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Your Trip

The Founder's Trek

March 22, 2025 - April 02, 2025

Be part of a spectacular expedition, marking 100 years since the birth of Durrell's founder, Gerald Durrell. Challenge yourself on a fundraising adventure in the North East of India, then head to Assam to see the Durrell legacy and conservation in action, and meet the team bringing the endangered pygmy hog back from the brink of extinction.

Location

India

Terrain

Mountain

Difficulty

Challenging

Accommodation and Meals

Hotel, Wild Camping

Duration

12 days

Meeting Point

Delhi

Annual Leave

10

Group Size

20

Seasons

March-June, September to Mid-November

Walking Distance

60km

Durrell-Logo.svg
This is an incredible adventure to the North East of India.  We love the contrasting elements of this adventure, from trekking at altitude through magnolia forests and across suspension bridges in the shadow of the mighty Kanchenjunga, to witnessing first hand the very special pygmy hog Conservation Programme in Assam.  There you really get under the skin of what the team is doing, witnessing the breeding programme in Guwahati and the release sites in Manas National Park, hard up against the border of Bhutan.  
Sikkim and Assam - North East India Experience
Gaynor

Meet Gaynor, a director of, and one of the co-founders of Tribal Tracks.

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Travelling with Tribal Tracks is a wonderful experience.  They take care of everything and you don't have to worry about anything!

Gordon G

I cannot praise Tribal Tracks highly enough.  I had a wonderful experience and I cannot wait to travel with them again.

Genevieve S

If you want to be challenged, but feel incredibly safe and fully supported, Tribal Tracks is the company for you. I have been on 3 trips with them now, and I cannot wait for my 4th adventure.

George W

Trip Highlights

Experience a unique two phase expedition, involving a spectacular Himalayan trek (Phase 1) and a unique conservation project (Phase 2).

Arrive in bustling Delhi - one of the great cities of the world, before flying to Bagdogra to transfer to the starting point of the trek, staying overnight in a heritage hotel in a hill station on the way.

Trek to one of the best view points in the Himalaya, Dzongri La (4200m), to witness the five summits of the holy mountain, Kanchenjunga, camp under the stars and experience the amazing flora and fauna along the way.

Visit and stay overnight in Darjeeling, the hill station famous for its tea plantations and providing respite from the heat to the British elite in the days of the Raj, before boarding a train to take you Phase 2 of the expedition.

Visit the pygmy hog breeding centre in Guwahati and the release sites in Manas National Park, where you will see this threatened and elusive species as well as the chance to see tigers, elephants, rhinos, wild buffalo, clouded leopards and a wild variety of spectacular wildlife. You will gain exclusive insights into critical conservation work, and the team behind saving the world's smallest pig, once thought to be extinct.

All the info you need

Trip Details

Trip Details

At a Glance

Join fellow supporters for this once in a life time experience, celebrating 100 years since the birth of Gerald Durrell and his remarkable contribution to the natural world. This is a very special two-phase expedition, blending challenging trekking and camping in the shadow of the world's third highest mountain, with a unique behind the scenes insight into Durrell's vital wildlife conservation work.

In Phase 1, after travelling to West Bengal (the founder's birthplace) you will experience a challenging 5-day trek in Sikkim, trekking high up into the amphitheatre of the eastern Himalaya mountains, towards Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. You will then travel by train (a bucket list experience in itself!) to Assam for Phase 2.  Here you will visit Manas National Park and Guwahati joining the conservationists who work tirelessly to breed and protect the adorable pygmy hog, bringing them back from the brink of extinction.

***As this trip has limited places, and over subscription is anticipated, we are asking all potential trekkers to complete an application questionnaire which can be found here.  We ask you to complete this form as soon as possible, and before Friday 14 June 2024.  Applications will then be considered, and all successful applicants will be notified by email by 21st June, with a link to the online booking form.  All booking forms must be completed, and deposits  paid by 1 July 2024 to guarantee your place on the trip.  If you are travelling as a couple or with friends, please let us know where indicated on the form.***

Trip Details

Itinerary

Discover the finer details of this unique expedition

Trip Details

Dates & Prices

From To Nights Price Deposit Places Enquiry
Mar 22, 2025 Apr 02, 2025 11 £2935 £500 Places Available

Trip Details

General Notes

In a nutshell, almost everything!

  • Tribal Tracks UK qualified mountain leader;
  • All accommodation as specified in the itinerary;
  • Supporting in-country guides;
  • Logistical support crew;
  • All transfers by private minibus or bus as per itinerary, internal flights (if applicable);
  • All meals from arrival until departure, soft drinks, tea, coffee and drinking water;
  • Virtual pre-departure briefing;
  • Dedicated pre-departure support from a named Tribal Tracks director.

This is what you will need to buy/source yourself.

  • International flights from the UK (but we can arrange these for you at extra cost, which will be ATOL protected);
  • Personal travel insurance which should be valid and cover all activities in the itinerary;
  • UK international departure tax;
  • Immunisation costs;
  • Personal equipment and clothing on the kit list;
  • Tipping for local guides and drivers;
  • Single supplement (for sole occupancy of accommodation where available);
  • Expenses incurred due to unforeseen circumstances such as flight cancellation and delays;
  • Alcoholic drinks.

