Current as of: June 14, 2024 - 11:47

Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown Bear

Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown Bear Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Bulgaria
  • Programmes: Wildlife
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: WBB
  • Carbon Footprint: 22kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Scour the remote Rodopi Mountains for wild ‘ursus arctos’

Join European brown bear expert Julian Perry for a wildlife-watching adventure in the mystical mountains of Bulgaria. We’ll go on daily hikes, recording tracks, scats and other signs of bear activity as part of vital conservation work by local NGO, Wild Rodopi. On two evenings, we visit a bear-watching hide for a good chance to see the animals we have been monitoring. We will also be collecting images from several camera traps set up in the forests. By the end of this trip, we hope you will have seen wild brown bears and gained an understanding and appreciation of these mysterious, often misunderstood, animals.

Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown Bear

At a Glance

  • Seven hotel nights
  • Travel by private minibus, 4×4 and on foot
  • Six days with bear-tracking walks
  • Group: Normally 5 to 12, plus leader. Minimum age: 16
  • Option to travel by train to your adventure


  • Engage in a vital brown bear conservation project
  • Join daily bear-tracking walks with a brown bear expert
  • Hunker down in a hide to observe wild brown bears
  • Spot other elusive mammals, birds, butterflies, reptiles and rare orchids
  • Explore remote landscapes in the Rodopi Mountains
  • Sample delicious traditional local cuisine

Is This Trip for You?

The trip has been rated Activity Level 3 (Moderate) with a Wildlife Rating of Four. Visit our Activity Level Guidelines page for more on our trip gradings or our Wildlife Holidays page for more on our Wildlife Ratings.

This exciting adventure explores brown bear country, which is dominated by remote forested ridges and gorges, studded by glades and rocky karst terrain. It offers a unique opportunity to observe wild brown bears, discover more about their lives, and contribute to their conservation. Guided by bear expert Julian Perry, you will learn how to find, identify, interpret and record signs of bear presence and activity, while helping to gather vital data about their ecology and behaviour.

Our daily bear-tracking activities and wildlife observation will involve exploring the mountains on foot. The pace is mostly relaxed, allowing time to record signs of brown bear activity, and provide opportunities to observe and photograph any other wildlife we may encounter. However, the trip also involves some strenuous walking in fairly rugged mountainous terrain, where trails are rarely flat, and typically rough and stony. To get the full enjoyment out of this adventure, therefore, you should be prepared for some long steady ascents as we climb over ridges and be confident in your ability to make steep descents over rocky paths as we drop into deep valleys and gorges.

The reward for this effort is a unique chance to venture into remote bear habitats and observe a wonderful variety of rare European wildlife. Needless to say, the flora and fauna varies from season to season, and it is impossible to guarantee what wildlife observations one will be lucky enough to make on any day or week.

Furthermore, although brown bears and other wildlife are regularly seen at the bear hide, it is important to remember that these are truly wild animals. They forage freely in their natural habitat and are not reliant on the small quantities of corn put out as a supplementary snack for them near the hide, so there may be occasions when they do not show. However, our guide will enthusiastically pass on his skills and knowledge about the bears and other flora and fauna of the region, thus ensuring a highly rewarding, memorable and informative wildlife experience.


The trip is scheduled to be led by Julian Perry, founder and research director of the NGO Wild Rodopi. Julian is a member of the International Association for Bear Research and Management and an expert on brown bear ecology and behaviour.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 5

Max group size: 12



Land Only

  • Start City: Sofia
  • End City: Sofia

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Sofia Airport; transfer to the village of Yagodina in the remote Rodopi Mountains

Setting off from Sofia Airport, we begin an interesting four-hour transfer to the Rodopi Mountains. Our destination is the remote mountain village of Yagodina, our home for the next six nights. During dinner, our leader will give a welcome briefing about the week ahead and the work of Wild Rodopi, whose brown bear research and conservation project you will be assisting.

Accommodation: Yagodina Family Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2
Introductory bear tracking walk in the forests above Yagodina; evening visit to bear hide

Set off on our first bear-tracking walk in the meadows and forests surrounding Yagodina. During the day, you find out about the history of the village and the complex human-wildlife entanglements that exist here. In particular, learn about the necessary requirements for convivial human-bear coexistence, and how this adventure makes a direct contribution to local bear conservation.

After dinner, there is the first opportunity (for a maximum of six people) to visit the bear hide. Visiting the hide usually necessitates having an early dinner so we can be in position before darkness falls. Depending on the amount of activity in the clearing, we may stay until around 10.30pm or, with the agreement of the group, slightly earlier or later.

