Assam Explorer Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
India
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
AKN
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

15 Days Flight Inclusive
14 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

Tucked away in northeast India lies a wild land of pristine forests, rugged mountains and beautiful lakes, inhabited by some of Asia's last surviving former headhunting tribes. It is arguably one of the most beautiful and fascinating regions of India, sharing borders with Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar and Bangladesh, yet it remains the least explored. Journey through Meghalaya, Assam and Nagaland on this adventurous tour, starting with the living root bridges in Cherrapunjee and the capital city of Meghalaya, Shillong. We then continue to Assam, searching for the one-horned rhino in Kaziranga National Park before moving on to Majuli Island, where we visit the village of the Mishing tribe. Finishing in Nagaland, we explore Lungwa village, which straddles the India-Myanmar border. A trip to Nagaland isn't complete without a visit to Hongphoi village, to meet one of the last surviving former headhunting Konyak tribes in this region.

At a Glance

  • 9 nights standard hotels, 4 nights lodges
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus local leader and driver. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus, Jeep and 1 internal flight
  • Hornbill Festival and Aoleang Festival departures

Trip Highlights

  • Colonial town of Shillong
  • Wildlife in Kaziranga National Park
  • Meet former headhunting tribes in Nagaland
  • Living root bridges of Cheerapunji

Is This Trip for You?

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)

This trip provides an excellent introduction to the northeast of the country and includes a great range of experiences and sights, from walking in the Khasi hills to visiting the bustling city of Kolkata. 

On day 3 the optional hike to the living root-bridge, though a very rewarding experience, is very challanging as there are 2,500 steep steps to negotiate going down to and returning from the bridge. It will take approx. 2 hours (or longer depending on your physical fitness) to reach the bridge.  We then return via the same steps which can be strenuous in the heat and it will most likely take longer than the descent.  Walking shoes with a good grip are essential and it is adviseable to bring walking poles or get hold of a stick locally if you have problems with your knees but you intend doing this option.

Please note that hotel facilities in northeast India tend to be simpler than other regions, but most of the hotels we use meet local 2-3-star standards. 

We have included the names of the most frequently used hotels for each day of this trip. We cannot guarantee these specific hotels are available on all departures and where they are not we will use accommodation of a similar standard. 

The road quality varies throughout this trip and are obviously very different from those in the west.  Local traffic and/or road damage after the monsoon can sometimes slow us down. Although we attempt to minimise journey times, you must be prepared for some longer or bumpy drives. The real draw of travelling in the North East of India is that it is a less trodden tourist path however that does mean standards should not be compared with other countries or even other areas of India.  Suspending expectations is often the best way to approach this adventure.

Please note that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip. The ASI’s schedule is never published so it is not possible to forewarn our clients of when work will be taking place.

Hornbill Festival
On Hornbill Festival departures, our visit to Mon is replaced with Kohima. The festival celebrates the rich heritage of Nagaland, with tribes coming together to perform traditional dances and folk songs, and to display their ornate clothing, jewellery and hunting spears. The festival takes place annually in the first week of December.

Aoleang Spring Festival
Celebrated by the Konyak Naga people, Aoleang is celebrated in the Mon district on an annual basis in the first week of April. The festival marks the end of the current year and welcomes the start of the new year with the spring season. It showcases the rich cultural heritage with dance, songs and games, combined with modern music talents from the district.

The Aoleang Spring Festival departure follows the standard itinerary but is scheduled so that we can experience the festival whilst we are staying in Mon.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

Group normally 5 to 16, plus local leader and driver. Our Indian team of leaders have proved very popular with their incredible knowledge, passion and hospitality adding greatly to the experience. There is no better way to experience Indian culture than letting an Indian guide show you around their country.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Guwahati
End City:
Kolkata

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Guwahati, Assam

    Arrive Guwahati, the state capital of Assam and transfer to the hotel. You will be advised of when the welcome meeting for your group will be held. As our group flight usually arrives late afternoon you may like to arrive a day or two earlier so you can visit the 17th Century Shiva Umananda temple and explore Guwahati. The temple is a ferry ride across the Brahmaputra River to Peacock Island and is located at the top of a series of steep steps. This is also a nice resting place for rare golden langurs (leaf-eating monkeys and one of India's most endangered primates). Our sales team can arrange pre-tour accommodation at the start hotel if you decide to arrive earlier. 
    Hotel D Courtyard or similar

