Stunning Views On Pamir Highway, Driving Through Tajikistan

EXPLORATORY - LONDON to ISTANBUL via KATHMANDU (26 weeks) - Ultimate Asia Overland

Ultimate Expedition wanderlust best trip

Ultimate Asia Overland

Countries Visited: Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

From the flat lands of Europe to the peaks of the Himalayas, our Ultimate Asia Overland has something for everyone. Take a walk in Red Square, journey across the Caspian Sea for a 4x4 adventure in the Turkmen desert. Travel the old Silk Road through Uzbekistan and hang out with Nomads in Kyrgyzstan. Take the route less travelled into Tibet and Mount Kailash, before staring in wonder at Mount Everest. Meet fellow travellers in the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Go in search of Tigers in Chitwan National Park and take in the beauty of the Taj Mahal and the Amritsar Golden Temple in India. Dare to cross into Pakistan and journey to where 3 mountain ranges meet, before travelling to the Caucus regions of Armenia and Georgia awaiting with monasteries and churches of old. We enter our final stage and visit the wondrous landscape of Cappadocia before ending our mammoth journey in the only city to span 2 continents, Istanbul.

Route Map

EXPLORATORY - LONDON to ISTANBUL via KATHMANDU (26 weeks) - Ultimate Asia Overland
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  • Discover Berlin city's historical and turbulent past
  • Visit the fast changing city of Warsaw
  • Explore the abandoned city of Chernobyl (optional)
  • Experience Moscow, a city full of history, culture and arts
  • Appreciate the spectacular imperial palaces, and the majestic canals of St. Petersburg
  • Relax in Tbilisi, renowned for hospitality, wine and amazing historical architecture
  • Visit the bubbling and sometimes explosive mud volcanoes found in Azerbaijan
  • Experience the desert proper on a 4x4 safari in Turkmenistan
  • Feel the intense heat coming from the Darwaza Gas Crater
  • Explore the ancient medressas, mausoleums and mosques in Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand
  • Travel on the Pamir Highway - the 2nd Highest highway in the world
  • Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery, rock formations and alpine lakes throughout Kyrgyzstan
  • Mt Everest Base Camp - staying in tea houses with spectacular views!
  • Travel the highest paved international road in the world the Karakorum Highway in Pakistan
  • Stroll through the city of Yerevan with its cafes, museums and world-famous brandy
  • Discover the dwellings carved into the eerily eroded landscape in Cappadoccia


  • Accommodation - approx. 50% camping & 50% simple hostels/hotels
  • Trains from London to St. Petersburg (some overnight sleepers)
  • Fast train from Moscow to St. Petersburg
  • Caspian Ferry
  • Turkmenistan Letter of Invitation support and fees
  • 4x4 Desert Safari in Turkmenistan
  • Darvaza Gas Crater
  • Pamir Highway
  • Ala-Archa Nature Reserve
  • Yurt Stay at Lake Song Kol
  • Tash Rabat Caravanserai
  • Local English speaking Chinese guide for our time in China & Tibet
  • China & Tibet Letters of Invitation, support and fees
  • Mt Everest Base Camp
  • Chitwan National Park - entry & game drive
  • Lahore & Wagah Border Ceremony
  • Guide, Jeep transport & food on the Pakistan 14 day excursion
  • Islamabad city tour
  • Taxila museum
  • Shan Faisal Mosque
  • Hikes to Nanga Parbat & Herlikoffer Base Camp & Passu Glacier
  • Shigar Fort
  • Baltit and Altit Forts - Karimabad
  • Letter of Invitation and general visa advice for Pakistan
  • Pakistani clothes (Shalwaar Chemise)
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • Fully equipped Oasis Expedition Truck
  • Camping and Cooking equipment
  • Services of Oasis Crew


  • Visas
  • 10 nights accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information
  • Flights
  • Airport Taxes & Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Trip Itinerary

Starting in London take a journey by train to Berlin, where we spend 2 nights to take in the sights of this historic City. Walk along the route of the old Berlin wall and visit Checkpoint Charlie! See the mighty Brandenburg Gate and relax in one of the city's many coffee shops.

Continue by train to Warsaw where we have time to get an impression of this fast changing city. We can learn about the Warsaw uprising at the Warsaw museum or visit the Royal Castle. From the pastel coloured buildings of the old town to the tranquility of the Royal Lazienki Park we are sure to find plenty to see and do.

We board the night train to Kiev. We have 2 full days to explore the Capital of the Ukraine, whose name derives from Kyi, one of the city's four legendary founders. There are amazing golden domed cathedrals and the golden gate to visit or maybe you prefer to view the underground bunkers and passages on a tour of urban Kiev. There will also be time to take an optional day trip to visit Chernobyl, site of the Nuclear disaster in 1986.

We take the overnight train to Moscow.

This city needs no introduction and we will be spending 2 nights to fully explore the amazing sights.  Red Square, The Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum all need to be ticked off the ‘must do’ list!  Shop until you drop in GUM, the long established 3 story shopping arcade, enjoy some peace in the enormous Gorky Park or maybe take in a cultural experience at the Bolshoi Ballet.

We travel by fast train to St Petersburg, taking just under 4 hours. We have 2 full days to savour the spectacular palaces, visit the onion domed Church of the Saviour on Blood and wander the galleries of the giant Hermitage Museum.  

We join our Overland Truck and this is where the adventure begins!

Heading south we arrive at Veliky Novgorod where we can see yet more amazing Russian architecture. Lake Ilmen provided one of the major trade routes to the Greeks and we have time to wander on the lake shore and watch the fishermen collect their catch.

We drive east of Moscow to Suzdal, home to the centuries old fortress, Suzdal Kremlin. Very few modern buildings were constructed here and a number of wooden structures were transported here from other parts of Russia, turning the town in to an open air museum.

We spend the next few days travelling southwards towards Georgia and exploring the area. We may stop off in towns such as Voronezh, Rostov on Don and Vladikavkaz.

We cross the border in to Georgia.

Spectacular views await in the mountains surrounding Stepantsminda.  Hike in the surrounding area or take a 4x4 up to the Gergeti Trinity Church, which is situated at 2170mtrs!

We arrive in Tbilisi where we spend a couple of days, and there is no shortage of things to do.  There are countless bars and restaurants offering tasty local dishes and Georgian wine, and exploring the Old Town you are rewarded with a huge range of bohemian-style buildings housing anything from private homes through to art galleries. There is a famous flea market, which sells items as diverse as household furniture to Soviet-era memorabilia, and a number of different museums to check out.

Upon leaving Tbilisi is Telavi, the principal town of the Kakheti region, famous for its vineyards and wineries.  Wine has been produced in Georgia since 4000BC and the industry has played a small but significant role in the country’s history ever since, as winemaking (and its consumption) has enjoyed an important role in Georgian culture and society. Here we have the option of taking a wine tour to find out more about the history of the area, why wine production has been so important, and of course to try some ourselves!

Telavi itself is a fascinating and relaxing place to spend a couple of nights with many good restaurants and cafes, and not far from the town there are other sites well worth a visit, such as the monastery of Akhali Shuamta, and the small village of Ikalta and its Church of the Transfiguration which dates from the 8th Century BC.

We depart Telavi and turn south towards the Azerbaijan border, spending the night in Gremi, once a lively trading town on the old Silk Road. We continue south east and enter Azerbaijan.

Around 1000 mud volcanoes are known to exist in the world and Azerbaijan contains over 400 of them, including the largest! We will make Shekiour first stop to study this phenomenon.

Our time in Baku will largely be defined by the next available ferry to Turkmenistan. These ferries are known for their delays and very often only leave when full, no matter if you have a booking or not! It has been known for Turkmenistan to leave an Azerbaijan ferry out in the Caspian for 24 hours, so be prepared!

Baku is actually situated 28mtrs below sea level, making it the lowest Capital City in the world. There are several museums worth visiting, including the museum of modern art and the state museum. You can also take a stroll through the medieval streets inside the walls of the old city or jump to the modern era with contemporary landmarks such as Flame Towers or the Heydar Aliyev Center.

Board ferry to Turkmenbashi. The ferry is basic and does not have air conditioning. We are likely to have airline style seats for our journey. Travel time is normally sub 12 hours, but can take a lot longer!

We leave our overland vehicle for the next few days and board 4x4's to cross the Balkan mountains to the breathtaking sight of Yangikala Canyon with its colourful bands of pink, red and yellow rock searing across the sides of the steep walls. We overnight in the pilgrim site of Gozli Ata (All seeing father). Gozli Ata was a Sufi teacher from the 14th Century, and his mausoleum lies here.

We continue eastwards, passing several traditional villages on the way, through the desert and over the sand slopes in the direction of Melegoch. Overnight in tents.

