Patti Apel - USA - June 2017
My first trip with Escape Travels was to Kenya for the Great Migration late July 2014. I had negative preconceptions of “group travel”, so I didn’t expect much. The timing, itinerary and pricing of the Escape trip fit what my travel buddy and me were looking for, plus we really wanted to see the Masai Mara. So we booked the trip and crossed our fingers… From the moment we joined the group, we knew this group was different and wonderful! We were absolutely delighted with the entire adventure. And I am hooked on travel with Escape.
I’ve gone on five adventures with Escape, led by both Fajer and Dan, three since December 2016. Each was amazing! The itineraries included the things you have to see and do, i.e., what places are known for, plus so much more. Each trip has had cultural experiences, ranging from an afternoon with an Armenian family in their mountain village to Masai warriors joining us after dinner to tell us their traditions, make you feel like you really connected with them for a brief moment. We went far beyond the “top things to do” list at these incredible destinations.
Not only have I discovered a few of the amazing places in the world, I have found close friends for life amongst my fellow Escapees. The group dynamic has been consistently open, warm, and welcoming. We mix and mingle, getting to know each other throughout the trip. Escapees are all ages, nationalities, backgrounds, include singles and married couples, people traveling alone or with a buddy. Time is built in for optional / personal choice time in each trip, so you can catch your breath and relax as you choose. But not for too long, because they pack a lot into these trips. When asked upon my return what I did, it was hard to put into a few words… it’s an entire narrative!! You will be amazed at all you’ve seen, learned and done. Travel with Escape has truly opened my eyes to the world.
Escape Travels’ list of destinations are interesting, unusual, exotic and exciting. I want to go on every one. The Middle East is the perfect jumping-off point. Unfortunately, I finished my assignment in the GCC, so I’m back in the USA. I truly miss the ease of amazing travel with Fajer and team. I’m keeping an eye on their trips and hope to join. Even with the long initial flight from this side of the world, their trips are definitely worth it! I highly recommend Escape Travels to everyone remotely interested in travel.
Sally Ann Ghai - UK
Escape-travels has changed my life. Cool people and zero hassle travel experiences to some of the most interesting and challenging destinations in the world. I've filled up the passport and checked off a ton from the bucket list (Vietnam, Sri Lanka, climbing Kilimanjaro). The most important thing though, a huge network of friends has sprung from the amazing trips I've been on: My escape family - you know who you are. See you in Cambodia...
Suze & Dave Heinrich - Australia / UK
We first heard about Escape Travels from a colleague who recommended them highly. So we took the plunge and booked our first trip to Socotra, Yemen in 2013. This will always remain a very unique and special experience as the island of Socotra is home to 400 endemic species of plant and animal, possibly the most bizarre being the Dragon Blood tree. Needless to say after this trip we were hooked. Since then we have travelled to another 7 destinations (and counting).
The level of planning that is put into organising these trips is what makes travelling with Escape such an easy decision. You could travel weeks by yourself and not cover half of the places Escape does in their trips. This was particularly evident when we recently visited Myanmar which is a country still developing its tourism sector.
We have made a number of lifelong friends whom we would not have had the opportunity to meet were it not for Escape.
Escape offers intrepid travel opportunities without having to get yourself lost in the process.
We would recommend Escape to anyone looking to visit unique locations and meet new people.
Dave and Suze
Ciara Shaughnessy – Canada
I first heard about Escape Travels from a colleague of mine when I moved to Dubai 3 years ago. I was looking for like-minded people who wanted to spend their long weekends and holidays traveling. Since finding them, I haven’t needed to look elsewhere. I’ve travelled with Escape Travels to Nepal and Oman and looking forward to travelling again with them. I’ve been travelling many places on my own and with friends since moving overseas, but Fajer’s trips remain some of my most fulfilling.
In Nepal, Fajer organized comfortable transportation to meet us at the Kathmandu airport. We stayed in a beautiful, yet inexpensive hotel with very friendly staff. It was in the centre of everything great in Kathmandu. I remember strolling through the heart of the city with Fajer, his lovely wife Alison and new friends feeling lucky to be guided by such a charismatic and knowledgeable travel expert. That night, he introduced us to Momos – a Nepalese dumpling. He knows good food which for me is a huge bonus! I was craving an adventure and I got it. The trip included trekking, whitewater rafting and a flight round Mount Everest. When we stayed in the Himalayas, he suggested that we wake up early to see the sunrise over Mount Everest. You didn’t have to, but you’d be foolish not to take his advice. I have never witnessed beauty quite like that since. The scenery was absolutely stunning.
