Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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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.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

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  • Reviewed March 2018
    Mandy and John Tory

    South India Explored

    A busy and very interesting trip. Great company, well organised and good itinerary. We loved southern India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many...... Little train to Ooty. Lunch stops at roadside cafes. Overnight train to Chennai. Bird sanctuary at Vedantangal. Walking near elephants in Periyar National Park, and the boat trip on the same lake. Cooking evening with Sheril, in Periyar. The huge number and variety of temples. The houseboat in the backwaters.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rajesh was a good leader. Very well organised, friendly to all of the group with fascinating insights into local life and customs, with little held back. He embellished the trip with additions to the itinerary which were well received. He and his crew managed to break up the long drives with well planned stops - for chai and toilet purposes - as well as to observe local life and to try local produce.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack fairly light but you will not have to do much suitcase carrying. Have appropriate clothes for temple visits but more casual wear is better for the beach side stops. Swimwear! We had little problem with the change in diet but stuck to bottled water. Take your own drinking bottle to refill on the bus and reduce plastic waste. Learn to like beer as there may not be much choice! If female, practise squatting!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go with an open mind and a generous spirit.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Caroline Bradley

    Explore Southern India

    A fantastic opportunity to see the many different sides to India by travelling through 3 states and seeing the landscape, architecture, having the history explained and tasting the food.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The architecture, culture and devotion of the Indian people to their religious beliefs & practices.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader made the long coach trips fun and interesting by getting us all involved in various topics we wanted to discuss and explore about India culture and history. He was frank, open and honest.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a full on trip, the weather is hot and the humidity is high! So it can be exhausting, therefore you need to be "really up for it" to get the most out of the trip. Drink plenty of fluids, if you are not use to eating spicy food daily, then don't do it on the trip! There are plenty of alternatives Wear plenty of sun cream and DEET. Take things in your stride, keep your expectations low and you will be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed. Go with a child's mind and heart; full of wonder, interest and excitement, don't prejudge and always look on the bright side and make the most of everything and you should enjoy it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Eric Aldridge

    South India trip

    As described in the trip notes the pace is leisurely. For us there was little walking and activity with some 2000+ miles in the bus albeit with plenty of fascinating traffic and sights to see. The people, as always, very friendly. The food interesting and every variation of curry. Highlights were walking and boat trip in Periyar NP together with the houseboat and waterways. Plenty of different temples and palaces to explore and the local guides clarified the details in carvings and exhibits. Our group was only 5 so there was plenty of space on the bus, organisation and communication was 'easy' with no delays.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing was inspirational

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Everything went to plan and apart from one small communication error with the transfer bus at Bangalore all events and timings work well. With a small group it was relatively easy to 'control', communicate and I think we all enjoyed each others companionship. Everyone arrived on time and there were no delays. Our guide often gave insight Into India's developing culture, politics and history. He responded well to any questions. In general he was humourous though some days he was quiet and less communicative. He was very good to those who were not feeling so well and ensured they had all the necessary medication and care to recover as quickly as possible. Overall he was a very good guide and kept the group interest by unscheduled stops to view village life, brick making works, and various workshops. He was aided in this by our driver who was always looking for unexpected events at the roadside. Any changes to the itinerary were discussed/agreed with the group beforehand.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect the unexpected. Be ready at the agreed time to avoid delays and frustrating the rest of the group. Read the trip notes. Generally these are okay. (NB Hairdryers are not provided at hotels). India has an anti-plastic policy and now have 'plastic police' checking the number of carrier bags and bottles carried on the bus. Our driver was fined for too many plastic bags. It may be better to bring your own water bottle rather than refilling flimsy plastic bottles. Bottles were filled from the supplies issued from bulk supplies on the bus or complementary hotel bottles and never a problem. Although Kerala and south India is cleaner than the north expect to see plenty of litter (including on the beach at Mahabalipuram-awful) and this is a cultural. challenge and hence the plastic policy. The suggested walk from Dodabetta Peak to the botanical garden is along a busy road and I would not recommend it. Generally walking in towns is difficult as there are rarely footpaths and pedestrians mingle with traffic.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would have enjoyed more walking and we really enjoyed the opportunities in the botanical garden, Periyar, bird sanctuary and Kovalam. The houseboat gave another opportunity to wander along the waterside paths. In the towns there wasn't. much pleasure strolling with the traffic except we enjoyed the banter with the stallholders/shops. Our guide arranged a few 'strolls' through villages, festival areas but generally we travelled by bus for dinner if we didn't use the hotel.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Alexander Renwick

    Exodus South India Experience

    This was my first experience of visiting south India and after a very successful Exodus holiday to Venezuela many years ago, decided to give them another try. The three week tour was very well organised by them and especially our tour leader Mr Sam G Benjamin who really made it special right from the start.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to pin it down really because there were so many. Mysore palace at night, Ooty and the train journey were both very special, overnight train experience, houseboat in Kerala, even our last day at Kovalum was just lovely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Sam was very attentive, professional and always there when needed but not at all intrusive. In my opinion Sam made the holiday for us so special and interesting too, so top marks for him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think because it all worked so well for me/us with some great people on the tour. A truly great team leading us safely and in comfort on our little bus including driver and his helper which made it special.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All I would say is if you want to see a very interesting, true southern India, you have go do this trip. But don't forget, you have to hit the ground running and it's Great!
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Sylvia Holliman

    South India Explored

    An incredibly varied trip, packed with lots of wonderful moments. I loved all of the temples and palaces, particularly Shore Temple and associated monuments. The tea plantation and spice garden were both lovely, and the bird sanctuary was simply amazing! It was great to be there when various festivals were happening, and there was a real party feel to many of the places we visited.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a family of otters swimming in the lake when on our boat trip in Periyar National Park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Navin was drafted in at very short notice from his usual area in North India, and did a very good job in the circumstances. He was always ready to answer questions, and made sure that we all stayed healthy and safe.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take loo paper and antiseptic hand gel! There are some long journeys, and meal times can be a bit flexible, so you may want to consider taking some snack food (or buy when there).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Indian people are very friendly and welcoming. I recommend this trip!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Tim and Lesley Elgood

