Kerala and the Western Ghats
India, Trek & Walk, 13 days - from £1,195 (land only) - from €1,495 (land only) - from $2,090 (land only)
By: Carol Harvey , Cumbria, UK
Most enjoyed - Houseboat, temple, scenary, food. Most of all just being in India. Exceeded my expectations in most respects.
By: Dan Baldasera, Otley, UK
Best holiday ever. I most enjoyed the variety. All activities interesting and order excellent. Trek guide brilliant - Senthil is a star. Innovative added activities which made standard itinerary even better. Delightful personality. Saree event on backwaters was amazing not least because of meeting local people.
By: Sally Pryor, Watford, UK
First time I have been on an adventure holiday, and it was brilliant. My most enjoyed moment was seeing the elephants! The rangers allowed us to follow them through the woods because they heard noises(which we obviously didn't) and there they were - allbeit the back end of them! Also the views from the higher peaks on our trekking were awe-inspiring.
Our guide Senthil could not have been more caring and thoughtful, especially as I had a chest infection the whole time. Great sense of humour too!
By: Paul Titley, Keswick, UK
One of the most memorable holidays I have ever taken (for the right reasons!) My most enjoyed aspects were the trek, and in particular the hacking through the dense bush on the day we climbed the hill. The temple at Madurai - so huge and fascinating - with a well informed guide. The local dancing at Kochin - I was dreading this but it was very interesting. The food - although it was rather tame at the last hotel.
The animal park trek searching for elephant - I never expected to see any tigers and I doubt anyone ever does.
Our guide Sen (Senthil) was outstanding. He constantly added things to our days. We looked interested in the local brick makers - Sen fix us a tour. He stopped the bus so we could roam around local markets. He supplied a regular stream of water and bananas on the bus. Arrival at any hotel, lunch stop, temple, farm etc the actions was always the same, Sen took all the hassle away and we just got on with having good time. When a few of us booked another restaurant away from our hotel Sen even arranged for one of his local contacts to be at the door so that we didn't get lost. (we weren't lost - but its the thought that counts, and attention to detail.) Sen even managed to have his friend dress us all (14) in Indian garb. The ladies in Saris looked marvellous.
The trek cooking was outstanding and what our cook was able to make with a couple of burners was amazing: including a chocolate sponge cake, and a basket woven from toffee! After 40+ curries we still had no need for Imodium!
By: Rosie Connell, Otley, UK
Jam packed holiday which made the most of our time. Before our trip I had all the information I needed to know. Clear information, friendly office staff.
I cannot speak highly enough of all the guides for their knowledge, enthusiasm, flexibility, care and efficiency. Their relationships with us and local people were respectful and friendly. They were one of us as well as highly organised and competent leaders. Nothing was too much trouble. Senthil was full of ideas for things we could do to get the most out of our stay.
I most enjoyed the trekking, houseboat and wildlife reserve. Everything we did was terrific though - so varied giving us real insight into the country.
Tissa's hotel in Cochin was the best of the hotels. The hotel in the beach resort was a little tired but great pool and characterful which is preferable to ultra-modern. Food in hotels mostly v. good and on trek amazing.
By: Pat Taylor, London, UK
I enjoyed the holiday very much. The trekking group were also excellent and always very eager to please. Surprisingly I enjoyed the drives between the different places as it gave a feel of the country. The programme was interesting and varied. I enjoyed time on the house boat and the first hotel was delightful.
By: Patricia Middleton, Devon, UK
The local trekking guides and staff were all really welcoming, friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they made that part of the trip really pleasant.Food hygiene was of a very high standard and the food was varied and plentiful.The holiday provided a wide and varied experience of Kerala. The standard of hotel accommodation was generally excellent, the transport arrangements always ran smoothly and our coach driver was particularly note-worthy - easily inspiring confidence in his excellent driving on what were often busy town or tortuous mountain roads. For us, the holiday "ticked all the boxes" as it delivered exactly what was described in the trip notes/itinerary. It was our first trip to India and it provided us with many happy memories.It exceeded my expectations, though having been with K E for the "Arctic Wilderness Experience" to Finland a few years ago which was also excellent, I was expecting a similar high standard and was not disappointed. I would happily travel with KE again and would recommend the company unreservedly.
By: Sally Bickersteth, East Sussex, UK
The rice boats were
exceptional - such a great way to start the holiday - I completely lost track
of time. The walking was fabulous - very remote - and the most stunning views! Why isn't
Kerala better known?
Once again KE. Thank you for organising another great holiday (this is our 6th KE Adventure). It is very reassuring that we can book our holidays with you with confidence. We have always found that everything is better than with other firms - the rice boat was the best company - trekking group was excellent - guide was fantastic - and if we see other groups (which isn't often) we are always glad that we booked with you!
By: Susan Sands, South Yorkshire, UK
I have really enjoyed
this holiday. It was over forty years ago when I did anything like this and I
wondered if I would be up to the challenge. I was and I am ready for the next
one. Thank you KE.
I enjoyed the trekking
in the Periyar National Park and seeing the elephants in the wild. The guides
were very informed on the local birds and wildlife. The trip on the backwaters
was just perfect to relax after a long delayed flight. Again the boys on the
boat were excellent and served very good food. They even supplied me with binoculars
and a bird book. Anouja our trip leader was excellent. She was very knowledgeable
Super holiday can't thank you enough. I may come into the office and bore you all to death with my enthusiasm!
By: Richard Bickersteth, East Sussex
The trip on the rice boat was so relaxing and the day in the wildlife sanctuary was made by being able to track a herd of wild elephants. The camping was good only marred by the monsoon coming earlier than usual; no ones fault. Our cooks excelled themselves and except for one night at a hotel where it was a set menu the food was superb. The scenery was spectacular and much more tropical than expected. Some of the climbs were hard work but gave a sense of achievement. This is our sixth trip with you need I say more?
By: Mimi Walder, Preston, UK
It was an amazing experience!! I enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and the ever present caring of our leader. I also enjoyed the house boat trip and meeting local people as arranged by the leader.
The Indian staff were all OUTSTANDING and caring at all times. Special mention to Senthil Kummar who never ceased to surprise us with his innovatiove ideas and sense of humour. He never stopped working. Also the guide was ever present to help us up and down slopes when necessary. Also the camp cook was EXCELLENT. The local guides who were brought in when we visited towns were so enthusiastic!!
In most aspects the trip outdid my expectations! However, it was harder than I had anticipated, some of the ascents and descents are very steep and there was a huge variation of temperatures which was unexpected. If there was more emphasis on the cold night temperatures I would have taken warmer gear.
By: Bev & Steve Mahoney, Nottingham, UK
The whole trip was interesting, cultural and varied. The houseboat cruise was excellent!