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.

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  • Reviewed November 2017
    Kevin Tappenden

    Tigers in Focus, Tadoba

    We have been considering a tiger watching holiday for a number of years, and decided to go ahead with the Tigers in Focus trip as Tadoba sounded like a less busy national park but one which offered good opportunities for tiger sightings. We were not disappointed! We had set low expectations perhaps just having a brief glimpse of a tiger crossing a track, however we achieved so much more. We had great sightings on the first 4 days of the trip, overall on 5 of the 11 safaris, and in total saw 10 individual tigers, 4 adults, 2 sub adults and 4 cubs. We were also able to enjoy the other wildlife with sightings of leopard, sloth bear and wild dog and many birds. The accommodation at V Resorts Tadoba was very good, especially taking into account the isolated rural nature of the resort. The rooms are all air conditioned and clean and comfortable. The resort is a 25-30 minute jeep ride from the gate to the national park, however this journey helped give a greater insight into rural life in India. The food at the resort was very good and varied, with varying levels of spiciness.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    With such good tiger sightings it is difficult to choose one, but probably the time we spent with Sona and her 4 cubs who are about 3 months old.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gordhon Singh was an excellent leader, who provided a good insight into life in rural India and was very knowledgeable about the local wildlife.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for very early starts, you set off at 5.30am each morning, but seeing a tiger makes up for the effort. Be prepared for the safaris being very dusty, and as you sit in an open jeep during the safaris you will get very dusty, and take some protection for your cameras.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Tadoba seems to be a quieter national park than others in India, and is mainly used by Indian visitors so do not expect to see many European or American visitors, and for us this was one of the attractions of choosing this trip.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Richard Dyason

    Tigers in Focus

    Tadoba National Park is made up of a great deal of woodland, an ideal habitat for tigers but less ideal for spotting tigers unless you visit in the dry season however we not only saw a wide range of animals and birds including a wild dog pack chasing a deer (it escaped by swimming a lake) but we also had some close encounters (5 feet) with tigers with some great photos to take home The park is let down by the use of elephants, hobbled by heavy chains which prevent them from extending their stride, being used for tourists. This is unacceptable anywhere and especially in a wild life sanctuary The accommodation at Camp Serai, badly designed, shoddily built and poorly maintained was also notable for wild life, unfortunately in the rooms, not just every conceivable creepy crawly but also rats which damaged some guests property. Sadly the site owner was totally complacent dismissing as to be expected in a jungle camp. From experience in a camp in the Amazon jungle well designed and maintained huts do not suffer rats ingress or even snakes as poisonous species had been found nearby The guide's organisation was poor and managed to lose my passport on the way to the park on our last day, later found lying at the roadside

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a 91 year old lady member of our group who was an inspiration to us all

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A waste of space

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not go to Tadoba park until they retire the elephants to a sanctuary and also until Exodus find alternative accommodation to Camp Serai
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Samantha Gargour

    Tigers in abundance

    11 guests, 11 game drives, 10 sightings... I always keep my expectations low in order not to be disappointed. This trip was anything but disappointing. Having wanted to join a tiger trip with Paul since 2012, my timing always seemed to be off. Not this time. Through the efforts of both Paul and our local guide Himanshu, we managed to be at the right place / right time on all game drives. It was hot, very hot, and worth every second of sweat and tears (yes, there were tears...especially with my first tiger sighting). You have to be patient and know that, as the title of the trip suggests, the focus is mainly on tigers, but the rewards....well....10 sightings, enough said.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To all intents and purposes, I have always wanted to see a tiger in the wild. Few people care enough to keep them there as much as Paul. His passion and efforts over the years to raise awareness of the plight of the tiger, the education and charity work he does towards preserving this species is the inspiration. Seeing them in the wild and understanding his motivation was humbling and a true privilege.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Passionate, opinionated, doggedly determined - able to entertain the group at all times with an abundance of energy. Whether you are new to photography or have done it for years, there is always something to learn from Paul - you just have to keep the thick skin on.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is hot, drink lots of water. Bring one of those dry hydro fibre towels with you, lightweight and quick drying to keep the sweat out of your eyes when trying to focus through your viewfinder. It is also very dusty, bring some sort of protection for your camera / lens (lightweight scarf or dust cover) - maybe even to cover your mouth and nose. Be patient, accept that wildlife is unpredictable and ask questions, the local guide's (Himanshu) knowledge is second to none. Make sure you have your travel insurance details to hand as this will be asked of you.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Tip graciously, this is their livelihood and the more incentive the locals have to appreciate tourist arrivals, the more efforts go into preserving the national park. A big thank you to all who made this possible. As always, Exodus customer service and follow up was very efficient and friendly.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Nicholas Dale

