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Encounters Travel

Encounters Travel

Headquarters in Leeds, England
OVERALL RATING
4.3/5 - Excellent
TOURS
70
AGE RANGE
5-99
RESPONSE RATE
92%
RESPONSE TIME
3h
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Highlights

  • Wide selection of cultural and adventurous tours
  • Travel in complete safety
  • Local guides giving perfect insights on the destinations
  • Multi-cultural group tours

Awards & Recognitions

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60 Encounters Travel Reviews

Excellent
76%
Good
10%
Average
7%
Rather Poor
5%
Bad
2%
Accommodation
4 / 5
Transportation
4.5 / 5
Meals
4 / 5
Value for money
4.5 / 5
Guide
4.5 / 5
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Looking for a specific tour? 70 Encounters Travel tours
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  • AZ
    Imperial Cities
    4.5 - Excellent
    Written on August 2, 2017
    The trip was good, the guide was really friendly and knowledgable. Some days are a little too jam packed with sightseeing though which leaves little free tim…
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  • IS
    Imperial Cities
    5.0 - Excellent
    Written on July 10, 2017
    I have enjoyed my trip in Morocco I learnt all the history about Morocco and Berber. The transportation was excellent and the accommodation was good. I liked s…
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  • DW
    Discover Egypt
    5.0 - Excellent
    Written on June 8, 2017
    …h this trip make sure we had the experience of a lifetime. Thank you Encounter Travel, I have recommended your organization to friends and cowork…
    Read more
  • HJ
    Biblical Israel
    4.5 - Excellent
    Written on May 30, 2017
    Everything was very good. Just as advertised
  • BV
    Jordan on a Shoestring
    4.5 - Excellent
    Written on May 8, 2017
    …through Tourradar for the "Jordan on a Shoestring" five-day tour with Encounters Travel and operated by local company Al-Thuraya. Our tour grou…
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    Encounters Travel commented on this review
    Dear Benjamin, Thanks for taking the time to get back to us with this feedback, it's very much appreciated and I'm really pleased to hear that you had such a good time in Jordan. It's also great to hear that you were happy with the services of Hasan and that the accommodations met with your expectations. I hope that you can join us for another adventure in the future! Encounters Travel
  • JH
    Nepal on a Shoestring
    3.0 - Average
    Written on April 25, 2017
    The 7 day tour could easily have been condensed into 5 nights. We had a day to ourselves before an evening meeting with the rep on day 1, and day 7 ended immedi…
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    Encounters Travel commented on this review
    Thank you for taking the time to get back to us with this feedback, it’s very much appreciated. I just wanted to get back to you with a couple of comments on the feedback given, hopefully just to explain the reasons we operate this tour in such a way. - The 7 day tour could easily have been condensed into 5 nights. We had a day to ourselves before an evening meeting with the rep on day 1, and day 7 ended immediately after breakfast. On day 1 of the tour I can see that you arrived into Kathmandu very early in the morning and so you had the remainder of that day free to yourselves. However since this is one of our group tours, not everybody will necessarily be arriving early and in fact it’s fairly common for us to have arrivals throughout the day and into the evening (on the date you travelled we had just 1 other passenger travelling and she arrived after 8pm on Day 1). For this reason we don’t plan any activities or tours on the first day of the tour (we operate our tours this way in nearly all the destinations we offer). Since you booked your trip we’ve actually changed the end of this tour and it now actually ends in Kathmandu a day later, though it will still end after breakfast on the final day which is a departure day (again, we operate the tour in this way as we’ll likely have departures throughout the day, from the early morning and through to the evening. This allows people to be flexible with the flights they book to get the most convenient times for them, and the best prices). - The 7 day tour could easily have been condensed into 5 nights. We had a day to ourselves before an evening meeting with the rep on day 1, and day 7 ended immediately after breakfast. Taking the arrival and departure days out of the schedule it would in theory be possible to shorten this tour by two nights. However taking into consideration the points mentioned above and because this is a group tour it really wouldn’t be feasible for us to be able to do this. It would leave people having to book their own accommodation for the night before the tour proper starts, and their own accommodation on the last night. We’ve included those nights to make things easier all round. Having everyone in the same hotel on the arrival day starts helps avoid delayed starts the next morning if people are checking out of their own hotels first