This trip is an overland trip run in an overland truck. In addition to paying for your trip, you're require to make a separate payment to your tour leader at the start of the trip, usually in USD. Kitties are flexible and change as prices are updated. Therefore you should check the latest kitty amount on this website before you depart.
A kitty is a group fund which covers all accommodation, meals while camping (not in hotels) and activities listed as included. It's a system unique to overlanding to provide the maximum flexibility and best value on the road (you get everything at cost price!). The kitty is your money, not ours, so any amount left over is divided among the group as a refund.Close
|Trip Code||Start Date||End Date||Currency||Kitty|
|ZUU||Friday 23 May 2014||Thursday 12 Jun 2014||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Monday 23 Jun 2014||Sunday 13 Jul 2014||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Friday 18 Jul 2014||Thursday 07 Aug 2014||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Monday 11 Aug 2014||Sunday 31 Aug 2014||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Sunday 31 Aug 2014||Saturday 20 Sep 2014||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Thursday 28 May 2015||Wednesday 17 Jun 2015||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Sunday 21 Jun 2015||Saturday 11 Jul 2015||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Friday 03 Jul 2015||Thursday 23 Jul 2015||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Tuesday 14 Jul 2015||Monday 03 Aug 2015||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Thursday 23 Jul 2015||Wednesday 12 Aug 2015||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Thursday 06 Aug 2015||Wednesday 26 Aug 2015||USD||680.00|
|ZUU||Thursday 27 Aug 2015||Wednesday 16 Sep 2015||USD||680.00|
Overland journeys are all about freedom and discovery. By travelling in a purpose-built truck you’ll see all the must-see highlights but also get far off the beaten track. These are real adventures where itineraries are changeable and the number of nights in hotels or camping can vary. The tours are highly inclusive and very much hands on. Led by professional crew, groups consist of up to 22 adventurous passengers, sharing the cooking, food shopping and setting up camp.
Mongolia, the birthplace of Genghis Khan, could be seen as the last frontier of overland travel. Perched on the edge of modernity it is a true wilderness of nomadic peoples and stunning scenery, everything from mountains to desert. Our journey through this wild country will take us through some of the remotest lands on Earth. We will travel though the lands of a variety of nomadic people, whether wildcamping or staying in the traditional Gers (yurts), with our Mongolian hosts. Do not expect the itinerary to run as planned, if it does it will be a miracle. The essence of this route is freedom and flexibility and no where more so than in Mongolia.
Border information: Welcome to Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia. If you are starting in Ulaanbaatar, enter Mongolia at Ulaanbaatar's ChinggisKhaanInternationalAirport
There will be group meeting at 18.00 hrs.
Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this meeting will take place. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport and insurance details at this meeting.
Tonight you will stay in a well located hotel.
Tel: +976 11 325544
Museum of Natural History, Ulaanbaatar
Fine Arts Museum, Ulaanbaatar
Winter Palace Museum of Bogd Khan, Ulaanbaatar
Intellectual Museum, Ulaanbaatar
Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar (affectionately known as UB), is a city where new meets old as elderly Mongolians in traditional dress mingle with the nation's young business elite. Mongolia's close relationship with the USSR is evident in the Soviet style architecture and city layout. Explore the city's many museums to learn about the country's turbulent history, including the reign of the most famous of Mongolian historical figures - the feared and respected Genghis Khan. One of the most fascinating is the Intellectual Museum where you can learn about the history and culture of this intriguing country through puzzles, toys and magic tricks!
There are plenty of things to do and see in Ulaanbaatar, visit the Museum of Natural History with its excellent dinosaur display, the Fine Arts Museum with its impressive selection of local art and traditional works or the Winter Palace Museum of Bogd Khan, which is stocked full of fascinating artefacts. Mongolia's largest and most important monastery, the lively Gandan Khiid, is well worth a visit to learn about the main religion of Mongolia - Tibetan Buddhism.
This morning we head out on a guided tour to see some of Ulaanbaatar's best and most treasured sights including the Gandan Monastery and the National Museum. This afternoon we will spend a few hours exploring the Black Market. This huge market contains every single item a Mongolian may need, so a trip here will certainly give visitors a fascinating insight into peoples lives, whether they are nomads or urban apartment dwellers.
