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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed March 2019
    Doreen Drews

    Wonderful holiday on a lovely island with a huge amount of variety over the two weeks

    Very much recommend this trip to people who like a huge variety of experiences on holidays. The trip notes are very accurate and you will travel through, walk through and stay in many different scenic places ranging from small villages, paddy fields, national parks, hill plantations and beach locations. You have opportunities to see and get close to a range of wild animals, bird life and to have contact with local people and their lives during walks and other activities. There are UNESCO world heritage sites and a range of towns to explore. Above all, there are the lovely, smiley Sri Lankan people to meet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to choose one. I loved all the world heritage sites (especially Sigiriya) and the game drives (although there is a bit of an issue with the optional elephant game drive ...more later) Others in the group would identify the white water rafting or whale watching so it depends on individual choices.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan was the best tour leader I've travelled with on my many Exodus (and similar companies) holidays. Well organised, personable, knowledgeable and with a passion for his country but also willing to discuss its difficulties. On long journeys he would give us a 'talk' on a particular subject be it Buddhism, history of the country etc. He had a lovely sense of humour which encouraged all of us to participate in activities and there is no doubt that his leadership and good relationship with the coach driver and co-driver helped everyone feel comfortable throughout the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the days involve long coach journeys but each of these were broken up by stopping at interesting spots or having breaks for tea or lunch. There was much more eating in hotels than I've ever experienced on previous Exodus trips. In some cases this was necessary as the hotel was 'out of the way' with little opportunities for cafes/restaurants around , but in other cases you could choose to not eat with the group and search out alternatives (which would be cheaper) locally. Be aware that in all hotels and some restaurants there are taxes to add onto your meal and drinks which increase the cost by 25% The hotels were of a much higher standard than I expected. You don't need to bring a hairdryer or shampoo/conditioner as all provide ...except one. The cottage hotel in Nuwara Ellya had an issue with hot water in some rooms and food service was painfully slow but this hotel only stood out as the others were so great.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst I enjoyed seeing Asian elephants in the wild on the optional game drive near Sigiriya, be aware that currently there are no licenses granted or restrictions put on the number of people who can take tourists in jeeps. This of course leads to far too many vehicles being in the park at any one time. There seems little thought given to the welfare of the elephants as jeeps were allowed to get too close to them surrounding them at certain points. It felt uncomfortable. The game drive in Yala National Park seemed better managed with fewer jeeps and much greater distance kept back from the animals in the main.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Caroline Curnock

    Discover Sri Lanka tour

    The holiday was an excellent mix of activities - walking, cycling, exploring wildlife and looking at cultural sights. The hotels, with the exception of the Sevonra Garden, were excellent with good service and helpful staff. The food was great across the hotels, again with the exception of the Savonra Garden, with plenty of Sri Lankan dishes to explore. The changes I would make would be to have longer in Galle as it was such an interesting town and we only had a couple of hours there which was not long enough. Also to factor in less time in the woodcarving shop.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day spent cycling as it was well organised and lovely to have time exploring along the watercourses with all the sights and sounds.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suneth was an exceptional leader - he was full of information about Sri Lanka and all the wildlife but more importantly he was a very kind caring man who went out of his way to make our trip special - introducing us to different foods, buying fruit for us to try, taking us out on birdwatching trips in his own time. He was very careful for our safety and was always available if we needed him. It was very sad that he had to leave early for family reasons but he handled what must have been a very difficult and emotional time for him in an extremely professional way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To add in a few days at the end to relax as the trip was very full on in the best way. it would have been great to have a few days at the end to relax and mull over the experience and to explore Columbo as a city.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Virginia Young

    It all feels like a dream now but what a fabulous holiday!

    This was my first Exodus trip and was booked to celebrate a big birthday and make wonderful memories and I certainly did that! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as a single traveller but the holiday was fantastic, I needn’t have worried - I was in safe hands with our wonderful guide Ruwan and surrounded by a lovely group of friendly travellers. We did such a lot! Everyday was packed with new experiences from climbing Lion’s Rock to whitewater rafting to watching a snake try to eat a bat!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many great moments. I enjoyed visiting Kandy and attending the Tooth Ceremony with the smell of the beautiful flower offerings and the colours! . The thrills and spills of whitewater rafting! The lunches prepared by the village ladies, so many different dishes, all tasting wonderful, with some even cooked in front of us! Cycling beside the beautiful waterways was very special with all the children coming out to greet us! And the wildlife was amazing, from elephants to monitor lizards to hornbills to crocodiles!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan was well organised and had a great sense of humour. He took time to explain the history and customs of the island as well as the geography and language. He took care of everyone. Any problems were quickly sorted out calmly and efficiently He gave us great tips on where to visit in our free time. We couldn’t have had a better group leader!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take insect repellant and don’t forget to use it! Take a camera with a large memory card! There is lots to photograph! Enjoy every minute as it goes too fast!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I appreciated the opportunity of visiting one of the Exodus tsunami houses for lunch. Discover Sri Lanka is a holiday packed with different experiences, sights and smells. Don’t wait -GO! I’ll be booking another Exodus holiday!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Mary Pendower

    Awesome Trip to see the real Sri Lanka!

