• About Our Activities

Mountain Travel Sobek

  • Adventure Cruising
  • Cultural
  • Family
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • Kayaking
  • Multisport
  • Rafting
  • Safari
  • Wildlife

Hiking: Exploring the World On Foot

Ever since Mountain Travel Sobek took its first footsteps into the remote kingdom of Nepal in 1969, our on-foot adventures have been among our most popular activities. We separate our on-foot adventures into two categories—hiking and trekking.

Hiking—which basically means "taking a long walk" – is one of the best ways to truly get to know a region, to explore our world close up and absorb the sights and the sounds of the natural world. Hiking doesn’t require a lot of gear; you can enjoy full days in the outdoors without having to "rough it" by carrying a lot of gear or staying in rustic campgrounds.

Today, we offer hiking trips all over the world. Europe continues to be our biggest hiking destination because of its well-developed infrastructure and easy accessibility to comfortable lodging in cities and villages.

A Typical Hiking Day

If the day’s hike is a long one, we’ll start early—if it’s a shorter hike, we have time to stroll around for a while in the town or village where we stayed overnight before heading out on the trail. Lunch is enjoyed either on the trails, picnic-style, or we seek out a small local restaurant where nothing beats the colorful ambiance or the tasty cuisine. After lunch, there’s more hiking or other activities, depending on the trip you have chosen. In the late afternoon, we check into our overnight accommodation, and have time to take a look around and freshen up before dinner.

Though hiking is the biggest activity on these trips, there is plenty of time in our itinerary to visit towns and villages, bazaars, and any places of cultural, historical, or architectural interest. You will be pleasantly surprised by the hospitality of the local folks you meet everywhere, and their genuine interest in sharing their knowledge (or at least a smile!).

Physical Requirements

Our hiking trips range from short, easy walks to longer more strenuous day hikes. The latter requires that you have prior hiking experience and are capable of walking 5-7 hours a day on trails with steep ascents and descents. Please see Trip Ratings for more information on trip activity levels.

Accommodations & Food

The accommodations on our hiking trips vary with destinations. As you might expect, there are good hotels in the towns we encounter, but more rustic lodging higher in the mountains. And you should expect to share facilities, including showers, at some inns. All the accommodations we use, though, are comfortable and reflect the charm of the local culture, and there is nothing better than winding up a day of hiking with a hot shower and a great meal.

In addition to idyllic scenery and fascinating cultures, you will also enjoy delicious food and often fine wines on our hiking adventures. Most of our travelers are also adventurous when it comes to sampling local dishes, and this often becomes one of the highlights of the day! You will also discover that slowing down, taking your time, and savoring a meal is a custom very easy to get used to. Not to mention conversations with your fellow travelers often lasting long into the night.

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

Trekking: Traveling in the Footsteps of the Explorers

One of the best ways to truly get to know a region is in the slowest and most intimate manner—on foot. On foot you are able to get into some of the most remote and scenic corners of the world – and get away from civilization and connect with nature. This is what makes trekking such a wonderful way of traveling. The term "trekking" denotes a self-sufficient unit traveling from point A to point B. Mountain Travel’s first trip ever was a trek in Nepal in October 1969, and this beautiful country is still one of our favorite trekking destinations.

Our trekking adventures involve traveling and camping in remote areas and often at high altitude. They take you through mountain villages where you will experience the customs and the culture of the regions. And almost all of our treks start—and end—in larger cities, where you will have time to visit temples, bazaars, and other places of cultural and historical interest. Pack animals and/or porters support our treks—all you have to carry is a daypack. We provide most of the gear for our trekking trips (tents, commissary gear, etc.). A detailed list of recommended personal clothing and equipment will be sent to you after you sign up.

A Typical Day on the Trail

The trekking day typically starts early with the appearance of a smiling crewmember at the door of your tent bringing you a large bowl of hot water for washing. Then it’s time to pack your bags and sit down to a hearty breakfast. Soon, you’re off on the trail.

You will spend your day walking slowly through scenic landscapes consisting of mountain ranges, villages, forests, and/or valleys. There’s plenty of time to stop for a view or a photo, and exchange a smile or greeting with the friendly people with whom you may share the trail. A trailside lunch breaks up the day, giving you time to rest and refuel with a substantial meal prepared by the staff.

