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

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199 Reviews

  • Reviewed April 2017
    Andrew Saward

    Great tour in Sri Lanka

    Excellent tour - a good mixture of wildlife, great scenery, local interest, buddhist shrines, a good range of cycling from easy to challenging - comfortable hotels - and friendly companions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The early morning downhill from Ella to the waterfall

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Suresh was excellent - really experienced - well organised - very informative - arranged stops which introduced local topics and people - cooking lessons with good recipes to pass on - clearly enjoys his role !

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Consider taking the bus on the last section up to the tea plantations - the climb is continuous and very long.
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Jill Frampton

    Good tour with a good varied itinerary

    I knew when I booked this tour that the food would be a problem as I can't eat spicy food. I managed to go the whole trip with no problems, and no Imodium either! Also I have some mobility problems but again, I was prepared not to be able to take part in all the activities. So food aside this was a full on tour, very enjoyable and varied, with good company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To be honest the whole trip was inspiring. To visit Sri Lanka before it gets too spoiled by mass tourism was amazing. There are already signs that tourism is becoming big business in Sri Lanka. Overall I think the contact with the local people and being able to converse in the same language was brilliant. They are such lovely, gentle people, following the way of life that is Buddhism. I feel privileged.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujan was a great ambassador for his country. He was a bit of a stickler for keeping to his time frame but to me, this is a sign of a good leader, keeping 16 people on a hectic schedule, with lots of smiles and good humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get lots of sleep before you leave for your tour!! There are some early, early starts! Also, some of the activities are more arduous than they sound., possibly due to the heat and humidity. Climbing Lions Rock , I am told, was quite hard and not for anyone with vertigo (I didn't do this one). Another one I missed was the Horton Plains walk, which everyone enjoyed but all said it was hard going. At least they managed to get a distant sighting of a leopard. Don't take plug adaptors, they use the same plugs as us. Wifi can be patchy, usually OK in the lobby. The Yala safari would not be suitable for anyone with back problems and ladies, you may need a sports bra for this trip!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A quick word of praise for our coach driver who even managed an emergency stop on the motorway for a jaywalking land monitor!! He also provided bottles of cool water throughout the trip at very reasonable cost. Some of the hotels were a little below par, in particular the last one, Hotel Sapphire. I was glad we were leaving at 2 am, the bathroom was a bit grotty with mildew. a tap that spewed water higher than the blue whale we saw and an extractor fan caked with filth. Exodus, you need to find somewhere else in Colombo! I used about £500 on the trip for meals, the optional trips and a couple of very cheap massages. This doesn't include a small indulgence at the jewellers in Kandy!

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Jill for her review, although we sincerely regret that some of the properties on this tour fell below her expectations. We use client and staff feedback to review each property and if any concerns are raised by clients throughout the year or identified by our staff who have also stayed at the properties, these will be addressed and dealt with accordingly. We have discussed Jill’s concerns about the Hotel Sapphire with the property’s management and improvements have been made. John Penge - Product Manager

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Anne Bell

    Discover Sri Lanka

    This was a great, 'full on' trip. Our guide, Roshan, was superb and our group got on very well together. The range of activities made an interesting holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the leopard in Yala and the ceremony at the temple of the Tooth were both exciting and the cycle ride (including a meal with the farmers) was brilliant. It's difficult to pick out special moments as it was a trip with such varied activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was excellent. His morning chats about life, culture and traditions in the country were so interesting. He also seemed to easily come up with alternative plans when the weather didn't oblige! It is obvious why he wins Exodus awards as a guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take socks for walking around the temples! Be prepared for some longish journeys and trust the driver (he really does know what he's doing !!). Some of the trips involve very early starts - it's worth it as crowds are avoided at the sites and animals are more likely to be seen!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The planning of the itinerary is very good, taking into account the days and times of visits etc.y
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Nicola Moulsdale

