Kathmandu<- ->Kolkata, (WHK)

Kathmandu to Kolkata 1 days, departing 20 Nov 2017
The mighty Hawa Mahal Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India Bhaktapur Square in Kathmandu A view over Durbar Square, Kathmandu A dog enjoys some shade underneath a rickshaw in Kolkata

Trip Overview

Trip Style: Overlanding
Route: Kathmandu to Kolkata
Duration: 1 days
Transport: Overland expedition vehicle, Private bus, Tuk-tuk, Boat, Train, Camel
Physical Rating:


You will travel through areas that may be physically challenging.


Hotels, Guesthouses, Campsites, Wild Camps, Homestays

Route Map

Countries Visited


Overland adventures in India

India has shared so much of its incredible culture with the rest of the world, so a visit to this diverse and eclectic country is a chance to experience where it all began. India has so much to offer, from the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas, the amazing temples and coastlines, the rich culture, the chaotic cities and of course the amazing food!

India's highlights include its stunning historical treasures such as the ancient cities of Fatehpur Sikri and Hampi, the Humayun's Tomb and Qutub Minar in Delhi, the phenomenal caves of Ellora and Ajanta, the stunning Shore Temples of Mahabalipuram, and of course the world-famous Taj Mahal.

Temples, plantations & beaches

There are some incredible religious sites, such as the Hindu temples of Tirumala, Madurai and Karmi Mata, and the Buddhist sites of Sikkim. There are some wonderful natural areas such as the vast deserts of Jaisalmer, the cool tea plantations of Wayanad and Darjeeling, the mountains of Gangtok, and the incredible beaches of Varkala and Goa.

Foremost a visit to India is probably best remembered by the welcome you are likely to receive. This, combined with India's unique atmosphere and the seemingly endless variety of the culture and the sights, is what brings travellers returning time and time again.


Explore legendary Nepal overland

Wrapped around the Himalayan mountain range is the remarkable country of Nepal. It is the birthplace of Buddha and is a land of fabled legend and incredible beauty. Within its narrow confines, Nepal contains an utterly spectacular variety of culture and landscapes. As well as its stunning natural beauty, Nepal has a simple charm, a wonderful atmosphere, and is brimming with amazing culture and history.

Situated on the banks of the Bagmati River, Kathmandu is the hub of life in Nepal, and a traveller's paradise. A small medieval city, it's highlights are the historic Durbar Square, the Temple of the Living Goddess, the Royal Palace, the Pashupatinath Hindu temple, Boudhanath Buddhist stupa, and the Swayambunath Monkey temple - all set against the magnificent Himalayan backdrop.

Diverse landscapes & cultures 

Outside of the buzzing capital, Nepal has an incredible diversity of landscape and climate - from the high Himalayan mountains of the Annapurna range and Kodari, to the delightful foothills of Dhulikhel and Pokhara, to the humid lowland rainforests of Chitwan National Park. There is an equally varied number of activities, from wildlife-spotting in Chitwan, to trekking in the incredible countryside, to white water rafting, to scenic flights over Mount Everest!

With traditional culture, diverse landscapes, and the friendly atmosphere, Nepal is an incredibly memorable place to visit!

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Daily Itinerary

Bhaktapur Square in Kathmandu
A view over Durbar Square, Kathmandu
The beautiful Durbar Square, Kathmandu
The ancient Bouddhanath stupa in Kathmandu at sunrise
The ancient Bouddhanath stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal
Ornate arches in the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri, India
Local man in Vijayawada, India
Driving through the Thar desert near Jaisalmer, India
An incredible desert sunset in the Thar desert near Jaisalmer
A camel oustide the impressive ancient fort of Jaisalmer, western India
The ancient fort of Jaisalmer, India
The white-washed colonial Se Cathedral in Old Goa, India
A young monkey in the Rajasthani city of Jaipur
The mighty Hawa Mahal Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India
The serene gardens inside the Amber Fort of Jaipur, India
Delicious local food being made in Visakhapatnam
Stunning detail on the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai
The lush tea plantations of Wayanad, India
Waterfalls near our Wayanad homestay
The Lahore Gate at the front of the Red Fort, Delhi
The India Gate in New Delhi, India
The ancient minaret of Qutab Minar, Delhi
Humayun's Tomb in Delhi
Local street traders in Agra
The incredible Mughal mausoleum of the Taj Mahal in Agra
Local man in Agra, India
Dragoman group in Fatehpur Sikri, India
The Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, India
The busy streets of Gorokphur, India
Cycle-rickshaws navigating the streets of Gorokphur, India
The amazing Amber Fort in Jaipur at night
Kathakali puppets in Jaipur
In the Hawa Mahal Palace in Jaipur, India
Jaipur Palace at sunset, India
Wooden canoes parked in Chitwan National Park
An elephant enjoying a mud bath in Chitwan National Park
A rhino taking a swin in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
On a wooden canoe ride through the rivers of Chitwan National Park
Asiatic rhinos spotted in Chitwan National Park, Nepal
A dog enjoys some shade underneath a rickshaw in Kolkata
The stunning colonial Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, lit up at night
The phenomenal stonework on the 10th-centry temples of Khajuraho
The iconic Taj Mahal, built in the 16th century in Agra
Washing clothes in the Ganges in Varanasi
A candle on the ghats of Varanasi
Devout Hindus on the ghats in the holy city of Varanasi, India
The tranquil gardens near the Maidan, Kolkata
Rickshaws lined up in the Bow district of Kolkata, India
The Howrah bridge in Kolkata
The stunning colonial Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, India

Day 1: Kathmandu

( Mon 20 Nov )

Important Joining Hotel Change for Departures starting between 5th October 2017 and 8th November 2017 only: 

Hotel Manang

Paknajol Thamel



Tel: +97714700888

Please note if your trip departs outside of these dates you will be staying at our normal joining hotel as per your trip notes. 

Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Kathmandu, you will most likely enter Nepal at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA code: KTM).

Wrapped around the Himalayan mountain range is the remarkable country of Nepal. It is the birthplace of the Buddha and is a land of legend and beauty. Within its narrow confines Nepal contains an utterly spectacular variety of culture and landscapes. Nepal has a stunning natural beauty and a simple charm.

There is an important group meeting at 6:00pm. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kathmandu before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kathmandu.

In Kathmandu we stay in a good quality hotel.

Hotel for the night: Hotel Tibet

Hotel Tibet

Lazimpat Road

Kathmandu 44600


Tel - +977 1442 9085

Activity Approximate Cost

Discover Kathmandu on a guided city tour

NPR 100

Visit the sacred Hindu Pashupatinath Temple, dedicated to Nepal's unofficial national deity

NPR 1000

Visit the former royal palace of Narayanhiti and see the crown jewels of Nepal

NPR 500
Get out of the city and explore the nearby national park of Sundarijal, and see its idyllic waterfalls and rock formations NPR 250
Visit the beautiful and tranquil Durbar Square in the nearby medieval town of Bhaktapur, and visit its nearby museums NPR 750
About Kathmandu:

Kathmandu is the magnificent and evocative capital of Nepal - situated on the shores of the Bagmati river, it's a lively, bustling place where ancient collides with modern to create an exhilarating melting pot of sights, sounds and smells. Today's modern jumble of concrete buildings and busy streets has built up around the medieval old town, where wandering through the winding alleyways is like taking a step back in time.

The heart of the old city is the magnificent Durbar Square, where Nepalese Royalty used to be crowned, and today it's a good spot to sit and watch the world go by. The buildings here date from the 17th and 18th Centuries, although many of the original structures were even older and many suffered from earthquake damage over the last few centuries.

Other sights worth visiting are the Temple of the Living Goddess, the Royal Palace, the Pashupatinath Hindu temple, Boudhanath Buddhist stupa and Swayambunath (the Monkey Temple), all of which are set against the magnificent Himalayan backdrop. When all the sightseeing gets a bit too much, you can kick back and relax in the numerous cafes and bars around the tourist areas of Thamel and ‘Freak Street'.

Day 2: Chitwan National Park

( Tue 21 Nov )

Today we will leave Kathmandu after breakfast, driving through stunning scenery down to the Terai grasslands. Our destination is Chitwan National Park, where we will stay for the next 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

If we arrive in good time we will make a visit to Bis Hajaar Tal, also known as 20,000 Lakes, which is a wetland area near the Royal Chitwan National Park. Here we will get the opportunity to see peacocks, wild boars, deer and there is also a slim chance of seeing tigers and rhinos. If we cannot visit 20,000 Lakes today we will make our visit tomorrow.

In Chitwan we will stay in a local guest lodge.

Activity Approximate Cost
Explore the village of Chitwan on a tour by traditional ox and cart Included in Kitty
Explore the heart of the incredible Chitwan National Park on a jeep safari (alternative to the 20,000 Lake excursion) NPR 3500

Take a jeep safari around the stunning wetland area of 20,000 Lakes

Included in Kitty
Witness the fascinating and impressive local tradition of Tharu stick dancing Included in Kitty
About Chitwan National Park:

Chitwan National Park is situated in the central Nepali Terai, a huge nature reserve protecting hundreds of square kilometres of grassland and marshes. Home to over 700 species of animals in total, it's a fantastic place to look for wildlife - if you're very lucky then you may spot a heavily-armoured Asiatic Rhino, as well as sloth bears and even tigers! You can go on walking safaris, boat trips or travel by jeep in the National Park.

Day 3: Chitwan National Park

( Wed 22 Nov )

Today we'll spend the day exploring the national park by canoe and on foot, and there is the option to take a jeep safari! There will be an opportunity to see a traditional Nepali dance demonstration in the evening.

In Chitwan we will stay in a local guest lodge.

Day 4: Chitwan National Park

( Thu 23 Nov )

Today we'll spend the day exploring the National Park by canoe and on foot, and there is the option to take a jeep safari! There will be an opportunity to see a traditional Nepali dance demonstration in the evening.

In Chitwan we will stay in a local guest lodge.

Activity Approximate Cost
Explore the village of Chitwan on a tour by traditional ox and cart Included in Kitty
Explore the heart of the incredible Chitwan National Park on a jeep safari (alternative to the 20,000 Lake excursion) NPR 3500

Take a jeep safari around the stunning wetland area of 20,000 Lakes

Included in Kitty
Witness the fascinating and impressive local tradition of Tharu stick dancing Included in Kitty

Day 5: Gorakhpur

( Fri 24 Nov )

Border Information: Exit Nepal at Belhiya, enter India at Sonauli.

Today we enter the legendary country of India. India has so much to offer, from the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas, to the amazing temples and coastlines, rich culture, and of course the food!

This morning we have a fairly relaxed start to the day before packing up and driving to the border. We will cross the border to India and continue on a short drive to the town of Gorakhpur.

We will stay in a local hotel in Gorakhpur.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 6 to 7: Varanasi

( Sat 25 Nov to Sun 26 Nov )

Today we will continue driving and reach the holy city of Varanasi in the evening.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

On the following day we will get up very early for an included boat trip down the Ganges. This is a magical time of day to see the famous ghats and watch the morning rituals of the thousands of people who come here to purify themselves in the holy river. We will have auto-rickshaws for the rest of the day to explore the rest of the city - we will have the opportunity to use them to visit a traditional silk workshop and the Mother India temple.

In Varanasi we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Activity Approximate Cost

At dawn drift down the holy River Ganges in Varanasi

Included in Kitty

Explore the stupas and temples of Varanasi

Visit the Mughal-era mosque of Gyanvapi in Varanasi Free
Visit the ancient site of Isipatana and the museum in the town of Sarnath, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world and where many Buddhist nations have built temples in their national styles USD 5
About Varanasi:

Set on the banks of the river Ganges, Varanasi (formerly known as Benares) is the holiest place in the Hindu religion. Hindu pilgrims travel here from all over the world come here to wash away their sins in the blessed river water of the Ganges, and to cremate their loved ones who have passed away. In Hindu mythology, to die in the city of Varanasi will result in instant "moksha", a release from the cycle of death and reincarnation. Varanasi is also the birthplace of Buddhism, as the Buddha is said to have given his first ever sermon at the nearby site of Sarnath in 528 BCE. 

Dawn is probably the best time of day to experience the city - by floating down the river on a boat, you can witness thousands of worshippers coming to the river's ghats to purify themselves in their morning rituals. You will also be able to see the burning ghats, where the bodies of the faithful are cremated and their ashes strewn out over the waters. To the Hindu people, Varanasi is a very special and spritual place, and it has a very evocative and sometimes other-wordly atmosphere, although being so close to the intimate rituals of life and death can sometimes leave you feeling a little overwhelmed. 

Day 8 to 10: Khajuraho

( Mon 27 Nov to Wed 29 Nov )

Today we will drive to the town of Khajuraho, having some free time to relax at our treehouse campsite when we arrive.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

On the next day we will head out for an included guided visit to the Khajuraho Erotic Temples.

