Janets Group Trips

Below is the itinerary for a 8/9 day trip to Namibia.

DATES: June 18th – June 26th

Day 1 Windhoek, Chameleon Backpackers

On arrival at Windhoek International Airport, you will be collected and transferred into Windhoek. Overnight tonight is in a twin room with en-suite bathroom at Chameleon Backpackers. Time permitting, there will be an afternoon township tour. Our guide will be happy to recommend a good restaurant for dinner (own expense).

Accommodation: Chameleon Backpackers
Meals: 0
Included Activities: Airport pick up, City & Township Tour 

Chameleon Backpackers

Day 2 Halali Camp, Etosha National Park

An early start today, as you meet your guide (7h30) and hit the road by 8h00, heading north to Etosha National Park. We stop briefly at Otjiwarongo to gather some last-minute supplies before continuing on to Etosha.

We enjoy an afternoon game drive in the park visiting waterholes looking for predators as well as zebra, giraffe, elephant, rhino and many different species of antelope arriving back at the lodge just before sunset. A visit to the flood lit waterhole is highly recommended. Dinner tonight is served in the restaurant. 

Accommodation: Halali Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Included Activities: Guided game drives in Chameleon vehicle

Day 3 Etosha Village, Etosha National Park

We start our first game drive at sunrise to catch the predators while they are still active, visiting many waterholes. Our second game drive mid-morning takes us to the impressive Etosha Pan “great white place” where we can get out of the vehicle and experience this 4500 sq km “saline desert” before continuing our game drive to look for the Big 4. We arrive back at Halali where our guide will prepare a delicious lunch whilst we have a dip in the pool or relax by the camp waterhole.

After lunch we begin our final game drive across the park towards Okaukuejo calling into some well-known waterholes and leave the park prior to sunset. Accommodation tonight is just outside the park in a comfortable spacious twin share rooms with a modern en-suite bathroom facilities, creating an ideal space to sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. 

Accommodation: Etosha Village

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Included Activities: Guided game drives in Chameleon vehicle

Day 4 Spitzkoppe Campsite, Spitzkoppe

Another early start today, and after breakfast we continue our journey. We travel south along the C35, and today we have the chance to meet some of Namibia’s more unique tribes people including the Himba, Damara and Herero that have chosen to live in this area.

They are all entrepreneurs and have set up small markets along the way in order to provide for their families. This is an ideal place to practice your bargaining skills and purchase some authentic souvenirs from those who make them. Our next official stop is Spitzkoppe Camp. After check in and setting up our camp for the night, we have time to explore the area on foot, before selecting the best location for night time photography should we wish to capture the night sky.

Accommodation: Spitzkoppe Campsite

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Optional Activities: Guided Bushmen’s Paradise tour

Day 5 Hotel A La Mer, Swakopmund

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and departure from our lodge is around 09h00. We head west towards Swakopmund, and explore the remains of a small shipwreck before arriving in Swakopmund just before lunch, which gives you time to explore this quaint seaside town on foot and enjoy a lovely lunch in one of the many cafes or join one of the many optional activities. Our guide will be happy to recommend a good restaurant for dinner (own expense). 

Accommodation: 1x Twin room @ Hotel A La Mer

Meals: Breakfast

Included Activities: Walking tour

Day 6 Desert Camp, Namib Desert 

A leisurely breakfast and the option to join one of the many optional activities available here such as: quad biking, sand boarding, scenic flight over the shipwrecks just to name a few. You will be picked up from your guesthouse/hotel in Swakopmund from 11:15, as we aim to depart Swakopmund by 12noon.

We then drive through the Namib Desert via the Kuiseb Pass and Solitaire, arriving at our camp late afternoon and we have a chance to relax and enjoy the views before taking a short walk for sunset looking over the Naukluft mountain range. Overnight in twin rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. Pool and bar available. Dinner is prepared by our guide.

Accommodation: Desert Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Included Activities: ATV ride, Sandboarding

Day 7 Desert Camp, Namib Desert 

We depart at dawn from camp to arrive at the park gate for sunrise. We drive down an ancient river bed surrounded by towering dunes to the 2×4 parking (around 55kms) and take a 4×4 shuttle into the Sossusvlei area to appreciate the beauty of this place in early morning light and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the region.

We explore this unique area on foot before heading into Dead Vlei with its large expanse of bleached cracked clay and skeletal camel thorn trees, contrasting with a backdrop of huge dunes with their ever-changing colours before taking the 4×4 shuttle back to our vehicle. As we drive back to our accommodation we will stop at the famous Dune 45 and climb this dune if we wish or just wander around the base.

We return to Sesriem and visit the nearby Sesriem Canyon, one of the few permanent water sources before arriving back at our lodge late afternoon to watch the sunset over this spectacular desert. Dinner is prepared by our guide.