You arrive in camp in late afternoon and have time to wash up and get settled in your tent before enjoying tea and snacks in the dining tent. The next few hours before dinner are free to write in your journal, read a few pages in a novel, play cards, engage in conversation, or simply relax. The day closes with a hot, multi-course dinner that often includes ethnic cuisine as well as American favorites. After dinner you can gaze at the stars and the moonlit peaks, recount the events of the day, or retire to your tent to read for a while before dozing off to sleep.

Physical Requirements and Trip Activity

For our trekking trips, we expect all participants to be strong, experienced hikers in excellent physical condition. Trekking is for people who enjoy walking for several days in a row – even if it’s up and down steep hills! On some of our treks, you may spend considerable time at altitudes above 11,000 feet, which can make the hiking extra strenuous. Please see Trip Ratings for more information on trip activity levels.

The Great Outdoors—Day & Night

We trek to some of the world’s most remote, beautiful regions—some of which you can only access via foot. They are far from well-traveled routes and suitable nearby lodgings, but you will be pleasantly surprised how comfortable we can make you feel in these more rustic and "hard to get to" places. You will sleep in high quality, roomy tents on soft, thick mattresses. The camp will have a toilet tent and a tented dining area. Though the staff on the trek is happy to do all the hard work so you can enjoy your vacation as much as possible, they often appreciate a helping hand in setting up the tents. Traveling for weeks outside "civilization" may lead you to think that you’ll be living off dry or canned food the entire trip. Well, we know that satisfying and healthy meals are very important components of a trip and the "fuel" that keeps you going. You will be surprised how our guides will spoil you with fresh, plentiful, and delicious gourmet meals!

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

River Rafting: Rollin' Down the River

There are ample reasons why Mountain Travel Sobek should be your first choice for a journey "down the river." With close to 30 years experience in exploring, planning, and leading river rafting trips all over the world, nobody knows the rivers better than we do. So, whether you are a novice ready to experience a river rafting adventure for the first time, or a veteran looking for a new river to conquer, we have the right trip for you.

Before you dip a paddle in the water, the guides will conduct a thorough (and often entertaining) familiarization briefing and instruct you in safety precautions. We always use caution and judicious safety measures and portage around anything that looks doubtful. No matter what class rapids you ride and what physical condition you are in, lifejackets must be worn at all times on or near the river. Helmets are worn on more difficult rivers. Thanks to the river guides, our more than 30 years’ safety record is superior, and you can feel confident in their hands.

A Typical Day on the River

On a typical rafting day you get up early for a delicious breakfast before taking down the camp (your participation in this is always welcomed!). Then you spend a couple of hours in the morning on the river—floating, running rapids, swimming, relaxing, and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. At noon we pull over for a long, leisurely lunch (with maybe a hike thrown in to stretch your legs) followed by more rafting in the afternoon. Late in the afternoon we pull into camp for the night, and there’s often time for exploring the beautiful surroundings before it gets dark. After dinner we like to gather around the campfire to relax, play games, sing, tell jokes, talk about the day—or whatever the group is up for. Most river trips have a layover day or two so we can explore the countryside beyond the river.

Equipment

Essentially, a river trip is a self-contained expedition. The rafts carry not just the passengers, but all the gear, including sleeping bags, pads, tents, and personal baggage, as well as commissary equipment. We use two different types of configurations:

Oar boats are guided entirely by the river guide, who uses 10-foot oars to steer and power the boat through rapids. Typically, three passengers sit in front and hold on, throwing their weight from side to side ("highsiding") to help keep the boat from tipping over. This is recommended for children under 12 and passengers who want to sit back and enjoy the wilderness scenery.

Paddle boats are guided from the rear of the boat by a professional guide using a large guide paddle to steer. All passengers (usually five to six) paddle in unison to power the boat. Past experience is essential on paddle boats. Since these boats have little or no gear and no frame, they are much lighter than an oar boat. This means they move faster but can flip over more easily. This option is ideal for people who want active participation.

