Classic Silk Road Overland

Our 13 week Classic Silk Road Expedition from Beijing to Istanbul explores western China through Central Asia, Iran and Turkey. We travel at a slower pace; enabling us to grasp a real understanding of the many historic and culturally important places we will visit along the way.

Beijing to Istanbul - 13 Weeks

Join us on an awesome exploratory journey through the historically and culturally rich regions of  China, Central Asia and Turkey. Traveling overland allows us the freedom to visit ‘the places in between’ some of the most enigmatic cities and sites of the Silk Road.
This unique adventure captures the essence of Overlanding with a balanced mix of hotels and some of the most amazing bush camping in breathtaking wildernesses. We’ll visit all the best sites and still have time to explore the lesser known and harder to get to places, we're also likely to make friends with some amazing people along the way.
This is no ordinary Overland Tour. We travel in a nomadic style at a slower pace, in some ways similar to that of the original Silk Road travelers.
Expedition Dates Trip Price Local Payment Status  






Week 1: China
Join us as the adventure begins in Beijing. Our first taste of life on the truck sees us head north to Jinshanling for an opportunity to walk a section of the Great Wall. We then head to Datong to take in the stunning Datong Buddhist caves before heading to the ancient city of Pingyao.  Next stop is the holy mountain of Huashan and an opportunity to spend the day trekking from peak to peak visiting Taoist and Buddhist temples and truly amazing views.
Heading onward to Xian we will visit the world famous Terracotta warriors.
Week 2: China
We will spend 2 days exploring the old city of Xian, with an opportunity to walk or cycle round the city walls and visit the Bell and Drum tower. There’s also endless night markets which offer delicious local fare & are well worth a visit. 
We then head West to Pingliang and visit Kongtong Shan holy mountain. 
Pushing further west we reach the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau, visiting the unique Tibetan town of Xiahe. We will take our time to tour the massive Monastery and have the opportunity to trek in the surrounding hills.
Week 3: China
From Xiahe we will cross the Ganjia grasslands towards Xining and visit Bingling si, taking a boat ride along the yellow river to visit the huge Buddha. 
From here we pick up the Silk Road via Jiayuguan and the end of the great wall, heading for Dunhuang with huge sand dunes and time to visit the fabulous Mogao caves. 
Week 4: China
We will now head North to the Silk Road city of Turpan with numerous ancient settlements and bustling market. We can also visit Gaochang, Jiaohe and the Karez system. 
Following the Silk Road through the Takliman desert, we visit Kuitun and the ancient town of Kuche, en route to the bustling old market town of Kashgar where we will have plenty of time to explore and visit the famous markets. 
Week 5: China and Kyrgyzstan.
We will cross the border and journey into the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. A massive change of scenery and culture here as we first make our way to Jeti Orghuz at the south east end of Lake Issy Kol. We have time here to trek in the stunning mountains before heading round the north shore of the lake visiting a field of Petroglyphs. Onward to Bishkek with very much a soviet feel to it and some nice restaurants, museums and public spaces.
Next we head for the to alpine Lake of Song Kul situated at 3000m+ and have a free day to relax by the shores or perhaps make a day’s trek or horse ride into the surrounding countryside.
Week 6: Kyrgystan
We now take a relaxed journey on to Osh taking a stunning route via Arslanbob and the largest walnut forest in central Asia.  
Week 7: Kyrgystan & Uzbekistan
Osh is where we cross the border into the Ferghana valley of Uzbekistan, local rules & transport restrictions here mean we will transfer into cars for the drive from the border to Tashkent. It's only a short break from the truck & she will join us there. 
A day in the modern city of Tashkent allows us to recharge before heading on towards the famous Silk Road cities starting with Samerkhand where we will have tour to visit the madrassas at the Registan, Guri Amir Mausoleum and perhaps Shah-I-Zinda shrine and the Ulugbek Madrassa.
Next we take a break from city life and head to Nurata  for a yurt home-stay and where we will be able to enjoy camel rides or perhaps swim in a nearby lake.
Week 8: Uzbekistan 
Bukhara - central Asia’s holiest city - and with so much to see and do here, and a realisation that we are very far from home, we will have plenty of time to relax and soak up the sights of this well preserved city. Perhaps sit in the shade around Lyabi-Hauz, take a wander through the covered bazaar, visit central Asia’s oldest surviving mosque ~ Maghoki-agar
Our next stop is the Ichan-Qala or inner-walled city of Khiva, preserved in its entirety thanks to a soviet conservation program - whilst wandering around the streets we can hope to gain an idea of how it would have been during its heyday as an important trading post on the Silk Route. We will take a guided city tour and the afternoon will be free to explore.
Week 9: Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan
From Khiva we head to Moynoq which used to be a thriving fishing port on the Aral sea, over exploitation of water for irrigation has lead to the sea shrinking leaving the fishing fleet high and dry making excellent photo opportunities and possibly a chance to bushcamp in the encroaching desert.
From here we cross into Turkmenistan,our first stop here is the ruins of the ancient city of Kunye Urgench, which was ransacked by Gengis Khan in the 14th century, our local guide here will bring the place alive with the full story. 
On our way to Ashgabat we stop to camp at Darvasa where craters have formed as a result of gas extraction by the Soviet Union. One crater has been set alight resulting in a most unusual spectacle. 
The city of Ashgabat has a multitude of marble faced government buildings and monuments which glisten in the sunshine. The evening can be spent enjoying some great nightlife or simply wandering through the parks admiring the fountain or mingling with families enjoying the huge public spaces.
Week 10: Iran
Once in Iran we will take our time and really immerse ourselves it's culture and all that it has to offer.
First stop is Mashad, the holiest city in Iran . We will visit the Imam Reza shrine, a major pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims.
We now head for Tehran, the modern capital of Iran. We can visit the Golestan palace, Tehran Bazar and there are museums a plenty.  
We now make our way to the city of Yazd and a chance to explore the amazing mud brick city centre. Yadz also has an active Zoroastrian community, and we can visit the important religious emblems ofthe  eternal flame and the towers of the wind.
On our way to Shiraz we will stop by Bavanat where Khamseh Nomads live a very traditional live in tents.
We will have time to explore Shiraz and visit the stunning Mausoleum of King of the light, Sayyed Mir Ahmad. There are also many mosques, hammams and madrassas.
Week 11 Iran
After spending time exploring the bazaars and shrines in Shiraz we head for Esfahan stopping off at the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis. A wander around the ruins and we can marvel at the skills & craftsmanship of a bygone era. The city of Esfahan has a huge amount to offer, we will take a city tour to explore Imman square and the mosques and Bazaar that surrounds it. We will also wander along the river with its magnificent bridges and have the opportunity to visit the Armenian quarter . 
Now we head to Ali Sadr with an amazing complex of limestone caves, with underground waterways and many stunning rock formations.
We then take the back roads through rural Iran to Takht-e-Solomon with its huge castle, taken over by Gengis Khan in 13th century. From here we head for Tabriz with great markets and a last chance to buy some amazing handicrafts from the region.
Week 12
We now head for Turkey, crossing into the border town of Dogubayazit before heading across north Eastern Turkey for Goreme, famous for its stunning scenery and underground cities. Here we have the option to take a balloon ride to get the best views of the region before heading underground to visit the underground cities. 
Week 13 
We now head through the heart of Turkey for the old Roman spa at Pammukale. Famous for its limestone terraces but also has some great ruins to explore too.
Next stop Selcuk where we visit Efesses which is arguably the best preserved Roman settlement in Turkey. We can also visit the old Greek settlement of Sirince, famous for its fruit wines which it is possible to sample.
A days drive now puts us at the cross roads between Asia and Europe, the city of Istanbul, where the adventure ends.
It is possible to book our Tibet Explorer before this trip for those of you wishing to explore the Roof of the world. Please enquire for availability.



