by explaining why we would score this trip a 4 rather than a 5; 1. On the game drives seating is allocated so you have no say on who you share a drive with (other than your partner) or what zone you visit. As a result, the groups often go to different zones and there didn’t seem to be any rationale as to who was doing what and when. 2. There is some seat rotation however we found this to be extremely limited, therefore out of our 10 fellow travellers we didn’t spend any game drive time with 6 of them. 3. Because of point 1 and 2 we had the understandable issue of some people experiencing better spotting (especially tigers) than others. Our group seemed to have the least sightings and were happy for the others but a tad jealous. That said we had a great group, who were very respectful and with our encouragement were happy to share their experiences and photos, which we loved. 4. Vijay joins a jeep on each game drive and due to the need for a local guide, regardless of whether Vijay is with you or not, when he joins your drive the 3 in the back tend to have an uncomfortable time (this seemed to be the overall view of the group). Although Vijay rotates which Jeep he joins, for us, we had a group of 3 jeeps meaning that for a 1/3rd of the time we had 5 in the jeep not the advertised 4. 5. As with all of these trips there are a few travel days, which was absolutely fine, however the opportunity to mix up the groups up wasn’t taken. 6. As a consequence of the above points we had limited quality time with 6 of our 10 fellow travellers, which was a shame. Putting the above points aside, we wouldn’t want to give the impression that we didn’t have a great time because we did. In the end we saw 16 tigers which was far more than we thought we would. The majority of these came in the last few drives and we were really pleased we took the option of the additional drive, during which we saw 3 tigers, 2 of which were mating. We also saw a huge array of other wildlife although we didn’t see a leopard. The hotels were perfectly fine, although we would agree the food option as a tad repetitive. Loved the train journey and what really adds to this trip is the visit the Taj Mahal which is a true wonder of the modern world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Has to be the 90 minutes we spent with a young male tiger, on game drive 15, it was incredible!! We were lucky enough to be first on the scene and because of this and due to it being in one of the smaller zones we didn’t have to go through the “jeep scum” that takes place in the bigger zones.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    It seemed to us this is a pretty tricky trip to lead, given the pressure to ensure everyone has the “once in a life time” tiger experience they are hoping for and the added stress of the train journey. During our trip it was Tracey’s birthday and without asking Vijay organised a birthday cake and even bought her a present, which was very much appreciated. We thought he managed the subject of tips well and gave the group the option of allowing him to manage this which everyone agreed was the best option. Vijay provided the group a summary towards the end of the trip detailing how the tip money had been spent which was a little unnecessary but a nice touch. We both loved how excited he got when a tiger was spotted and he waited at the lodge entrance for all the jeeps to return and was always keen to hear how successful the drives had been. Overall, we would say Vijay was an excellent group leader and we both enjoyed his company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read Jackie’s review “its not all about the tigers” with interest as in reality its really difficult to avoid the trip from not being so. We can only suggest you remain patient and enjoy the wildlife that you do see. Out of 16 tigers we saw, our first sighting was on drive 8, with 4 being on drive 15 and 3 on the additional drive. The trip notes are pretty decent and offer any additional info you may need.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We are sure some of the fellow travellers would give the trip a 5, and with some fairly basic changes we would agree that the trip should rate a 5. This was the second time we have visited India with the aim of seeing tigers in the wild and this trip offers an excellent opportunity to do so at a very reasonable price. Compared with our previous experience, we came away with the opinion that everything was being done, that can be, to help tigers survive and we got the impression that numbers are on the rise which is fab news!! This was certainly reflected in the fact we our many more tigers this time than the last time we visited (should add this wasn’t with Exodus). In summary, we would certainly recommend the trip to others.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Gabriella Sardi

    Fantastic trip!

    An amazing trip with a very full on itinerary! You’ ll see all the highlights of Northern India, you will do all the must activities like boat ride in Varanasi. Yes, there will be early mornings, but in return you’ll got to see fantastic places during sunrise! Yes, there will be long bus journeys, but you’ll travel through small villages and see how people live and take some amazing photos. Yes, most hotels were basic, but nice and clean with friendly staff. Yes, the overnight train is fun! Read your trip notes to know what to expect, arrive with open mind, ask questions and enjoy this amazing country!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Varanasi! I wasn’t very keen on that town, read lots of disturbing facts. But the morning boat ride on the Ganges was very inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had the best tour leader ever. Friendly, very knowledgeable, had amazing customer service and went all above and beyond for all of us! Thank you Naveen Bazaz! You are a true treasure for your company!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read your travel notes, they have all the info you need to know! Travel with open mind, ask questions and enjoy!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus! This was an amazing trip! Had an amazing time which i won’t forget for sure!!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Ruth Chew

