Our Responsible Travel Policy
We ares an independent fully licensed, Uzbekistan based tour operator. Our aim is to offer guided, small group adventures for those who wish to discover the real Central Asia, away from traditional ‘package groups’ trails. You are more likely to stay in family run guesthouse and hotels, eat at local restaurants and use local transport with us if you chose Responsible Tour package. You will have local tour-leader, drivers and guides that would enable you to feel the destination as a guest rather than a tourist. Our associates in neighbouring Central Asian countries are our friends rather than ‘business contacts’.
We aim to do our tours through positive engagement, participation and education of our staff, suppliers and travellers.
Silk/Sogda Tours aim to spread the financial benefits of our operations amongst local communities so they may directly benefit as much as possible from tourism.
Our unique Responsible Tourism wing has been creating itineraries in collaboration with local people and businesses. We can give q quick run-down of some programmes below.
The fortress saw the invasion of the Arabs and Genghis-khan. It defended Khwarezmian Empire from the raids of nomadic tribes of the North. It has centuries old history. Today you can witness the ruins of the fortress. In this region there have not been any archeological excavations so far.
Kalajik Kala was first mentioned in Arab and Persian sources of 9th and 12th centuries. It is located 25 km from Hazorasp or 40 km from Khiva on the bank of Amu Darya River.
There is a lake with salty water by the camp. The Shur Kul Lake has beneficial minerals for swimmers. One can use the sandy patch in the courtyard of the hotel for sunbathing.
The campsite offers unique amenities for a comfortable leisure.
Small hotel has four twin rooms. There are four yurts each with two beds. All rooms and yurts have their own bathroom and WC. There are two widescreen TVs for clients.
Camp organizes unique day tours for travelers to revive the past history in front of their eyes. Live folklore shows, bread baking classes, bird watching and photography walking tours are part of the daily excursions.
The camp has trained and well qualified site chef who prepares exclusively chosen cuisines freshly for visitor everyday.
Stay in Hayat Village House
We proudly encourage visitors to spend a day or two in village guesthouses of the region. Discover the spectacular Nuratau Mountains with its authentic villages and the friendliest people. Stay in a rustic mountain homestay, relax, and ease your tension on a tapchan under the walnut tree after your intense cultural Silk Road program.
It is located centrally between Samarkand and Bukhara among the mountain ranges of Nuratau. It is about 30 km from Lake Aydar Kul (or 251 km from Samarkand). The village is rounded by high mountain hills of around 1600 m above sea level. Nazrullah – a biologist and zoologist graduate is the son of the Nuratau State National Reservation Park caretaker. He has taken after his father and has collected vast volume of information about rare birds, mammals, plants and nature of the area. He would like to share it with you.
Hayat has 650 inhabitants. The village has an elementary school. A new technical college was built down in the valley in Uhum in 2009. There is a shop where basic groceries as well as sweets can be obtained. The village has its own cemetery. In the village, there are mills for grinding grain.
There are several legends about how the village came into being. According to one of them during a severe drought all springs and wells in the neighboring villages dried up, but the spring in Hayat still produced water. That is why people called it spring of life (Hayat, meaning “life” in local language).
In Hayat village there was a fortress called Shahid Kurgan that was located on a hill making it difficult for enemies to conquer. 10-15 people could defend it against 500 enemies. The ruins of the fortress can be visited.
In the 1950s the Soviet Government moved sixty families from Hayat to the cotton growing areas. That is why you see many abandoned houses in the village.
It is situated in the south of Uzbekistan among the many undulating canyons of the Boysun Mountain Range. The picturesque village encompasses stunning mountains, crystal clear sacred spring, super friendly local families, the famous Iron Gate and scintillating hiking routes. Once it served as a corridor for caravans moving from Kabul to Bukhara. Today, Shavkat – the great grandson of a Silk Road caravan merchant has been living in this serene valley among the stone-cliffs and springs. He is the teacher, gardener, architect and breadwinner of his family and neighborhood. He has been leading thousands of German speaking travelers in and around Central Asia for the last 23 years. University professor – turned – tour guide has been doing everything to utilize possibilities of this region as a hiking spot for Central Asia bound travellers. Darband is a must visit for adventure loving photographers, birdwatchers, biologist, hikers and trekkers alike.
The area offers stunning view of the natural world, away from hustle and bustle of the big cities with picturesque mountains as the backdrop. One can see simplicity of the daily routine of the local families. Marvelous trekking trip will take you above and under the men-made bridges; see for yourselves holy spring, beautiful plants, high rising stone canyons, superb cliffs and meeting with welcoming locals. This unexpected place for exploration has 5 000 families, 4 schools and a college.
Darband is 284 km from Samarkand and 125 km from Termez. Groups can visit it by train or fly to Termez and visit Darband on route to Samarkand.