•    Visit the great wall of china at Jinshanling

•    Datong caves

•    Pingyao

•    Hushan Holy Mountain

•    Terracotta Warriors

•    Cycle tour of Xian ( Approximately £5 )

•    Kongtong Shan Holy Mountain

•    Xiahe

•    Labrang Monastry

•    Jiayuguan, The Great Wall of China

•    Dunhuang

•    Mogao Caves

•    Turpan

•    Jiaohe ruins

•    Karez Irrigation system

•    Taklimakan Desert

•    Guided tour of Kashgar sunday market



•    Tourgart pass

•    Tash Rabat

•    Lake Issyk - Kul

•    Bishkek

•    Song Kul Lake

•    Osh



•    Guided tour of Samakand

•    The Registan

•    Ulugbek Madrassa

•    Nuruta yurt homestay

•    Camel ride ( Approximately £10 )

•    Guided city tour of Bukhara

•    Guided city tour of Khiva

•    Moynoq

•    Aral sea fishing port



•    Kunye Ugench

•    Darvaza gas creaters

•    Overnight camp in the Karakum desert

•    Ashgabat



•    Holy city of Mashad

•    Imam Reza Shrine

•    Tehran

•    Guided city tour of Yazd

•    Towers of silence

•    Shiraz

•    Perspolis

•    Guided city tour of Esfahan

•    Ali Sadr Caves

•    Takht-e-Soleiman

•    Tabriz




•    Full day guided tour of Goreme

•    Visit the fairy chimenys

•    Guided tour of the Underground city

•    Guided tour of the open air museum

•    Traditional pottery and ceramic demonstration

•    Traditional Turkish cultural evening with food.