Our final day on our desert excursion takes us to the mighty Darwaza Gas Crater (also known as 'the Gates of Hell') where we will rejoin our overland truck. The burning crater was a Soviet era gas exploration accident, when the ground beneath a drilling rig gave way and to prevent poisonous gas leaking out it was decided to burn it off. Originally engineers believed it would all be burned in a few days, but that was in 1971 and the field is still burning to this day. The result is a sight quite like no other as we are able to peer down in to the crater and see the fire and feel the intense heat coming from the flames. Conditions permitting we will get to the site in the truck and bush camp nearby in the remote desert.

Rising early the next morning we leave Darwaza and return to the highway as we continue north to Kunye Urgench, an ancient Silk Road town that was abandoned in the early 1700s and has been left largely untouched since. The old ruins of the town are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the most striking sight is undoubtedly the 60-metre high minaret, that dates from the 11th Century. It is said that when Genghis Khan's Mongol army invaded this area that the infamous warlord was so impressed by the minaret he ordered for it to not be destroyed!

We cross the border to Uzbekistan. Road conditions permitting, we will drive to the edge of where the Aral Sea used to lie. In the 1960's the Soviet Union began an intense irrigation project to boost cotton growth in the region using the then vast sea as its source. The project has led to the sea now shrinking to just 10% of its original size and today as we reach where its edge formerly was, we can see ships sitting incongruously in the middle of what is now a huge desert where we camp for the night.

Continuing further into Uzbekistan, we find well preserved relics from the time when Asia was a centre of empire, learning, and trade along the famous Silk Road. Some of its cities have abundant old architecture, mosques and minarets cloaked with the mystery of the orient dating back thousands of years.

Our first city stop is in Khiva, one of the most noteworthy of the cities and towns of Central Asia. It is a unique monument town, completely preserved in the cultural style of the region, and is a World Heritage Site for its historical significance. It has more minarets than any other place in Asia, and the Juma Mosque, which has an amazing 218 ornate carved wooden columns, is another of the main attractions. We will spend at least a couple of nights here to explore the ancient medressas, medinas, mausoleums and museums and soak up the unique atmosphere.

Continuing south, we bush camp out in the desert before reaching another town with much historical influence that was also on the great Silk RoadThe name Bukhara is synonymous with the Silk Road, and its name conjures up images of Marco Polo, trading caravans and exploration. The British explorer Alexander Burnes, one of the iconic figures of the Victorian-era ‘Great Game’ was nicknamed ‘Burnes of Bukhara’.

The city is situated on a sacred hill and was founded in the 13th century BC; a centre of learning throughout much of its history, it is home to over 350 mosques and some 100 Islamic colleges. It is an attractive city with narrow streets, green parks and gardens that are a pleasure to wander around and there will be the opportunity for a bout of good-humoured haggling in the bazaar.

The Kyzylkum Desert is about 300,000 sq km and lies between the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers. This is a vast arid plain with a number of isolated bare mountains rising to 900 metres and we journey across it on our way to Samarkand. Scheduled permitting, we may opt to take the local train and rejoin the truck on arrival.

Samarkand itself is the second largest city in Uzbekistan. It dates back 2,500 years, making it as old as Babylon or Rome. Here we have a couple of days to explore the splendid architecture such as the 15th century Bibi-Khanum Mosque which when it was built was considered to have the largest dome in the Muslim world. Today it stands next a noisy and colourful Oriental market.  No trip here is complete without a wander around the three edifices of the Registan, once Medieval Samarkand's commercial plaza and today quite possibly the most awesome sight in Central Asia.

We head south to the city of Termez, which was conquered by Alexander the Great in 329BC and is the hottest point in Uzbekistan. Only the Amu Darya river separates Uzbekistan from Afghanistan and this fact therefore made Termez a strategic point for the Soviets during their attempts to invade Afghanistan. We spend a day visiting the interesting architecture of the area, such as the Mausoleum of Al Hakim al Termizi or the Kyr Kyz (Forty Girls) Fortress.

North and east of Termez we cross the border in to Tajikistan and to the capital, Dushanbe. The once scary and slightly dangerous city is now transformed in to one of Central Asia’s most pleasant. We can find a change of scene here after the cultural highs of the architecture of Uzbekistan and we can now enjoy lazy tree lined avenues with pastel hued neoclassical buildings containing restaurants from Turkey, Iran and even Ecuador!

On this exploratory trip we aim to do just that, explore. So the next few days will be all about getting out in the wilderness and seeing what we can discover. We aim to follow the Pamir highway eastward and then south to Khorog. Expect the road conditions to be arduous and the camping to be basic!

Khorog sits at an elevation of 2200mtrs and boasts the 2nd highest botanical gardens, stretching up to an impressive 3900mtrs. The regional museum is worth a visit and don’t forget to scour the market in search of the locally made Shipovnik Solk – a tart juice made of dog rose and sea buckthorn.

The next section of the Pamir Highway was built by Soviet military engineers in the early 30’s to move around troops and provisions to the isolated outposts. This high altitude section is remote and takes us through a Tibetan style high plateau populated by yurts, yaks and deep blue lakes. If we can track them down, there will be time to soak in the hot springs near Jelandy before crossing the Koi Tezek Pass (4272mtrs).

We drive by salt lakes and pristine lakes before we cross the Madiyan Valley and sweep in to Murgab. On clear days the mighty Chinese peak of Muztagh Ata (7546mtrs) can be seen from here. We aim to have a family homestay in Murgab and time allowing check out the local hikes. This will all depend on how we are feeling with the altitude!

Our drive to Sary Tash takes within 20mtrs of the Chinese border at times, over the highest pass of our journey, Ak Baital (4655mtrs) and passed the highest lake in Central Asia, Kara Kul (3914mtrs).

As we cross into Kyrgyzstan, don’t forget to look behind you for panoramic views of the Pamir’s. There will be time as this can be a very slow border!

Our first stop in Kyrgyzstan is Osh, in the Fergana Valley and Kyrgystan's 2nd largest city. Osh is a lively place with Central Asia's most crowded market, called the 'Great Silk Road Bazaar'. Here we have time to relax after our wilderness adventure and either wander the streets and people watch or hike up to Solomon's Throne for amazing sunset views.

We travel north crossing 2 high passes and travelling through tunnels built by the same team that built the metros in Moscow! On our left we will see the immense Toktogul Reservoir before we head down the Suusamyr Valley and finally in to Bishkek.

Kyrgyzstan’s leafy, relaxed capital is a largely Soviet-built city, softened somewhat by its many boulevards and tree lined streets.   We take a few days here in a comfortable, friendly hostel to recharge our batteries.  We can enjoy the cafés and restaurants dotted around the city, there is no shortage of bars and nightclubs, and for those so inclined there are also a few cinemas and shopping districts.

Bishkek is also home to a number of museums, including the Kyrgyz State Historical Museum and Zoological Museum, which have exhibits that explain more about Kyrgyzstan political and natural history, and there are a number of parks and other public areas worth visiting to watch local life pass you by, the main one being Ala-Too Square, which once was dominated by a large statue of Lenin (this has now been moved to a smaller square in the city).

Less than an hour's drive from Bishkek, the Ala-Archa Nature Reserve offers spectacular scenery for trekking and skiing and we hope to spend a couple of nights here, depending on the weather.

We head East to explore the area of Lake Issyk-Kul, a mountain lake in the northern Tien Shan Mountains, once used by the Soviets to test their submarine torpedoes! Famous for its magnificent scenery and with a surface area of 6,300 sq km, this is one of the largest mountain lakes in the world.

The surrounding countryside is full of fruit trees and the local people transport their wares by traditional donkey and cart. We spend the next few days following the beautiful shoreline of the lake, camping in the wilderness and stopping off when we feel like a swim, or to hike in the stunning scenery.

Continuing around the lake to Semenovskre Gorge the adventurous can hike through lush terrain, following the rivers that wind through the national reserve.

We visit the vast red stone cliffs in Jeti Orguz and visit the town of Karakol with its attractive houses and tree-lined streets. Behind it are the Terskay Ala-Too Mountains, an unspoilt wilderness populated only by nomadic shepherds.

Travelling south and leaving behind Lake Issyk-Kul, we make our way to the isolated and breathtaking Lake Song Kol, where we stay in traditional felt Yurts. There will be opportunity to either hike or horse back ride and explore the surrounding area. If we are lucky we may even see a game of Ulak Tartysn - a Kyrgyz version of polo.

We spend a couple of days driving south through the mountains towards the border with China. This is a difficult journey along rough roads and at high altitude - so expect to be cold and a little uncomfortable. The border is crossed via the Torugat Pass in the Tien Shan Mountains which at 3,752 m is one of the highest passes in the world. On the way we cross vast high plains where Kyrgyz nomads, living in their traditional yurts, practice a lifestyle which has changed little over the centuries. Before crossing the border, we will stop off at Tash Rabat, an ancient Caravanserai on the old Silk Route. 