    This was an awesome trip from start to finish. Great way to see a lot of the country, people, wildlife, culture, history whilst taking on board some really fun activities such as white water rafting, walking to World's End at Horton Plains, cycling through villages and paddy fields, looking at amazing views on a train journey seeing elephants, monkeys, boar, deer, crocodiles, many types of birds and even a leopard!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    cycling through villages and learning all about coconut farming, and being served a local Sri Lankan buffet in one of the settlements we cycled through. going to Yala national park seeing elephants and a leopard playing Sri Lankan games with our tour leader and fellow group. learning all about Sri Lankan history from our amazing tour leader Ruwan Exodus supporting local community projects and taking us to non touristy places. Visiting the tea plantations and learning all about the tea growing process was brilliant walking to World's End was awesome with incredible breathtaking views. Environmental issues remained a top priority with Exodus with water being supplied on the tour bus for us to fill up our own bottles

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan definitely defined the holiday and made it one of the best holidays I have ever had! He was witty, very knowledgeable about the wildlife, history of the country and it's people. He made every effort to ensure that everybody was happy and fully participated in our tours, activities and meals. He also bound the group together, we arrived as strangers and we were friends when we departed! The Sri Lankan games we played towards the end of the holiday were hilarious.. All thanks to Ruwan and also the driver and his helper. I cannot recommend him highly enough. Thank you Ruwan!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    go with room in your suitcase for Sri Lankan clothes, tea and spices!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I can't wait until I go on another Exodus holiday again!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    June E

    Very enjoyable trip

    Great holiday with varied activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Particularly enjoyable memories include: Climbing Lions Rock, Hortons Plain walk (even though Worlds End view was misty), white water rafting, hot water bottle at night at the Hill Club, bike ride/local lunch, playing Sri Lankan games, train ride, wandering round Galle, and still some time to relax by the pool and have a swim.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was an excellent guide, our tour was very well managed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Whale watching – I did it, and we did see blue whales (and a pod of dolphins). But, with hindsight, I would not have done it, as it takes around 7.5 hours, and you only see a few glimpses of the whales, and I think I could have made better use of my time by the local beach and doing perhaps the afternoon mangrove tour. Oh well, you live and learn. Sigiriya – do the optional game drive, we saw loads of elephants, and we only caught a glimpse of one on the included Yala drive. Take insect repellant.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Galle - If you arent in a rush to get home, stop off in Galle for a day or two, it’s a nice town, and would be good to see sunset/rise there. Colombo – I did walk round it, as I had a late flight. I wouldn’t worry if you don’t have time though, basically, you’ve seen better elsewhere on the trip. Don’t be put off by the amount of nights you will be eating hotel food – the rice & curry buffets are lovely (I don’t normally go for hotel food, especially when it’s a buffet). You will put on weight though!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Ian Barton

    Super Sri Lanka

    Full of wonderful experiences made even better by our Tour Guide - Sujee. Rice & Curry is delish!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lion's Rock was amazing. Little England is a gem and their tea is delightful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Spot on. He made the holiday special and I believe the group of 18 felt the same.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You must like Curry & Rice.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Rosemary Grainger

    Grainger look back at Sri Lanka

    A wonderful 15 day trip which matched/exceeded all our hopes & expectations. It was a very full itinerary but well worth the effort. We have always been independent travellers & this was our first ‘group experience’, one which we thoroughly enjoyed - the mixed group added to enjoyment. The trip was helped by the lovely leader Samith (see our comments below) and having such a stunning island to explore. The history, culture , scenery & diversity of Sri Lanka was well showcased by the structure of the tour.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is not possible to select one moment as there were many! The top of Sigiriya has to be up there, with the safaris highlighted by a leopard casually wandering in front of the jeep! Equally memorable was interacting with the villagers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Samith was simply great. His knowledge of all places we visited, the history, the religions and culture enriched the trip more than we could have hoped,. However, just as important was his care for all members of our group, ensuring that everybody was happy with each day’s agenda. He was approachable with individual questions, patient with his responses and a lovely sense of humour! His relationship with the driver Dana (what a star!) and the assistant Sachin also put us all at ease. Top marks

