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Kolkata To Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland

From US$ 5,560 US$ 5,282
  • No booking or credit card fees
highlights
  • This overland adventure is the best way to see India and Bhutan. Travelling by truck, rub shoulders with the locals as you journey across remote landscapes
  • The local guides on this trip are the best in the business. Gain insight into the areas visited as you're joined by various experts with specific knowledge and experience
  • Even though there are lots of included activities packed into the itinerary, you'll have plenty of free time to explore on your own and pursue optional activities
  • Travel through spectacular scenery, from the rolling green rice paddies of Darjeeling to the remote Phobjikha Valley and the Black Mountains
The Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland tour starts in Kolkata and ends in Kathmandu. The Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland is an Overland tour that takes 15 days taking you from Kolkata to Kathmandu and through other destinations in Asia.

Experience remote and picturesque parts of India and Bhutan on this incredible overland adventure. From India's cultural capital of Kolkata to the Bhutanese gem of Paro and only Kathmandu, journey through lush rice paddies, hilltop monasteries and stunning mountainous terrain. Friendly locals, beautiful vistas and character-packed destinations...who knew travelling in a truck could be so much fun? The mighty Himalayas and the Land of the Thunder Dragon are calling.
Border Information: If you are joining in Kolkata, you will most likely enter India at Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (IATA code: CCU).

Please note that you must have a Double-Entry India visa for this trip if leaving in Kathmandu, and a Multi-Entry India visa if continuing beyond Kathmandu - see details below. There will be an important group meeting at the joining hotel at 10:00am. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception when you arrive for more details about this meeting. The afternoon is free to explore Kolkata.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kolkata before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kolkata. We will meet in the evening to board an overnight sleeper train from Kolkata to Siliguri - accommodation will be aboard the train tonight, where there are bunk beds with sheets provided.
Hotel for the night: Niharika Hotel
Niharika Hotel
5 A.J.C. Bose Road
Near Minto Park
Kolkata
India
Tel - +91 33 4060 1122

Activity Approximate Cost
Discover the world's largest tree (The Great Banyan Tree) at the A. J. C. Bose Botanic Gardens, the place where tea was first cultivated in India INR 200
Freely explore the streets of the BBD Bagh, the heart of Kolkata and one of the best areas of British colonial architecture in the world Free
Visit the Eden Gardens, the most famous and iconic cricket stadium in India Free
See the famous Howrah Bridge over the Hooghly River, thought to be the busiest bridge in the world with 150,000 pedestrians and 100,000 vehicles crossing every day Free
Discover the incredible array of art and historical artefacts on display at the Indian Museum in Kolkata, the largest and oldest museum in India INR 200
Head out on a fantastic photographic tour of Kolkata, exploring the hidden gems, back streets, and photogenic spots of the city with a superb local guide INR 2000
Explore the vast fields and parks of the Maidan (the 'lungs of Kolkata') and observe daily life away from the chaos of the city Free
Visit and support the Usthi Foundation's school and farm for impoverished children in Kolkata, and see the amazing work they do (if available) USD 10
See the huge white marble Victoria Memorial, built in the early 20th century by the British Viceroy of India and a grandiose reminder of Kolkata's colonial past INR 200
Visit the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Centre, a museum illustrating the life and work of the famous and controversial missionary Free 
Experience a local overnight train from Kolkata to Siliguri Included in Kitty 

About Kolkata:
Kolkata was originally a British settlement, built by the East India Company in the 17th Century during their trading and colonising expansion along the boast of Bengal - it also became the capital of the British colonial government until 1911 when this was moved to Delhi. The city is now India's third largest, and is
regarded by many as the country's intellectual and cultural capital. At first you are assaulted by the noise and chaos of this bustling metropolis, but take the time to explore and you'll discover some impressive colonial architecture, some of the best restaurants in India and a thriving arts scene. Bengali theatre, dance, poetry, art, music and film are all showcased here, and there's usually plenty to choose from on at the city's many venues. An interesting relic of the colonial era is the Victoria Memorial - a beautiful domed white marble edifice set in tranquil gardens, the monument was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. Kolkata is also home to the Sister's of Charity Motherhouse, the mission where Mother Teresa did much of her work. Finally, if all the hustle and bustle is getting too much for you, you can explore the vast green fields of the Maidan or take refuge in the beautiful botanic gardens along the banks of the Hooghly River. 
Accommodation
  • Overnight Sleeper Train
We will arrive into Siliguri at around 9:00am this morning, meeting our jeeps
and drivers at the station for our onward journey through the narrow winding
roads to Darjeeling. The town of Darjeeling is really more a collection of
villages situated on a high ridge, linked by a series of steps and winding lanes and surrounded by rice and tea terraces.

