Rafting, Hiking the High Monasteries of Ladakh

In Safe Hands

Adventure travel is a type of niche tourism, involving exploration or travel with a certain degree of risk (real or perceived), which can require social skills and physical exertion. Many of the potential issues that can arise are mitigated with forethought and experience.

In Safe Hands

At YellowWood Adventure, we celebrate the road less travelled. We actively seek journeys that are off the beaten track, to more remote locations where we feel we are able to experience the culture and landscapes of a country with authenticity. We are not discouraged from safe and planned travelling to destinations that some may perceive to be off limits as we understand that travel is about seeing the world with your own eyes, and adding personal experience to subjective information that you may have heard through various forms of media.

We believe in the idea of Informed Consent: where we use our experience and knowledge of the travel industry, the destination country and the specific itinerary, to assess the risks involved, and describe them accurately to you. If you have any concerns, we can then let you know what we have done to mitigate and manage those risks that are still present.

When you are aware of what risks are involved, we trust that you can make the right decision about whether or not an adventures is the right one for you.

Camel Riding, Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Potential Risks

• Road quality & driving standards may be lower.

• Hygiene standards may be lower.

• Communication networks may be less efficient.

• Areas may have an increased security risk due to economic, political or religious tensions.

• Emergency services & medical facilities may not be up to western standards.

• Due to the remote location of some of our trips we may be several hours from comprehensive medical facilities

• Adventurous activities included in sone itineraries (eg trekking, horseriding, camel riding) carry an inherent risk of injury. If you participate in these activities you should be aware of & accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement.

• Local wildlife and environmental conditions may present risks not encountered in your home country.

Managing Potential Risks

  1. A thorough knowledge of our itineraries & a detailed risk assessment.
  2. Bulletins from the FCDO so we can respond to any advice published.
  3. We employ International Mountain Leaders with experience and qualifications necessary to safely lead our groups on trekking trips or in remote destinations
  4. Use of high quality equipment eg. tents, satellite phone, first aid kits, emergency shelters
  5. Working with a trusted group of local suppliers, who have signed a contract with us to provide services that meet all regulatory requirements in the destination country, and follow best practice. This covers provision of suitable local guides, drivers, vehicles, accommodation, restaurants and activity suppliers.
  6. We are members of the Travel Trust Association, who offer you financial security for your booking & also vet international suppliers.

In accepting the booking conditions, you are accepting that you have read the trip information, and been informed of, understand and have accepted the risks identified to you. For a copy of our full risk assessment for your adventure, then please contact our Head of Operations on cathy@yellowwoodadventures.com.

Coronavirus & The Global Pandemic

We want you to know that we are doing everything we can to facilitate your return to safe and meaningful travel.  We have adjusted our T's & C's to give you confidence in booking, and below, you can see what we are doing on the adventures themselves, to provide you with a safe environment when you feel ready to travel.

Book Confidently

Viable Adventures: We will only run an adventure when

  1. The FCDO have approved non essential travel to the destination
  2. Where travel restrictions are not deemed prohibitive
  3. Where we can run our itinerary adhering to local rules & guidelines
  4. Where we have links with local operators ‘in country’ for an accurate insight into conditions.
  5. Where our Risk Assessment deems it is safe to do so.


All viable adventures will have had a thorough Country and Trip Specific Risk Assessment carried out by our Operations Team.

Where an adventure is not viable with the current itinerary, we will look to make minor amendments. Where it continues to be unviable, we will make the decision not to run the adventure.

Travel Confidently

Small groups: We only operate with small groups (max 12). Should you wish to travel with just family and friends, we are experienced in creating wonderful customised adventures in our destination countries.

Off the Beaten Track: We have a great choice of adventures focusing on outdoor activities (walking & horse riding). Our links with local operators in our destination countries will minimise the risk of closures of sights & attractions and enable us to create exciting alternative options. In towns we will use local knowledge from our guides, and the common sense of our leaders, to avoid crowds. Several itineraries involve wilderness camp sites.