Once we cross the pass and make our descent, we eventually reach the old Chinese city of Kashgar, in the far western province of Xingjian. Kashgar - free time to explore this ancient trading city on the old silk road.

Kashgar is home to one of the last remaining statues of Chairman Mao, still standing in a watchful gaze across the People's Square. We have time to recharge our batteries and stock up with provisions that may have been lacking in the wilderness or Kyrgyzstan, before the next part of our adventure begins!

We follow the borders of Pakistan, India and their disputed territories, down what some describe as the roughest roads in the world! Expect to camp out in the wilds for a few nights as we pass through small towns and villages that are not used to seeing any tourists.

Our first major stop is Mount Kailash. This sacred site of four religions and billions of people is seen only by a few thousand pilgrims each year due to the arduous journey to get here.  Once at the base of this mighty mountain, pilgrims complete a ‘Kora’ by circumambulating the sacred peak – clockwise or counter clockwise, depending on their calling.

Manasarovar Lake, fed by the glaciers of Kailash and situated at 4,590mtrs is another sacred site that will be a stop off on our continuation towards Tingri. From Tingri we travel to Everest Base Camp (5,150mtrs) where we stay in the local tea houses and warm ourselves by a yak dung stove! Hopefully the weather will be on our side and the views will be spectacular!

We travel back to Tingri before turning south towards Zhangmu and the border with Nepal. This road is notorious for landslides and the going could be slow, with diversions off the main road commonplace. Once over the border in to Nepal we have a breathtaking road with twists, turns and steep drop offs!  We arrive in to the travellers mecca that is Kathmandu.

Free time to explore the surrounding area. You are left to your own schedule for 10 days so you can trek the Annapurna Circuit, go white water rafting or just relax before the next leg begins. The next 10 nights accommodation are not included in your trip price.

Chitwan National Park – one of the best areas for viewing wildlife in Asia, Chitwan contains a variety of animals from over 500 species of bird, monkey and one horned Rhino to the more elusive Leopard and Bengal Tiger. We take a safari out to try to spot this diverse range of wildlife.

We cross the border in to India and our first stop is Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India which draws Hindu pilgrims to bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters. There are some 2000 temples along the city’s winding streets including the Golden Temple, dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva.

We briefly stopover in Kanpur to visit the white marble temple of Shri Radhakrishna, en-route to Orchha.

Orchha is a place wrapped in legends of feudal chivalry and romance with a bustling town square full of temples, forts and palaces. We have a full day to explore.

No overland trip of India would be complete without an early morning sunrise visit to the majestic Taj Mahal, situated on the Yamuna River in Agra. Taj Mahal, meaning ‘Crown of the Palace’ was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife , Mumtaz Mahal.

We move on in the afternoon to see the World Heritage site of Fatepur Sikri. Built by a 16th Century Mughal Emperor in red sandstone, the ‘City of Victory’ was the capital of the Mughal Empire for some 10 years and contains one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.

Delhi has served as a capital of various kingdoms and empires. It has been captured, ransacked and rebuilt several times, but modern Delhi is a cluster of a number of cities spread across the metropolitan region.

We have a full day to explore the city in search of iconic buildings such as the Red Fort, Lotus Temple, Humayun’s Temple and India gate. Alternatively you can immerse yourself in the madness of the city, try some local dishes or relax with an Indian head massage!

Amritsar is our final stop in India, and home to the famous Golden Temple. Build around a man made pool, or Sarovar, the Temple was completed in 1577 and is the most important site in Sikhism.

Time allowing we will watch the daily flag lowering ceremony at Wagah, the only border between India and Pakistan. Here the Pakistani Rangers and the Indian Border Security Force posture at the border gates, backed by large cheering crowds on each side.

We enter Pakistan and follow the Great Trunk Road to Lahore, where we spend the next few nights.

We spend the next 2 days sightseeing around the city of Lahore. We marvel at the Moghul architecture of Lahore Fort that was 5 centuries in the making.

The world’s largest mosque (Badshahi or Royal) is our next stop. We can climb the 204 steps to the top of one of the minarets for a bird’s eye view of the old city. We also make a stop at Jahangir’s Tomb and the city Museum.

We will also enjoy the city’s love of food by visiting the ‘food street’ in the old town, where we can find many different dishes and flavours. The Old Walled City is our next stop with its narrow and dimly lit alleys leading from Sarafa Bazaar to Kashmiri Bazaar. Brass inlay work, as well as local handicrafts can be found in abundance here. We also visit Shahi Hamam (Royal Bath) and the Wazir Khan Mosque.

We continue our journey northwards to Islamabad.

We leave our Overland truck for a few days and transfer over to 4x4 jeeps, before heading north on the Karakorum Highway (KKH) to Naran. This photogenic, 160km long valley embraced by forested peaks of the lesser Himalayan range, is one of the Pakistan's most popular summer holiday spots, and famous for its colourful panorama.

We continue on the KKH and cross the mighty Babussar Pass (4175m) and continue our journey to Chilas, situated on the bank of the Indus River. At Raikot bridge we transfer to purpose built jeeps to tackle the narrow and nerve testing track to Tato village. From here we walk up to Fairy Meadows, well named with unsurpassed views of Nanga Parbat (8125m). We spend 2 nights in wooden cabins.

We have a free day to either relax in your cabin and take in the views, or for the more adventurous there is the option of several treks, the largest being to Nanga Parbat base camp. Either way we are well looked after with food served in the camp kitchen.

We walk back down the valley to Tato where our jeep will take us back down the valley to Raikot Bridge. We drive on to Rama in the Astore Valley - a magnificent pine forested valley reminiscent of Austrian scenes.

Enjoy a stunning sunrise over Nanga Parbat before continuing our journey to Tarashing and our trek up to Herrlikoffer Base Camp on the opposite side of the Nanga Parbat summit. There will be free time in the village to chat to friendly locals and see how life is lived in these remote areas where glacial water supply is vital and ever decreasing.

We enter the area known as Little Tibet (Baltistan) and cross the Deosai Plains - 3800m (2nd in area and height to the Tibetan Plateau!). During the summer months the wild flowers are truly stunning giving colour to this wild landscape. If we are lucky we may see a fleeting glimpse of Brown Bear, Marmot or Markhor (wild goat).

Stopping off for our daily afternoon tea stop, we marvel at the magnificent Satpara Lake and the Buddha image carved in to the rock. Overnight in Skardu.

We take a trip out to Amborik Mosque and Shigar Fort where we can see the Tibetan influence in the architecture. Shirgar valley is a very fertile area and the region is known for its fruit orchards growing on the banks of the Indus River. A short hike through the farmland brings us to the stunning Katchura Lake where we can take in the views over the crystal clear water.

The evening is free to explore and maybe take another hike up to Khorpocho Fort (8th Century) where we can get an impressive view over Skardu.

We take an alternative, but equally impressive, route to Gilgit where we spend some time in the lively bazaar. Gilgit is surrounded by lofty peaks, the most impressive being Rakaposhi(7788m). If we are lucky we will see a Polo Match - Pakistan is where it all began!

Back on the KKH we travel north in to the Hunza Valley and the scenic town of Karimabad. It is a fairytale land, surrounded by 7000m plus peaks! We take a guided tour around the forts of Altit and Baltit (700 and 900 years old!) which are both perched high up in the mountains. Altit Fort was not only used for defence, but it served as the seat of power before the political centre moved in to modern day Karimabad.

We follow the KKH further north towards the Chinese border and the small town of Passu. Here we get to feast on some of the best food of the trip with both Indian and Chinese influences creating mouth watering dishes! We hike up to Passu Glacier and following melt water channels we traverse Gulkhin Glacier and walk back down to the KKH where our jeep will be waiting for us.

A short drive and walk brings us to Hussaini Suspension Bridge. A few wooden boards and some wire ropes are all that is between us and the gushing river below. Cross if you dare!

Back in Karimabad we take a guided walking tour of the town, visiting the main channels which divert melt water from the glaciers in order to irrigate crops. We will see life as it really is in this harsh environment and there will be some fantastic photo opportunities of both people and landscapes.

We watch sunset at Duikar View Point, where at 3000m we get stunning vistas of the valley and peaks.

We swap vehicles and have a couple of busy days as we take the original Karakorum Highway, passing by Nanga Parbat once more, and taking the Westerly route which runs through the mighty Indus Valley. Following the curves cut by the Indus River, we wind our way south, on roads that are frequently battered and washed away in the summer months by melting glacial waters. Our hotel in Besham is situated alongside the river and we get a real feel of its power.

