If you’re looking for adventure, an opportunity to travel with like-minded travellers and to get off the beaten track then this type of trip is for you! We will sometimes be covering long distances over a period of a few days but will then most often be camped up for a few days with opportunities for adventure activities, visiting local communities, time in a town or city to chill out or wildlife viewing experiences. The roads are sometimes bumpy and you need to expect the unexpected! This type of travel is through regions where things can change and experiences are more important than luxury – borders sometimes close and there may not always be hot water in the showers! You will generally be camping out under the stars, sometimes out in the bush, but generally more on campsites. (Our South America and Central Asia trips also use small locally-run hostels and guest houses). The trips are fully participative so you will be involved shopping for food in local markets, cooking for your group (on a rota system), collecting water and setting up camp. If you’re not confident about doing any of these things beforehand, don’t worry our crew are there to help you and you’ll be good at it by the time you finish!
You will be travelling on one of our own purpose built overlanding vehicles with up to 24 travellers, many of whom will be travelling on their own. It is a great way for solo travellers to travel. We have lost count of the number of travellers who have met their future spouse on one of our trips! Our vehicles are fully equipped with tents and cooking equipment and are designed for great all-round viewing and a sociable seating plan. You will be accompanied on your trip by a Driver and Tour Leader and, depending on your trip, we often use local guides at sites of specific interest for more detailed information.
This type of travel will provide you with a plethora of memories and stories to tell, new-found travelling companions and friends and a well-exercised spirit of adventure!
Responsible tourism: Northern Pakistan overland tour
Water: Northern Pakistan thrives on the melt water from the huge glaciers running down steep valleys in the Hindu Kush, Karakorum and Himalayan ranges. Using age old basic technology this water has been harnessed using hand dug channels, where it irrigates crops, powers a variety of mills and gets used for drinking. We take our travellers to see these channels first hand to fully appreciate their importance and the devastating effects climate change is having on this region. We encourage travellers to filter tap water where possible to avoid buying plastic bottles. Where plastic bottles have to be used, these are supplied by us and disposed of in the correct manner.
Transport / people: We use locally hand built jeeps that are well maintained with engines adjusted to altitude. All this means less unburned diesel and less pollutants in to the atmosphere. By using 3 person jeeps we also make a low impact on the delicate road structure and small settlements we visit.
Suppliers: Due to the fallout from 9/11, all tourism suppliers in Pakistan have seen virtually no travellers in recent years. The local people are some of the friendliest in the world and by visiting their shops and markets and using local guides and suppliers, we can start to help these people rebuild their lives.
Our aim on all our trips is put as much of the trip costs as possible directly back into the local communities in which we travel. As such ,we run this trip in conjunction with a local operator and your crew will be local Pakistanis. We stay at small locally run guest houses and all meals are sourced locally.
Our group sizes are deliberately very small, generally just 2 or 3 travellers, in order to minimise our impact -both socially and environmentally. Your guide will make sure you are aware of and respect local customs and traditions.
Our first point of call on this trip is to buy suitable clothing to undertake the trip that fits in with local traditional dress. Your crew will take you to places where you can visit local bazaars and artisans at work and any purchases you make will further support the local community.
We include a variety of elements in our tour to show everyday life in this remote part of the world. We visit one of the famous suspension foot bridges, which is the only way for locals to cross a 100 metre wide gorge. One other highlight is walking on a glacier to see and discuss how these are retreating and what impact this is having on communities. Using local specialist guides where necessary also ensures money is going back in to these small areas.