Accommodation: Yagodina Family Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 7mi (11km)

Ascent: 1,640ft (500m); Descent: 1,640ft (500m); Activity hours: 3

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Track bears and wolves in the ‘Zone of Death’; evening bear hide visit

After breakfast, we drive to a nearby village, where we set off on foot through the border zone. During the Cold War period, access to this region, the so-called ‘Zone of Death’, was tightly restricted, and the border itself closed off with a barbed wire fence that was impenetrable to wildlife. With the fencing now removed, this border area is now freely roamed by wolves and bears, allowing Greek and Bulgarian populations of these species to intermix, thereby enhancing gene flow and their long-term health and viability.

During our walk, we see remnants of the former military installations, and learn about their impact both on the wildlife and local people. After dinner at the hotel, there will be a second opportunity (for a maximum of six people) to visit to the bear hide.

Accommodation: Yagodina Family Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 9mi (14km)

Ascent: 1,969ft (600m); Descent: 2,461ft (750m); Activity hours: 4

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
On foot through core bear habitats; evening bear hide visit

Today we make an exciting exploration in a core region for brown bears. During our walk, we should see numerous signs of their activity, including several of their scent rubbing posts, and learn about the key role these trees play in bear society and reproduction. The bears share this region with a host of other carnivores, including wolves, red foxes, European badgers, pine martens, stone martens, least weasels and European wildcats. Recently, the tour leader Julian also discovered the presence of a golden jackal. On the trail of these animals, we pass through beautiful and remote landscapes, crossing streams, butterfly-filled meadows and peaceful forests, before finally plunging into the depths of a gorge. After returning to the hotel, and dinner, there is a third opportunity (for a maximum of six people) to visit to the bear hide.

Accommodation: Yagodina Family Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 8mi (13km)

Ascent: 1,640ft (500m); Descent: 1,969ft (600m); Activity hours: 4

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
On the trail of Balkan chamois and bears in rugged and rocky karst terrain

Setting off on foot from our hotel, we make a steep, steady climb up the stony flank of the mountain ridge above the village. Here in spring and early summer, there are several interesting species of orchid to be found, as well as numerous butterflies. On reaching the ridgeback, we follow an eroded track to a wonderful cliff-top viewpoint. The rocks here are home to several typical cliff-dwelling species of bird including the beautiful wallcreeper, peregrine falcon, rock thrush, crag martin and alpine swift. At certain times of year, it is also possible to spot other raptors gliding over, such as golden eagle, short-toed eagle, booted eagle, long-legged buzzard, Eurasian hobby and common kestrel. The wonderful views remain with us throughout the day as we continue our walk, zig-zagging steeply down into the depths of the Buynovsko Gorge on a rough and stony path that leads through a favoured feeding region for both brown bear and Balkan chamois.

This evening, the second half of the group will have their second visit to the bear hide.

Accommodation: Yagodina Family Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 6mi (10km)

Ascent: 1,804ft (550m); Descent: 2,297ft (700m); Activity hours: 3hr 30min

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6
Circular bear tracking walk through remote carnivore habitat

After breakfast we set off from the hotel on foot, beginning a long and strenuous, but highly rewarding bear tracking adventure. Having left the village pastures behind, we begin a long steep climb that sees us enter a forested region that is regularly patrolled by brown bears and grey wolf. Especially exciting is the fact that Balkan lynx, a species considered extinct in Bulgaria for almost a century, has very recently been recorded here again! The forests here also harbour many secretive birds such as hazel grouse, black woodpecker and crested tit. The midpoint of our trail leads us out onto a spectacular rocky crest, from where there are stunning views towards Greece, across waves of forested ridges that make a perfect trans-border corridor by which the large carnivore populations of Bulgaria and Greece can intermix.

Having traversed the crest, our descent then leads us steeply down through more silent forest, and finally back out into the meadows and cultivations above Yagodina.

Accommodation: Yagodina Family Hotel (or similar)

Distance covered: 10mi (16km)

Ascent: 1,969ft (600m); Descent: 1,969ft (600m); Activity hours: 4hr 30min

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Forest and riverside walks in search of orchids, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians; transfer to Sofia

Leaving Yagodina on foot, we start the day with a short walk along a beautiful forest path, which in spring and early summer sprouts an exceptional variety of orchids. An ancient Thracian packhorse route, this path is often used by bears feeding in the surrounding forests on beech mast and ants. After meeting our bus, a 45-minute drive brings us to the beautiful valley of the Devinska Reka, where we spend a couple of hours walking a delightful riverside trail. As well as being home to Eurasian otters and a variety of riverine birds, such as dipper and grey wagtails, the valley also forms the heart of a specially designated Prime Butterfly Area and provides the perfect habitat for many rare and beautiful butterfly species. Having enjoyed a picnic lunch beside the river, we then complete the transfer (3hr 30min) back to Sofia.

Accommodation: Boutique Hotel Crystal Palace (or similar)

Distance covered: 6mi (10km)

Ascent: 705ft (215m); Descent: 1,033ft (315m); Activity hours: 3

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
End Sofia

This trip draws to a close after breakfast. If you want to spend a bit more time in the city after our wild adventures, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay.