    Great Trip

    Rajasthan is an amazing place. The people, the colours, the chaos! This was my first visit to India and it has left me wanting more. The itinerary covered all the highlights, but our guide, Ajay, added walks in the villages and towns to add to the experience. We even visited the home of an Indian family which was lovely. The only minor negative was that there was less free time than the itinerary promised and little, if any, time to look round the markets and generally absorb the atmosphere.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal was breathtaking! I will never the moment I first got sight of it. A memory that live with me forever.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay, our group leader, was very good. He was knowledgable, helpful, humurous and a lovely person. He could not do enough to make sure that we all had a great time. We had some wonderful food and the location for our final meal was excellent. It seemed to be his sole aim to make sure that his group had the best experience in his beautiful country.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Kevin Munns

    You certainly won’t forget it

    The most appropriate comment I read before booking the trip, which turned out to be true, was “not for the faint-hearted”. Amen to that. It certainly was a memorable trip, but its probably an itinerary best suited to an 11 or 12 day tour, but crammed into 9 instead. I’m sure Exodus have a great angle on the market by doing so much in a trip that people only need to take a week off work for, but the 7 hour drive after landing for people who booked the group flight, three sunrise starts, another 5am arrival after a night on the train, all added together is a bit much for some people. What we saw was life-changing in lots of ways, especially the evening aarti ceremony in Varanasi, but who knows what else we would have noticed with a bit more sleep!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The aarti ceremony in Varanasi, an optional extra suggested by our excellent guide, was truly something that forced you to put your camera down and try to make sense of what was happening. Lots of other moments were incredible too, the Taj Mahal, walking aroung Jaipur for the first time, the Amber Fort outside Agra, etc etc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was excellent. It was the end of the season and he had probably done a trip too many by this time, but his experience showed through at key moments, and made the trip for us. For example, advising us not to look towards the Taj Mahal before reaching the main gate, (the opposite of what the local guide was telling us), his knowledge of the best dishes in the restaurants we went in, recommending the aarti festival in Varanasi, sorting out sleeping arrangements on a train with 7 people in two carriages at one end of the train and 5 i a carriage at the opposite end.. the list goes on

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    At the very least book one extra night in Delhi before the tour starts, or do what we did and book two. Don’t take the group flight.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The tailor-made extensions which we added were absolutely excellent. Forget having a Goa extension (how many beach resorts in the world are there better than India, and why would you choose even a good one when you knew it would be full of Indian men?), have a 4 or 5 day Udaipur extension instead, with a few optional activities, but lots of time to walk around the old town as well and absorb the incredible atmosphere there.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Tony Jenkins

    What a fantastic trip!

    Wow, what a great trip. I had a fantastic time and I am so glad that I did it. There were so many highlights. To start with the cycling was varied and interesting combining flat, uphill and undulating sections along the way as well as cycling by rivers, along country lanes, a bit of city cycling, cycling through tea plantations and many more. The food was delicious throughout and there was lots of choice. I particularly enjoyed the fresh fish and jumbo prawns in Cochin but there was also a wide variety of tasty curries to choose from along the way. All of the accommodation was relaxing, comfortable and air conditioned/had fans. The amount of different places visited was great too ranging from Hindu temples, Christian churches, tea plantation, spice plantation, bird sanctuary etc. The guides on the trip were exceptional. Abhi, the tour leader, always had a smile on his face and always had an answer for any question that you asked him. He was also very encouraging on the cycling side of things as well as pointing out lots of interesting things along the way. He also made you feel welcome and was very organised. He was great. Franklin, the driver, was also great. He was always there to help with your luggage, fill up your water bottle or offer some food for your trip. He was also encouraging too. I would just like to say a quick thank you to Virginia, Alan and Scott who were my travel companions. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to travel with. They were fun, good to talk to and helped make me feel comfortable while cycling. Thanks. Finally, I would like to say that if you are thinking about doing this trip then just do it as you will have a great time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment was the day where we were cycling through the tea plantations. I really enjoyed the cycling (including 3000ft of climbing!) and the scenery was spectacular too.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader Abhi always had a smile on his face and always had an answer for any question that you asked him. He was also very encouraging on the cycling side of things as well as pointing out lots of interesting things along the way. He also made you feel welcome and was very organised. He was interesting to talk to and a great human being.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It got up to nearly 46 degrees when I went on my trip so I would highly recommend wearing a cap/buff or similar under your cycling helmet as it gets so hot on your head otherwise. I would also recommend cycling gloves and padded shorts/underwear as it can get very hot and sticky. Good quality sun cream is essential too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would highly recommend going on this trip as it is varied, fun and exceptionally well run.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jackey Phillips

