This 27 week exploratory overland tour will break new ground as we become the first ever overland truck to visit the Gulf States of the Arabian Peninsula. Along the way you will get to explore iconic places such as the Great Wall, Potala Palace, Mt. Everest Basecamp, Pokhara, Tiger’s Nest Monastery, The Sundarbans, Taj Mahal, The Karakoram Highway, Isfahan, Dubai, Rub al Khali Desert, Jeddah, Petra & The Pyramids!
In total you will visit 15 countries on this madventure including China, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan & Egypt.
Please note that the 2023 trip is an exploratory tour so although we have done certain parts of the tour before we have not done all of the tour before, so be aware that there may be minor changes to the tour whilst en-route.
Price: £6995 Expedition Payment + $4000 Local Payment
Length: 190 days
Accommodation: 80% hotels, guest houses, hostels & boats, 20% camping
Transport: 90% custom-built Madventure overland truck, 10% local transport & jeeps
Age restrictions: none, all ages are welcome
Group size: 25 is average, minimum is 15, maximum is 36
Our proposed itinerary is here to give you an 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 and natural situations are acceptable during the time of our travels. Situations sometimes change during an expedition so please be prepared to take an alternative route in the event we encounter any problems. It’s all part of the adventure!
Please note that the 2023 trip is an exploratory tour so although we have done certain parts of the tour before we have not done all of the tour before, so be aware that there may be minor changes to the tour whilst en-route.
We meet at 0800 at our hotel in Beijing and after a quick briefing we climb aboard our truck and head directly to the iconic Great Wall of China where we spend our first day.
If you want to see more of Beijing’s sights such as Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City we recommend you arrive a couple of days prior to departure to give yourself time to explore. Beijing is an easy city to explore on your own.
The well-preserved ancient walled city of Pingyao is a step back in time where you have time to explore the atmospheric cobbled streets of this typically Chinese town.
Xian gives you the opportunity to visit the famous Terracotta Warriors and see the archaeologists at work uncovering new finds.
We have a night’s stop-over in Guangyuan before arriving into Chengdu where you have the opportunity to visit the Giant Panda Bear Breeding Research Center to get up close and personal with these adorable creatures.
In Leshan you have the option to visit the world’s largest stone Buddha, a UNESCO heritage site which has been carved out of a dramatic cliff face.
From here we continue towards the Himalayas and the fabulous land of Tibet!
Our first few days in Tibet are spent travelling through the Himalayas on one of the world’s most spectacular roads! Here you will discover a traditional side of Tibet as we pass through small Himalayan villages that tourists rarely visit.
Lhasa is the spiritual home of Tibet where we have a couple of days to explore the holy Potala Palace, the golden roofed Jokhang Temple and the spectacular Norbulingka Palace, all former residences of the revered Dalai Lama.
From Lhasa we travel along a beautiful road hugging the shores of lake Yamdrok Tso and visit the town of Gyantse where the Pelkhor Chode monastery houses Tibet’s largest stupa with 9 tiers, 108 chapels and excellent murals.
Joining up with the Friendship Highway we continue on to Shigatse where you have the chance to visit the marvelous Tashilhunpo Monastery.
Our next destination is definitely the ‘highlight’ of Tibet – Mt Everest! A snaking track makes it possible for us to drive up to base camp where you can get a stunning view of the north face. From here you can also send a letter from the world’s highest post box and visit the world’s highest Buddhist monastery.
Descending the Tibetan Plateau we now pass through remote villages as we head down towards the Nepal border. Keep an eye out for the rare Tibetan Macaque monkeys which are often found in this area.
Entering Nepal we spend our first 2 days winding our way down a rough Himalayan track before arriving into Kathmandu, a tourist hub steeped in history where the smell of incense hangs heavy in the air of the alleyways & squares adorned with pagodas & temples. The scenic flight over Mt Everest is also a must-do.
Heading west we reach Pokhara at the foothills of the Himalayas. This mellow little town is situated around a beautiful sheltered lake and surrounded by snow capped mountains. A great place to relax and/or gear up for a short trek into the stunning Annapurna range.
At our last stop in Nepal you have the option of visiting Chitwan National Park on foot or even on elephant back allowing you to explore the jungle in search of the rhinos, sloth bears & tigers that inhabit the area.
Leaving our truck in Siliguri we now take jeeps up narrow switchback roads into the Himalayas to explore the towns of Gangtok & Kalimpong where you have the opportunity to visit Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries, Royal palaces and an impressive zoo where you can see red pandas, Himalayan bears and even snow leopards roaming enclosures so large you will need patience to see them.
We continue to the town of Darjeeling set impressively on a steep ridge, surrounded by emerald-green tea plantations and towered over by the world’s 3rd highest peak Mt. Khangchendzonga.
Once out of the Indian Himalayas we collect our truck in Siliguri and continue our journey towards the peaceful land of Bhutan.
Bhutan is an exciting new destination in the world of overland travel and we will be pioneering a new route through here with our truck in 2021.
Our first night here is spent at Phuentsholing, Bhutan’s 2nd largest town, where we will get our first taste of a relaxed country where they measure their wealth by the ‘Gross National Happiness Index’.
After visiting the Kharbandi Gonpa Monastery we climb steeply into the Himalayas hugging the banks of the Wang Chu River and arrive at Paro where you will have the opportunity to hike up to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan’s most iconic site.
In the capital Thimphu you will have the chance to visit the King’s Memorial Chorten, the impressive 169ft Dordenma Buddha, the National Library containing the world’s biggest book and if we are lucky we will get a witness Bhutan’s national sport during an archery demonstration.
Our next stop is at the majestic Punakha Dzong, probably the country’s most beautiful structure. Nearby we also visit the temple of the Divine Madman in an area where phalluses are painted on most of the village walls and childless women come to seek blessings.
Our last night in Bhutan is spent at the border town of Gelephu before we exit back into Northeast India.
Back in India we transit across the state of Assam towards Bangladesh and break the journey up by visiting Shillong, a beautiful hill station surrounded by lakes with scenic hiking trails.
Please note that Bangladesh has in the past refused foreign vehicles entry even though they subscribe to a scheme that permits foreign vehicles entry, so if we are refused entry we will visit Bangladesh by local transport and the truck will transit around and meet the group at the border near Kolkata.
