LONDON TO ALMATY OVERLAND

(via central Asian silk road)

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

 

Price: £3990 (2995 expedition payment + £995 local payment)

Length: 67 days

Accommodation: 70% camping, 30% hostels & guest houses

Transport: 100% overland truck

Average group size: 25 (min 15, max 40)

 

 

EXPEDITION OVERVIEW

A 67 day in-depth overland expedition from London to Almaty visiting highlights and natural wonders of 18 countries including UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

DEPARTURE DATES, AVAILABILITY & BOOKING

London to Almaty overland (via central Asian silk road)
Dep London
Arr Almaty
Availability
Booking
23 Jun 201328 Aug 2013YesBook now
22 Jun 201427 Aug 2014YesBook now
EXPEDITION MAP WITH HIGHLIGHTS

London-to-Sydney-Overland-via-silk-road


PROPOSED ITINERARY

Our proposed itinerary is here to give you a rough idea of where we will be going and what we will be doing during this expedition. This itinerary is the ideal route we would like to take providing all political, natural and ecological situations are acceptable during the time of our travels. Obviously things can change while we are travelling and if we have to avoid a certain area on this route it is usually easily achieved.

 

DAY 1 – 11, EUROPE

 

Our expedition begins in Hammersmith, London, and after a short ferry crossing over the English Channel we are in France and on the European continent. Our first 2 days are spent driving through France, Belgium and Luxembourg before arriving in Germany where we visit the sobering WWII concentration camp of Dachau.

 

We continue on to Salzburg in Austria, birthplace of Mozart, where you have a day to explore this beautiful city or hike up a nearby mountain affording stunning views over the Austrian Alps.

 

In Hungary we start to notice a change as Western Europe begins to fade. A goulash in Budapest is a tasty treat on a day out exploring the city’s wonderful architecture and a boat trip on the Danube River is a great way to take it all in.

 

In Romania we visit Dracula’s Castle, perched high in the Transylvanian mountains before heading down to the capital Bucharest where you can visit the world’s second largest building – the Romanian Parliament House.

 

In Bulgaria we camp near the stunning town of Veliko Turnovo where you can visit the impressive Tsaravets Fortress before we cross over the rolling green foothills of the Balkans heading for Turkey.

 

DAY 12 – 22, TURKEY

 

Istanbul, the city that separates Europe from Asia has it all, and you will revel in the history and culture it offers. Take a boat trip up the Bosphorous, marvel at the Aya Sofya and explore the opulent Topkapi Palace. At the end of the day soak your aches away in the Turkish baths and tantalise your taste buds with Turkish delights!

 

The battlefields of Gallipoli are our next stop where we pay tribute to the thousands of Aussies, Kiwis, Brits and Turks who lost their lives here in 1915. A truly moving experience.

 

Historic Troy is an interesting stop on our way down the Turquoise coast to the great Roman ruins of Ephesus. Here we camp on the beach and have a day to explore the ruins as well as enjoy our first swim in the clear blue sea.

 

Inland on the plateau we reach the fairy-tale wonderland of Cappadocia with spectacular canyons, ancient caves and underground cities carved into the geologically diverse land. Belly dancing is a big affair up here and so is the local drink ‘Raki’, be warned!

 

We now head north up to the Black Sea coast where we visit the awe-inspiring Sumela Monastery and marvel at the Byzantine frescoes in an amazing cliff-face setting before continuing along the coast towards Georgia.

 

DAY 23 – 33, GEORGIA & ARMENIA

 

Our first stop in Georgia is at the almost completely intact Roman fortress of Gonio with its 18 magnificent towers and ancient bath-house. Close by we pass through Batumi, Georgia’s Black Sea resort town, and get a first taste of the relaxed Georgian hospitality.

 

We continue eastwards to Kutaisi, Georgia’s second city and one of the world’s most ancient, where you can explore the Bagrati Cathedral, the History Museum and the Old Jewish district. That night we bush-camp near to Sataplia Nature Reserve, home to magnificent caves and the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks.

 

We now head south to Armenia and its capital city Yerevan where you have a couple of days to explore the museums, churches, markets and restaurants that make Armenia such a delight.

 

Further south we visit the ancient monastery of Khor Virap with it’s wonderful location beneath Mt. Ararat before heading to the turquoise waters of Lake Sevan where we bush-camp on the lakeshore.

 

We now wind our way north through the lush valleys of Dilijan and the arid northern mountain ranges visiting numerous fabulously located monasteries before returning to Georgia.

 

Georgia’s capital city is Tbilisi and is the beating heart of the country where we have a day or two to wander the cobbled streets of the old town, visit the numerous historical churches, museums and fortresses and of course indulge in the fine dining options on offer.

 

A trip to Georgia would not be complete without a trip up the Military Highway to the beautifully located town of Kazbegi situated within a stunning mountain range close to the Russian border. Hiking is the most popular activity here and the hour long trek up to the spectacular monastery is well worth the effort as too is the overnight trek to the glacier.