    It wasn't all about the tigers

    A well organised and interesting trip but we had disappointing tiger sightings. All the hotels and lodges were of a very good standard for India and the staff helpful and pleasant. The food was good and not too spicy, though a bit repetetive. The lodge at Bandhavgarh was very good with an excellent swimming pool and beautiful gardens.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Giving my bananas to the elephants. Seeing the Taj Mahal Seeing the 2 tiger cubs

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vijay organised everything very well and ensured we were all at the right place at the right time, though at times it was not easy to understand all he said. He took care of all the tipping, which made life much easier.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Plastic is not allowed in the parks, so take something else to protect your camera from the dust, which is worst in Bandhavgarh. You need the smaller 3 round pin plugs, but the European 2 round pin works everywhere. The lunches were all served buffet style at 500 rupees and were very similar to the evening meals. It was possible at Pench to order from the a la carte menu but the order took a long time, at Kanha it was buffet only, but at Bandhavgarh it was possible to get omelette and delicious chips. Take mosquito spray and anti histamine and hairdryer if needed.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We saw 3 glimpses of tigers in Pench and Kanha but it was not until the last day at Bandhavgarh (game drive 14) that we had a good sighting of 2 year old cubs. We did see other birds and animals but between the hours of 6-8am and 4.30-6.30pm the emphasis is all in the tigers as they sleep during the day. The trouble with this is that the drivers in Bandhavgarh are under so much pressure in the 3 days you are with them to get you a tiger sighting that they definitely do not keep to the 20kph speed limit and race around the park like rally drivers when they hear of a sighting. We reached nearly 80kph one evening in a terrifying 10 minute race to try and see a tiger! Also, elephants are used to flush out tigers and one time elephants were sent into an area of high grass where it was known there were 4 very young cubs. At Bandhavgarh the jeep allocations were not done evenly in the 3 zones. They had been booked months before, but we nearly ended up in the same zone 4 times.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jo Browning

    Fabulous trip

    A full-on, fast moving trip with many highlights and a fabulous introduction to Northern India - its sites, sounds, colour, culture, hospitality, food and so much more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal at sunrise does not disappoint but the evening prayer ceremony at Varanasi was truly inspirational - impossible to explain but I am still taking it all in one month later.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay made our trip. A shining example of Indian hospitality and courtesy. He wanted to make our holiday the best it could be for us. He was a master at keeping us on the move, without feeling too rushed, and at juggling itineraries to make every second count. He had fabulous knowledge, endless patience, great sense of humour and definitely went 'the extra mile' to make our visit so enjoyable. Thanks, Ajay

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be realistic - some things (weather, public transport) are beyond the leader/itinerary's control. Go with an open mind and you will see and experience masses. I took sterling and it was easy to change at hotels. Take binoculars for the game drives.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An amazing trip...
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Clare Harding

    Wonderful India

    A very enjoyable holiday seeing the splenders of Rajasthan. So many wonderful sights and places but for me the highlights must be seeing 7 tigers on the game drives and the Holi festival in Jaipur. I did however find the long bus journies tiring.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Playing Holi in Jaipur

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gajrat was very kind and supportive. Each day we were on the bus he gave us interesting little talks about Indian culture and history.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink lots of bottled drinks and be prepared for long journeys between destinations.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Jane Bellworthy

    Guides make this type of trip

    Our guide Naveen Bazaz was simply brilliant. Knowledgeable, a good listener meaning everything we wanted to do he found a way for us to do it, a great planner/organiser. Excellent English speaker and very welcome since my Hindi is non-existent. I fell and hurt my ankle quite badly just as I was meeting the group. The help I received from Naveen was brilliant as it was from my fellow travellers. Out of the 11 on the trip, one was a nurse and one a physio. Whenever we came across some steps, one of the group would be there to help me. Thank you everyone. It was a fantastic group and I am sure I speak for all in that we gelled well and enjoyed each others company. Overall, the best holiday of this type I have ever had, despite the pain in the ankle!! Thank you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing tigers on two separate occasions. Boat trip on the ganges and placing memorials of flowers, with tea lights, on the water. Very atmospheric. Eating in a street food restaurant.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Simply exceptional. I can't emphasize enough how good he was.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, definitely! Take a water bottle with a covered drinking aperture and even then rinse in boiling water once or twice during your trip. I feel this is why I didn't suffer from 'Delhi Belly'. If you buy water and it is sealed still pour into your own water bottle. Take a swimming costume! All hotels have pools and a swim after travelling was wonderful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would certainly go with Exodus again. in fact they would be my tour guide of choice from now on. Thank you everyone.
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