Sylhet is our first destination where you will have the opportunity to visit the fascinating Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal, a popular pilgrimage site from the 14th century. From Sylhet you will also have the option to visit the Ratargul swamp forest which is home to a large assortment of snakes & birds.
We continue to the capital Dhaka, the beating heart of Bangladesh where we spend a few days visiting sights such as the atmospheric Lalbagh Fort, the very pink Ahsan Manzil Palace & Old Dhaka’s incense-filled Hindu Street.
Upon leaving Dhaka we head down to the city’s famous Sadarghat Buriganga river area where we board a colonial Paddle Steamer affectionately known as a ‘Rocket’ and spend a night & day travelling down the waterways enjoying the riverine beauty of Bangladesh.
We get off the river at Hularhat and visit the open-air museum of Bagerhat, a medieval masterpiece with the multi-domed Shait Gumbad Mosque the crowning jewel.
From the town of Khulna you now have the option to take a 2 night/3 day boat tour into the Sundarbans National Park, the world’s largest mangrove forest home to over 400 Royal Bengal tigers, spotted deer, wild boar, monkeys & reptiles. This is often the highlight of any trip to Bangladesh!
From the Sundarbans we now head back towards India.
Kolkata (Calcutta) is an attack on the senses and a place where India & England collide. With an impressive display of colonial-era architecture including the impressive Belur Math religious centre, the white marble Victoria Memorial & South Park Street Cemetery this city can feel very English but the complex smell of Bengali street food and the constant beeping of tuk-tuk’s will remind you that you are in one of India’s largest & friendliest cities!
Our journey now takes us to Bodhgaya, the holiest of all Buddhist sites where Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment beneath a bodhi tree 2600 years ago and became Buddha. Here you have the chance to visit the temples, monasteries, statues and stupas dedicated to this significant event.
Varanasi is on the banks of the Ganges River where you have the option of an early morning boat trip that will definitely open your eyes. You will notice animal and human carcasses floating by as the multitudes flock down to this holy river to wash away their sins each morning. On shore the funeral pyres known as ‘Ghats’ burn day & night as holy men chant prayers. An unbelievable sight!
Lucknow is a grandiose town littered with exceptional Islamic and British Raj-era architecture, stuffed with wonderful bazaars and famed throughout India for its food. Here you will have the chance to visit the colossal Shiite tomb complex of Bara Imambara and marvel at the elaborate black & white Chota Imambara where Mohammed’s silver throne and red crown can be seen.
Our next destination is India’s most iconic site – the Taj Mahal. This monument to love is spectacular and will keep your camera clicking all day.
Delhi is the ultimate in hustle and bustle and facing the unrelenting throng of people is an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. Braving the city traffic has many rewards with great textile markets, wonderful monuments, imposing forts and amazing temples.
In Chandigarh we find one of the regions most intriguing attractions at Nek Chand’s Rock Garden where a local resident spent 20 years creating over 2000 sculptures out of the areas debris.
Our final stop in India is Amritsar where you have the opportunity to visit the legendary Golden Temple, the glittering centrepiece of Sikhism.
Nearby at India’s border with Pakistan at the end of every day you can witness a bizarre show of competitive military marching & chest beating as these 2 great nations lower their flags and close the border.
Lahore is a blend of modern city chaos & historical tranquility where you have the option to explore the Old Walled City’s impressive Lahore Fort, get the perfect sunset picture at Badshahi Mosque and wander through the galleries of the superb Lahore Museum.
After a short stop at the imposing Rohtas Fort we arrive in Rawalpindi where a highlight is a visit to the truck workshops where you can watch artists decorate local vehicles with the vibrant art that typifies Pakistani road transport. We also have an evening here to sample traditional Pakistani cuisine.
We now start our drive along the spectacular Karakoram Highway and follow the alpine Kaghan Valley route into Lulusar-Dudipatsar National Park where keen hikers have the option to do an 18km day trek to Dudipat Lake which is spectacularly encircled by snow-clad peaks.
The road winds its way past the impressive Lulusar Lake and continues over Babusar Pass (4170 m) before dropping down to Raikot Bridge where we swap our truck for jeeps small enough to take us along the narrow roads to the beautiful Fairy Meadows offering unsurpassed views of Nanga Parbat (8120 m). Here we have a free day for hikers to explore the area on foot.
Our jeeps now take us along the scenic Astore Valley to the tiny village of Tarishing on the opposite side of Nanga Parbat from where you have the option to trek to Herrligkoffer base camp.
Travelling through the high altitude Deosai National Park we have the chance of spotting brown bear, marmot, fox & ibex on the world’s 2nd highest plateau before arriving at Satpara Lake and its famous rock carved Buddha.
From our base in the town Skardu we have a day to explore the fertile Shigar valley and visit the Amborik Mosque and Shigar Fort. A hike up to Khorpocho Fort at sunset will give you an impressive view over the town.
The lively town of Gilgit is situated amongst spectacular peaks offering us an amazing view of Rakaposhi (7780 m) as well as a first taste of Hunza cuisine and it is here that we rejoin our Madventure truck and say goodbye to the jeeps.
The quaint town of Karimabad is a real gem in this area from where you can visit Altit & Baltit forts, hike up to Eagles Nest for an incredible view of the surrounding 7000 metre peaks as well as take a trip to the nearby village of Duiker for a sunset view of the stunning Hunza Valley.
We continue north along the world’s highest paved road to Sost where we will seek permission to travel to the iconic Chinese border gate at Khunjerab Pass, the highest border in the world. Please note that this is a sensitive area and permission is never guaranteed but we will do our best.
We now start our return journey back down the KKH and visit Passu where you have the opportunity to hike alongside the Passu Glacier to reach a beautiful viewpoint. Nearby the Hussaini Suspension Bridge offers a thrilling walk high above a raging river to anyone who dares cross!
Our route south now takes us to Lake Attabad which was formed by a massive landslide in 2010 and is now considered by locals to be the bluest lake in the world.
During the next couple of days of our descent down the KKH we will stop at the junction of the world’s 3 highest mountain ranges (Himalayas, Karakoram & Hindu Kush), visit over 700 petroglyphs near Chilas and stop off at Taxila (City of Cut Stone) for a wander around this 3000 year old archaeological site.
In the modern city of Islamabad you have the chance to explore attractions such as the beautiful Shah Faisal Mosque, the national Pakistan Monument & cultural Lok Virsa Museum.