Overnight in a local hotel.
Guided tour of the Gandan Monastery and the National History Museum, Ulaanbaatar
|Included in tour|
Visit the Black Market with time for Shopping, Ulaanbaatar
|Included in tour|
Cultural Performance, Ulaanbaatar
Today we drive out of the city and into the countryside; we hope to arrive at Khar Bukh Balgas ruins in the early afternoon.
Khar Bukh Balgas was built during the Kitan period, at about 1000 AD and was part of a chain of fortresses that were used to govern and control the northern region and borders of the Kitan state. Upon arrival at the site, we will explore the ruins and learn about the various kingdoms that dominated Mongolia during that era.
After our visit to the ruins we will drive to Ogii Lake where many nomadic families spend their summer. The Lake is famed for it's great bird watching opportunities where it is not uncommon to spot at Swan Goose, White Spoonbill and Dalmatian Pelicans.
We will stay in ger tents tonight.
Visit the Kultigen monument and the Turkish Museum
|Included in tour|
This wonderful lake is a great place to to spot the local birdlife. Cranes and ducks, among other species. migrate to the area around late April. The lake is also renowned for it's fishing.
There are some beautiful areas around the lake that makes this a perfect location to camp Overnight.
An early start as we head to Mongolia's earliest capital, Kharkhorin or otherwise known as Karakorum.
Our first stop on the way to Kharkhorin will be at the Kultigen monument. This massive stone tomb was built in honor of a Turkic prince and warrior killed in a battle that took place close to the site. We then continue on a fairly short drive to Kharkhorin.
Kharkhorin, better known as Karakorum, was famed throughout Asia at the capital of the Mongol Empire. Withing the walls of this spectacular city Kings were chosen, laws made and the fate of the next city to be conquered were determined. We will visit the ruins of the old city, the Erdene Zuu monastery and other historical monuments in the area.
We will overnight in a ger camp by the Orkhon River.
visit the ruins of the old city, the Erden Zuu monastery and other historical monuments in the area.
|Included in tour|
The fabled city of Kharkhorin began life as a mere command point for Mr. Genghis Khan’s military conquest of China but later became the capital of his son, Ogodei Khan. The place is steeped in history this is a place where legends come to life. As recorded by the Venetian traveller Marco Polo it is perhaps best known to us as the capital of Genghis Khan’s grandson, Master Kubilai Khan before he moved on to Dadu, modern day Beijing. We will spend a night here and be sure to visit the Erdene Zuu Monastery. Built out of the ruins of the city it was the first great northern Mongolian monastery. Largely destroyed in the communist purges of the 1930s the monastery is now a museum.
Today we head south , driving along the river's banks. Our first stop will be for a two and a half hour trek (the first hour will be uphill) to Tuvkhon Monastery. This Monastery was established during the 1650's by Zanbazar, one of Mongolia's most respected religious leaders. The monastery's wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched near a hilltop, from which you have beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and the surrounding pine forests.
We then continue south and reach the Orkhon Valley where we will set up our camp for the night.
Visit the waterfall and hike to Tuvkhon Monastery (approx 2.5 hrs, first hour uphill).
|Included in tour|
For some of the best examples of Mongolia’s legendary historical sites, monuments and monasteries, as well as areas of breathtaking natural beauty, the Orkhon valley is of significant importance. The valley is the keeper of many religious and cultural antiquities; home to a number of sites that form a key part of Mongolia’s varied and fascinating history.
Leaving our camp, we drive to the beautiful volcanic canyon that runs along the Orkhon River. Here we take an easy hike along the canyon ending near a pool at the bottom of the Red Waterfalls where a cool swim awaits.
After Breakfast our trip heads North crossing the Khangai Nuruu Mountains through a series of passes until we reach the area Mongolians call 'the paradise of the horse herders' for its lush grasses and open valleys. We drive to the Tsenker hot springs, where water flows out of the ground at 82° C, and where we can enjoy a relaxing soak.
On our second day we will take a short, easy walk to meet one of the many nomadic families that spend their summers here. The afternoon is free to explore the valley and surrounding hills either by foot or by horse.