Accommodation: Desert Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included Activities: Desert hike, 4×4 jeep tour

 

Day 8 Voigtland Giraffe Manor, Windhoek 

Enjoy an early morning breakfast before heading to Solitaire, to buy some of the world’s best apple pie before returning to Windhoek. We return to Windhoek via Bullsport and Rehoboth. We arrive mid-afternoon and will be dropped at our VERY unique accommodation, where you can enjoy afternoon tea with giraffes on the deck.

Tonight’s dinner is at Voigtland Guesthouse.

 

Day 9 Flight out, Airport drop off

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast depending on your flight departure before heading out to the airport.  

Accommodation:

Meals: Breakfast

Included Activities: Airport drop off

Includes:

*Transport in a 4×4 overland safari vehicle, with air-conditioning & pop-up roof – 7 days

*Services of an English speaking guide as above – 7 days 

*All fuel & on road running costs for vehicle as per route above 

*Client accommodation 

*Guide accommodation

*Client meals as indicated 

*Guide meals, snacks and drinks

*National park entry fees for foreign adults + guide + vehicle

– 2 days Etosha, 1 day Sossusvlei, 

*Activities as per itinerary 

Excludes:

*Optional activities

*Items of a personal nature

*Water

*Flights

*PCR tests IF needed

*Travel Insurance

*Tips & gratuity 

PRICE: €2,200

Want to join? Email me, letting me know briefly WHY you want to come, and then I’ll let you know if a spot if yours or not. Once I email you back and confirm, you can pay the €660 deposit to secure your spot. This is 30% and is required by the safari company to book the vehicle in advance.

**Deposit is non-refundable unless you (or I) can get a replacement person for your spot. Refund, in this case, will be subject to any extra bank charges needed to transfer money back to you. This is only valid between now and April 12th. After April 12th, any money paid can not be refunded unless extreme extenuating circumstances.

The full amount will be due around 6 weeks before trip departure and this will be non-refundable. 

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Below is the itinerary for a 10/11 day trip to Iraq.

The tour dates:

November 11th – 21st – 1 SPOT LEFT

March 30th – April 9th – SOLD OUT

April 13th – 23rd – SOLD OUT

There will only be between 10 – 12 spots open on each.

The first people to email me and confirm that they’re coming, get the spots. Here’s the itinerary…

Baghdad – Nasiriya & Mosul – Erbil.

Day 1

Transfer from the airport to the hotel, welcoming from the team and check-in.

A tour of Baghdad landmarks can be arranged if arriving time before sunset. This will include statues from the Arabian Night & Monuments.

Traditional dinner of your choice.

Overnight: Baghdad / night 1.

Making friends in Baghdad

Day 2

7 AM Start the day with “Qaimar Arab” breakfast near Tahrir Square – the eastern gate of Baghdad with the monument of freedom.

Visit Old Baghdad – various local markets such as copper market “Al Safafeer”, antique market “Khan Al Mudalal”, Souq Al Sarai, Souq Al Sarajeen, and Books market “Al Mutanabbi street”.

Visit heritage sites such as Madrasa Mustansiriya School, Clock of Qishla, and the Abbasid Palace.

This tour will be followed by a boat tour at the Tigris and a photo next to the Mutanabbi statue and include lunch at one of the famous restaurants along Hayder Khana street, we can also grab a treat from both Al Shahbender cafe and Haj Zbala Juice shop.

1 PM Heading to Aqriquf.

Visiting the Ziggurat of Dur-Kurigalzu which is the most notable landmark on the site and other temples dedicated to Sumerian gods and a royal palace. The Ziggurat was unusually well-preserved, standing to a height of about 52 meters. (This we can make it on the arrival day but all depends on the exact arriving time).

4 PM Heading to Salman Pak

Visiting Taq Kasra (the Arch of Ctesiphon) which is considered a landmark in the history of architecture and the largest single-span vault of unreinforced brickwork in the world. Served as a royal capital of the Parthian and Sasanian. Baghdadi grills for dinner or any of your choice.

Overnight: Baghdad / night 2.

Day 3

7 AM After breakfast, we will head to Babylon, named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2019. The drive will take about 1 ½ hour. You will visit the historical city, rebuilt Ishtar Gate, procession street, the foundations of the real Ishtar Gate, Babylonian temples, the lion of Babylon, the maze, southern & northern palaces, the place where Alexander the Great passed away. We then will drive up the hill to see one of the governmental palaces that was built during the 1980s and has a very beautiful view.

After lunch, we will head to Birs Nimrud, visiting The Ziggurat of Borsippa known as the “Tongue Tower”. This was an important ancient city of Sumer and has a religious edifice in honor of the god Nabu.

We will then drive to Karbala and check into the hotel. At night, we will visit the shrines with golden domes of Imams Hussain and Abbas, the sons of Ali Bin Abi Talib and shrine museums.