 

DAY 34 – 38, AZERBAIJAN

 

Our first stop is at Sheki, a lovely town nestled into a beautifully forested valley. Famed for their silk production the town was an important stop on the ancient Silk Route and is also home to the beautiful Khan Palace and a wonderful old caravanserai which we call home for the night.

 

A day’s drive east we reach the Caspian Sea and camp at the bizarre mud volcanoes which bubble and spurt away on a nearby hilltop. Close-by we can also visit ancient petroglyphs depicting what life was like here hundreds of years ago.

 

Our last stop here is the cosmopolitan city of Baku, the centre of the country’s oil production. A couple of days are easily enjoyed exploring the city’s old town filled with mosques, museums, galleries and palaces while we negotiate a fare on the ferry to take us over the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan.

 

DAY 39 – 43, TURKMENISTAN

 

Our first night here will be spent at the port town of Turkmenbashi, a lively place and great introduction to the Turkmen people.

 

Our journey east through the desert holds an intriguing stop for us at the very unique Kow Ata underground lake where you have the option to enter a cave and descend 65m to a naturally heated lake for a pleasant subterranean swim.

 

We continue on to Geok-Depe, site of the Turkmen’s last stand against the Russians, and today home to the futuristic Saparmurat Hajji Mosque which also contains the mausoleum of the eccentric ex-president Niyazov.

 

The capital city Ashgabat is close-by where it seems the current president is using the country’s wealth to build an entire city out of white marble – you have to see it to believe it! Bring your sunglasses as exploring the city’s parks and palaces is a brilliant experience.

 

Heading north into the blistering heat of the Karakum (black sand) Desert we visit the Tolkuchka Bazaar, a vast market  where you can buy everything from camels to car parts! It is also in this desert that we camp in the dunes and have the opportunity to take a 2 hour walk to the unusual Dravaza Gas Craters. More commonly referred to as the ‘Gates of Hell’ this burning crater makes for a surreal desert experience and is best viewed at night.

 

Leaving the harsh desert behind our last stop is at the ruins of Konye-Urgench, once the centre of the Islamic world.

DAY 44 – 49, UZBEKISTAN

 

The perfectly preserved world heritage town of Khiva is our first stop here where we have time to explore ancient mosques, mausoleums, palaces, minarets and bazaars that make this town a highlight.

 

We continue to Bukhara, Central Asia’s holiest city where it is possible to get a glimpse into the past by viewing the architectural preserve of the medres, royal fortress and vast market complex.

 

Our journey now takes us through the Kyzylkum (red sand) desert where we have a chance of spotting the Uzbek nomads before arriving at the Silk Route city of Samarkand. This city of domes and minarets has some fantastic attractions including the beautiful Registan, Guri Amir Mausoleum and Bibi-Khanym Mosque.

 

DAY 50 – 58, TAJIKISTAN

 

With a cool backdrop of mountains, lazy tree-lined avenues and pastel-hued neoclassical buildings, Dushanbe is Central Asia’s best-looking capital and is our first taste of this little-known country.

 

Our journey east now takes us to an area that has been off-limits to travellers until recently – the Pamir Highway. Regarded as one of the world’s most scenic drives we now wind our way along this extremely remote high-altitude road and take in the high altitude mountain scenery of a region populated by yurts and yaks and studded with deep-blue lakes. This is wild-camping at its best!

DAY 59 – 66, KYRGYZSTAN

 

This is a land of magnificent mountains and ice-blue lakes where our first visit is to the ancient town of Osh where we get to visit the bustling Jayma bazaar and Solomon’s Throne, an important place of Muslim pilgrimage.

 

We continue on to the alpine lake Song-Kol where we camp on the green pastures surrounding the lake. Yurt-stays are also possible here and hiking and fishing are popular activities.

 

We now head for the beautiful lake Issyk-Kol, the world’s second largest alpine lake. Working our way around the lake we spend a couple of days at Jeti Orghuz where you have the option of trekking into the lush surrounding mountains to explore the area’s natural beauty.

 

Next, bizarre Bishkek is the capital where you can sing Karaoke at a street stall, beat yourself with a birch branch at the local baths and do vodka shots at the expats bar.

DAY 67, KAZAKHSTAN

 

The world’s ninth biggest country is one of its last great travel unknowns where our expedition ends at the country’s economic hub – Almaty. Here we bush camp in a nearby National Park, giving you the option to visit the city’s cosmopolitan highlights and/or explore the Tian Shan mountains on a day hike from our camp.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
BOOKING & PAYMENT

 

How to book

 

To make a booking please Book a Trip then fill in our online booking form and click ‘Submit Form’. Then pay a £300 deposit by direct deposit or cheque and your booking is confirmed. Once we receive your online booking form and deposit we will create a personal account for you and email you the login details. You will then be able to access your account anytime using the Client Login area on our website allowing you to view all the information pertaining to your expedition, such as payments made, balance owing, what to bring, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance and other pre-departure information.

