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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 February 2019
    Peter & Liz Rooke

    Discover Sri Lanka review

    This is an enjoyable trip with a good variety of activities. If you have been to India before you will find Sri Lanka surprisingly different. If this is your first trip to the sub-continent it is an excellent introduction. We didn’t climb Adam’s Peak, but the other activities on the trip were all good, including the traditional Sri Lankan games that we had been apprehensive about, but which were great fun. The accommodation was generally good apart from the Giritale Hotel which is undergoing building work and our initial room was unfinished. At Nuwara Eliya the group didn’t stay at the Hill Club, but at the Mirage King’s Cottage, which was very pleasant and a little way out of town with lovely fresh air and gardens. The food on the trip was fine, we particularly liked the midday meal on the cycle ride day. Exodus arranged for the group to refill our water bottles from a large container on the minibus, which worked well and helped minimise plastic waste.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a lot of good moments on the trip. The ones that particularly stand out are: climbing Lion Rock, white water rafting and the Temple of the Tooth ceremony. Also, we enjoyed the cave temples at Dambulla and the optional boat ride through mangrove swamps.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nalaka was a lovely chap who got everyone smiling. Douglas, our driver, and Amal, the Driver’s Assistant, were both excellent too. Nalaka was very caring and dealt with any issues promptly and effectively. He made us aware of the need to be courteous to hotel staff and the beach ladies at the Insight Resort; many of the staff are boys from local farms who are doing their best to be helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Insect repellent isn’t listed under Essential Equipment in the Trip Notes, but you need to take some. Binoculars aren’t listed either, and these are very useful for the wildlife trips. Horton Plains: the walk is harder than it sounds, it’s partly on uneven ground and involves some ascents and descents. We were fine, but a couple of people in our group really struggled and ended up missing lunch and nearly missing the train too. Whale watching: we paid a bit extra to have a private boat just for the group and this was well worth it. The boat pitches and rolls quite a lot out once out at sea and we recommend you take sea sickness pills. The cycle ride was good fun, easy going on level ground, but do take time at the start to find a bicycle that suits you both in the height and length of frame – some are more adjustable than others. Lastly, we found some of the hotel bathroom and shower floors were very slippery – take care!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take an open mind and try all the activities, this trip covers a wide range of activities, and some of the ones we weren't wild about were other group members' highlights. If you've been to India, Sri Lanka is similar but different: generally cleaner, with less hassle and more organised. If you haven't visited the area before then this trip provides and excellent introduction. Oh, and although we saw lots of elephants and other wildlife we didn't see a leopard, remember, it's not guaranteed.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Margaret Lawson

    Exceeded all expectations

    Loved this trip, made extra special by our tour guide, Ruwan, whose thoughtful additions to the standard trip made the whole experience even more memorable. There was a good balance of visits to temples, encounters with local people, walking, information about Sri Lanka, its history and culture and seeing wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a leopard and lots of beautiful green bee-eaters in Yala NP.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstandingly good - well organised, gave us just the right amount of information, thoughtful, always available and clearly proud of his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Chris Murray

    Sri Lanka a delightful discovery

    The tour leader Sujee; the driver Madhawa and assistant Kalinda made this 15 day holiday and experience never to be forgotten. I for one will never forgot the moments when the bus would suddenly stop to speak to the ladies picking tea, the farmers drying the sweet corn on a road; visiting the potter and his wife; buying and trying fruit from a young lass who was watching the stall for her father, who wants to go to university; to watching the wild life and views. Listening to Sujee telling us about the country, the people, the wonderful education system, the rural areas, the cities and the religions. Stopping on route to get lunch from a local person or place, simple and lovely. Visiting Temples, walking up to Lions Rock early in the morning going through the water gardens. Going to Hurulu Eco Park, on an Elephant Safari, fabulous well worth paying that little extra. The walks, just brilliant, particularly the Horton Plain, worlds end 6 mile walk, down ravine like paths, waterfalls, views and yes it was warm. It did take me a few minutes to realise I had to pace myself as the air goes get bit thinner at 14,000 feet. The cycle ride along the rivers, seeing people working, stopping off for tea etc; Kandy was lovely and we did get free time to wander and enjoy the sights ourselves including a ride on Tuk Tuk and 'fried' ice cream (wow). Oh and the Spice and Herb Garden with back massages at the end! Up into the highlands of Sri Lanka and the stay at a rather quaint old colonial gentlemans club. Then down the Indian Ocean for a couple of days swimming and relaxation. Finally the food, just fabulous mind you we were catered for and they did dumb down the chilli, beautiful flavours and the Samosa we had in a tiny place in the middle of no where was one I will never forget A highly recommended trip and no I didn't do Adams Peak, I enjoyed my nights sleep instead:)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting the people, enjoying the scenery and being able to bring those memories home

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sujee was very good and passionate about his country and all it has to offer. He was also grateful that people visit his country and the benefits it brings to the people. And believe me we saw plenty of evidence of this on our trip..