We stay at a ger camp during our time here.
Horse riding trip and visit to a nomadic family.
Enjoy a relaxing soak in the natural springs.
|Included in tour|
Varies hikes available around the area.
On this stage of our jouney we will be travelling through some of Mongolia’s most stunning scenery.
Spending two nights at the Tsenkher hot springs we will have time to go hiking or horse riding. Then what could be nicer than soaking away the day’s exertions in the indoor or outdoor hot springs, coming out of the ground at 82 degrees centigrade.
This morning we drive to Tsetserleg, the provincial capital, where we will make a short visit to the local market, if time permits we will also visit the provincial museum.
This evening we will arrive at a beautiful scenic spot by the Tamir River where we set up our camp for the night.
This morning we pack up camp and drive to Taikhar Chuluu - a massive rock which is connected to local mythology. From here we have another few hours' drive, crossing Arkhangai Province. Khangai literally means in Mongolian "Prosper", and it is an apt name for the vast green meadows, running rivers and rolling hills which would be the backdrop of the view seen through the window throughout much of the day.
In the afternoon we arrive to a good observation point for the Chuluut Canyon, we will set up our camp nearby.
This morning we have a fairly short drive to the foot of Khorgo Volcano. We spend today hiking to the top of the Volcano for a view over its perfect crater. From the top of the volcano we continue our hike though fields studded with pine trees, stopping off en route at the Yellow Dog Cave, an interesting colcanic phenomenon.
We stay overnight at a ger camp tonight.
Driving north on one of Mongolia's most beautiful routes, we cross high mountain passes, vast grasslands, and small creeks as we pass by remote villages.
Our final destination will be Zuun Lake, a small alpine lake in the mountainous region of Khovsgol.
We will camp tonight.
Today we continue driving through the mountainous region of Khovsgol province, crossing a few more stunning passes en route.
We hope to arrive at Murun, the provincial capital, around noon time. We will visit the local market, Danzadarjaa Monastery and the local museum.
We will camp overnight on the outskirts of Murun.
This morning we pack up camp and drive out to an ancient burial site featuring Mongolia's mysterious deer stones, these are memorial stones representing important leaders and warriors, carved with deer motifs. After visiting the site, we continue our trip northward to one of the world's biggest fresh water sources, Lake Khovsgol.
Lake Khovsgol and its amazing surroundings are home to several of Mongolia's ethnic minorities as well as a refuge for a wide variety of wildlife. One of the most interesting ethnic groups living near the lake is the Tsaatan or as they are better known - 'The Reindeer People'. A small tribe of Tsaatan consisting of about 40 families lives with its herds of reindeer in the forests around the lake. These graceful animals provide the tribe with all its basic needs - milk, meat and transportation. As there are very few Tsaatan left and this is a mobile population, we may meet them but there are no guarantees, however, the scenery of the area is well worth the exploration.
We will stay at a ger camp during our time here.
This morning we will take a hike around the forests and meadows near the lake. Lying at about 1650 meteras above sea level, surrounded by mountains rising above 3100 meters, the waters of Khovgol are deep and spectacularly clear and pure. We will hike through thick pine forests carpeted with flowers and explore the setting of Mongolia's 'Blue Pearl'.
After lunch we will drive back to Murun and stay overnight in a ger camp.
We will be crossing central-northern Mongolia over the next two days. The long road offers diversified landscapes, from vast, open steppes to beautiful sand dunes.
We will camp overnight by the Selenge River on our first night and camp on the outskirts of Bulgan on our second night.
This morning we pack away our camp and drive for a a few hours to Amarbayasgalant Monastery. Built between 1727 and 1736 by the Manchu Emperor Enkh Amgalan, Amarbayasgalant is among the largest monasteries in Mongolia to have survived the purges of the 1930's. With about 60 monks living and studying here, the monastery functions today as one of Mongolia's central religious institutions, and consists of 29 different temples, all built in the calssic Tibetan style.
Tonight we will camp near the monastery.
Today we have a full days drive from northern Mongolia back to Ulaanbaatar. This evening is free to relax, explore or shop for souvenirs.