 

Expedition payment

 

The Expedition Payment £2995 is the main bulk payment for your expedition and is payable in the U.K. in GBP (£ Sterling). In order to reserve a place on this expedition you must pay £300 as a deposit. The balance of your expedition payment (£2695) must then be paid in full at least four months prior to the expedition start date. The expedition payment can be paid by direct deposit or cheque.

 

Direct deposits:

 

NOTE: Please use your full name as a reference when paying by direct deposit.

 

If you are paying from within the UK please pay direct deposits into the following account:

 

 

Bank: HSBC

Account name: Madventure Limited

Sort code: 40-08-10

Account number: 91618415.

 

If you are paying from outside of the UK please pay direct deposits into the following account:

 

Bank: HSBC

Account name: Madventure Limited

IBAN : GB74MIDL 400810 91618415

Swift/BIC MIDLGB22

Bank address: HSBC Bank, 6 High Street, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 5AZ, UK.

 

 

Cheque:

 

Please make cheques payable to ‘Madventure Limited’ and send to the following address:

 

Madventure Limited

93 Lashford Lane

Dry Sandford

Abingdon

OX13 6EB

United Kingdom

 

 

Local Payment

 

This is a cash payment of £995 that must be paid to your expedition leader at the beginning of your trip.

 

The local payment is the cash fund that will be used while you are on the road, i.e. to pay for camping, hotels, food, ferry and train tickets, entrance fees to included National Parks etc.

 

Please bear in mind that this is not a kitty and is not refundable.

 

Although all local payment amounts are advertised in GBP Sterling, depending on which expedition you are joining, you may be asked to bring the equivalent GBP amount in either Euros or US Dollars.

 

 

PERSONAL BUDGET & TRAVEL MONEY

 

Personal budget

 

We recommend a budget of £60 – £90 per person per week to live comfortably during this expedition. This budget should cover day to day things like lunches, snacks, soft drinks, meals when not camping, the odd few beers, etc.

 

Budget approximately £650 for your visas, security clearances and letters of invitation.

 

Souvenirs are something that can be very cheap or very expensive so if you are going to be buying things like Persian carpets you should budget for it.

 

Please also have a look at our Optional Excursions list as you may want to budget for a few of those activities too.

 

Travel money

 

We recommend you bring half of your money in cash and half of your money on your Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card.

 

With your cash we suggest you bring Euros or US Dollars. They generally accept all major currencies for exchange but to be safe you may want to bring along a bit of each.

 

When travelling on our vehicles there is a safe for you to lock away your cash, credit cards and passports but for times when you are away from our vehicle we recommend you bring along a money belt to carry these valuables items.

 

ATM’s are widely available for you to draw local currency using your Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card, except in Turkmenistan where you will have to exchange cash for local currency.

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED & WHAT’S NOT

 

We realise that not everyone is going to visit every ruin, raft every river and hike every trail along the way so we have left most of these activities as optional and therefore kept the payment to a minimum.

Included

 

  • Services of your expedition leader and driver
  • Use of our own custom-built expedition vehicle and equipment
  • Diesel, mechanics, shipping and any other costs relating to the vehicle
  • Ferry tickets (when travelling as a group)
  • An average of 2 meals a day while camping (usually breakfast and the evening meal)
  • All accommodation costs (approx. 70% camping, 30% hostels/guest-houses)
  • National Park entry fees when we enter as a group with our vehicle

 

Not Included

 

  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal spending money (£60 – £90 per week recommended)
  • Visas (£650 approx.)
  • Lunches
  • Meals while staying in hotels/hostels/guest houses
  • Accommodation upgrades
  • Entrance fees to optional sites and parks
  • Any optional activities
  • Any unforseen contingency route expenses
  • Any flights
  • Tents


OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS

 

Below is a list of the most popular optional excursions along with the most recent prices. Prices can of course change and are not controlled in any way by Madventure so please use the list below as an approximate guide only.

All approximate costs are in GBP (£)

 

Europe
Dacchau concentration camp, Germany Free
Cable Car to Buda Hills viewpoint, Budapest, Hungary £5
Outdoor Thermal Baths (all day pass), Budapest, Hungary £10
Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle), Brasov, Romania £5
Tsarevets Fortress, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria £1
Turkey
Aya Sofya, Istanbul £4
Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) Istanbul Free
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul £4
Troy Ruins, Troy £8
Ephesus Ruins, Selcuk £10
Pammukale Thermal Baths, Pammukale £20
Illhara Valley Walk £3
Ballooning, Cappadocia £120
Zelve Monastery, Goreme £3
Turkish Night, Goreme £22
Derinkuyu Underground City, Cappadocia £8
Sumela monastery £5
Georgia
Gonio fortress, Batumi £2
Sataplia NP, Kutaisi £5
Bagrati Cathedral Free
Armenia
Modern art museum, Yerevan £5
Yerevan guided night city tour Free
Azerbaijan
Khan Palace entry, Sheki £4
Palace of the Shiranshas, Baku £2
Carpet museum, Baku £3
Mud volcanos, Caspian Sea Free
Petroglyphs, Caspian Sea £4
Turkmenistan
Kow Ata underground lake swim
Saparmurat Hajji Mosque
£10
Free
Darvaza gas crater Free
Konye Urgench ruins Free
Uzbekistan
Khiva highlights pass £12
Registan entrance fee, Samarkand £6
Tajikistan
Pamir Highway Free
 