Heading west towards Iran we now enter the arid tribal lands of the Balochistan desert where our journey is broken up with a visit to the frontier town of Quetta, a melting pot of cultures where we have a day to explore the markets & meet some of Pakistan’s friendliest people.
Please note that British, American & Canadian citizens are currently having difficulty obtaining visas for Iran so if you are refused a visa you will have to fly over Iran and meet us in UAE.
Our first stop in Iran is at the oasis of Bam, once an important silk trading town where today you can visit a fine example of a medieval fortress made out of mud bricks.
In Rayen we have the opportunity to visit Iran’s most impressive fortress-citadel where behind it’s vast adobe walls we find a castle within a castle.
In Mahan we visit the handsome Persian gardens of Bagh e-Shahzde, a colourful stop in an otherwise bleak stretch of desert.
The 1200m long ancient covered bazaar in Kerman is one of Iran’s oldest where you will meet some of the friendliest people on earth. From Kerman you also have the option to visit the Kaluts where 10 storey high ‘sand-castle’ formations have been sculpted into the rocky desert landscape by millenia of wind erosion.
We continue to the small town of Yazd where wandering the atmospheric alleyways will reveal unique wind-towers, picturesque blue-tiled Mosques and lively Persian souqs.
Isfahan is the crowning jewel in Islam’s crown with an impressive city square full of intricately decorated mosaic Mosques, leisurely tea-shops and lavish carpet emporiums. Plenty of bargains can be found in the myriad of bazaars that lead off from the square and the city’s gorgeous bridges deserve all the time you can spare.
The Zagros mountains provide a stunning backdrop on our trip to the intriguing ruins of Persepolis. Once the summer capital of the Persian Empire, this is the site where Alexander the Great famously conquered the Persian armies stronghold.
Once famed for its vineyards Shiraz is now the celebrated heartland of Persian culture where echoes of the revered poet Hafez linger amongst the splendid gardens and exquisite mosques that make this town such a pleasure.
In Darab you have the option of a thrilling day out in the Raqez Canyon which involves scrambling, jumping, mountaineering & rappelling your way down 64 waterfalls.
Our final stop in Iran is at the busy port town of Bandar Abbas where day excursions to the islands of Hormuz and Qeshm offer nature-lovers walks amongst volcanic landscapes, mangrove forests & golden beaches.
We now catch a ferry from Bandar Abbas to UAE so please be prepared to be flexible during this part of the expedition as shipping schedules are often unreliable.
We meet our truck in Sharjah, a cultural city with a focus on history where you will find UAE’s best museums and art galleries as well as the fabulous Mleiha Archaeological Site proving early humans passed by here on their way to Asia.
In Dubai we get to see the glamorous side of the country where you can take an elevator up Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), visit palm-shaped islands & wander through city-sized malls.
Abu Dhabi’s highlight is the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a triumph of Islamic architecture. Thrill seekers also have the option to visit Yas Island and get into the driver’s seat at the Formula One Grand Prix race track for a hair raising experience!
In the remote far west of the country we find Sir Bani Yas Island where you have the option to take a day trip to this unique wildlife reserve which is home to Arabian oryx, sand gazelles, Barbary sheep and even giraffes & cheetahs.
We now head for Liwa Oasis on the fringes of the Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter) where we find an endless landscape of undulating sand dunes shimmering in shades of gold & orange.
Our final stop in UAE is at Al Ain, a laid-back cultural hub set amid date-palm plantations with a selection of UNESCO heritage sites that will keep you entranced all day.
Our first destination is Bahla Fort, one of Oman’s largest, with a sweeping vista from the battlements of this enormous structure.
In the dramatic Hajar Mountains we find Jebel Shams, Oman’s highest peak, but the real highlight here is Wadi Ghul, the Grand Canyon of Arabia.
At Nakhal we visit one of the country’s best-preserved forts with its round towers and spiked doors all designed to keep enemies at bay.
Wedged between mountains and ocean the delightful city of Muscat is filled with treasures such as the Grand Mosque, Mutrah Souq, National Museum and Sultan’s Palace, enough to keep us occupied for a couple of days.
Wadi Shab rewards walkers with views of turquoise pools, waterfalls and terraced plantations, one of Oman’s most lovely destinations.
Sharqiya Sands is an area of beautiful dunes home to the Bedouin where we spend a night in the desert to get a glimpse of their traditional nomadic existence.
Oman’s southernmost governorate Dhofar is a real gem on our itinerary where you can wander around the unearthed walls of the archaeological site of Ubar, enjoy the views from the vertical cliff edge of Jebel Samhan and amble along the coconut-fringed beaches of Salalah.
We now head into the Rub al Khali, the largest contiguous sand desert in the world, and attempt to cross the newly opened Empty Quarter border into Saudi Arabia. Please bear in mind we will most likely be the first tourists here in an overland vehicle so if we are refused entry we will have to return to the UAE and head for Saudi Arabia that way.
Please note that we will most likely be the first overland vehicle to attempt entry into Saudi Arabia so if for any reason we are refused entry we will have to conduct this leg of the tour on local transport, but to the best of our knowledge the Saudi’s are now allowing entry to foreign vehicles travelling on a Carnet de Passage (which we travel on) and tourists are now being issued e-visas promptly, so everything looks positive.
Our first few days are spent travelling across the remote Rub al Khali desert on our way to Asir National Park in the southeastern part of the country. Here you can climb the Kingdom’s highest peak, Mt. Soudah (3000m), and gaze down on green valleys home to the hanging village of Al Habala which is only accessible by rope ladders, and Al Yanfa, a village that sits atop a warren of underground tunnels to make their daily travel easier – a truly unique area in Saudi!
From our base in Jazan you now have the option to take a ferry to the Farasan Islands where a day can be enjoyed swimming in the azure waters and exploring the historic Pearl Merchants Neighbourhood.
The liberal city of Jeddah offers us a look at beautiful Red Sea coral architecture and boasts sites such as the historic 16th century Al Shafee Mosque and the extensive Souq al Alawi.
The holy cities of Mecca and Medina are off-limits to non-muslims so we will bypass these 2 places and continue to the spectacular Wahba Crater measuring 1.3km wide and 200m deep with a trail that leads down to a milky lake when water has collected there.