    Tigers in Tadoba

    Great chance to see tigers, although less focus on the other animals, so you have to be prepared to wait around a long time...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting back and discovering a couple of great shots of the tiger.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent if sometimes irascible. He's a great raconteur, and you need that when you're hanging around waiting for tigers to appear.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring the longest lens you can, as some of the sightings are quite far - up to 500 yards away!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The rooms were enormous and even had sockets that took European plugs, which was handy as my Botswana adaptor didn't work in India!
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Sophie Smither

    Tigers Take Two

    I did Land of the Tiger last October and was not satisfied with my 1.5 tigers in 17 game drives (the half being backside only view!) so I decided to try again. A better return (4 and a glimpse in 11 game drives) and sloth bear and leopard as well this time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two afternoon game drives: the first when we saw 2 tigers, one very close and the second dragging a dead cow away to eat as well as a sloth bear, and the last when we got in a different (prettier) bit of the park, saw a tiger and on the way out a leopard!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hemel was good at keeping us on time and positive and was always happy to chat!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes if you go in April it is REALLY hot. Take a towel from the lodge soaked in water and drape it over your head - keeps you cool for about 45 mins and can be topped up whilst on the move! As others have said it is really really dusty so something to cover your mouth and nose (and camera?) is a good idea. And don't expect to feel properly clean all trip! No internet and minimal phone reception at the Lodge. Minimal money needed - you get 3 Litres of bottled water a day, can buy soft drinks and the souvenir choice isn't too vast.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Game drives can be frustrating and sightings can be down to luck. Others in your group may see more than you, try not to get too jealous!! Also be prepared for a lot of waiting for no clear reason. At Mumbai airport on the way home be warned you may not be allowed through to the Departures side until a few hours before your flight so have to wait and the transit/Check in side has not much to do.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Caroline Fielden

    Tigers in Focus and more...

    An amazing holiday in a remote and unspoiled part of India. We were fascinated by the range of wildlife, despite visiting towards the end of the dry season. There is a huge wealth of bird life around the beautiful lake, the tigers didn't disappoint, we saw 8 different individuals (including numerous sightings of some tigers) also sloth bears, wild dogs and a beautiful male leopard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Nothing prepares you for seeing a tiger in the wild for the first time. However, the most memorable moment was watching a tigress hunting a young gaur (bison) which had been separated from the herd, I wasn't sure whether to root for the tiger or hope that the prey escapes - which it did by the skin of it's teeth- my heart was in my mouth. We were also lucky enough to see a young tiger retrieve a kill and drag it across the road. If you love wildlife this holiday is for you.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hemel was friendly and as excited by any tiger sightings as we were.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a scarf or buff to cover your nose and mouth as it gets really dusty. Also remember that this is a very rural and poor part of India so be prepared for failures in the electrical supply and very little English spoken.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The craziness of Indian bureaucracy takes some getting used to - especially at Mumbai airport.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Laura Savill

