Year after year, solo travel is gaining in popularity – and so is solo travelling with a group of like-minded people. Our small group tours offer the best of both worlds, giving you the freedom to explore, with the opportunity to meet fantastic, like-minded travellers and create lifelong friendships. You’ll also benefit from the unrivalled local knowledge of our expert leaders, giving you unique insight into the regions that you simply wouldn’t get if you’d travel alone. So, we join avid solo traveller, Paul Daly, who was keen to share why he has travelled solo seven times with us and why it continues to be his go-to way of travelling when it comes to exploring the wonders of our planet! 

“My favourite things about travelling with Exodus are the small groups, the convenience of having the trip organised by someone else and the fact that they offer so many different choices with all budgets catered for.” He continued, “Smaller groups ensure a stronger bond and better interaction between guides/leaders and the travellers – everyone is there because they want to be. The way Exodus split their itineraries by a particular interest, such as culture, wildlife, or cuisine also means you’ll be travelling with people who share your common interests too.”

“I absolutely love arriving at an airport knowing that the next few weeks are totally organised and that I’ll be informed of where to be and when, so I can just immerse myself in the trip. You get on a bus or a truck, meet your travelling companions and away you go! I’ve gone on seven adventures with Exodus over the years, including the Colours of Rajasthan, Discover Sri Lanka, Cape Town to Victoria Falls, Johannesburg to Cape Town, Highlights of Turkey and Borneo & the Malaysian Peninsula – and I’m not stopping there!” 

Solo Travelling With A Group Is The Way Forward: An Interview with Paul Daly

One of Paul’s most memorable solo adventures with us was our Gorillas and Masai Mara – Camping adventure. “Not my most recent trip, but there were so many wonderful moments I shared with my group on Exodus’ Gorillas and Masai Mara adventure. You can’t beat the elation after hiking for four and a half hours straight to find a group of endangered mountain gorillas. Seeing these incredible creatures in the wild for the very first time was a lovely, shared moment.” Paul then went on to say, “I had briefly mentioned at the initial welcome meeting that I’d love to see a leopard,  it was the only big cat I had left to tick off my list. So, when our expert leader spotted a leopard, everyone on the truck invited me to move to the prime position to get the first photos, which was really nice of them. We traded positions for the next half hour ensuring everyone got a good view. And although we were lucky and managed to see two more on the trip, that first time for me was particularly special.” 

Solo Travelling With A Group Is The Way Forward: An Interview with Paul Daly

On all seven trips, Paul said he always felt secure, and enjoyed every minute, no matter if he was camping in the African bush or set up in a nice hotel: “I’ve never felt unsafe on one of these trips. Leaders and guides inform the group of where not to go alone, where not to go after dark, and not to stray from designated walkways in jungles or forests. On my most recent trip to Borneo and Malaysia, our leaders provided maps of each city and told us about free buses and metro systems to avoid the possibility of unlicenced taxis charging too much. Campsites are also staffed to ensure there’s no tampering with the tents. When it comes to hotel rooms, there are safe boxes which means you don’t need to carry large amounts of cash, passports or cameras. Exodus’ local drivers usually stay with the vehicles too, so your belongings are safe on the bus or truck.” 

Solo Travelling With A Group Is The Way Forward: An Interview with Paul Daly

Mealtimes have been a fond moment of many of Paul’s trips, especially on his wildlife adventures. “Mealtimes can vary depending on the type of trip you choose. Camping trips mean you’ll share all your meals on the side of the road or around a campfire which can be wonderful. The simplicity of head torches, plastic cups, and camp chairs, eating food freshly cooked over the fire or in the little camp kitchens can be a real ‘at one with nature’ moment, especially when the wildlife joins you for dinner. I’ve shared mealtimes with George, a warthog in Uganda and a bull elephant who came for a drink in Namibia. I’ll never forget a bushman’s pie made by our leader over a campfire in Botswana. It was a cottage pie substituting ostrich mince for beef. AMAZING!”

Solo Travelling With A Group Is The Way Forward: An Interview with Paul Daly

“Mama Africa is a favourite local haunt of tour leaders in Cape Town, which has superb cuisine and live entertainment. Hotel and lodge departures allow for lunches and dinners outside of the group dynamic, although as a solo traveller, you’ll only eat alone if that’s your choice. Inevitably someone will ask you to accompany them for a meal. Incidentally, I had mentioned to Exodus about a dietary allergy I had before travelling in 2017. My guide in 2023 knew about it without me reminding anyone in the intervening years now that’s attention to detail!” 

Speaking of attention to detail, this is one of Paul’s favourite things about solo travelling with Exodus, because this means he can just sit back and enjoy the trip without worrying about the hassle of organising everything! “I am one of those people who will have researched a place to the nth degree if I’m travelling alone. Exodus does all that for you on the organised trips which saves a lot of time. The free time afforded to the groups means there’s still a bit of homework to be done and the local knowledge of the guides and leaders is invaluable when exploring by yourself. There is comfort in knowing where you’ll be staying, roughly how long you’ll be travelling daily, and that you will be picked up and dropped off at the airport.” 

On many of his solo adventures, Paul has made some great connections with people from all around the world: “I have met so many other solo travellers on my trips, a lot of whom I’m still in contact with. In my experience, wildlife holidays seem to attract more solo travellers than cultural holidays. My last two trips only had two solos on each, whereas my African trips were predominantly solo travellers. I still share trip ideas, birthday greetings and festive occasions via social media and email. As I mentioned earlier, I made many friends on my Turkey trip who I’ve met up with since and shall do again.” 

We concluded Paul’s interview by asking him what his advice would be to someone hesitant to book a solo adventure with us, “As a solo traveller, you get to mingle with everyone over the course of the trip, your breakfast and dinner companions change daily, and you can almost guarantee you won’t be the only solo in the group. I was one of only two solos on the 2022 Turkey trip, four of the others knew each other from previous trips and they quickly welcomed us both into the fold. We six have since met up in my hometown and have plans to meet next year in the UK.”

He continued, “You will, without question, make new friendships as a solo. I promised myself an adventure every year after I turned 40. My friends are all married with children so solo travelling was my only option. I’ve never looked back. Exodus seem to be the most prominent to travel with in terms of organisation, breadth of destinations, attention to detail, and varied itineraries. I’ve only had one issue in 7 years and that issue was dealt with swiftly and comprehensively. Exodus is my only port of call when planning a trip.” 

If Paul has inspired you to jump in and book a solo adventure with us, take a look at our incredible trip collections here.