Further south we pass through pine trees where bee aviaries are plentiful and the coolness of the higher altitude is a welcome respite after the heat of the valley. We take a rest and have a tea before heading back in to civilisation and our final destination of Islamabad.

Islamabad is a city of many contrasts with green avenues, splendid views of the surrounding hills and busy city life. We have a full day's guided tour around the major sights, including the old city of Rawalpindi, Daman e Koh view point and the huge structure of Shah Faisal Mosque.

We say goodbye to our friendly hosts and return to our Overland Truck for the remainder of our journey in Pakistan.

The exact route over the next month will all depend on the current political situation and we may need to make adjustments. Our intention is to follow the original overland route through Peshawar and Quetta, making our way to Armenia.

Once crossing into Armenia, we will instantly see the landscape change from dry and arid to lush, forested hills and flowing rivers. After bush camping just after the border we enjoy a stunning drive through the Sikavogh Reserv, on our way to Yerevan, Armenia's capital city.

Leaving Yerevan we continue north through Armenia, stopping off at Sevanavank, a small monastery sat on a hill overlooking Lake Sevan. Formerly situated on an island, following the draining of the lake as during the time of Stalin’s rule, the monastery is now sat at the end of a small peninsula and is a picturesque spot well worth a short detour. We will bush camp for the night before heading the next day into Georgia.

Our first stop in Georgia is Telavi, the principal town of the Kakhetiregion, famous for its vineyards and wineries. Wine has been produced in Georgia since 4000BC and the industry has played a small but significant role in the country’s history ever since, as winemaking (and its consumption) has enjoyed an important role in Georgian culture and society. Here we have the option of taking a wine tour to find out more about the history of the area, why wine production has been so important, and of course to try some ourselves!

Telavi itself is a fascinating and relaxing place to spend a couple of nights with many good restaurants and cafes, and not far from the town there are other sites well worth a visit, such as the monastery of Akhali Shuamta, and the small village of Ikalta and its Church of the Transfiguration which dates from the 8th Century BC.

We depart Telavi and turn west before arriving in Georgia’s historic and multicultural capital, Tbilisi.

We spend a few days in Tbilisi, and there is no shortage of things to do. There are countless bars and restaurants offering tasty local dishes and Georgian wine, and exploring the Old Town you are rewarded with a huge range of bohemian-style buildings housing anything from private homes through to art galleries. There is a famous flea market, which sells items as diverse as household furniture through to Soviet-era memorabilia, and a number of different museums to check out.

Leaving Tbilisi we visit Gori the birthplace of Georgia’s most infamous son, Josef Stalin and we have time to visit the museum dedicated to him which is built alongside the house in which he was born, which still stands today. Here you will find many items from Stalin’s reign, and also his bullet-proof train carriage, in which he travelled across the Soviet Union.

There may also be the chance to stop at Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave city built into the mountains not far from Tbilisi. Dating from the early Iron Age, this historic site says much about Georgia’s long and often turbulent past at the crossroads of a number of might empires throughout the centuries.

Our next stop is Kutaisi, the country’s second largest city and home to a buzzing fruit and vegetable market where you can barter for goods with the local traders. Kutaisi offers a glimpse of what modern day life in urban Georgia is like, and the real joy of the city is found in simply wandering the streets and observing the locals go about their routine. This is also an opportunity to top up on some food and drink supplies before we head into the foothills of Caucasus and some more remote areas in the next few days.

Returning to civilisation we spend the next two days exploring the Svaneti region. This mountainous area is beautiful and untamed, and offer fantastic hiking options with the mighty Caucasus mountain range as a stunning backdrop. Using our overland truck as our base we will bush camp and spend some time travelling around, including a visit to Mestia, a pretty small town that forms the centre of the region.  Weather and climate can be unpredictable so this part of the trip is kept quite loose to allow for itinerary changes, depending on what is our best option at the time, but with the truck carrying all of our camping and cooking gear we are free to travel almost anywhere!

We reach the port city of Batumi. Here we spend a couple of nights to check out the city with its modern and often bizarre architecture and enjoy our first taste of Georgia’s famous warm hospitality. A walk along the waterfront promenade is always popular, especially at night when the buildings are lit up in bright neon colours.

Leaving Georgia, we have some long drives to reach our next destination as we cross rural Turkey. We head towards the Black Sea before following the coast west. This captures the essence of an overland adventure expedition, as we stop for bush camps in the evening and are able to watch as the stunning and varied scenery of this rarely-visited part of the country rolls past, stopping off to meet locals and buy food and drinks as we go.

We arrive in Cappadoccia, where we stay for a few nights. Here, over the centuries, houses, churches, fortresses and even underground cities have been carved into this eerily eroded volcanic rock. The Goreme Valley provides us with an astonishing setting in which to spend a few days investigating the region. Why not take in the scenery from the skies in a Hot Air Balloon flight (optional). We will take you to one of the underground cities where you can explore alone or with a guide this ancient and mysterious area!

Heading northwest we arrive in Ankara, Turkey’s cosmopolitan capital. Here, overlooking the city, lies Anitkabir, the enormous hilltop mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, modern Turkey’s first President.

We continue our journey and cross from Asia to Europe and arrive in Istanbul, where our trips ends after breakfast. With so much to see and do you will almost definitely want to stay a bit longer! An urban area of nearly 15 million, and one of the world’s liveliest cities, it is a place full of history and rich in culture. You can choose to spend your time visiting one of the many famous sights such as the iconic Hagia Sophia and stunning Blue Mosque, or strolling around the Grand Bazaar on the lookout for some bargains. During the evening be sure to try some of the wonderful local cuisine, such as authentic kebabs, baklava or any of the many other treats on offer.

Or after such an epic journey, it might just be time to have a beer and relax!

Trip Joining Point: Generator Hostel - London

Start Time Day 1: 08:00

Address: 37 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SE

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7388 7666




All prices listed are approximate and subject to limited availability.

Room Type



Dorm, from


Per Person

Twin - shared facilities


Per Room

Twin en-suite


Per Room


The trip starts from the Generator Hostel at approximately 8am on the morning of Day 1 of your trip.

A very social place to stay, this well known backpackers hostel and has a great atmosphere. Generator London is a short stroll from Covent Garden, Regents Park and the British Museum. When crafting this hostel we redesigned this old police station to reflect the city's street life. Local reclaimed timber, exposed brickwork and hot-rolled black steel give the hostel an industrial feel. Bold graphics, vibrant patterns and famous British cultural icons combine to capture London's cosmopolitan vibe.


Please book this direct with the Generator Hostel. Accommodation costs are payable direct to Generator Hostel.


We are unable to arrange transfers to London. If you're travelling from Stansted Airport, take the Stansted Express to Liverpool Street. Get on the tube and take the Central line to Holborn then change onto the Piccadilly line and get off at Russell Square. It's a brief walk from there to the hostel. A single fare on the Stansted Express is £21.50 and the journey takes about 47 minutes.

If you're flying into Heathrow Airport, take the Piccadilly line to King's Cross. Then it's a 5-minute walk to Generator London. A single fair is £5.50 and it'll take about an hour.

If you're arriving into Gatwick Airport, take the Southern Railway or Gatwick Express to London Victoria station. From there, get on the tube and take the Victoria line to King's Cross. Then it's a 5-minute walk.

There will be a pre-departure meeting in the starting hotel the night before the start of the trip, usually around 6:00pm.  There will be a notice in reception advising the exact time and here your crew will explain how the day to day running of the trip works. Your Tour Leader will collect your Local Payment money as well as 2 photocopies of your passport information pageinsurance policy details with policy number and confirmation that the duration will cover you for the entire trip and a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. It is essential that you attend this meeting - please let the UK office or your tour leader know if you are unable to do so.

Post-trip accommodation can be arranged with your Tour Leader during the trip or directly with the hotel on arrival. The return airport transfer can be arranged through your hotel / hostel and is not included, it is at your own expense. We regret these services cannot be arranged via the Oasis office before departure.

You need to arrive at your departure city at least the day before your trip begins.

For return flights, as this is an Exploratory trip we recommend you do not purchase these in advance. Due to the nature of this expedition, unforeseen delays can be experienced anywhere along the route and we cannot guarantee our arrival dates at the various locations.

There are many online flight search engines such as or can also be booked direct with airline websites or through travel agencies. Please inform us of your flight details through your online account, as airport transfers can be arranged for various trips.

One way ticket: If you intend to travel on a one way ticket to meet up with one of our trips, without possessing an onward flight ticket - we recommend that you  have a copy of your payment confirmation/receipt (that you will be sent at time of your balance payment) available at immigration to assist easy entry.

Departure Taxes: Please check with your Travel Agent or Airline if your flight ticket already includes a departure tax payment out of the country. If it does not - please budget for approx US$30 to $70 USD - to be paid in US$ only.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your trip finishes. This is a general requirement for all of the countries we travel to on our trips.