Jeeps are used in this region rather than our overland truck as they are perfect
for the narrow, steep and winding roads of the area. We will continue with the
jeeps until the trip returns to Siliguri.

Estimated Drive Time (in jeeps) - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times
given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in
motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops,
border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping
stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and
whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent
on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors
- flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

In Darjeeling we will stay in a local hotel.

About Darjeeling:
Situated on a high ridge and surrounded by terraces of rice, tea, quinine and
fruit trees, Darjeeling is a collection of villages linked by steps and lanes so
steep that they appear to almost be built on top of each other.

The views are fantastic from here, looking down over the rivers below with
Mount Kanchenjunga in the background (the world's third highest mountain, and
the highest in India) - and on a very clear day even Mount Everest can be seen
in the far distance. For the very best view, take a pre-dawn excursion to Tiger
Hill, where on a clear day you can see the magnificent sunrise over the
Himalayas, which is definitely worth the early start.

The cool climate and slow pace of life here are an abrupt contrast to the rest
of India. It's a pleasant place to explore, with monasteries and tea plantations
to visit and Tibetan craft shops and markets to browse through.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today is a free day in Darjeeling to relax, enjoy the surrounding area and take part in some optional activities.

Activity  Approximate Cost
Take a scenic ride on the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway up to Ghoom, the highest train station in India INR 470
Visit the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre near Darjeeling, a home, hospital, and craft centre for Tibetans who have fled persecution and taken sanctuary in India Free
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Border Information: Exit India at Jaigaon, enter Bhutan at Phuntsholing.

This morning we will drive in locally-chartered jeeps from Darjeeling to the
Bhutanese border at Phuntsholing, where our local Bhutanese guide will be
waiting to receive us at the border gate. Your tour leader will collect all the
group's passports to get the visa process underway in order to save time in the morning.

In Phuntsholing we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (in jeeps and locally charted bus).
Accommodation
  • Hotel
This morning we will finalise our visas and then start our journey into Bhutan
with a drive in a locally-chartered bus from the warmer climes of Phuntsholing
up to the capital of Thimphu, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.

We will have time in the evening to take a stroll around Thimphu and start to
take in the atmosphere and culture of this beautiful country and its gentle way
of life.

In Thimphu we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours (in locally-chartered bus)

About Thimphu:
Thimphu is Bhutan's atmospheric and serene capital, wonderfully located in a lush valley surrounded by towering mountains. One of the world's smallest
capitals, it was only a loose collection of separate villages as recently as 1960, when it was decided by the King Jigme Darje Wangchuk to move the political base there from the ancient capital Punakha - its diminutive size gives it a unique charm and atmosphere, and it claims to be the only capital in the world that does not have traffic lights!

There are several highlights for visitors to this unique city - the stunning Changangkha Temple looms above the city and is traditionally a place
where new parents come to recieve the names for their new-borns from the
deity Tamdrin; the Memorial Chorten in the city centre, built to commemorate
king Jigme Wangchuk, is the most recognisable religious building in the country, and the spectacular bronze Buddha Dordenma statue in the hills near Thimphu is one of the most beautiful and ornate Buddha statues in the world.

The nearby Moitithang Takin Preserve is a wonderful natural conservation area for the rare takin mammal, endemic to this region of Bhutan.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today we will have a day in Thimphu for sightseeing. We will have an included
city tour from our local guides, including the Changangkha Temple, Memorial
Chorten and the Takin Reserve, and there will also be plenty of time for free
exploration and visiting the Thimphu markets.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
In the morning we will drive to the old capital Punakha, via the Dochu La Pass
at 3050m, where we will stop for a hot drink and to enjoy spectacular
panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. We will notice the change of
climate and vegetation as we approach the low-lying Punakha at
1250m altitude.