Care for our Communities: We will carry out a Community Impact Assessment to assess how a visit from our group, may affect local communities to which it travels. You may be asked to wear face coverings in public areas to help reduce the risk of us introducing coronavirus to remote villages.

Experienced Leaders

  1. On all of our adventures you will benefit from the daily presence of an experienced, English speaking local guide. You will also have additional guides at various points during the trip (see itineraries for details).
  2. For hiking and riding adventures, you will also be accompanied by a YellowWood Leader (International Mountain Leader).
  3. Our ‘in country’ guides and YellowWood Leaders have a wealth of experience and are First Aid trained, including how to respond to a suspected COVID-19 case.


Risk Assessment: YellowWood operates a Safety Management System which encompasses a planned, researched, implemented and reviewed approach to your Health & Safety.

A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm (hazards) and the assessment of likelihood of hazards occuring, as well as the severity of the outcome of a hazard.

Priest from Rock-hewn Church, Gheralta Mountains, Ethiopia

Health Screening

  1. If you, or anyone in your household, are unwell with coronavirus symptoms up to the point of departure, please STAY AT HOME.
  2. We are in this together, and whilst the disappointment of having to cancel your holiday will be acute, the risk to yourself and others, of travelling when you have symptoms is significant and irresponsible. See our flexible T's & C's for information if you have to cancel
  3. On booking we will ask you to complete a confidential health screening questionnaire. We ask you to be honest and accurate to ensure we can plan the best care for you and the group as a whole.

Insurance: Suitable medical and travel insurance is compulsory including cover for Covid-19 medical expenses. Please ensure that you are familiar with the level of cover and that it includes any activities such as hiking or horse riding, that you would like to do during your adventure.

Transparent Communication: We will keep you fully informed of any changes to the itinerary & should you no longer wish to come on the adventure you have booked we will allow you to move to another adventure without charges.

Facilities

Accommodation

  1. Hotels and accommodation will operate a COVID-19 protocol that complies with local government guidelines.
  2. Solo travellers: the majority of our itineraries cater for single rooms (single supplement applies).
  3. Where you are happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender, we will ensure you stay with the same room/tent mate for the duration of your trip.

Restaurants

  1. Only restaurants with protocols complying to local requirements for food hygiene and social distancing will be used.
  2. We will encourage outdoor eating spaces where possible.
  3. We will minimise buffets and meals involving food sharing (picnics)

Transport

  • We will minimise the use of public transport, and carry out a risk assessment where public transport is used within an itinerary
  • Enhanced cleaning of group vehicles with virucidal cleaners will take place.
  • Touch points, such as van door handles and seats will be cleaned regularly throughout the day by your guide or driver. We would politely request that people stay in the same seat during a day, to minimise transmission risks.
  • Drivers will follow local protocols on the usage of face masks and social distancing.
  • We will request vehicles with opening windows but on long distances, or across hot / dusty areas, it may not be possible to keep the windows open.
  • Where air conditioning is used, it will bring air in from outside of the car.

Equipment

Camping trips: We will ask you to bring your own sleeping mat and sleeping bags & sleeping sheet. Tents will be thoroughly cleaned prior to use & labelled so that the same tent is used by the same people during an adventure, negating the need for them to be cleaned daily during the trip.

Water bottles: Please do not share water bottles during your adventure. Aquapure Traveller water filtration bottles are available for the highly subsidised price of £20/bottle. For more details on the benefits of this water filtration system (including reduction of single use plastics) please see our Offers For You

Battery Packs and Phone Chargers: Please bring your own chargers & battery packs.

First Aid Kit: Please ensure you have a suitable travel first aid kit with you that includes a thermometer – see kit list for more information.

We have comprehensive adventure specific packing lists online, that you can download for reference. They have been updated to include extras such as face coverings, hand sanitiser, small bags for bagging disposable PPE, and a thermometer.

Covid-19 Prevention Procedures

Almost second nature but important to remember...