Our next attraction is the modern capital Riyadh which houses the country’s best museum along with the imposing Masmak Fortress and the mud-brick ruins of Diriyah. Those seeking a more adrenaline fuelled activity can take a 180kph lift up the 99th floor of the Kingdom Tower and brave a walk across the Sky Bridge for unsurpassed views over the city.
The expat rich town of Dammam is the staging point for our 3 day trip to Bahrain where you will have time to visit the famous Manama Souq, try pearl diving in the oyster rich Persian Gulf, learn the history of Bahrain at the National Museum and discover a collection of Qurans dating back to the 7th century at Beit Al Quran.
We return to Saudi for a day and continue along the gulf coast to Kuwait where we will cross the border and spend 3 days in Kuwait City exploring highlights such as Souq Mabarakiya, the Grand Mosque, Kuwait Towers, Tareq Rajab Museum and one of the Middle East’s best aquariums at the Scientific Centre.
Back in Saudi we now visit Jubbah, a pre-Islamic open-air art gallery where petroglyphs of animals & humans dating back 5500 years can be found in superb condition.
At Mahajah we discover an impressive display of nature where huge natural arches have been sculpted into the sandstone desert by millenia of wind & rain.
Travelling through a lunar landscape of black basalt rock we arrive at the breathtaking Al Ula Valley viewpoint where majestic red rock mountains sprawl out before you and disappear into the horizon.
Close by at Madain Saleh we discover a ‘2nd Petra’ where massive facades have been cut into rock faces creating monumental burial chambers, remnants of a long lost Nabataean civilization.
Our last stop in the Kingdom is at Tabuk where we get to see a glimpse of a bygone era at the fully restored train station that was once a stop on the Hejaz Railway which TE Lawrence famously attacked during the Arab revolt of the early 1900’s.
Our first destination here is Petra, one of the new 7 wonders of the world. This ancient rock-hewn city is a magical place with narrow canyons and cavernous tombs where a day is easily spent marvelling at facades with names such as The Treasury, High Place of Sacrifice & Royal Tombs.
In Wadi Rum we find a desert landscape of melting mountains, deep canyons and rock bridges, all laced in the history of Lawrence of Arabia. Here you can take an optional jeep excursion to visit Jordan’s quintessential desert.
From the port town of Aqaba we now take a ferry to Egypt.
Arriving into the Sinai Peninsula our first stop is at the laid-back beach town of Dahab, a hippy hangout and one of the world’s premier dive sites.
At St. Katherine’s Monastery you have the option to climb Mt. Sinai and enjoy sunrise over one of Egypt’s finest landscapes. The summit of this mountain is where it is believed God delivered his ten commandments to Moses.
Our final destination is Cairo where you will get to see 2 of Egypt’s most iconic sites, the Sphinx & Pyramids of Giza. A trip to the Cairo Museum is also a must-do and houses over 100 000 ancient artefacts including the golden treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamen, a magnificent ending to an incredible overland journey across Asia & Arabia!
Before the start of this tour our truck travels through Western China, the 5 Stans, the Caucasus & Turkey so you are able to add on any of those places to this tour should you wish to.
We are happy to create a bespoke itinerary and price for you so please feel free to contact us to discuss all options.
How to Book
To make a booking please fill in our online booking form and then pay a £300 deposit by direct bank transfer or Paypal, or call us to pay using your credit or debit card over the phone. Once we receive your online booking form and deposit we will confirm your booking by email and send you all relevant information necessary for your expedition preparations.
The Expedition Payment of £6995 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. Eight months prior to departure a further payment of £3000 must be paid to secure your booking. The final balance of your Expedition Payment £3695 must then be paid in full at least four months prior to the expedition start date. If you book between 4 to 8 months prior to the departure date a deposit of £3300 should be paid upon booking. If you book within 4 months of the departure date the full Expedition Payment of £6995 should be paid upon booking.
The Expedition Payment can be paid by direct bank transfer, Paypal or credit/debit card.
Bank Details for Direct Transfers
NOTE: Please use your full name as a reference when paying by direct transfer.
Account name: Madventure Ltd.
Sort code: 400810
Account number: 91618415
IBAN : GB14HBUK40081091618415
Swift/Bank BIC: HBUKGB4B
Branch BIC: HBUKGB4116A
Bank address: HSBC Bank, 6 High Street, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 5AZ, United Kingdom
Paypal account name: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a cash payment of USD $4000 that must be paid to your expedition leader at the beginning of your trip and will be used to pay for all expenses while you are on the road.
Please bear in mind that this is not a kitty and is not refundable. The local payment is simply a way for us to get cash to the expedition leaders so they can run the trip.
Please bring your local payment in new unmarked $100 bills if possible.
Although all local payment amounts are advertised in USD you may be asked to bring the equivalent amount in either Euros or GBP.
We realise that not everyone is going to visit every site or take part in every activity along the way so we have left most of these activities as optional and therefore kept the expedition payment to a minimum.
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.