The next day is free to explore the area, relax on the banks of the river, or take an optional jeep safari to the nearby Panna National Park in search of wildlife.

In Khajuraho we will stay in a campsite with good facilities.

Activity Approximate Cost

Jeep safari through Panna Game Reserve

INR 1500

Guided tour of the famous erotic temples at Khajuraho

Included in Kitty
About Khajuraho:

Khajuraho was once the capital of the Chandelas of Jejakabhukti between the 10th-13th Centuries CE, a small Rajput kingdom. Rajput kingdoms were small local dynasties that dominated political life across northern and central India between the 6th Century BCE and the 20th Century CE. The Chandelas of Jejakabhukti ruled over much of the modern-day region of Bundelkhand, and built the magnificent Hindu and Jain temples in Khajuraho in around 1000 CE.

Considered to be "one of the seven wonders of India", the temples are in three geographic groups - western, eastern and southern. Because they were built in quite a remote and inaccessible location, the western group of temples have been almost perfectly preserved. Set in peaceful, well-kept gardens, the temples are magnificently decorated and covered in some very graphic carvings depicting all sorts of erotic acts!

Day 11 to 12: Taj Mahal, Agra

( Thu 30 Nov to Fri 01 Dec )

After breakfast we leave our campsite and head to the city of Agra. Most of today will be spent travelling and we will arrive in the evening.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.

On the following day we will have an included day tour of the major sites of Agra, starting with sunrise at the world-famous iconic mausoleum of the Taj Mahal, followed by a visit to the Agra Fort.

In Agra we will stay in a local hotel.

Activity Approximate Cost

See the stunning Taj Mahal and visit the Agra Fort at Agra.

Included in Kitty

Community homestay to experience true Indian hospitality

Included in Kitty
Explore the peaceful grounds of the Itmad Ud Daulah mausoleum, often described as a 'draft' of the Taj Mahal INR 100
About Taj Mahal:

The Taj Mahal is by far the most recognisable icon of India. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, coming face-to-face with this magnificent building never disappoints.

Built between 1632-1653 CE by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the spectacular building was a mausoleum in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their 14th child. Because of this origin, the building is often described as a "monument to love".

It took over 20,000 labourers and skilled craftsmen to built it, some of whom were brought in from all over India, Central Asia and even Europe to work on the marble inlay work and complex decorations. The site has been described by UNESCO as being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage".

The Taj Mahal is fantastic to explore at any time of the day, but the early mornings are the best - sitting quietly and watching as the iridescent white marble takes on a soft morning glow is a memory you will never forget.

About Agra:

Of course the main highlight of Agra is the iconic Taj Mahal, but this means that it is all too easy to overlook some of the city's other magnificient sites. 

Agra (then known as Akhbarabad) was the capital of the Mughal empire under Shahs Akhbar, Jahangir, and Jahan, before Shah Jahan moved it to Shahjahanabad (modern-day Delhi) in 1648 CE. The heritage of the Mughals is still evident, not just with the stunning Taj Mahal, but with the spectacular Red Fort and wonderful Itmad-ud-Daulah tomb (sometimes known as the 'Baby Taj'). The city is also a good place for shopping, particularly jewellery, textiles and other arts and crafts.

Day 13 to 14: Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri

( Sat 02 Dec to Sun 03 Dec )

We leave Agra today and head overland to the pink city of Jaipur, stopping en route at Fatehpur Sikri (the old capital of the Mughal Empire).

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day exploring the sites of Jaipur on the truck with our local guide. Whilst in Jaipur there will also be the option for an early morning or late afternoon hot air balloon ride over the city.

In Jaipur we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Activity Approximate Cost

2 night stay and guided tour of Jaipur, the beautiful Pink City

Included in Kitty

Take an unforgettable sunrise or sunset balloon ride over the forts and palaces of Jaipur

USD 250
See a traditional outdoor Rajasthani Kathputli puppet show in Jaipur INR 100
Explore the fascinating 18th-century astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar Included in Kitty

Visit the ancient citadel of the Amber Palace, a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture

Included in Kitty
Head out to see a Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir, one of India's most famous and elegant cinemas INR 80

Discover the perfectly-preserved 16th-century Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri, and its beautiful temples and monuments

Included in Kitty
About Jaipur:

The city of Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan, and named after its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II who moved his capital here from nearby Amer in the 18th Century due to population growth. It is known as the "Pink City", as all the buildings within the walls of the old town are painted a dusky rose pink - the story goes that Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh ordered that all the buildings should be painted in this colour to welcome the visiting Prince of Wales (who later became Edward VII) to the city in 1876, and the buildings have remained the same colour ever since.

Jaipur is busy and bustling, with chaotic streets full of traffic, but it is also home to some incredible architecture and colourful history. The Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal) in the city centre is the most famous building, with storey after storey of intricately carved honeycomb windows - and the impressive City Palace should not be missed.

Other sites of interest include the old Jantar Mantar Observatory and the Iswari Minar Swarga Sal minaret. It's also a great city for people-watching, set out on foot and you will find yourself surrounded by tall, proud Rajasthanis. Many of the men sport magnificent handlebar moustaches and huge brightly coloured turbans whilst the women are equally colourful in their mirrored skirts and chunky jewellery.

About Fatehpur Sikri:

Fatehpur Sikri is the site of the perfectly preserved but deserted capital built by Akbar, the third Emperor of the Mughal Empire. In 1569 CE, Akbar founded the new city to honour the Sufi holy man Salim Chishti, who had previously blessed him and foretold the birth of Akbar’s only son. Akbar proclaimed the city as the new Mughal capital in 1571, only for it to be abandoned in 1585 due to the drying up of the only water source. After briefly declaring Lahore as the new capital, it was once again returned to the nearby city of Agra.

There is little left of the wider orignal city, but much of the magnificent imperial complex, protective walls and wonderful old mosque remain almost intact, a testament to the might and power of  Akbar and the Mughal Empire.

Day 15: Delhi

( Mon 04 Dec )

Today we leave Jaipur and travel to the chaotic Indian capital of Delhi.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

In Delhi we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

About Delhi:

Delhi is the bustling and thriving Indian capital, and the third largest urban area in the world (behind Tokyo and Jakarta). 

The Delhi area has been continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BCE and has served as the a capital of various kingdoms and empires throughout the last three millennia, most prominantly by the Afghan and Turkic Sultanates of the medieval period, and the Mughal Empire between the 16th and 18th Centuries. The city was taken by British colonial forces in 1858 and made the capital in 1911, a status which was kept when India gained its independence in 1947.

Delhi has many incredible sights spanning all eras of its history. The Lok Sabha (parliament building), President’s Palace, India Gate and the Rajpath are impressive reminders of the old British Indian Empire, while a trip on the metro to Qutab Minar will let you discover this intricately carved tower built during the Afghan Sultanate period. To surround yourself in the phenomenal Mughal-era architecture, take a visit to Humayan's Tomb (allegedly a forerunner of the Taj Mahal), and the magnificent Red Fort and Jama Masjid in the area known as 'Old Delhi'.

Bustling Delhi is also a great place to indulge in shopping and people-watching. In the old town you'll find Chandni Chowk, a colourful shopping bazaar and fascinating market. The market is one of the most popular in India, taking it's name from the words meaning "moonlight square".

Day 16: Delhi

( Tue 05 Dec )

Today we will have an included guided tour of Old Delhi, heading to the Mughal Jama Masjid mosque, a local tea-maker, a Sikh temple, and the local spice markets. We will also have some free time to freely explore the sights of Delhi in the afternoon. 

Activity Approximate Cost

Take a walking tour through some of the back streets and narrow alleyways of Old Delhi, discovering the hidden side of the city

Included in Kitty
Explore the Sanjay Colony 'slum' area of Delhi on a guided tour to see the micro-industries, schools and residential life there INR 600

Freely explore the colossal Mughal Red Fort in Old Delhi, built by the emporer Shah Jahan in 1648 upon moving the capital there

INR 250

Visit the stunning Mughal-era mosque of Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, and climb its iconic minarets for an unrivalled view of the old city

INR 400

Visit the Indira Gandhi Museum in Delhi, dedicated to the former Prime Minister who was assassinated by her own bodyguards in 1984

INR 100

See the ground-breaking modern architecture of the Delhi Baha'i Temple, known as the Lotus Temple due to its unique shape


See the India Gate at the end of Delhi's ceremonial axis, built to commemorate all Indians who have died in various wars


Explore the site of Humayun’s Tomb, a phenomenal early Mughal tomb that is said to be a major inspiration for the Taj Mahal

INR 250

Discover the phenomenal 13th Century Qutab Minar and Mehrauli Archaeological Park in the south of Delhi, an intricately-carved pillar built during the Sultanate era of Indian history

INR 250

Day 17: Delhi

( Wed 06 Dec )

Border Information: If you are leaving in Delhi, you will most likely exit India from Delhi's Indira Gandi International Airport (IATA code: DEL).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Delhi. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Day 18: Delhi

( Thu 07 Dec )

Border Information: If joining the trip in Delhi, you will most likely enter India at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA code: DEL).

Today is a free day to explore Delhi. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Delhi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Delhi.

In Delhi we will stay in a local hotel.

Hotel for the night: Florence Inn

Florence Inn

15 A/6 WEA

Ajmal Khan Road

Near Karol Bagh Metro Station

Opposite Puja Park

Karol Bagh

New Delhi 110005

Tel - +91 987 163 2007

Please note that there is a sister hotel in Delhi called the Hotel Florence. This is a different hotel a few blocks away, so please make sure you go to the Florence Inn.

Activity Approximate Cost

Take a walking tour through some of the back streets and narrow alleyways of Old Delhi, discovering the hidden side of the city

INR 100
Explore the Sanjay Colony 'slum' area of Delhi on a guided tour to see the micro-industries, schools and residential life there INR 600

Day 19: Bikaner

( Fri 08 Dec )

Today we start our journey with a full day drive to the city of Bikaner.

In Bikaner we will either stay in a local hotel or camp at an eco-lodge a short distance outside the city.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Activity Approximate Cost

Witness the holy rats in the Karni Mata rat temple near Bikaner

Included in Kitty
About Bikaner:

Bikaner is a desert town in north west Rajasthan, protected from the encroaching sands by its high city walls and gates. The atmospheric old town is built out of the same pinky-red sandstone as many of the buildings in nearby Jaipur.

Close to Bikaner you will find the bizarre temple of Karni Mata, dedicated to a medieval-era female ascetic Hindu sage - in this temple, thousands and thousands of sacred rats known as kabbas are revered and worshipped. The legend goes that Karni Mata's stepson, Laxman, drowned after falling into a pond when trying to take a drink, and Karni Mata convinced Yama, the god of death, to allow him and all of her other male children and descendants to be reincarnated as rats. They scurry around the temple, over your feet, between your legs, up the walls and on the furniture!

Day 20: Jaisalmer

( Sat 09 Dec )

Today we continue our journey with a drive to the ancient Rajasthani city of Jaisalmer, stopping at the Karni Mata (Rat Temple) for an included visit en route. 

In Jaisalmer we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

About Jaisalmer:

The city of Jaisalmer is one of the old Rajput capitals of Rajasthan, dating back to its founding in 1156 CE. Known as the "Golden City', Jaisalmer is dominated by the old fort, built on a hill which gives it a commanding view over the Thar Desert. Built of beautiful yellow sandstone, the fort's walls are a tawny beige colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets. The monumental walls are ornately designed with imposing parapets and towers at every turn, and covered in intricate stonework.

In the old town the havelis (houses of once-important Jaisalmer families) look like small palaces with facades covered in fine carvings and highly-decorated balconies.

Day 21: Jaisalmer

( Sun 10 Dec )

Today we will have a free morning in order to freely explore the sights of Jaisalmer. In the late afternoon we will head out on an included camel safari into the Thar Desert - exploring the desert with local Rajasthani camel drivers is the most authentic way to experience the area!

Tonight we will camp out in the desert, sleeping under the stars.

Activity Approximate Cost

Trek into the Thar Desert on an overnight camel safari with Rajasthani camel drivers

Included in Kitty

Day 22: Jaisalmer

( Mon 11 Dec )

This morning we will return to Jaisalmer from our camel safari. The rest of the day will be free to relax or explore more of Jaisalmer and the surrounding area.

Tonight we will return to our hotel in Jaisalmer.

Activity Approximate Cost
Visit the beautiful and ornate 18th-century mansions of Salim Singh-ki Haveli and Patwa-ki Haveli INR 70

3 nights at Jaisalmer to explore the medieval streets, the fort and the desert

INR 250
Watch the sunset from the stunning Amar Sagar Jain Temple in Jaisalmer INR 100

Day 23 to 24: Jodhpur, Sambhali Trust

( Tue 12 Dec to Wed 13 Dec )

This morning we will drive from Jaisalmer to another famous Rajasthani city, Jodhpur. En route to Jodhpur we will make an included visit to the Sambhali Trust project (a charitable project that works for the empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan), where we will learn about the efforts of the project and make a group donation from the kitty.