On some of our trips we can also offer "Paddle Assist" options, where you can sit on the forward tubes of the oar boat and assist the guide by paddling as directed. This option is for those who are interested in learning paddling techniques or who want to be in the oar boat and actively participate.

Physical Requirements

Basically anyone can do it—you just have to find a river matching your physical condition and prior experience. Physical requirements for river trips are generally modest, but can vary depending on the nature of the rapids (and on some rivers, portages are necessary at times).

Rivers are ranked according to the difficulty of their most severe rapids. The following American Whitewater Association’s river classification system will help you decide in which type of river you will participate. We’ve modified it slightly to reflect our commercially outfitted trips led by professional guides using rafts.

  • Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.
  • Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels, which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed. Flips or swims are highly unlikely.
  • Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves, which may be difficult to avoid but are easily negotiated by rafts with experienced guides. Sizeable waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Flips are unlikely though swims are possible. Self-rescue is usually easy.
  • Class IV: Advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. Rapids may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting by the guides is sometimes necessary. Flips and swims are possible. Participants should be good swimmers with the ability to aid in their rescue (self-rescue).
  • Class V: Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very large rapids, which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes, or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims can be long and potentially dangerous so strong swimming ability is essential. The ability to self-rescue is mandatory. Portages may be necessary to avoid questionable rapids.

The Great Outdoors—Day & Night

Our river rafting trips take you to some of the world’s most remote, beautiful destinations—some of which you can only access via the river. They are far from well-traveled routes and suitable nearby lodgings, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised how comfortable we can make you feel in these more rustic and "hard to get to" places. You will sleep in high quality, roomy tents on soft, thick mattresses. The camp will have a toilet tent and a tented (or covered) dining area. Though the guides are happy to do all the hard work so you can enjoy your vacation as much as possible, you are an active member of the team when it comes to loading boats and setting up your tent.

We know that food is a very important component of our trips, so great food and beverages are one of our highest priorities. The river guides will spoil you with fresh, healthy, plentiful, and delicious gourmet meals, spiced with tall tales around the campfire and the funniest jokes in the world (no freeze-dried food here!).

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

Sea Kayaking: It's Easy, Safe & Fun

Mountain Travel Sobek’s more than 30-year history is marked by trailblazing adventures. Sea kayaking is no exception and we’ve taken to it like a duck to, well, water. For us, a sea kayaking adventure is much more than "just" paddling. Sea kayaking brings us to places that are best explored from a small boat close to the water surface. In a sea kayak, we are able to glide through sea caves and zigzag the reefs without any navigation problems. We can approach wildlife in the water and close to shore, meet other boating cultures on our journey, or just enjoy the silence around us. You’ll settle into the easy natural rhythm of paddler and kayak, and very often the only noise you’ll hear is your paddle meeting the water.

Our kayaking trips are thoughtfully designed to provide fun, adventurous, yet safe wilderness experiences for all participants. Sea kayaks—designed for gliding on flat water or through gentle swells – are comfortable and stable, and you can’t turn over that easily. Sea kayaking with us is not whitewater kayaking, and almost all our trips are quite easy and great for beginners. Still, before we set you free on the water, long-time sea kayaking guides will conduct a thorough familiarization briefing and instruct you in safety precautions. They will teach you the "rules of the road" and how to navigate on the water. Of course, they’ll also teach you everything you need to know about paddling (this will take about 30 minutes, not because they rush through it, but because sea kayaking is easier than you may think!).

Comfort and safety is our first priority. Should weather conditions be too rough, we’ll spend an extra day in camp doing a lot of other fun things. Even though we primarily paddle calm waters, we require that lifejackets be worn at all time on the water. When paddling, you will always be in visual contact (or whistle contact) with your group. And don’t worry about falling behind—on just about every trip, we have a "sweep" (support) boat, designated to ensure that each "duckling" stays with the group (and—in most cases—if you get tired, you can always hop on board!).

We provide most of the gear: sturdy, stable, and very comfortable sea kayaks, paddles, lifejackets, tents, and other camping and commissary equipment. On destinations where snorkeling is an option, there are plenty of possibilities to rent snorkeling gear. We’ll send you a comprehensive list of what to bring after you sign up.

