1 About Mountain Kingdoms 2 Choosing your Holiday 4 Essential Information & Booking 71 2010 Holiday Programme Centre insert The Himalaya ( Maps on pages 10,18, 22, 26, 35) Bhutan 10 Tibet 18 Nepal 22 The Annapurna Region 24 The Everest Region 26 Wild Nepal 32 Pakistan 35 Northern India 36 Ladakh 38 Sikkim 40 Southern India & Sri Lanka ( Map on page 35) 41 Asia, China and Japan ( Map on page 46) Central Asia 42 Outer Mongolia 43 China 44 Thailand & Vietnam 47 Laos 48 Cambodia & Angkor Wat 49 Japan 50 North & South America ( Map on page 52) USA: Grand Canyon & Yosemite 51 Mexico 51 Ecuador & Bolivia 53 Peru: Machu Picchu 54 Northern Peru 57 Patagonia: Chile & Argentina 58 Australasia Tasmania & New Zealand 59 Africa & the Middle East ( Map on page 60) Ethiopia 61 Tanzania 62 Morocco 64 Egypt, Jordan & Oman 65 Europe The Alps 66 Family Holidays Bhutan & Nepal 68 India, Mongolia & Peru 69 Trekking Peaks Nepal - Mera & Island Peaks 31 India - Stok Kangri 39 Vietnam - Mount Fansipan 47 Tanzania - Kilimanjaro & Meru 63 Morocco - Mount Toubkal 64 Europe - Mont Blanc 67 Cultural Tours Bhutan 12 Tibet 20 Nepal 24 Central Asia 42 Laos 48 Cambodia 49 Japan 50 Peru 55 Morocco ( Overlanding Tour) 64 Schools & Youth Groups Mountain Kingdoms Discovery Expeditions 6 Special InterestTrekking Destinations Our website Just follow the link from our home page to view this brochure online. You can also download holiday itineraries, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, read our news and book online. www. mountainkingdoms. com Contact us: Mountain Kingdoms Ltd Old Crown House 18 Market Street Wotton- under- Edge Gloucestershire GL12 7AE United Kingdom Tel: 0845 330 8579 ( local call rate, UK only) Int. Tel: + 44 ( 0) 1453 844 400 Fax: + 44 ( 0) 1453 844 422 Email: info@ mountainkingdoms. com Your photos, our brochure. We love to see photos of the stunning scenery, local people and amazing cultural sights that you encounter on your Mountain Kingdoms holidays. If you would like to share your images with us then get in touch with Kirsty - kirsty@ mountainkingdoms. com. In addition to seeing your photo in print, we also pay a small fee for any we use in our brochure. We will award a £ 150 voucher for our favourite photo, redeemable against any Mountain Kingdoms holiday in 2010/ 11. Contents
2 Download holiday itineraries from www. mountainkingdoms. com e: info@ mountainkingdoms. com Welcome " 2009 proved to be another busy year for Mountain Kingdoms despite the global recession. We are more determined than ever to provide itineraries which give the best acclimatisation, accommodation, routes and holiday services available. We offer complete financial security and trips run on sound ethical and environmental principles, all brought to you at value for money, competitive prices. I hope that this brochure fires your imagination to travel with Mountain Kingdoms and that we have the pleasure of your company in 2010" MD Steve Berry Mountain Kingdoms - distinctly different We are justifiably proud of our unrivalled record of taking groups into the world's great mountain ranges; often this involves securing permits to new areas, retracing routes used by famous explorers and being the first to enter hitherto unknown regions. During our 22 years we have become the leading operator of Bhutan treks, having pioneered most of the trekking routes in the kingdom. In 1993 the then Himalayan Kingdoms mountaineering department was the first in the UK to guide clients to the summit of Everest. Truly independent Started by MD Steve Berry back in 1987 as Himalayan Kingdoms, Steve remains passionate about Mountain Kingdoms. In an age where many so- called ' independent' companies have in fact been bought out by multi- national giants, Mountain Kingdoms remains fiercely independent with all the benefits this offers our clients. Value for money prices with an emphasis on quality We are not in the business of cutting our itineraries and services to the bone. Our well thought out treks and tours do, however, offer fantastic value for money. We use some of the best airlines, and 3 or 4 star hotels in the main cities. Our local support teams have excellent equipment and well trained staff, and we use private transport to reach roadheads. In the latest independent AITO customer satisfaction survey 93% of our clients rated their Mountain Kingdoms holiday as ' excellent'. Genuine small group travel For the vast majority of our treks we have a maximum group size of 12, plus leader. Complete financial security You can book with us and be confident that all our flight inclusive holidays are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority under ATOL licence number 2973. ' Land only' holidays are covered by a bond secured with the AITO Trust. We are members of AITO and bound by their quality charter ( see page 71). Award winning Responsible Tourism We feel strongly that all our holidays should benefit local communities, protect the environment by minimising pollution and respect local traditions, religion and heritage. We support a number of charities and projects and, in January 2008, were awarded the AITO award for Responsible Tourism Operator of the Year. You can read more about our Responsible Tourism commitments and initiatives on page 7. Knowledgeable and personal service When you ring Mountain Kingdoms you speak to a well travelled individual. We don't have a ' sales force' as such, instead you will be looked after by one of our team who has direct knowledge of the region you are interested in. Holidays to suit you We have a flexible approach to helping you to plan your holiday - flights, hotel upgrades, extensions and dates of travel can all be adjusted to suit you, whether travelling on a holiday from this brochure or on a Tailor Made trip. Character accommodation Great accommodation is an essential component of a fantastic holiday. At Mountain Kingdoms our priority is to use quality, character accommodation, wherever this is possible. Accommodation varies greatly by destination and type of holiday - jungle lodges, overnight trains, village houses and remote camping at 5,000m all feature in this brochure. However, wherever you travel with us, you can rest assured that we do not cut corners in our quest to ensure that you sleep and eat well. Accommodation information can be found in this brochure and online. Visit www. mountainkingdoms. com or call us on 0845 330 8579 for a holiday itinerary containing accommodation details. Hotels In main cities we use good quality hotels chosen for their comfort and ambience; these will be booked on a bed and breakfast basis. On our Gentle Treks & Cultural Tours we endeavour to use 4 star hotels or properties that reflect the character of the country, often these are grand old colonial buildings. In small towns, out in the sticks, we use the best hotels available. In some of our destinations we offer the option to upgrade accommodation to luxury/ boutique hotels. Please contact us if you would like to know more about upgrading. Tea houses, lodges and mountain huts Where possible, staying in local accommodation rather than camping ensures the community receives direct benefit. Tea houses and lodges are often family run and offer a warm welcome. Lodges and tea houses usually have twin bedded rooms whilst mountain huts have dormitory style sleeping. Luxury Lodges Our ' luxury lodge' treks are a step up again for those who really like to trek in style. Luxury Lodges offer comfortable accommodation with en suite facilities, delicious cuisine and little luxury extras such as electric blankets or hot tubs with a view. Camping Camping is often the only practical option to reach some of the world's most magnificent mountain landscapes. With Mountain Kingdoms you camp in comfort, sleeping in a good sized dome or A- frame tent, and are provided with group dining, kitchen and toilet tents. We also provide tables, chairs/ stools, lights, sleeping mats and all crockery and cutlery. Homestays Facilities may be quite basic but the real cultural insight afforded by your friendly hosts ensures that a village homestay is a fascinating experience. Your leader will be on hand to ensure that food is prepared hygienically and sleeping arrangements are as comfortable as possible.