After our visit we will make our way to our accommodation, rooms that have been set up by local families in their own homes for visitors. We will be splitting up into 2 or 3 small groups for our homestays.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

On the following day we will be in and around Jodhpur. In the morning we will have an included visit to the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace, and the afternoon is free to explore the city independently. 

Activity Approximate Cost

Explore the blue city of Jodhpur and the mighty Meherangarh fort

Included in Kitty

Community homestay to experience true Indian hospitality

Included in Kitty

Visit and support the Dragoman-supported Sambhali Trust near Jodhpur, and see the excellent work they do to provide local women and girls with education and vocational skills

Included in Kitty
Visit the Jaswant Thada, a beautiful marble cenotaph next to a picturesque lake built in memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II INR 55

Learn all about Rajasthani cuisine at a cooking class at our guesthouse or homestay in Jodhpur

INR 1000
Explore the museum of the Jodhpur Royal Family in the Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the world's largest private residences INR 50
Explore the nearby Mandore Gardens and ancient ruined fort Free

Go out on an exhilarating zip-lining excursion over the gardens of the Mehrangarh Fort

INR 1800
About Jodhpur:

Jodhpur, situated on the edge of the Thar Desert, is affectionately known as the "Blue City" of Rajasthan due to its many indigo coloured houses in the old town. These are best seen from the ramparts of the mighty Mehrangarh Fortress, which looms above the bustling city. Built in the late 15th Century CE, the colossal fort of Mehrangarh is the largest in the whole of Rajasthan, and has never been taken by force. The fort complex itself is huge and spreads over the hill looking over Jaipur - it houses the Maharaja's Palace as well as a number of temples, extensive gardens and some of the most well-stocked museums and galleries in all of India.

Elsewhere in the city, Nai Sadak is the place to head for shopping, and the Sardar Market is a riot of sights, sounds and smells that's a baffling assault on the senses. Also in Jodhpur are the historical sites of Jaswant Thada, built at the end of the 19th Century and constructed entirely out of sheets of marble, and Mandore, the ancient capital of Marwar.

About Sambhali Trust:

The Sambhali Trust is an organisation near Jodhpur that provides underprivileged Rajasthani women and girls (and now also some boys) with educational, vocational, and social skills to help them to become confident and financially independent. Even though the destructive 'caste'-system is officially abolished in India, it is still a huge issue in the region. They specifically work with 'Dalit' women and girls, who usually have little or no access to education or basic health services. They do not even have the right to choose their husband and manage that relationship.

In addition to helping break the cycle of poverty and financial dependence on family members, the Sambhali Trust gives these women a voice and a support network to nurture their hopes, dreams, and ambitions. The Trust also does everything to get the girls into schools and pay for their education. There is also a sewing school, where the Trust helps the women to establish their own small tailoring shops in their own villages.

We visit the Sambhali Trust to see all the work they do on our trips between Delhi and Mumbai, and provide a donation on our visit.

Day 25: Udaipur

( Thu 14 Dec )

After breakfast we set off for our drive to Udaipur, visiting the Jain Temple at Ranakpur en route. We will have 3 nights in Udaipur, giving us plenty of time to discover this amazing, romantic Rajasthani city.

In Udaipur we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Activity Approximate Cost

2 nights to discover the stunning white city of Udaipur

Included in Kitty
About Udaipur:

Udaipur is arguably the most romantic city in all of Rajasthan - an evocative and magical place on the shores of Lake Pichola. The city boasts several royal palaces, the most spectacular of which is the floating Lake Palace, made famous in the James Bond film "Octopussy". This palace is now home to a luxury hotel and it's sometimes possible to take a short boat trip out onto the lake to see it.

Back in the city itself, the huge City Palace towers over the rest of the buildings here - not surprising, seeing as this is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan! Its many balconies, towers and cupolas offer fine views over the lake and city. Now a museum, the City Palace is home to the "Mor Chowk" with its beautiful mosaics of peacocks - a sacred bird not only to the people of Udaipur but also to all Rajasthanis.

Day 26 to 27: Udaipur

( Fri 15 Dec to Sat 16 Dec )

On these 2 days we will have free time to explore the sites in and around Udaipur, take part in some optional activities, and relax on one of the many roof-top terraces in the city.

Activity Approximate Cost
Take an evening ride on the Udaipur Ropeway, to see the stunning vista of the city after sunset INR 78
Learn all about the folk art, culture, songs and festivals of Rajasthan at the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal cultural institution INR 50
Visit the Animal Aid Unlimited animal shelter and hospital in Udiapur, and support the incredible work they do there to look after injured street animals in the area USD 10
Visit the iconic Monsoon Palace, perched on a mountain overlooking Udaipur INR 160

Visit the flamboyant City Palace of Udaipur, built in a fascinating fusion of Rajasthani and Mughal styles

INR 250
Explore the Pichola Lake, and it's famous temple islands of Jagniwas and Jagmandir, on a stunning and peaceful boat cruise INR 430
Head out on a half-day horse ride through the beautiful surroundings of the foothills of the Aravalli Mountains around Udaipur INR 1000

Visit the palaces of Udaipur

INR 100

Day 28: Mandu

( Sun 17 Dec )

Leaving Udaipur, we will be joined by a local cook who will accompany us during the next few days whilst we are wild camping.

Today will mostly be spent travelling to Mandu via the backroads of rural Rajasthan. We will be off the tourist trail here and tonight we will wild camp, perhaps on the edge of a local village.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

About Mandu:

Mandu was founded as a fortress and retreat in the 10th Century CE by Paramala Dynasty, a Rajput kingdom that ruled over much of the modern-day Malwa region of central Inda. It was conquered by the Muslim rulers of Delhi in 1304. After the victory of the Mughals in the early 16th Century in Delhi, the Afghan cheiftain of Mandu, Baz Bahadur, fled Mandu instead of facing the Mughal army. It was taken by the Maratha Dynasty in 1732, and was mostly abondoned when they moved their capital to the city of Dhar.

An extensive deserted hilltop fort on the edge of the Vindhya hill ranges, Mandu was once known as "the city of joy". Today the atmosphere is more one of mystery and romance. The views from the fort are quite stunning, and it's a great spot to take in the vistas of the vast plains below - and if you find Echo Point, when you clap you'll be able to hear the sound you make echoing all the way down the valley.

It's interesting to wander around and explore the old buildings, in particular the Royal Enclave, which includes some charming palaces built by the Sultan for the ladies of his hareem. You can also see the Hindola Mahal, or "Swinging Palace", which takes its name from its sloping sided walls that look like a swing.

Day 29 to 31: Ajanta, Mandu, Ellora

( Mon 18 Dec to Wed 20 Dec )

Today we will visit Mandu, an extensive and largely abandoned hill-top fort from the Mughal era. We will then spend the afternoon driving to our wild camp spot near Kharwand Dam, en route towards Ajanta.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

The next day we complete the drive to Ajanta, arriving in the afternoon. We will visit the complex of 29 ancient Buddhist temples cut into the rock face. We will wild camp nearby.

The following day we will drive a short distance to Ellora where we will have an included visit to the ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves - a set of a small temples in the rock face dating from the 6th to 11th Centuries CE. We will camp in the same campsite tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

Activity Approximate Cost

Visit the tomb of Hoshang Shah, the first Muslim leader of Mandu - the tomb itself is India's first marble building and one of the most refined examples of Afghan-syle architecture in the country

Included in Kitty

Visit to the Jahaz Mahal (or the Ship Palace)the most famous building in Mandu

Included in Kitty

Visit the deserted hilltop ghost city of Mandu

Included in Kitty

Take a guided visit around the incredible Buddhist rock caves and paintings of Ajanta, some dating back as far as the 2nd century BCE

Included in Kitty

 Guided visit to the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples and monasteries of Ellora

Included in Kitty
About Ajanta:

Hidden in a rocky escarpment, the phenomenal caves at Ajanta were discovered in 1819 by a British hunting party that stumbled upon them. Their isolation has contributed to the fine state of preservation we find them in today.

In all there are 29 caves nestling in the curve of a stunning deep gorge, all dating from around 200 BCE to 650 CE. The caves are beautifully decorated with paintings and sculptures telling the story of Buddha and illustrating tales from Buddhist fables and jatakas. The frescos are amazingly colourful and considered by many as amongst the finest examples of Buddhist art in India.

About Ellora:

Ellora is known for its remarkable sculptures - the incredible site features 34 Hindu and Jain temples carved into the caves around the area. The Hindu caves are the most dramatic, and the sheer size of the Kailasa Temple is overwhelming. It covers twice the area of the Parthenon in Athens and is one-and-a-half times as high. It was carved out of solid rock from the top down, and it is estimated that it entailed removing 200,000 tonnes of rock.

Day 32: Mumbai

( Thu 21 Dec )

Setting off early today, we will say goodbye to our local cook and drive to the bustling city of Mumbai.

In Mumbai we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

About Mumbai:

Mumbai is India's most cosmopolitan city, and lies on the west coast. It's also home to the largest film industry in the world, Bollywood - so if you've never seen an Indian movie before, this is the place for it. Full of high-drama, romance, suspense, music and dancing, Bollywood films are all-singing, all-dancing extravaganzas! 

Combine India's version of LA with a hefty dose of traffic, busy streets, lively bazaars, briefcase-clutching businessmen and some impressive colonial architecture, and there you have Mumbai. The city is a mad mixture of horrific poverty standing side-by-side with prolific consumerism; this is the financial capital of the sub-continent and it has the shopping centres, bars and restaurants to match - but more than half the inhabitants live in the slums. Mumbai can be a bit of a shock to the system and an assault on the senses. But once you get your head around it, you'll begin to appreciate all the city has to offer.

There's tons to do here, wander the streets and discover some of the beautiful old colonial architecture and Art Deco buildings, treat yourself to a meal in one of the country's best restaurants, and shop until you drop in the bazaars. In the evening, you can visit Chowpatty beach where colourful crowds of people mill about in the cooler evening air. Palmists, balloon sellers, magicians and acrobats all compete for your attention, vying to show you the magic of Mumbai.

Day 33: Mumbai

( Fri 22 Dec )

Border Information: If you are leaving in Mumbai, you will most likely exit India from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA code: BOM).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Mumbai. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Activity Approximate Cost

Take a guided tour of the backstreets, shops and schools of the Dhavari district, to experience a slice of the real Mumbai

INR 1200
Take a Bollywood dance class in one of Mumbai's premier dance studios INR 500
Discover the marvellous collection of historical objects and art at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, one of India's premier museums INR 300
Explore the labyrinth of cave-temples on Elephanta Island near Mumbai, some of the most impressive rock carvings in all of India INR 250

Day 34: Mumbai

( Sat 23 Dec )

Border Information: If joining the trip in Mumbai, you will most likely enter India from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA code: BOM).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel in Mumbai - please look out at the reception for a note from you tour leader with further details about this meeting. Otherwise, today is free to explore the sights and sounds of Mumbai. 

In Mumbai we will stay in a good quality hotel.

Hotel for the night: Hotel Fortune

Hotel Fortune

36/38 1st Marine Street

Metro, Dhobi Talao


Tel 022-22052502

Activity Approximate Cost

Take a guided tour of the backstreets, shops and schools of the Dhavari district, to experience a slice of the real Mumbai

INR 1200
Take a Bollywood dance class in one of Mumbai's premier dance studios INR 500
Discover the marvellous collection of historical objects and art at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, one of India's premier museums INR 300
Explore the labyrinth of cave-temples on Elephanta Island near Mumbai, some of the most impressive rock carvings in all of India INR 250

Day 35: Mumbai

( Sun 24 Dec )

Today will be a free day to explore the city. This is also an opportunity to take a tour of the Dharavi slum areas of the city.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Mumbai before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Mumbai.

Day 36 to 37: Goa

( Mon 25 Dec to Tue 26 Dec )

We will start our journey by taking the train along the coast to Goa. We will stay for 2 nights at the relaxed beaches of Vagator in the northern part of Goa. Most travellers are drawn to Vagator for the stunning sunsets, the laid-back atmosphere and the proximity of some other quieter beaches in the area such as Arambol and Anjuna.

In northern Goa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities close to the beach.

Estimated Journey Time (on train) - 11-12 hours.

About Goa:

To many people, Goa is all about the beaches - and it's fair to say that the soft white sand and sparkling blue water of the Arabian Sea are definitely some of the main attractions here.

But this is also an area rich in history and culture. The coastal state retains much of its old Portuguese colonial architecture, traditions, religion, and lifestyle, particularly in the old capital of Old Goa, where there are several churches, a cathedral and lots of great local markets, all well worth exploring.