•    Sunrise hot air balloon experience ( Approximately £120 )

•    Quad biking ( Approximately  £40 )

•    Horse riding ( Approximately £35 )

•    Guided tour of Ephesus

•    Afternoon wine tasting in Sirince

•    Pamukkale


With over 20 years combined experience in leading worldwide overland expeditions, we believe that adventure doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Yes, sometimes we will push you a little out of your comfort zone but not at the expense of great food and some fun and unusual accommodation. After all, this is an adventure tour and not a package tour.

Our expedition vehicle is kitted out to take us anywhere in the world, and will also to enable us to camp in a fun and comfortable manner. We use the best camping and cooking equipment on the market today; from our 2-3 man expedition tents, that are specially designed for overlanding - to our fully equipped kitchen and comfortable camp chairs. We even have a toilet tent!!


Overland expeditions are traditionally about getting off the beaten track, bush camping where possible and interacting with local communities.

Bush camping is one of the major highlights of any Overland Expedition. We take huge pride when it comes to finding magical places to camp. Because our trips are a little more laid back to tend not to rush from on place to another and we can often set up our camp early in the afternoon, which allows time to explore and relax.

In most cities and large towns we will use comfortable hotels and guest houses and for the rest of the trip we will stay in a mixture of campsites, yurts, boats and even a tree house.

We base these nights on a twin share basis although there may be a few occasions where triples, quads and even dorms are used.


We will provide 3 quality meals a day while camping. Teamwork is the essence as everyone participates, shopping in the local markets and the cooking of fresh healthy food.

With the best kitchen equipment in the overlanding industry nothing is beyond us. You choose what you want to eat, be it a quick wholesome lunch, a full blown fresh fish or steak barbeque, with all the trimmings or pot roasted yak in red wine. Anything is possible.

For those who 'can’t cook' we have the expertise to give you all the assistance you need to cook up a storm using the best quality ingredients fresh from the market (we have to eat it too!). The quality of the food on our trips amazes everyone involved. (Even some of the locals who occasionally join us for dinner!).

There is an incredible choice of different food available on this trip and an important part of travelling is getting out there with the local folk and eating the best they have to offer.

When in Hotels you can choose where and what to eat in local restaurants and cafes. For most city stops we will arrange a group meal at a local restaurant. We will also organise some special nights out, such as a Turkish Cultural night complete with Belly dancing which are included in the price of the trip. We also have a few surprises up our sleeves.

We can cater for all tastes and dietary needs, please contact us with any questions.

Overland Adventure Trek : Endeavour Overland : Ultimate Silk Road Experience

Please take some time and read the following pre departure information before joining our expedition. If you have any questions please email us at or give us a call on 01271 321377 and we will be happy to give you any help and advice that we can.

The cost of the expedition is split into 2 payments, the trip price and the local payment.

The Trip Price

The Trip Price is the bulk payment for your expedition and we will require a deposit of £200 to secure you a place on our expedition. The remaining cost is payable in full no less than 12 weeks before departure. Upon receipt of your deposit Endeavour overland guarantees not to increase the trip price.

The Local Payment

The Local payment contributes to the “on the road” cost of running the trip that cannot be pre- paid for in the UK before departure. The local payment must be paid to the expedition leader at the pre departure meeting and must be in USD ($ dollars) cash as stated.

Not included:

  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal spending money
  • Flights
  • Visas costs – and handling fees
  • Border taxes
  • Optional activities
  • Some meals in guest houses and hotels
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Any other unforeseen contingency route expenses

Booking information

To join this expedition please send a completed application form along with a deposit of £200 to secure your place. We ask that you pay us in British Pounds Sterling for the trip price. (Local payment in USD $)There are several ways in which you can do this. Either send a cheque payable to Endeavour Overland Ltd along with the application form by post; or by bank transfer (please contact us for bank details). Please note that if you use bank transfer, there may be a bank charge which you must pay at your end. We can also accept credit card payments via PayPal but this will incur a 3.5% fee on top of the original cost as this is the fee PayPal will charge us to make this transaction. We do not incorporate the PayPal fees into our prices.

NOTE: Use your full name as a reference when paying by direct deposit/PayPal.

Any bookings made after 12 weeks prior to departure must be payable in full. Please contact us for details.

Please ensure you have read our Booking terms and conditions before booking.

Please completed the on line application form


You may cancel your booking within 14 days of us receiving your deposit without penalty, if after reading the Booking terms and conditions you feel you have misunderstood any of this information.

Confirmation will be sent to you on receiving your completed booking form and deposit.

We look forward to having you on our expedition!


This is the most important item you will carry on your expedition. Please ensure it is valid for at least one year from your departure date, is undamaged and in good condition and that it has at least 10 clear pages. Without this number of clear pages you will not be able to complete the expedition. If you are considering getting a new passport you will need to have your new passport at least 4 months before departure as this is when you need to provide us with your passport information.

