London to Isanbul via Kathmandu overland tour

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2020: 4 Apr
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Holiday type

Overland

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

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
This 26 week trip encompassing 19 different countries leaves from the UK and finishes in Istanbul. It is not difficult to get back to the UK from Istanbul without flying. So that's 26 weeks of travel and 19 countries with possibly no flights, or the worst case scenario - a one way flight from Istanbul. We constantly hear that if you are going to travel, avoid flying if you can, or make your trip and your flight count! We really feel that this trip does that!
Your first two weeks of travel on the trip are also by train - eliminating the emissions of one more vehicle on the road. In Pakistan, we use a local supplier to take us around the country in 4 x 4 jeeps, better suited to the terrain. This helps to provide further local employment. The rest of our route is undertaken in one of our purpose-built Expedition vehicles. These are fully equipped with camping equipment and you will spend approximately 50% of the trip under canvas. This means there's no chance to waste valuable resources - leaving the lights/heating/aircon on!

All our Expedition vehicles carry treated drinking water, eliminating the need for plastic water bottle consumption. We actually encourage our travelers to purchase a filtration water bottle before embarking on the trip so that, even away from the truck they have can fill their water bottles from any supply. The added bonus here, is that, for each bottle purchased, a donation is made to one of our favourite charities - Toilet Twinning which builds toilets across the world, for communities that don't have them - making a real difference to people's lives.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

The ethos of all our trips is that we try to ensure that as much of the trip money as possible is spent locally, at a grass roots level. We try to shop in markets whenever possible. When not camping, we stay at small locally run hostels/hotels and home stays, if possible. In Kyrgyzstan, for example, at Lake Song Kal we stay with a local nomad family in one of their yurts. We eat with the family and have the opportunity to learn about their lifestyle. For the adventurous you can even try the local tipple of fermented mare's milk!

Whenever possible we use local guides to show us around places of interest and the trip takes in a lot of local craft and artisan markets. We also encourage our travelers to try the local cuisine, wherever we are - from small restaurants/cafes to street food sellers. In the central part of this trip you'll either grow to love, or not, plov!!

This trip also packs in cultural and historic highlights - entrance fees helping to maintain the sites, from St Basil’s Cathedral and Hermitage Museum in Russia, to the Taj Mahal in India and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, of Imam Square in Iran.

Climate

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