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was our first Exodus trip & full on, as we have said above - & we loved it. However, we are regular walkers & pretty fit, but we wouldn't wanted it have to have been any more intense without some clearer indication. There fac we took 3 days R&R on the beach at the end of the trip added to the positive experience

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was well organised and gave us a good overview of Sri Lanka. We have already given our comments on the hotels at the time. Thanks very much Exodus
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Tessa Bruce-Lockhart

    Very disappointing

    Disappointing

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Birdwatching, which I found in the hotel, but our guide never even told us about it. Train journey was a complete disaster, everyone pushed onto the train, hanging on for dear life near open doors. Exodus never bothered to book seats. No one could see anything except other people's armpits. No apology from Exodus when several of our party emailed them immediately. An appalling and dangerous situation. The game parks are so full of land rovers chasing the animals that the smell of diesel was unbearable, whale watching the boatschased the whales until they were disorientated. Our guide never checked that everyone was alright - he marched on so fast - just trying to rush through the day, and twice people fell behind unwell, once he did not even notice........... Lovely countryside, smiley people but just too touristy

    What did you think of your group leader?

    See above, and very bad at communicating anything off the script. Maps given out after you leave the venue so you couldn't see everything. All done so he could get through the day as quickly as possible, and on to his next meal. When we had free time no suggestions given of the best sites and restaurants. Very charming and smiley and enthusiastic, but only on his terms, which is not like most guides, who seem to go the extra mile for their customers. We were offered nothing except watching with the optional white water rafting - that is not optional just boring and time wasting.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The food was good but far too much. Not a company or country I would recommend, and I have travelled extensively both with tours and independently.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Why did you not book seats on the train? Other companies do
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Janet Gibbons

    Magical tour of Sri Lanka

    A couple of friends had been on this trip and recommended it but it so exceeded my expectations. An amazing variety of experiences around a beautiful island with a fabulous guide and a great group of travelling companions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I could just rewrite the itinerary! Everyday was filled with wonderful experiences. It could be seeing elephants to discovering a beautiful lesser known Buddhist temple. So many inspirational moments.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Oscar was awesome! I’ve been on a few Exodus trips and he was one of the best guides I’d experienced. He always went the extra mile for us to ensure we had a wonderful time. Superb in organising and communicating. And a great sense of humour!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take every opportunity and enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go!
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Donald Morecombe

    An action-packed and fun filled holiday

    This was an excellent introduction to Sri Lanka which included a wide range of activities, from visiting Buddhist temples to safari trips in two national parks, white water rafting and cycling in the beautiful Sigirya region. We travelled through contrasting regions and were also given opportunities to meet a number of Sri Lankans who were not involved in the tourist trade and try some authentic Sri Lankan food. The hotels were of a high standard and a number had good quality swimming pools. We were impressed by the diversity of Sri Lanka wildlife- we saw so many different birds, as well as monkeys, water buffalo, crocodiles and lizards as well as the elephants and even (luckily) a leopard! Generally, a varied and well thought out itinerary.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Overall it was a great holiday with so many highlights. The cycling day in the villages was particularly memorable as was the optional white water rafting. We would recommend the safaris especially the one to Yala NP. The beach side Insight Resort at Ahangama was very good. It was great swimming in the warm sea.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ruwan was an excellent guide- as well as being friendly and sociable he was very organised and his attention to detail was impressive. He told us a great deal about the culture, history and politics of a country he obviously loves and was also willing to answer our questions and give advice on activities we planned for our free time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We changed £500 at the airport on arrival and paid by card at the hotels - this seemed about right. All the walking is on fairly good surfaces and you shouldn't need more that good trainers. The temperatures were generally in the upper 20s except when we got to the south coast when it hit the mid 30s (too hot!) We recommend all the optional trips except: 1. The Adam's Peak climb - This is very hard even for experienced walkers. 6 of us went on it and it was a surreal experience walking up 5500 relentlessly steep illuminated (no need for a torch) concrete steps with hundreds of other people. Even at 4am it was very humid and exhausting. It was very crowded at the top and unfortunately we had a poor local guide. It's good to have done it but I wouldn't recommend it. 2. No one went whale watching - it was an early start and we were advised that we might be out for up to 7 hours and still not see many whales.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We understood that the maximum number on the trip was 16 when we booked and were surprised that we had 18. Although the group was good (no really annoying people!) we think 18 is too many. Most people on the trip wanted to stay at the famous Hill Club but we were informed that it had received mixed reports in the past and we were therefore staying at the disappointing Mirage Hotel some way out of town. We think this had more to do with the Hill Club increasing its prices and strongly recommend that Exodus go back to using it.
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