While on the road we advise you to either keep the passport locked in the truck safe or in the hotel safe and not to keep it on your person. We recommend however that you carry a copy of your passport (a laminated copy works really well) with you at all times.

If you have dual nationality, you will need to complete the trip on one passport, it is very difficult and at times not possible, to change passports during the expedition. Please check with us as to which passport is better to travel on for this expedition.

Please note that if you have an Israeli entry stamp in your passport it may be more difficult to obtain visas, therefore we recommend you obtain another passport before the expedition.

Passport photos

Many visa applications require a passport photo, and we recommend you get 12 passport photos printed. For trips  traveling to Iran can we ask that the female members of the expedition have at least 4 photos taken wearing a head scarf and ensure that your arms are covered. Some of these will be required for the pre-departure visa applications, and you should bring the other photos along for the applications that we make en route.

Please make sure the photos are of passport quality with a white background, a true likeness, if not these may be rejected and may cause a delay in obtaining the visas.

Please visit our Visa page or contact us directly for more advice.

This page will be updated on a regular basis to keep you informed.

Although we are unable to include the cost of the visas in the overall trip price, we can help to organize them for you in conjunction with our agent in London. ‘TheVisamachine’ are a company who specialize in arranging multiple trip visas and can assist you through this process.

Getting Visas is a time consuming and complicated business so we've teamed up with expert ‘TheVisamachine’ they can help with all your travel visas for each of our Ultimate Adventures. Using some nifty technology, The Visa Machine make it really simple to find out what visas you need. Selecting your adventure, nationality and residency, it's that simple - all the tricky selection of type and duration has been worked out for you against our itineraries so whether you're based in the UK or Overseas these guys make the process as simple and hassle free as possible. All their on-line cost savings are passed directly on to you. So you get excellent service at at a price you can afford. To make it as straightforward as possible, click on the link and follow their instructions to get the ball rolling. If you have any queries or questions, please get in touch with us or them for further advice.

For the following countries, visas are required prior to departure; Turkey,Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan,Mongolia, and China. Please check our Itineraries to see which countries require visas or simply Click on "The Visa machine" tabs above and follow the instructions on their landing page.

Visas for Nepal are obtained on entry to the country.

If you do plan to get visas by other means please contact us for any assistance. Please be aware that obtaining some visas can be complicated, especially  for Iran and China where our agents have to be involved in the process. We believe ‘TheVisamachine’ will take all the hastle out of the whole procedure at a fair price.

In the case of our Ultimate Silk Road trip ,For a UK citizen, you will need to budget around £700 to cover the cost of the visas, and be aware that this process can take in the region of 3 months to complete. If you need to travel within 3 months of departure, please contact us.

Visa information country by country (please contact The Visa Machine  for up to date information.


Turkish visas are now obtained online from this website;


The Iranian embassy in London is currently closed, however our agent ‘The Visa machine’ will obtain these on our behalf. Other nationalities, especially US citizens, please contact us so we can obtain the current advice directly from our agent in Iran.
Iran Visas  can take up to 3 months to obtain so please book early so we can best help you to get these with the minimum of fuss.

The ‘Stans - Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and  Kyrgyzstan

Letters of invitation are currently not necessary for most nationalities, although we can help to arrange these via our agent if required.

Kyrgyzstan visa’s are currently free on entry for most nationalities.


A Visa valid for 36 days can be obtained prior to departure. (Visa machine can help with this)


Due to the duration of our stay in China, we plan on 47 days, we will need to get a special visa, which we will obtain through ‘The Visa machine’ in conjunction with our agent in China.




Insurance is an important part of any booking. We recommend everyone who books with us has travel insurance which includes cover for all activities features as part of your trip. If you would like to obtain cover for your trip please feel free to contact specialist Insurance Brokers, Campbell Irvine for a quote.

  To arrange cover or to obtain a quotation, please contact Campbell Irvine Direct:

1) Click here to apply for travel insurance ONLINE
2) Tel: 0844 826 2722
3) Email Campbell Irvine

A. Medical Expenses
In Patient Benefit £10 per day up to
Criminal injuries £100 per day up to
Personal Liability
D. Delayed Departure or Arrival
Either compensation up to
OR cancellation after 12 hours up to
Hi-jack of Aircraft £100 per day up to
Interruption of Transport

B. Personal Accident
Permanent Loss of Sight
Loss of Limb(s)
Permanent Total Disablement
E. Personal Effects
(Valuables limited to £350)
(Single Article limit £250)
(Disc Collections £200)
Temporary Loss of Baggage
Passport and Visas

C. Cancellation or Curtailment £3,000*
F.  Legal Expenses £25,000
G. Winter Sports Optional
*Cancellation cover may be increased when you apply.