Kyrgyzstan
Yurt stay (per night), Song Kol £7
Horse riding, Song Kol (per hour) £2
Hiking, Jeti Orghuz Free
Kazakhstan
Almaty city tour £10
VEHICLES & EQUIPMENT

We will be travelling in a purpose-built Madventure overland vehicle 100% of the time on this expedition. A standard bus simply wouldn’t be able to tackle many of the roads we travel on.

 

The overland vehicle you travel on will depend on the group size. Among the vehicles we currently use are Scania and Mercedes 4×4’s, 6×6’s, 6×4’s and 8×4’s. Our vehicles can accommodate between 24 to 40 passengers.

 

Comfort and safety is of course a big factor during expeditions of this length and nature so our all our vehicles have high-backed coach seats with safety belts. The seating is on the upper level of the vehicle giving you an almost 360° view of the surrounding scenery.

 

Our vehicles are designed to allow sufficient luggage storage and are also equipped with lockers to keep all your all your gear safe.

 

Our vehicles also have a hidden communal on-board safe for you to lock away your money and passports. Our 2 key system ensures no-one person ever has access to the safe thereby ensuring complete peace-of-mind for all travelers.

 

Our long range diesel and water tanks ensure our self sufficiency in remote areas and the equipment we take with us is also of vital importance. In case of a breakdown we are equipped with a good selection of spare parts as well as a comprehensive tool kit to undertake any necessary repairs on our own as and when we need to.

 

There may also be times when we get stuck in the sand or mud when travelling off road so all necessary recovery equipment such as sand mats, cables, ropes, shovels and pick axes are also on board.

 

As most of our cooking is done on wood fires where possible and gas when it isn’t, we take along good axes and saws and on some expeditions even a chainsaw, which comes in really handy should we ever need to cut down trees to clear a path or build a bridge.

 

We usually carry between 400 and 800 litres of treated drinking water and we are equipped with a good kitchen which includes all cutlery, plates, cups, pots and pans, utensils, gas cooker, BBQ grate, etc.

 

Comfortable fold up chairs are provided for outdoor seating and we also have a large tarpaulin for those rainy days.

 

Our vehicles have a 12V and a 240V power supply for charging any of your personal travel equipment such as cameras, laptops, batteries, etc.

 

We carry solar showers and a toilet tent with us for those times when we are bush camping without amenities.

 

We carry a comprehensive first aid kit for emergencies but we do recommend you bring your own for general use.

 

FOOD & COOKING

 

Eating well is a very important factor on our expeditions and good food is vital for everyone’s health and well-being so we always strive to prepare healthy, wholesome and plentiful meals.

 

We will be cooking a lot of meals from our own kitchen on the truck. When we are camping we usually eat breakfast and the evening meal from the truck. For lunch we usually stop at a cheap local restaurant giving you a chance to taste the local fare too. Lunches are at your own expense. When we are staying in hostels/hotels (usually in cities) it is often impractical to cook on the truck so we do not provide any meals at these times.

 

When it comes to shopping and cooking we will divide ourselves up into groups of 3 or 4 people (depending on group size) who will shop for and prepare the days meals and clean up at the end. This will work out that you roughly get to cook once a week (depending on numbers).

 

Fresh food is generally available daily so we try and eat meat and vegetables for every main evening meal. We do also cater for vegetarians but we cannot cater for fussiness. In these group situations everybody must appreciate we cannot cater for individual likes and dislikes.

 

Don’t worry if you are not a gourmet cook as the truck has a Madventure recipe book with a list of meals that are suitable for overland cooking, ie. the type of food that is available and affordable, cooking for groups, cooking on fires etc., and your crew are also always there to give advice.

 

Cleanliness plays an important role throughout this expedition and your crew will make sure an acceptable level of general hygiene is maintained throughout your journey to ensure the well-being of the group.

 

ACCOMMODATION

 

You will spend 70% of your time on this expedition in your tent camping and 30% of your time staying in local hostels, hotels and guest houses.

 

Quite often we will camp by ourselves out in the bush or in the desert and other times we will use designated camp sites with amenities. The majority of our bush camp locations are usually very scenic and we always strive to find the perfect spot on the banks of a river, overlooking a canyon, behind a dune in the desert, etc. but sometimes we just have to camp wherever we can find a spot.

 

From past experience on expeditions of this length and nature we have found that people prefer to supply their own tents as they are then not forced to share and they can pick a tent that suits their needs. As a general rule, try and choose a good quality lightweight and waterproof free-standing tent that is easy to erect, take down and carry.