Relax under a palm tree on the beach, watch the dhows sailing out into the sunset and see the fishing boats landing their catch, or wander around the local spice plantations revelling in their heady scent - there's something here for all kinds of different travellers. The locals say that time moves more slowly in Goa, so if nothing else it's a brilliant stop for a few days, a great chance to enjoy a bit of tranquility in an often frenetic country.

Goa is also home to some fantastic cuisine, including many fish-based curries, classic Goan pork vindaloo and Feni, a local spirit made from coconut and cashew nuts.

Day 38 to 39: Old Goa, Goa

( Wed 27 Dec to Thu 28 Dec )

After our 2 nights on the northern beaches of Goa, we head off in the truck to the southern end of Goa. En route we will stop off at the site of Old Goa to spend some time independently exploring the area's colonial buildings.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

We will stay for 2 nights in beautiful beach huts on the stunning beach of Agonda, which is a perfect place to sit back and watch the fishing boats landing their catch, sample the delicious local cuisine, or visit the nearby beach of Palolem with its many bars and restaurants.

About Old Goa:

Old Goa is a historical city in North Goa. The city was constructed by the Bijapur Sultanate in the 15th Century CE, and served as capital of Portuguese India from the 16th Century until its abandonment in the 18th Century due to plague. The remains of the city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The population was roughly 200,000 by 1543. Malaria and cholera epidemics ravaged the city in the 17th Century and it was largely abandoned, only having a remaining population of 1,500 by 1775. It was then that the viceroy moved to Panjim. It continued to be the de jure capital of Goa until 1843, when the capital was then shifted to Panjim. The abandoned city came to be known as "Velha Goa" (in Portuguese, 'Old Goa'), to distinguish it from the new capital Nova Goa (Panjim). Velha Goa was incorporated into the Republic of India in 1961, together with the rest of Goa.

Old Goa contains various churches, including the Se Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Goa), the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of St. Caetano, and notably, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which supposedly contains the relics of St. Francis Xavier.

Day 40 to 41: Hampi

( Fri 29 Dec to Sat 30 Dec )

Leaving the beaches of Goa behind us, we set off on a full day drive into the state of Karnataka and to the village of Hampi. The village is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the ancient Vijayanagara Empire. 

Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.

On the following day we will have a guided tour of the historical sites around Hampi by rickshaw and on foot.

In Hampi we will stay in a comfortable local guesthouse.

Activity Approximate Cost

Discover the lost kingdom of Vijayanagar in the magnificent ruined city of Hampi

Included in Kitty
About Hampi:

The city of Hampi bears exceptional testimony to the vanished civilization of the kingdom of Vijayanagar, which reached its apogee under the reign of Krishna Deva Raya between 1509 and 1530 CE. The type of structure illustrates a significant historical situation, that of the kingdoms of South India which, menaced by the Muslims, were occasionally allied with the Portuguese of Goa.

The grand site of Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Its fabulously rich princes built Dravidian temples and palaces which won the admiration of travellers between the 14th and 16th Centuries. Conquered by the Deccan Muslim confederacy in 1565, the city was pillaged over a period of six months before being abandoned.

Day 42 to 43: Mysore

( Sun 31 Dec to Mon 01 Jan )

From Hampi we will have another full day drive to the city of Mysore, one of India's most attractive towns.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours.

On the following day we will have free time in Mysore to independently explore the city's beautiful gardens, palaces, and the Shri Chamarajendra art gallery.

In Mysore we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Activity Approximate Cost

Explore the amazing Maharaja's Palace of Mysore

Included in Kitty
Climb the 1000 steps to the summit of Chamundi Hill, to visit the famous Sri Chamundeshwari Temple and take in the views of the city below INR 100
About Mysore:

Mysore is one of India's most attractive towns. Unlike some of India's biggest cities, it feels quite manageable in size, and its beautiful buildings are packed full of history - the Maharaja’s Palace, the Lalitha Mahal (Summer Palace) and Shri Chamarajendra art gallery are all definitely worth a visit.

Historically the town was the capital of the mighty Maharaja kingdom of Mysore, ruled by the same family from 1399 until 1947. There was a brief period where the throne was usurped by one of the most colourful of Indian rulers, Hyder Ali and then by his famous son Tipu Sultan.

Today the city is the state capital and one of the centres of the silk trade. It's well laid out with wide streets and many gardens, making it a pleasant place to wander around. It is also one of the major incense manufacturers in India - some call it the "Sandalwood City" and you will find yourself enveloped by the aromas of sandalwood, jasmine, rose and musk.

Day 44 to 45: Wayanad

( Tue 02 Jan to Wed 03 Jan )

Today we travel up into the cool highlands and head to the hill-station of Wayanad, a small settlement surrounded by tea and coffee plantations.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Over the 2 days that we have in Wayanad we will have the chance to hike up Chembra Peak, visit local waterfalls and tea plantations, visit the petroglyphs at the Edakkal Caves, and to visit the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

Whilst in Wayanad we stay as guests of local families at a homestay, where they have set up rooms for visitors in their homes.

Activity Approximate Cost
See the 7000-year-old Neolithic petroglyphs at the Edakkal caves en route Included in Kitty

Relax at the community Homestay in the hills of Wayanad

Included in Kitty
Take a strenuous day-hike up the 2100m Chembra Peak, the highest peak in the Wayanad area INR 1000
Take a walk through the scenic Wayanad countryside to visit the Meenmutty or Kanthanppara waterfalls INR 60

Overland through the Western Ghats

INR 800
About Wayanad:

The lush hill station district of Wayanad is nestled at the foot of the Western Ghats. Rolling green hillsides, surrounded by misty-clad peaks and dotted with luxurious tea, coffee and spice plantations, the small communities here are the perfect place for a spot of rest and relaxation - the area is famous with locals for its spectacular natural beauty. Part of the region is designated as a wildlife sanctuary in order to protect the many animals that live here, and its possible to trek through the forest reserves. This is one of the few places in India where you may see wild elephants, and if you're lucky you may also be able to spot deer, bison and langur monkeys.

Day 46 to 47: Kochi

( Thu 04 Jan to Fri 05 Jan )

Today we will continue our journey with a full day drive to the coastal city of Kochi.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-10 hours.

On the following day we will take a local boat to Fort Cochin and have free time to explore and visit various sites including the Jewish Quarter, St Francis Church and the iconic Chinese fishing nets. In the evening we will be able to see a performance from the famous Kathakali dancers, India's most spectacular dance drama.

In Kochi we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Activity Approximate Cost

Evening visit to watch the classical Indian dance drama of Kathakali

Included in Kitty
About Kochi:

Kochi, in Kerala state, is a town split between the mainland and a group of islands just off the coast. For this reason, a boat-trip is the best way to tour the main sights, which include the oldest church in India and Vasco de Gama's final resting place.

Opposite Fort Cochin you can watch fishermen working their cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, a typical feature of this region. Interestingly, the town is also home to a dwindling Jewish community that has roots going back as far as 1000 CE, and there is a synagogue here that was built in the 16th Century.

This is also the home of Kathakali dancing, India's most spectacular style of dance drama. The hundreds of different arrangements are based on stories from the Ramayan and Mahabharata - the two epic stories of Indian mythology.

Day 48: Alleppey

( Sat 06 Jan )

Leaving the bustle of Kochi behind, today we embark on our included overnight houseboat cruise on the tranquil Keralan backwaters of Alleppey. We will often split into smaller groups to board our traditional 'Kettuvallom' boats which will take us around the scenic rivers and spend the night aboard. 

Activity Approximate Cost

Travel overnight by local boat through the Backwaters and experience the villages of Kerala

Included in Kitty
About Alleppey:

Alleppey is the gateway to the Keralan backwaters. The network of waterways here extends over hundreds of kilometres, so it's no surprise that Alleppey is sometimes described as "The Venice of the East". Life revolves around the water here - children often learn to swim before they can walk, and they row boats before they ride a bike!

Of course, the best way to explore the region is by boat - jump on board a typical Keralan houseboat and meander down the waterways, try your hand at fishing, and just lay back and enjoy this unique landscape.

Day 49 to 51: Varkala

( Sun 07 Jan to Tue 09 Jan )

After our fantastic overnight cruise along the Keralan backwaters, we continue our journey with a short drive to the beach resort of Varkala.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

We will have 3 nights here with free time to explore the surrounding areas and relax on the beautiful beaches. Varkala is well known for its beaches, and there are also lots of great local restaurants where you can sample the justifiably-famous Keralan cuisine.

In Varkala we will stay at a beach resort.

Activity Approximate Cost
Get a traditional Ayurvedic massage in the Keralan town of Varkala INR 1200
Head out for an evening performance of traditional Keralan Kathakali dancing INR 300
About Varkala:

Varkala sits on India's Keralan coast, and is home to some of the whitest and most pristine beaches in the whole country. The sandy bay here is protected by soaring cliffs, the beach sits below the rock face, whilst the town itself sits prettily along the cliff edge above - a string of laid-back bars, restaurants, guesthouses and hotels.

It's a great place to just kick back and relax, but there are plenty of activities to involve yourself in, including yoga, boat rides, massages and cooking classes. Sitting on the sand and watching the sun dip below the horizon is the perfect way to end a day here.

Day 52: Kanyakumari

( Wed 10 Jan )

Today we will have a morning drive to Kanyakumari (also known as Cape Comorin), the very southern point of India. Here we will have free time to independently explore the Vivekananda Rock and the surrounding sites.

In Kanyakumari we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Activity Approximate Cost
Take the ferry over to Vivekananda Rock and explore the memorial to the Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda INR 150
About Kanyakumari:

Kanyakumari (sometimes referred to as Cape Comorin) is a town in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, it is the geographical end of the Indian mainland and the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. Kanyakumari takes its name from the Kumari Amman Temple, situated in the town. Just off-shore, on Vivekananda Rock, is a huge statue of the Hindu holy man Swami Vivekananda - this is a wonderful place to join the locals to watch the sun rise in the early morning.

Day 53: Madurai

( Thu 11 Jan )

This morning we have the option to get up early to watch the sunrise from the southern tip of India with thousands of locals, what can be an incredible experience! From Kanyakumari we then start heading back north again, and drive to the holy city of Madurai. In the afternoon we will have an included visit to the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai.

In Madurai we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Activity Approximate Cost

Visit to the historical Hindu Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva

Included in Kitty
About Madurai:

Madurai is Tamil Nadu's third largest town and has been populated since the 3rd Century BCE - there is mention of the city in the works of ancient Greek and Roman historians such as Pliny the Elder and Ptolomy. 

Madurai is recognised as the centre of Dravidian culture with its main attraction the famous Shree Meenakshi Temple in the heart of the old town. Its many gopurams are covered with profusions of multicoloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures, and the views from one of the temple towers are breathtaking. The city is also synonymous with the Tamil language, and is one of the centres of Tamil culture in India. It is one of southern India’s liveliest cities, yet small enough not to be overwhelming.

Day 54 to 55: Pondicherry

( Fri 12 Jan to Sat 13 Jan )

Today we head to the French-influenced town of Pondicherry, and will have a free time on arrival in the afternoon.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

We will have 2 nights here with plenty of time to relax and soak up the atmosphere and spend time exploring the town and its beautiful colonial architecture. 

In Pondicherry we will stay in a local guesthouse.


Activity Approximate Cost

Overnight in the former French colony of Pondicherry

Visit the spiritual community of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, founded in the early 20th century by the famous Bengali freedom fighter and spiritual leader Free
About Pondicherry:

The united territories of Pondicherry are unmistakably and charmingly French, complete with an hotel de ville, French consulate and police who wear red 'kepis' hats and belts. Pondicherry is also the home of the famous Sri Aurobind ashram and its offshoot Auroville. The ashram, founded by Sri Aurobindo in 1926, is one of the most popular in India amongst westerners, and also one of the most affluent. The town enjoys duty-free status and is known for its leather goods and hand-made paper products - with its French influence, many of the shops have a distinctly European feel.

Day 56: Mahabalipuram, Chennai

( Sun 14 Jan )

Today we have a short drive to the ancient city of Mahabalipuram, once the capital of the Pallava Dynasty in the 7th Century CE. On arrival we will have an included visit to the incredible Shore Temples and other monuments around the town ( time permitted ).

In the afternoon we will finish the short drive to the bustling coastal city of Chennai.

In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 - 6 hours.

Activity Approximate Cost
Visit the Fort St. George, the site of the East India Company's first trading station in 1640, and the first British fort in India INR 100
Visit the Chennai Government Museum, and its incredible selection of antiquities including Roman artefacts and coins from all eras of India's past INR 250

Visit to the Shore Temples & Pagodas of Mahabalipuram

Included in Kitty
About Mahabalipuram:

Mahabalipuram was the second capital and seaport of the Pallava Dynasty of Kanchipuram, a medieval kingdom that ruled the area between the 6th and 9th Centuries CE. It is famous for its granite Shore Temples that overlook the Bay of Bengal, and the ‘Descent of Ganges’, a very detailed relief carved on a vast rock surface.