Some charity trips will offer two models of payment, self-funded or minimum fundraising. What is the difference?

With self-funded, you pay the cost of the trip yourself (the deposit and the balance) and then on top of this, you fundraise for the charity independently.  This means that 100% of the money you raise goes to the charity.

Minimum fundraising works slightly differently. 

You pay the cost of the deposit yourself. Then, in addition you must pledge to raise a specific sum for the charity, called the Minimum Sponsorship Sum.  This is specified on the booking form and is the sum you must raise after you have paid the deposit yourself. You fundraise for this amount. Then, at least ten weeks before you depart, you must give the charity at least 80% of the Minimum Sponsorship Sum.  At that point, your place on the trip is guaranteed. The balance of 20% follows within a specified time after the conclusion of the trek (usually 4 weeks). 

If you do not reach your fundraising target, you have the option of self-funding to reach your target or forfeiting your deposit and not going on the trip.  Our advice is to begin fundraising as soon as you can and the charity will be able to help you with this!

It is important that you read the itinerary carefully, and take account of the rating we have given it.  

Although our challenges are not technical, they do require a good degree of physical fitness. The conditions will require stamina and strength, which you should recognise and train for. This will be a much better experience if you are fit and prepared. You should feel comfortable walking 6-8 hours per day.

In setting the maximum size of our groups, we take a number of factors into account.

Altitude, degree of difficulty, the terrain, the climate and time of year, all determine the maximum group size.  Sometimes it will be 20, sometimes it will be 8-14, but safety is always our priority.

The minimum number to participate is 2. You will be accompanied by a Tribal Tracks UK Leader, Mountain Leader qualified, as well as supported by our local, in-country guides.

It is a requirement of Tribal Tracks booking terms and conditions that each supporter must hold their own travel insurance which covers the trip and the activities they are doing.

We advise you to put insurance in place as soon as possible. Your insurance must be valid and in date, covering the entire period that you are travelling for, including the return journey home.  It should cover medical and personal accident risks, and should include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services, where appropriate. We are happy to help you if you have any queries about this or have any difficulties. 

Tribal Tracks has 100% Financial Protection and has a trust account with the Protected Trust Service, member number 5566.

This means that all client monies paid to Tribal Tracks are held in our dedicated trust account, which is supervised by an independent trustee. This means that in the very unlikely event that Tribal Tracks ceases to trade, your money is safe. For more information, please visit this link. Any flights booked for you by Tribal Tracks will be ATOL protected under our own ATOL certificate.

Tribal Tracks considers the safety of all of its participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have thorough safety systems in place.

In the event of an injury, we have an evacuation plan in place for all elements of the trek route. We do ask that you look after yourself during the trek in the following way, as this will help avoid unnecessary problems:

  1. Trekking is a major challenge so make sure that you are well hydrated throughout.  You will be provided with plenty of water so please ensure that you fill up your water bottles with at least 2 litres at breakfast and again after lunch.
  2. Don't let a hot spot become a blister! The moment you feel any rubbing, stop and apply some zinc tape.  This will ensure that the tape gets rubbed, not your foot.  If you don't do this, you will get a blister.  While blister plasters are good, it is better not to have a blister in the first place.  Please also tell the Tribal Tracks leader as they are very good with feet and can help you!
  3. Hygiene. It is very important to wash your hands before eating and after going to the bathroom.  If you can't wash your hands, apply lots of anti-bacterial gel.  The 'gold standard' is hand washing, followed by gel.
  4. Communication.  If you are not feeling well, or have any sort of issue, please tell the Tribal Tracks leader.  They are there to help and are very discreet.

We know that the unexpected can happen.

While you are away, things can happen at home and people may need to get in contact with you.  This can be tricky when you are in remote areas.  So, shortly before departure, we provide you with an Emergency Procedure document to distribute to your nearest and dearest.  This sets out how to contact Tribal Tracks and the steps Tribal Tracks will then take to get in contact with you.

It is really important that you are well prepared for your physical challenge and that you are confident that you will be able to fully participate.

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in the trek, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to step out of the trek. Although this is a very rare occurrence, by booking this trip you agree to section 11 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances, we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

At Tribal Tracks, Responsible Travel is enormously important to us, and our commitment to responsible travel is evidenced in every itinerary that we prepare.

Core to our business is the belief that holidays can and should be enjoyable to the traveller but should be conducted in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible manner which brings benefit to local communities. This is implemented through a variety of measures which can be found in our Responsible Travel policy - http://www.tribaltracks.co.uk/responsible-travel-policy. We encourage you to read this and to play your own part in travelling responsibly.

Ground only trips

If your trip is based on a ground only price you will need to arrange your own international flights. You can booked flights 11 months prior to departure. If you would like Tribal Tracks to book your flights they will need to be paid in full when confirmed.

Trip Details

Optional Extras

If you want to extend your stay, just ask and we can help you plan an exciting Indian odyssey.


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Speak to Charlie or Gaynor - Tribal Tracks

Speak to Charlie or Gaynor

Let’s get you on the right track!

Call Charlie or Gaynor

01242 895272