A Typical Day on the Water

The number of hours you spend on the water varies with the trip you choose. Some trips require we get an early start; others, well, we’ll let you sleep in! But no matter what time we get up, we always start with a delicious breakfast before the guides break down the camp (help with this is very appreciated!). On the water, we stop several times to rest, either rafting up with each other or stopping at a nearby beach to stretch our legs, and we always take a good long break for lunch. In the afternoon, we either continue paddling, or you can enjoy other activities like hiking, snorkeling, and/or swimming—it all depends on the trip. In the late afternoon, we pull into camp (or the hotel or B&B) and often enjoy a beautiful sunset, always a tasty dinner, and perhaps gather around a cozy campfire to swap jokes or tell tall tales.

Physical Requirements

Sea kayaking is an activity that’s fun for people of all ages and skill levels, from the novice paddler to the experienced ocean-going veteran. Anyone can do it—just make sure to pick a trip matching your physical condition and prior experience. Most of our trips do not require previous paddling experience, but, naturally, being in reasonable physical shape will help you enjoy the trip to the fullest. Upper body strength is an added plus, so you might want to dust off those old fitness weights in your closet and use them a bit before you go!

Most of our sea kayaking trips fall into one of the following categories:

  • Novice: no previous sea kayaking experience needed, relaxed pace, less than 3-4 hours per day
  • Beginner: trips usually require some previous paddling experience, moderate pace, about 4-5 hours per day
  • Intermediate: trips usually require some previous paddling experience, faster pace and longer days on the water, about 4-6 hours per day.

Accommodations & Food

Accommodations vary with each trip. Most trips involve at least some camping, but we’d hardly call it "roughing it." You’ll sleep in comfortable two-person tents. And you don’t have to lift a finger – the guides do all the work (but they always appreciate an extra hand if you’d care to lend one). Some trips are more luxurious, featuring stays in delightful B&Bs, inns, or manor houses.

When it comes to food, expect top-quality meals that are delicious, nourishing, and plentiful. For the most part our gourmet-chef guides prepare the meals and serve local—and often unusual – liquid refreshments (e.g. Margaritas and Ballena beer in Baja, fresh coconut milk in the Pacific). This isn’t exactly your typical freeze-dried meals in the wilderness routine!

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

Safaris: Exceptional Wildlife & Cultural Adventures

In 1996, Mountain Travel Sobek was voted one of the top safari operators by the readers of Travel & Leisure and we were chosen again in 1998! We’ve taken thousands of satisfied travelers to Africa more than 30 years. A lot of visitors to Africa see the country from a minivan on a whirlwind tour, where they’ll spend a night or two at a lodge in a famous park, then drive like heck to the next place and start all over again. This has never been our style and quite frankly, we don’t feel that this is the best way for anyone to experience the beauty and wonders of Africa. Our safari style is authentic, low-key, and comfortable, and you’ll always feel safe and well cared for.

Seeking challenges beyond the realm of the conventional safari, Mountain Travel pioneered walking safaris in East Africa in 1971. Today we operate wildlife safaris as well as walking safaris in Africa, and though you will see plenty of wildlife on each of the safaris, the focus of the two is slightly different.

Wildlife Safaris

Our wildlife safaris focus mostly on the wildlife (obviously!) and we go to the best game reserves on the continent. Since we visit some of the finest reserves and national parks, it’s only natural that you will see a few other tourists. But we know the secret corners and the best places to camp, so you will always feel you have it all to yourself. We build a lot of flexibility into our programs. Since we usually have our own self-contained base camp, we go where the animals go and the game viewing is best. The itineraries for some safaris are adjusted seasonally to take advantage of the best wildlife conditions at specific times of the year.