Mahabalipuram is a small but very pleasant and easy-going village, consisting mainly of two main streets. It stands at the foot of a low lying, boulder-strewn hill where most of the temples and rock carvings are located.

About Chennai:

Chennai (previously known as Madras) was the site of the first major settlement of the East India Company in 1639, and is now the fourth largest city in India. The town grew up around the Fort St. George and along Mount Road, and some interesting historic buildings can be seen here. It's true that it is busy, noisy and often extremely hot, but in many ways it is a surprisingly efficient and orderly place.

The Government Museum is worth a visit if you're interested in the history of the city, and its 13km-long Marina Beach is the country's longest urban beach. You might prefer to just wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere, exploring the many temples and bustling local markets.

Day 57: Chennai

( Mon 15 Jan )

Border Information: If you are leaving the trip in Chennai, you will most likely exit India from Chennai International Airport (IATA code: MAA).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Chennai. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Day 58: Chennai

( Tue 16 Jan )

Border Information: If you are joining in Chennai, you will most likely enter India in Chennai International Airport (IATA code: MAA).

Today is a free day to explore the sights, sounds and flavours of Chennai. There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your tour leader when you arrive at the hotel giving more details about this meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Chennai before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Chennai.

In Chennai we will stay in a comfortable modern hotel.

*Important note* - if you are joining the trip in Chennai, please make sure that you send us a scan of your Indian visa as soon as you have obtained it. If you plan to take the e-visa option, please make sure you arrange this well in advance and send us a copy of your receipt as soon as possible. If we do not receive this in advance, then we will not have enough time to get your permits for the Odisha Region and you will not be able to visit this area.

Hotel for the night: Hotel Pandian

Hotel Pandian

15 Kenneth Lane


Chennai 600 008


Tel - +91 44 2819 1010

Activity Approximate Cost

Overnight stay in Chennai

Included in Kitty
Visit the many historic temples, mosques, and churches of Chennai Free
Visit the Fort St. George, the site of the East India Company's first trading station in 1640, and the first British fort in India INR 100
Visit the Chennai Government Museum, and its incredible selection of antiquities including Roman artefacts and coins from all eras of India's past INR 250

Day 59: Tirupati, Tirumala

( Wed 17 Jan )

Today we start our journey with a drive to the bustling town of Tirupati. In the afternoon we will have an included visit to the Sri Venkateswara holy temple in the nearby town of Tirumala.

In Tirupati we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Activity Approximate Cost

Visit the Sri Venkatesvara Tirumalai Temple

Included in Kitty
About Tirupati:

In the very south of Andhra Pradesh state is the small town of Tirupati. Thousands of pilgrims flock here every day to visit the Sri Venkateswara Temple, which sits above the city on the sacred mountain of Tirumala.

Sri Venkateswara is belived by Hindus to be an incarnation of the deity Vishnu, and is said to have appeared here to save mankind during an appearance of the devil-god Kali. The temple is visited by an astonishing 30-40 million pilgrims per year (around 50,000-100,000 people a day and more on special festivals), making it the most-visited holy site in the world and the richest in terms of visitor donations.

Day 60: Vijayawada

( Thu 18 Jan )

Leaving Tirupati, we will spend the next few days overlanding through Andhra Pradesh, one of the least developed states in India. This is real off-the-beaten-track overlanding, and we will arrive in the small city of Vijayawada this evening.

In Vijayawada we will stay in a basic local hotel. 

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 61: Visakhapatnam

( Fri 19 Jan )

Today we continue our journey and drive through the back roads of Andra Pradesh. Our final destination tonight is the costal town of Visakhapatnam.

In Visakhapatnam we will stay in a local hotel on the sea front.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Day 62 to 66: Odisha Tribal Area

( Sat 20 Jan to Wed 24 Jan )

Today we will begin our guided tour through the rarely-visited Odisha Tribal Regions, which we will comprehensively visit over the next 6 days. In these regions the itinerary has to be kept fairly flexible, allowing us the freedom to alter things slightly if we hear of any special events or market days in particular villages. However, we will generally follow the plan below:

On the first day we will have an early start from Visakhapatnam to arrive in a small village called Goudaguda in time to visit the Monday markets. Beautiful earthen pottery is skillfully produced in this area and you may even get the chance to try this for yourself.

In Goudaguda we will stay in a local guesthouse which has been styled on local tribal houses.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have a full-day guided walk through the countryside around Goudaguda, visiting the neighbouring Mahali and Kondh tribal villages. We will return to our guesthouse in Goudaguda for the night. 

On the next day we will drive to the lively Chatikona Market, a weekly highlight for the Dongria Kondh tribe. We will then travel through the hills to the village of Muniguda, our destination for tonight. On arrival we will be welcomed by the New Hope Charitable Trust (a local NGO helping to uplift the poor and disadvantaged), and in the afternoon we will have a cooking demonstration and spend some time with the children and the elderly people of the New Hope Trust.

In Muniguda we will stay in basic rooms in the grounds of the charitable trust.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will drive to a small village called Taptapani, where on arrival we will visit the temple hot springs.

In Taptapani we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

On the next day we will drive to the fascinating fishing town of Gopalpur, a once major port for the East India Company which has an interesting decaying charm. We will have a free afternoon to independently explore the town on arrival.

In Gopalpur we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

Activity Approximate Cost

Visit the Monday market in the indigenous melting pot of Goudaguda, soaking up the incredible atmosphere as the locals barter and trade their produce

Included in Kitty

Head out for a full day hike around the Goudaguda region, visiting nearby villages of the Kondha, Mahali and Paroja tribal people

Included in Kitty
Explore the rarely-visited Wednesday Market in Chakitona, the main weekly market for the Desia and Dongria villagers from the area Included in Kitty
See a fascinating local cooking demonstration and learn about the incredible work of the New Hope Community Centre in the rural village of Muniguda Included in Kitty
Bathe in the natural hot springs with the local villagers at the small temple of Taptapani Included in Kitty
About Odisha Tribal Area:

The hinterlands of Odisha are home to more than 60 different tribal communities, all with their own distinct indigenous culture and traditions. Perhaps one of the most fascinating tribes are the 'Bondas', fiercely-independent people of Tibeto-Burmese origin. The women of this tribe wear many silver necklaces from their shoulders up to their chin and prefer to take younger husbands, so that they will have someone to earn a livelihood for them in their old age.

The Paraja tribe are also particularly interesting because of the numerous deities that they worship, who are all said to live in the hills and forests. They also love dance and music, and their celebrations are also accommopanied by a lot of singing and dancing.

This is a remote region which is difficult to visit as a single traveller, and exactly the kind of place where overlanding comes into its own.

Day 67 to 69: Puri

( Thu 25 Jan to Sat 27 Jan )

Today our tour of the Odisha tribal areas comes to an end and we drive on to the small town of Puri.

Puri is one of the holiest pilgrimage places in India, and has a wonderful long sandy beach. On arrival we will explore the old pilgrim route by cycle-rickshaw, taking in ashrams, Hindu monasteries, a palm leaf manuscript library and the awesome Jagannath temple.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

We will spend 3 nights in Puri. On the first full day here, we will take a short drive back to visit Chilika Lake and explore the lake on bamboo-pole-driven canoes. There may also be the opportunity to visit the Usthi Children's Foundation in the town.

On the second full day, we will begin with a cycle ride through rice paddies and rural hamlets, meeting local craftsmen and women and watching them demonstrate their unique crafts. In the afternoon we will have a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Konark Sun Temple.

In Puri we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Activity Approximate Cost

3 nights to relax in the lovely coastal town of Puri

Included in Kitty

Educational visit to the Usthi Foundation rural project for children either in Puri or Kolkata

USD 10

Explore the religious sites of Puri by cycle-rickshaw, including the Jagannath Temple, one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites in India

Included in Kitty
Explore the ruins of the 13th-century Sun Temple of Konark near to Puri, shaped like a colossal chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels Included in Kitty

Take a cycle ride through the stunning back-roads and villages near Puri, to visit the artisan village of Raghurajpur and see the fantastic array of handicrafts traditionally manufactured there

Included in Kitty
About Puri:

Puri is one of the oldest cities in the eastern part of India and an important destination for Hindu pilgrims - it is considered by Hindus to be one of the holiest places in India and is the eastern point on the revered Char Dham circuit of pilgrimage sites (along with Rameswaram in the south, Dwarka in the west, and Badrinath in the north). It is considered highly sacred to complete the Char Dham circuit, and the centrepiece of this pigrimage in Puri is the huge Jagannath Temple, an enormous complex which is home to more than 5000 priests and aides. Unfortunately unless you are Hindu you will not be able to enter the temple's interior, but even from the outside it's worth a visit, and you can't help but be impressed by the sheer scale of the building.

Puri is also the gateway to the incredible 13th Century Konark Sun Temple, elaborately built by the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the shape of a gigantic chariot to honor the Hindu sun deity Surya. The town is also popular with local Indian holidaymakers because of it's long sandy beach and pleasant waterfront, which makes it a good spot to kick back and relax and recharge your batteries.

Day 70: Kolkata

( Sun 28 Jan )

Today we will travel by train to Kolkata, the largest city in India. We will have free time today and tomorrow to independently explore this remarkable city, or take an optional photographic tour.

In Kolkata we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Journey Time (by train) - 7-8 hours.

Activity Approximate Cost

Experience a local train ride from Puri to Kolkata

Included in Kitty
About Kolkata:

Kolkata was originally a British settlement, built by the East India Company in the 17th Century during their trading and colonising expansion along the boast of Bengal - it also became the capital of the British colonial government until 1911 when this was moved to Delhi. The city is now India's third largest, and is regarded by many as the country's intellectual and cultural capital.

At first you are assaulted by the noise and chaos of this bustling metropolis, but take the time to explore and you'll discover some impressive colonial architecture, some of the best restaurants in India and a thriving arts scene. Bengali theatre, dance, poetry, art, music and film are all showcased here, and there's usually plenty to choose from on at the city's many venues.

An interesting relic of the colonial era is the Victoria Memorial - a beautiful domed white marble edifice set in tranquil gardens, the monument was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. Kolkata is also home to the Sister's of Charity Motherhouse, the mission where Mother Teresa did much of her work. Finally, if all the hustle and bustle is getting too much for you, you can explore the vast green fields of the Maidan or take refuge in the beautiful botanic gardens along the banks of the Hooghly River.

Day 71: Kolkata

( Mon 29 Jan )

Border Information: If finishing your trip in Kolkata, you will most likely exit India at Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (IATA code: CCU).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Kolkata. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Activity Approximate Cost

Overland through West Bengal across the Gangetic plains


2 nights to explore Kolkata, India's most enigmatic and bewildering city

INR 200

Visit the Eden Gardens, the most famous and iconic cricket stadium in India


See the famous Howrah Bridge over the Hooghly River, thought to be the busiest bridge in the world with 150,000 pedestrians and 100,000 vehicles crossing every day

Discover the incredible array of art and historical artefacts on display at the Indian Museum in Kolkata, the largest and oldest museum in India INR 200
Head out on a fantastic photographic tour of Kolkata, exploring the hidden gems, back streets, and photogenic spots of the city with a superb local guide INR 2000
Explore the vast fields and parks of the Maidan (the 'lungs of Kolkata') and observe daily life away from the chaos of the city Free
Visit and support the Usthi Foundation's school and farm for impoverished children in Kolkata, and see the amazing work they do (if available) USD 10
See the huge white marble Victoria Memorial, built in the early 20th century by the British Viceroy of India and a grandiose reminder of Kolkata's colonial past INR 200

Visit the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Centre, a museum illustrating the life and work of the famous and controversial missionary

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Important Notes

The routes, activities and places visited described in these trip notes are intentions and are meant as a rough guide only.

These trip notes have been compiled to help you prepare for your journey once you have booked. They include the full itinerary and dates, and information about kit lists, meeting hotels, insurance, vaccinations, visas, and other information that will help you get ready for your trip.

We update these notes regularly, so please ensure you have an up-to-date version of these trip notes.

We intend to follow the planned route but exact night stops and inclusions cannot be guaranteed. It sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our planned itinerary. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, road or bureaucratic conditions may demand it. By their very nature, overland itineraries need to be flexible and the regions that we are travelling through are often unpredictable. We run adventure journeys in off the beaten track areas, which often have poor infrastructure. You should expect that some of these areas do not adhere to 'Western' safety standards.

Physical Preparation

Physical preparation for Asia Itineraries

In Asia you will need to be healthy enough to cope with extremes of climates from the hot deserts through to the colds of the high mountains. There are some high altitudes in places and many places where walking around for several hours is the only way to explore (e.g. The Great Wall of China, walking tours in Uzbekistan, exploring the historical sites of India, etc.).