  • Day 2

    Drive to Cherrapunjee; visit Nakikhai Falls and Mawsmi cave

    Today we drive to Cherrapunjee, also known as Sohra, in the state of Meghalaya. Cherrapunjee is one of the wettest places on the planet and the only place in India to receive rain throughout the year. The heavy monsoon rains over these mountains, create one of the rarest bio-diverse vegetation in the world. On route we have a view stop at Umiam Lake (also known as Barapani Lake). This picturesque reservoir was created by damming the Umiam River in the early 1960s. En route we also visit Nokikhai falls one of the top ten in Meghalaya and the stunning underground Mawsmai caves. Please note the floor in the caves can sometimes be wet so it is best to wear shoes with a good grip. Drive on to Cherrapunjee where we check in to the hotel.
    Drive approx. 148km, 7-8 hrs

    Cherrapunjee Holiday resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Walk through the Khasi hills to the double-decker living root bridge

    An exciting day as we enjoy an optional scenic walk through the beautiful Khasi hills to the 250-year-old double-decker living root bridge, spanning between two grand old rubber trees in the remote village of Norgriat. This bridge can only be reached on foot but it's a very beautiful and interesting walk. The first part of the trail takes you down a series of steep stone steps, passing small remote villages. It will take approx. 2 hours (depending upon one’s physical fitness) of walking down the steps to reach the bridge. On arrival at the bridge we will have a packed lunch (not included) and enjoy resting in the area. It is then a steep climb following the same steps back to the coach. The ascent usually takes longer and it is challenging in the heat. It is a moderate/challenging trek and we recommend wearing walking shoes with good grip. Using a walking pole or finding a sturdy stick locally will help you navigate the steps especially if you have knee problems. The round trip including the trek is approx.6-7 hrs. Later return to hotel and relax. If you prefer not to do the bridge hike you can relax at our hotel or enjoy exploring Laitkynswe village which is within walking distance.

    Cherrapunjee Holiday resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Visit Mawphlang village for the Sacred Forest; drive to Shillong

    Today we will make our way to the Mawphlang Sacred Forest, with its plentiful flowering trees, orchids and butterflies (approx. 3hrs drive). From here it is just a 1 hr drive to Shillong where we will check in to our hotel. This afternoon we take a walk through the streets of Shillong, the capital city of the state of Meghalaya, as well as the headquarters of the East Khasi Hill district. Reputable educational institutions were established by various missionary groups, making Shillong the hub of education for the entire north-east. It is also home to several waterfalls and is referred to as 'the Scotland of the East'. British influence is still visible in the architecture and cuisine.

    Drive Approx. 125Kms, time 4-5Hrs

    Hotel Landmark Hills or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Drive to Kaziranga National Park in Assam via the Don Bosco Centre

    This morning we visit the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures, a famous museum which preserves the culture of various tribes and communities of northeast India. We then drive to Kaziranga National Park in Assam, with time to relax upon arrival.
    Drive approx. 252km, time 5-6 hrs

    Dhanshree Resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Morning and afternoon jeep safaris in search of the one-horned rhino.

    Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for the one-horned rhino. The landscape consists of pristine forest, tall elephant grass, reeds, marshes and shallow pools. The park also has a small number of tiger, and is home to a large breeding population of elephants, buffalo and swamp deer. Today we enjoy two jeep safaris in search of the one-horned rhino; the first drive is early in the morning, before breakfast, and the second is in the afternoon.

    Dhanshree Resort or similar

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Drive to Nimati Ghat; ferry to Majuli Island, crossing the mighty Brahmaputa River.