    The Magic Bus from Exodus

    We have not undertaken any tours previously so were apprehensive but this was unfounded. Our fellow travellers proved great fun and enhanced the tour and it was an amazing and varied trip with a great guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyday included something that was inspirational. Incredible India is the strap line and it really is the most amazing country . We have now been travelling 4 months through Asia and India remains in our memory as the most beautiful country. The towns and cities, the Temples , Palaces , the architecture through all the colonial periods of history, the friendly people so welcoming , the beautiful countryside the lakes , rivers and agriculture , teeming with wildlife and birds. The tranquility of the bird sanctuary stands out.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam George Benjamin was a great guide. He was very conscientious and extremely thorough , everything ran very smoothly. He went the extra mile to make sure everyone needs were met and was very inclusive. He was happy to answer our many questions about India during the long drives which kept us all entertained .He found some varied places to eat and introduced us to lots of delicious meals that we would not have tried without his guidance . He was also enormous fun and a great asset to exodus Tours. He sums up what a good guide should be as he made it seen easy , but we acknowledge how hard he worked to achieve this result. He was assisted by an excellent driver and co driver and excellent local guides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our guide had a phrase this is India my friends remember lower your expectations. We would say remain flexible open minded and enjoy the moment , India is very humbling exciting inspirational and memorable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are undecided whether to travel to India, a tour is a good way to undertake this as you learn so much about the culture and customs and any confusions anxieties are soon ironed out by the guide.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Donna Heinle

    South India Explored

    Interesting exploration of this area of India. Some lengthy bus rides, but they were offset by frequent stops to drink coffee or eat at local diners (great food even on plastic plates), and other stops to watch rice planting or sugar cane harvesting or brickmaking, etc. Our guide also gave mini-lectures about education, religion, planned marriages, or any other topic we wanted to ask about.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    seeing temples that were built 1000 years ago.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sam was terrific. He made it look so easy, but I know that behind the scenes he was working hard to make sure that everything (accommodation, local guides, restaurants) functioned smoothly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be afraid to try different foods. The children always asked for pens.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm glad we were able to visit during Pongal, and also witness the controversy over jallikatta (bull wrestling).
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Christine Ker

    South India Explored

    Very good trip - quite relaxing compared with the frantic pace and culture and crowds in North India

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Staying on the houseboat - would have liked longer. Visiting the tea plantation and seeing the old India of the Raj.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was excellent and look after us very well

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Every day is very busy and full on and we covered a large area. There is a lot of time spent on the road which annoyed some people. I do not think that 5-6 hours in the bus every day is hard when compared to some trips which have 12-14 hours driving. The roads were good and the driver did an excellent job.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would have liked more time in Bangalore and Chennai as I like visiting bazaars
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Stephen Akehurst

    South India Explored

    Was a brilliant trip, enjoyed it all. Travel a bit hectic but made it seem such a long holiday. The guide Lukas was very good and was extremely good at explaining history of monuments and places. He also enabled group to cope with the withdrawal of 500 Rupee and 1,000 Rupee notes. Can't praise him high enough. Hotels were fine, not 5 star but very good value for price of holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing elephant coming down to drink in Periyar wildlife sanctuary.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Can only discribe him as brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try and mind read Indian politicians and what their financial policies will be.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is a wonderful place but it's just best to relax and let it happen.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Theresa Worth

    South India Explored

    Thoroughly enjoyed this trip to South India but be prepared to accept the hustle and bustle of travelling on the roads of India! Our local bus driver Joshi and his assistant Babu kept us safe throughout our journeys. There is just so much to see, from attractive sceneries of Ooty and the tea plantations, to the Temples at Belur and halebid and the colourful Brihadisvara Temple in Madurai, along with the stunning Palace in Mysore. Having a brilliant group of fellow travellers also enhanced this wonderful experience and finishing the trip at Kovalam Beach, Kerala was a perfect way to end this busy but enthralling trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I would say the whole trip was inspirational, but the spectacular scenery as you leave Kerala and enter Tamil Nardu is breathtaking in parts. The trip on the narrow gauge Blue Mountain Railway from Coonor to Ooty is an experience not to be missed. Climbing nearly 700steps to the 17m high statue of Gommateshwara in Sravanabelagola was inspirational and well worth the climb. The Kerala backwater cruise aboard the houseboat was very relaxing and gave you an Insite to everyday living along the waters edge. Mahabalipuram with its cave temples and rock carvings is stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eugene Gevarghese is a very good group leader and had the best interests of the whole group at the heart of our trip. He ensured that on the long road journeys that there were ample coffee/tea and toilet breaks, along with opportunities to see true everyday life in India. His organisation of local guides at Mysore, Sravanabelagola, Mahabalipuram and Madurai enhanced our experiences at such historic wonders. Eugene enhanced our experiences of South India with his knowledge and eagerness to ensure we experienced the different cuisine available and everyday life experiences of the people of South India.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind and you will enjoy this trip. There is a lot to see, be mindful that there are parts of the country that are very poor and you will see that a lot of the villages you travel through, tend to throw their rubbish on the roadside but I understand from Eugene that the Government is working hard to educate and improve things.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is a lot of reconstruction of the roads going on but this can only be a positive thing. South India has a lot to offer the traveller and although it was quite hectic in parts there were times when you could relax. The houseboat trip and relaxing at Kovalam beach were an excellent way to end the holiday.i
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