Tonight we stay at a hotel for the night.
Fine Arts Museum, Ulaanbaatar
Museum of Natural History, Ulaanbaatar
Winter Palace Museum of Bogd Khan, Ulaanbaatar
Intellectual Museum, Ulaanbaatar
Today is your departure day. No activities are planned for today.
Most countries we visit on our travels will require visas. Some are best obtained before you leave home and others can be obtained en-route. Whilst the ultimate responsibility for obtaining visas is yours, we will endeavour to assist you wherever possible.
The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. The information provided is given in good faith and we do try to keep the visa information as up to date as possible. Please be aware though that rules do change, often without prior warning, which is why it is important that you check for yourself.
For visas that are needed in advance you can choose to submit the applications directly to the relevant embassy/consulate. However our recommendation is that you use a visa agent to assist you with your applications. While this does increase the cost it will make the process much easier for you. Dragoman have teamed up with ‘The Visa Machine’ to create a safe, secure, hassle-free way of obtaining visas and visa advice. Our unique link within their website is designed to make the visa process as straightforward as possible. Simply go to https://dragoman.thevisamachine.com and click on your region of travel followed by your trip route and ‘The Visa Machine’ will advise you about not only the required visas but also the dates by which you should apply. ‘The Visa Machine’ can then assist you in the actual visa application thus taking all the worry and hassle out of the process. This should apply for ALL nationalities and countries of residence.
As you will need to submit your passport together with your applications, we recommend that you avoid making any travel plans in the weeks leading up to your departure. However if you do need to travel in this period please let us know as soon as possible so that we can help you work out the options for your visa application process.
In order to make the visa process as easy as possible we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.
Please click on Ulaanbaatar to Ulaanbaatar Visa Information link where you will be able to view all the visa cut off dates and all your visa information for ALL departures.
A visa is required for travel to Mongolia for most nationalities. The USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, Hong Kong and Cuba have a visa free agreement with Mongolia.
Most embassies do not require a letter of invitation for a Mongolian visa however should you be required to present one with your visa application please contact us.
You will need to apply for a single entry & exit tourist visa that covers the duration of your stay in Mongolia. Visas are usually valid for 3 months from the date of issue.
Visas are not available on arrival at any land borders into Mongolia. Due to changes in visa regulations we are no longer able to provide visa invitations for visa on arrival at the Chinggis Khan International Airport.
Please note that if you are on a longer combination trip i.e. Istanbul to Mongolia or Bangkok to Mongolia for example, we advise you to obtain a visa for Mongolia in Beijing en route with the help of your crew.
We intend following the planned route but exact night stops cannot be guaranteed. It sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our basic planned itinerary. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, road or bureaucratic conditions may demand it. By their very nature overland itineraries need to be flexible and the regions that we are travelling through are often unpredictable. We run adventure journeys in off the beaten track areas, often in areas without western infrastructure. You should expect that some these areas do not adhere to western safety standards.
Physical preparation for Asia Itineraries
In Asia you will need to be healthy enough to cope with extremes of climates from the hot deserts through to the colds of the high mountains. Overland travelling can be demanding - long, rough travel days, dusty conditions can be challenging to some. You will need to be fit enough to help every day with the camp chores (cooking, washing up, general camp set up) as well as putting up and taking down your own tent. There are some long driving days and some early morning starts. The step up into the overland vehicle, while not overly high can become tiring and you need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down the step at least 8-10 times a day. By and large our Asia trips have a good range of hotel accommodation mixed up with camping so that life is not too rough.
Based on the range that previous travellers have spent on this trip, we recommend you allow between a minimum of US$15 and a maximum of US$30 per day for Central Asia, China and Burma and between a minimum of US$10 and a maximum of US$20 for India, Nepal and South East Asia.
This will cover individual expenses such as drinks, meals whilst out and also when staying in hotels, souvenirs, tips and personal permits.
Please note: For trips in Southern India that occur over Christmas and New Year please allow approximately $160USD extra on the kitty for seasonal increases in accommodation costs
The official currency of Mongolia is the Tugrik (MNT).
