DATES & PRICES

Days = 13

27 Mar 2012 - 08 Apr 2012

Cost = £TBA

Deposit = £350

* does not apply if you are willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged.

TOUR SUMMARY

Days 1 - 3
Eastern Alborz: Do-Ab & the Alam Dahr Valley
Day 4
Transfer to Golestan
Days 5 - 9
Golestan National Park
Days 10 - 11
Khosh Yelagh Wildlife Refuge, Olang & Abr
Day 12
To Tehran
Day 13
Return to UK


Tooran Desert Extension
Days 12 - 15
Tooran National Park
Day 16
Return to UK

IRAN

GOLESTAN AND THE EASTERN ALBORZ MOUNTAINS

Dates, prices and itinerary for 2012 will be confirmed by 1st August.

Where the Eastern Alborz Mountains descend towards the Turcoman steppes lies Golestan National Park, perhaps the most important of all Iran's many excellent protected areas.

The meadows, forests, semi-desert and the snow-capped peaks which reach ten thousand feet above the Caspian plain, feature a virtually pristine flora and fauna. Shining red and yellow Tulipa montana, elegant Tulipa hoogiana and the scarlet goblets of Tulipa micheliana are among the many tulips that adorn this stunning landscape. Golden Crocus almehensis flower amid fabulous shows of Iris fosterana and various colour forms of Iris reticulata. Caspian Bluebells and Orchis adeinocheila decorate beautiful Hyrcanian forests that are home to native Pheasants and abundant Wild Boar. This is surely the finest place in the Middle-east in which to see large mammals - expect to see a hundred or more each day! Herds of giant-horned Urial graze in upland meadows and on tulip-dotted steppe we can watch herds of pretty Goitred Gazelle. Brown Bear is a likely sighting and on a night trip we hope to show you Wolves and Jackals. Further west in the Alborz we'll stay in a traditional Iranian summer village amidst meadows and beech woods. Banks of vari-coloured Primula heterochroma and corydalises decorate beech woods below sheer limestone cliffs where golden cushions of Dionysia aretoides are in full flower. Lammergeier and Saker overfly the Wild Rose Valley at Khosh Yelagh where Alborz Red Sheep and Ibex gaze down at us as we enjoy massed displays of yellow Fritillaria raddeana, whilst the high passes of Olang and Abr are decorated with colourful shows of Tulipa ulophylla, Scillas, Fritillaria kotschyana, Galanthus transcaucasicus and Paeonia mlokosewitschii and multi-hued Corydalis firouzi. An extension takes us to Tooran on the edge of the great Dasht-e Kavir desert where we can watch the speedy Persian Wild Ass, fabulous Pleske's Ground Jay, Houbara Bustard ... ...

INFORMATION

Focus

Flowers and Mammals. Also Birds, Butterflies, Reptiles and Landscapes.

Leaders

Ian Green, Mehran Etemadi,

Walking

Fairly easy. Up to five or six miles a day though usually less and always at a slow pace, perfectly suited to photographers. Some steep paths and rough ground.

Included in the Price

All flights. All transport, accommodation, meals and drinks in Iran. Services of your leaders. Please note: the Iranian Visa, tips and items of a personal nature including insurance, are not included.

Group Size

The minimum is 4 and the maximum is 7.

Accommodation

We start as guests of a local Forester in the village of Do-Ab high in the Alborz with peaks reaching 4000m in sight! There are several houses within the compound and we’ll occupy a few of the rooms and will be well-looked after by these extremely hospitable people. It will be another ‘homestay’ in Golestan where we’ll be the guests of a local Turcoman family. We'll spend the rest of the tour in National Park guesthouses, first at Khosh Yelagh, and on the extension, in Tooran. All accommodation on this trip is basic, and at some localities two or more people might be sharing a room, but it is clean, warm and always the hospitality is very fine indeed. Each guesthouse has a sizeable living room/dining area and at least one shower and washbasin. During the first and last nights we'll stay in a good quality hotel in Tehran. A cook will accompany us and will provide us with excellent Persian fare.

Climate

Generally warm and sunny, though variable and sometimes quite cool, especially at higher altitude and at night. Expect showers and occasionally more prolonged rain in Golestan.

After Booking

Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form (or contact us and we will send one to you)from the Booking Information section. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure.
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