I went camping in Mussandam, Oman twice. I had such a great time my first year going so I went again the following year. Fajer brilliantly organized 50+ people to drive from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Mussandam, get on beautiful dhows with great food and snorkeling gear and finally, to set up camp. Everyone had enough gear and had rides to get there, thanks to Fajer’s organization. He cared enough that everyone would be comfortable and happy.
There is something wonderful about the community that grows from these trips. There is a nice balance between time to explore on your own and time to enjoy some adventure with the group. I’ve found lasting and rich friendships with people I’ve met through Escape Travels. Living in a transient city, I think there is something very special about meeting people you share great connections with and continue to travel around the UAE and beyond. Fajer knows locals everywhere and finds you great adventures for an incomparable deal. I highly recommend any of his trips.
Susan Bergman - USA
My name is Suzi and I would like to share with you a true delight that I have recently added to my life. Having been single for most of my adult life and traveling several continents alone I recently stumbled on an amazing discovery…..Escape Travels!
I decided to join Fajer’s group on a trip to Sri Lanka in August, 2012. What fun! Along with being a part of the local culture and learning more about the country’s history and uniqueness I was able to spend time relaxing on the sun-soaked beaches and truly unwind. The group I travelled with was so impressive that I often wonder why I travelled alone for so many years!
Since the first trip I have also journeyed to several amazing places with Escape travels. The Kenya trip was an amazing journey through the Masai Mara and the wildlife that is so abundant across Africa. Jordan offered an awesome spiritual journey for me as well as an awe-struck visit to Petra and the Dead Sea. The people of Nepal are amazing and the Himalayas are even more powerful in person than they are on screen! My most recent Escape, Thailand, was amazingly relaxing and such great fun.
It is always wonderful to find new experiences, cultures, cuisines and people. What is even more amazing to me is how much more I can get from a journey when all of the details are taken care of for me…when the schedule of events is well laid out and the personal time is factored in with such excellent timing…when I can meet people who have since become close friends…when the cost is un-beatable and the experience is always amazing!
Fajer has uniquely combined his passion for travel and discovery with his love of sharing adventure and tied it altogether with a unique, detail-oriented ability to bring a fascinating experience to anyone who is looking to enjoy this part of the globe. I most definitely recommend Escape-Travels for your next journey. I am certain you will come away as amazed and impressed as I have always been. I have to give Fajer 5 thumbs up for 5 amazing journeys.
I look forward to seeing your smiling face an Escape-Travels journey soon!
Martine Perus - France
The phrase, like-minded people always had a nice ring to it, I thought, but it never felt totally true for me, until I joined Escape-travels that is. I arrived in Dubai in January 2012 and decided that now was the right time to indulge in my passion for travelling and hopefully in doing so meet new and nice people.
My first endeavour was Kerala in India which proved to be such an enchantment that it was quickly followed by an amazing week-end in Istanbul, ten wonderful days in Ethiopia, then the Jordan Rift Valley and last but not least some rather tiring trekking in Nepal. I have enjoyed every single moment and am very much looking forward to my next dose, which will be Lebanon.
Fajer organises each break carefully paying full attention to details and each trip boasts the perfect balance of cultural visits thus opening windows to different worlds, sporting adventures, relaxation and socialising. The programme is always full but never rushed. One comes back to Dubai happy and elated.
It is starting to feel like an addiction!
Jerry Litton - USA
My name is Jerry Litton. I first heard of Escape Travels through a meet up group here in Abu Dhabi. Our 1st trip was to Amman Jordan over last Christmas. This was my 1st experience traveling with a totally unknown group and to tell you the truth I was a little skeptical. 1st I really do not like traveling with people I do not know, the tight schedules with no flexibility to do the things we want to do as individuals, little or no coordination, guides who were not really competent, bad travel plans and all those other horror stories you fear about.