This afternoon we will visit the imposing Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great
Happiness). Built in 1637 CE, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rivers, the Po Chu and the Mo Chu. After this, we will take a pleasant walk for an hour or so across the terraced fields to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley).

In Punakha we will stay in a local farmhouse, where we will experience a
genuine slice of Bhutanese life and hospitality. The facilities here will be rather basic, but the accommodation is exactly how a typical Bhutanse family live, and the food is in no way adapted for tourists.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (in locally-chartered bus).

About Punakha:
Punakha is the old historical capital of Bhutan and was the site of the
coronation of the first king of unified independent Bhutan in 1907, Ugyen Wangchuk. It sits in a warm valley famous in Bhutan for its white and red rice cultivation.

Punakha is the site of the historic Punakha Dzong - known as the "Palace of
Great Happiness", the fortress was built in 1637 CE, making it the country's
second oldest and second largest dzong. Jacaranda trees grow around the
dzong, blooming with mauve flowers in the spring, and there is a unique
reconstructed cantilever bridge to enter the buiding.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today we drive to Trongsa, the gateway to central Bhutan at 2180m. Set amidst spectacular scenery, Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family, commands the eye from miles away. We can also visit Ta Dzong - the newly opened museum in the watchtower is dedicated to the Wangchuk dynasty, tells the stories of the Dzong and the valley, and features personal belongings of the kings and queens of Bhutan.

We then continue through some of Bhutan’s most beautiful landscapes to
Bumthang, an area of high valleys at 2580-3100m.

In Bumthang we will stay again in a local farmhouse with basic facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours (in locally-chartered bus).

About Bumthang:
The Bumthang region of eastern Bhutan is a lush, tree-covered valley, famous for its brightly-coloured woolen handicrafts called yethra. The culture of eastern Bhutan is quite distinctive, and contains its own set of languages and cultures. The town of Bumthang is dominated by the colossal Jakar Dzong that sits on a ridge overlooking the valley - with a circumference of 1,500 metres, Jakar is thought to be the largest in Bhutan. The name Jakar means "white bird", which refers to the myth that a roosting white bird signaled the location to found the monastery back in 1549 CE.
Accommodation
  • Farmhouse
We will spend today sightseeing in Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan, with its many legendary monasteries, temples and palaces. Bumthang is the collective name for an area of 4 valleys - Chokhor, Tang, Ura and Chhume.

Our guide will take us on a fascinating walking and/or driving tour of a variety of sacred sites including Jamba Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang. We can also visit Bhutan’s largest Dzong, Jakar, with its picturesque location overlooking the Chokhor valley.
Accommodation
  • Farmhouse
Today we drive to Gangtey at 2900m. On arrival we can enjoy the views of the immense and remote Phobjikha valley and the black mountain ranges.
We will visit Gangtey Gompa (one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries which has
recently been extensively renovated) and explore the valley where the villagers continue to live a traditional Bhutanese rural lifestyle. This is the site where black-necked cranes visit in their hundreds in November each year after spending the summer in Tibet.

In Gangtey we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (in locally-chartered bus).

About Gangtey:
Gangtey is a stunning area of Bhutan surrounded by the Black Mountain range and the glacial Phobjika Valley. The Gangtey Monastery is an important centre for the Nyingma branch of Buddhism, the oldest form of Tibetan Buddhism based on the very first translations of Buddha's teachings from Sanskrit into Old Tibetan in the 8th Century CE - interestingly, written Tibetan was created specifically for this purpose!