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My advice would be to have a certain level of fitness for the walking and cycling. You do need to be fit for Adams Peak.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    Robert Parker

    Fantastic experience

    What a wonderful way to experience the wonders and beauty of Sri Lanka. Days spent visiting cultural sites, wildlife safaris were we got up close to elephant, sadly we didn't see the elusive leopard. Visits to isolated villages were we enjoyed local food cooked and eaten in the Sri Lankan way Cycling through the countryside seeing the local way of life. So many experiences that made sure you never had a dull moment. Plus a guide, Nalaka, who gave us such wonderful insight into the cultural past and the present way of life in Sri Lanka. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the island then this is the trip for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Basically too many to pick from it s difficult to pick one they just kept coming every day. From cycling through the countryside to playing traditional Sri Lankan games, what a plethora of mind blowing days.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nalaka was excellent , he was so passionate and knowledeable about his beautiful island. His care and attention he gave to all the 16 tourists in his care was exemplary making sure we were always safe and that the activities were within the capabilities of all.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry about buying a plug adapter as all the hotels have sockets which take the english three pinned plug. Sterling can be exchanged everywhere as well as the airport and several places would accept sterling as payment. ATMs are available and reliable in all the destinations used.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared to be blown away with the beauty of the island and the friendliness of the people. Be prepared to meet wonderful people in the most remote areas visited.
  • Reviewed February 2019
    James Clarke

    A Sri Lankan Odyssey

    A good mix of cultural and historical experiences with a beach holiday thrown in for good measure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sri Lanka is a calmer version of India; the cultural and historical sites are as grand but the hassle is much less. The caves at Dambulla with their frescos and statues, the climb to Sigiriya and the remains at Polonnaruwa are spectacular; Kandy is probabaly the most frantic of all the stops but interesting all the same with the visit to the Temple of the Tooth and the Botanical Gardens.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tirikiri was caring and considerate if a little slow on picking up on group members needs e.g. money exchange, appropriate footwear but overall a nice enough chap and quite willing to share his obvious love for Sri Lanka.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Two things: 1. The cycling was more of a challenge than expected; female members of the group found the universal bikes hard to manage - do not be afraid to take advantage of the support vehicle to follow the cyclists. 2. The Horton Plains experience was of mixed value. The paths were not all easy with deep ruts, serious roots and steep inclines - appropriate footwear is essential. The views at World's End were obscurred by cloud mist inspite of an early start to avoid it and the absence of any wildlife rather negated the reason for the trek. Following the trek the train journey to lower levels proved to be a really challenging experience; crushed onto a train, standing in confined spaces with open doors for 90 minutes was not fun and no chance to see the much vaunted views of the cloud forest and tea plantations rather defeated the purpose of this part of the trip.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Brian Harris

    challenging, but great

    great mix of types of activities. culture, geography, local colour and adventure. some aspects quite physically demanding. needs a couple of extra days to make a bit more relaxed

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    temple caves at Dambulla,, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. also white water rafting

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic! very organised, caring and knowledgeable

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    get more info on Horton Plains - its tougher than it sounds - plain is far from flat and the route is rough pathways. I only made it with extra support from the tour leader!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    overall very good, but a bit rushed in places. Hotels are generally excellent, but most isolated so no option than eat dinner in the hotels. would be good to be able to eat more local
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Laura and Gavin Jones

    Sensational Sri Lanka

    This trip is very varied and introduces the highlights of Sri Lanka. There was a great mix of culture, nature and adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most inspirational moment of my trip was seeing a leopard laying on the bank of a waterhole in Yala National Park. I also loved the walk in Horton Plains and the visit to Sigiriya.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roshan was truly exceptional. His english was excellent. He had a great sense of humour. He was extremely knowledgeable and very enthusiastic. He made the trip special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Nuwara Eliya and its surroundings are slightly cooler than the other places so taking a fleece is helpful.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip was busy in places but also gave some "down time" in the late afternoons. It was lovely to be able to sit on a balcony or by the pool, read and relax - not something we are used to doing so very welcome!
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Catherine Larkin