Tugrik may only be obtained within Mongolia. The safest way to carry your money is as traveller's cheques which can be exchanged at most banks and currency exchange points in Ulaanbaatar. The easiest currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, although it is possible to exchange RUB, CNY and other currencies at some exchange points. Larger denomination notes often attract a better exchange rate.
Please be aware that there are no reliable banking or exchange facilities outside of Ulaanbaatar. Major credit cards may be accepted in some shops and restaurants in the capital. Some banks will allow cash advances against a credit card but cash withdrawals are subject to a 5% or more service charge.
In Ulaanbaatar you may be able to find ATMs that accept international cards and use them to withdraw local currency; however these should not be relied on as your sole financial source. Some souvenir sellers and tourist restaurants may accept USD or EUR as payment but all other purchases in Mongolia must be made in local currency.
At Dragoman we believe you should make the most of the places you visit, so if you would like to see more of your joining or finishing point cities, why not book additional accommodation to extend your stay. Dragoman can take away the hassle of time zones and language barriers by making the booking for you. This accommodation is only available at the joining or finishing city of your trip, immediately before or after the trip you are travelling on.
While Dragoman is happy to assist with booking your pre and post trip accommodation, it is important that you understand you may be able to book your own room at a cheaper rate directly through the hotel or on the internet. Our additional accommodation prices are based on the hotel’s rate plus an administration fee. Please note our rates do not reflect last minute walk in rates or internet specials.
We can also book arrival airport transfers for you as long as we have your flight arrival details. These are normally payable in cash upon arrival, however we do have pre paid transfers in a few destinations.
Please contact our reservations team for details of the accommodation and transfers that we can offer as not all hotels offer this service.
Dragoman overland trips are designed for shared accommodation, whether camping or staying in hotels and therefore do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers will share with people of the same sex for the duration of the trip, in accommodation ranging from twin to multi-share. The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. The campsites will range from rather basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. In some cases it may also be possible to upgrade locally to bungalows, lodges or even tree-houses. One of the highlights of overlanding is that in more remote areas we will wild camp. This allows us to get far away from the tourist crowds to some beautiful, secluded spots. We will also arrange as many village or local homestays as possible, allowing us to get close to indigenous populations and ensures our money stays within local communities.
The maximum group size we take on our overland journeys ranges from 19 to 22 depending on the geographical location, however the average number of passengers is more likely to be around 16.
Please note that there is an overlap of 2 trips in Zanzibar. This means a group starting a trip in Nairobi for example will visit Zanzibar at the same time as groups starting their trips in Dar es Salaam. In practical terms this means there could be up to 44 group members in Zanzibar at the same time.
Our passengers come from around the world and are always an interesting mix of nationalities and ages. On average there is a pretty even split, males to females and between solo travellers, couples and small groups of friends. We believe that overlanding should be open to as many people as possible and so although we have a minimum age limit of 18, as long as you are fit, healthy and passionate about travel, we are happy to take you, whatever your age is. One of the beauties of group travel is the camaraderie and friendships that are formed along the way and as well as the variety of people that you will meet.
At any time before or after you book you can join our community - Dragoland. This is a great place to ask questions before you travel and catch up with your fellow travellers once your trip has finished. You can share photos, videos and stories You can also download a selection of free travel apps. See the home page to sign in, it's free and easy.
We also have a Facebook page where travellers regularly swap info with each other - you can join here
Our crew are passionate about travel and always up for adventure. It takes someone special to become a Dragoman leader. Our crew undergo the most intensive training program of all overland companies, spending 10 weeks learning the ropes at our base in Suffolk, UK and then up to six months on the road as a trainee. On all Dragoman overlanding trips two western crew who are responsible for the group and the overall organisation will accompany you. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad knowledge of the places visited and to offer suggestions of things to do and see. In East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In the rest of Africa, South America and the majority of Central Asia and China we use local guides who may stay with us for just a few hours or will actually travel with us for some or all of the journey. In these cases they become a third crew member and are able to offer their local knowledge as well as a real insight into the lives of the local people.
