Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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

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  • Reviewed November 2018
    Melissa Rainbow

    Absolutely Amazing.

    This trip from start to finish was just absolutely amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first time we saw a tiger. What an unbelievably beautiful moment that was. The first tiger we saw on this trip was in Kanha (we saw 2 cubs in the distance in Pench but they were spotty little blurs) was a male tiger named Chota Munna. Another jeep had seen him cross the road and pass into the forest when we arrived. We just saw the bushes move and thought we had missed our chance. After 20 minutes or so of alarm calls and driving around the area he was believed to be moving, there he was, all of a sudden, strolling through the clearing and then crossing the road in front of us and continuing down the road for a good 5 minutes or more. That just blew my mind. To see this amazing animal walking through his home in all his glory was magnificent. We were to be blessed twice more in Kanha. Once more that day as we were leaving the lunch area a female tigress Choti Mada was walking down the road, we were one of only 3 jeeps to have been lucky to see her. On our last morning drive in Kanha, we had what our tour leader Vijay described as a once a year sighting. We heard alarm calls, and then there she was the beautiful Dhwajhandi (daughter of Choti Mada), she crossed the road, scenting as she went and passed into the grassland, we sat and waited for quite some time and were super lucky in this time to also see a Sloth Bear bounding across the grassland, after the bear passed we sat and waited on the other side of the grassland, listening to her roar, most jeeps gave up and left, but we insisted on waiting, we knew she was there. And then, alarm calls, the remaining jeeps all started their engines and we went further up the grassland road to where the deer were now running and calling, and then she was there, strolling through the grassland and past the deer. She walked across the road near our jeep, stopped for a bit, then continued at this point she was behind us and we got to watch her and she sauntered down the road, scenting as she went, rubbing herself on a tree and then eventually going back in to the forest. This whole experience lasted over 2 hours. We were so incredibly blessed to have witnessed this amazing sighting. I will forever be grateful for this trip. We also saw 3 more tigers when we were in Bandhavgarh, Spotty, Solo and Tara. All female tigress. We were lucky to see Tara twice. In all we saw 8 tigers if you include the cub blobs, 2 sloth bear and so many deer, birds, monkeys etc. It really was the trip of a lifetime. I won't be coming down off that high for sometime.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Oh Vijay was just truly wonderful. He is the best group leader I have ever had. He was so knowledgeable, passionate and committed. Every time we saw a tiger, it blew him away too, which was really touching. We were lucky to only have a group of 7, but he just did a marvelous job. I would 100% do another tour in India if Vijay was the leader. His passion for wildlife and knowledge of birds was phenomenal. He is a complete asset to your company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack thermals. It's only cold in the morning game drives, but you will need it, that and also some sort of windproof jacket. They give you blankets, but don't rely on them. You will need something else to keep you warm in the early mornings. Another thing you should 100% pack is something to cover you nose & mouth as the dust is pretty crazy.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Guy Darby

    Saw a Tiger

    Great trip for wildlife lovers which gives you the best opportunity to see a Tiger. Visiting 3 National Parks allows you to see a variety of landscapes, the full range of Indian bird and wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We all saw lots of evidence of Tigers including paw prints and alarm calls, and even caught glimpses of Tigers as they crossed road, or were asleep in the bush. And then finally on game drive number 15, that's over 60 hours on safari, with 5am starts and getting bounced around and covered in dust in the back of a jeep...we had a great clear close sighting of a magnificent Tiger. Fantastic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Krishna was excellent, helpful, informative and with a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We took up the opportunity to do two extra optional game drives. The more time you spend in the parks then the better chance of seeing a Tiger.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    the trip finished off with a visit to Agra, the Taj Mahal and Red Fort which were magnificent. We also did an optional tour of Delhi on the last day for which the Jamel mosque was great but New Delhi was a disappointment and covered in smog. We went out early and did a tailor made extension to Amritsar Dharamshala and Shimla which was excellent. If you have the time I would recommend doing an extension and exploring somewhere else in India.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Lorna Thomas

    L Thomas

    Wonderful trip. Just the right mixture of wildlife and culture. Can’t describe the feeling when we first saw a tiger at close range. At a loss for words. Sloth bear also made it a fabulous trip

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a tiger at close range for the first time was awe inspiring. Literally couldn’t speak. X

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vijay was fabulous. Made us feel very safe and helped us integrate with the local people .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a bit more money than you think you will need. Most of our money went on beers each day!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fabulous holiday. Go with the flow. Train journey is not as bad as you think it will be. X
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Brian & Ann Lythgoe