    Leaving Kaziranga National Park, we drive to Nimati Ghat to board a ferry to Majuli Island, crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River (approx. 2 hrs). Majuli Island is the second largest river island in the world, spreading over 924.6 sq. km, with a population of approx. 150,000. The island has been the principle place of pilgrimage for Vaishnavites since the age of the Ahom rulers. Several satras (monasteries and hermitages) resembling those of mediaeval times are headed by Satradhikars, teaching Vaishnavism. Upon arrival at Majuli Island, we'll have some time to visit these satras before making our way to the hotel. Each satra, the centre of learning, art and culture, has an unknown wealth of Vaishnavite scriptures and extensive revenue-free lands cultivated by the Bhakats (celebrated monks) of the satras.

    Drive approx 150km, time 3-4 hours (1 Hr ferry and 30 mins to Hotel)

    Me-Po Okum Eco Resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    Early morning walk in the wetlands; visit Mishing tribe village

    ajuli Island is renowned for the Mishing tribal culture and from time to time it attracts migratory birds. Today we have an early morning walk through the wetlands to catch the sunrise, look-out for birds, and enjoy the natural peace of the area. We may also see villagers as they start their day. We return to the hotel for breakfast before exploring the rest of the island. We visit more satras, learning about Majuli's unique traditions and the hold these satras have over its people. We'll meet the priests and the impact in which the Vaishnavite culture has on the people of Majuli. We then make our way to the village of the Mishing tribe, which comprises of 45% of Majuli's population, and whose ethnic culture remains unchanged for centuries. We see the community pillar houses, which are generally stilted and have a thatched roof. We finish today's sightseeing with a visit to Chamaguri satra, famous for mask making, which are used for religious dance and theatre. There is an optional cultural show this evening for those who would like to experience traditional dance and music.

    Me-Po Okum Eco Resort (Homestay) or similar

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 9

    Ferry to Nimati Ghat; drive to Sivasagar; visit Kareng Ghar, Talatal Ghar and Rang Ghar

    Leaving Majuli Island, we board the ferry back to Nimati Ghat and then drive to Sivasagar, which was once the capital of the Ahom Kings and the most historic town in the state. The Shans, who came from Thailand through northern Myanmar in the early 13th Century, ruled for 600 years. The Siva Temple, built by the Ahoms, is believed to be one of the tallest Hindu temples in India. The ruins of Ahom palaces and monuments dot the landscape around Sivasagar. Centuries before the arrival of the British, this part of the world was controlled by several tribal chieftains. This afternoon we visit two eighteenth century brick palaces Kareng Ghar and Talatal Ghar. Both are seven stories high and the Talatal Ghar has underground floors and several secret tunnels. From here we visit the Rang Ghar a double-story royal sports pavilion.  

    Drive approx. 60km, time 2 hrs. drive (2 hours Ferry)

    Hotel Shiva Palace or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Drive to Mon, Nagaland; afternoon visit to Hongphoi village

    Today we leave Assam and drive to Mon in the state of Nagaland. At 897m above sea level, Mon is one of the most mystic places in Nagaland and boasts a rich tribal heritage. It's a nature lovers' paradise, with some of the best views of the Assam plains viewed from here. In the afternoon we visit Hongphoi village to meet one of the last surviving former headhunting tribes in this region. At the Angh's house, we will meet some of the elders of the village. They are dressed in tribal clothing which signifies they belong to the Naomei Cult. After our visit we return to Mon.
    Drive approx. 120 km, time 4-5 hrs.

    Teihpha Cottage (Homestay) or similar

    Aoleang Spring Festival departure 

    This departure follows this standard itinerary but is scheduled so that we can experience the festival whilst staying in Mon.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 11

    Visit Longwa village, located on the India-Myanmar border; return to Mon

    Another interesting day today as we visit Longwa village, located on the India-Myanmar border and where villagers have dual citizenship. One half of the Angh's house falls within Indian Territory, whereas the other half lies under Myanmar's control. However, the Angh and the village council chairman control the whole village, and the Angh's jurisdiction extends up to Myanmar and Arunchal Pradesh. He also has 60 wives! Return to Mon where you have free time to explore.
    Drive approx. 64km, time 4-5 hrs.

