Starting in Kyrgyzstan's bustling capital of Bishkek, this 16 day overland group tour also takes in the highlights of the country before ending in Uzbekistan. Discover the picturesque scenery of the Kyrgyz Fergana Valley, camp in a traditional yurt on the shore of Song Kol Lake and watch an eagle hunter demonstration in the Jeti Oguz Valley. Crossing into Uzbekistan you'll pass over the mountainous Kamchik Pass and end in Tashkent, the modern capital of Uzbekistan.
Welcome to Bishkek
Welcome to Kyrgyzstan! On arrival there’s a pre-departure Welcome Meeting and the rest of today is free to explore Bishkek, the hospitable and fascinating capital of Kyrgyzstan. Perhaps wander down to the vibrant Osh bazaar or head to the central Ala-Too Square.
Please note: The following itinerary is subject to change due to the unpredictable conditions in Kyrgyzstan. We have tried and tested alternatives in place to ensure your trip runs smoothly, please see the trip notes for details.
Chong Kemin Valley
Bishkek - Chong Kemin. We climb aboard our overland truck for the first time today and head out of Bishkek. We may need to return to Bishkek to organise Uzbekistan visas for some of the group so the next couple of days need to be fairly flexible.
We will most likely spend the next two nights camping in the Ala Archa National Park and Chong Kemin Valley. There will be plenty of time for hiking in the stunning scenery and an optional white water rafting excursion will be offered.
Overnight: Chong Kemin | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Chong Kemin - Karakol. We drive to the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kol this morning, where we can admire the ancient petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata. After our visit here, we continue to the Russian-style town of Karakol, where the afternoon is free to explore. Perhaps pay a visit to the beautiful Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Overnight: Karakol | Breakfast
Jeti Oguz Valley
Karakol - Jeti Oguz. On day 5 we have a scenic drive up into the mountains of the Jeti Oguz region, dominated by towering red sandstone cliffs. The next day is free to explore this picturesque corner of Kyrgyzstan. Hike in the hills and mountains or opt for a horse-riding excursion with some local nomads. We’ll camp in the area for these two nights.
Overnight: Jeti Oguz | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Jeti Oguz - Kochkor. Today we drive to the small village of Kochkor, stopping en route to watch a demonstration from a local eagle hunter, whose well-trained birds are used to catch wild animals for their skins and meat.
On arrival in Kochkor, we check in to our small, family-run guesthouses - this is a great experience and you'll get to know the local people. We also visit the village museum and a women’s felt making cooperative which produces shyrdaks - the felt carpets that Kyrgyzstan is known for. There’s also an optional outdoor folk concert and you can learn how to erect a yurt.
Overnight: Kochkor | Breakfast, Dinner
Song Kol Lake
Kochkor - Song Kol Lake. On day 8 we drive to shimmering Song Kol Lake, where we base ourselves for the next two nights. Song Kol is a remote and peaceful lake set in stunning scenery - Kyrgyzstan in all of its glory. We’ll stay in traditional felt yurts and experience the life of rural Kyrgyz people. There’s optional hiking and horse-riding in the area.
Please note: In the low season we will be unable to stay at Song Kol Lake due to the adverse weather. Instead we will likely stay in yurts on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kol.
Overnight: Song Kol Lake | Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 2
Kyrgyz Fergana Valley
Song Kol Lake - Kyrgyz Fergana Valley. We spend the next three days overlanding through the Kyrgyz Fergana Valley towards Arslanbob. We’ll make frequent stops to hike in the stunning mountain region and will camp in suitable spots on the route.
Please note: If the group prefers, we will spend an extra day in Arslanbob and depart for two days of overlanding in the valley on day 10. In cold weather we will be unable to camp and will stay in guesthouses along the route.
Overnight: Kyrgyz Fergana Valley | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Kyrgyz Fergana Valley - Arslanbob. Today we finally arrive in the picturesque village of Arslanbob. There's free time to relax after a long few days of overlanding. Perhaps take a stroll in the famous walnut forest, the largest walnut grove in the world.
Overnight: Arslanbob | Breakfast
Arslanbob - Fergana (Uzbekistan). We say goodbye to the mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan today, crossing the border into neighbouring Uzbekistan. Our drive today takes us to the city of Fergana, where the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Fergana | Breakfast
Kokand, Kamchik Pass & Tashkent
Fergana - Kokand - Tashkent. Today we journey to Kokand, where we’ll visit the Khudayar Khan’s Palace and the Margilan Silk Factory. Traditional methods are still used here in the production of this famous textile.
After exploring Kokand, we cross over the mountainous Kamchik Pass to Tashkent, the Soviet-style capital of Uzbekistan. We must pass over the Kamchik Pass in local transport, as our truck must cross without passengers. We'll be reunited later today in Tashkent. Your final evening in Central Asia can be spent exploring Tashkent as you please.
Overnight: Tashkent | Breakfast
Our adventure ends today. If you wish, speak to our Sales Team about booking extra accommodation in Tashkent in order to fully explore the city.
Is This Trip Right For Me?
Overlanding is not a style of travel that will suit everyone so please carefully read the Trip Notes before selecting this tour and be realistic about your ability and desire to join such a trip. If you’re the adventurous type who’d rather spend a night roughing it in the wilderness enjoying spectacular scenery, than luxuriating in a boutique hotel, then overlanding is for you. You just need the right attitude, an open mind, and a desire to participate fully in the trip.
Overland travelling can be demanding and challenging. The pace of the trip can be tiring at times and facilities can be basic. On your trip you’ll travel in a purpose-built expedition vehicle on an off-the-beaten-track adventure along rugged roads, sometimes across vast distances and at altitude. You will find the drive times noted on the Trip Notes.
On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger, these are full participation trips and everyone gets involved and pitches in! You will also be expected to erect your own tent and help with camp chores including cooking meals for the group on a rota basis. Like all great adventures, the more you put in the more you'll get out!
The type, variety and standard of accommodation can vary greatly from very basic rooms without electricity or running water to comfortable hotels with good facilities. Generally in hotels most rooms will be twin-share, but some may be triple/quad-share. Hostels and yurts are nearly always multi-share and may be mixed sex. On the Trip Notes you will find more information about the accommodation each night.
The campsites we use range from basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and a bar. On occasions we wild camp with no facilities, which means there are no toilets - just the vast expanse of the great outdoors and a shovel!
Our overland journeys are designed to offer freedom, and many of our routes have a large degree of flexibility rather than a strict hour-by-hour or even day-by-day itinerary. We intend to follow the planned route but exact night stops and inclusions cannot be guaranteed and it sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our planned itinerary.
This is a particularly challenging trip, you will be travelling at high altitudes, through rough terrain and facilities can be very basic or non existent. There can be long drive days followed by wild camping which can be mentally and physically tough but there will be rest days and the scenery is spectacular!
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling.Read More
Local payment - $430pp, paid in USD
Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.