Overnight: Karbala / night 3.

Day 4

7 AM After breakfast, we will head to the city of Al-Kifl to visit the tomb of prophet Ezekiel. This site is special due to its shared history and importance for both Muslim and Jewish devotees.

After, we will drive to Kufa visiting Masjid Al Kufa then continue on to Najaf visiting the golden dome of the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib.

After lunch, we will head 3 hours south to Nasiriya to visit the grounds of The Great Ziggurat of Ur, a UNESCO world heritage site since 2016 and the former capital of Mesopotamia during the Sumerian time. The site includes Abraham House, Sholgi Palace, and the oldest arch of its kind at the entrance of Dub-Lal-Makh Temple.

Overnight: Nasiriyah / night 4.

Day 5

4 AM We will drive to Chibayesh and have a marshland experience.

Start with a local breakfast in the mud house and then it is followed by a sightseeing tour in numerous floating villages – the Gardens of Eden (birds, fishes, buffalos, reed, plants, and meeting the people of Ahwar). It is one of the largest ecosystems in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site since 2016. After the tour will be a meal of a special kind of fish in Iraq which lives only in the marshlands. You will have the tea from the reed house – Al Mudheef.

Stories from local people “Al Maadan” who have adapted to life on the water over the centuries.

Tour in the local market of Chibayesh and then drive back to Baghdad and check-in for one night.

Before sunset, a tour in Modern Baghdad will include Mansour and Karada areas, visiting some spots that locals visit daily and having a last delicious dinner in Baghdad.

Overnight: Baghdad / night 5.

Day 6

7 AM Heading to Samara’a visiting the beautiful Abbasid Caliphate architecture and artistic relics, twisted minarets, and lake palace, the great mosque of Samarra. The shrines of two Imams. This historical city has been on UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2007.

After lunch heading to Hatra, an important historic religious center with its strategic position along caravan trade routes. Hatra was one of the first Arab states to be established outside of Arabia. (Sometimes closed).

Overnight: Mosul / night 6.

Day 7

Start the day with a local breakfast of local Moslawies bakery (Manaqeesh) and start discovering the reconstruction of the old city, especially the Al-Nuri mosque and Al Tahira church, by reviving Mosul initiative’s spirit UNESCO. Also visiting Bash Tapia castle.

Having lunch “Kubba of Mosul” which is the most delicious meal made by locals.

After that, we head to Bakhdida or Qaraqosh to visit Church Square, the place where the Pope prayed for Iraq during his historic visit to Iraq in March 2021.

Head to continue your trip in Dohuk and the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

In the afternoon, we head to Dohuk and we stop at one of the world’s oldest monasteries. Alqosh is built into the mountains. And then, Lalish – the most sacred town for the Yazidi religion. We’ll tour the temple, meet the locals on pilgrimage here and learn about their recent dark history with ISIS.

In Duhok, we will explore the city in a tour around the bazaar.

Overnight: Duhok / night 7.

Day 8

In the morning, we head straight to Amadiya. In the way, we will stop at Duhok dam. Also we will walk to the famous Shamarda cave before stopping at a restaurant for lunch. Following lunch, we embark on one of our longer journeys: the four-hour drive to Rawanduz.

Walking tour of Rawanduz and our resort in Korek Mountain before heading for dinner and drinks.

Overnight: Rawanduz / night 8.

Day 9

Explore Haj Omran and Felaw lake in Choman. Then we head to Shaqlawa and will stop at two waterfalls, Bekhal and Gali Ali Baik and then continue to Erbil. PHOTOS OF THIS PLACE HERE.

Overnight: Erbil / night 9.

Day 10

On arrival in Erbil or in the morning, we head straight to the Citadel. We then head into the bazaar where our local guide will help you find some last-minute bargains. Farewell dinner in the Christian district Ankawa. They sell BEER! :D

Overnight: Erbil / night 10.

Day 11

End of tour, fly home from Erbil Airport.

Includes:

  • Tour guide, including at least one female member to arrange the access in the holy shrines.
  • Entry tickets.
  • Transportation.
  • Accommodation.
  • All meals.
  • Logistic support and permission access to all mentioned places. 

Does NOT include:

Flights to Iraq, Visa

Hotel list:

  • Taj Hotel in Baghdad. 4* hotel for the same price of 3* for this deal.
  • Damas Hotel in Karbala.
  • Al Zaitoon Hotel in Nasiriyah.
  • Nerkal Touristic Apartments in Mosul.
  • Parwar Hotel or Dilshad hotel in Duhok – 4* hotels.
  • Korek Mountain Resort in Rawanduz.
  • Quaint Hotel in Erbil – Ankawa.

