Just before International Women’s Day in 2018, Intrepid Travel launched a new range of Women’s Only Expeditions.
While we firmly believe travel should be accessible to everyone, in some cultures and destinations there are experiences that are not open to a regular, mixed-gender tour group.
We feel privileged that we’ve had the opportunity to share in the customs, challenges and lives of women in Jordan, Morocco and Iran with female travellers from around the world over the past year. And after the success of the first few expeditions, we realised that there were even more opportunities to immerse female travellers in local experiences. That’s why we’ve introduced a new batch of Women’s Expeditions in Nepal, Turkey, India and Kenya.
We’re lifting the veil and really getting to know the locals – from female entrepreneurs, artists, chefs, animal rights activists, domestic violence survivors, refugees and even mountaineers – to find out what their lives are really like.
Here’s what you can expect if you join us:
Meet a range of amazing women – from wildlife conservationists to mountaineers – in Nepal
Through a mix of festival celebrations, cultural experiences and time spent in nature, this expedition through Nepal will give you the chance to meet a range of amazing Nepalese women and appreciate the diversity of life in this part of the world. It wouldn’t be a trip to Nepal without an encounter with the iconic Himalayan mountains, which is why you’ll be heading off on a trek through the lush forests and traditional villages to see some pretty jaw-dropping views – led by an all-female mountaineering crew.
Meet a wide range of female trailblazers, from chefs at a social enterprise to women campaigning to abolish Chhaupadi, the illegal but socially common practice of forbidding women from entering their homes, kitchens, schools, and temples during their menstrual cycles, as they are thought to be rendered temporarily impure.
You’ll also have the chance to hear a range of inspiring personal stories and spend some time reconnecting with nature at a female-run village homestay on the fringes of Chitwan National Park, which is helping to conserve wildlife in the area.
Explore Turkey with some incredible local women, from a skipper to a fortune teller
Turkey can be seen as quite a contradictory destination. On the one hand, you have traditional spice bazaars and ornately adorned mosques and on the other, high speed, cross-country trains and bustling cosmopolitan cities. On this women’s only expedition, you’ll discover both the traditional and modern wonders of Turkey through the lives of the women who live here.
At a local home, you’ll learn to make the perfect cup of Turkish coffee and how to read your fortune in the coffee grounds – a traditional female art form – then spend the evening in a Cappadocian cave where a local woman will cook you a Turkish dinner and give you a glimpse of what her life is really like.
You’ll also have the chance to take part in ‘Gold Day’ in Eskisehir, a social event that’s strictly for women, and where all the secret women’s business happens in Turkey.
Be inspired by the women of India who are breaking cultural stereotypes
From travelling by public transport in the female-only carriage of the Delhi Metro to exploring colourful bazaars and architectural delights of Old Delhi, this women’s only journey through India will make this sometimes-challenging destination a breeze, thanks to your incredible female local leader.
Head out into the remote dunes of the Thar Desert and spend a night under the stars with traditional food and dance performances by the local women – while the men go off and cook dinner.
You’ll also meet the survivors of acid attacks at Sheroes Hangout, a social enterprise and café in Agra, and hear how they are breaking stereotypes and facing the world in the most beautiful ways after being ostracised from their communities.
Take a trip through Kenya with East Africa’s first female overland truck driver
Make your way through the heart of East Africa with Becky behind the wheel, the very first female overland truck driver in all of East Africa. Along with her and the rest of your all-female crew, you’ll meet local Kenyan women and men from all walks of life, who will share their stories and triumphs in the struggle for gender equality.
Visit women’s-only villages like Umoja Village, a unique Manyatta founded in 1990 as a sanctuary for survivors of genital mutilation, sexual assault, and forced marriages, then join a chapati cooking class in Mwariki Village, a women-based community project dedicated to empowering less privileged women and children.
Safaris in the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru and Samburu National Reserve are not only opportunities to see some of Kenya’s most incredible wildlife, but also to meet some of Kenya’s female wildlife rangers and understand the challenges they face in a male-dominated industry.
We would love to open up these real-life experiences to all of our travellers, however, in order to operate in a socially responsible and culturally sensitive manner, this is simply not possible. But if you’re interested in visiting any of these incredible parts of the world and a women’s only trip isn’t for you, we have a number of regular or themed trips in these destinations too. So, be sure to check them out.
Want to head off on the trip-of-a-lifetime that will help break down barriers and offer you a deeper understanding of female culture? View our full range of Women’s Expeditions.
Hero image by April Love Creative.