    Teihpha Cottage (Homestay) or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    Drive to Dibrugarh; visit farmers' market and tea garden en route

    Today we drive to Dibrugarh, with free time to relax or explore upon arrival. Dibrugarh is the gateway to the 'Hidden Land' of eastern Arunchal Pradesh. It is also known as the 'Camelia' town of Assam, with its rich tea gardens resembling a lush green carpet. En-route we stop at a local village to visit a farmer’s market, a great opportunity to chat with locals. From here we will visit a tea garden to learn about the cultivation and production of this world-famous drink.
    Drive approx. 175km, time 5-6 hrs

    Hotel Tea County or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Fly to Kolkata; afternoon sightseeing including Victoria Memorial and Kali Temple.

    This morning we catch a morning flight to Kolkata, previously known as Calcutta. It is the capital city of the state of West Bengal and the cultural capital of India, serving as the capital of India during the British Raj until 1912. We arrive in Kolkata in the morning and proceed for city sightseeing after check-in at the hotel. We'll visit the Victoria Memorial and Kali Temple, driving past colonial buildings at the Dalhousie Square area.

    Hotel Dee Empresa or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Kolkata.

    Those on the flight inclusive package will transfer to Kolkata airport. Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels and Lodges

9 nights standard hotels and 4 nights basic lodges. The hotels we stay in are classed as standard 2/3-star hotels (local rating), where properties are chosen for their location and value. Some areas are not geared up to western tourism and facilities are generally simpler than other parts of India. All hotel rooms have en suite facilities but plumbing can be erratic.

In Cherrapunjee we stay in a family-run nature resort, surrounded by beautiful scenery. A Mishing tribal family runs our accommodation at Majuli Island. It is built in traditional style with basic bamboo and thatch cottages on stilts (each with a veranda and bathroom). In Mon (Nagaland) we stay in a simple guesthouse. The rooms are basic but clean and all rooms have en suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water. In Kolkata, our hotel is located in the heart of the city and only a 5 minute walk from bustling Park Street. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from 526.50 CHF

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 8 dinners included. 

You should allow at least £13-15 (approx. US$17-20) per day for lunch and dinner where they are not included. You can eat out very cheaply in India, but if you go to the more expensive restaurants most of the time, you will spend more than the suggested amount. Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In most of the towns there is a good choice of restaurants. If you are a vegetarian, India is probably one of the best destinations to travel to. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$4). Mineral water is provided in the vehicle in a 20 ltr container, so please bring a water bottle with you so that you can refill it during the day. Please note that service in restaurants can be quite slow.

Transportation

We use a combination of private minibus, internal flight and Jeep for our journey.

Road: private air-conditioned minibus.
Game drives: in Kaziranga National Park we use Jeeps which seat 1-4 people.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

Assam has a wet climate, though most of the rainfall is during July- September. Our departures are carefully timed to take advantage of the likely best weather conditions. From October - March, the weather is mostly pleasant with minimum temperature barely reaching 5 Degrees Celsius, with a maximum of 20 Degrees Celsius. In April, it starts to warm up and the average temperature starts to reach above 30 Degrees Celsius. 

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 15 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Jet Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules may change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist staff or your agent to confirm up-to-date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Accommodation check-in times are normally from around 12 noon.

Travelling land only: 14 days starting in Guwahati and ending in Kolkata

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Guwahati in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions - sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

 If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Guwahati
Location end:
Kolkata

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Umbrella (for sun and rain)

Sunhat

Sun cream and lip salve with sun protection

Sunglasses

Light casual clothing
Warm sweater/fleece
Light waterproof
Daypack
Torch
Water bottle
Trainers/waterproof walking shoes with good grip
Sandals/Flip-flops
Anti-bacterial hand gel
Insect repellent
Small personal first aid kit
Additional warm base layer 
Scarf (for Winter departures)
Gloves (for Winter departures)

Mens and womens clothing should cover shoulders and be on or below the knee. Women especially should always dress conservatively to avoid unwanted attention and not to cause offence; vests, tight fitting trousers, short skirts and shorts are not recommended.

It doesn't matter what type of bag or case you use on this trip although it is preferable to use a soft holdall (with wheels if necessary) or rucksack/travelsack as they tend to be easier to manage. You should also bring a small day bag for your valuable items. Please note that when flying internally in India the luggage allowance is usually 15kg, you will therefore need to pack your hold luggage and hand luggage accordingly.

