Assam Explorer

14 days
from
2 549 €
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Traveller ratings
4.3 / 5 from 4 reviews >
Trip code: 
AKN
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
5–16
Min age:
16

Discover one of the most beautiful and fascinating regions of India

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.

Highlights

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

Key information

  • 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
  • Countries visited: India

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 8 dinners 
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

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… 

Itinerary

Guwahati
to
Kolkata
  • 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
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

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).

 

Vaccinations

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.

Eating and 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.

Weather

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.

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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. 

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Here at Exodus we are incredibly passionate about wildlife and the conservation efforts to save it.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed May 2019
    Heather Quinn

    A exceptional trip to Assam!

    This trip to Assam was truly exceptional! It fulfilled all it promised in the travel notes ....... and then more. It was India for those that wanted another view of this beautiful country, an alternative to Mumbai, Goa, the Kerela back waters, Delhi, The Taj and the Golden Triangle; when you have been there, come on this trip for a delightfully different, certainly a less tourist-visited part of this amazing country of contrasts. The scenery, the explorations and the experiences our small group of eight clients had, made the trip an absolute delight. We had an amazing guide Nivan Gurang whose knowledge and hard work on our behalf made sure the trip was what we had all hoped for.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many inspirational, exciting experiences such as our safari with lots of elephants, the promised rhinos and even a distant but huge tiger by the lake. Our hike down to see the ancient amazing, tree root bridges was not as formidable for our group as we were warned, tough yes but satisfying; we saw beautiful landscapes, memorable sunsets over rivers and hills and met some warm, accepting villagers who still saw non-Indian tour groups as a novelty. We were promised ‘Head Hunters (retired) ‘ and we did drive up into the mountains to share a ‘nice cuppa’ with them as they sat round their fire on a cool mountain afternoon! What we heard from our super guide, what saw and experienced gave us an insight to many different ways of life for all the wonderful people who actually seemed pleased to see us as we travelled along; No there was not the continual hard sell that we have come to expect in India and other tourist-dependent countries, this was not inspirational but it was marvellous.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nivan Gurang Exodus could not have asked for a better guide for our small group of 8 clients. Nivan was exceptional in both his industry on our behalf and his knowledge. Without his leadership our trip could have been so much less fascinating, even mystifying. Hie knowledge of the many and varied facets of his country brought a greater understanding of what we were seeing, experiencing, why our route was thus, how and why this 21st Indian century worked in this area and always with introductions, discussions and sharing a glimpse of the lives of local people. All around us as we walked, hiked and travelled he found the evidence for what he was telling us from Government notices, ancient sites to babies vaccination cards of village mothers. His friendliness, his courtesy to local people we met, the great relationship he had developed with our hosts/ hoteliers and his hard work on our behalf meant we experienced and hugely enjoyed Assam and Nagaland. He made sure the trip lived up-to all Exodus had promised. I valued that he took care of the daily tipping on our behalf. We all appreciated his care, his sense of fun and warmth. Thank you Nivan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the ‘Trip Notes’ before you book, they accurately reflect what the experience will be. ..... then follow the advice given. Don’t take huge packs, you may have to carry them short distances. This is a very different trip to the luxury hotel of the big cities ...... that is its appeal and delight. This is not an area to visit as an individual and see the best of without a good, Indian speaking guide and your own tough 4 wheel drive vehicle due to the undeveloped roads. Our driver, Dinesh was great, he avoided all the many, many road wandering cows, crazy drivers and was patient and considerate helping with our packs and our comfort.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks to all ‘background’ Exodus staff who put together such a fascinating trip that ran so smoothly. Good staff training helps but hard work and good organisation makes it work.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Patricia Barlow

    Assam Explorer

    This was a very enjoyable and varied trip to a relatively unknown part of India. It did not disappoint. There were many highlights along the way including the trek to the Living root bridges at Cherapunjee. I was a little apprehensive about doing the longer trek to the double bridge but it was not technically difficult. There were a lot of steps down through beautiful scenery but the steps themselves were not deep and the steeper sections had a hand rail at the side. There were times on the way back that I thought I would never make it back to the minibus but we all did the trek at our pace . It was so worth it to visit such a unique structure. There was a shorter trek to another bridge so all members of the group had the opportunity to do a trek at their own level. The trip was full of contrasts and for me there were several highlights. These included seeing the Rhino and Elephants in Kaziranga National Park, the Ferry ride across the Brahmaputra, visiting the Village of the Mishing People on Majuli Island and everything in Nagaland. We were lucky enough to be in Nagaland at the time of the Aoleang Spring Festival and walk through the streets of Mon with hundreds of local people in their tribal dress before seeing the displays in the stadium - a really fantastic expeience. Our guide Navin worked incredibly hard to show us North East India - it was truly wonderful!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Kaziranga National Park , the Trek to the Living Root Bridges, Seeing and meeting the different tribes in the different states of the North East of India, Mujuli Island - all of it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Navin was a wonderful guide . He was constantly working to make sure we had the best experience , he was efficient , professional and very patient

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you read the Trip notes then you are prepared for the type of accommodation, travel times and distances and always have a torch and poncho at the ready

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Another great Exodus trip
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Bryan Tomalin

    An off-beat adventure

    A varied and enjoyable trip to a remote part of India. The undoubted highlights were seeing a tiger in Kaziranga National Park, staying at Cherrapunji where we received a superb personal service and also the visits to the Burmese border tribal village of Longwa from Mon. This is a relatively unsophisticated region of India, relatively new to foreign tourism but well worth a visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a tiger walk alongside a riverbank in Kaziranga National Park. Oh, and by the way, there were literally dozens of rhino sightings not to mention elephant and birds.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hyper active, sociable and a real Mr Fixit

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for travelling outside normal tourist attractions. With a flexible approach you'll have a great time
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Jagdish Jethwa

    Intriguing India

    It was a wonderful experience and would have been 5* but for the fact that a/ we spent at least 4 whole days in the bus just travelling from one place to another and on 2 days the road was very poor and people with bad backs would have to take care b/ we should have been warned that the steep steps down to & climb back from the" double-decker bridge should be rated as 4* level of difficulty. It took many of us 3 days to get over the muscle ache. Although it was worth it, a couple of people could only make it down part of the way and others took a lot longer time to get back up. c/ Exodus insists on polluting Indian culture by introducing "compulsory" tipping. As an Indian person I know that no other Indian people tip the people Exodus tips and certainly not at the rate of nearly 4000 rupees a day. Adventure tour companies motto used to be - "Leave only foot prints, take only memories". Alas this is another way of extorting more tax-free money from travellers

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The amazing vastness of India and the multiple cultures languages and races. The Khasi people who are short in height but giants in being friendly

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Double decker bridge trip is much more difficult than the trip notes suggest. Change money early on as there are few opportunities for a few days.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on +356 21423994