Overland travelling can be demanding - long, rough travel days, dusty conditions can be challenging to some. You will need to be fit enough to help every day with the camp chores (cooking, washing up, general camp set up) as well as putting up and taking down your own tent. There are some long driving days and some early morning starts.

The step up into the overland vehicle, while not overly high, can become tiring and you need to judge yourself to be physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down the step at least 8-10 times a day. By and large, our Asia trips have a good range of hotel accommodation mixed up with camping so that life is not too rough.

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

Visa Information

Many countries that we visit on our travels will require visas to enter. Some are best obtained before you leave home, and others can be obtained en-route. Whilst the ultimate responsibility for obtaining visas is yours, we will endeavour to assist you wherever possible.

The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. The information provided is given in good faith and we do try to keep the visa information as up to date as possible. Please read the information very carefully to make sure everything is clear and you aware of what you need to do. Please also be aware that rules surrounding visas do change, often suddenly, and without prior warning. This is why it is important that you also double-check the information we provide for yourself.

For visas that are needed in advance, you may wish to submit the applications directly to the relevant embassy or consulate. If you require any supporting documentation for your visa applications, Dragoman will obtain this on your behalf as part of your trip price - we will contact you to request additional information in order to make this application for you.

However, for trips that involve multiple visas, you may find it beneficial to use a specialist visa agency to assist you with your applications. While this does sometimes increase the cost, it usually makes the process much easier for you.

As you will often need to submit your passport together with your applications, we recommend that you avoid making any travel plans in the weeks leading up to your departure.

Most countries require that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your entry into the country.

For trips that are not yet guaranteed, you may find yourself in the position whereby you will need to start the visa application process prior to your trip being guaranteed - in this situation we still advise you not to purchase flights until your trip is guaranteed. However, you can start your visa application process, ensuring that when applying for your visas or letters of invitation that you allow several days before and after your entry into the country to allow for delays, availability of flights, etc. 


Citizens of all countries (except India) will need a visa to enter Nepal as a tourist for up to 90 days.

The easiest way to get a visa is to obtain it on arrival. This is available for almost all nationalities at all land borders and airports into Nepal. At the time of writing (2015), the cost of a single-entry visa is USD25 for 15 days, USD40 for 30 days, or USD100 for 90 days – these costs are the same for all nationalities.

You will need to provide one passport photo (this can be obtained at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport for those joining the trip in Kathmandu).

A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from areas with risk of yellow fever transmission (including transiting through an airport in an area of risk).


Citizens of all countries will need a visa to enter India as a tourist for up to 180 days.

Most Dragoman passengers will need to obtain their visa in advance. It is now possible for most nationalties to apply for an E visa. Please visit the following website to see if you are eligible for this https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html. Please note this is only an option if you arriving into India via a major airport and you are staying in India for less than 60 days. If you are entering into India overland or if you are staying for longer than 60 days then you won't be able to apply for the e visa and you will need to apply for a visa at your nearest Indian Embassey before you travel. If you are joining the trip in Chennai and take the e-visa option, we will need a copy of your receipt as soon as you have applied for it - if we do not have this in advance, we will not be able to obtain your permits for the Odisha region (see below).

It is highly recommended if you need a visa before you travel to do this in your country of residence; You can apply directly at your closest Indian Consulate or Embassy. For UK residents, please go to the website - http://www.vfsglobal.com/India/UK/ - to fill in the online visa form and book an appointment to complete the application.

Alternatively you can apply via a specialist visa agency who can put the application in for you.

Please be aware that the photos that you bring to the appointment must be 50mm x 50mm, or your application will be rejected (this is a unique square-shaped photo). The photos must be in colour and have a plain white background, and computer generated photos will be rejected. Please paste one photo to the front of your application and leave the other one loose. You must sign under the photo on page one and the declaration on page two.

Visas issued in the UK are valid for 6 months from the date of issue (by which time you have to have exited the country). Please note that you cannot extend any tourist visas once within India.

If you are asked to provide an address in India on your visa form, please use the joining hotel for your trip or the address below:

Hotel Supreme,

4 Panday Road,




Tel +91 22 2218 5608


If you are asked to provide a referee in India on your visa form, please use the details below:

Eugene Pram,
Pram Tours,
436 Barkat Nagar,
Tonk Phatak,
Tel: +91 14 1259 4205


Please bring 10 photocopies of your passport and Indian visa (on the same page). These may need to be used for hotel check-ins. Please also bring 2 passport photos in case these are needed.

If travelling to Sikkim, your Sikkim permits will be arranged in Kolkata with your tour leader - please bring several passport photos for this permit.

IMPORTANT NOTE - If you are travelling on the Chennai-Kolkata leg - please note that all permits for the Odisha region must be arranged before you arrive in Chennai. Dragoman will arrange the permits on your behalf but it is very important that you send us a high quality scan or photo of your passport photo page when you book and of your India visa as soon as you obtain it. We will need these scans 10 days before the trip starts in Chennai, at the very latest. If we do not receive these scans in time we will be unable to take you on the trip through the Odisha region. Please also bring an additional 2 passport photos on the trip.

If you are travelling to Bhutan - please send Dragoman a scan of your passport photo page when you book as this is important for arranging the Bhutan group visa.

If you are travelling on the Mumbai-Chennai leg or the Kolkata-Kathmandu leg - please send Dragoman a scan of your passport photo page when you book, as this is important for arranging train tickets on these legs. In some cases (late bookings) we may also require a copy of your Indian visa (or receipt of an e-visa if you plan to take this option).

A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from areas with risk of yellow fever transmission (including transiting through an airport in an area of risk).

Personal Spending

Personal Spending - Asia

Based on the range that previous travellers have spent on this trip, we recommend you allow between USD15-30 per day for Central Asia, China and Burma and between USD10-USD20 per day for India, Nepal and South East Asia.

This will cover individual expenses such as drinks, meals whilst out and also when staying in hotels, souvenirs, tips, and personal permits.

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

Asia Currencies and Cash

It is not really worth trying to buy local currencies before you travel. Do also bear in mind that many countries have strict regulations about the amount of their own local currency you are allowed to import - if you are found with amounts in excess of the allowed amounts, it may well be confiscated!

Bringing a sensible mix of cash and ATM cards is the best way to bring money out, but it's always a good idea to bring plenty of cash that you can change (USD and EUR are commonly changed throughout Asia) rather than relying on cards. Apart from the convenience of being able to change money in many more places, you will sometimes get a much better exchange rate for cash. ATMs are available in most areas but are not always reliable. Credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are accepted in some major cities, but be prepared for very high commission charges

Banks and moneychangers in most countries in Asia will now only accept bills with a metallic strip running top to bottom of the bill and which are no more than 8 years old. You should not take worn or damaged notes, or any that have been written on. Please also bring a mixture of small and large denominations - you may get a better rate for changing larger denomination bills, but in more remote areas it can be difficult to change amounts over USD50.

Please note that due to restrictions on currency conversion for foreigners in many Asian countries, it may not be possible to change leftover local currency back into USD after your trip, so please plan your budget well by withdrawing/exchanging what you need as you go.

What else you need to know

Overland Lifestyle and Trip Suitability

Dragoman was founded in 1981, and has had many years of experience of leading overland trips across 4 continents. Overlanding is all about sharing a great travelling experience with like-minded people. On your trip you’ll travel in one of Dragoman’s purpose-built iconic expedition vehicles on an off the beaten track adventure along rugged roads, experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of the world up-close. Your journey will be overland, sometimes across vast distances, so some long days spent driving are inevitable - but these will be interspersed with breaks of a day or two at a destination or activity. On an overland journey, you are more than just a passenger and everyone gets involved setting up camp - we supply the tent but it’s up to you to pitch it! As part of your trip, you will be assigned a truck job which could be collecting firewood or water, luggage loading, organising food, stores, etc.

Like all great adventures, the more you put in the more you'll get out!

We are looking forward to welcoming you on one of our overland journeys, but before we do there are a few things we would like to draw to your attention.

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Who Travels with Dragoman?

Our groups are made up of people from around the world, and are always an interesting mix of nationalities and ages. On average there is a pretty even split between males to females, and between solo travellers, couples and small groups of friends. We believe that overlanding should be open to as many people as possible, and so although we have a minimum age limit of 18 (or 7 on our Family Trips), as long as you are fit, healthy and passionate about travel, we are happy to take you, whatever your age is. One of the wonderful aspects of group travel is the camaraderie and friendships that are formed along the way, and the variety of people that you will meet.

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Group Size

The maximum group size we take on our overland journeys ranges from 19 to 22 depending on the geographical location; however the average number of passengers is more likely to be around 16.

Please note that there is an overlap of 2 trips in Cuzco and during the Inca Treks. This means a group starting a trip in Cuzco will embark on the Inca Trail at the same time as a group finishing in or travelling through Cuzco. In practical terms this means there could be more than 22 group members in Cuzco and on the Inca Trail at the same time.

Please note that there is also an overlap of 2 trips in Zanzibar. This means a group starting a trip in Nairobi, for example, will visit Zanzibar at the same time as a group starting their trip there. In practical terms this means there could be more than 22 group members in Zanzibar at the same time.

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

Our Crew and Guides

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

On all Dragoman overlanding trips, we usually have 2 western crew. However on our trips in East and Southern Africa we either have 2 western crew or 1 western crew and 1 local driver. On trips south of Nairobi in East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes.

In most other areas of Africa, the Americas, India and Turkey, in addition to our crew we will employ local guides in specific locations of interest (for just a few hours up to a few days).

On the majority of our trips in Ethiopia, Sudan, Central Asia, China and South East Asia, in addition to our crew we will have a local guide on board who will travel with us for the entire duration of our time within one country. In these cases, the local guide becomes a third crew member and is able to offer their local knowledge as well as an insight into their country and the lives of the local people.

Your crew have a duty of care to all members of the group and therefore they have the authority to ask you to leave the trip if you require serious medical assistance, you are behaving in an anti-social manner or refuse to comply with local laws and customs. In all matters relating to the trip, the leader's decision will be final and we appreciate your respect of this.

Accommodation on Tour

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

The type, variety and standard of accommodation will vary greatly depending on what options are available at the time; hotels can vary from very basic rooms without electricity or running water to high standard hotels with good facilities! Generally in hotels most rooms will be single sex, twin-share, but in South America many rooms are triple/quad-share. Hostels, gers and yurts are nearly always multi-share and may be mixed sex.

The campsites will range from rather basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. In some cases it may also be possible to upgrade locally to bungalows, lodges or even tree-houses. One of the highlights of overlanding is that in more remote areas we wild camp away from the tourist crowds. Occasionally on some of our trips we are able to stay in villages or local homestays allowing us to get close to the indigenous population and ensuring that our money stays within the local community.

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The Kitty

In addition to the trip price on our overlanding trips, you will also be required to pay a kitty specified for your trip (please note that there is no kitty on our Family Trips). The kitty is payable in installments at the start of each section of the trip for combination trips, and in full at the start of the trip for individual trips. Each customer joining a trip pays their kitty into a central fund. The fund is managed by the Dragoman crew and the kitty accounts can be viewed by all throughout the trip.

The kitty covers all things that the whole group does, such as:

• Hotel accommodation and campsite fees

• Meals whilst camping (not whilst staying in hotels)

• Activities listed as included (e.g. National Park or historical site entrances, excursions, etc.).

The kitty system is unique to overlanding and allows us to have flexibility and transparency on our trips. You can see exactly how your money is being spent and ensure that you are getting the best value by buying locally. It also helps to keep the costs competitive and save on administration costs so that we can pass the saving on to you. Dragoman makes NO PROFIT on kitties, as they are the group's fund. We constantly update the kitty prices on our website and the kitty advertised in the brochure is an estimate at the time of printing. Prices can go up or down with no notice, and exchange rate fluctuations will affect costs. If there is money left in the kitty at the end of your trip, then this is divided between the group and you receive a refund.

Once you book your trip it is very important that you check our website on a regular basis and just before departure for any changes to the kitty amount.

The kitty is payable in full at the start of your trip (in installments at the start of each individual trip on combination trips). Alternatively you can pay in advance via a bank transfer 3-4 weeks before the start of your trip - please see http://www.dragoman.com/files/Kitty_doc_v8.pdf for more details - this letter will also be sent in your booking confirmation upon booking a trip. Please also note that this option is not available for our trips to West Africa or Iran.

If you are bringing the kitty out in cash, please try to pay in US Dollars. Your tour leader will be able to accept some of the kitty in local currency if needed, and they will let you know the exchange rate locally - in most destinations you can withdraw local currencies from ATM machines, using either a cash passport or a credit/debit card. Please bear in mind that most cards have a maximum withdrawal amount per day, local ATMs may run out of cash, and your bank could block the card despite you warning them of your travel plans, so it could be impractical to try to get the entire kitty out from an ATM.