Let me tell you that we experienced none of those horror stories. The people you meet in the group were all very nice and considerate. Fun to be with. Before you sign up to go you know exactly where you will be going and what you can do and what is available when you arrive. When you do arrive you are handed an itinerary so there is no worry on your part about being at the right place at the right time. The schedules were very well laid out, and researched. The best part is there was NEVER any rush and there was always time to be flexible. If there was anything you wanted to do or see as individuals that was off the schedule there was time to split away from the group to do it. Fajer always seemed to have everything very well coordinated. There was never any dead time unless you wanted it. Also the guides the Fajer arraigned were very qualified and fun to be around. The travel was seamless and very well laid out.
After the Amman trip we went on two more trips. We went to Beirut and Istanbul and had a very good time on both. When Shirley and I get some more time we will go on more escapes. We would both highly recommend Escape Travels for a stress free break out of your busy schedule.
Korinna von Trotha - Germany
I came across Escape Dubai in January 2012. Within 5 minutes I signed up for my first trip - yes, it is that easy. Since then, I have joined most of Fajer's weekend trips. We discovered ancient sites in Lebanon, shipped through the backwaters of Kerala, risked mercato in Addis Ababa, visited historic Istanbul, and drove through the beautiful countryside of Armenia. And I am already looking forward to my next trip - the tribal tour to Southern Ethiopia.
Fajer's trips offer a perfect opportunity to discover many places around Dubai. The trips are usually organized over weekends and/or holidays to accommodate the limited number of our leave days. Fajer often chooses destinations that are less travelled and, thus, allows us to visit sometimes remote places which you might not be able to access that easily, at least not in such short time. Once arrived at the travel destination, Fajer is supported by a local guide, who is able to provide insider information and gives a flavor of the country's people. Fajer organizes the trips with attention to detail, but leaves at the same time enough room for individual needs. One of the other frequent travelers once described Fajer as a swan: he graciously floats over the waters when he travels, but under the water he paddles hard so that everything works out perfectly.
If you are interested in discovering the world around Dubai far away from 5-star hotels and enjoy meeting likeminded people - sign up for one of Fajer's trips. But be careful - its addictive!
Elsa Goutveniger - France
I have now lived in Dubai for four years and have been making the most of the hub that is Dubai to travel. I used to travel with friends of mine at the beginning but due to the transient nature of Dubai, most of my travelling partners eventually left. That’s when I joined Escape Dubai in 2010, which has enabled me to make new friends whilst enjoying amazing trips to several not so traditional touristic destinations. I have to date been on four trips with Escape Dubai on four different continents – Luxor in Egypt, Armenia, Kerala and recently Ethiopia – and have enjoyed every single one of them. Whilst the destinations have been so different, Fajer has consistently organized every trip perfectly, ensuring an adequate balance of group activities and personal downtime, mixing cultural sightseeing with fun activities and entertainment as well as managing groups with individuals from diverse nationalities. All the people I have met so far on those trips have always had one thing in common though: a passion for discovering new cultures and meeting new people. Fajer’s success lies in his genuine passion for travelling; it is a pleasure to be part of the group. I highly recommend travelling with Escape Dubai. I have actually been promoting the group ever since I joined!
John Tothill - Scotland
I've been in Dubai for a number of years, but wanted to travel more round the region, and meet new people. I came across Escape Dubai in 2011. My first trip was in November 2011 to Nepal. It was brilliantly organised and great value for money. Fajer arranged a wide range of optional activties, to include trekking, whitewater rafting and a flight round Mount Everest. The Group was dynamic and great fun. Since then, I have travelled with Escape Dubai to Jordan, Georgia, Lebanon and Armenia. Fajer has organised each trip with meticulous care. The travellers come from a wide variety of backrounds and ages, but what they have in common is a sense of fun and adventure. Escape Dubai is a great group, and has introduced me to so many new experiences and some great people.
Nick Granato - USA
Let me start by saying, I embarked on my first Escape journey (Kenya 09/2011) with no expectations and a group of people I never met. The trip was well organized and awesome every step of the way with strangers quickly becoming friends. I have since done two other excursions (Lebanon & Armenia) and I look forward to many more adventures. Anyone looking for an amazing cultural experience, travelling at a great value and meeting incredible people along the way, this is the group for you. A huge thanks to Fajer for organizing a group that makes every travel experience a unique one.