 

When we are not camping (usually in cities) we always try to use decent, clean budget hostels, hotels and guest houses, however, taking into consideration the sometimes unpredictable nature of this expedition and the remoteness of some of the areas we visit, please be aware that in some circumstances we just have to take what we can get – good or bad. When staying in hostels/hotels/guest houses you can expect to share your room with other expedition members of both sexes.

VISAS & PASSPORTS

 

Below is general information and recommendations regarding visas and passports. Visas are ultimately your own responsibility to obtain and visa requirements may vary according to your nationality and place of application, so use the information below as a guide only. Madventure Ltd. is in no way responsible for obtaining your visas or passports.

 

We recommend you obtain the following visas before departure – Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. All other visas can be obtained en-route. You can either obtain these visas yourself or use the services of a visa agency such as www.thevisamachine.com

 

Note: Those who are travelling on non-European passports may require additional visas to travel through Europe so please check your requirements with the relevant embassies.

 

Note: Some nationalities may also require Letters of Invitation in order to apply for certain visas. Visa agencies like www.thevisamachine.com can often provide these for you for a fee.

 

Approximately 14 weeks prior to departure you will be sent the information required in order to complete your applications and apply for your visas (there are time restrictions on each visa so you can not apply earlier). We recommend that you make your passport available for all of the 12 weeks before departure in order to obtain all your visas comfortably.

 

Budget approximately £650 for all your visas and Letters of Invitation.

 

Please ensure you have 10 free pages in your passport in order to accommodate all the visas and ensure your passport is valid for at least 1 year after your departure date.

 

You will need approximately 10 passport photos for the duration of the expedition.

VACCINATIONS & MEDICAL

Vaccination requirements are constantly changing so we recommend you seek the latest professional medical advice at least 8 weeks before departure to ensure you allow yourself enough time to obtain all necessary vaccinations. Nomad Travel’s website has up-to-date information on vaccinations, malaria and other general medical advice for all the countries we will be visiting and they also administer vaccinations at their Travel Clinics in various locations within UK.

 

http://www.nomadtravel.co.uk/pages/worldwide-country-advice

 

Alternatively speak with your local Health Professionals for current accurate information. You will need to make an appointment with your GP or Travel Clinic and take a list of the countries you are visiting and the approximate dates when you will be there.

 

Medically fit and able

 

You need to be in good general health for this expedition and be reasonably fit and able. The main concern is that everyone is able to pitch in equally and do their fare share when it comes to group activities like the communal cooking and cleaning up, packing gear in and out of the truck, erecting your own tent, etc. You do not need to be super-fit by any means and all ages are welcome. We always attract a very broad age range on these expeditions, from people in their 20’s through to people in their 60’s.

 

Please inform us of any medical conditions that you have before departure so that your crew know how to deal with a medical situation if it should arise. All information will be kept confidential unless you request us to inform your fellow travelers. For example, it may be wise to inform fellow travelers if you are allergic to something like bee-stings so they know what to do if you get stung.

 

First aid kit

 

We carry a comprehensive first aid kit aboard the vehicle but it is recommended that you bring your own basic first aid kit for general use.

 

Many of our clients get their first-aid kits from Nomad Travel www.nomadtravel.co.uk who have stores in various locations across UK

TRAVEL INSURANCE

 

It is compulsory that every person who travels with Madventure obtain travel insurance for the complete duration of the expedition. Proof of travel insurance must be shown before joining an expedition.

 

There are various travel insurance companies to choose from and a Google search will bring up a vast selection but for clients who are resident in UK we recommend a London based company named Campbell Irvine, www.campbellirvine.com, tel. 020 7938 1734. Speak with Anthony Kaye at Campbell Irvine as he is familiar with what we do, so mention our name and the expedition you are travelling on and he will provide excellent cover for you.

 

If you choose to obtain your travel insurance through another company please ensure you read the small-print and make sure you are covered for Medical Repatriation.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

1. A deposit of £300 is payable at the time of booking. The deposit is non-refundable unless Madventure Ltd. is unable to offer the client a place or the client cancels within 14 days of the initial booking date after receiving the pre-departure information within the Madventure Client log in area.

 

2. A booking is made in the name of the client and is not transferable to another person. You are only permitted to transfer your deposit once to a future expedition, after that a further £300 non-refundable deposit will be required. Please note that you will be affected if you have transferred and there is a price increase as you will have to pay the ‘current expedition price’ at the time that the expedition balance payment is due.

 

3. The balance of the expedition payment is due no later than 12 weeks before the date of departure. If the full payment is not received 12 weeks prior to departure Madventure Ltd. may deem the booking cancelled and the deposit forfeited.