Forbidden City, Beijing £6
Great Wall, Beijing £5
Pingyao city pass £15
Terracotta Warriors, Xian £15
Panda Research Centre, Chengdu £10
Big Buddha, Leshan £12
Potala Palace, Lhasa £45
Jokhang Temple, Lhasa £9
Norbulingka, Lhasa £9
Lake Yamdrok Tso Free
Kumbum Monastery, Gyantse £7
Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shigatse £9
Mt. Everest Base Camp Free
Mt Everest flight £110
2 day Annapurna Mountains trek £150
Paragliding, Pokhara £100
1 day rafting trip, Pokhara £30
Elephant safari, Chitwan NP £30
Walking safari, Chitwan NP £10
Tiger’s Nest Monastery £6
Dordenma Buddha Free
Punakha Dzong Free
Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal Free
Ratargul swamp forest tour £20
Lalbagh Fort £2
Ahsan Manzil Palace £5
2 night/3 day Sundarbans NP boat tour £150
Gangtok Zoo £3
Victoria Memorial £3
Belur Math Free
South Park Street Cemetery Free
Bodhgaya sites Free
Varanasi sunrise boat tour £5
Bara & Chota Imambara combined ticket £6
Taj Mahal £15
India Gate Free
Humayun’s Tomb £5
River Lotus Temple Free
Outb’minar (Stone Tower) £5
Nek Chand’s Rock Garden £1
Golden Temple Free
Lahore Fort £1
Lahore museum £2
Badshahi Mosque £1
Rohtas Fort £3
Truck workshop Free
Dudipat day hike guide fee £10
Nanga Parbat base camp hike guide fee £25
Herrligkoffer base camp hike guide fee £15
Shigar Fort £1
Khorpocho Fort £1
Altit Fort £3
Baltit Fort £3
Duiker Hunza Valley sunset trip £10
Bam mud brick city £3
Kaluts half day tour £30
Yazd city tour £7
Isfahan city tour £7
Persepolis ruins £4
Persepolis museum £4
United Arab Emirates
Mleiha Archaeological Site £6
Sharjah museum £3
Burj Khalifa entry & elevator to viewing platform £50
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Free
Yas Formula 3 driving experience £400
Sir Bani Yas Island day trip £90
Bahla Fort £1
Nakhal Fort £1
National museum £10
Farasan Island return ferry £30
Masmak Fortress Free
Kingdom Tower entry & elevator to viewing platform £15
Riyadh Museum £2
Pearl diving day trip £100
National museum £2
Beit Al Quran Free
Grand Mosque Free
Kuwait Towers £1
Tareq Rajab Museum £1
Scientific Centre & Aquarium £20
Wadi Rum £6
Wadi Rum jeep tour £15
Scuba in Dahab (per dive) £25
Mt Sinai climb Free
Cairo Museum £10
Pyramids & Sphinx £12
We will be travelling in a purpose-built Madventure overland vehicle 90% of the time on this expedition. A standard bus simply wouldn’t be able to tackle many of the roads we travel on. The other 10% of the time we will be travelling in local jeeps, buses & boats.
Please be aware that if our vehicle is refused entry into Bangladesh (as sometimes happens) we will conduct that part of the tour on local transport while our truck transits around to meet us at the border near Kolkata.
Please also note that we will most likely be the first overland vehicle to attempt entry into Saudi Arabia so if for any reason we are refused entry we will have to conduct this leg of the tour on local transport, but to the best of our knowledge the Saudi’s are now allowing entry to foreign vehicles travelling on a Carnet de Passage (which we travel on) and tourists are now being issued e-visas promptly, so everything looks positive.
The overland vehicle we use is a custom-built expedition truck which can accommodate up to 36 people although most of our expeditions travel with approximately 25 people.
Comfort and safety is of course a big factor during expeditions of this length and nature so 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 gear safe.
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 pickaxes are also on board.
We usually carry 500 litres of treated drinking water and we are equipped with a good kitchen which includes all cutlery, plates, cups, pots, pans, utensils, gas cooker, BBQ grate, etc. for when we prepare meals on the truck.
All our vehicles are equipped with a small fridge which is used for the cook groups food only, for the times when we prepare group meals on the truck. For personal food & drinks we have cooler boxes for everyone to use.
Fold up chairs are provided for outdoor seating and we also have a large tarpaulin to keep us dry on those rainy days.
Our vehicles are equipped with USB charging points only so try and bring all of your important electronic devices such as telephone, tablet & head-torch to charge from a USB socket. We do not have a 120V or 240V power supply on the vehicle but you will have the opportunity to charge your 120/240V electronic equipment at the hotels we stay at.
We carry a comprehensive first aid kit for emergencies but we recommend you bring your own for general use.
Eating well is a very important factor on our expeditions and good food is vital for everyone’s health and well-being. When staying in hotels/guest-houses/hostels we always strive to provide you with one healthy, wholesome and plentiful meal every day, usually breakfast at the hotel. For lunch we usually stop at a cheap local restaurant giving you a chance to taste the local fare. In the evenings after you are checked into the hotel you are free to choose where you want to eat. Local food is generally very cheap so if you are on a budget then eat what the locals eat. Western restaurants tend to be more expensive.
When we are camping we usually eat breakfast and the evening meal from the truck. Occasionally we may prepare lunch on the truck when we are in remote areas.
Please note that there is no camping until we reach the UAE so there will not be many times we eat on the truck until then.
When it comes to shopping and cooking while camping we will divide ourselves up into groups of 3 or 4 people (depending on group size) who will shop for and prepare the day’s meals and clean up at the end. This will work out that you roughly get to cook once every 10 days (depending on numbers).
Fresh food is generally available daily so when we are camping 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 your crew are also always there to give advice.
All our vehicles are equipped with a small fridge which is used for the cook groups food only. For personal food & drinks we have cooler boxes for everyone to use.
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 wellbeing of the group.
You will spend 80% of your time on this expedition staying in local hotels, guest houses, hostels & boats. The other 20% of the time you will be in your tent camping.
We always try to use decent, clean budget hotels, guest houses and hostels, 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 hotels/guest houses/hostels you can expect to share your room with other expedition members of both sexes.
There is usually an opportunity for anyone to upgrade to a single room or a superior room if they so wish. All accommodation upgrades are at your own expense.
When we are camping quite often we will wild camp by ourselves out in the bush or in the desert and other times we will use designated campsites with amenities. The majority of our wild 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.
1. A deposit of £300 is payable at the time of booking. The deposit is non-refundable unless Madventure is unable to offer you a place or you cancel within 14 days of the initial booking date. Madventure guarantees not to increase the trip price once the deposit has been received.
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. Eight months prior to departure a further payment of £3000 must be paid to secure your booking. This payment is non-refundable unless we can not provide the tour. The final balance of your Expedition Payment £3695 must then be paid in full at least four months prior to the expedition start date at which time the tour will be confirmed to run. Once the tour is confirmed to run you will not receive any refunds of any monies paid. If the full payment is not received 4 months prior to departure Madventure may deem the booking cancelled and all monies paid will be forfeited. If you book within the 4 to 8 month period prior to departure a non-refundable deposit of £3300 should be paid upon booking. If you book within the 4 month period prior to departure the full non-refundable Expedition Payment of £6995 must be paid upon booking.
4. Cancellation of a booking must be notified in writing and when received by Madventure any monies paid will be forfeited. You acknowledge that payment for the trip is an intrinsic part of the trip’s income and contributes towards the overall costs of equipment, vehicle running costs, staff administration, travel permits, etc. and Madventure 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 tour has been confirmed to run (which will usually happen no later than 4 months 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 final expedition balance payment, 4 months 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. However, we will not cancel your trip less than 4 months before your departure date (except for reasons of Force Majeure). If we are unable to provide the trip for any reason (aside from Force Majeure) 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 this Madventure expedition and less than that may result in the cancellation of the expedition. In the event of this happening, all monies paid by you towards the expedition cost only will be refunded. In the event of a cancellation Madventure is not responsible for reimbursing equipment, flights, visa costs, vaccinations, medication, etc. purchased by yourself. In the event of a trip being cancelled due to Force Majeure no refunds or compensation will be given by Madventure. We therefore recommend you have suitable travel insurance as if the reason for 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.