Walking Safaris

Experiencing the "real" Africa means seeing it on foot. To walk in the African bush—with all its inherent sights, smells, and sounds—is to feel the pulse of this extraordinary continent. Mountain Travel Sobek pioneered walking safaris in 1971 when Colin Fletcher (author of The Winds of Mara and other books) was scouting a "pure" walking safari in Kenya with a small group of travelers from Mountain Travel. Today, our walking safaris also include game viewing by 4-wheel-drive vehicle. However, bush walking has always been our trademark and what most travelers find to be one of the highlights on our safaris. Accompanied by armed park rangers, the tracking of these magnificent animals adds a whole extra level of intimacy to your encounter with the wildlife. Walking safaris are for the active traveler who wants to experience the adrenaline of the classic, African, "old-time" hunting safari, but carrying cameras instead of weapons.

But besides extraordinary wildlife, Africa is also celebrated for its vibrant cultures—the Maasai and Samburu of East Africa, in particular, are among the most famous of its colorful tribes. So in addition to tracking wildlife on foot, our walking safaris in Kenya and Tanzania take you off the beaten path into the heart of Maasai or Samburu country (depending on the trip), where you’ll visit their manyattas and encounter them as they herd their cattle, goats, sheep, or camels. You’ll have a chance to witness their daily life and perhaps even participate in local celebrations—our past guests have often attended wedding festivities and olpuls (meat feasts)!

A Typical Day on Safari

Safari days begin early since we base our game viewing on the habits of the animals. As dawn breaks we’re already up, and after a quick (and filling) breakfast, we’re on our way, traveling slowly and carefully in search of hunting lions or tardy nocturnal animals that haven’t yet scurried back to their burrows. We usually return to camp in the late morning for a leisurely lunch, when many of the animals are resting.

The early part of the afternoon is free to relax around camp, write in your journal, read a book, or take a refreshing nap (after all, you did get up early). Following early tea and cookies (about 3:00 p.m.), we’re off to search for more wildlife. Many times we return to camp after sunset for a cold "sundowner," then enjoy a delicious gourmet camp meal. On some trips, we have the possibility of going on night drives (subject to local park regulations), during which we might spot nocturnal animals or follow the big cats on the prowl.

Under the starry African skies (we’re convinced they’re the biggest anywhere) we gather around the campfire, smitten by the romance of moon and stars, the evocative sounds of the African night, and the camaraderie of new friends. You wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

Physical Requirements

Except for our Kilimanjaro adventures, our Africa safaris include fairly easy travel and do not require a high degree of physical fitness. Because of this, wildlife safaris are great family trips (minimum age is 8) and they are also fun and extremely educational. (We have several grandparents each year who treat their grandchildren to a special trip!) The walking safaris may be slightly more challenging with longer day hikes in possibly warm temperatures.

Accommodations & Food

Rather than parking you in a touristy lodge along with hundreds of other travelers, on most nights you’ll stay in our own private, self-contained camps that allow an authentic bush experience without sacrificing comfort. Our private camps feature spacious tents (the kind you can stand up in), comfortable bedding (cots with foam mattresses, pillows, blankets, and cool, crisp sheets), a dining tent and even bathroom and shower tents (after the dust of the day, rinsing off under a hot shower is bliss!). Our handpicked campsites are well away from the main tourist areas and let you experience Africa the way it was meant to be.

Just because you’re out in the bush doesn’t mean you won’t be treated to the best cuisine. Meals are fresh, wholesome, and delicious, with fresh breads baked daily in a campfire oven, tasty appetizers, delicious entrees, and even desserts like ice cream! We’re constantly amazed (and you will be, too) by the variety and sophistication of our cooks’ culinary endeavors.

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

Wildlife & Natural History

For most people, the word "wildlife" is associated with something wild, beautiful, and free of the imprint of modern man. Well, that is exactly what you are about to experience on any of Mountain Travel Sobek’s Wildlife & Natural History adventures.

Without doubt, Africa is our biggest destination for Wildlife & Natural History adventures. But, besides Africa, there are so many other places in the world where the wildlife is just as fascinating—and definitely well worth a visit. Take, for example, the Galápagos Islands, where wildlife has no fear of humans, and visitors are treated to close-up encounters unmatched by any other destination. Or Antarctica—the last wild and unspoiled place on earth, where you will find the largest, purest wilderness on the planet and a spectacular display of wildlife. Closer to home, we have trips to Alaska, Baja California, and Costa Rica. And even though the wildlife here seems "just around the corner," what you experience is so engaging and different that you will feel like you’re in another world.