 

4. Cancellation of a booking must be notified in writing and when received by Madventure Ltd. the deposit is forfeited. The client acknowledges that payment for the trip is an intrinsic part of the trips income and contributes towards the overall costs of equipment, vehicle running costs, staff administration etc. and Madventure Ltd. will have incurred a large part of its costs before the actual departure date. You will not receive a refund of any amount after the balance of your expedition has been paid (which is due no later than 12 weeks prior to the expedition departing), nor are you able to transfer to another expedition therefore we recommend you take out your travel insurance from the date you make your expedition balance payment, 12 weeks prior to departure, so you are insured if you have to withdraw off the trip. If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy you may be able to reclaim these charges but it is your sole responsibility to do so and we accept no liability for any acts or omissions of your insurance company.

 

5. It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your trip, but we do plan all trips many months in advance. Occasionally, we may have to make changes and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most of these changes will be minor and we will advise you of them at the earliest possible date. We also reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your trip. For example, if the minimum number of clients required for a particular trip is not reached, we may have to cancel it. We also reserve the right at any time prior to the departure date without prior consultation with you to notify you in writing that the trip will be merged with one or more other trips travelling at the same time.  This will not constitute a major change. However, we will not cancel your trip less than 60 days before your departure date, except for reasons of Force Majeureor failure by you to pay the final balance. If we are unable to provide the trip, you can either have a refund of all monies paid or accept an offer of an alternative trip of comparable standard from us, if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). It is understood that a minimum of 15 expedition members are required to run any Madventure Ltd. expedition and less than that may result in the cancellation of the expedition. In the event of this happening, all monies paid by the client towards the Expedition Cost only will be refunded. Madventure Ltd. is not responsible for reimbursing equipment, flights, cost of visas, vaccinations and medication etc. purchased by the client in the event of a cancellation.

 

6. Force Majeure – This means that we will not pay you compensation if we have to cancel or change your trip in any way because of unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control. These can include, for example, war, riot, industrial dispute, terrorist activity and its consequences, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, epidemics or health risks, closed or congested airports, ports or stations, poor local infrastructure, changes imposed by re-scheduling or cancellation of transport by the transport supplier such as flights by airlines or main charterer, the alteration of transport or transport types, adverse weather conditions (actual or threatened), avalanche and technical failure with transport, Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice changing and advising against travel to the trip destination.

 

7. The trip cost and local payment cover transport, some relating ferry and train tickets and accommodation, meals and national park entry fees as specified on the website as well as the repair and replacement of camping equipment including stools, cooking equipment & utensils.

 

8. The expedition leader has sole responsibility for the local payment. Madventure Ltd. guarantees not to increase the trip price once the deposit has been received. Any Local Payment monies or stock remaining at the trip end are non-refundable.

 

9. The client undertakes to comply with the laws and regulations, whether in respect of health, immigration, currency exchange control or any other matter of all the countries visited during the expedition.

 

10. The client undertakes to obtain a valid passport and have enough blank pages in the passport for the trip and your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your responsibilityand you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. We do not accept any responsibility and shall not be liable if you/the participant cannot travel or cannot participate in any part of the trip because you/the participant have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. For full information on any passport or visa requirements, see the UK Passport Office website – www.passport.gov.uk  You are responsible for obtaining and having available the necessary documents (including but not limited to full, current passport with enough blank pages to complete the trip and valid for at least 9 months from the last day of the trip and visas for all periods, countries and territories within the trip) enabling you to participate in the trip and shall comply with all local legislation and regulations of the countries in which the trip takes place (including immigration requirements, customs regulations and currency exchange). You shall indemnify us against any loss or expense that we may incur or suffer as a result of breach of this condition by you.  We cannot guarantee visa prices and availability of visas. Ultimately visas are the clients own responsibility to obtain.

 

11. Madventure Ltd. reserves the right to deviate from the advertised expedition route if in their reasonable opinion such deviation is necessary for the safety or wellbeing of any or any one of the members of the expedition or for the satisfactory progress of the expedition. In the event of it becoming necessary to fly over a country or countries in order to satisfactorily and safely continue the expedition, all costs of client’s flights will be borne by the client.

 

12. Madventure Ltd. accepts no responsibility for matters arising out of political disputes, border closures, epidemics, natural disasters, climate, armed robbery, terrorism etc. Should it become necessary to abandon an expedition because of such an event Madventure Ltd. will be entitled to retain such monies received as is necessary to cover costs incurred. Any excess will be refunded.

 

13. The client accepts that owing to the nature of countries visited, all expeditions involve an element of personal risk and are of a potentially hazardous and unpredictable nature. In many countries visited the basic infrastructure, such as roads, is very poor and therefore less safe than that familiar to people from many western countries. In particular, lack of road markings or warning signs, unmarked speed bumps, seasonal flooding of roads and bridges, local vehicles which are poorly maintained and driven and which are hazardous to other road users etc. are factors beyond the control of Madventure Ltd. The client accepts that in some areas we drive ‘off road’ and that this involves personal risk when the expedition vehicle can be negotiating rough terrain. Madventure owns and operates its own expedition vehicles and employs its own crew. Where stated, locally arranged transport and crew, including trains, ferries, buses or coaches are used. Where Madventure’s own vehicles and/or crew are not used for the above services, the client agrees that the obligation of Madventure to the client is to select normally competent, independent sub-contractors to provide the necessary services related to the trip and to exercise reasonable care in selecting such suppliers to provide these.

