2Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: firstname.lastname@example.orgWelcome"When each year comes round and I wonder what I would like to do for my own holidays, I honestly conclude that there is nothing better than to go trekking somewhere wild and mountainous. What better holiday could there be!Indeed, what better company could there be to travel with! We look forward to sharing your excitement when, hopefully, you book with us in 2011." MD Steve BerryMountain Kingdoms - distinctly differentWe are justifiably proud of our unrivalled record of taking travellers 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 23 years we have become the world leader in 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 independentStarted 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 typically 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 brochure treks we have a maximum group size of 12, plus leader. Our Tailor Made service (see page 6) is available for solo travellers, couples or groups.Complete financial security You can book with us confident that your holiday has full financial protection. Flight inclusive holidays are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority under ATOL licence number 2973 and '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 75). 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 youWe 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 accommodationGreat 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 & LodgesIn 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 or atmospheric lodges. In small towns, out in the sticks, we use the best hotels/lodges 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 and mountain hutsWhere possible, staying in simple, local accommodation rather than camping ensures the community receives direct benefit. Tea houses are often family run and offer a warm welcome. Tea houses usually have twin bedded rooms whilst mountain huts have dormitory style sleeping. Luxury LodgesOur 'luxury lodge' treks are a step up again for those who really like to trek in style and comfort with comfortable accommodation, 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, with all the hard work done for you, sleeping in a good sized dome or A-frame tent, with shared group dining, kitchen and toilet tents. As well as lights and all crockery and cutlery, we also provide tables, chairs/stools and sleeping mats. Village guesthouses & homestays Facilities may be quite basic but the real cultural insight afforded by your friendly hosts ensures that a village stay 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.
3telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comAbout Mountain KingdomsMountain Kingdoms leadersAn experienced leader accompanies every one of our holidays. The leader's role is to liaise between the party members and their support crew, and to ensure you enjoy your holiday to the full. Our leaders come from a wide variety of backgrounds but each is chosen for the individual skills and abilities they can bring to the smooth operation of your holiday.Leaders may be Local Leaders or Mountain Kingdoms Appointed Leaders: Exploring in the company of a local is one of the best ways to really discover the culture, heritage and everyday life of a new destination. Many of our trips will therefore be led by an English speaking Local Leader, selected and trained to deliver the best possible holiday experience. On well travelled trails in Bhutan, India and Nepal you're likely to be led by a Sirdar or Sherpa guide, such as KC Bhuwan, winner of the 'Wanderlust' Paul Morrison Guide Award, or Phura Dorjee Sherpa an Everest summiteer. In other parts of the world your Local Leader may be a qualified naturalist, a professional mountaineer or a cultural expert.On the longer more demanding treks into very remote regions, or in destinations with limited tourist infrastructure, you will be led by a Mountain Kingdoms Appointed Leader. These western leaders usually work alongside a local guide and often have particular expertise in the region through which you will travel. For instance, prolific trekking guide author Kev Reynolds, or Michael Rutland who has spent many years in Bhutan. On our Trekking Peak expeditions your leader will be a highly experienced mountaineer. All our leaders carry a first aid kit. Please look at the information box for your specific holiday to see whether you will have a Local Leader or a Mountain Kingdoms Appointed Leader. Who travels with us?Here are some statistics based on 2010 holiday bookings. Profiles do vary by trip. Age Sex0-19 years 2% Male 54%20-29 years 4% Female 46%30-39 years 9% 40-49 years 14%50-59 years 32% Travelling status60-69 years 34% Single 37%Over 70 years 5% With companion(s) 63%Upgrades, extensions & Tailor Made holidaysOur brochure offers a wide range of holidays which we hope will inspire you. However a number of our clients ask us to organise their own Tailor Made itinerary, perhaps based on one of our brochure trips, or maybe designed from scratch. We also offer hotel upgrades, and a range of holiday extension ideas from a luxury Tanzanian safari to a cruise around the Galapagos islands. Please see page 6 for more ideas. 'Land Only' price3 A local or Mountain Kingdoms Appointed Leader - as specified in the information box for each holiday 3 All internal flights3 International airport transfers. Group joining points are detailed in our holiday itineraries3 All other transfers as per your itinerary 3 Good standard hotel accommodation (usually 3/4 star) in main cities, on a bed and breakfast basis 3 Best available hotels in outlying towns, usually on a full board basis 3 All road transport by private vehicles 3 All camping facilities and all meals whilst on trek Our price includes 3 On all holidays involving overnight trekking (with the exception of a few days on the Milford Track and the Definitive Walker's Haute Route) your kit bag will be transported for you, leaving you to carry just your day sack. Porters will be insured 3 Camp staff to carry out all camp work 3 Sightseeing where specified 3 A free Mountain Kingdoms kit bag, designed to withstand the rigours of adventure travel Additionally our 'Flight Inclusive' price includes 3 Economy class return air fares from the UK, and UK Departure Tax 3 Carbon emissions offset through TICOS (see page 7)Prices do not include7 Travel insurance (see page 74) 7 Visa fees (included for Bhutan) 7 Lunch and evening meals in major cities 7 Overseas airport departure taxes 7 Locally paid bar bills and laundry 7 Optional trips 7 Tips Supplements and surchargesWe do not impose local payments or separate charges for meal packages, porters or domestic flights. We do, however, reserve the right to supplement/surcharge, for example in the case of dramatic currency rate movements or for large increases in airfares. We do this only in extreme cases. Gokyo, Nepal, Frank Lea