Central Asia overland tour, Xian to Istanbul

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27 Jun 2019
£6125
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24 Jul 2019
£6125
excluding flights
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04 Sep 2019
£6125
excluding flights
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Vacation type

Overlanding

If you’re looking for adventure, an opportunity to travel with like-minded travelers and to get truly off the beaten track then this an overlanding 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 often be camping out under the stars, sometimes out in the bush and on campsites. Often an element of your tour includes small locally-run hostels and guest houses. The trips are really 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 traveling on one of our own purpose built overlanding vehicles with up to 24 travelers, many of whom will be traveling on their own. It is a great way for solo travelers to travel. Our vehicles are fully equipped with tents and cooking equipment, tanks with drinking water, charging facilities and designed for great all-round viewing, with comfortable, sociable seating. 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 traveling companions and friends and a well-exercised spirit of adventure!

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Central Asia overland tour, Xian to Istanbul

Environment

We are dedicated to minimising the effects our trips have on the environment, and are committed to ensuring that we have a positive impact on the local communities we travel through.

On this epic trip through Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, we will be traveling overland, using a combination of overland vehicles, jeeps, buses, and boats, thus cutting out the need for air travel and reducing carbon-emissions. Going overland (by car and on foot for excursions) means you get to experience physically crossing the borders between countries as well as explore places which are off the beaten track.

All of our vehicles conform to UK emission controls when they leave the UK and are regularly serviced and maintained in established, locally-owned workshops ensuring that they run as efficiently as possible and our economic returns to a country reach beyond tourism. Waste products such as oils and tyres are often reused several times after we have finished with them, as we pass them on to local people.

All trucks carry a 350-litre water tank, providing drinking water for the group and minimising the need to purchase bottled water. Rather than using plastic bags when shopping for food, we also provide reusable longer lasting bags; we bury our bio-degradable waste or give it to local people to feed livestock; and for cooking we generally use gas instead of wood, a cleaner fuel which leaves natural resources for local people. Passengers and crew are encouraged to use rechargeable batteries for items such as cameras, which can be charged from mains supplies or on our trucks as we travel.

In the office and as a company: We are committed to trying to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as is possible: we reduce what we print by using email and online media for the majority of our communication; any necessary print is always 2-sided and all paper products (in addition to plastics, glass, cardboard, oils and metal) are recycled. We minimise our energy consumption in whatever way we can (e.g. using energy efficient light bulbs and minimising water usage with reduced water cisterns in the bathroom for example).

We are committed to promoting human rights within our sphere of influence – this means trying to ensure that everybody involved with us are treated with fairness and respect, including our office staff, crew, local guides and suppliers, as well as all the other stakeholders.

We are also involved with a variety of community projects in key destinations as we visit. Our involvement with these projects is a long-term commitment, allowing us and our passengers to participate directly in delivering real practical benefits to the communities we travel through on the ground. The projects are not tourist initiatives, but a way of employing tourism to generate funding and support and facilitate community interaction.

Community

We believe that local culture and communities must be an integral part of our trips. We recognise that we are guests of the local communities we travel through and strive to make these communities into our partners.

Wherever we are in the world, we prefer to use smaller locally-owned businesses, ensuring that local communities gain a direct economic benefit from our business, for example, we use small locally owned hotels, campsites and activity providers wherever possible. We also visit a women’s felt making co-operative that produces 'shyrdaks' the felt carpets which Kyrgy is renowned for.
We use local guides and operators throughout the trip; for example, at Cappadocia we use a responsible local operator that provides training and employment to many local people as guides, providing them with stable employment in the tourism industry.

We also feel it is important for our guests to immerse themselves in the culture of their host country and we ensure that we weave experiences that will facilitate this into our itineraries. For example, we visit local markets and stay in local guesthouses along the way, and we visit local vineyards in Telavi where we witness traditions including grape harvesting and wine making.

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