(If travelling in East & Southern Africa, also please see the note about our code-share crew)
Your tour leader has a duty of care to all of their passengers and therefore they have the authority to ask passengers to leave the trip if they require medical assistance, are behaving in an anti-social manner or refuse to comply with local laws and customs. In all matters relating to the trip, the leader's decision will be final and we appreciate your respect of this.
We ask all of our passengers to declare any pre-existing medical conditions and in some cases you will be asked to complete one of our medical questionnaires. For trips that travel to areas of high altitude we also require all passengers to complete an altitude questionnaire. The ratings for each trip are a good indication of how challenging they are and in some cases passengers should be prepared for some long driving days and possible limited facilities. We are always happy to give extra advice if you have additional concerns.
Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to region and recent bulletins issued by health authorities. It is essential to get the latest advice on the region(s) you are planning to travel in. It is essential that you check with either your doctor or a travel clinic in good time before you travel.
In the UK we have been working with Nomad Travel for many years and their website has comprehensive, up to date vaccination and health information. Dragoman customers will receive a 10% discount off all vaccinations given at Nomad Travel clinics.
A good source of up to date information is the World Health Organisation - http://www.who.int/en/
Get expert advice before travelling about types of malaria pills and take them as instructed. Recommended types do change from time to time and from area to area. Consult your vaccination centre for the most up-to-date requirements
The mosquito usually bites between the hours of dusk and dawn and so covering up by wear long-legged and long-sleeved clothing, preferably light coloured and buttoned at the wrists can help. Do not sleep without closing windows, tent doors or, if sleeping out, use a mosquito net. Wear repellent applied directly to the skin or soaked into clothing.
Treating clothes and mosquito nets with a Permetherin solution provides significant protection. It should be available at most travel stores. Mosquito coils are useful on still nights, in hotel rooms but cannot be used inside the tents.
On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger, you’re part of the crew, pitching in to set up camp, shop for food, cook and generally help out. We operate a rota system, dividing the group into smaller units of 5 or 6 people, so that these duties are shared equally amongst the group. These jobs will include things like collecting water and firewood, loading the back locker, supervising the kitty and food stores etc. While camping on overland journeys, all meals will be included in the kitty and this means that you will be working as a group to prepare meals and cook for your group. (On trips south of Nairobi we have a cook on board the truck, however you will still be required to help prepare meals). If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting. A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal and something hot such as eggs or pancakes as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich heaped high with healthy salad and assorted fillings, with fruit to follow. Dinner might be a BBQ, risotto, pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some local cooking. Generally our passengers find the more they put into a trip, the more they benefit from it.
Dragoman is committed to ensuring that we have a positive impact on local communities and that we implement policies to minimise any negative impact on the local environment. We are dedicated to making sure that we adopt a responsible attitude to the areas through which we travel and believe that our trips should benefit the local people and their environment. Dragoman recognises that we are guests of local communities and strive to make these communities our partners, so that they benefit directly from our visit. You can find full details of Dragoman’s responsible tourism policy linked from the home page.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs is not only against the law, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Dragoman customers. It is one of our core values to treat all people we encounter with respect which of course includes all the local people who make our destinations so special. The exploitation of prostitutes or children is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes or abuse children. Equally Dragoman will not tolerate any violence or threat of violence towards local people, other group members or any member of our staff.
We expect all our customers to obey all the laws of the countries through which we pass. This particularly applies to the smuggling of contraband and possession of narcotic drugs (as above), firearms, antiquities and ivory.
Any customer found contravening such laws or customs will be required to leave the trip immediately with no refund of the trip price.
One of the real advantages of overland travel is that the vehicle provides a very real level of security when travelling. There is no doubt that a properly equipped overland vehicle, with safes, fully lockable doors and windows is an obvious advantage when travelling in much of the world. We recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt whilst travelling for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items (although most of these can be locked in the safe whilst you are on the trip) and advise passengers to leave any valuable jewellery, watches etc at home. Generally speaking, you will not be travelling on local public transport and will have the added security of travelling in a group with experienced crew on hand to offer advice.
Please note: Any personal effects that are left on the truck, even if they are stored in the safe, are left at your own risk and Dragoman cannot be held responsible for any damage or theft that may occur.