If you have dual nationality you can only use one passport for the entire trip. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

Please bring 2 photocopies of your passport details to give to your tour leader.

As a guideline, you will need at least 1 blank page per country in your passport after you have obtained the relevant visa’s before your trip commences.

The information below is to be used only as a guide and may change without prior notice. It is advisable to contact the relevant embassy in plenty of time before the trip departs to check the current visa requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

IMPORTANT: Once you have booked this trip, please contact the office for information on your Visa Document Pack.

To acquire all the necessary visas before travelling it may be necessary to submit your passport to a number of different embassies at different times and the timings of supporting documents being processed can be unpredictable, so we recommend you remain in your home country for two months before starting your Oasis Overland trip. If you are travelling beforehand, please contact us.

Visas must be paid for in USD cash ONLY when obtained on the trip.

Most of the countries we travel through in Central Asia require a visa. Prior to departure you will be provided with full and comprehensive information that will guide you through the process and give you all the tools you need to help get your visas. Visas for trips in South East Asia can be obtained either en route or at the border.

All information given pertaining to visas is given in good faith and is accurate, to the best of our knowledge. The rules and timings for obtaining each visa can vary enormously from one embassy to the next, and the processes and requirements can and often do change overnight and without prior notice. Please allow time for unexpected delays and be regularly contactable in the months running up to your trip - we will need to be able to be in touch with you.

We will do everything we reasonably can, in liaison with our strong support network of local operators and agents, to help you get all your visas in time and with minimal inconvenience and cost.  But please remember it is ultimately your own responsibility to check the visa requirements for your nationality with the relevant authorities and officials and to ensure you have all the necessary valid documents for your trip and we offer no guarantees that your applications will be successful; these decisions are ultimately in the hands of the officials in the various countries we visit.  We have no influence over their decisions.

















































































































An informative and well-written independent guide to Central Asia visas can be found at


Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Armenia.

Australia and New Zealand passport holders will require a visa to enter, this can be purchased at the border on arrival. Approximate cost is $7 USD.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.


All Passport Holders require an E-visa in advance. E-visa's can be applied for through the following link: for the visa application will be emailed to you a few months before your trip departs. Approximately £25.


All nationalities must obtain a Chinese visa in advance, before joining the Oasis trip. This needs to be obtained through a Chinese embassy or consulate.

To apply for your visa for China you will be required to obtain a Letter of Invitation (LOI). Once you have received the LOI you will be able to apply for the visa at the relevant consulate. Oasis Overland will provide you with the LOI included in your trip price.

Details for the LOI process and visa application will be emailed to you a few months before your trip departs. Cost will depend on the embassy in which you apply for your visa, approximately $210 USD.


Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South Africa and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Georgia.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.


All nationalities must obtain an Indian visa in advance, before joining the Oasis trip. This needs to be obtained through a Indian embassy or consulate and needs to be valid for 6 months to allow entry overland.

Details for the visa application will be emailed to you a few months before your trip departs. Cost will depend on the embassy in which you apply for your visa, approximately £80 - £120.


Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.


Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and most EU countries will require a visa to enter Nepal. The approximate cost is $40 USD. The visa can be obtained on arrival but not at all land borders. Prior to your departure we will update you with up to date visa requirements.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.


All nationalities must obtain a Pakistan visa in advance, before joining the Oasis trip. This needs to be obtained through a Pakistan embassy or consulate.

To apply for your visa for Pakistan you will be required to obtain a Letter of Invitation (LOI). Once you have received the LOI you will be able to apply for the visa at the relevant consulate. 

Oasis Overland will provide you with the LOI included in your trip price. Details for the LOI process and visa application will be emailed to you a few months before your trip departs. Cost will depend on the embassy in which you apply for your visa, approximately British £140, Australia $70 AUD, New Zealand $170 NZD, South Africa 490 ZAR, American $190 USD and Canada $100 CAD.


All nationalities must obtain a Russian visa in advance, before joining the Oasis trip. This needs to be obtained through a Russian embassy or consulate.

To apply for your visa for Russia you will be required to obtain a Letter of Invitation (LOI) at an additional cost. Once you have received the LOI you will be able to apply for the visa at the relevant consulate. 

Details for the LOI process and visa application will be emailed to you a few months before your trip departs. Cost will depend on the embassy in which you apply for your visa, approximately £120.


All Passport Holders require an E-visa in advance. E-visa's can be applied for through the following link: Details for the visa application will be emailed to you a few months before your trip departs. A GBAO permit is also required for travel in the High Pamirs. Approximate cost of both is $70.


An Additional permit is required and applied for through Oasis (included in the trip price).


Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, USA, Canada and most EU countries will require a visa to enter Turkey.

If you require a visa you will need to apply online for an E-Visa and this must be obtained before you enter Turkey. You can apply through the following link . Follow this link only – there are many fake and bogus websites that provide a front for fraud and data-hacking that claim to offer this service.

Once you pay for the visa online, you will need to print the receipt to show at the border on arrival and obtain your entry stamp.

Details for your application will be emailed to you a few months before your trip departs. Cost will depend on the embassy in your home country.

Nationals of New Zealand do not require a visa for Turkey and can get free entry on arrival without applying for an E-Visa.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the E-Visa in advance.


All nationalities must obtain a Letter of Invitation (LOI) in advance, before joining the Oasis trip. You will need to apply for a Letter of Invitation before you can obtain a visa for Turkmenistan. Once you have the LOI you will be able to apply for the visa at the border on arrival if you are travelling by land, or at the airport on arrival if you are flying into in Ashgabat.

Oasis Overland will provide you with the LOI included in your trip price. Approximate cost of the visa on arrival is $110 USD and will vary depending on your nationality.

Details for the LOI process and visa application will be emailed to you a few months before your trip departs.


In February 2019 Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australian, New Zealand, Canada and most EU countries can obtain a Free visa into Uzbekistan at the border on arrival. American passport holders will need to apply for an e-visa before arrival into Uzbekistan. The visa cost is approximately $20 USD. 

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

It is possible that you may require some vaccinations for your trip, depending on the areas that you are visiting. As we are not medically trained, we are unable to give detailed advice on vaccination requirements, so please use the information below as a guide only. We have worked closely with Nomad Travel Clinics for many years and they offer Oasis travellers a 10% discount on vaccinations, anti- malarial drugs, first aid items, clothing and equipment, just enter discount code OASIS1000 at Alternatively you can check out the fit for travel website for more travel health information or consult a reputable travel clinic or your GP for information and advice. We suggest that you allow at least 8 weeks to get all your vaccinations.

Yellow Fever - Being vaccinated against Yellow Fever and having a valid certificate and a photocopy is deemed compulsory in many countries we visit, especially at certain borders and are needed if you are entering from an infected country. You can view a list of countries requiring a certificate through the World Health organisation 

Rabies - Vaccinations are regularly recommended for some of the countries that we travel through - especially if time and money are not a deterrent.

Malaria - In some of the areas we visit there is a risk of contracting Malaria. You must be aware that whatever malaria prophylactics you are taking, they only offer partial protection. They must be coupled with your own physical efforts against being bitten - which is the best prevention. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes come out at sunset so from this time you should wear long sleeves and trousers.  Exposed skin, especially ankles, should have insect repellent containing 'Deet' applied to them. Your crew will advise on where the worst affected areas are on the trip. There are a number of prophylactic malaria treatments on the market & requirements change. It is also wise to take a sample of whichever prophylactic you choose, a few weeks before you leave. This way you may determine early on if you have any adverse reactions so you can change the regimen if necessary. Please consult a reputable travel clinic or GP for advice.  For more information visit or

Altitude sickness - This is caused by thin air (due to lack of oxygen) and can affect anyone arriving at high altitude (above 3000mtrs). The symptoms are headaches, dizziness, shortage of breath and possibly nausea. To avoid this or alleviate the symptoms make a point to acclimatize by arriving into a high altitude destination a few days early and make sure you do not over exert yourself, rest for a few hours, avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, large meals and drink plenty of water.

As we are travelling mostly by land (as opposed to flying into a high altitude location) we should acclimatise gradually, and so avoid 'soroche', mountain sickness.

Dengue - Unlike the malaria mosquito, which bites at night, the dengue carrying mosquito bites during the day. Some areas we travel to do have occasional outbreaks & it is therefore advised that you take care not to be bitten during the day as well as at night. There is no vaccine available.

Opiates and Prescription Medicines in Central Asia - Please note that all opiates and their derivatives are highly illegal in Central Asia, particularly Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Any products containing opiates, such as codeine or co-codamol are illegal and if you are found in possession of them you may be arrested as a drug-trafficker. Ensure that all personal medication is clearly labelled. If you are travelling with prescribed medicines you will need to have a copy of the signed doctor's prescription with you. 