    15 day Discover Sri Lanka trip from Sun 30 Dec 18 to Sun 13 Jan 2019

    An absolutely fab holiday. It exceeded all my expectations. Top top top class Sri Lankan tour guide was one of the highlights. Very well paced. Fantastic variety of activities , often x 2 per day, as well as plethora of places to visit .Activities sometimes meant being organized to get up at 6am to climb up a beautiful rock or spent walking three hours to the ‘world’s end’ , to cycling, water river rafting under the bridge built in 1956 for the movie ‘Bridge over the river Kwai, to taking a train journey from a height of nearly 2,000 meters to just under 1,000 M. Whale spotting, beach side hotel to relax in, a long day on Safari seeing everything BUT the elusive Leopard. We had x 3 days in the lovely town of Kandy and saw their splendid Botanic gardens as well as visiting a gem shop to learn about their famous Sapphires from a gemologist - Princess Di’s ring came from here. Interesting diversion to an Aryuvedic herbal clinic where we had an interesting talk from a long qualified herbalist as well as neck, shoulder and face massages,, Got to sample locally made Sri Lanka curries made by a family almost in the middle of the jungle. Also had a meal in one of the houses that Exodus built for people who lost homes in the 2004 Tsunami when 50,000 Sri Lankans perished. I almost forgot - a trip to a tree plantations/factory is also organised and yes, you will definitely wish to bring some home - prices v reasonable! Very comfortable bus to ride on and all 9 hotels, bar 1, were top class. Our tour guide was immensely informative on all aspects of Sri Lankan life, culture, history as well as past and current politics. He was also extremely kind and attentive and looked after each person,s needs, no matter how diverse or demanding!! Yes, a trip I shall have fond memories of for many a year. I highly recommennd it if you relish adventure, activity and good fun.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many, may....every day was special so cannot say....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader, Dilepps Fernanda, deserves a gold medal for his guidance of our trip. His in-depth knowledge of his country and its customs was superbly matched by his ever willingness to deliver it. Added to that his kindness and consideration foreac and every single member of our group made our trip one of top class. I have been on many other Exodus, Explore, Travel Department (Irish co) and also,other travel companies organised holidays in Europe and worldwide and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I have never before experienced the charm, expert care, guidance and consideration of a guide that marches this person’s. You are very lucky to have him as an employee, in my view. His sense of humour was a delight and further added to our enchantment with this superbly organised and delightful adventure. Congratulations all round but specifically to Dilepps who deserves the Best Exodus Leader of the year and by a very long shot!!! He is a wonderful asset for the Exodus company!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a wonderful, activity-fueled and adventurous holiday. Leave all of your worries at home and be present for every day of this spectacular holiday. Bring lots of skin Factor, Mosquito repelllanr, a sun hat and extra cash. The small print mentions rewarding your guide and coach driver and his aide. (Well deserved) Not everyone on our trip was prepared for this eventuality.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was so glad that the trip lasted 15 days. I usually take 1 week-10 day hill walking trips with Exodus/Explore. After my experience on this one I shall only partake in two+ week breaks from now on. Congratulations Exodus. I take my hat off to you for puttting together this 15 days of excitement, fun and adventure. Thank you very much!
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Rachael Meadows

    WOW!

    This was our first Exodus tour and it certainly won’t be our last. We saw so much of the country and had an amazing guide (Sujan) who was passionate about not only his job but more importantly his country. Seeing wild elephants (not only in the national parks) was our highlight of the whole trip. One negative was the gem factory visit, where the staff were quite pushy in gaining a sale. Be warned - you can get the same jewellery in the hotel shop at a much better price.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the wild elephants. When whale watching we saw dolphins, a blue whale AND a killer whale - what an experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    AMAZING. So passionate about his job and country. Nothing we asked was too much trouble for him and he made slight changes to timings/order of events so that we got the most out of each activity.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Beware of the pushy gem factory workers who are keen for a sale.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Amrit Panesar

    amazing trip, full of surprises

    a great, well organised trip - The hardest thing i needed to do was to wake up on time - everything else was taken care of. Loved the safaris, bird watching, village walks/cycling, train journey, whale watching and more. Hotels were great too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Elephant safari was my highlight- so exciting getting close (but not too close) to the elephants. A totally majestic animal. I also loved the cycling through the village, meeting locals along the way- taking photos of breathtaking scenery along the way. To top it off, we had the most amazing food in the village, sitting in the open surrounded by trees and plants. Food was absolutely amazing, best meal of the tour - and the family was so friendly. They were so happy for us to dine at their home. was a total pleasure.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A Legend. Sujaan, looked after us throughout the trip and would make sure that we didn't miss out . on anything, including eating fresh fruits and local delicacies - not to mention teaching us how to make coconut daal.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You will be dining a lot in hotels- mostly buffets which is not great if you are vegetarian- i did feel that i was eating more western food, as i wanted to try out the local food. Apart from that, Sri Lanka has everything to offer. I felt very safe, being a solo traveller and a women.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would have been great if the tour leader had more of a say as to where we should eat, rather than taking us to "exodus recommended restaurants". when in kandy and "little britain" Sujaan suggested dining at "Aroma" and "Grand hotel" - both amazing places to dine, with great food and local selections. The rest of the places were okish-
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