About Wild Frontiers
Challenging perceptions, inspiring connections
Wild Frontiers is an award-winning adventure travel company, founded in 1998 by travel writer Jonny Bealby. We specialise in stylish and original small group tours and tailor-made holidays worldwide.
We are firm believers that travelling is all about the experience and it’s in the details – the places you stay, the transport and route that gets you there, and the people you meet along the way – that make the trip; we therefore specialise in drawing on our own extensive local knowledge and array of contacts to give our clients the very best experience possible.
Why Wild Frontiers
In 1996 travel writer Jonny Bealby set out across India and the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province to follow in the footsteps of his two heroes from English literature, Peachy Carnehan and Daniel Dravot, from Kipling's classic tale, The Man Who Would Be King.
Travelling on foot, on an often gruelling and dangerous journey, he became captivated by a land of harsh natural beauty, political intrigues and a diverse and fascinating population.
And when he finally emerged from Afghanistan back into Pakistan and the valleys of the Kalash – the last of the pagan tribes to inhabit the Hindu Kush – he was so taken with these warm and welcoming people that he put down his bags and stayed for three months.
Our office is manned by experienced tour leaders and travel consultants and every trip we run stems from their first-hand knowledge. In short, we run the kind of holidays that we, as passionate travellers, like to do ourselves. When you ring our office, you will be guaranteed to chat to someone who knows the region and the terrain and is able to offer sound and practical advice.
When creating bespoke, tailor-made itineraries our specialist travel consultants will take you though each step of the process, advising you on everything from the most interesting accommodation to advice on tipping.
Our unique, original itineraries – whether they are for small group travel or individually created for our tailor-made clients – allow you to take journeys that venture beneath the surface of the region.
Unlike the plethora of ‘world specialists’ who purport to know a hundred destinations, we concentrate on the locations we know and love. We don’t source our itineraries from other agents, nor do we run the same tour over and over (thus creating a ‘tourist circuit’, spoiling an untouched region).
Instead, we rarely run any group tour more than a couple of times a year and they are on routes we have discovered for ourselves, meaning we are able to give a truly authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience.
Our style of travel is all about exploration and nothing excites us more than opening up new routes to genuine travellers. We keep abreast of new destinations and are often the first to return to places that have vanished from the tourist map.
We were the first back into Pakistan after 9/11, the first to return to Kashmir after a decade of tourist isolation, and amongst the first to run a commercial travel trip to Afghanistan for almost 30 years.
Since then we have helped bring Iran, Colombia and Georgia back into the tourist fold, specialising in groundbreaking reconnaissance trips and imaginative expeditions.
On our escorted tours, we believe it is imperative to keep the group sizes small. While our average group size is 9 and most of our trips have a maximum group size of 12. Thus giving you more access to fragile cultures, better opportunities to interact with local people and the knowledge you are making less of an impact whilst there. Please refer to individual itineraries for details.
“Having been a bit apprehensive about joining a group as a single traveller, I found myself surrounded by interesting, friendly, helpful people who I hope to catch up with again on future trips.” Angela Chick, Kashmir Group Tour
We believe in an honest, upfront pricing structure so you know exactly what the tour will cost before you book. On our group tours we avoid local payments, ‘optional extras’ or forcing our clients to go through the annoying procedure of splitting every meal bill.
Our tours are provided on a predominantly full board basis, with drinking water, government permits, entrance fees and transport all included.
We also realise to be a successful small travel organiser it’s imperative we deliver the best experience we can through whatever facilities are available to us.
- Accommodation: On all of our holidays we aim to provide you with the best accommodation available. By "best" we do not necessarily mean most expensive but notably interesting, characterful and convenient; this might mean spending a night on a yak fur rug in a nomad’s yurt or in a four poster bed in a royal palace.
- Transport: Your transport is also an important part of your holiday experience and we offer a wide variety of transport options depending on the destination. As such you might find yourself in open-topped jeeps in Pakistan, a converted Soviet army truck in Kyrgyzstan, a toy train in India or on a camel in the Sahara.
- Service: On our tailor-made tours we aim to provide a service value that is hard to match. As an example, on arrival in India we now provide our clients with a local mobile phone pre-programmed with all the numbers you might need; if asked we will also provide a prepaid wifi dongle so you can remain permanently connected. With our personal knowledge of the properties we use we are often able to secure the best rooms and organise special events unique to us.
Awarded the prestigious 5-star Responsible Travel status by AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators), responsible tourism has always been an integral part of our company ethos and our adventures are designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind.
In 2012 we were voted by the Guardian/Observer newspaper as the Best Ethical Travel Company.
In 2009, in order to further our philanthropic work, we launched the Wild Frontiers Foundation, a charitable arm of the company through which we provide funds and backing for projects in the countries to which we travel. Focusing primarily on education - but also helping out with disaster relief - we have so far contributed over £100,000 ($150,000) to both our own projects, such as the school we built in Pakistan, and other charitable organisations doing great work.
MEET THE TEAM
Our experts have a wealth of experience at arranging holidays of a lifetime. Members of our team feature on the Wendy Perrin list of trusted travel experts, The Travel & Leisure A List and Conde Nast Traveller's Top Travel Specialists list
Meet Our Tour Leaders
Wild Frontiers has been recognised as one of the leading adventure tour companies in awards from publications including Wanderlust and The Guardian.
Our authentic, cutting-edge itineraries have won awards from National Geographic Traveler and our guides have regularly been voted amongst the world's best, with Mark Steadman winning World Guide of the Year in 2015. We are proud to have consistently been voted one of the ‘Top 10 Tour Operators’ by Wanderlust readers in 8 out of the last 10 years.