    Discover Sri Lanka Trip 18 February to 5 March

    We had heard such good things about Sri Lanka and were very much looking forward to the trip. We chose to book through Exodus as we had been to Cuba with them and were impressed by the whole organisation, combined with the knowledge of the local Guides. This trip did not disappoint. It was full on, but gave us a wonderful insight into this beautiful country and its people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gosh, it's difficult to pick out one, as we loved the walk up to Sigiriya, leopard spotting in Yala, and seeing the beautiful tea plantations. But I think one of the highlights for me was seeing the majestic herd of elephants in Kaudulla National Park.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group leader Roshan was amazing. He is very much a seasoned traveller having been a leader for 15 years, but his enthusiasm, care and sense of humour are still as fresh as ever. He obviously loves his country and is proud to share all his knowledge with us. And when the bad weather meant we couldn't walk on Horton Plains he had a Plan B which took us on an earlier train, and a lovely walk up Little Adams Peak in Ella.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a full on and wonderfully varied programme with quite a few early starts but this just meant we got to places before the crowds, and before the sun was too hot. Have your own alarm in case the wake up call gets missed! Take lots of sun tan lotion and insect repellent, and a sunhat. If offered that the Guide organises all the tipping and also water on the bus, do go for that option as it's so much easier and takes away the stress of having change for tipping. Negotiate prices for souvenirs and for photographing the stilt fishermen. The roads are not really as scary as they look as the drivers are very skilled, and we had Garmini as ours and we all felt very safe in his capable hands. Nisha, his helper always counted us back on the bus, helped back the coach up and kept it clean.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you for helping us to Discover Sri Lanka, Exodus. It was a very well planned and executed trip and gave us a whole variety of trips, and interesting options. Three of our group made it up Adams Peak, including my 60 year old husband!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Alistair Miller

    A temperate, tropical gem

    Sri Lanka proved to be a gentle country with the pervasive influence of Buddhism--the traffic is amazingly considerate and vehicles devoid of the dents that one associates with most emerging economies. The hotels almost invariable exceeded our expectations. While the timetable did include a number of early wake-up calls, these were always underlain by sensible reasons. The indigenous fauna, especially, the birds are agreeably different though less impressive than Africa. Our tour was very professionally organized throughout.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A hard choice but Sigiriya (Lion Rock), with its views, ruins, stairway to the rock paintings and the top, would be the top pick.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujan was amazing, resourceful, knowledgable, exceptionally thorough and totally effective in managing the group with a gentle good humour and effective presentation of choices that seemed to lead to easy consensuses. Sujan's management of tipping on behalf of the group avoided the uncertainties that would otherwise have prevailed--probably not his idea but he executed it seemlessly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    At least in February, concern about mosquitos and possibly dengue fever proved to be a non-consideration. We found that converting $500US into ruphies on arrival was right since we could supplement cash with credit cards almost everywhere.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Two weeks was the right duration for forming an appreciation of the country and experiencing its diversity.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Rosalind Gutteridge

    Exploring Sri Lanka

    Fabulous trip, well organised with a huge variety of places. We were well looked after by our gracious guide, Bop, his love of his home country was shared with intelligence and humour. It was a gruelling agenda, and would only recommend for fit people. We were a great group of 15, which gave us space to sleep on route in the bus, which we needed, many morning leaving our hotel at 7am. Last night at 2am.....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I can't say a moment, so much was inspirational. Just loved the tea growing area, the amazing mountains, neatly planted with plantations, and the lush tropical abundance of fruit and vegetables. The kind people who invited us into their homes and cooked us delicious feasts.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Bop, was informative, intelligent, and as already mentioned with a great sense of humour, we laughed so much. I could not praise him enough...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take bug spray ( huge mosquitos and bites) and bleach wipes. The bathrooms and plumping are not for the faint hearted. We found better public toilets at our train station on our return to UK than any we experienced, including our hotel rooms. And I have lived in a sub tropical climate for the last 35 years! Take long sleeved shirts jand a hat against the sun. And most important good light weight walking shoes....

