Stride climate

Trip Type : Private Guided
The Human Journey: Tracing Legendary Peoples & Sacred Places tour
Addis Ababa Bagan The Human Journey: Tracing Legendary Peoples & Sacred Places Trip
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The Human Journey: Tracing Legendary Peoples & Sacred Places

National Geographic Expeditions Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
86%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
24 days
From: $ 67,950 $ 2,831 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • See the world with National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells
  • Travel in a private Boeing 757 jet
  • Go off the beaten path to discover some of the most incredible legacies of legendary civilizations
  • Enjoy a private tour of the Georgian National Museum
  • Explore the vibrant bazaars of Samarqand in Uzbekistan
  • See the land of Genghis Khan – Mongolia
  • Be amazed by 1,000 year old structures in Myanmar (Burma)
  • Visit several World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka
  • Explore the National Museum of Ethiopia
  • See Jerusalem, a city that holds a rich spiritual meaning to many faiths
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner in London

Short Description

Join geneticist, anthropologist, and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Spencer Wells on an extraordinary private jet expedition, venturing off the beaten path to discover the enduring legacies of legendary civilizations that have shaped our shared human history. Following a specially crafted itinerary we developed with Spencer, explore sacred sites, ancient cities, and astonishing cultural treasures from Uzbekistan and Mongolia to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and beyond.

Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Trip Type Private Guided
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Internal airfare and ground transport
Start City London, England
End City London, England

Trip Includes

  • A privately chartered Boeing 757 that departs from London, England and returns to London, England as indicated in the itinerary
  • Deluxe or best available accommodations
  • Taxes in the destinations and options as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals beginning with the welcome dinner and ending with breakfast on the last day of the itinerary.
  • Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the expedition
  • Group transportation
  • Excursions
  • Special events and activities
  • Extensive program of customized options at most destinations
  • Enrichment program, including lectures by a team of experts
  • Services of professional staff, including an expedition physician
  • Amenities package; $100,000 medical evacuation insurance (which includes minimal accident/sickness/baggage insurance) for covered reasons
  • Bottled water throughout the expedition (during sightseeing, at scheduled meals, and in your room); All beverages, including liquor, aboard the private jet
  • Liquor during special events and cocktail parties on land
  • House wine and/or beer at lunch and dinner
  • Non alcoholic beverages at all scheduled meals on land
  • Baggage handling during the expedition
  • Internet access in hotels, where available
  • Tips or gratuities to local guides, drivers, porters, and waitstaff are included

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Itinerary

Days 1 & 2: U.S./London, England

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

Depart the U.S. independently on an overnight flight to London. The next day, meet experts, staff, and fellow travelers during a welcome reception and dinner.

Days 3, 4, & 5: Tbilisi, Georgia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Daily)

Accommodation: Marriott Tbilisi Hotel

Get acquainted with Tbilisi’s Old City, visiting the Georgian Orthodox Sioni Cathedral. At the Georgian National Museum, enjoy a private tour and reception with paleoanthropologist and National Geographic grantee Dr. David Lordkipanidze, the museum’s director. Join David on an optional excursion to the archaeological site of Dmanisi, where he led the discovery of the earliest-known hominid remains outside of Africa. Explore the historic churches and monasteries of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mtskheta, or travel to the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe and visit Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin.

Days 6 & 7: Samarqand, Uzbekistan

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Daily)

Accommodation: Registan Plaza Hotel, Samarqand

The fabled city of Samarqand flourished in the 14th and 15th centuries under the rule of Tamerlane and his successors, who commissioned spectacular mosques and madrassas covered in blue tiles. Discover the city’s vibrant bazaars, and examine some of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the world on a stroll through Registan Square. Venture into Gur-e Amir and the Shah-i-Zinda complex of mosques and mausoleums; and see the turquoise domes of the Bibi Khanum mosque.

Days 8, 9, & 10: Ulaanbaatar and the Gobi, Mongolia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Daily)

Accommodation: The Blue Sky Hotel, Ulaanbaatar and Three Camel Lodge or Terelj Hotel

Our next stop is the land of Genghis Khan, where one of the world’s last nomadic cultures lives amid the stark beauty of the steppe. In Ulaanbaatar, explore the Gandan Monastery, one of the few monasteries to survive the anti-Buddhist attacks of the 1930s. Then take a private local flight to the majestic Gobi, where we’ll spend two nights at a traditional ger camp. In addition, visit with a nomad family and experience their way of life firsthand. At the fossil quarries of Bayanzag, also known as the Flaming Cliffs, hunt for dinosaur fossils with a local paleontologist. Or discover the stunning landscapes of Gorkhi Terelj National Park.

Days 11 - 14: Yangon (Rangoon), Bagan, and Inle Lake, Myanmar (Burma)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Daily)

Accommodation: Traders Hotel, Yangon; Aureum Resort & Spa, Inle Lake; and Aureum Palace Hotel,

Our visit begins at Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda, a dazzling structure that has dominated the city’s skyline for more than 1,000 years. Then take a private local flight to remote Inle Lake, home to the floating gardens, stilt houses, and markets of the Intha people. Learn about their traditional weaving and blacksmithing methods; watch fishermen poling their skiffs with one leg; and visit Nga Phe Chaung Monastery. Then fly to the ancient capital of Bagan and explore its extraordinary plain, dotted with thousands of temples, stupas, and monasteries.