These rules can change without notice, so if you have any queries it is advisable to check travel advice provided by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which provides specific information for each country on the latest requirements. 

It is a compulsory requirement that you have adequate travel insurance before you join any Oasis Trip & at the very least are insured for all necessary medical & repatriation costs incurred.

You will be asked to provide the following details in My Oasis Account if you have not already done so: travel insurance name, insurance policy number & insurance emergency telephone number. You will also be required to give a copy of your policy with this information to your Tour Leader on arrival with confirmation that the policy duration is sufficient to cover you for the entire duration of your trip.  It is also wise to leave a copy of your insurance policy with a friend or relative for safe keeping.

We believe that your safety and holiday enjoyment are very important. It is a mistake to think that "it will never happen to me". It is also very important that you are covered for all the activities that you may wish to undertake while on our trip. It is extremely important that you check the full extent of your cover related to 24 hour Medical Emergency Assistance. In the event of you needing medical treatment you want to know that you have the best cover available to you. Your policy should include adequate Medical Emergency and Repatriation cover as well as Cancellation, Baggage and Personal Liability cover. You need to be aware of EXACTLY what activities your policy covers you for. Please note that skiing is not usually covered in most insurance policies. 

We offer tailor made Overland Adventure Travel Insurance that covers most of the adventure and sporting activities on our trips.

For further information on the insurance we offer, the activities covered and costs, check out the Travel Insurance section of our website. You can purchase our insurance by logging into My Oasis Account and click 'Buy Insurance' or through the following link.

Local Payment (LP)

LP is part of your overall trip payment and is the most cost effective and practical way to get hard currency to the Middle East and Asia to pay for a variety of your day-to-day local costs (i.e. all meals prepared by the group, campsite fees, gas, and certain activities listed in the brochure) which cannot be pre-paid from the UK. It is a guaranteed amount, set before your trip departs, and unlike 'group kitty' systems we will not ask you to contribute more once the trip is underway. 

Please note: Your LP is payable to your Tour Leader on the morning of departure in US$ Dollars CASH ONLY. Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and we will therefore be unable to accept them either. Please do not bring all of your Local Payment in US$100 notes and also make sure that they are post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB.

How to bring your currency?

Past Oasis travellers have fed back that they have felt, as a general rule, it is best to bring your money in cash as a combination of Euros and US dollars. Euros are of course the best currency throughout Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus and Iran, and for all of Central Asia and China US dollars are favourable. Pre-paid travel currency cards are also an option if you are concerned about bringing all your money in cash but we advise bringing at least 50% of your money in cash. Some travellers worry about carrying so much cash with them, however all Oasis Overland trucks are equipped with an onboard safe for the security of your money and passport. 

US dollars dated pre-2006 are not generally accepted so please ensure your notes are dated 2013 onward possible and are in a clean condition with no writing on the notes. Scottish pounds are usually not accepted. 

Turkmenistan - is a largely cash-based economy; in all of the country there are very few ATMs, all in Ashgabat, and these are often out of service. Credit/debit cards and pre-paid currency cards are very difficult to use. Please budget for your time in Turkmenistan entirely in US dollars cash. It is possible to change money in hotels and at bureaux de change at a set exchange rate. 

Spending Money

From past traveller feedback, US$150 to US$200 per week should cover costs such as meals out (on average 50% are supplied), soft drinks and beers, email and communications, souvenirs and other general spending. Personal spending habits and budgets differ greatly from person to person. Budget on optional activities and visa costs separately (see visa section above and optional excursions page) and allow extra for your Local Payment contribution. 

Changing money

Change your money only at banks, hotels, airports or official exchange bureaus. It is illegal to change money on the street, as these people will normally be opportunistic thieves or undercover police. Your crew will advise you where and when you can change money & with what means. It is also a good idea to have a small CASH emergency fund, to allow for the unexpected.

Credit and Debit Cards

If using credit or debit cards (bear in mind these cannot be used in Turkmenistan) Visa is best; Mastercard and American Express have limited access through parts of Asia. Please note that usually you will be given local currency and NOT US$ or £GB. We recommend that you inform your bank that you will be using your card abroad to avoid it being blocked. 

Pre-Paid Travel Currency Cards

These cards are similar to normal Credit and Debit cards but they can be pre loaded with cash before you travel with a set amount allowing you to withdraw this cash using the card at normal ATMs. It is a more secure way to access cash on your trip, but again do not rely on these as your sole means of funds on a trip - (please refer to the ATM section). Several banks and companies now offer these cards, but be sure to look into the rates for withdrawing cash when making your decision. Pre-paid cards that use Visa are preferable to Mastercard, which can be difficult to use. 


These are available in most major cities along our route and allow you to withdraw local currency only. We discourage you from relying on your ATM card as a primary source of funds in case it is lost/stolen/swallowed, or the machine isn't working. In some destinations we probably won't even see a bank or ATM for days on end.  Even where do find them, they cannot always be relied upon - things change, and ATMs don't always work! Besides memorising your PIN, it is also important to be aware of your daily withdrawal limit and bank withdrawal costs. 


Is often expected and relied upon. It is often more than a reward for services well done, but, as wages are extremely low, it is an accepted means of supplementing an income. If you would like to leave a tip for any activity/individual, you could organize this as a group and give a tip at the end. A recommended amount for restaurants is usually 10% of your total bill and similar for activities. Some countries also add an extra Government tax on restaurant bills.

Because it can be difficult to know what to tip, and because it has such importance in some areas both economically and culturally, there may be times and activities for which your crew will make it clear what level of tipping is 'customary/expected'. They may also be quite enthusiastic or assertive in encouraging you to take account of these suggestions. This is motivated by the knowledge of how important tipping can be, and the offence or confusion that can be caused when local people are tipped poorly. In the end, tipping remains at the discretion of the individual, but our crew will continue to advise on normal or average rates, and we would ask you to carefully consider the economic or personal impact of being seen as 'under tipping'. We know that many who travel with us are on a tight budget, but ask you to consider that those we work with locally may also face financial hardship, and also work very hard to try to give you unrivalled service/ experiences. 

As a very rough guide, we would suggest that you budget for an amount equal to 10% of the local payment for your trip, plus 10% of the cost of any of the listed optional excursions that you wish to do. The amounts you end up tipping may vary from a rigid 10%, but hopefully this will help you budget in general.

In the past we have been asked by travellers about tipping your Oasis Crew. If you choose to do this, it would be budgeted separately from the above. Our guys work very hard at making your trip a great travel experience. Working overseas can often be challenging and they are pretty much on call for you 24 hours a day, so it's appreciated as a thank you for hard work and good service, but of course not mandatory. Our suggestion is to budget around US$1 a day.

You will experience a variety of climates and weather conditions in Asia. At times it can be very hot, with temperatures reaching 40°C or higher in the deserts of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and China. On the other hand, it can get very cold, dropping to -5°C or lower in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Georgia. Though much of the trip will pass through dry areas where rainfall is rare, you will also travel in regions that can have rainfall year-round or at times even snow.  So it is important to bring suitable clothing and camping equipment for all conditions. View Central Asia Climate Chart

The climate in South East Asia is tropical, with high temperatures and generally quite humid year-round with rainfall is common, especially in the afternoon. The rainy season lasts roughly from May to October, but even during this time of year the rains usually take the form of short, heavy showers.

The less you take the less you have to pack, wash & lug home & you can always pick up extras along the way. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much gear. Clothes washing or laundry facilities will be available at least once a week. You will be travelling in the heat & camping in the cold, so bring clothes for all climates; rough stuff is best. Pack according to season: allowing for extremes in temperature (from the constant baking heat in the dry season to the cold and occasional frost overnight in some areas) Make sure that you bring your gear in a traditional soft sided 70 - 90L rucksack or holdall - suitcases are not suitable. Remember baggage is limited to 20kg per person plus one day bag.


