Our mission is to take the stress out of planning your upcoming adventure holiday. Put your mind at ease with answers to our most frequently asked questions. Please contact us if you can't find your question answered below.
Choosing your adventure
Am I suited to small group travel?
We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers, many of whom will undoubtedly become lifelong friends.
How many people can join a tour?
We think small is good. Our scheduled group departures cater to no more than 16. We strongly believe that small group travel allows you to forge lifelong friendships with your fellow travellers and even your guides and support crew while enjoying an authentic and well catered experience.
Who will be my travelling companions?
Your travelling companions will be just international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.
I’m a single traveller, will I be charged a single supplement?
Black Diamond Expedition does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we offer single supplements that will guarantee a single room and/or tent for you. Your trip notes will outline the options in relation to single rooms.
How fit do I have to be?
Fitness is an important aspect of our trips, with each itinerary carefully graded for ease of selecting the adventure that best suits you. Detailed information, including suggested pre-trip training, can be found in the trip notes and pre-departure information. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the physical requirements of your trip and speak to our staff if you have any questions.
How safe is it?
Your well-being is our top priority on all trips. While our operations team frequently reviews every aspect of your adventure and the regions visited, we also receive constant updates provided by our local partners and Government Travel warnings and plan our operations accordingly. BDEx is 100% committed to your safety and follow specific protocols, safety analysis and risk assessment. For up-to-date information on travel warnings and advice, view our Travel Advisory page.
What about environmental impact?
We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.
Can I organise my own private group?
If the specified departure dates are not suitable, or if you would like to vary the itinerary, we would be happy to develop a program to suit your travel interests. We regularly organise tailor-made holidays for families, groups of friends, schools and charities. As a general rule, for a quote to match the brochure trip price you will need a minimum of six people in your group. Learn more about planning your own private group departure.
Are tips included in my trip price?
Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.
Where can I get more information?
Detailed information on each of our trips is available for download from this website, and we are able to mail you brochures showcasing the overall portfolio of our destinations. Additionally we hold regular free information nights during which our experts provide first-hand advice and travel tips for our major destinations. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can contact our office and speak to a travel consultant who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
How can I make a booking?
There are three ways to make a booking – online, over the phone or in person. Online bookings are made via the ‘Book Now’ button available on each trip page. Alternatively you can download our booking form and return it to office by email, fax or post. You can also visit our office to book in person. In all cases, once we confirm your booking, we’ll send you comprehensive information regarding visas, vaccinations, gear, clothing and arrival details to ensure you are fully prepared for your adventure.
Why should I book through Black Diamond Expedition?
Booking with Black Diamond Expedition means you have direct access to your reservations consultant, allowing you to call, email to ask any questions that arise during your trip planning. Choosing to book with the government registered office means you are booking through a company you can trust.
Before you depart
Do your tours include international airfares?
Our trips do not include international airfares, however our travel consultants are able to provide you with a detailed airfare quote to get you from point A to point B at competitive prices.
Do I need to book extra accommodation before/after my adventure?
Most of our trips commence or conclude around midday, allowing you to plan to arrive or depart on those days if needed. On some trips you may find it more convenient to arrive or depart a day either side of your tour dates, giving you the opportunity to catch up on jet lag and explore the local scene in your own time. Your travel consultant will be able to assist you with extending your stay with a little bit of notice and vouchers for the joining hotel will be supplied in your final documents.
What do I get once I book?
You will receive a pre-departure kit via email which includes your trip notes, pre-departure information document (PDI) and any other trip specific information. The PDI is full of useful information including cultural considerations, country specific background information such as history, language and geography, more details on our responsible travel initiatives in that region, ideas of things to do in your start/finish city, a recommended gear list, and advice for preparing physically for your adventure should it involve trekking, cycling or altitude.
What should I pack?
Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your adventure.
Can you help arrange my travel visas?
Visa requirements vary based on the destination and passport you are travelling on. Information about visas for the country you are visiting can be found in our pre-departure information supplied upon booking. We provide support to assist you in applying for visas on your own, or for an additional fee, we can apply on your behalf.
Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?
While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.
On your adventure
What is included in my trip?
We know that holiday planning requires time, money and effort. It is our aim to incorporate as many inclusions as possible during your trip to ensure your time is spent effectively and to minimise out of pocket expenses. Our trip pricing includes most meals, national park permits, transfers, entrance fees, equipment, support vehicles and accommodation. These vary by trip, and specific inclusions can be found in our detailed trip notes.
Are there any hidden extras or surcharges?
Incorporating as many inclusions as possible into the trip cost such as most meals, transport and accommodation means you are able to limit your spending once you leave home. Additionally, we do not charge a supplement if you are a single traveller.
What about the food?
Healthy appetites build up when travelling, and activities like trekking and cycling require energy to keep you going throughout the day. Our excellent cooks serve a sensible combination of local and continental dishes, providing you with tasty and varied meals while ensuring high standards of hygiene. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements as we are able to cater for most diets provided we are notified in advance.
What level of comfort can I expect during my adventure?
While the style of accommodation varies by trip, we take pride in providing you with a high level of comfort on all of our adventures. Your accompanying trip leaders and staff will take care of your day to day needs including preparing food, carrying gear and arranging transportation. Our permanent campsites in Nepal’s Everest and Annapurna regions offer a unique style of camping, boasting standing height tents with beds elevated above the ground, showers and comfortable dining areas, all with a pointed focus on environmental conservation. Our cycling trips feature air conditioned support vehicles for those needing a break, while our private transport vehicles keep you comfortable regardless of the transfer duration.
What type of ground transportation is used on your tours?
Like accommodation, the style of transportation varies by destination; however, it is always safe, secure and comfortable. From large safari trucks and private cars to authentic train carriages and air conditioned touring buses, our transportation will easily get you to your next destination in a reliable manner that showcases the local culture – whether it entails taking the scenic route through the countryside or travelling in traditional vehicles. Of course, on many of our adventures you are your own form of transportation, travelling on foot or a bike!
Where do we stay?
The accommodation will vary from trip to trip. When not enjoying our fully supported camping trips, we strive to handpick quality accommodation based on location, reliability and local charm that captures the essence of the destinations. Accommodation is typically on a twin-share basis; however single supplements are available at an additional price. With styles that include luxury hotels, private eco-camps in the Himalaya, featuring environmentally responsible practices, standing room tents and raised beds, and authentic homestays in all corners of the globe that provide a true glimpse into the local life, you can rest assured that you will be comfortable wherever you hang your hat at the end of the day.
How much free time do I get on tour?
Each trip has been carefully crafted to provide an element of free time, allowing you to explore at your own pace and relax after a long day. While some trips have more free time than others, we know that a balance between structured activities and free time is important and strive to provide you with time for both.
Is tipping included?
Tipping is not included, nor is it compulsory. Should you be satisfied with your guides and crew, our pre-departure information outlines recommended tipping guidelines for your destination.