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Central Asia Trip Sept 2024

A journey through Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan for the World Nomad Games!

Limited spots available. Apply to join now!

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Overview

Dates: September 7-15, 2024

10 spots available on a first come, first served basis!

Apply to join now!

Embark on a thrilling journey to the heart of Central Asia with the World Nomad Games 2024. A huge and relatively new event, the World Nomad Games is the Olympics of the nomadic world, featuring traditional sports from Central Asia and beyond. Watch horseback wrestling, learn more about nomadic culture and enjoy the people watching – the World Nomad Games is a spectacle from start to finish.

This 8-day journey is a symphony of raw experiences, breathtaking nature, and flavors that resonate with the spirit of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – an authentic landscape waiting to be explored.

From busy metropolitan areas of Kazakhstan to the serene beauty of Kyrgyz lakes - this journey is a genuine adventure that invites you to embrace the soulful culture of these nations.

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Kazakhstan! After arriving to Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport, our journey begins as we step foot into the enchanting cityscape of Astana, Kazakhstan.

 

Towering skyscrapers dominate the horizon, a testament to the city's modernity and ambition. Alongside the tranquil Ishim River, the city pulses with life, offering a captivating blend of tradition and progress. From bustling markets to sleek contemporary architecture, Astana captivates with its dynamic charm. With every sight and sound, the city beckons us to embark on an unforgettable adventure.

Overnight: Best Western Hotel, Astana (or equivalent)

The Guides

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Doug Barnard is an American traveler and YouTuber. He has spent years traveling throughout the Middle East and beyond, and has led trips to Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, & more. See his experiences on his YouTube channel.

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Hailing from Kazakhstan, Alina and Aigul started JV Hospitality as their passion project to showcase the untouched beauty of Central Asia. Having studied in the U.S. and traveled extensively around the world, they realized how little is known about their homeland and its rich historical heritage. They take pride in bringing travelers to the most hidden gem locations and introducing them to the food, natural wonders, and unbeatable hospitality of their nomadic land.

Inclusions & Price

Included:

  • 8 nights lodging (3-4 star hotels & yurt camp)

  • 8 breakfasts

  • Airport transfers

  • All tours, tour guides, & entry fees

  • Flight from Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan

  • Ground transportation throughout the trip

Excluded:

  • Flights to/from Central Asia

  • Meals besides breakfast

  • Travel insurance

  • Souvenirs, snacks, alcohol

  • Visas (if applicable)

  • Tips

Price:

Shared Twin Room: $3,400 per person

Single Room: $3,650

How to Join

There are limited spots available on the trip!

 

To apply to join, please send an email to trips@dougbarnardtravel.com.

A $750 deposit will be required to reserve your spot. This deposit is non-refundable in lieu of extraordinary circumstances. Final payment is due 45 days before the start of the trip.

Guest Testimonials

"Doug is not just an amazing tour guide; he is, more importantly, an incredible human being. Being half Iraqi, I had a deep-rooted desire to explore the land where my father came from. Doug not only fulfilled that longing, but went above and beyond. His ability to simplify and make everything comfortable made the entire journey memorable. Touring Iraq with him was an unparalleled experience, and I can't imagine doing it with anyone else. If you're contemplating traveling with Doug, rest assured, you won't regret it. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to explore other places with him in the future."
~ Maryam E.

Frequently Asked questions

Who should come on this trip?

Everyone is welcome on this trip! This journey through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is perfect for history buffs, nature lovers, foodies, and cultural explorers alike. We'll experience everything from modern cities, to stunning natural landscapes, rich traditions, and delicious Central Asian cuisine.

 

There may be light physical activity involved on this trip (walking, light hiking, etc.), but nothing overly strenuous. You can expect the weather to be mild, with temperatures in September generally ranging from 42-79° F (6-26° C). We will send a detailed recommended packing list to confirmed participants.

What are the World Nomad Games?

The World Nomad Games, conceived and first organized in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2014, is an international sports competition dedicated to ethnic sports practiced in Central Asia. Included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, the World Nomad Games are being held in Kazakhstan for the first time this year. In addition to a spectacular opening ceremony, you can expect to see traditional sports such as wrestling, falconry, horse racing, archery, and more. There will also be a variety of cultural events hosted in conjunction with the Games. You can learn more about the World Nomad Games here.

Do I need to get visas for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan?

Citizens of most western countries including the US and Europe can visit both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan for tourism purposes visa-free. If you're unsure about visa requirements for your citizenship, get in touch with us!

What are the hotels like?

We will be staying in upscale hotels throughout the trip, with one night in a traditional Kyrgyz yurt camp. All hotels offer wifi, air conditioning, and breakfast. The rooms are shared twin rooms, meaning that if you're traveling solo, you'll be paired up with a roommate. You can also request a single room for an additional cost.

What is the food like?

Central Asian food is rich, hearty, and diverse! While nomadic cuisine is known for meat and dairy dishes, we'll have a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes. On this trip, we'll be visiting some of the best and most innovative restaurants in the region! Please let us know if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions.

What's the best way to get to & from Central Asia?

Depending on your point of origin, you may transit through Europe, Istanbul, or the Gulf. We can help you find good flights and even link up with other trip participants before your flight to Astana, if possible.

Please note that the trip begins in Astana, Kazakhstan and ends in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Participants should book arrival flights to Astana's Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport and departure flights from Bishkek's Manas International Airport.

 

Have more questions? Email trips@dougbarnardtravel.com and we'll get back to you ASAP!

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