    Tigers In Focus

    This is a very full on trip - 2 games drives of approx 5 hours a drive. Up at 0530 every morning and in bed by 2130 in the evening, but it is really worth it to get sightings of tigers and other animals that are in the Park. However do not go with any preconceived ideas it is totally different that African games drives. There is method in the madness that one finds on the drives. However be prepared to spend up to an hour waiting for a tiger to appear and then one may only get a glance but the excitement is very catching.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Out of the 11 games drives there was only 2 that no tigers were sighted. Game drives 9 and 10 were the best. In the morning of game drive 9 we were up to see a tigress and her 4 cubs close up and spent about 45 mins observing them. In the afternoon we were waiting around a waterhole and a sloth bear came down to drink with her cub on her back - both a breathtaking moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Krishna was excellent. From the moment he met the group at Nagpur Airport he was friendly and informative. He took time out to listen to every member of the group and accommodate suggestions to improve the stay at the Camp. His knowledge and enthusiasm of the animals was wonderful to observe and spread over into the group. If I ever go to India I would go on a trip that he was leading.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can be very very dusty to take or purchase a snood with you to cover your hair, nose and mouth. Take a small camera bag to place your camera in when out on the drive. Be prepared to sit and wait for a sighting of tigers - remember this is a totally different experience compare to Africa. It can be pure luck that you actually get a good shot of tigers so do not feel let down.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Camp is very comfortable and can come across as basic. The staff are very friendly and the food is very good but do expect curries every day and no international cuisine but that is the charm of spending time away from cities.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Peter Heath

    Tigers in Focus

    Just back from a very good trip but as someone who has been on other safaris and also India & Africa before I think useful to identify some points. Unlike other safaris this is only for the tiger. Do not expect other interesting species like in Africa. Chances of tiger are good, others rare. Game drives can become a bit repetitive if no tigers are about.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Waiting for and watching the tigers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good, very organised. Not overpowering and let the group relax.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Believe the notes - in December it is very cold before sunrise. You are in open jeep doing 40mph wrapped in hotel blankets. Take that padded jacket, hat and gloves.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Surprising little spare time to relax. Up at 5:30hrs, back at hotel 11:30hrs. Lunch then off 13:30hrs for next game drive. Back 18:30hrs, dinner 20:00hrs, bed 21:30hrs. Also consider booking some time in Niranta transit hotel at Mumbai.
  • Reviewed March 2016
    Elaine Clueit

    Tigers burning bright in Tadoba

    If you want the opportunity to see tigers in the wild with the easiest journey possible and avoid Indian cities and trains this new location is for you. One international and internal flight and a reasonable 2 and half hour drive and you are in Serai Tiger Camp - a few kilometres from the main park gate. 11 game drives give you fair odds of seeing these magnificent creatures and the fact that there are only two watering holes increases those odds. We had sightings on 9 out of 11 game drives and saw 10 different tigers. 2 females, 2 males and 6 cubs. We also had excellent sightings of wild dog and sloth bear.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A close encounter with male tiger Pandu. We were lucky enough to have him to ourselves for about 15 minutes as he woke and groomed himself for the day ahead. All four in our jeep had a tear in our eye when he walked into the distance calling for his mate. A cub coming down to the waterhole and taking a swim right in front of us. Seeing a Mom reunite with her cubs after she had been on a scout.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna is an outstanding guide passionate about wildlife and his country. He and our driver and naturalist were a great team and made sure we had the best experiences

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is all about game drives and searching for wonderful wildlife. You get some good downtime in between the drives. Most of the parks visitors are domestic tourists - at the moment I don't think many westerners go there so be prepared for lots of families sharing your experiences. Enjoy the beauty of the park and make some time to sit and watch the langurs play.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was a great trip!
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Richard Hopgood

    Tigers In Focus

    Not only was my holiday to have the opportunity to tigers in the wild, but also experience India. The wildlife was amazing, as was seeing the Taj Mahal and Red Fort in Agra. The focus was on the tigers, and it was spine tngline to them in the wild. Magnificent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On arrival at Tigergarh, I went for a walk among the rice firlds. I sat in the shade of a tree, and watched and listened to the birds around me. Birds I had only seen in aviaries or books, were now all around me. Blue skies, fresh air and the wildlife.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was excellent. Proud of his country and the tigers, brimming with enthusiasm and excitement. It was like each day was his first day, and he shared our excitement when seeing the tigers.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy the experience with a seasoned guide. Brilliant and I will recommend it to anyone who asks.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    For Exodus, the visit to the school should have been mentioned in the brouchure. The children were brilliant, and our gropu would have loved to have known about it earlier, so we could have taken them books, pencils, anything. If they are the future if India, the future is bright.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Please note that our Tigers in Focus itinerary changed at the start of 2016; this trip now visits Tadoba National Park rather than Bandhavgarh National Park.

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