We cannot accept traveller's cheques on our trips.

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Meals and Group Participation

On an overland journey you are more than just an individual passenger - you're part of the team. You are expected to pitch in to set up camp, shop for food, cook and generally help out. As part of your trip you will be assigned a truck job which could be collecting water and firewood, sweeping out the truck, loading the back locker, etc. While camping on overland journeys, the meals are included in the kitty. This means that you will have to work together to cook for everyone in your group. You will be divided into smaller units of 3-4 people and take it in turns to cook for the whole group according to a rota system. When it is your group's turn to cook you will have to plan the meal, shop for the ingredients in local markets or supermarkets and then prepare the meal for the whole group. The secret to cooking for 20+ people using a basic camping kitchen is to keep it simple! (On trips south of Nairobi we have a cook on board the truck; however you will still be required to help them to prepare meals).

An example of a typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, fruit and cereal as well as tea and coffee. When time allows it will also be possible to serve something hot such as eggs or pancakes. Lunch is almost always a sandwich heaped high with healthy salad and assorted fillings, with fruit to follow. Dinner might be a BBQ, risotto or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some local cooking. Generally our passengers find the more they put into a trip, the more they benefit from it.

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Dietary Requirements

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

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Our itineraries are developed and published with the best of intentions, however travel in more remote areas of the world is unpredictable – borders can close, there can be extreme adverse weather, strikes or maybe mechanical issues that affect the running of your trip, but equally due to the nature of our trips we can often spontaneously include a local festival or event into the itinerary. This being said, the safety of our passengers, leaders and operators is a priority for Dragoman. With this in mind we monitor world events very closely. By the very nature of the adventure travel that we take, there are risks and hazards that are inherent in our itineraries. Dragoman makes operational decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources:

• The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice

• Reports from other travel companies and local suppliers

• Leaders reports from off the road

• Local contacts we have built up over many years of experience.

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British Foreign Office Travel Advice and Warnings

Dragoman follows the British Foreign Office Travel advice when deciding where and where we are unable to travel. We will base our decisions on itineraries and alterations to published routes based on their advice rather than the advice of other governments.

However, we recommend you check the latest travel advisories from your own government for the country you are travelling to before you book and prior to departure. If there are any travel warnings present for the region you will travel to, as well as considering whether you are happy to travel despite the warning you must also check to ensure that it is not invalidating your travel insurance. Here are a few useful addresses:

UK -  www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Australia - http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

New Zealand - http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

United States - https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html

Canada - http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/menu-eng.asp

We also recommend that you check out the UK Travel Aware website before you travel at https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/. This website offers straightforward travel advice, top tips, and up-to-date country information to help you plan a safe trip. 

We will advise you of any significant changes in advice before travel or whilst you are overseas. 

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You need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully in our trips. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assessed your ability to cope with our style of travel. To help you assess if this trip is suitable, please refer to the physical rating. The ratings for each trip are a good indication of how challenging they are and in some cases you should be prepared for some long driving days and possibly limited facilities. We are always happy to give extra advice if you have additional concerns. Please note that if, in the opinion of our leader, you are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to yourself and/or the rest of the group, Dragoman reserves the right to exclude you from all or part of the trip without a refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information prior to travel, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. We also advise you to declare any pre-existing medical conditions to your travel insurers upon purchase.

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Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude; please discuss these options with your doctor. For trips that travel to areas of high altitude, the tour leader will issue you with a self-assessment altitude questionnaire which allows you to monitor how you are coping with the altitude and informs you of danger signals so that you can reports these as soon as possible, either to the tour leader or a medical professional.

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Yellow Fever

A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

Malaria & other mosquito-borne diseases

Some areas that we travel to have a risk of contracting malaria. If you will travel through these areas, it's always best to get expert advice before travelling about the types of malaria pills available, whether they are recommended, and take any that are prescribed as instructed. Consult your GP or travel clinic for the most up-to-date requirements.

Other mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and Zika are continuing to spread and are becoming a bigger problem around the world. Mosquito bite prevention is vital to avoid contracting any of these diseases, as there are no vaccines or specific treatments available. Health professionals have issued warnings for pregnant women travelling to areas affected by the Zika virus - please see more information here.

The mosquito usually bites between the hours of dusk and dawn, so covering up by wearing long-legged and long-sleeved clothing, preferably light-coloured and buttoned at the wrists, can help. Do not sleep without closing your windows, tent door, etc. and use a mosquito net in hotels or if sleeping outside where there are mosquitos present. Use mosquito repellent applied directly to your skin or soaked into your clothing.

Treating clothes and mosquito nets with a Permetherin solution provides significant protection. It should be available at most travel stores. Mosquito coils are useful on still nights and in hotel rooms, but cannot be used inside the tents.

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Recommended vaccinations and other health protections vary according to different regions and recent bulletins issued by health authorities. It is essential to get the latest specific health advice on the regions and countries you are planning to travel in, so please check with either your doctor or travel clinic in good time before you travel. The following websites are also a helpful resource: www.nathnac.org and www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk

In the UK, we have been working with Nomad Travel for many years and their website has comprehensive, up-to-date vaccination and health information. You will receive a 10% discount off all vaccinations given at Nomad Travel clinics.

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Safety & Security

At Dragoman your safety is of paramount importance and we will do our best to ensure that your travel with us is safe and trouble-free, but we do ask that you take that little bit of extra care whilst you are away and to understand about the nature of this style of travel.

Of course we want you to have an enjoyable time, but you must also remember that part of the enjoyment of travel is experiencing a different way of life and cultures. This may also mean experiencing different safety and hygiene standards than those you are normally used to.

Therefore, please take note of the following safety tips and follow any local safety advice or briefings delivered by our crew or any third-party suppliers we use during your trip.

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Transport Safety

• Our own vehicles have fully-fitted seat belts; make sure you always belt up.

• If you find a safety belt inoperable or missing on one of our vehicles, please inform the crew immediately.

• Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that other vehicles we may use or recommend in some countries will be fitted with seat belts on every seat as it is not a legal requirement in much of the world.

• Please remain seated on board vehicles at all times when the vehicle is in motion.

• Never place luggage in the aisles or foot wells.

• Ensure you know where your nearest Emergency exit is; this may be a designated emergency exit, a window, a door, or a roof hatch.

• Check the location of the fire extinguisher and first aid kit.

• Follow any safety instructions provided by the crew/driver.

• Our vehicles are fitted with roof seats which can be used in certain conditions, such as when driving at low speeds, off main tarmac roads, etc. The roof hatches can only be opened and the roof seats used with the express permission of the crew and you must never sit in the roof seats without seat belts.

Road Safety

• Traffic in some countries travels on the opposite side of the road to what you may be used to, so ensure you look both ways before crossing the road.

• In many countries vehicles do not automatically stop at crossings and driving styles may be very unpredictable, so please remain very vigilant when near roads and vehicles.

• Crash helmets are often not provided with mopeds and motorbikes overseas – we do not recommend you hire these vehicles.

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Fire & Other Safety – Hostels/Hotels/Homestays

• Ensure you know where your nearest fire exit is and check to ensure that it is operative.

• Check the location of the nearest fire extinguisher.

• Study the fire instructions in your room if available.

• Identify how to raise the alarm if a fire occurs.

• If a fire occurs, leave immediately; do not stop to collect your effects.

• Proceed to an assembly point well away from the building.

• Electrics in hotels in many of the places that we visit will not be up to the same standards as at home. Please ensure that you check rooms, especially bathrooms and are aware of any issues that look unsafe. If in doubt inform the crew who will endeavour to sort the situation out if possible.

• Staircases and stairwells are often built to a very different design than under western building standards. There may be no guard rails, be excessively steep, have dangerous gaps between the stairs and the wall, etc. At all times be aware and take appropriate and prudent care.

• We often stay in homestays and farmstays. These may range from a traditional yurt through to a tree house or a town house. As these are traditional homes, they may well not adhere to our western standards of safety and so it is important that you make yourself aware of potential risks.

• If in doubt please inform the crew of any safety issues with the hotels/hostels or homestays.

Fire Safety – Campsites

• Ensure you know where the nearest source of water or fire extinguisher is.

• Know how to raise the alarm.

• Extinguish all camping fires fully before retiring to bed.

• Observe any regulations regarding fires and bushfires in dry conditions.

• Identify how to raise the alarm if a fire occurs.

• If a fire occurs, leave immediately; do not stop to collect your effects.

• Proceed to an assembly point away from the tented accommodation/affected campsite.

Other Campsite Safety & Security

• Familiarise yourself with the campsite and any known hazards.

• Group the tents around our vehicle wherever possible.

• No open flames, smoking or flammable liquids in or near the tents.

• Ensure the cooking area is well away from the tents.

• Ensure all water for cooking and drinking is purified first.

• Ensure any soil toilets are a minimum of 50m away from the tents and the cooking area.

• All food waste should be burned or buried a minimum of 100m away from the site.

• Ensure local advice is followed concerning any wildlife in the area.

• Keep valuables locked in the vehicle.

• Be aware of any local security issues that might be important.

• Do not set out tents close to perimeter fences which may be a security risk.

• Be aware of the security arrangements and local guards for campsite and if in doubt ask them where and where not to pitch tents.

• If in doubt please inform the crew of any safety issues with campsite.

• When wild camping, ensure that you do not wander away from the camp alone. If you do leave camp, ensure that you have notified the leader or other members of the group.

Food Safety

• Make sure your food has been thoroughly cooked.

• Hot food should be hot, cold food should be cold.

• Avoid any uncooked food, except fruit and vegetables (notably those you can peel or shell yourself).

• In many countries you should only drink bottled water or purified water and ensure any seal is intact when purchasing bottles.

• On the Dragoman vehicles we have a tank of drinking water that is kept purified by the crew.

• Avoid ice in drinks as this can cause upset stomachs in hot climates.

• Make sure you wash your hands in antibacterial product when preparing and/or eating food.

• Many of the restaurants that you will eat in, either as a group or as individuals, will NOT have the same standards of food hygiene as we have in the western world. Unfortunately this is a reality of life in these regions. Therefore please think carefully about where you eat, what food you order and be aware of the risks.

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Personal Safety

One of the real advantages of overland travel is that the vehicle provides a very real level of security when travelling. There is no doubt that a properly-equipped overland vehicle, with safes, fully lockable doors and windows is an obvious advantage when travelling in much of the world. Generally speaking, you will not be travelling on local public transport and will have the added security of travelling in a group with experienced crew on-hand to offer advice. We have come up with a few pointers that we recommend you follow:

• Follow the crew’s specific safety advice in each destination.

• Always remain aware and vigilant, and stay away from situations where you do not feel comfortable.

• Avoid carrying too much money.

• Always avoid carrying your passport, driving licence, air tickets, and other valuable items around with you unless this is essential. Instead, keep valuables such as this locked away in the truck's safe, or the safety deposit box in the room or reception of the hotel/hostel.

• If you are carrying cash, cards or valuables, use a money belt or neck wallet which are more easily concealed and more difficult to pickpocket.

• Do not take any valuable jewellery, watches, etc. away with you in the first place.

• Avoid walking in poorly lit areas.

• If possible avoid walking around on your own; it is always safer to explore with others.

• Always try to walk with confidence and purpose, which will help you avoid looking like a lost tourist!

• Take special care when walking to avoid spraining or twisting your ankle on potholes, cobbles and uneven ground. 

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Activity Safety & Optional Activities

You will have the opportunity to take part in many exciting activities and excursions, some of which are included (e.g. hiking the Inca Trail, trekking to see Mountain Gorillas, visiting the Taj Mahal, etc.), whilst others are optional (e.g. white water rafting in Uganda, zip-lining in Costa Rica, etc.). Some of these activities require a certain level of fitness, so it’s important that you read through the trip notes thoroughly and make your own conclusions as to whether you feel that you are fit and healthy enough to enjoy this trip and its activities to their fullest.

Some activities may have higher risks than you are used to and you must judge whether or not you wish, or have the physical ability, to take part.

Optional activities mentioned by Dragoman are not included in the trip price or kitty, and do not form part of your contract with Dragoman. As such you accept that any assistance given by Dragoman crew members or local representatives in arranging optional activities does not render us liable for them in any way. The Dragoman crew are assisting you in arranging these activities for your added enjoyment whilst on your trip. The operators of these services and optional extras are local suppliers who contract directly with the client ‘on the road’, subject to and in accordance with their own terms and conditions. Dragoman accepts no liability for any action or activity undertaken by the client which is arranged independently of Dragoman while on tour. Crew may take part in an optional activity but do so as private individuals and not as company representatives.

Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time.

Ensure that you use the appropriate equipment on optional activities, including life jackets, helmets, etc. This is especially important on activities such as horse riding, white-water rafting, etc.