6. In the unlikely event of Force Majeure we will not refund you or 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, pandemics, health risks, closed or congested airports, ports or stations, poor local infrastructure, changes imposed by rescheduling 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. We therefore recommend you have suitable travel insurance as if the reason for 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.
7. If you choose to leave a trip for any reason on your own accord once the trip is underway you will not receive any compensation from Madventure including any refunds of the Expedition Payment or Local Payment. We therefore recommend you have suitable travel insurance as if the reason for your departure 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.
8. We reserve the right at any time prior to the departure date, without prior consultation with yourself, to merge your trip with one or more other trips travelling at the same time. This will not constitute a major change and would usually just mean swapping vehicles.
9. The expedition payment and local payment cover transport, accommodation, some relating ferry and train tickets, meals and national park entry fees as specified on the website, repair of our expedition vehicle as well as repair and replacement of camping equipment including stools, cooking equipment & utensils.
10. The expedition leader has sole responsibility for the local payment. Any local payment monies or stock remaining at the trip end are non-refundable.
11. You undertake to comply with the laws and regulations, whether in respect of health, immigration, currency exchange control, dress or any other matter of all the countries visited during the expedition.
12. You undertake to obtain a valid passport and have enough blank pages in the passport for the trip and your specific passport and visa requirements. Immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates. We do not accept any responsibility and shall not be liable if you cannot travel or cannot participate in any part of the trip because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. 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 your own responsibility to obtain.
13. Madventure reserves the right to deviate from the advertised expedition route if in their reasonable opinion such deviation is necessary for the safety or well-being 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 your flights will be borne by yourself.
14. Madventure accepts no responsibility for matters arising out of political disputes, border closures, epidemics, pandemics, natural disasters, climate, armed robbery, terrorism, etc. Should it become necessary to abandon an expedition because of such an event Madventure will be entitled to retain all monies paid. We therefore recommend you have suitable travel insurance as if the reason for 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.
15. You accept 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 we visit 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. You accept 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 many of 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, you agree that the obligation of Madventure to yourself is to select normally competent, independent subcontractors to provide the necessary services related to the trip and to exercise reasonable care in selecting such suppliers to provide these. You also accept that you undertake this expedition at your own risk and your participation is your own decision and does not form any part of your contract with Madventure. Madventure does not take responsibility for cancellations, unreliability of services or safety of operators, agents or contractors.
16. You accept 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.
17. If you have a problem during your trip please inform the expedition leader immediately who will endeavor to put things right. If your complaint is not resolved locally please follow this up by emailing or writing to our 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.
18. We do not accept any liability or responsibility for any personal possessions (including but not limited to cameras, jewelry, 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.
19. Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on a 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. You 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. You also accept that you undertake any activity at your own risk and your participation is your own decision and does not form any part of your contract with Madventure. Madventure does not take responsibility for cancellations, unreliability of services or safety of operators, agents or contractors.
20. Whilst a trip is in progress you will at all times be expected to act in accordance with all reasonable instructions from us and/or the expedition leader. We may exclude you from the trip or any part thereof at any time (including during the trip itself) if we are of the opinion that you are likely to prejudice the good order, discipline or safety of the trip, including as a result of failing to comply with the expedition leader’s instructions, breaking any law or regulation of any country where the trip takes place or failing to adhere to the trip code of conduct, provided that we exercise our discretion reasonably in this regard. In such an 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 from the trip, and Madventure shall cease to have any responsibility to/for you. No refund will be given for any unused services.
21. By completing the booking form you confirm that you appreciate the risks involved in the trip and that you do not suffer (or have ever suffered) from any pre-existing medical condition that may prevent you from actively participating in the trip other than those that have been declared to us. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are medically fit enough to undertake the trip and to ensure that you have received the necessary vaccinations 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 may be unsuitable to take part in the trip. We recommend that you consult your doctor before making a booking to ensure that you are medically fit and are fully aware regarding the immunizations and medical issues related to your destination countries. If you 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 from the trip without any refund or recompense. In such an event, you shall reimburse to us any reasonable costs, losses or expenses which we incur or suffer as a result. In the event of you 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, eg. flights and legal expenses. By agreeing to these conditions, you provide your consent to us and our insurers obtaining your 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 vaccination book at any time and to withdraw you from the trip in the event that you 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 suitability to take part in the trip, we may terminate the contract and withdraw you from the trip without refund or recompense, including during the trip. 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.
22. You must be covered by personal travel insurance to undertake any Madventure tour. We recommend you take out a travel insurance policy that covers you fully against the cost of tour cancellation by you or by Force Majeure, medical care and repatriation should you become too ill to continue and above all covers 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 travel insurance cover makes sufficient provision for your dependents 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 travel insurance 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.
23. In many countries we visit, the local vehicle accident insurance includes either very limited passenger liability or none at all. Madventure 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 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.
24. Privacy & Data Protection – we shall ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to protect your personal data (as defined in the European GDPR act 2018 and the UK Data Protection Act 2018) and we do not store our customers financial details. When you make a booking, you do however consent to all the information you provide being passed on to our suppliers, agents, subcontractors, employees or volunteers whether based inside or outside of Europe for the purposes of us providing you with the trip.
25. By agreeing to these terms and conditions you consent (unless otherwise stated on your application form) to our staff taking photographs and or video footage of you during the trip and that these images may be used by us for publicity and training purposes including, but not limited to, brochures, websites, marketing material and in the media.
26. 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.
27. The information given on the website, 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 has authority to commit Madventure to any liability whatsoever and Madventure 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 (Company No. 6809461) whose registered office is at 93 Lashford Lane, Dry Sandford, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX13 6EB.
We recommend a budget of £120 – £150 per person per week to live comfortably during this expedition. This budget should cover day to day things like lunches, dinners, snacks, soft drinks, the odd few beers, etc.
Budget approximately £850 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 silk 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.
We recommend you bring 1/3 of your money in cash US Dollars and the rest of your money on your Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card.
