Intrepid debuts women's expedition in Pakistan
Five Years After the Launch of its Renowned Women’s Expedition Trip Range, Intrepid Continues to Bring Female-Only Tours that Help Empower Women to New Destinations.
Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest B-Corp-certified travel company, is introducing brand new women’s trips and experiences for 2023, including its first ever Women’s Expedition in Pakistan.
Intrepid’s Women’s Expeditions, which first launched in 2018, are a collection of tours led entirely by female leaders that aim to break down barriers for female travelers, debunk misconceptions about gender norms and celebrate the similarities and differences of women around the globe.
Highlighting the new Women’s Expeditions for 2023 is the 12-Day Pakistan Women’s Expedition (from $4,235 USD), which will have its first-ever departure on September 17, 2023, from Lahore, Pakistan. This itinerary connects travelers with local women in engaging settings typically off-limits to mixed-gender groups. Travelers will have the unique opportunity of experiencing one of the countries few female-only salons in the ancient town of Gulmit, which provides women with hijabs a safe and respectful place to get their haircut. They will also discover Pakistan’s underestimated natural beauty, with the country holding the second highest record of mountains over 8000 meters, just after Nepal. They will join a local female leader on a journey through the Hunza Valley, discovering the communities and landscapes of the Hallowed Karakorum and Hindu Kush mountains.
Intrepid Pakistani Tour Leader Aneeqa Ali, who has helped lead the development of this tour, has witnessed the global misrepresentation of Pakistan and the lack of female inclusion in her home country’s tourism efforts. “Even the most adventurous travelers who have been all over the world don’t know much about Pakistan. When travelers want to visit, women in particular want a female tour guide because of the news they’ve heard about Pakistan, but if you look at Pakistan’s tourism industry, it’s like a world of men,” said Ali. “I’ve faced these challenges firsthand and thought ‘Why not be the change you want to see in the world?’” she added.
Aneeqa is the founder of The Mad Hatters, a female-led travel company focused on empowerment, engagement and connection. Intrepid has partnered with Aneeqa to help provide more opportunities for female tour leaders in Pakistan. Through this Intrepid expedition, Aneeqa hopes more women in the world will come to discover Pakistan’s beauty and rich culture while supporting local female-owned businesses.
Alongside the Pakistan Expedition, Intrepid is also debuting a Nepal Women’s Expedition, which will run for the first time this year. The Intrepid Women’s Expeditions range will feature six trips in 2023, each one carefully designed to support employment opportunities for women while expanding the possibilities of female travel.
Other highlights of the full range Include:
Nepal Women’s Expedition (NEW): (13-Days, from $1,840 USD)
Intrepid travelers will enjoy a five-day hike in the breathtaking Annapurna Mountain range, accompanied by an all-female crew of guides and porters. Travelers will learn about the challenges of local Buddhist nuns in an all-female monastery contradicting custom patriarchal traditions and meet an NGO working to abolish the practice of Chhaupadi, the illegal but socially common tradition of banning women from homes, schools and temples during their menstrual cycle. They will also enjoy traditional Nepalese dishes at a MoMo cooking class with Ms. Dolma and experience a homestay in Madi Valley where local women are working to alleviate the impact of human activity on surrounding wildlife and nature.
Morocco Women’s Expedition: (8- Days, from $1,285 USD)
Travellers will make their way through the ancient medina of Marrakech, getting lost in the labyrinth of pathways, shops and riads, before enjoying a home-cooked meal with Zineb, a local Marrakech woman and chef. Travelers will also be welcomed with open arms into the homes of Amazigh families for a traditional Moroccan feast, see how an artist co-op is empowering female rug-weavers in small villages, take in the verdant beauty of the far-flung M’goun Valley, and enjoy the singing and dancing of Moroccan women in small village ceremonies.
India Women’s Expedition: (12-Days, from $1,585 USD)
In India, Intrepid groups will travel by public transport in the female-only carriage of the Delhi Metro and explore the colorful bazaars and architectural delights of Old Delhi. They will head out into the remote dunes of the Thar Desert to spend a night under the stars with traditional food and dance performances by the local women – while the men go off and cook dinner. They will also take a city tour on board the eye-catching pink rickshaws of Pink City Rickshaw Co, a non-profit that supports female livelihood in India.
Jordan Women’s Expedition: (8-Days, from $2,011 USD)
On Intrepid’s eight-day Jordan Women’s Expedition, travelers have the unique opportunity of developing a deeper understanding of Middle Eastern women, learning the art and significance of henna to Bedouin women, celebrating sisterhood at a female-run cooking school dedicated to tradition, floating the dead-sea at a female-only beach, and enjoying tea and chit chat with a renowned female matchmaker to learn about the customs of marriage and relationships in Jordan.
Iran Women’s Expedition: (12-Days, from $3,080 USD)
In Iran, Intrepid travelers will have the freedom to connect with strong Iranian women of all ages and backgrounds, discovering the fascinating culture of the region and the remains of the ancient capital through a new lens. Groups will see the inside of a beauty salon, an oasis for many local women, and enjoy a picnic in a female-only park, one of the few places where women can enjoy the sunshine without a hijab. Travelers will also immerse themselves in nomadic life, tasting traditional meals, learning songs, exploring the local dress and baking fresh breads. (Note: All Intrepid departures in Iran are scheduled to resume on 19 August 2023. Updates are available on the Intrepid Travel Alerts page)
Photos can be downloaded here with credit to Intrepid Travel.