This is only a summary of cover; full details of the cover provided are shown on your Policy Document. You will be asked to read it carefully to ensure you are happy the cover provided which is offered on a Non Advised basis from a single insurer.

A copy of the policy document is available for download ONLINE. The policy contains a 14 day Cooling Off Period and details of how to make a claim and who to contact in the event of a medical emergency.

The policy includes certain terms conditions, exclusions and excesses. In particular cover is excluded for any defined pre-existing medical condition from which you or any person upon whom travel depends are suffering. If in doubt please contact the insurers medical help line as additional cover may be purchased directly from the insurer’s medical screening help line for certain pre-exiting medical conditions.

Campbell Irvine Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. This can be checked on the FSA's register by visiting the FSA's website at or by contacting them on 0845 606 1234. Endeavour Overland Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

You should declare any pre-existing medical conditions on your booking form. In some cases you will be asked to provide further information about your condition(s), or to complete a medical questionnaire. All information will be kept confidential unless you request us to inform your fellow travellers. Please be aware that should you not be sufficiently, fit, healthy or able to participate in your trip we may have to request that you leave the trip.

Please see the Terms and Conditions for further details.

Prescription Medication

If you are on any prescription medicine, please let the expedition leaders know and bring the doctor’s original prescription with you on the expedition as this may be required when entering some countries. Prescription medication may not be easy to obtain while on the road so make sure you inform your doctor as they can allow you to bring enough to last you for the duration of the expedition.

Please see our page on Vaccinations or contact us to ask specific questions.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prophylactics

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures (including malaria prophylactics) vary according to country and recent bulletins issued by health authorities.

It’s essential to get the latest advice on the regions and countries you’re planning to travel in, and that you follow the advice of either your doctor or a specialised immunisation clinic (such as Nomad Travel – for vaccination and other medical requirements for your trip in good time before you leave. Let them know your departure date as some vaccinations can involve multiple injections with a break between each, so please look into them well before the date of departure (about 6 weeks should be enough time depending on how many vaccinations you are obtaining).


This expedition will travel to very high altitude in some parts and you can expect to spend extended periods of time at altitudes above 3,500m. As we are travelling mostly by land we should acclimatize gradually, and so avoid mountain sickness.

Before travelling on our expedition it is important that you discuss the effects of altitude with your doctor or travel clinic as it is likely that all expedition members will experience some adverse effects associated with altitude. People with pre-existing medical conditions including, but not limited to, lung conditions, asthma, allergies, diabetes, heart conditions and high blood pressure and epilepsy should consult their doctor before booking onto the expedition.

Rest assured with our extensive experience of running expeditions at altitude, your safety and well being is of paramount importance to us. We have knowledge and awareness of handling the ill effects that can sometimes come with altitude, and will do our best to advise and support you. In the vast majority of expeditions most people experience no more than mild symptoms.

Please contact us if you have any further questions.

Fitness and Participation

Endeavour Overland expeditions are participatory so you need to be in good general health and reasonable level of fitness allows you to get the most out of your expedition.

The main concern is that everyone is able to pitch in equally and does their fair share when it comes to group activities like the communal cooking and cleaning up, packing gear in and out of the truck, erecting your own tent, etc.

There will be opportunities to participate of activities such as white water rafting, hikes, walks and bike trips oh and not forgetting the odd bungee jump should you be mad enough. Having a positive attitude and an open mind are probably more important than being super-fit.

It is worth remembering that travelling overland in remote areas and less-developed countries can be demanding with some long travel days, rough roads and dusty conditions, as well as extremes of climate from hot deserts to cold conditions in the mountains.

Local payment

The local payment is the most cost effective and practical way of getting hard currency out to our expedition leaders. This is a small part of the overall cost of running the trip, this also contributes towards services and expenditures for a variety of day-to-day local costs that cannot be pre- paid for in the UK before departure. This also saves our leaders having to bring out large amounts of money from the UK and ultimately helps keep the overall trip price lower. The local payment must be paid to the expedition leader at the pre departure meeting and must be in USD ($ dollars) cash as stated.

Personal spending money

Most activities and sights are included in the trip price however we would recommend allowing £100 per week spending money to cover day to day things like snacks, soft drinks, meals when not camping, the odd few beers, email and communications, souvenirs. Having said that, personal spending habits differ from person to person and there are numerous handicrafts and souvenirs to be had, after a good haggle, like Persian or Turkish carpets, jewellery, clothing, woven bags, silk, jewellery boxes, jade and stone carvings, tea, porcelain and pottery goods, backgammon boards, leather goods, paintings, traditional yak hats plus much more.

For further information about the optional activities available on this expedition, please see the Optional Activities list.