A Typical Day in the Wild

Fortunately, there is no such thing as "a typical day" in our Wildlife & Natural History adventures! Of course, we have delicious meals at least three times a day, but often it is the "wild ones" (the animals) who are in charge of the daily itinerary. We can’t always predict where they are, and therefore we never really know exactly which route we will follow. The whole adventure is to find the wildlife and enjoy those precious moments when you can sit still and watch the animals play, eat, or just hang out. We get as close as possible, but we never get so close that we will disturb the animals or bring them (or ourselves) in any danger.

Physical Requirements

The physical requirements for our Wildlife & Natural History adventures vary depending on ways of transportation. There are so many different and successful ways to follow the wildlife: we travel in small boats, on foot in the savanna, in 4-wheel-drive vehicles, sea kayaks, or ride on the back of an elephant. Except for more strenuous hiking and trekking trips, almost all our Wildlife & Natural History adventures are fairly easy and suitable for families.

Accommodations & Food

The accommodations we use for our Wildlife & Natural History adventures will vary depending on trips and destinations. Sometimes we stay in hotels or lodges close to the wildlife. On our trips to the Galápagos Islands and the Antarctica, we stay aboard a boat in comfortable cabins. On other trips, we make it the ultimate wildlife experience and camp in the "wild" in our own private, self-contained camps far away from crowded lodges.

Just because you’re out in the bush or on the water doesn’t mean you won’t be treated to the best cuisine. Meals are fresh, wholesome, and delicious. Truly, we’re constantly amazed by the variety of our cooks’ culinary endeavors (and you will be, too).

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

Small Boat Expeditions: Not Your Typical Cruises

We believe that "small is beautiful." Mountain Travel Sobek created the concept of small-group adventure in 1969 and we’re still the leader. Ever since our first departure to the Galapagos in 1972, we have operated safe, fun, and environmentally friendly small boat expeditions in Europe, the Galápagos, and Antarctica. Long before the concept of "Ecotourism" we took pains to travel in a conscientious manner, in small vessels carrying no more than 10 or 12 passengers.

Besides being environmentally friendly, our "small group" policy has a lot of other benefits so you will fully enjoy your cruising adventure. It gives you the possibility to quickly load into a Zodiac and get ashore for exploration (for example, if we spot wildlife we would like to take a closer look at). We are also able to make several landings if we feel like it—you don’t have to wait for your pre-assigned Zodiac time. A small group also means a high staff-to-passenger ratio, which ensures you easy access to the expertise and company of the expedition leader, on-board lecturers, and Mountain Travel Sobek staff members throughout the trip. And finally, a small vessel can easily travel into narrow passages, channels, and bays where bigger ships just can’t go.

A Typical Day on Board

No matter if you are aboard a yacht in the Galápagos, a gulet in Turkey, or an expedition vessel in Antarctica, the day starts with a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, you have plenty of options when it comes to deciding how you would like to spend your day. On the Galápagos and Antarctica adventures you can participate in lectures, slide shows and/or open discussions. You can take a closer look at the wildlife during one (or more) Zodiac landings, sea kayaking, hiking and/or snorkeling. (Yes, the water in Antarctica is very cold, and no, we do not offer snorkeling there!) On our Turkey expedition, the day will be spent visiting villages, architectural sites, bazaars, and markets, or easy hiking. You will also have time for yourself to read, write, or simply relax and enjoy your vacation. Our day of adventures is only interrupted by a delicious lunch and later on, just as delicious a dinner. (If you are looking for 24-hour casinos, shuffleboard, and nightly entertainment extravaganzas, you won’t find them here. But we promise you will NEVER be bored!)

We go to great lengths to ensure you get the most out of each day on board by keeping the ship’s daily itinerary very flexible. That way we can linger longer, e.g. when the wildlife viewing is superb, or quickly move to new areas when spontaneous opportunities arise. This is especially the case with our Antarctica adventures, which have a more expedition-like agenda, and two trips will never be identical. As on all Mountain Travel Sobek adventures, the atmosphere and dress code on board is casual and very relaxed.