The monastery is also the site of a remarkable migration of black-necked
cranes, which arrive from Tibet to roost during October before returning in
early spring - on their arrival and return they are commonly observed to circle the monastery three times. Their arrival is marked with a special festival at the monastery.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today we will head out for a day walk in the valley known as the Shasila Trail. The trail is used by the people of Sha Ngawang and Chitokha to migrate between their summer and winter homes in Gangtey. It was also an important trail used by the Gangtey Truelku and his followers in the past while migrating between his winter residence in Sha Chitokha and Gangtey Gompa. The walk takes approximately 6 hours for casual trekkers to reach Kheylaykha from Phobjikha. This trail is especially recommended for bird lovers. Our transport will meet us at the road and take us back to Gangtey for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
This morning we will take a trek up to the hill-top village of Rinchengang and learn about its interesting history. After this we will continue our drive to Paro, where we will have an included visit to the impressive Paro Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture. In Paro we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (in locally-chartered bus).

About Paro:
Paro is a small town in the west of Bhutan, set in a stunning valley surrounding the ancient Rinpung Dzong - this fortress and monastery was built in the 17th Century as a defence against Tibetan invaders. Paro is most famous as the gateway to Bhutan's most iconic structure - the phenomenal Taktshang Monastery, commonly known as the Tiger's Nest Monastery, lies 10 kms from Paro clinging to the face of a sheer 1,000mhigh cliff. The trek up to the monastery from Paro is a beautiful 2 hour walk through forests along paths lined with colourful Buddhist flags, and coming around the final corner to get face-to-face with the monastery is an
unforgettable and breathtaking moment! The monastery is highly sacred to the Bhutanese, as they believe that the founder of Bhutanese Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche, flew here on the back of a tigress before meditating there for over 3 years, which gives the Taktshang its wonderful nickname! The monastery was founded here in 1692 CE.

Paro is also home to Bhutan's only international airport - the approach path to land or depart from Paro Airport snakes through several mountainous valleys and is known as one of the most spectacular and challenging airports in the world, so much that only a handful of pilots are currently certified to land at it! 
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today we take a day walk to the ‘Tiger's Nest’, the sacred Taktsang monastery which clings to the rock face 900m above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress, and subsequently meditated here for 3 months. It is one of Bhutan’s most holy sites and draws pilgrims not only from Bhutan but also from neighbouring Buddhist countries. We can have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria, from where we get a spectacular view of the monastery.


In the afternoon we will visit the ruined Drukgyel Dzong (Fortress of Victory),
constructed to commemorate the victory over Tibetan invaders in 1644 CE, and destroyed by a butter lamp fire in 1951. Nearby we will also visit the 7thCentury Kyichu Lhakhang, a temple of historical significance and one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Border Information: Exit Bhutan at Paro, enter Nepal at Kathmandu.

Today we will take a short flight from Paro to Kathmandu in Nepal. On arrival
we will have free time to explore the incredible city, soak up its atmosphere, and visit its historical sites. Please note: The flights between Bhutan and Nepal will be with Druk Air or Bhutan Airines - both airlines sometimes change their schedules at short notice. If this happens we will inform you of any itinerary changes as soon as possible.

About Kathmandu:
Kathmandu is the magnificent and evocative capital of Nepal - situated on the shores of the Bagmati river, it's a lively, bustling place where ancient collides with modern to create an exhilarating melting pot of sights, sounds and smells. Today's modern jumble of concrete buildings and busy streets has built up around the medieval old town, where wandering through the winding alleyways is like taking a step back in time. The heart of the old city is the magnificent Durbar Square, where Nepalese Royalty used to be crowned, and today it's a good spot to sit and watch the world go by. The buildings here date from the 17th and 18th Centuries, although many of the original structures were even older and many suffered from earthquake damage over the last few centuries. Other sights worth visiting are the Temple of the Living Goddess, the Royal Palace, the Pashupatinath Hindu temple, Boudhanath Buddhist stupa and Swayambunath (the Monkey Temple), all of which are set against the magnificent Himalayan backdrop. When all the sightseeing gets a bit too much, you can kick back and relax in the numerous cafes and bars around the tourist areas of Thamel and ‘Freak Street'.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Border Information: If you are finishing your trip in Kathmandu, you will most
likely exit Nepal at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code:
KTM). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Kathmandu. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Hotels, Homestays, Overnight Train
Meals
  • 11 Breakfast, 10 Lunch, 10 Dinner
Transport
  • 4x4 , Private bus , Train
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Kolkata and from Kathmandu are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 15 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 22 participants
Minimum Participants 4 people
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Kolkata/Kathmandu
image description
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland
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Good to know Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. For any departures within 16 June 2018 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    17 Apr 2018