  1. Washing hands regularly with soap & water or using 70% alcohol based sanitisers. We ask you to bring your own supply with you on your adventure. Avoid touching your eyes, nose & mouth. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away.
  2. We will ensure you know what the local guidelines and regulations are regarding face coverings & social distancing in your destination.
  3. We will ask our clients to use face coverings where they are not able to socially distance. Please bring a minimum of 2 reusable & 10 disposable masks with you on your adventure.
  4. Many of our destinations operate on a cash economy basis so contactless payment is not possible. Please ensure you sanitise after handling money or consider use of gloves
  5. We politely request that you take your temperature each morning to check for fever.

In the case of an incidence of COVID-19, YellowWood Adventures has a country specific Emergency Action Plan in place to enable us to coordinate the most appropriate medical support and local assistance in the event of a suspected COVID-19 case within the group or guide team. Our leaders are supported by our 24/7 UK based team and local in country partners.

What to expect

  • If you show symptoms, you will be asked to self isolate in your room and let your guide know by phone.
  • Your guide will contact the local health authorities and follow their guidance.
  • Your guide will contact YellowWood Adventures Operations Team in the UK so we can also support you.
  • You will be asked to restrict your contact with others immediately and take meals in your room as room service.
  • Your guide will help arrange medical assistance as required.
  • If the group was due to move on to a new region, until a Coronavirus Test Result has been received, the group will be required to self isolate.
  • A negative result will mean the group can continue with an adapted itinerary.
  • A positive test result will mean the rest of the group will need to be tested and follow local guidelines. 

Useful Resources for you prior to travel

  • Foreign Travel Advice : FCDOs page with guidance on staying safe abroad
  • UK Government advice: UK Government advice (constantly updated) on staying safe outside your home.
  • Travel Health Pro Advice: up to date, full and informative advice on all things medical to consider for your destination (Covid included with many other health conditions).

Grading

To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.


All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.


Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.

Grade 1-3: Entry Level

You need to be in good physical health to enjoy your active holiday, but you don’t need to be an experienced hiker. These itineraries offer a mix of sightseeing and easier walking for around 2-4hrs a day, with the emphasis on sights and cultural experiences. 

Walks will be well marked or on defined pathways, and often around sites of interest. The expected amount of descent/ascent will depend on the landscapes of the destination, but will not exceed 400m/day, and will often be much less. Walks are at low altitude (below 3000m). 

You will not be required to carry more than a day sack with water and essentials. Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have a pair of comfortable and worn in walking shoes/boots.

Grades 4-6: Intermediate

You need to have a good level of fitness and be a regular walker for these adventures, with ideally some trekking experience. You can expect to be walking for 3-6 hours per day, not including rest stops, normally on good trail paths but with some uneven surfaces at times. 

You will not be required to carry more than a day sack. You may be walking in more challenging temperatures. You will generally be walking at low altitude (below 3000m) but may walk at altitudes up to 4000m. The amount of ascent could be up to 800m in a day but will frequently be less. You may walk on consecutive days.

Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have suitable clothing for this adventure.

Grades 7-9: Challenging

You need to have a good level of fitness with previous experience of trekking. Extra training before your trip will ensure that you get the most out of your adventure. Areas will be remote and terrain uneven. 

Expect to walk for 5 – 8 hours a day, not including breaks, with some very steep ascents and descents. You will be walking at altitude (over 3000m but not higher than 5000m).

Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have suitable equipment/clothing for this adventure (see the packing list for your adventure).

Please check individual itineraries for details of what you will need to be carrying with you.

Enquiry Process

Get in touch via our Enquiry form to check our availability, discuss the adventure and check we can meet your needs.

  1. Complete our Enquiry Form; contact details, additional requirements (eg diet or health requirements) & questions you may have.
  2. Include as much information as you are able to, so we can help you with the detail you are looking for.
  3. Click on 'Send Enquiry' (receipted).
  4. We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to answer your questions and help you plan your adventure.

+44 207 846 0197

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