Meals included: Breakfast


Yagodina Family Hotel

Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown Bear

Our base for six nights is Yagodina, a traditional rural village known for its self-sufficiency and hospitable inhabitants. Home to around 500 people, it is secluded in the Trigrad Karst region, one of the most remote parts of the Rodopi Mountains.  

Here, we stay in the Yagodina Family Hotel, a small accommodation with comfortable twin and single rooms. It’s owned and run by a local family and most of the food (including milk, cheese, butter, jam and honey) is either home-produced or locally sourced.  

Single supplement from £ 235

Food & Drink

Hotel Yagodina is renowned for its delicious traditional local cuisine, offering generous servings of hearty, healthy food, much of it made from home-produced or locally sourced products. Typical meals in the mountains will comprise of:

  • Breakfast: Tea, coffee and milk, with bread, jam, honey and cheese, supplemented in Yagodina by fresh home-made yoghurt and traditional local specialities such as katmi (thick pancakes) and rodopski klin (a rice-based dish).
  • Lunch: Picnic lunches in the mountains typically include bread, cheese, salami, salad, a chocolate bar and fruit. Many guests also like to bring an extra portion of the local speciality served at breakfast.
  • Dinner: Will be in the hotel restaurant, and will normally include three courses comprising either a salad or vegetarian soup, followed by a main course, and a dessert of fruit, ice cream, or cake/pudding. The cuisine reflects a mixture of Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish and Slavonic influences. We sample many traditional local specialities including smilyanski fasul (a delicious bean soup) and patatnik (made with grated potatoes, onions and cheese, then seasoned with mint and other herbs). Jugs of tap water will be provided on the table with the evening meal. Bottled mineral water, soft drinks and alcohol are not included but can be purchased. There are several Bulgarian wines you may wish to try, including an excellent red Mavrud from vineyards on the northern slopes of the Rodopi Mountains.
  • Vegetarians and vegan diets: Bulgaria produces excellent fresh vegetables and fruit, so vegetarians are usually well catered for, although in the mountains the variety may be limited to what is seasonally available. Eggs and dairy produce, especially cheese, form the staple part of the diet in the Rodopi region, and are included in most traditional meals, so vegans may find their daily menu more restricted and less varied.
  • Gluten intolerance: Special gluten-free products are not available, so those with a wheat/gluten intolerance should, if needed, bring something to replace the local bread and pastries that make up the breakfasts and picnic lunches.


A private minibus with a dedicated driver will be at our disposal throughout the holiday for transfers to and from the mountains, and at the start or end of daily walks when needed. To access the bear hide in the evenings, we make use of locally provided Jeeps and off-road vehicles, the only vehicles capable of coping with the often rough and muddy forestry tracks.

Weather & Seasonality

Spring and summer days are usually warm and sunny, with a refreshing mountain breeze that moderates temperatures; please note, changeable weather and cold temperatures can be encountered at any time in the mountains. Occasionally during spring and summer, there are sudden short storms, which means suitable waterproof clothing should be carried on all walks, and which may force minor amendments to the itinerary; however, there is often a prolonged period of settled weather after such storms. Later in autumn, overnight frosts and misty dawns typically give way to beautiful sunny days, but it is always worth keeping a pair of gloves and a spare warm layer in the pack for shadier paths or when picnicking on breezy rock outcrops.

Seasonal wildlife

In normal years, brown bears are active here from mid-March until the end of December. Rain does not normally interrupt bear activity and can make finding footprints more likely. Therefore, our bear-tracking walks are not usually affected by bad weather unless it is very severe, in which case routes may be shortened or amended.

Patches of late-lying snow at the end of April and beginning of May also offer a good canvas for prints. During late spring and early summer, wildflowers in the Rodopi Mountains reach their peak, the meadows a patchwork of colours, and the edges of forest paths often holding a selection of rare and beautiful orchids. This is also the time when the variety of butterflies is most striking, and at the height of the nesting period, many of the birds become most conspicuous.

With the onset of autumn, the deciduous trees change colour and the mountain landscapes are at their most photogenic, especially after a frosty night and with the typically golden morning sun. The forests and scrubs are full of wild fruits and nuts at this time of year, with the bears busily feeding on them, fattening up for winter, as are many of the resident birds, especially thrushes and finches. If one is lucky, autumn is also the time to see unusual raptors migrating south along one of the gorges. Many attractive fungi also start to appear on the forest floor and are harvested not just by the locals, but also by roe deer, Balkan chamois, wild boars, red squirrels and many other smaller rodents.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Hotel Yagodina
Airport: Sofia Airport (SOF)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately a 3hr 30min drive from the airport. Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK.

You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. A taxi to the hotel costs about 595 lev (US$330) and there is no connecting public transport. Therefore, we highly recommend you join the group transfer from the airport.