and making their way through traffic to join the group. And at the end of the tour, we don’t like arriving somewhere or finishing a day’s tours and then leaving you to your own devices. We’d much rather include a final night’s accommodation and let you check out and move on to your next arrangements or departure flight at a convenient time for you the next day. - The guide spoke little English so we got nonsense answers to questions that we asked about places of interest. I’m sorry you had issues with the guide in Nepal, this really isn’t something we’ve had feedback about before and we work with the same guides regularly. We do provide a tour leader rather than a professional tour guide to escort the whole tour, with separate licensed guides escorting you on the city tour and wildlife safaris. The tour leaders are all Nepali and while they know lots about their country, they don’t have the same historical or wildlife knowledge that the professionally trained licensed guides do. I’ll certainly be following up with our local team to check on the various guides and leaders used on your trip. - The trip to Chitwan was the best bit. Getting so close to elephants and rhino was spectacular. The guide in the national park was very good. The hotel was the best on the trip. Comfortable, clean and well appoited. The hotel in Pokhara was a big disappointment - a small room for 2, sockets that didn't work, so no place to recharge camera/ phone batteries. I’m really pleased to hear that you enjoyed your time in Chitwan. This is often mentioned as a tour highlight for many of our passengers, especially after leaving the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu behind. The wildlife sightings, especially of rhino, can be excellent. I’m sorry you weren’t overly happy with the accommodation in Pokhara, it should be noted that this is one of our ‘Shoestring’ tours and therefore the accommodations are of a lower standard than our other tours in Nepal, though this is reflected in the price of the tour. On the itinerary you booked the price paid was just £399.00 for the 6 night tour with all activities and accommodations as per the itinerary included which we feel offers fantastic value. With our updated itinerary (which now includes transportation back to Kathmandu and a final night here) the price is a little higher, but still represents good value for a budget tour of Nepal. Throughout Nepal, hotels (and everyone else) need to work around issues with electricity due to load shedding which is implemented by the local government in an attempt to ration the limited amount of power they have available to distribute. This does mean that some hotels do have hours where no electricity is available (though some hotels do have generators which allows some lights and sometimes also plug sockets to work). I suspect this may be reason you encountered issues in Pokhara, but we’ll be following up with the hotel to reach a resolution if this wasn’t the case. Unfortunately the load shedding isn’t something which hotels have any control over. Thank you once again for choosing to travel with us in Nepal and for providing this valuable feedback. I hope the above points have been helpful in explaining the way in which we plan this tour. I hope that we can arrange another tour in the future to another of the many destinations we offer.
  •  reviewer 7
    Egyptian Legacy
    5.0 - Excellent
    Written on April 25, 2017
    This trip was absolutely amazing. Our Egyptologist, Aboudy, made the trip incredible! The trip was the perfect length for us because we got to see everything we…
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  •  reviewer 8
    Egyptian Legacy
    5.0 - Excellent
    Written on April 24, 2017
    It was the trip of a lifetime! Exceeded expectations! The tour guides were very professional and friendly (Ahmed Aboudy, Mohammed, Islam). This is the advent…
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  • AD
    Thailand on a Shoestring
    4.5 - Excellent
    Written on April 18, 2017
    I enjoyed very much this tour. The guides were very nice and helpful, the tour was well organized, and the schedule was pretty much as described in the tour des…
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  • JS
    Israel & Jordan Explorer
    1.0 - Bad
    Written on April 9, 2017
    …e First: My wife and I will never use the services of TourRadar or Encounter Travel. We are seasoned travellers and have never experienced such…
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    Encounters Travel commented on this review