  • Trip title

    Kolkata to Kathmandu (via Bhutan) Overland

  • Trip code

    HDOP

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2018 to 01 Dec 2018

  • Introduction

    Experience remote and picturesque parts of India and Bhutan on this incredible overland adventure. From India's cultural capital of Kolkata to the Bhutanese gem of Paro and only Kathmandu, journey through lush rice paddies, hilltop monasteries and stunning mountainous terrain. Friendly locals, beautiful vistas and character-packed destinations...who knew travelling in a truck could be so much fun? The mighty Himalayas and the Land of the Thunder Dragon are calling.

  • Style

    Basix

  • Themes

    Overland

  • Transport

    4x4,Private bus,Train

  • Physical Rating

    3

  • Physical preparation

    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. There are some high altitudes in places and many places where walking around for several hours is the only way to explore (e.g. The Great Wall of China, walking tours in Uzbekistan, exploring the historical sites of India, etc.).

    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.

    We will be travelling to areas in remote locations where medical assistance will not be available. If you have a medical condition such as a heart condition that would put you at risk, we would suggest that this is not the trip for you. Also, please be aware that should an emergency occur, there is likely to be a considerable delay in accessing medical care, and by joining our trip you accept this risk.

  • Finish point description

    Hotel Tibet is located close to the Royal Palace and walking distance to all major embassies, airline offices, banks, immigration office and the famous shopping centres of Thamel. It is only 8km from the Tribhuvan International Airport and has a panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding hills. Hotel Tibet is renowned for its hospitality and homey environment.

  • Group leader

    OUR DRAGOMAN CREW & GUIDES
    Our crew are passionate about travel and are always up for adventure. It takes someone special to become a Dragoman leader. Our crew undergo the most intensive training program of all the overland companies, spending 8 weeks learning the ropes at our base in Suffolk, UK, and then up to 6 months on the road as a trainee. Our crew are trained to manage and operate the trip safely and efficiently and their duties include: planning the trip according to the itinerary, driving and maintaining the truck, securing services of local guides, general logistics, health and safety, liaising with bureaucracy, dealing with issues where needed and offering advice and support to our customers. In addition they have a basic knowledge of the places visited and will be able to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman endeavours to provide the services of experienced crew, however, due to the seasonality of travel, situations may arise where your tour leader is new to a particular region or training other crew, new to the area.

    On all Dragoman overlanding trips, we usually have 2 western crew. However on our trips in East and Southern Africa we either have 2 western crew or 1 western crew and 1 local driver. On trips south of Nairobi 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 most other areas of Africa, the Americas, India and Turkey, in addition to our crew we will employ local guides in specific locations of interest (for just a few hours up to a few days). On the majority of our trips in Ethiopia, Sudan, Central Asia, China and South East Asia, in addition to our crew we will have a local guide on board who will travel with us for the entire duration of our time within one country. In these cases, the local guide becomes a third crew member and is able to offer their local knowledge as well as an insight into their country and the lives of the local people.

    Your crew have a duty of care to all members of the group and therefore they have the authority to ask you to leave the trip if you require serious medical assistance, you 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.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    MEALS & GROUP PARTICIPATION
    On an overland journey you are more than just an individual passenger - you're part of the team. You are expected to pitch in to set up camp, shop for food, cook and generally help out. As part of your trip you will be assigned a truck job which could be collecting water and firewood, sweeping out the truck, loading the back locker, etc. While camping on overland journeys, the meals are included in the kitty. This means that you will have to work together to cook for everyone in your group. You will be divided into smaller units of 3-4 people and take it in turns to cook for the whole group according to a rota system. When it is your group's turn to cook you will have to plan the meal, shop
    for the ingredients in local markets or supermarkets and then prepare the meal for the whole group. The secret to cooking for 20+ people using a basic camping kitchen is to keep it simple! (On trips south of Nairobi we have a cook on board the truck; however you will still be required to help them to prepare meals). An example of a typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, fruit and cereal as well as tea and coffee. When time allows it will also be possible to serve something hot such as eggs or pancakes. Lunch is almost always a sandwich heaped high with healthy salad and assorted fillings, with fruit to follow. Dinner might be a BBQ, risotto or 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.