The safety of our passengers, leaders and operators is a major priority of Dragoman. With this in mind we monitor world events very closely. By the very nature of the adventure travel that we take, there are risks and hazards that are inherent in our itineraries. Dragoman makes operational decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources:
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice
Reports from other travel companies and local suppliers
Leaders reports from off the road
Local contacts we have built up over 29 years of experience
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. You should always make yourself aware of the travel advice before you book and again before you travel. Below are links to some of the websites
New Zealand. http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
United States. http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html
Dragoman has comprehensive passenger liability protection and tour operator insurance. These policies have total indemnities of £3,000,000 and £10,000,000 respectively. This is in addition to local vehicle insurance and your personal travel insurance.
We have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in theses trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked and the crew informed if necessary.
Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564.
It is a condition of booking that you have comprehensive travel insurance. Without evidence of valid travel insurance you will not be allowed to start the trip.
Whatever policy you choose, you must ensure that it is designed for adventure/overland travel. As such it must cover you for adventure activities such as white water rafting, trekking, horse-riding and that the 24 Hour Emergency Assistance Company must be experienced in handling situations in developing countries – for example they have the ability to arrange repatriation from remote areas such as the Sahara or if you were trekking in the Andes. Please double check if you have annual travel and/or credit card policies to ensure they have the cover you require, as many of these policies are not able to cope with adventure travel to remote areas. We recommend that any policy has the following minimum levels of cover: Medical (incl. repatriation) £5,000,000 Personal Liability £5,000,000 Cancellation and Curtailment £5,000 Loss of Baggage, personal effects, money and other inclusions are down to personal choice.
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local partner straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction. If this is the case please contact our customer relations department on firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also choose to provide details in your feedback questionnaire which we ask you to complete at the end of your trip but we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
Check that your passport will still be valid for 6 months after the end of the trip - this is important as some countries WILL refuse entry to anyone whose passport is due to expire. A temporary or "visitor's” passport is not valid on our trips. You will need to provide us with your passport details prior to departing for you trip. If you change your passport please remember to inform us.
Although you will not have to carry your main bag long distances you will need to help load and unload them onto the truck. For this reason we recommend that you use a backpack or soft bag rather than a heavy suitcase. During your trip your main luggage will be kept in the back locker so you will also need a small daypack. This can be used to carry your camera, water bottle and other personal effects for daily use.
The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. Different trucks have different-sized lockers however to be safe we recommend that your bag be no larger than 66cm deep, 30cm wide, and 30cm high. The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is maximum 20kg. Backpacks should not have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.
Your clothes and equipment should be appropriate for the conditions you are travelling in. On overland trips Dragoman will provide all camping equipment apart from sleeping bags and ground mats (except on routes between Nairobi and Cape Town where ground mats are provided).
The clothes and equipment should be appropriate for the conditions you are travelling in, which will vary depending on which part of the world you're heading to. On overland trips Dragoman will provide all camping equipment apart from sleeping bags and ground mats*, so you'll need to bring those with you. Think about the climate and altitude of the areas you'll be travelling to, there's nothing worse than being cold at night so it's worth investing in a decent sleeping bag if it's likely to get cold. And remember even when it's warm during the day, it can often get cold at night, particularly in desert regions.
IMPORTANT :Ground mats are provided on all of our overland trips that run in South and East Africa, between Nairobi and Cape Town. This includes our Family trips between Nairobi and Cape Town.
For a general idea of what you need this list provides a guide:
For a comprehensive kit lists take a look at the Dragoman kit list that Nomad Travel have created. Dragoman customers will receive a 10% discount on all equipment purchased either online or in store. Click to see the kit lists www.nomadtravel.co.uk/kitlist/overlanders-kit-list
The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 liters of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilized water stored in the purpose built storage tank or in water jerry cans in your Overland vehicle. You are free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like. You are helping the environment and your hip pocket!