How to manage your money

We recommend you bring money in a mix of cash, Debit cards, credit card and possibly a prepaid currency card. See notes below

Cash – The US Dollar is by far the easiest currency to exchange in the countries visited on this expedition. You will be able to exchange US Dollars for local currency in each country. Some of central Asia will only accept dollars and no other currency. Some Euros would also use useful for Turkey and Iran; however they can be obtained from ATMs / cashpoints in Turkey so you do not need to bring them with you.

When bringing cash please ensure all your US$ notes are undamaged and unmarked and were issued in or after 2006 as notes issued prior to this may not be accepted.

You will often get a better exchange rate for larger denomination notes, so bring along mostly US$50 and US$100 although it is useful to have some smaller notes as well. Your expedition leader will be able to inform you on were to change your money.

Debit and credit cards will work in most major city centres; visa and master cards are the ones that are more widely accepted. American express is not recognised in a lot of countries so try and avoid bringing this type of card. Often one type will work and another will not, but please do not rely on this means alone to obtain local cash. Remember to inform your bank of your intended travel plans, as they tend to stop cards when used in unusual countries.

Please note that ATM machines are not available in Iran.

Prepaid currency cards work like debit 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 ATM's - Commission rates though may be high and exchange rates often poor.

Travellers’ cheques – while these are the safest way to carry your money they are often the hardest to change and will incur a charge or commission (5-20%). We no longer recommend these.


Tipping is customary in many of the countries you will visit. We will collect $100 per person at the start of the trip to cover all tips for group activities. All you need to worry about then is tipping in restaurants (10% maximum) and small occasional tips to porters or other folk who might help you on your way.

The tipping kitty will be used to tip at group meals and to tip guides where they have provided exceptional service. All tips will be accounted for and any surplus returned.

On board safe

On board the expedition vehicle there is hidden lockable safe where you can leave your passport and money. The safe has 2 different keys held by unconnected folk so at no time has any one person got unaccompanied access to this. We suggest you bring secure document sleeve to hold all your valuables.


  • Services of your expedition leaders
  • Use of our purpose built expedition truck and equipment
  • 2-3 person expedition tents
  • Treated drinking water.
  • Diesel, mechanics, tolls, insurance, shipping and other related truck running costs.
  • All accommodation costs on trip camping/hotels/guest houses/homestays and boats.
  • Ferry tickets when traveling as a group
  • All entry costs for sights and activities listed 
  • 3 meals a day when camping
  • Services of local guides
  • logistical support from our UK office

Not Included

  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal spending money
  • Flights
  • Visas costs – and handling fees
  • Border taxes
  • Optional activities
  • Some meals in guest houses and hotels
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Any other unforeseen contingency route expenses


Remember baggage is limited to 20kg per person plus one day bag if you are flying out, and also at the end of the trip you have to get everything you have accumulated home again.

  • A duffle type bag 70-90 l with a zip all the way around - suitcases are not suitable
  • A small day bag/rucksack around 20l
  • A good 4 season sleeping bag, even though the trip runs through the summer months it will get cold the higher up we travel
  • A cotton sheet sleeping bag liner (or sheet folded and sewn up on 2 sides). It will help keep your sleeping bag clean, and can be used on its own on warm nights.
  • A good quality full length "Thermarest" style camping matress. (c/w repair kit). These make camping very comfortable.  Bring the thickest one you can carry you won't regret it. 


When deciding what to bring think about the following, are the comfortable, easy to wash and dry and easy to pack. Don’t bring all your new clothes bring some that you don’t mind getting dirty or damaged and they can sometimes be swopped for souvenirs. And don’t forget that part of the fun of travelling is to buy local clothes so you feel like you blend in with the locals.

  • 3-4 t shirts or long sleeve shirts
  • 2 pairs of trousers
  • 1 set of casual but smart clothes for evenings out. Women should bring a skirt that covers their knees and a head scarf for Iran or visiting places of worship(These can be bought in Turkey)
  • 2 pairs of shorts or trousers that have the zip off leg option
  • Sun hat or warm hat and gloves
  • Warm sweater/fleece
  • Down jacket
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • Underwear as much as you think you will need
  • Swimwear
  • Sarong
  • Waterproof jacket, it is worth spending a bit of money and getting a good one
  • 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes or boots
  • Sandals for daily use, a good quality pair is worth investing in as most people use these all the time. Make sure they are worn in as you don’t want any blisters!
  • 1 proper towel or 2 smaller towels – travel towels are ok but are not as good as proper towel.

Wash kit

You will be able to buy most toiletries along the way so this is just a rough guide to get you started unless noted below.