Equipment Toiletries - Most available to buy on trip
  • Sleeping Bag - 3 to 4 season bag, depending on season, & sleep sheet
  • Foam sleeping mat or thermarest & repair kit
  • Small day-pack or small bag to carry daily items
  • Soft rucksack or holdall (NOT rigid suitcase)
  • Water bottle - for personal use - we recommend Water-to-Go (see below Responsible Travel)
  • Soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, antibacterial hand wash, lip balm & moisturiser
  • Sun block 35 + after sun, hat & sun glasses
  • Tampons (can buy in most places)
  • Contraception
Clothes Personal Effects
  • One pair of trainers or boots
  • Sandals/flip flops/jandals/thongs
  • Underwear/socks
  • T shirts/shirts
  • Shorts/swimwear
  • Jeans/trousers/jog pants/leggings
  • Skirt or dress
  • Sweat shirt/jumper
  • Jacket/fleece & waterproof jacket
  • Camera with protective case, spare batteries, film/memory card
  • Torch & spare batteries (head torch is best)
  • Travel adaptor plug/charger (for cameras & mobile phone batteries)
  • Money belt
  • Personal stereo - there is a stereo on the truck with iPod/MP3 adaptors
  • Towel &/or sarong

What to wear - Keeping your arms, shoulders and legs covered will go a long way to prevent causing offence and hassle to yourself. This is true for men as well as women (especially in predominantly Muslim countries). Avoid wearing tight or revealing clothing, but generally on some beaches you can wear what you like. Attitudes range from fairly liberal in such places as the Mediterranean coast, to extremely conservative in some of the small towns elsewhere. 

Kyrgyzstan -  if your trip goes to Kyrgyzstan bear in mind that we mostly camp at high altitude and you can expect it to get very cold! Please bring warm clothing and a suitable sleeping bag for temperatures that may at times reach below freezing.


Recommended Medical Kit List
  • Antiseptic ointment/Antihistamine cream &  tablets
  • Nurofen or equivalent pain-killer
  • Eye-drops/bath
  • Anti-diarrhoea treatment
  • A couple of bandages (elasticated & triangular)
  • Medication for personal allergies/asthma etc
  • Insect repellent containing Deet
  • Re-hydration sachets/vitamin tablets
  • Assorted plasters
  • 1 Course of malaria treatment
  • Some suitable antibiotics as recommended by your doctor for infected cuts or to treat severe dysentery
  • Malaria Tablets - see Vaccinations & Health section

Even though our trucks are equipped with a comprehensive medical kit, we advise you to bring a small personal medical kit as our truck kit is not for general everyday use. It will also be your responsibility to carry your kit on included excursions and optional activities as some local operators may not have medical kits to hand.

Cameras (incl. Digital & Video Cameras) - An easy to use 'point and shoot' will get you some good photos. For memorable shots, it may be worthwhile investing in an SLR camera, but be sure to get some practice in before the trip! Most towns and cities have internet cafes where you can download onto CD/internet sites - but don't rely on it.  Internet speeds can be slow for uploading photos to social media or the Cloud.

Photography - Be aware of your surroundings when taking photographs and filming. Some locations will be sensitive or have local laws banning photography. For example it is usually forbidden to use cameras at borders or around government buildings, military installations, bridges and airports or to take photos of local officials. If you do take photos or film where it is not permitted you may find yourself being questioned by irate officials who may decide to confiscate your camera or instruct you to delete all the images/footage on your device. If in doubt ask for permission, or if there is no-one to ask use some common sense.

Drones - As the use of drones becomes more common, countries throughout the world are gradually updating their laws and restrictions on usage. The specific regulations will vary from one country to another, so do check the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for the latest information. As with cameras, use your common sense if you do use a drone and avoid operation in sensitive areas. If you plan to bring a drone on your trip with us please contact us first to ensure there will be a suitable place to store it while on your trip.

Electrical charging & power supply - It may be difficult to find a power source for charging at times, so a spare battery is a must.

Consider a 12V in-car charger (our vehicles are equipped with a couple of 12 volt cigarette lighter charger sockets - truck trips only) or bring along your 230V mains charger and travel adaptor plug for use at some of the hotels, hostels and campsites we stay at.

NOTE: 12V - 230V inverters cannot be used on our vehicles because of the power drain they cause.

Log onto for information regarding the different electrical plugs and voltage used in each country.

The internet and WiFi are available in many towns / cities you will visit. Do bear in mind that the connections can be unreliable and will not always be as fast as you are used to at home.  If a lot of people try to use the internet at the same time the speed will be slower still, especially if trying to make Skype calls or upload photos / videos.  During periods of the trip where we are wild camping, internet will be less common.

Some travellers choose to take an unlocked mobile phone with them and buy local SIM cards in each country, allowing them to use mobile data.  If you particularly want or need regular internet access this may be a good option. Telephone calls can be expensive usually £1 to £5 for a three minute call.

Online Diaries - A great variety of free "travel blogs" are now available online, they are a good way of keeping relatives and friend up to date with what you are doing and a good place to upload photos, collecting messages as well as keeping a record for yourself.

Before you go

  • Remove unnecessary packaging before you go - waste disposal facilities are often stretched or non existent in the places we visit. To avoid unnecessary pollution of local water supplies take environmentally friendly toiletries with you.
  • Why not invest in a wind-up or solar-powered torch or media player before you travel or at least rechargeable batteries.
  • Learn some of the local language and read up on the local history/culture before you go. You'll get so much more out of your trip.
  • Why not pack some pens/pencils exercise books in your rucksack and they can be donated to a local school or project while you're away. You can also purchase these items cheaply, locally which will help local businesses.
  • Take a sturdy water bottle with you from home that you can re-use throughout your trip. We carry large quantities of purified water with us on our Expedition vehicles and it is much better for the environment if you drink this, rather than purchase bottled water along the way. (It also saves you money).
  • Water-to-Go: Oasis Overland have partnered with Water-to-Go to help reduce the number of plastic water bottles consumed during a trip. Water-to-Go is a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source. Click here and enter the code OASIS15 to purchase your Water-to-Go products at 15% discount. Water-to-Go will then donate a further 15% to Oasis Overland Charity projects.
While you're travelling

From experience gained in running trips, we have developed our own practical and manageable environmental policy which all of our crew practice on the trips we operate, and they will share this information with you at the start of your trip. We welcome your input on this, plus any new ideas you may have, to improve our existing procedures. As a guide here's a few tips to bear in mind.

  • Don't waste water. It is a scarce resource in many of the places our trips visit. On all our Ultimate and Overland Expeditions we carry large quantities of purified water with us. We encourage you to refill your own water bottles from this supply, rather than purchase bottled water along the way-much more environmentally friendly and saves you money.
  • Never buy endangered species or endangered habitat products. Apart from the fact of it being illegal it also encourages the trade to continue.
  • Look after and preserve the areas we visit. Be careful about stepping on coral reefs or trekking on undesignated tracks.
  • Buy locally made crafts and products helping to support the local economy.
  • Don't feel when bargaining that you have to get the cheapest price possible just for the sake of it. Pay what the item is worth to you & don't worry about what someone else has paid.
  • Try the local food and drinks - this will help to support local farmers and food sellers. Sitting in a local cafe is also a great way to meet local people.
  • Dispose of litter appropriately on your trip. This includes cigarette butts. Not only does litter look unsightly it can be lethal to wildlife.
  • Where any toilet facilities exist, however unsavoury they might seem to you, they should be used. Where they do not, always bury your waste and make sure it is never near (at least 30m) a water source.
  • When game viewing do not encourage your guides to get too close to the wildlife so that their natural behaviour is impeded.
  • Respect local customs, traditions and beliefs of the people in the different regions that you travel through.
  • Do not take photos of people, ritual events or special places unless you have asked first. Dress appropriately according to local codes and show respect around religious festivals.
  • Recycling is almost non-existent in many of the areas and countries we visit - we do the best we can with limited resources & space on our vehicles.
  • For books dedicated to travelling more responsibly & ethically see:
Community Projects - Oasis are active in raising awareness and providing support to a number of projects and local schools where we believe we can make a positive difference. More information on the projects we support.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) offer country-specific advice, regarding not only security but also entry regulations, local laws and customs and health. We strongly recommend all travellers visit the FCO website, or the equivalent in their home country, to familiarise themselves with local conditions and issues in the countries they plan to visit before committing to a trip with us. You can view their website here.

If you have any questions at all about the safety or security of your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to discuss your trip in more detail.

In cities - All major cities have their share of petty crime (just like our cities) and sensible precautions need to be taken. Wearing expensive looking jewellery or watches and carrying cameras will draw unnecessary attention to you. Leave valuables such as passports and excess money in your hotel safe or truck safe (we recommend carrying a copy of your passport details page at all times). You may find a simple money belt is more discreet than a bag. Always be aware of your surroundings and when approached by people you do not know, use your common sense. At night in cities it's best to use a taxi, rather than walking around the streets, single women in particular need to be careful and we would suggest that it is safer to be in a group.

On board the truck - Each vehicle is fitted with a hidden, lockable safe to be used for money, passports and important documents. Group members will be responsible for the safe and Oasis Overland cannot accept any liability for clients' personal or monetary contents kept in the safe or on board the truck. We advise you to not take items of value that are not essential for the journey. In certain areas a roster may be drawn up for the group to share the task of guarding and keeping the vehicle secure.