 

14. The client accepts that local emergency facilities are usually of a very limited nature. Hospitals outside of large cities often have no accident and emergency facilities and emergency transport facilities can be non-existent.

 

15. If you have a problem during your trip please inform the Expedition Leader immediately who will endeavour to put things right. If your complaint is not resolved locally please follow this up by writing to our registered office giving all other relevant information and, where possible, evidence. We must receive any such complaint not later than 28 days from the date of completion of your trip. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. This will assist us to quickly identify your concerns and speed up our response to you.   We do not accept any liability or responsibility for any personal possessions (including but not limited to cameras, jewellery, valuables and money) which is carried on or in our vehicles, carried on public transport or transport supplied by independent subcontractors, left in accommodation provided by us or our suppliers during a trip or left in our care during a trip; such items are carried and/or left at your own risk.

 

16. Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on trip are not part of your trip arrangements provided by us. For any excursion or other tour that you book your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator. Clients accept that the prices quoted for optional activities are approximate as local prices can and do change. Any of the optional activities listed are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by Madventure Ltd.  Clients also accept that they undertake any activity at their own risk & their participation is their own decision & does not form any part of their contract with Madventure Ltd.  Madventure Ltd. does not take responsibility for cancellations, unreliability of services or safety of operators, agents or contractors.

 

17. Whilst a trip is in progress you will (or where a parent or legal guardian has entered into this contract on behalf of a participant they will ensure that the participant will) act at all times in accordance with all reasonable instructions from us and/or the trip leader. We may exclude you/the participant from the trip or any part thereof at any time (including during the trip itself) if we are of the opinion that you (or the participant) are likely to prejudice the good order, discipline or safety of the trip, including as a result of you failing to comply with the trip leader’s instructions, breaking any law or regulation of any country where the trip takes place or you (or the participant) fail to adhere to the trip code of conduct, provided that we exercise our discretion reasonably in this regard. In such event you shall reimburse to us any reasonable costs, losses or expenses which we incur or suffer as a result of our decision to exclude you/the participant.

 

18. In the event of you/a participant being excluded from a trip under the provisions of this condition, no refunds will be given and we will not be responsible for and you agree to indemnify us against any costs arising including costs of repatriation e.g. flights and losses or expenses.

 

19. By completing the declaration on the booking form you confirm that you appreciate the risks involved in the trip and that you (or where you are the parent or legal guardian, the participant) do/does not suffer (or has ever suffered) from any pre – existing medical condition that may actively prevent you/them from actively participating in the trip other than those that have been declared to us.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you/the participant are medically fit enough to undertake the trip and to ensure that you have received the necessary inoculations and medications (and taken them as prescribed by your doctor) relevant to the destination country. Unless informed otherwise in writing we will assume that you are in good health and are not aware of any reason why you (or the participant) may be unsuited to taking part in the trip. We recommend that you/the participant consult your/their doctor before making a bookingto ensure that you/the participant are medically fit and are fully aware regarding the immunizations and medical issues related to your/the participant’s destination country. If you/the participant have any pre-existing medical condition, illness or disability, are undergoing medical treatment or, since entering into the contract, develop any medical condition, illness or disability or undergo any medical treatment; you will give us full particulars at the earliest opportunity and at the latest sixty (60) days before the departure date. If it is later discovered that a pre-existing condition was not declared within the specified time, and such condition would, if we had knowledge of it, have led to our refusal to accept or to cancel your booking, we reserve the right to withdraw you/the participant from the trip without any refund or recompense. In such event, you shall reimburse to us any reasonable costs, losses or expenses which we incur or suffer as a result. In the event of a participant being withdrawn from a trip, no refunds will be given and we will not be responsible for (and you agree to indemnify us against) any costs, claims, losses and expenses arising including costs of repatriation e.g. flights and legal expenses. By agreeing to these conditions, you provide your consent to us and our insurers obtaining your/the participant’s medical records should we consider it necessary. You will be responsible for any charges for the provision of the information. We reserve the right to inspect your/the participant’s vaccination book at any time and to withdraw you/the participant from the trip in the event that you/the participant have not received and/or taken all the requisite inoculations and/or medication. If the information provided by you is incorrect and we discover that the correct information affects your/the participant’s suitability to take part in the trip, we may terminate the contract and withdraw you/the participant from the trip without refund or recompense, including during the trip. In such event, you shall reimburse to us any reasonable costs, losses or expenses which we incur or suffer as a result. In the event of a participant being withdrawn from a trip, no refunds will be given and we will not be responsible for (and you agree to indemnify us against) any costs claims losses and expenses arising including costs of repatriation e.g. flights and legal expenses. You agree and acknowledge that certain activities undertaken whilst you are on the trip may be inherently hazardous and have risks associated with them. You agree to abide by all instructions given to you whilst you are on the trip and you acknowledge that we cannot be held responsible for any injuries that may arise as a result of you failing to comply with such instructions.