Physical Requirements

Life on board a small boat requires some physical agility and a flexible and social nature. Trip members should be prepared for the more rustic life aboard the ship and flexible regarding activities and moorings, which may be affected by weather and availability. But anyone who is in good health and leads an active life will enjoy a small boat cruising trip. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph, and enjoy the surroundings. Some landings are dry and some are "wet," requiring cautious footing. But don’t worry—crew members will be on hand to assist.

Accommodations & Food on Board

The type of vessels we use depend on the destination. In the Galápagos we use deluxe yachts that carry a maximum of 12-18 passengers. In Turkey, we use a traditional Turkish coastal motor-sailor, a gulet, modified to accommodate passengers (maximum of 16), and the expedition vessel in Antarctica carries less than 50 passengers (most other Antarctica ships carry 80-400!). Our itineraries will have a more detailed description of each of the vessels we use.

Meals will be prepared and served by the crew on board. No matter what destination you travel to, the meals are, in a word, fabulous. Every day the chefs prepare fresh, healthy, and hearty dishes. Both before and after dinner, you’ll find a cheerful bar where you can choose from a wide selection of soft drinks, wine, beer, and cocktails.

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

Cultural Encounters

For many, one of the most inspiring benefits of travel is the encounter with cultures different from our own. Each continent, country, and very often each region in a country has its own fascinating culture—some familiar with our own, but most very, very different. Ever since Mountain Travel Sobek took its first footsteps into the remote kingdom of Nepal in 1969, we have traveled with a natural curiosity, an open mind, and with a deep respect for the cultures we have encountered.

Though all of our adventures have some level of interaction with the people we meet, we offer a wide range of trips specifically designed to experience and often become a part of a different culture. We travel to some of the most exciting and colorful festivals in West Africa, hike from village to village and visit the Maasai people in East Africa, enjoy an annual camel fair in Rajasthan, have tea with Sherpas in the Himalayas, and sea kayak among the Kuna Indians of Panama’s San Blas Islands. No matter where you go, be sure to bring your camera. Whenever appropriate, we encourage you to capture and bring back some of these very special and colorful moments.

A Typical Day

Not two days are alike on our cultural adventures. You will see, enjoy, and often participate in a variety of encounters with local cultures – enriching your life and creating long-lasting memories. Every day, whether we stay in camp or hotel, we will start the day with a hearty breakfast and end it with a delicious dinner. While we stay pretty active all day, there are also lots of opportunities for you to relax, read a book, and simply enjoy your vacation.

Physical Requirements

The physical requirements for our cultural adventures will vary depending on ways of transportation and the regions we travel to. Please refer to the trip itinerary for physical requirements and activity level.

Accommodations & Food

The accommodations on our trips vary with destinations. We stay either in hotels, bungalows, guesthouses, or our own private camps. Some of the hotels in the cities are quite good with an international standard of quality, but we also stay at simple guesthouses or bungalows where foreigners are rare. If your trip includes camping you can expect the camp to be somewhat rustic, although there is always water for a wash-up. Hot showers are not available in all locations.

In addition to idyllic scenery and fascinating cultures, our tours are known for delicious food and fine wines. Most of our travelers are also adventurous when it comes to sampling local dishes (this often becomes one of the highlights of the day!).

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

Multi-sport Adventures: Variety is the Spice of Life!

Over the years, Mountain Travel Sobek has offered a number of trips during which participants have the possibility to engage in more than one kind of activity during their trip. We quickly discovered that adventure travelers have an enormous appetite for life, and would like to see, experience, and do as much as possible when they travel. Additionally, many like to do a lot of different things on their trip, recognizing that variety is good for your mind, your body and, not to forget—it’s a lot of fun!

Most of our multi-sport trips are great family trips. First of all, a lot of them are close to home (Alaska, Canada, and Mexico). Secondly, many are fairly short and easy. And finally, we know that kids in general have a high energy level and a natural need for variety. But we also offer longer and more challenging multi-sport adventures, like our Zambezi River Safari in Zimbabwe, with Class IV-V rapids, combined with great hiking, wildlife viewing, and canoeing.