  • Wash kit bag with mirror
  • Soap
  • Shampoo or shower gel
  • Tooth brush and paste
  • Deodorant
  • Lip balm
  • Sanitary towels/Tampons ( please bring plenty with you as these are not always obtain on route)
  • Contraception pills/condoms
  • Razors and shaving cream
  • Toenail clippers or scissors
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer gel
  • Hairbrush
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Contact lenses and all required fluids (can be difficult to obtain, so bring enough to last you)

Personal First Aid Kit/ Medical kit

Whilst we will carry an extensive first aid kit on the truck it is advisable to bring a small personal one too. Our Kit will not contain prescription drugs of any kind, you may choose to bring some extra items for your personal use:

  • Plasters
  • Small dressings
  • Medical tape
  • Aspirin / paracetamol / ibuprofen
  • Antihistamine tablets/Cream
  • Rehydration salts (diarolyte)
  • Insect repellent
  • Bite cream
  • Soothing creams

Please speak to your doctor about getting a course of Ciprofloxacin which is a prescription antibiotic used to treat stomach bugs that won't go away.

Other camping essentials

  • Torch – One of the best kinds to bring would be a head torch, as this leaves your hands free. It’s worth wile investing is a good quality one as you will use this on most days
  • Water bottle – Again something that is used every day, most people go for a Sigg style bottle as it can take knocks and bumps better than say a plastic type. We have on board the truck 400ltr water tanks filled with treated safe drinking water
  • Travel plug adaptor – Try to get one that is a multi-adaptor for all your gadgets
  • Multi-purpose knife – Very useful be it a Swiss Army Knife, Leatherman or multi tool
  • Zip lock bags – Great for keeping gadgets and other stuff dry and dust free
  • Alarm clock- As we don’t want you sleeping in!!
  • Mosquito net – Our tents have mosquito netting built in and you will only need a net if you think you will sleep out under the stars a lot of the time
  • Binoculars – always great to have along with you a small compact pair of binoculars so you can see all the wildlife both near and far

Technology and gadgets

  • Camera - A good quality small digital or full blown SLR camera the choice is yours. Bring with you a couple of memory cards and a couple of spare batteries. We can back up your photos on the truck laptop and copy onto a memory stick if you would like, please bring your own memory stick for this**
  • iPods or mp3 players – you can bring along some of your favourite music and either listen via your headphones or alternatively you can share your tastes with your fellow expedition members on the truck’s sound system
  • You can bring with you a 12v charger as we have several charging points on the truck to keep you going while we are on the road
  • Laptop/notebook – in a world of modern technology and communications most people have a laptop/notebook to keep blogs/travel dairy’s up to date, store there photos and connect to the internet. Although as we stop along the way you will be sure to find the ubiquitous Cyber Café, where you will be able to access the internet and stay in touch, albeit at a somewhat slower speed then you are perhaps used to!!
  • Mobile phone – In most of the country’s we travel in we will have some form of network coverage. Local sim cards are cheap and are available in most places and this will allow you to call or text home. If you bring your own phone you must make sure it is unlocked so you are able to use a local sim card. If you are with a UK provider the check beforehand on the cost of the calls and roaming charges

We have fitted and extra set of leisure batteries and several 12v charge ports that provide 12 volt DC output similar to what you have in your car, so you can charge camera batteries, mobile phones, MP3 players etc while the truck is running. Or bring along your 230V mains charger and travel adaptor plug for use at some of the hotels, hostels and campsites we stay at.

** Photography Restrictions

It is forbidden in all the countries we visit to take photos of anything with a military connotation, be it bases, military police, army and so on. Bridges, border posts and airports are also sensitive areas so be mindful of this or be prepared to have your film/camera confiscated by irate officials, get arrested or worse still get the whole group arrested.

Please act with discretion and respect when taking photographs of people and consider that some many not want their photo taken e.g. the elderly, women or religious persons and especially those in areas of poverty - if in doubt it is always better to ask permission first before you snap away, and you could perhaps offer them a little something in way of a thank you.

Books, Maps and Kindles

Books - On board the truck we have a small selection of reading material in our library. We would ask our expedition members to bring along a couple of books to add to the collection. We carry a selection of guide books for each country that we visit. You may also want to bring some of your own along and amongst the most popular are the Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and Footprint.

Some of our suggestions to consider reading either before we leave, or as we travel to help give a broader understanding and an historical perspective to the places we will visit are;

  • Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron
  • Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Treasures of Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk

Maps will be put up on the notice board so you can see where you are going. You may want to bring your own so you can keep track on where you have been.

Kindle/e-reader – as an alternative to bringing along several books you could always bring one of these; just make sure you have a strong case to keep it in to try to prevent it from getting damaged.

All the above is given as a rough guide only.

For all Expeditions starting cities we include the cost of accommodation from the start date onwards. Some of our trips spend the first day or so in the departure city  however in most cases day 1 of the trip is departure day in which case we recommend you arrive at least a day in advance (Preferably 2) . Please check with the trip itinerary on our website for details or drop us an email for clarification .