 

20. All participants must be covered by personal travel insurance. This must cover you fully against the cost of cancellation by you, medical care and repatriation should you become too ill to continue and must above all cover you against the cost of air evacuation should sickness or injury necessitate such a course of action. You should also note that passenger liability insurance covering vehicles, particularly in third world countries, may be inadequate; it is therefore important that your insurance cover makes sufficient provision for your dependants in the event of an accident. Please note however that we have no control over the availability or standard of medical and repatriation services and facilities in the areas we visit and these do not form any part of our contract with you. Please remember that many of the areas we visit are not as developed as the UK and the availability and standard of such services may well be lower. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you when you travel. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check individual insurance policies for suitability.

 

21. Data Protection – We shall ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to protect your/the participant’s personal data (as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998). When you make a booking, you consent to all the information you provide being passed on to our suppliers, agents, sub-contractors, employees or volunteers whether based inside or outside the European Economic Area for the purposes of our providing you with the trip.

 

22. Promotional Materials – By agreeing to these terms and conditions, you/the participant consent (unless otherwise stated on your application form) to our staff taking photographs and or video footage of you/the participant during the trip and that these images may be used by us for publicity and training purposes including, but not limited to, in brochures, websites, marketing material and in the media.

 

23. Discount – The 10% discount offer is only valid for bookings made after 01 August 2011 and is only valid for bookings made 6 months or more prior to the departure date and does not apply to any other special offer or discount offered.

 

24. Where relevant it is understood that on any Madventure expedition the section of the expedition that travels through EU countries, USA and/or Canada is provided to you free of charge. You will not have to pay any additional fee to travel through EU countries, USA and/or Canada with us but it is understood that we do not operate for hire and reward in these areas. We do this purely as a legality in order to operate our specialised overland vehicles in these areas legally.

 

25. General – We shall be entitled to novate or assign the contract or any part of it to any third party. You shall not be entitled to assign the contract or any part of it. This contract is made on the terms of these conditions, which are governed by English law, and subject to the provisions of condition you agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. If any of these conditions is found by any court or other competent authority to be wholly or partly unfair or unenforceable the validity of the rest of the booking conditions and the rest of the condition in question shall not be affected and shall remain valid and enforceable to the extent permitted by law. A reference in these conditions to a statute, convention or regulation shall be as a reference to that statute convention or regulation as amended, re-enacted or extended at the relevant time. The headings in these conditions are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation. Where the context otherwise requires, words importing the singular meaning shall include the plural meaning and vice versa and words denoting the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter genders. Where the context so admits, words denoting persons shall include natural persons, companies, corporations, firms, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, joint trips, trusts, voluntary associations and other incorporated and/or unincorporated bodies or other entities (in each case, whether or not having separate legal personality) and all such words shall be construed interchangeably in that manner.

 

In many countries we visit, the local vehicle accident insurance includes either very limited passenger liability or none at all. Madventure Ltd. has passenger liability insurance for some countries through which we travel but the client acknowledges that in many countries the expedition vehicle does not have the benefit of passenger liability insurance. The client agrees to indemnify Madventure Ltd. against any claim or demand made in respect of any accident, personal injury or loss of life caused to, contracted or suffered by the client during the course of the expedition.

 

26. If the expedition leader considers the actions or conduct of any client is likely to prejudice the safety or wellbeing of all or any members of the trip or satisfactory progress of the trip then he/she shall be entitled to order the client to leave the trip immediately with no refund of the trip price or local payment and all liability and responsibility that Madventure Ltd. may bear to the client will immediately cease, including any provision for alternative transport. The decision of the expedition leader will be final on all matters relating to the satisfactory progress, organization and wellbeing of the expedition. Clients must comply with all reasonable requests of the tour leader. If, in the opinion of Madventure Ltd. expedition leaders or directors, the health or conduct of a client at any time before or after departure appears likely to endanger the safe, comfortable or happy progress of a trip, the client may be excluded from all or part of the trip without refund or recompense. In the case of ill-health Madventure Ltd. may make such arrangements as it sees fit and recover the costs thereof from the client. If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the trip and Madventure Ltd. shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

 

27. The information given in the brochure and other literature supplied is given in good faith but no warranty is given that it is correct.

 

28. No servant, agent or authorized representative of Madventure Ltd. has authority to commit Madventure Ltd. to any liability whatsoever and Madventure Ltd. will not be bound by any statement or representation unless it is in writing and signed by one of the directors.

 

29. Your contract is with Madventure Limited, a company registered in England and Wales whose registered office is at 93 Lashford Lane, Dry Sandford, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX136EB (Company No’ 6809461 ).