A Typical Day

On some of our multi-sport adventures, we will engage in the same activity for days in a row, while other trips include more than one activity a day. No matter which way the activities are laid out, we guarantee it will be a lot of fun and a great experience. Every day, whether we stay in camp, hotel, or an inn, we will start the day with a hearty breakfast and end it with a delicious dinner. In the outdoors, we often have lunch picnic-style and relax for a while, before we continue (or are off to a new) activity. While we stay pretty active all day, there are also lots of opportunities for you to relax, read a book, and simply enjoy your vacation.

Physical Requirements

The physical requirements for our multi-sport adventures will vary depending on activities involved – but as mentioned earlier, a lot of these adventures are great for families and they therefore fall within the easy to moderate category. Most important is that you have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude.

Accommodations & Food

Your accommodations on our multi-activity adventures will vary depending on the trip. Our hotel- and inn-based trips feature accommodations in cozy country lodgings with a delightful ambiance and character. Often family-run, you’ll be treated as an honored guest and feel right at home. Camping trips are, of course, more rustic, but still surprisingly comfortable. You’ll sleep in a spacious tent, take meals in a dining tent or under the protection of a canopy, have bathing facilities (anywhere from "bucket baths" to solar showers), and have access to a toilet tent or other private toilet facility.

On trips where we stay in hotels or inns we dine in intimate restaurants and taste a variety of delicious cuisine. You’ll dine equally well on our camping trips (and small boat cruises), which feature expertly prepared meals that are abundant, fresh, wholesome and delicious. Our camp cooks are experienced professionals who can turn out some of the most amazing culinary treats—even in the most remote places. One thing’s for sure—you won’t go hungry. (Only our active days keep us from putting on a few pounds!)

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

Photo Expeditions

Occasionally, we offer photo expeditions that take you to some of the world’s richest continents with regard to exotic cultures, colorful festivals, and fascinating people. Each location is handpicked and the itineraries custom-designed for optimum photographic opportunities. Group size is kept small to cultivate intimacy with the local people and allow for individual learning. You’ll not only enjoy personal attention to technical and creative concerns, but the camaraderie and contribution of fellow participants.

Our photo expeditions are "rolling workshops" with expert photographers who share their technical and creative knowledge with you. You’ll come away with a rich array of photos that reflect the time and attention paid to the best light and the magic of a scene, as well as a wealth of technical and artistic tips. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to benefit from our photo expeditions. Most participants on these trips are non-professionals with an immense interest in photography. Both still and video shooters are welcome on these tours, as well as their family and friends.

A Typical Day

Our priority is to always optimize our chances to get the best photos by being at the right place at the right time. Most days you will get up really early to take advantage of the soft morning light, or go to bed really late after photographing a wild local festival. Some days involve a lot of traveling; others are more relaxed during which we spend the entire day visiting an interesting town or village.

Physical Requirements

When it comes to physical requirements, all our photo expeditions are rated "moderate." The most important qualification for any trip to remote areas without standard tourist facilities is a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude! However, you should be in good physical condition, enjoy an active life, and have recent walking/hiking and camping experience. Our photo expeditions often consist of medium to high altitude travel by jeep over rugged and often dusty roads, long road days, rustic accommodations, and occasionally very hot weather.

Accommodations & Food

Some of the hotels in the cities are quite good with an international standard of quality, but we also stay at simple guesthouses or bungalows where foreigners are rare. If your trip includes camping you can expect the camp to be somewhat rustic, although there is always water for a wash-up. Hot showers are not available in all locations.

In camps, our cook will prepare great meals. Lunch is typically served picnic-style, and in the evening, a hot meal consisting of soup, meat, pasta, rice, vegetables, fruit, or wonderful local cuisine will be prepared.

If you need more information about our hiking adventures, please contact us at sales@mtsobek.com or call us at 1-888-MTSOBEK (678-6235).

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Mountain Travel Sobek

1266 66th Street, Suite 4

Emeryville, California 94608

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Mountain Travel Sobek

1266 66th Street, Suite 4

Emeryville, California 94608

Toll Free:1-888-831-7526