Expedition Travel

Firstly expect the unexpected! If you are looking for a set itinerary where everything runs smoothly, then this is not the kind of trip for you. Our itineraries can change due to local circumstances, and in such situations we will always try to minimise any disruption, but bear in mind that from time to time events happen outside our control. It is this very unpredictability which makes each expedition different, exciting and one of the most adventurous things that you will possibly ever do! As part of this adventure you will be expected to have an active involvement in the day to day running of the trip, be part of the group and get stuck in and help with various tasks, whether it's cooking meals over open fires, pitching your tent or keeping the truck clean and tidy.

Expedition Vehicle

The Oasis expedition truck will be your new home giving you a comfortable & secure base with which to experience your trip. We use a purpose built truck which has been converted especially for this expedition, which passes through all types of terrains from soft sand, mud, rock and potholed roads to tarseal. It is reassuring to know that these vehicles can handle the tough conditions that they are put through. The truck is equipped with all of the equipment we may need en-route, including a professionally compiled expedition Medical Kit, large water & fuel carrying capacities, an extensive range of spare parts as well as the kitchen sink, (well almost!) so all you need is your sleeping bag, a roll mat and your own personal gear!


All Oasis Overland trucks are fitted with seatbelts. For your own safety and security we recommend that travellers wear these at all times whilst the vehicle is moving. Most of our overland trucks also have a ‘beach area’ which is a chill out zone to be used when the truck is not moving.   


Accommodation is split throughout this trip between simple hotels and hostels and camping. The variety of accommodation provided is great and often a totally unique experience, including bush camps with no facilities, yurts and simple village pensions. Some are well managed and some very basic. Oasis uses roomy three-person tents but only for two people. They are specially made for us to meet the tougher conditions of an expedition trip and have mosquito netting sewn into the door and windows. It would also be a good idea to bring your own freestanding mosquito net so as to give you the freedom of sleeping under the stars at night. At bush camps you will be living off the truck, so there will be no showers or en-suite facilities, so digging your own toilet pit with the shovels supplied is essential!

During the day

As a guide driving days normally start at about 8am and finish at about 5pm, with stops for lunch and buying food, seeing local sights etc. We won't be driving every day, although there are times when we will drive for more than one day, and very occasionally a few long drives of about 4 to 5 days. We will then stop for a few days and you will have free time to explore, meet local people, do some optional activities or just relax and do your own thing. Expect to sometimes get dusty & dishevelled during the day and although you will be able to shower most nights (except at bush camps), not all camps will have hot showers.

Meals & cook groups

When 'on the road' with the expedition vehicle or camping, we usually cook using gas or over open fires in a rota system and you can expect to cook in a group of two or three people approximately once every ten days depending on the number of people on trip and whereabouts you are. Your cook group will have to decide on what to cook, utilise stocks from the truck stores and locally obtain ingredients from markets, shops etc and rustle up a meal. But don't worry if you're not a Gordon Ramsay as the rest of the group and the Tour Leader usually lend a helping hand. Here is an idea of what to expect at meal times:

Breakfasts - Usually simple - we help ourselves to cereal, toast, hot drinks and on occasion we will splurge with a cooked breakfast. 

Lunch - Cold and usually quick. The cook group will put out bread, tinned supplies and maybe make a salad. 

Dinner - Cooks come into their own in the evening and will always attempt to cook up some delights. When the truck is parked up for a few days in a town or city most people usually like the option to eat out at local restaurants - so we often don't cook all meals when at these locations. Meals whilst staying in Hotels/Hostels/Pensions are not included in the local payment price.

Vegetarian/Vegan/Celiac /Gluten & Lactose intolerance - Our Tour Leaders will always do their best to cater for any dietary requirement or intolerance whenever possible. However we do not cater for fussy eaters. It must be remembered that the variety of dishes available may not be the same as available to meat eaters. If there is anything in particular you require in your diet or because of an allergy or would miss from home, it would be best to bring these with you, as these cannot be purchased with normal Local Payment funds due to the high cost of these specialised and often imported foods.

Remember that when eating out in local restaurants & hotels that the vegetarianism or food allergies / intolerances, is still not widely known about or understood by many local people. i.e Vegetarians or Vegans will often be offered fish or chicken in error.  Most large towns and cities, or areas used to tourists, will often have more choice but please be aware that it will probably not be as varied as you are used to when eating out at home. Travellers with food allergies or specific dietary requirements may find it useful to bring with them some notes in the local language, explaining their needs which they can then show to the restaurant staff. These can be bought online or simply use Google Translate and print one off!

In the evenings

When at a bushcamp or campsite where you and your tent buddy will put up the tent, and then lend a hand with getting out the tables, stools, firewood and water containers. The fire grates need to be taken out, the fire lit and someone can fill the kettle and make hot drinks while the cook group prepares the evening meal. Then just sit back & chill and enjoy the rest of your evening!

Oasis Crew

We usually have two crew whose duties are extensive and quite demanding, with challenges ranging from driving in difficult terrains and conditions, maintaining the expedition vehicle to a very high standard, to organising visas and border crossings, arranging accommodation, pre-booking some excursions and guides, helping with shopping and cooking as well as finding the best deals, socializing and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. While our crew are usually experienced and knowledgeable of the countries through which we travel, they are not tour, nature or wildlife guides as such, but they will be more than willing to pass on any interesting and useful information that they have acquired whilst on the road. An equally rewarding way to gain a better insight into the wildlife, cultural and historical diversity of the countries we travel through, is by talking to the local people and using local guides.


Because Oasis Overland do not operate normal 'package holidays' the itineraries given cannot be guaranteed to run exactly as outlined. However, it is rare that we have to make major changes and in the event that we do this will be discussed with you either before or during the trip. It is important to bear in mind that should it not be possible to enter a certain country due to safety concerns, visa problems or political turmoil etc, and it becomes necessary to fly over a country in order to continue a trip, that all costs for flights will be borne by you and not Oasis. Should it not be possible for an Oasis trip to begin from a scheduled starting city due to border closures, civil unrest etc, Oasis will make all reasonable efforts to begin the trip from an alternative location. However, all additional costs that you may incur in travelling to the alternative location will be paid by you or your insurance company and not Oasis.

Optional Excursions are paid for on the day and organised during your trip, so you can decide whilst travelling which activity you may want to do. Prices listed are only a guide and may be dependant on fluctuating exchange rates and minimum numbers. Please see below for more details.


Russian Federation

Title From Price
Kremlin Entrance US$10
St Basil's Cathedral - Moscow US$8
General Museum Entrances - Moscow & St Petersberg US$10


Title From Price
Cathedral, Museum and Sulphur Bath entrances, from US$5
Lunch with Folk Music Tbilisi US$10
Wine Tour Telavi US$30
Vardzia Museum US$1
Stalin Museum Entry and Guided Tour Gori US$6
Uplistsikhe Museum US$1
Cathedral, Museum and Sulphur Bath entrances, from US$5
Lunch with Folk Music Tbilisi US$10
Stalin Museum Entry and Guided Tour Gori US$6
Uplistsikhe Museum US$1
Wine Tour Telavi US$30
Vardzia Museum US$1


Title From Price
Museum Entrances, from US$2
Guide, Ala Archa Nat. Reserve, per day, per group US$30
Ulak Tartysh (Kyrgyz Polo) Per Person, Number Dependant US$20
Horse Riding Lake Song Kol, per day US$15
Museum Entrances, from US$2


Title From Price
Entry to Various Museums, from US$5


Title From Price
Taj Mahal Entrance Fee US$30


Title From Price
Aya Sofya Museum Entrance Fee US$9
Belly Dancing Evening US$32
Hot Air Ballooning - Cappadoccia US$180
Traditional Turkish Bath US$32

We feel that having optional excursions gives a greater degree of flexibility and independence to our group members; independence to decide how much your spending budget can afford; flexibility to decide when and what time of day or with whom to visit a particular site, rather than for example, with the whole group at a pre-ordained time. If you decide not to join a popular excursion, you will have free time to relax or wander off to a market, village or beach, depending on where we are.

You pay for the optional excursions to the local operator, ensuring the money stays with that operator in the local community and this ensures as well, that you are paying the true price for any optional excursions you want to do. This also applies to accommodation costs before and after the trip. Please note that the prices of optional excursions quoted are approximate as local prices can and do change. Please see the relevant trip page for the Optional excursions you can do on that trip and a list of prices.

  • Due to the administration costs involved with a trip of this magnitude, a late booking fee of £150 will be charged for bookings made less than 90 days before departure.
  • Trip includes 1 night's accommodation in Kathmandu. The remaining 10 nights are left open and at your own expense, so you can make the most of the various trekking and activity options.

Please Note: The end dates of the Exploratory Expedition are subject to change due to the nature of this trip.

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  • Travel Style
    Ultimate Expedition
  • Start Location
  • End Location
  • Region
    Central Asia

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