All of our trucks have a fully stocked medical kit onboard for use in emergency situations only. Therefore in addition to this we recommend that you purchase your own personal medical kit. In the UK we have teamed up with Nomad Travel Stores and Clinics to produce the Dragoman Travel Medical Kit. It has been designed in conjunction with the truck kits and contains everything you would need for any minor accidents. For more details please visit their website:
Your vehicle will be equipped with a 12 volt socket so to charge your iPod, MP3 player, camera, laptop and mobile phone you will need a DC 12 volt adapter - the type that can be used from a cigarette lighter in your car. Please be aware that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets and the majority of the campsites we stay at have electricity points so please bring along your normal charging adapters as well. You will need to ensure that you have the correct country adaptor for your specific charger.
The Kitty is a group fund paid separately from the trip price at the start of your trip which covers all things that the whole group does, such as:
It is an amount that each passenger puts into a central fund and is monitored by the Dragoman crew. The kitty is payable in instalments at the start of each section of the trip for combination trips and in full at the start of the trip for individual trips.
The kitty system is very unique to overlanding as it allows us to have flexibility on the road. You can see exactly how your money is being spent and ensure that you are getting the best value by buying locally.
The kitty advertised in the brochure is an estimate at the time of printing. Local inflation and costs vary throughout the year and so we review kitties on a monthly basis. Once you book your trip it is very important that you check our website on a regular basis and just before departure for any changes to the kitty amount.
Your kitty can be paid in a mixture of US Dollar cash (or Euros in West Africa) and local currency and most of our travellers choose to bring a cash passport with them for withdrawing local currency (you can visit www.cashpassport.com for further information on these). This is a very secure way of carrying your money whilst travelling. You treat them exactly like an ATM card and draw out local currency from an ATM to give to your leader within each country.
Travellers cheques have become increasingly difficult to change around the world with passengers and our leaders experiencing huge frustration and numerous hours spent trying to find a bank which will change travellers cheques. For this reason we no longer accept them on our trips.
Sometimes, civil or political unrest, or reasons beyond Dragoman's control (e.g. a natural disaster), can mean that an itinerary is disrupted and we have to make a contingency plan. This may involve hiring alternate transport or even the whole group flying over an area. Although Dragoman will help organise travel arrangements, in circumstances outside Dragoman's control you should be prepared to contribute towards the costs and therefore we ask you to bring along a 'Contingency Fund' of USD400. In almost all cases trips run smoothly and this fund is therefore never used. We also recommend that you take along an internationally recognised credit or charge card with a decent limit in case of emergencies, such as medical treatment en route, or even the need to be repatriated; though these occurrences are rare. Remember that travel insurance policies usually only refund you for expenses after you have already paid out.
Tipping is entirely voluntary. The Dragoman crew may be travelling with you for many weeks and usually they become good friends with most members of the group. It is sometimes easy to forget that they do work hard to ensure that you do have a great trip. If you feel you would like to tip them, they certainly would appreciate it. On a number of our trips, we also use a local guide as well as our own Dragoman crew. These guides live and travel with you through their home country and it is usual to tip them when they leave. We recommend USD10 to USD15 per person.
It is not really worth trying to buy local currencies before you travel. Do also bear in mind that many countries have strict regulations about the amount of their own local currency you are allowed to import - if you are found with amounts in excess of the allowed amounts, it may well be confiscated!
For trips in Turkey, South East Asia, India and Nepal a sensible mix of cash and ATM cards is best. However, most of our past passengers have said they wished they had been told to bring more cash. Apart from the convenience of being able to change money in many more places, you will sometimes get a much better exchange rate for cash.
For trips in Central Asia, China, Burma and Mongolia please refer to the money exchange notes.
You should take a mixture of denomination notes. Banks and moneychangers in most countries will now only accept bills with a metallic strip running top to bottom of the bill and which are dated from 2003 or later. You should not take worn or damaged notes, or any that have been written on. Cash machines are readily available in most areas but are not always reliable therefore we recommend that you do not rely on them as your only source of cash. Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the most commonly accepted, but be prepared for very high commission charges. Please do not rely on cards for daily use, as they are not always accepted outside of larger towns and cities. Please bring a mixture of small and large denominations as in more remote areas it can be hard to change amounts over $50.
Our tailor made adventure holidays will truly inspire and delight the senses and will live in your memory for ever.
Join us on one of our worldwide adventures coming up over the next few months – all guaranteed to depart, all at up to 20% off.