    Thank you for your review. We appreciate any and all feedback on our tours as it helps us to improve things for future travellers. I’d like to start by apologising sincerely for any issues on your tour that didn’t run smoothly as they should have, and that you were not happy with. We want all our travellers to enjoy our holidays, and whether they be at our shoestring level like this one, or a small group trip or a luxury tailor-made holiday, the quality of your experience should remain excellent. We’ve done an extensive review of your trip and feedback with our partners in Israel, and I’ve made some follow up notes below which hopefully will be helpful. In Tel Aviv airport, I accept that your arrival could have been smoother. As planned, your driver was at the airport 45 minutes after your scheduled arrival time and was waiting by Exit 2, in the location mentioned on your confirmation voucher. Many of our drivers do print out name boards, but as we sometimes need to change drivers due to flight or road delays, that’s not always possible and handwritten signs are used instead. We do share airport transfers for people on group tours, though after you located the driver a new transfer was sent for the other passengers to save you having to wait around for them. We’ve spoken to the driver about making his signs clearer. I’m sorry for any problems you had with getting through to us on the phone. We do provide emergency assistance telephone numbers for both our UK and Israel offices and these phones are manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We didn’t receive any call to our UK number and the Israel number was working fine so I’m not sure what the issue was with connecting to us then. As this Shoestring level tour is built up from a selection of day trips in Israel, we do sometimes pick people up at different hotels, though time is built into the daily itinerary for this eventuality. On your tour you went via Tel Aviv on 2 occasions during the week to pickup additional guests. This was only done when the tour already involved driving in that direction anyway. During your week we used 5 different vehicles (2 Mercedes Sprinters, a VW Crafter, an MAN Bus and a Citroen Jumpy). These are used with tourists almost daily and checked by a government inspector on a monthly basis (aside from the Citroen which is owned by our local operator and is therefore maintained by an in-house mechanic). We are looking into the issue you mentioned regarding seats as government inspectors definitely wouldn’t permit a vehicle to be on the road with tourists if this was the case, and the vehicles should also pass an inspection check list before going out each day. For your late arrival into Jerusalem, GPS tracking shows the arrival was at 01.32. This is significantly later than planned due to road delays en-route, but the vehicle left Eilat on schedule at 8pm. The itinerary does explain that you’ll have free time to explore Eilat on this day and leave there at 8pm, arriving into Jerusalem at around 12 midnight. So, apart from the road delays which were out of our control, everything went as per the itinerary here. Regarding the border fees, our exclusions section includes ‘Border tax & crossing fees (payable locally at approx. $107 per person)’ and we also expand on that in the Tour Notes. These are fees which we’re unfortunately not able to cover for you as we’re not allowed to send all our guides across the border with you. I’m sorry that you weren’t completely happy with all the guides either. We appreciate that personalities don’t always match, but the guides are fully trained and licensed and should look after everyone in the group equally. We have had other good feedback from people in your same group about the guides, so I’m sorry you didn’t have the same feeling. ‘Thanks for your email. Overall the tour was great - we were able to do everything according to the programme and overall timeliness was spot on. The Jordan guides were really good, particularly Omar. The gentleman who was accepting payments in Petra was great, too. The Petra hotel and the bedouin camp were also really good as the restaurant in Petra - tasty food!’ We’re doing some follow up with the guide about the balance between allowing some flexibility and sticking to the itinerary so that people in the group don’t miss anything. Overall we definitely take on board your feedback and have already made some changes to specific vehicles and arrival signs used. We’re also expanding on our explanation on how the operation of the day tours in Israel on this trip works to hopefully manage expectations better. As I’ve mentioned before, we want all our travellers to have great experiences on our holidays and we’re very disappointed that we’ve let you down in this regard with this trip. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the places you visited, and the people you travelled with, but the operational side on your trip didn’t go as well as normal, and we’re sorry for that.

About Encounters Travel

Encounters Travel is an adventure tour operator, based in the UK but with representatives in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. We run a wide selection of cultural and adventurous tours around the world, each carefully designed to help you get the most out of the country you're visiting. Our tours range from historical sightseeing and Nile cruises in Egypt, through to long strenuous treks and white water rafting in Nepal or swimming with whales in Tonga. You can join other travellers on a small group departure, or personalise and tailor-make an itinerary for you to enjoy privately. Whatever your preference, we have a team of experienced travel consultants ready to advise you and help arrange your next great adventure!            

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