Optional Equipment

Walking poles for the optional hike on Day 3

Internal Flights Weight Limit

15kg

Practical Information

Passport

India

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

India

Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. For UK residents full details of the visa process can be found here. Other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies.

If your trip visits Ladakh, in the very north of India, or Sikkim in the northeast, do not mention this on your Indian visa application. This can sometimes slow down or even cause the embassy to reject your visa.

When you reach immigration, you are required to pick up an immigration form. If you have an e-visa, ensure you stand in the correct queue - please follow the signs to the e-visa booth (in Delhi this is at the back of the immigration hall). You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth - please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready (these details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions).

 

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential on this trip, and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

India's Timezone:
Asia/Kolkata IST (GMT +05:30)

Electricity

India's Electricity:

230/240 volts AC, 50 Hz.

There are recharging facilities at all the hotels and lodges, the electricity supply is not 100% reliable but it is usually only off for short periods of time.

Money

India's Currency

The national currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (February 2019) of approximately 90 to the UK£ and 70 to the US$.

It is illegal to import or export rupees. Do not accept torn or (very) dirty Indian banknotes from banks or in change as they will almost certainly not be accepted as legal tender in India. Please ask for low denomination notes of 100 and 500 Rupees as the new 2000 Rupee notes can be difficult to use out of Delhi. You can change money back from Rupees into Pounds or Dollars at Delhi airport (before going through security), but you must produce an exchange receipt showing that you changed money in India.

ATM Availability

ATM machines are not easily accessed on this trip due to the remoteness and erratic internet connections. Visa and MasterCard are the best options however you should not rely on these for most of this trip. Please inform your bank before departure that you are travelling to India and carry the relevant telephone number with you in case they put a block on your card. You can bring Sterling or US Dollars. It is advisable to carry cash from Delhi or at least from Guwahati because ATM services at smaller places will be less and may be erratic. As most of the tour is in remote areas, ATM machines are likely to work erratically due to poor internet connectivity. Card charging machines are usually only available at some hotels, larger restaurants and shopping outlets. Small vendors prefer cash transactions.

It is advisable to exchange money at Delhi airport as there are more options and it is easy. There is exchange at Guwahati airport however the foreign exchange facilities are very limited. It is generally more difficult to change money in the Northeastern states and in smaller towns and villages the facility is non-existent. We suggest you work out spending money for the whole trip and use the Delhi airport facilities.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Many sights now charge a small fee for cameras and you should allow another £10 (approx. US$13) for these. Please note that the local tribal people in Nagaland expect a small tip for photographs of themselves and their families. Your leader will brief you accordingly. Please allow some extra money if you wish to take photographs of the tribes. It is recommended that you allow at least £5 (approx. US£7) per day for personal expenditure such as stamps, postcards and soft drinks. We suggest that you take money for souvenirs - even if you are generally not a keen shopper we have found that most people succumb to some of the wide variety of handicrafts on offer.

India has very good opportunities for shopping, especially for locally made goods, and during your trip it is highly likely that your local guides will take you to emporiums as well as workshops where these goods are made. Many people find this a great opportunity to buy local handicrafts, silk, jewellery and carpets. Guides will often assume that visitors will want to go shopping, it is very much part of the culture, but if you do not wish to go please make this clear to your local guide at the time.

Tipping

Tipping is very much part of the culture in India and is usually expected. Tipping can often be an awkward affair, especially when in an unfamiliar country where you are not sure when or how much to tip. As such, your tour leader will offer to arrange and look after a group tipping kitty which will be used to tip hotel staff, local sightseeing guides, bus drivers as well as any other support staff used throughout your trip. Your leader will suggest how much to contribute, depending on group size, but it is usually in the region of INR.4000 (approx. GBP£50 or US$67) per person. At any time during the trip your leader will be happy to show you an account of how the kitty is being distributed. Please note that for smaller groups the leader may have to collect more than the above amount.

Tipping of leaders is not included in the kitty and is at your own discretion.  If you wish to show your appreciation a tip of around £2-£3 (US$3-4.50) per person per day would be appreciated.

By definition, gratuities are not something that can be included in the tour price.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.