    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
    If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking and tell your crew at your welcome meeting. Our crew will try to cater for any particular dietary requirement or food intolerance whenever possible. However, it must be remembered that it may not always be possible and the variety of dishes may be severely limited in comparison to those available to others. If there is anything in particular you require in your diet, that you would miss from home, or because of an allergy would miss out on, it would be best to bring this with you. Depending on your particular requirements, you may need to allow yourself some extra spending money to allow you to purchase
    extra food items.

  • A couple of rules

    A FEW RULES
    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 groups.

    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.

    Equally Dragoman will not tolerate any violence or threat of violence towards local people, other group members or any member of our staff. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession, if they use prostitutes, abuse children, use violence or threaten violence, without a refund of the trip price.

    We expect you 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.

  • Accommodation notes

    ACCOMMODATION ON TOUR
    Dragoman's overland trips are designed for shared accommodation, whether camping or staying in hotels or hostels, and therefore do not involve a single supplement. Whilst our crew will do their best to accommodate couples travelling together in twin rooms, all our travellers should expect to stay in multi-share accommodation when staying in hostels, gers or yurts.

    The type, variety and standard of accommodation will vary greatly depending on what options are available at the time; hotels can vary from very basic rooms without electricity or running water to high standard hotels with good facilities! Generally in hotels most rooms will be single sex, twin-share, but in South America many rooms are triple/ quad-share. Hostels, gers and yurts are nearly always multi-share and may be mixed sex. 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 wild camp away from the tourist crowds. Occasionally
    on some of our trips we are able to stay in villages or local homestays allowing us to get close to the indigenous population and ensuring that our money stays within the local community.


    PRE & POST ACCOMMODATION
    At Dragoman we believe you should make the most of the places you visit, so if you would like to see more of the 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 that 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.


    COUNTRY SPECIFIC NOTE - SOUTHERN INDIA
    For trips in Southern India that occur over Christmas and New Year please allow approximately USD160 extra on the kitty for seasonal increases in accommodation costs.

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

    WHO TRAVELS WITH DRAGOMAN?
    Our groups are made up of people from around the world, and are always an interesting mix of nationalities and ages. On average there is a pretty even split between 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 (or 7 on our Family Trips), as long as you are fit, healthy and passionate about travel, we are happy to take you, whatever your age is. One of the wonderful aspects of group travel is the camaraderie and
    friendships that are formed along the way, and the variety of people that you will meet.


    GROUP SIZE:

    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 Cuzco and during the Inca Treks. This means a group starting a trip in Cuzco will embark on the Inca Trail at the same time as a group finishing in or travelling through Cuzco. In practical terms this means there could be more than 22 group members in Cuzco and on the Inca Trail at the same time.

    Please note that there is also 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 a group starting their trip there. In practical terms this means there could be more than 22 group members in Zanzibar at the same time.

    Please also note that on some departures there may be more than one truck doing the same route. This means that you will be in the same hotel or campsite as another Dragoman group on some days. To ensure that you are not always at the same place at the same time as another group, your itinerary will most likely be slightly altered from the itinerary advertised in these trip notes.

  • Accommodation

    Hotels,Homestays,Overnight Train

  • Is this trip right for you

    There will be some long days on this adventure - up to nine hours in some cases. The scenery more than makes up for this. It's also a great way to get to know your fellow travellers.

    On the first night of the trip, you'll take an overnight sleeper train from Kolkata to Siliguri. While conditions are basic, this a typically authentic Indian experience and the perfect opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals.

    This trip requires a decent level of fitness, as there's a lot of hiking and walking involved. In some instances you may be hiking for up to six hours in a day. Please remember to bring sturdy walking shoes and drink plenty of water during your trek.

    Due to the high altitude of many of the places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

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