General Information:

Visa

Iraq has a new visa on arrival scheme for citizens of the EU, UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Russia, China, Japan & South Korea. If you are not from one of these countries then we will apply for a visa on your behalf. An invitation letter is issued and you can bring this to your local embassy to apply for the visa.

Covid-19

All tours are open for bookings. A negative PCR test is required. Also a test needs to be done before departure. 

Passport

You will need your passport in all Iraqi checkpoints and hotels. Make sure you have at least six months valid on your passport on your arrival date, an empty page in your passport for the Iraqi visa sticker, otherwise you might have some issues at the border.

Airport

Baghdad International Airport

The Baghdad International Airport is located 16km away from downtown Baghdad. It is the country’s largest air hub, and home base for the national airline (Iraqi Airways). Connections are available to destinations worldwide.

Our transfer has been pre-arranged within the package.

Electricity

230 V, 50 Hz

Money

You’ll find it pretty tough to find any stores that will accept cards. Your best would be bringing all the cash you’ll need for your trip with you beforehand. ATMs are pretty scarce in Iraq, and occasionally the servers will be down so it won’t be possible to withdraw any money.

Bringing USD will not be a problem as it’s also widely accepted and can be exchanged relatively easily.

1$ = 1450 IQD

100 = 145000IQD

Currency information

Iraqi Dinar (IQD; symbol ID). In use notes are in denominations of IQD 25,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 250.

Tips

It is up to you to ask for a hand to help you out. If someone is asking to help you and you don’t need it, just say no thank you!

In case you accepted the help then your tips in hotels or airports shouldn’t be more than 5,000 IQD.

It is always welcomed to tip more if you are happy or liked the service of the person. 

Clothes

It’s always wise to dress respectfully. You shouldn’t stress too much about what to wear, but as a general rule of thumb, especially for women, you should try and cover as much of your shoulders and knees as you can.

Long pants and loose fitting t-shirts. Ideally, skirts should cover your ankles but covering just your knees would be fine too.

In holy shrines, men are not allowed to wear shorts and women should wear scarves and Abaya and our female team will help you wear the suitable dressing for that, don’t worry at all – you all are welcomed to visit.

PRICE: €2,600

Want to join? Email me and tell me you want to join, letting me know whether you want to come in November or April.

Once I email you back and confirm, you can pay the €550 deposit to secure your spot. 

Refunds: Deposit is refundable up until 1 month before the trip, 10% service charge for all refunds. All trip payments including deposits are fully refundable if there are strict covid restrictions enforced.

TURKEY TRIP

Below you can find the itinerary for my small group girls trip to Turkey this Autumn.

DATES:

Wednesday October 6th – Monday October 11th

Day 1:

Arrive in Istanbul

7.30pm: Group dinner + drinks in Istanbul

Day 2:

Explore Istanbul sites (transport card included)

Visit famous “Instagram” rooftops for photos

6.30pm Sunset Cruise on the Bosphorus

 

Day 3:

8.30am: Group breakfast in a special location

12pm:  Transfer to SAW airport and flight to Cappadocia

4pm: Transfer to hotel in Cappadocia 

Day 4:

5am: Sunrise hot air balloon ride

Breakfast included

Explore Goreme on foot 

6.30pm: Sunset at Red Valley

Day 5:

Watch balloons from rooftop terrace

Breakfast included

9am: Full day tour of Cappadocia

Group dinner

Day 6:

10am: Transfer and flight back to Istanbul

Either fly home or extend

What’s included?

2 nights in a mid-range hotel in Istanbul, twin room sharing.

3 nights in a mid-range hotel in Cappadocia, twin room sharing.

Breakfast on all 5 days.

Two group dinners (1 in Istanbul and 1 in Cappadocia)

Sunset cruise in Istanbul

Sunrise hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia

Full day tour in Cappadocia

Transport card for Istanbul

Internal return flights Istanbul to Cappadocia

Hotel / airport transfers

What’s NOT Included

Flights to Turkey (around €275 return with Turkish Airlines)

Travel Insurance

Lunches

Dinner on 3 nights

Gimme the price!

€600 

Deposit: €250 needed by September 10th

Remainder: €350 by September 17th

NOTE: This is a GIRLS ONLY TRIP unless you’re a couple and will be sharing a room. Prices are based on two people sharing! :-) We need 10 people to sign up for this trip to go ahead, and a maximum of 12 as any more and I think it will be too many people!

Covid Travel Restrictions 

As it stands, anyone from the EU can travel to Turkey. If you’re double vaccinated, you can use your EU Covid passport and PCR test is not needed. If you’re OUTSIDE the Eu, please look up restrictions.

As it stands, Turkey has a VERY high rate of vaccination, which is great.

Turkey is NOT on the red list for Ireland.

Payment deadlines 

As the trip is happening so soon, a deposit will be needed by September 10th and full payment by September 17th. 

QUESTIONS??

Email me: [email protected]