Always ensure that your travel medical insurance covers you for all included and optional activities that you wish to participate in.

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Included Activities

Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not necessarily be refunded; this is something you will need to check with your leader.

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Optional Activities

A selection of optional activities is listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This list is designed to be a helpful guide as to what is commonly available in each location, and is neither an exhaustive list, a guarantee that the activity is available, or an endorsement or recommendation. Please note that certain activities may not be available on your particular visit if they are overbooked, underbooked, out of season, or for any other reason - the list of activities is made according to our latest information and in the best faith, but please be aware that things may change between our last visit and your arrival. Please also note that it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, and it is recommended to give yourself extra time in your joining or ending city if you would like to participate in some optional activities there. 

Prices listed are for entrance only and do not include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated - again, these prices are displayed according to our latest information and in the best faith, but prices do fluctuate due to exchange rates, season, numbers of participants, and simple increases from the operator - any prices listed are a guide only and certainly cannot be guaranteed. 

Optional activities are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by Dragoman nor included in the price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and does not form part of your contract with Dragoman. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or optional activity form for some optional activities.

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It is a condition of booking that you have comprehensive travel insurance. Without evidence of valid travel insurance you will not be allowed to start the trip.

We recommend that any policy has a minimum medical (including repatriation) cover of £5,000,000. We recommend that any policy also has a minimum level of cover for Personal Liability of £2,000,000 and for Cancellation and Curtailment of £5,000 (or the full cost of your trip). Cover for loss of baggage, personal effects, money and other inclusions are down to personal choice although please bear in mind that personal effects are more likely to go missing whilst travelling and you should ensure that your policy is adequate to cover the value of your personal effects e.g. cameras, tablets, phones, ipods, etc. Please note that Dragoman is not responsible for your personal effects and is not insured for their loss. Please note that you should be insured for trip postponment or cancellation purposes immediately upon paying a deposit.

Whatever policy you choose, you must ensure that it is designed for adventure/overland travel and make sure it covers any activity that you intend to undertake (whether included or optional). As such it must cover you for adventure activities such as white water rafting, trekking, horse-riding, etc., and that the 24-hour Emergency Assistance Company must be experienced in handling situations in developing countries - for example, that they have the ability to arrange repatriation from remote areas such as the Sahara or if you were trekking in the Andes. On activities or side trips that are not recommended by us, please ensure you are happy with the safety of the activity before participating.

Please double check if you have annual travel and/or credit card policies to ensure they have the cover you require, as many of these policies are not able to cope with adventure travel to remote areas. Many credit card medical insurance policies are not valid for travelling outside your country of residence or outside the EU.

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Our Liability Insurance

Dragoman has comprehensive passenger vehicle liability protection and tour operator insurance. These policies have total indemnities of £5,000,000 and £10,000,000 per incident respectively. This is in addition to local vehicle insurance and your personal travel insurance.

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Out of Office Hours Contact

We have an out of office hours number you can call which should only be used once you have left your home country to start the trip and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours. If you can not get through please leave a message with you name, reference number, contact details and a message with the help that you need and we will get back to you.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked and the crew informed if necessary.

Out of hours Number: +44 (0) 7985 106564

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Luggage & Kit List

Although you will not have to carry your main bag for long distances, you will need to help load and unload them onto the truck. For this reason we recommend that you use a backpack or soft bag rather than a heavy suitcase. During your trip your main luggage will be kept in the truck's back locker which will be inaccessible during a drive day, so you will also need a small daypack. This can be used to carry your camera, water bottle and other personal effects for daily use. Please be aware that due to the constant dust and vibrations your luggage bag will be subject to extreme wear and tear.

The size of baggage that can be brought on this tour is limited by the locker space on the truck. We recommend that your bag be no larger than a large rucksack with a capacity of about 80 litres (approximately 70cm high, 40cm wide, and 40cm deep). The weight limit for luggage on all trucks is a maximum of 20kg. Backpacks should not have an external frame unless it can be easily removed and stored separately to avoid damaging other people's luggage.

Your clothes and equipment should be appropriate for the conditions you are travelling in, which will vary depending on which part of the world you're heading to. On overland trips, Dragoman will provide all camping equipment apart from sleeping bags and ground mats, so you'll need to bring those with you*.

Think about the climate and altitude of the areas you'll be travelling to - there's nothing worse than being cold at night so it's worth investing in a decent sleeping bag if it's likely to get cold. And remember that even when it's warm during the day, it can often get cold at night, particularly in desert regions.

For a general idea of what you need, this list provides a guide:

• Sleeping bag* - check the expected climate en route. Nights in desert, mountain and high-altitude regions and Patagonia can be very cold, especially in winter months.

• Sleeping bag liner* (or sheet folded and sewn up on 2 sides) - this will help keep your sleeping bag clean, provide extra insulation on cold nights, and can be used on its own on warm nights.

• Ground mat or compressed foam*.

• A day pack is useful for short hikes in the countryside, wandering around cities, etc., and also for keeping inside the vehicle for items used during the day.

• 2 sets of comfortable travelling clothes (light, easily washable cotton clothes are best).

• 1 set of casual but smart clothes for evenings out. Men should bring a pair of trousers that covers al their legs and women should bring a skirt that covers their knees and a scarf for visiting places of worship.

• 2 pairs of shorts.

• Sun hat or warm hat if trekking.

• 1 pair of sunglasses.

• Warm sweater/fleeces.

• 1 waterproof jacket with hood.

• 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes/boots (or ankle height canvas jungle boots).

• 1 pair of sandals or flip-flops.

• Underwear and socks  - thermals are also a good idea if you are travelling to altitude, Patagonia or to the desert, as it can get very cold at night.

• Swimwear.

• 2 small towels.

• Washing kit, including a small mirror.

• Clothes washing detergent, small scrubbing brush and washing line (just a length of cord).

• Head torch/flashlight with spare batteries and bulbs - only the 3 standard sizes of round 1.5V batteries are widely available en route.

• Passport photos - at least 4, and more if you are applying for visas en route.

• Good water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity.

• A pouch or money belt to be worn inside your clothing, or an unobtrusive pocket sewn into the inside of a pair of loose fitting trousers.

• Alarm clock.

• Pocket calculator - useful when exchanging money.

• Writing materials and notebook/diary.

• Multi purpose knife.

• Mosquito net - the tents supplied by us have mosquito netting and you will only need a net if you think you will sleep out under the stars a lot of the time.

• "Wet Wipes" (moistened tissues) and hand gel.

• Toilet paper - this can be purchased almost everywhere en-route, but one roll may be worth packing.

• Assorted sized plastic bags - protects clothing and equipment from dust and damp.

• Extra batteries for your camera, etc., as there may are only limited opportunities to recharge them en route.

For a comprehensive kit list, take a look at the Dragoman kit list that Nomad Travel has created. Dragoman customers can receive a 10% discount on all equipment purchased either online or in store. Click here to see the kit list - http://www.nomadtravel.co.uk/c/381/Overland

*For trips with camping nights.

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Personal Medical Kit

All of our trucks have a standard motorist's first aid kit on board for use in emergency situations only. The first aid kit is in compliance with UK standards for first aid provision within motor vehicles, and contain supplies to treat road side injuries. We do not carry prescription medications, therefore in addition to this we recommend that you purchase your own personal medical kit.

In the UK we have teamed up with Nomad Travel Stores and Clinics to produce travel medical kits. They have been designed in conjunction with the truck kits and contain everything you would need for any minor incidents and health issues. For more details please visit their website:

Overlander kit (including painkillers) - www.nomadtravel.co.uk/p/2910/Overlander-Medical-Kit-(P)

Independent kit (including painkillers and antibiotics) - www.nomadtravel.co.uk/p/2909/Independent-Medical-Kit-(POM)

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Check that your passport will still be valid for 6 months after the end of your trip - this is important as some countries WILL refuse entry to anyone whose passport is due to expire. A temporary or 'visitor's' passport is not valid on our trips. You will need to provide us with your passport details prior to departing for your trip. If you change your passport, please remember to inform us as soon as possible - however, please be aware that changing your passport can cause big problems if you need to apply for visas or permits (such as the Inca Trail or Gorilla Trekking) in advance.

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Pre and Post Trip Accommodation and Connecting Flights

At Dragoman we believe you should make the most of the places you visit, so if you would like to see more of the joining or finishing point cities, why not book additional accommodation to extend your stay? Dragoman can take away the hassle of time zones and language barriers by making the booking for you. This accommodation is only available at the joining or finishing city of your trip, immediately before or after the trip you are travelling on.

While Dragoman is happy to assist with booking your pre and post trip accommodation, it is important that you understand that you may be able to book your own room at a cheaper rate directly through the hotel or on the internet. Our additional accommodation prices are based on the hotel’s rate plus an administration fee. Please note our rates do not reflect last minute walk-in rates or internet specials.

We can also book arrival airport transfers for you as long as we have your flight arrival details. These are normally payable in cash upon arrival; however we do have pre-paid transfers in a few destinations.

Please contact our reservations team for details of the accommodation and transfers that we can offer, as not all hotels offer this service.

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Continuing Your Trip

Having an amazing trip and met a great group of people? Having too much fun to go home yet? If you're on one of our trips and decide that you would like to continue with us, then why not speak to your trip leader who can advise you of the cost and availability of continuing your journey.

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Contingency Emergency Fund

Sometimes, civil or political unrest, or reasons beyond Dragoman's control (e.g. a natural disaster), can mean that an itinerary is disrupted and we have to make a contingency plan. This may involve hiring alternate transport or even the whole group flying over an area. Although Dragoman will help organise travel arrangements, in circumstances outside Dragoman's control you will be required to contribute the additional costs involved and therefore we ask you to bring along a 'Contingency Fund' of USD400. In almost all cases trips run smoothly and this fund is therefore never used. We also recommend that you take along an internationally recognised credit or charge card with a decent limit in case of emergencies, such as medical treatment en route, or even the need to be repatriated; though these occurrences are rare. Remember that travel insurance policies usually only refund you for expenses after you have already paid out.

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Responsible Tourism

Dragoman is committed to ensuring that we have a positive impact on local communities and that we implement policies to minimise any negative impact on the local environment. We are dedicated to making sure that we adopt a responsible attitude to the areas through which we travel and believe that our trips should benefit the local people and their environment. Dragoman recognises that we are guests of local communities and strive to make these communities our partners, so that they benefit directly from our visit. You can find full details of Dragoman’s Responsible Tourism policy from the link below:


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The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in the bottle, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilised water stored in the purpose-built storage tank on your overland vehicle. You are free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like. You are helping the environment and your pocket!

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Electrical Equipment

Your vehicle will be usually equipped with a 12-Volt socket, so to charge your iPod, MP3 player, camera, laptop and mobile phone you will need a DC 12V adapter - the type that can be used from a cigarette lighter in your car. Please be aware that only one piece of equipment can be charged at a time and it will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets and the majority of the campsites we stay at have electricity points, so please bring along your normal charging adapters as well. You will need to ensure that you have the correct country adapter for your specific charger.

For mobile phones, please note that most countries in the Americas operate at 850 MHz and 1900 MHz which is not the same frequencies used in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Most modern tri-band and quad-band mobile phones will be able to operate on these frequencies but please check your mobile phone specifications before travelling to ensure that you'll be able to use your phone in the Americas.

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A Few Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs is not only against the law, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Dragoman groups.

It is one of our core values to treat all people we encounter with respect which of course includes all the local people who make our destinations so special. The exploitation of prostitutes or children is completely contrary to this philosophy.

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

We expect you to obey all the laws of the countries through which we pass. This particularly applies to the smuggling of contraband and possession of narcotic drugs (as above), firearms, antiquities and ivory. Any customer found contravening such laws or customs will be required to leave the trip immediately with no refund of the trip price.

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Issues on the Trip

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local partner straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction. If this is the case please contact our customer relations department on


You may also choose to provide details in your feedback questionnaire which we ask you to complete at the end of your trip, but we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

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Tipping is entirely voluntary. The Dragoman crew may be travelling with you for many weeks and usually they become good friends with most members of the group. It is sometimes easy to forget that they do work hard to ensure that you do have a great trip. If you feel you would like to tip them, they certainly would appreciate it.

On a number of our trips, we also use a local guide as well as our own Dragoman crew. These guides live and travel with you through their home country and it is usual to tip them when they leave. We recommend USD 1 to USD 4 per person per day, but check with your crew for an appropriate amount.

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Our Community

At any time before or after you book, you can join our community - Dragoland. This is a great place to ask questions before you travel and to catch up with your fellow travellers once your trip has finished. You can share photos, videos and stories and you can also download a selection of free travel apps. See the home page to sign in - it's free and easy. We also have a Facebook page where travellers regularly swap info with each other, as well as other presence on other social media platforms.

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After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us to understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better, and it allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

Country Specific Notes

Southern India Note

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

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