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The agenda needed to have some more down time. I came home needing a rest. I would have liked some time at a GOOD beach resort. The beach attached to our last hotel, was smelly, dirty and very small, with a huge ripe current. Only a few of our group swam in the sea for this reason. Our first hotel was appalling, we were reminded of the 2004 tsunami. And there is no excuse for mildew in bathrooms and old dirty shower curtains, which seemed the norm, as we met it in most of the hotels.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Gillian Bruce

    Discover Sri Lanka

    Discover Sri Lanka - does exactly what it says on the tin! I really did get a good feel for this beautiful country - the people, the culture and amazing wildlife. Our trip was extremely well put together and provided a wide variety of experiences, sights and encounters that made me fall for the place hook, line and sinker. There was not a single problem - everything went like clockwork and as a lone traveller I felt very safe and secure. It was a delight from start to finish - my best holiday ever. Thanks Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My most inspirational moment was visting The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was very knowledgable, very organised and ensured everything ran to plan. His sense of humour was well atuned to the British funny bone and the insights he shared were fasinating.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is not a lay about the pool kind of holiday - it was a busy itinery but it never felt too much. I might just book a few days off when you get home though!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first Exodus trip and I have been so impressed with the company ethos and the way local people were provided with opportunities to engage with us instead of big corporates - very inspiring. Well done you guys.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Vivienne Hodgins

    Another good Exodus holiday

    We really enjoyed our recent trip to Sri Lanka. This was our fifth Exodus holiday and did not disappoint. However, the weather was really bad for the first 8 days. This is not usual but it was a shame. We still enjoyed the activities and when the sun did finally appear, we really appreciated it. The trip is varied ...some enjoyable walks, interesting scenery, fantastic wildlife and lovely people both on the trip and in Sri Lanka generally. The local people are very friendly and we always felt safe wandering about in the towns. The standard of accommodation was very good..some were excellent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We enjoyed the walk in Horton plains followed by great street food at a local cafe and then a train ride on a very packed local train with great views of the countryside. Galle was a very interesting town based on an old Dutch fort. Whale watching was fantastic. Staying at the Hill club hotel in Nuwara Eliya was fun. They bring hot water bottles to your room! The climb up Lion's rock was a highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan is very experienced. He has led this trip over 200 times so knows the route well. He organised everything very efficiently and gave us plenty of useful information as we went along. The driver Garmini and his mate Nisha were very good too. The driver made us feel safe at all times. He was amazing in some situations! They were a good team . Nisha was on hand with the umbrellas when it rained.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a waterproof! You need good trainers but not walking boots. You don't need to take formal clothes for the Hill club....men can borrow jackets and ties. Change money at the airport...about £200 per person and then you can get more if you need it in Kandy. The food is very good....lots of rice and curry but there is great variety. Plugs vary...take an adapter but some hotels have UK sockets. Take swimming costumes..several hotels have pools. No need for towels. Take a hairdryer....most hotels provide one but not all. Binoculars would be useful..lots of colourful birds.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No one on our trip climbed Adams Peak. It is really too far away. You have to leave around 11p.m. at night and take a 2 hour minibus journey and again after the walk so you don't get back to the hotel unti 11 a.m.It does say in the rough guide that it is just about do-able from Nuwara Eliya. We met another group who had climbed but from a hotel near the start of the walk. The cycling is fun and playing the Sinhalese games was a laugh. The hotel on the beach was good with a good beach cafe and pool but the sea didn't feel safe there. Only one in our group ventured in. We had a spacious bus and none of the journeys felt too long. Watching the herds of elephants was interesting but lots and lots of jeeps. The safari at Yala national park was enjoyable....but no leopards! The trip to the spice garden was informative....we enjoyed the massages we were all given! Tea and chocolate cake en route at a tea plantation was nice. Whitewater rafting was relaxing....only Grade 1 as there wasn't enough water in the river but it was very pleasant. The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy was a highlight. Sri Lanka is a very interesting and beautiful country.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Sally Hughes