    FANTASTIC TIGERS

    The trip was excellent from start to finish. We were met at Nagpur by Krishna who gave us information about the trip and introduced us to the other members of our group. It was a group of mixed personalities and could not have been better. We all got on very well. The drive to Pench Jungle Resort was a bit of a problem due to an accident in the road ahead meaning we arrived late at the Resort, but the staff had kept the Restaurant open so that we could have a meal before bedtime. On our first game drive we saw our first tiger, but saw no more tigers in Pench. We did see a leopard with its kill and lots of monkeys, deer and a large variety of birds. We saw one tiger in Kanha and another 6 in Bandhavgarh. All in all worth every penny!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the tigers in their natural habitat We also saw a leopard with its kill and two wild dogs chase catch kill and eat a fawn. It was exciting and you didn't want to watch - but you did want to watch! It was fascinating to see how the dogs worked to capture the deer. The tigers of Bandhavgarh were fantastic. On our first game drive in Bandhavgarh we saw a male tiger lying in the middle of the road, to be joined a few minutes later by a female. They both lay there for a while and we watched them as they moved from the road to the bush and eventually into the forest. We watched them for almost 2 hours. It was fabulous.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was excellent. He made sure that we were at the gates of the reserves early so that we were among the first to enter. He was informative and extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and especially the birds. It was clear that he loved his country and gave us information and insights of life in India, including the local villagers and their lives. At Bandhavgarh he managed to obtain an extra game drive, by getting up very early to go to the gate for tickets. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for him. He showed great concern for his party of guests.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a scarf or 'snood' to cover your nose and mouth on the game drives - it gets very dusty. Make sure you have the correct electrical adaptors - although the European two pin (round pins) do fit. It does get quite cold in the early mornings as you travel n the open-top jeeps. It is advisable to have several layers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    In Pench there was a fridge in the room, but nt in Kanha or Bandhavgarh. A fridge in the room would have been useful for keeping water cold. The hotel in Agra was excellent but that in Delhi left a lot to be desired. Although the room was clean and comfortable the breakfast was very uninspiring The overnight train trip was not as difficult as expected. All in all, Exodus were a great Group to deal with and we would use Exodus again if we wanted to do something in their itinerary. The trip was worth every penny!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Dave Taplin

    More than tigers.

    A great trip, particularly for 'India virgins' and anyone who wants a variety of wildlife. Our tour leader Krishna was passionate, considerate and knowledgeable. It was good to be treated more as guests than tourists. Two warnings with this trip. a) It is incredibly dusty in the parks so those with respiratory issues may want to take this into consideration. b) It took 6 and a half game drives before we saw a tiger {thats over 23 hours off-roading in jeeps) but well worth it. So be prepared to watch the other wildlife. However we had 12 tiger sightings by the time we finished! Very busy trip, well organised with super food throughout. A vegetarians delight. (No-one in the group suffered any illness throughout the trip). The Holi festival to finish was colourful in many ways and a fantastic way to finish. Highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing our first tiger emerge out of the grass or it was the tiger that came out of the woods right next to our parked jeep or it was the visit to the red fort or it was the invite to join the community for the Holi festival or ... this is an impossible question to answer

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Having done several Exodus tours I have to say Krishna was the top man. Extremely thoughtful, willing to impart information, great communicator and organiser, as well a good guide in the field. And a sense of fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Elisabeth Blunt

    Land of the Tiger

    A great mix of nature, tigers, birds and culture led by a No.1 Guide

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just 4 in a jeep we are driving through the forest when - WOW - a tiger comes through the bush. Our driver, guide, us AND the tiger are surprised! We were SO close - a really precious moment just between the few of us, until he gently turned away and crossed the road. Such beauty and such power. But we were lucky - many ,more special moments. Drawn into a small local community to celebrate the festival of light; the tiger with her kill of barahsingha; the glorious stags of sambar; the marsh deer; the plain of vultures drying out; the efforts of our guide, the sun rises and sun sets; learning how jiggery is made - and tasting it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was one of the best - in fact the best I've ever had. Knowledgeable, fun, experienced, calm in emergencies - and he went that extra mile - or marathon! He had a birthday cake driven 70 km for one of our group; he got up at 3am to get tickets for others - a star!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I took a hot water bottle for the nights and a mini hot water bottle to put up my jumper for those hours 6-9 a.m. in the jeep. Enjoy Indian food - such a range of flavours and fresh local food. Put oil on your face if you go to the festival of light - or the dyes wear off slowly!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    February seemed an ideal time to go - hot but not too humid. Try to learn a few words beyond namast . . . Read some of William Dalrimple for atmosphere. Enjoy the train ride - much improved in the last 49 years! Take a hot water bottle and always keep tissues in your pocket.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    ian harrison

