Ecological & Trekking
alternative tour to the Highlights of Uzbekistan and
the deserts and mountains of Turkmenistan
is our Eco-adventure-programme covering some classic and
some entirely new routings in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
You will have time to stroll around the ancient cities
of the Silk Road on your own and to join your group for
fabulous trekking in the canyons and deserts of Uzbekistan
Coming in through Tashkent
you will cross over 2,000 km overland from the nut-tree
forests of the Nuratau mountain ridge in Uzbekistan, across
the dunes and nomad settlements of the Karakum and to
the incredible multi-coloured mountains of Karakala in
A 14-day version of this trip is also available!
Difficulty - moderate
Travel - year-round with recommended travel months being
April, May, September, and October.
Tashkent Samarkand individual
You will fly into Tashkent and drive to Samarkand the
day after your arrival. Spending 2 days in this splendid
centre of the ancient Silk Road.
Nuratau Nature Reserve - Aidarkul Lake
On the 4th day you will continue towards the Nuratau
Mountains around which you will be trekking and camel
riding for 2 ½ days. We will trek up the mountain
through the Nature Reserve whose main purpose is the
protection of Nut-tree forests and the Svertsov's urial.
The nearby Aidarkul Lake is the result of a floodwater
in 1969 that was drained into the previous salt-lake.
After Nuratau we continue to Bukhara where we have time
to explore this spectacular medieval town on our own.
On our second day in the city we will make a ½
day trip into the nearby gazelle Eco-centre, set up
by the authorities to actively protect a population
of goitred gazelles.
Amudarya Nature reserve - Konye Urgench
On our 10th day in Uzbekistan we travel on a pontoon
bridge across the Amudarya into Turkmenistan, where
we continue along the river towards the ancient cities
in the north of its canal delta. Our first stop after
the border are the Tugay forests of the Amudarya Nature
Reserve where we will trek though a unique riverside
landscape of dunes and savannah-like Tugay-forest. The
area is the habitat of the endangered Bukharan deer
whose population has dropped under twenty after heavy
flooding in 1998. Local environmental NGO's are currently
conducting a relocation project for the remaining animals
into recent canal Tugay forests north of Mary. After visiting the ancient
Caravansaray of Daya Khatyn we continue on the asphalt
road north with a beautiful view of the river-lands.
Stopping for a picnic with the pilgrims in the holy
shade of the Dargan Ata fortress we will continue along
the Uzbek border where travelling highly sensible border
territory we will feel very strongly the impact of the
new borders of the former Soviet Union. We should reach
the ancient Capital of the region, Konye-Urgench by
the evening where with donkey carts and mulberry-tree-laned
streets we will encounter a very strong sense of tradition
in this Yomud tribe region with a strong Uzbek influence.
Karakum Desert adventure
From Konye-Urgench we will start our 3-day crossing
of the Karakum desert. After spending the first night
near Darwaza Oasis we will leave the asphalt road by
truck / 4WD into the central desert areas covering about
250 km off-road track cut into pieces by the sharp peaks
of the dunes. This is the toughest part of the trip
through some of the most isolated and natural nomad
villages in the country. We will cross Uzboy, the former
bed of the Amudarya, which like an endless salt-lake
is separating the entirely different plates of northern
and southern Karakum. We spend the night with the nomads
in the flat roof settlement of Damla, where almost the
entire life is centred around the yurt during summer.
On the third day we continue off road south towards
Ashgabat, returning onto the Asphalt near the oasis
We will relax 2 days in this unique city, visiting the
silk-makers in a small village nearby and of course
the colourful Tolkuchka bazaar, the Must of Ashgabat.
Our last trip takes us 300 km west into the unique mountain
area of Karakala in the western part of the Kopetdag mountain
range where we spend 3 days. The unique valleys and climate
in the region are of major importance for some of the
last remaining Turkmen Snow leopards inhabiting the ridges.
The WWF is currently financing a protection project conducted
by the ecological NGO's. Furthermore there are serious
plans to make the Nature Reserve a World Nature Heritage
object under protection of the UN. We will trek through
the fascinating canyons and climb the Aidere Peak. Under
guidance of the local environmental activists we also
visit the exceptional botanical collection of the research
to Ashgabat you will have some time to relax before your