    Discover Sri Lanka

    This was my first exodus holiday and I am already searching for my next. We safely explored Sri Lanka well looked after in our mini bus by our tour leader, driver and his helper. It was a busy and varied tour and really gave us a taste of the island. We travelled by bus, boat, train, tuk tuk, bike and foot, saw temples, wildlife, tea, cities, gems, you name it, I want to go back again already!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The optional Safari in Minneryia to see the elephants was incredible, I never expected to see so many in one place and so close, yes there were a lot of other jeeps, but what a sight. It is hard to pick just one moment though, the combination of the activities was what made the whole experience great..... The bike ride to the village lunch, white water rafting, temples, Lions rock, the walk on Horton's plains, safari at Yala national park, the Jungle walk, the scenery....I could go on and on...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Sujan was very organised and ensured everything ran smoothly and like clockwork with his very accurate timings, toilet and drink/snack stops were all factored in to the journeys. He dealt with us all with a good sense of humour and was very knowledgeable on wildlife, flora, fauna and the country as a whole. He managed the kitty on our behalf, dealing with all the tipping so we didn't have to think about any of that and we benefitted from local treats such as fruit, ice cream and chocolate cake! He always made sure a table was booked for dinner, that we placed our meal orders in advance so there was no delay in us eating together and regular checked with the staff to make sure we all got our food. He also taught us a new word every day which we enjoyed learning.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't forget to pack some emergency toilet paper, two of us in the group had Andrex puppies on a roll and it was shared by all. Change most of the cash you think you will need at the airport, I was able to use the ATM's no problem in other places, but some of the group couldn't get any money from them and banking could take quite a long time, you can always pay the hotel bills on credit card with no problems. Take a Universal plug adapter (it was invaluable), every hotel room had different sockets and it was always fun playing hunt the suitable plug hole. Take a good a camera, you don't want to miss those fab shots and it was useful just to see the wildlife close up if you don't want to take a pair of binoculars as well. Take an umbrella, good in sun and rain, you don't always feel like wearing a sticky pac a mac in the heat. Remember that you are moving hotel almost every night, so you don't really want to unpack everything every night and pack to suit. You can get laundry done really quickly at the hotels you are in for more than one night but be prepared you may want to hand wash a few things. Oh and definitely take a torch and carry it with you after dark, there are quite a few power cuts in all the hotels, they never last long and are nothing to worry about, but they usually happen when you are on the stairs, in the bathroom or some other awkward place. We all enjoyed dressing up for dinner at the Hill Club, so don't forget to take one nicer item of clothing for that.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go with an open mind, be prepared to be a bit flexible and you will have a great time. There is a real mix with the hotels, some lacking, others fantastic with pools. If you are not good with spicy food (like me much to everyone's amusement) don't worry there are plenty of other choices. If you do like spicy food don't worry you can have it for breakfast!
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Patricia Savage

    Discover Sri Lanka

    What an amazing experience from beginning to end and would recommend this to anyone wanting a well structured, well organised and extraordinarily interesting holiday. Hundreds of miles and lots of activities ranging from the cultural to the natural and all handled in the most professional way. Although it would take a long time to understand another country in depth, I got a sense of the way Sril Lanka ticks by the environment, the variety and the information provided by the tour leader.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many things to say - a bicycle ride through the countryside to small farming villages, visits to Buddhist and Hindu temples, Lions Rock

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent leader who put so much effort into ensuring everything went smoothly and who was fun and engaging at the same time as sharing his extensive knowledge of the history, geography, wildlife and culture of the country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a camera and open eyes!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only negative of this trip was the visit to the turtle hatchery on our way to Kandy. I got the sense this was a commercial operation in which the turtles are kept in takns way too small for the causing the huge distress. It was a distressing expereince.