    LAND OF THE TIGER

    This was a great trip for seeing Tigers in the wild a very enjoyable couple of weeks , a good mix of adventure , relaxation and culture , for the first time visitor to India it certainly gives a good insight to local life but at the same time mainly focusing on the safari's , the Tigers and wildlife !! Our group had some great sightings we saw 17 Tigers including cubs ...An amazing time ....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being entranced by beautiful wild Tiger laying on a bank in the shade up close to the road for the first time , An amazing feeling looking into its eye's !! Witnessing a live kill by a large male tiger , from it's stealthy stalk across the road , to the raw explosiveness of its attack , and its struggle to finish the kill , ( a 20 minute once in a life time moment ) a truly awesome experience !! Langurs - I could watch these monkeys play all day ....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Krishna , a great guy , had everything well organised , was there to answer any questions and solve any problems , a fun guy to be around and very knowledgeable and informative , joined in with the dynamics of our group , very passionate about his country , the local people and the wildlife and protection of the Tigers .. A real cool guy , great to have met him , a major part of the whole experience ... A credit to Exodus !!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the whole trip the people, the culture , try not to be hooked up on seeing a tiger , they can be very elusive , they are not just siting everywhere , I had 7 safari's before my first encounter but when the time comes it is magical !! There is a lot of other wildlife to enjoy .... The safari's can be very dusty and hot in the summer months , tracks can be very bumpy but the drivers do a good job , pack less than you think , good laundry service at resorts : The Train journey was different , but was enjoyable , just go with the locals and enjoy the flow so may be surprised ... Sightseeing at the end of the trip can be hectic , but just embrace the beauty of the Taj and the Red Fort ... Enjoy everything and you will be rewarded with a great experience !!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    SJ B

    Land of the Tiger

    An excellent trip which I would recommend. Don't guarantee seeing Tigers however. We had done 9 safaris in both Pench and Kahna and hadn't seen a Tiger although we saw a Sloth Bear in Kahna, which is supposed to be rarer than Tigers. The group of four in our jeep were beginning to think we would never see one. Vijay our tour guide kept saying we would. So off we went in Bandhavgarh and believe it or not on our first Safari we saw 11 different Tigers. Out of the six Safaris there was only one afternoon when we didn't see one and overall we had well over 20 sightings. Absolutely brilliant. The trip by Train from Katni to Agra was much better than I expected. Katni station was manic with people, cows on the lines and a dog. What an experience, loved it. It was good to see the Taj Mahal again but would have been better if we had had gone at sunset rather than in the afternoon heat. There was a little scaffolding up but it didn't distract. However I wasn't blown away by my visit this time as i was 19yrs ago.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational part of the trip was definitely seeing Tigers and other wildlife, like the Sloth Bear in Kahna and the Jungle Cat in Bandhavgarh. The Taj Mahal was second but a good way behind. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Tuk Tuk cycle ride in Delhi through the different streets, this was really interesting visiting the silver street, saree street jewellry street etc and the spices. Very very exciting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide Vijay Chansoria was absolutely excellent, so knowledgeable about the wildlife and surroundings and obviously loved his country. It was great when he was in the jeep with you as it was another pair of eyes. We couldn't fault him and he was so caring.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We have just come back (April) and the mornings in Kahna were really cold, so we had to wrap up well but by 9.00a.m. it was hot. Just put on layers. Regarding the train, someone previously mentioned to take a sleeping bag liner, this is not necessary as you are given two sheets, blanket and a pillow. yes you do actually sleep. it is a long journey but it was good 13+hrs. Don't change money at Mumbai airport, use an ATM instead as this gives a better rate. Mumbai airport is great, some super shops and much better than Delhi. Make sure you take something to cover your cameras as this area is very very dusty with very fine sand, you come back from each safari absolutely filthy and its great to get a cold towel to wipe hands and face when back at the Lodges. You don't really get chance to shop so don't think about purchasing gifts, just enjoy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are very early starts, wake up 4.30a.m. but we went expecting this and it didn't bother us at all - we are in our 70's - but you are in bed usually by 9.00p.m. In fact the days you do get a lie-in it seems strange. The accommodation varies and we found the best was in the Tented Camp at Pench and the best food was at Kahna where the accommodation wasn't so good. The travelling by road was really interesting, seeing how the people live and work. The roads aren't too bad either. GO FOR IT AND ENJOY Traveller images & videos
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Louise Todd

    Land of the Tiger -India

    This was an amazing trip! Lots of Tigers (including cubs), lovely fresh food, a great group leader and of course sunshine!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Tigers were by far the best part for me. They are beautiful and we were so lucky to see 18 including some cubs too. The rest of the wildlife was also really good from leopard, sloth bear, Peacocks, monkeys dear, and countless birds! For me the countryside was lovely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was our group leader and he definately made sure our holiday was a great one. He was very knowledgable and couldn't do enough for us. He arranged extra game drives, joined in with the group and gave us plenty of information along the way! Excellent guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although this is stated as a leisurely holiday, the early starts make it a long day but well worth it!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Mike Segal

    A great trip to see tigers in the wild

    Three tiger reserves, 15 game drives in total. We saw about 15 tigers of different ages and sexes, lots of very good clear and long sightings.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being charged by a huge male tiger who clearly wasn't pleased at our attentions. He really wanted to scare us off!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hemal was very good in all respects, all the organisation and logistics went perfectly and he was very clear in his briefings and explanations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1.This is not a trip for people who suffer from a bad back. The jeep rides are very rough and bumpy, especially when the drivers hurry to get to spots where they think the tigers may be. 2. Patience is essential. We spent very many hours seeing nothing, but the rewards of a good sighting are worth the wait. In some parks you may see nothing at all, in others you may have several good sightings in a day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Both the accommodation and the transport were better than expected. Very comfortable lodges with spacious rooms and excellent food most of the time. All the long drives were in modern people carriers rather than a coach.
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