Please note, the group meets for the transfer at Terminal 2, but many low-cost airlines fly into Terminal 1. There is a free airport shuttle bus connecting the two terminals, which departs every 30 minutes.

Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer.

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.

Location start: Sofia
Location end: Sofia

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Rucksack (25-30 litre)
  • Comfortable walking boots with good soles and support (trails are often rough and rocky, and sometimes become muddy after rain)
  • Waterproofs
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Plastic sandwich boxes for picnic lunches
  • Binoculars (a good pair greatly enhances wildlife observations from the bear hide)
  • Torch (flashlight)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles
  • Water purification tablets – water sources in Bulgaria are generally very good, but those who wish to purify their water should bring their own means
  • Plastic sandwich boxes for picnic lunches
  • Flip-flops/sandals – bathrooms in Bulgaria are typically wet rooms
  • Books/after-dinner entertainment (for evenings in Yagodina when not visiting the bear hide, as the village is a small rural settlement and has no nightlife)

Practical Information



Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Bulgaria. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Vaccinations and Health


There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic. Additionally, the risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your doctor or travel clinic for further advice.

We are advised that there is no risk of malaria on this trip.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Bulgaria's time zone: Europe/Sofia (UTC +03:00)


Bulgaria's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins) and E (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Bulgaria: Realm of the Brown Bear


Bulgaria's currency: Bulgarian lev (BGN)

ATM Availability

Although there are ATMs in the arrivals hall at Sofia Airport, there are no banks or ATMs in Yagodina. If you plan to use cash, obtain Bulgarian lev in advance (while still in your home country).

If ordering your Bulgarian currency, it’s better to request smaller denomination notes. Shops and restaurants in Bulgaria rarely have much small change and often refuse to accept larger denomination notes. Euros will not be accepted.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

During your stay at Hotel Yagodina, it is possible to ask for any drinks or other purchases you may make whilst staying there to be put on tab for your room and then pay this off by cash or card at the end of the week.

As a guide, budget the equivalent of approximately £85/US$110 to cover drinks with meals plus souvenirs such as local produce (honey, jams, herb teas and dried mushrooms).


It is customary to tip staff in Bulgaria if you receive good service, although this is not compulsory. Most clients wish to tip the driver and staff at Hotel Yagodina. For the hotel staff we recommend approximately 20-30 Bulgarian lev (US$11-US$17) per person for the week, and 20 lev (US$11) per person for the week for the driver.

Tipping of leaders is entirely at your own discretion; however, if you wish to show your appreciation for his/her efforts, a tip of around 80 lev (US$45) per person for the week is suggested.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that have a positive impact on the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Learn more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:


How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • Local guides keep you well informed about local traditions and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises, and by championing locally produced food wherever possible.
  • This trip is based for the entire week at Hotel ‘Yagodina’ located in the small, remote village of Yagodina in the Rodopi Mountains. The hotel is a family-owned hotel run by Mariya Kukundzhieva. All the staff at the hotel are either family members or other villagers.
  • Clients have the opportunity to purchase locally produced or sourced products (such as honey, jams, cheese, herbs, dried mushrooms and handicrafts). Some of these are offered for sale at the hotel and others are available to purchase from stalls set up daily by villagers at the nearby cave.
  • Read more about our other initiatives here.


How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively reduce waste; this includes eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles by providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • The whole concept of this trip is to support the conservation of brown bears in the Rodopi. It fosters peaceful human-bear coexistence by developing a sense pride amongst the local people that clients from abroad are drawn to their remote village because of the presence of brown bears.
  • The leader is an independent bear researcher and this trip contributes to his research project of the Rodopi Bear through funds going into the project and also information collected during the tour. So our guests are directly involved in conservation activities.
  • Our local partner founded “Wild Rodopi” an NGO with the mission of researching and conserving the wildlife and rural heritage of the Rodopi Mountains. As well as collecting data about the rare flora and fauna of the region, they are involved in writing scientific and popular publications connected with the region’s wildlife and ethnology. They have been involved with various educational initiatives for children in the region, as well as involvement with the creation of several new Protected Territories, and the monitoring of protected species.
  • We rewild 100 square metres per passenger to compensate for all trip and flight emissions.
  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels with us.


How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • For heating Hotel ‘Yagodina’ uses sawdust pellets. These are made from the ‘waste’ sawdust which is produced as a by-product of activities in the village timber yard.
  • As this is a walking holiday it provides a low impact way of exploring the destination.
  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: we do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: please bring a reusable water bottle on this trip, also consider avoiding single-use hotel toiletries, which generate a large amount of plastic waste.










Important Information

Your safe participation 

When 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, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part 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. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances 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. 

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 our website for online bookings, 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.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three 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.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

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; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, 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.


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 money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.