Days 15, 16, & 17: Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner ( Daily)

Accommodation: Amaya Lake, Dambulla

We fly next to Colombo, Sri Lanka’s colorful capital. Take a private local flight to Habarana and continue overland to Dambulla. From our base at a stunning lakeside hotel, set out to visit several World Heritage sites: the rock fortress of Sigiriya, a wonder of ancient engineering; the cave temples of Dambulla, a Buddhist pilgrimage site; and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, where many ruins date from the 12th century.

Days 18 & 19: Addis Ababa and Lalibela, Ethiopia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Daily)

Accommodation: Sheraton Addis

Ethiopia is home to diverse religions, distinct tribal cultures, evidence of some of the earliest humans, and an array of archaeological treasures. In the capital city of Addis Ababa, pay a visit to the National Museum of Ethiopia. Then travel by local air to the northern town of Lalibela, an important pilgrimage center of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church—one of the oldest Christian sects in the world. At this fascinating World Heritage site, stroll among 11 breathtaking subterranean churches that were carved out of bedrock in the 13th century.

Days 20, 21, & 22: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Daily)

Accommodation: King David Hotel, Jerusalem

Fly by private jet to Tel Aviv and continue overland to Jerusalem, a city that holds a rich spiritual meaning to many faiths. We will visit a number of holy sites in the Old City and learn about their significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Face the Western Wall, one of the most sacred of Jewish sites, and touch its ancient stones; and wander through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which, according to tradition, houses the tomb of Jesus.

Days 23 & 24: London, England/U.S.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Day 23); Breakfast (Day 24)

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

Return by private jet to London and celebrate our adventure with a farewell dinner. The next day, transfer to the airport for your commercial flight home.

Availability

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Price From $ 67,950
Price Per Day: $ 2,831 per day
Check Availability
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 8,250

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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

7 National Geographic Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

86%
4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 5
Great 0
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 0
Value
4.1
Guide
4.3
Activities
5.0
Lodging
4.4
Transportation
4.4
Meals
4.4

The Human Journey: Tracing Legendary Peoples & Sacred Places

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Company Reviews

perfect trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Wow I do not miss ng have loved it my while life and I am 70 my perfect trip would be yellowstone

Great sites, poorly managed

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide2.0
Activities5.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation1.0
Meals2.0
I grew up with National Geographic so when I signed up for a NG trip I was quite excited. I spent a lot of time on a crowded bus. Some of the accommodations were two star, peeling paint, smelly rooms, poorly catered. This was an expensive trip all my girl friend and we spent 17,000 dollars for the two of us. Some of the guides were actually wrong about what they were saying about the history of Sicily, and you did not have to be an expert to realize this. There were a number of representations that tour operators made that turned out to be less than accurate. The tour group one night was having dinner in Sorento, and I asked about the wine they were serving, that is the grape and vintage, the only explanation I got was "its red". In another circumstance, the tour operator lost guests at Pompeii, and then threatened to leave them. It was a mess. I could go on, but I would cross this trip off the list.
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Aamazing experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We just returned from an amazing experience exploring the Galapagos Islands then following up with another awesome week in Peru -- highlighted by touring the ruins of Machu Picchu. The naturalists, local guides and expedition leaders were outstanding! We'll be talking about this trip for years. This was our first experience with National Geographic Expeditions and loved it so much we've already made reservations for our next trip!
Read more

Fantastic!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Fantastic! This is by far the best way to see the world most unique places!

great sights. Great local guides. Impatient unpleasant photographer leader

3.0
Details
Value3.0
Guide3.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
The local guide went above and beyond. The sights were amazing. The accommodations and meals much better than expected. Lots of driving but in good cars with good drivers. The trip is advertised as being for all levels of photographers but you need to check carefully if this is true for each particular photographer. This trip for me was spoilt by attitude and behavior of photographer and being told by the photographer that if I did not know what I was doing he could not help me. I have reasonable photography experience and I thought these trip were to help all levels learn. Photographer spent most of his time with the most experienced photographers and was dismissive of those less experienced .
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Wonderful and inspirational

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Love this site! Full of wonderful and inspirational information -look like trips of a lifetime!

Details

Flights & Transport

Internal airfare and ground transport

Accomodations

Our specially outfitted Boeing 757 is ideally suited for this extraordinary expedition. Its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports afford us unmatched flexibility. We set our own schedules, flying direct and avoiding layovers, which allows us the freedom to make the most of our adventures on land. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet's interior has been customized and refitted to accommodate just 76 passengers in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating.

Guides

A world-class team of experts will accompany this expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life. The expert featured below will be part of the expedition team on this trip.


Spencer Wells
Geneticist, anthropologist, and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Spencer Wells has analyzed the DNA of thousands of people living in isolated tribes around the world. He leads the landmark Genographic Project, a multi-year endeavor to chart the journey of our early ancestors as they populated the planet. Spencer earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral work at Stanford and Oxford. He is the author of three books, The Journey of Man, Deep Ancestry, and Pandora’s Seed. His fieldwork has taken him to more than 80 countries, where he has worked with everyone from heads of government to tribal chieftains in places as remote as Chad, Tajikistan, and Papua New Guinea.


Spencer will join the following departure:
May 12 - Jun 04, 2016

Trip ID#:

thehumnat

Trip Excludes

  • Commercial airfare from your home city to London, England, and from London, England, to your home city
  • Optional and additional accident/baggage/cancellation insurance
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, and fax fees
  • All beverages not mentioned above as included
  • Hotel minibar charges
  • Meals not scheduled by the Tour Operator
  • And inoculation and medication costs of any kind
  • Any tips or gratuities not specifically mentioned as included in the total expedition price will be at your discretion


Meals Included:

21 Breakfasts, 21 Lunches and 21 Dinners

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