They generally accept all major currencies for exchange but US Dollars are accepted everywhere.
ATM’s are widely available for you to draw local currency using your Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card.
To keep your money/credit cards/ipod/camera/laptop safe we recommend you purchase a ‘Pacsafe Travelsafe’ product. They offer various size portable anti-theft bags that can be attached to the vehicle when travelling and also attached to the toilet/bed/closet in your hotel room when off the vehicle.
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 is in no way responsible for obtaining your visas or passports.
We recommend you obtain the following visas in your passport before departure – China, India & Bangladesh.
Nepal, Bhutan, United Arab Emirates, Jordan & Egypt visas can be obtained on arrival.
Pakistan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Kuwait visas can be obtained online.
Iran has a system whereby you need to apply for an Authorisation Code prior to applying for the actual visa. Our agent in Iran can apply for the code for you for a fee but please be aware that currently Americans, Canadians & British citizens are rarely being issued Authorisation Codes so it is unlikely that they will get a visa. Other nationalities should not have a problem getting the code so those people will apply for the Iran visa once we are in Lahore or Islamabad.
You can either obtain visas yourself or use the services of a visa agency such as www.thevisamachine.com
Approximately 3 months prior to departure you will be sent the information required in order to complete your application and apply for your visa (there are often time restrictions on visas so you can not apply earlier). We recommend that you make your passport available 2 months before departure in order to obtain your visa comfortably.
Budget approximately £850 for all your visas and letters of invitation.
Please ensure you have 15 free pages in your passport in order to accommodate all the visas and ensure your passport is valid for at least 14 months after your departure date.
You will need approximately 8 passport photos for the duration of the expedition.
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 in the UK.
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.
An up to date Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate should be brought with you as it is sometimes required to enter certain countries on this tour.
Medically Fit & 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 fair 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 70’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.
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. They are familiar with what we do, so mention our name and the expedition you are travelling on and they will provide excellent cover for you.
For people based in North America a company called Allianz offers good cover – Tel: +1 866 884 3556, www.
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.
Tent: A good quality lightweight and compact waterproof free standing tent is recommended for this expedition. A removable fly-sheet will help you stay cool on hot dry nights. If you are travelling on your own you are restricted to a 1-2 man sized tent. If you are sharing a tent, you are restricted to a 2-3 man sized tent.
Sleeping bag: Any good quality 2/3 season sleeping bag will be fine but one with a ‘Mummy Hood’ is a good idea for the times that it will be cold. Please make sure that your sleeping bag has a ‘crush bag’ so it can be compacted down.
Sleeping bag liner: A Thermal Fleece or Silk Liner will bring your sleeping bag up a season when it’s cold and they are good to use on their own when it’s too hot for your sleeping bag.
Roll Mat: A compact inflatable Thermarest roll mat is recommended. A non-compact mat will not be permitted as they take up too much room.
Pillow: If you do wish to take a pillow (although most just bring a pillow case and stuff their fleece in it at night) then Thermarest do a good stuff pillow that compacts down small.
Backpack/sports bag/suitcase: We recommend you carry your luggage in a backpack but irrespective if you prefer a sports bag or a suitcase you are restricted to a maximum 100 liter volume.
Day bag: You are also permitted to bring a day bag with a maximum 40 liter volume that you can carry in the overhead luggage rack on the back of the truck with you.
Pacsafe: in order to keep your valuables safe we recommend a Pacsafe product. They make a range of anti-theft bags which vary in sizes and can accommodate your money, credit cards, passport, camera, laptop, etc. They can be attached to the overhead luggage rack on the back of the vehicle when travelling and/or to a fixed item in your hotel.
Headtorch: an invaluable investment! Check out the Petzl range of USB rechargeable headlamps.
Water purifier – quite a handy thing to have to purify contaminated water and avoid ‘Delhi Belly’. Check out the range of Lifestraw products.
Kindle: optional but great to keep all your travel guides and books in 1 place.
Ipad/Tablet: not a necessity but many places have WiFi available these days so having your own Ipad or Tablet will save you hanging around internet cafes.
Smartphone – not a necessity but very convenient for emailing, taking photos, mapping and calling home using local sim cards.
Camera: completely up to you but most people bring one.
Toiletries: available everywhere but start with some toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, deodorant, soap and shampoo.
Towel: a microfibre travel towel is a good option as it dries quickly and packs down small.
First aid kit: only a basic one is recommended but should include plasters, antiseptic cream, bandage, pain relief tablets, scissors and safety pins.
Passport photos: You will need approximately 8 passport photos for the duration of the expedition.
Passport: please ensure you have 15 blank pages in your passport to accommodate all the visas required on this tour.
Yellow Fever vaccination certificate: an up to date certificate is sometimes required to enter certain countries.
Clothes & shoes:
1 pair of flip flops
1 pair of walking shoes, trainers or boots
4 pairs of socks
4 pairs of undies
4 t-shirts and/or vest tops
2 pairs of zip-off trousers which can be worn long or short
1 swimming trunks/bikini
1 lightweight long sleeve top
1 decent fleece top or fleece jacket
1 beanie/woolly hat for the cold days
1 wet weather jacket
1 light-weight dress/skirt for the ladies
1 collared shirt for the blokes
A pair of thermal gloves
Please note that the 2022 trip is an exploratory tour so although we have done certain parts of the tour before we have not done all of the tour before, so be aware that there may be minor changes to the tour whilst en-route.
As our expeditions are not your average run of the mill overland tours we would like to go through every aspect of the trip with you to ensure that you are as informed and prepared as possible. At Madventure we believe in giving you the nitty-gritty details as well as the obvious highlights, as in our opinion these are just as important and we want to explain the expedition in as much detail as possible so you can be sure you are suited and prepared for one of our overland adventures. If after reading this, you decide that this expedition is not for you then, as long as it is within 14 days of your initial booking, you can cancel off the expedition and receive a full refund of your deposit.
The following may sound a little negative at times, but it’s just so we are secure in the knowledge that we have provided you with as much information as possible, the good and the bad, to ensure everybody is completely aware exactly what type of trips we run for the benefit of you, us and your fellow expedition members as there is nothing worse than getting someone booking on the trip when it is not what they actually wanted or expected as our expeditions are too long and too full on. You need to know what you are in for and be able to handle it!