Marta Valiente - Spain
I arrived in the UAE in August 2010 and I didn't know anybody. Someone told to me that Escape was organizing a trip to Nepal. So I decided to join, and it was the best thing that I could have done. Traveling with Escape means meeting people from different nationalities, cultures & religions...but with something in common: love of travel and adventure! I have many good friends that I met during Escape trips! After Nepal, I went with Escape to Sri Lanka, Kenya, Oman and India in Dec.2011, and I'll continue traveling with them in 2012. I have other trips in mind that I couldn't attend last year, such as Jordan, Istanbul & Lebanon.Traveling with Fajer and Escape Travels is guaranteed to be fun. You'll visit the main places of the city; you don't have to be worry about times, transportation to the different touristic places or what to do every day. Everything is well organized and you have all the information about what is included in the price or not in advance, without any bad surprises at the end of the trip
Alex Nechifor - Romania
I've came to know Escape Travels while on a personal holiday in Nepal, in 2009. Since then, I've joined the group for various trips across Asia, Africa and Europe and it has been a great experience - from experiencing amazing new places to meeting the local people and great fellow travelers in the group. I can definitely say that each journey has been a discovery journey during which many friendships were born.
All details of the journeys were always taken care of without any surprises. On a personal note, I can state that probably one of the best trip I've taken is the Sailing trip organized in June 2011 in Mediterranean Sea, in Southern Turkey. Looking forward to joining more upcoming trips
Ruksana Hussain - Bangladesh
Travelling with Escape is a journey in itself. So far I've been to Jordan and Nepal with Fajer and his group, and each trip has left me wanting more of the sprit of fun, adventure, camaraderie, culture and diversity that accompanies his trips. His enthusiasm for each trip and culture is inspirational, and I love not having to worry about the nitty gritty details that Fajer plans so well for the group - from the airport departures and visa details to lodging, meal plans and the smorgasbord of adventure that he has always planned out for his travellers. Not only do we get to embrace and immerse ourselves in the culture that surrounds us as tourists, we also get to actively participate in such enriching experiences as eco travellers, thanks to the opportunities that travelling with Escape Travels provides. Undeniably, one of the perks that comes with travelling with Escape Travels is the diversity and the quality of enriching lifelong friends that I've made throughout the trips - that to me is priceless.
Looking forward to more life-long lessons and experiences with Escape Travels!
Angel Parrado - Spain
I have been in the UAE for a year and I must recognize that Escape Travels has made my experience different. Escape Travels has by far satisfied one of the main objectives that I brought to the UAE: Easy travelling. In one year, I could travel from the sandy beaches of Unawatuna in Sri Lanka, through the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya to the amazing and mysterious Nepal and Himalayas' as well as several different places in the region. All this, always accompanied by nice outgoing people wishing to discover new exciting places and meet new people, of whom some have become good friends of mine. And all this thanks to my friend Fajer. He puts all his efforts and heart in every trip and plans every small thing to the detail to satisfy the group.
Olga Crighton - Russia
I have travelled with Escape Travels on two occasions, and was impressed by the very personalized attitude and attention to details that he put during his trip preparation.
I have taken my kids on one of the trips, and our overall family experience was great. I would certainly travel with Escape again should the opportunity come up.
Fardeen Rahman - India
I have been traveling with Escape Travels since November 2010 and have been to six countries (Nepal, Oman, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Jordan & Kenya).
During these trips I have had the opportunity to meet fellow travelers from different regions who have also become close friends in the long run.
Every trip with Escape Travels has been unique and memorable. One of the main reasons of the trips being so successful has been the commitment & dedication put in by Fajer in organizing the trips and giving personal attention to each traveler in the group.
I am always looking forward to a new trip with Escape Travels as each one is a new adventure in its own
Sharon Webber - Malaysia
Traveling can be a headache when it comes to planning, but with Escape everything is professionally organized and it is always a fun and exciting trip. Having been to 5 different countries (Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Oman and Nepal) with Escape Travels in less than a year, I can say that it has been a wonderful experience. On each trip we were introduced to great adventures such as white water rafting in Nepal, a bird’s eye view of the Valley of the Kings and Queens on a hot air balloon and flying over Mount Everest at sunrise! The trip I enjoyed the most out of the many would probably be sailing across the Mediterranean Sea for 1 week and making new friends along the way! Fajer is a brilliant and professional travel organizer and sailing captain; you would not be disappointed
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