If you need any accommodation ahead of departure please contact us with you're travel details and we'll be glad to get you a quote at our designated joining hotel for that trip. We can also arrange Airport transfers if you specify. Accommodation on the tour will be mainly on a twin Share basis; however there will be a few occasions where this is simply not available.

We will kick off the trip with a pre departure meeting at 7pm  at the joining hotel   on the evening before  departure  day . We will advise of this hotel once booking has been confirmed.

Any accommodation at the end of the tour can be arranged easily during the tour itself at local prices as can any additional activities such as Trekking, Rafting and Safaris in Nepal or Onward travel in India.

If you are planning to travel on after any of our trips we will be glad to give any advice now or during the trip itself.

Overland Expedition Holidays

10 Reasons to book with Endeavour Overland

1 – The most experienced Leaders; With  well over a decade of experience in running Overland expeditions in Asia each we not only have  exceptional  leadership skills but also are highly skilled in maintaining our truck to the highest standard.
2 – A Fabulous Truck; Our modern truck built specifically with the needs and requirements of our passengers in mind.   We have used our extensive engineering knowledge coupled with years of working for several of the main players in the Industry to produce a truck that we believe will set new standards within the industry.
3 – More inclusions; We feel that this is where we really  stand out from the crowd. We include all the “must see” sites, often with a guide. Please check out our Activities and Highlights section of the website and compare.
4 - Smaller groups; meaning that we can focus our time and attention on our passengers. Feedback from previous groups has led to us designing our truck with the capacity to take a maximum of 18 passengers – so that you will get more space and an intimate feel to the trip.
5 – A carefully thought out Itinerary; Our itineraries allow for flexibility and spontaneity.  We discuss our route with our passengers throughout the journey to ensure that everyone gets to do the things they dream of and we’re also skilled at finding a few surprises along the way. 
6 – Balanced accommodation; We choose to have a good mixture between quality wilderness camping and comfortable guesthouses. When staying in towns and cities we will ensure we are centrally located, to make use of the amenities during these times. When in the wilds we go out of our way to find those special places to camp.
7 – No kitty; The Local Payment which you will have paid to us, covers food, accommodation and inclusions. At no point during our trips will you be asked to provide more funds.
8 – Responsible Tourism;  We aim to benefit all the communities we travel through by staying in family run guest houses and home stays, shopping in the local markets for fresh food and hiring local guides where they often improve the experience of a place and give a valuable insight into the culture.
9 – Slower pace; We feel that this will give you plenty of time to explore, either on an included excursion   or as you head off independently from the group exploring in your free time.
10 – Longer trips. We take our time over our journeys so you won’t feel as if you have been rushed, dashing from one historic site to the next. We like to spend time in the rural spaces, villages off the beaten track and wilderness; some have found the time spent here as rewarding if not more so than the well-known places along the way.


Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have any questions regarding our trips please email them directly to us .  We will then publish the most relevant ones here: 

Q.  I enjoy camping but also appreciate a proper bed from time to time, what is the breakdown between camping and Guesthouses and what rating of sleeping bag would you recommend for Ultimate Silk road trip.

A.  On all our expeditions we spend minimum of 60% in hotels or guesthouses, we love the camping especially in the wilds but when visiting towns and cities it is important to base ourselves close to the action and experience some local hospitality.

We advise you  bring at minimum a 3 season bag even though it will be warm for most of the trip, A sleeping sheet is also a good idea. For those who feel the cold, then a 4 season bag may be a good option.

We can also offer Bespoke or Private Charter trips in most Areas of Asia and also in Africa. For example if you are Club or organisation with a special interest or needs, a charity  or simply a group of friends who wish to put together your own Overland Adventure, then please feel free to contact us for a consultation.

You might simply require a vehicle with a driver and/or a Tour Leader.  

Even if we are unable to run a particular project ourselves we have friends and contacts worldwide that we’d be happy to recommend.

Please feel free to contact us with your ideas and we’d be glad to discuss them with you.

Black Frog Publishing is a small, independent publishing company specialising in adventure and travel writing. Real people, real stories and real experiences are what we write about. Nothing too serious, but something to make you think and hopefully laugh along the way. 

Books: 'It's NOT a Holiday! The A-Z Guide to Group Travel' & 'Go Hard or Go Home: The Little Book of Overlanding'



Overlanding West Africa is an independent tour operator running overland adventure trips throughout West Africa. Our unique trips in the region offer exploratory travel to countries and places that no other overland operators venture to. Instead of just passing through the region as part of a Trans Africa Tour, or only visiting a few tried and tested countries, we take our time and get well off the beaten track – really out there. Our overland adventure trips focus entirely on West Africa and nowhere else - so you can be sure you are getting a trip run by crew who are passionate and entirely focused upon this magical part of the world.



Adventurous Ewe provides small group trekking and cycling adventurers in the U.K. and worldwide.

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