At times you will be exposed to all the elements, from extreme cold to intense humid heat and high altitude. And, for example, as wonderful as places like Pakistan & Bangladesh are, they often do not have a western infrastructure and their acceptable level of hygiene standards are very different to ours.
Mucking In: This is a full participation expedition so you need to be able to participate fully in all aspects of the trip including cooking, cleaning, truck security, carrying water, collecting firewood, digging your vehicle out of sand & bogs, pitching your own tent, etc.
We get everyone to agree that you are medically fit and able and can physically participate fully in all aspects required. Don’t worry, you don’t need any prior experience or knowledge or to be a fitness freak, just to be happy to do your share and have a willingness to get stuck in when necessary.
When things go wrong: The only thing we can guarantee is that at some point things will not go according to plan! We have to follow the legislation of each individual country and they may all have different regulations and attitudes towards us. Generally everyone is always friendly and it’s usually obstacles such as breakdowns, bad roads and natural disasters that have a bearing on the expedition. Everything changes from trip to trip depending on what the current situation or problem is, so it’s not ‘if’ something goes wrong, it’s ‘when’.
Please be prepared to expect the unexpected and accept that things will go wrong from time to time. These instances are usually the stories that remain with everyone so enjoy the experience. An easy-going approach will help the situation immensely. Moaning about every little thing that doesn’t go our way will not!
Attitude & Group Living: A good, easy-going attitude will help you get through this trip and ensure you are liked by your fellow travelers as well as the locals. The one thing that is extremely detrimental to an expedition such as this is your common ‘moaner’. It has nothing to do with age, sex or nationality, it just matters that although they signed up for this ‘in theory’ they cannot cope ‘in practice’ and it’s always got to be someone’s fault. It sounds a bit harsh but by weeding out any moaners early on we can have a chat with them and ensure your expedition is as good as it can be. It’s hard enough at the best of times without in-house problems so by ensuring everyone is on the same page from the get go will start us off in good stead.
We have no age restrictions and if there is one thing we have come to realize, through experience, is that it’s the mental attitude that counts the most and a broader age range is better on a long trip as it stops the stereotyping – the more in the mix the better.
There will be parties and there will be quiet nights. There are no set rules and it always sorts itself out depending on the individual personalities of who’s on board.
Laziness and selfishness will also be spotted early on so we advise everyone to pull their weight. We can guarantee that at some stage during the expedition you will have to just fit in and go with the flow when it’s not what you personally wanted to do. When situations arise where we can’t please everybody we always aim to please the ‘majority of the group’, not the individual.
Please be aware that if any particular person is constantly causing the rest of the group (or the crew) grief due to their behavior they will be warned and then asked to leave the expedition if nothing improves and no refund will be given. This is obviously the most extreme situation but we will not let one or two lazy or selfish individuals spoil it for everybody else. Everybody knows the score from the start and this is for everyone’s benefit. Usually everybody who does our trips has a relaxed approach and everybody gets on very well and any unsuitable people do not last long and leave on their own accord.
This is a once in a lifetime experience so let’s all enjoy it!
Drive times, routes and proposed itineraries: We are driving a fair distance in a 190 day time frame, so yes, there are going to be a fair amount of drive days and some of them will be long. This is where you have to be able to take pleasure in the scenery or a good book from time to time.
Generally on a drive day we leave in the morning around 7 – 8 AM (after breakfast) and arrive at our destination before dusk in daylight, but this really depends on the distance between destinations and the road conditions.
Sometimes it will be a full day’s drive between destinations and you’ll have the following day or two free. On rare occasions it will be 2 drive days in a row where you’ll leave early, stop overnight at a guest house/hotel and continue early again the next morning. Areas like the Himalayas can be remote and the pleasure is in the scenery.
Sometimes however it’s only a few hours drive between destinations and don’t worry, the trip is designed to allow plenty of free time in places of interest.
Please note: At times we may placed under military or police escort when travelling through troubled areas. If this occurs then we are at their mercy and they make the decisions with regard to driving hours and routes. We do not argue with those who are trusted to ensure our safety, so please be aware that sometimes the pace will be much faster than we would personally choose and the route they pick will be the one we follow, regardless of our proposed itinerary.
Delays: We always strive to arrive at our destinations on time but if we experience any delays we will adjust our itinerary accordingly. If we experience any major delays our end date can be extended to suit our needs.
The proposed itinerary is just that, ‘proposed’, and can and will change at the crew’s discretion if need be.
Drugs: In a lot of the countries we travel through drugs such as marijuana and hashish are in abundance and readily available. Please be aware that they are still illegal and some countries hold the Death Penalty as punishment for being caught in possession. Obviously you are free to do whatever you want to do in your own free time but there is NEVER to be any illegal drugs onboard the expedition vehicle at any time.
If you are caught with any kind of illegal drugs on the expedition vehicle, regardless of the amount, you will be asked to leave the expedition immediately and no refund will be given. This is a very serious rule as any inconsideration can lead to the vehicle being impounded, the expedition cancelled and other innocent party’s arrested. We will not hesitate to remove someone if we have to so please respect your other expedition members.
Your Crew: You will normally have a crew of 1 experienced person who fills the role of being the driver/expedition leader. Sometimes our crew prefer to work with a partner so there may occasionally be 2 crew who share the roles of driver and expedition leader. On some expeditions we may also have a cameraman who is there to help market our tours and update our social media accounts.
Your crew member will drive and maintain the vehicle as well as sort out all the accommodation, permits, border crossings and generally ensure the smooth running of the expedition. Your crew member is not a tour guide and will not be giving you the history and facts of every country you travel through. Apart from the odd optional extra that needs to be organized in advance, we leave most of that stuff to you guys, this way ensuring you get to do what you want, at the price you are happy to pay.
You do the reading up on the places we are going to in advance and decide how you want to spend your time and what activities you want to do. Apart from some basic truck rules this is not a trip where we hold your hand, it’s an expedition and we expect that you will want to be as independent as possible when it comes to your free time.
Your crew will be hand-picked and trained by Madventure and will have experience of overland travel but they may or may not have done this expedition before. They will however have detailed notes from previous expeditions and backup from our office in the UK.
Tipping: Tipping the crew at the end of your expedition is always appreciated. As this is a fairly long expedition, but also a budget one, we recommend you tip your driver/expedition leader a minimum of £1 per day if you are happy with their service. Thank you.
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