Rally Tours NZ director Greg Paul has just announced the company’s exciting 2014/2015 tour programme, with self-drive 4WD tours to places as diverse as Vladivostok in Russia, Lima in Peru, and Kenya and Tanzania in Africa.
Rally Tours is a NZ-based organisation specialising in self-drive overland expeditions in both 4Wd vehicles and classic cars. Rally Tours’ tour line-up includes the “Trans-Siberian” Vladivostok to London via Mongolia, the “Silk Road” London to Vladivostok via Uzbekistan, a “South American” marathon from Lima to Ushuaia, and a new “Kenya and Tanzania” short safari.
Rally Tours has been running and developing these unique overland expedition programmes since 2007, and now has more than eight Trans-Siberian runs and two Silk Road runs to add to its list of achievements.
Rally Tours encourages its mostly Kiwi and Australian clients to bring their own vehicles along to drive, and as part of the tour service will offer as much help and advice to prepare both the vehicle and the participants leading up to and after the event.
Rally Tours also has rental Land Cruisers available for those who either don’t have a vehicle or the inclination to take their own machinery. The logistics of making such unique trips are enormous ,with arrangements for vehicle shipping, visa applications, insurances, flights, accommodation and excursions all taken care of by the Rally Tours staff.
Group sizes are limited to 12 customer vehicles, with tour leader and trail vehicles acting as support for the group.
Says Greg Paul: “Our clients are generally like-minded mature but adventurous couples who enjoy the adventure of travelling to exotic destinations and enjoy the challenge of the drive!”
The Rally Tours “Trans-Siberian” is the flagship tour. It has been developed since 2007 from the original Peking to Paris trip to a much more interesting Vladivostok to London route.
“Vladivostok is the eastern seaport of Russia and the home to the Russian naval fleet. Although reputed to be a somewhat isolated outpost, it is a very pleasant and vibrant city, and an ideal point to ship our vehicles to and to launch our eastbound expedition through this little-travelled and fascinating region of the Far East of Russia,” adds Greg.
“This route takes us into Mongolia, where Rally Tours last year pioneered a new route from east to west through this remote and interesting country. This new trans-Mongolia drive will satisfy the hardiest of adventure drivers, every day.
“Once back in Russia we negotiate the Altay region, a spectacular Swiss-like mountainous area that the Russians kept when the country was divided up in the ‘90s. Once back in the capital of Siberia, Novosibirsk, the run through to Moscow is more civilised, but still intriguing, as we experience Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Nizhny-Novgorod, before hitting Russia’s equivalent of Paris.
“Moscow is exciting, but after travelling for another two days the arrival in St Petersburg, the historical capital of Russia and home to the Czar’s winter and summer palaces, is the ultimate destination in Western Russia.”
From St Petersburg the group crosses the border into Eastern Europe. The Mediaeval cities of Tallinn in Estonia, Riga in Latvia, Vilnius in Lithuania and Warsaw in Poland are all interesting places, with their own charms and claims to fame. Rally Tours visits all of the above, claiming that they all contribute to the Trans-Siberian tour experience – and past clients agree.
The 16,500km journey concludes with a jaunt across central Europe, stopping off in Berlin and Amsterdam, both places contributing to Europe’s history books.
“London is our destination, and we reach the shores of the UK by way of a comfortable overnight ferry journey across the channel,” says Greg. “You will have arrived in London having completed a ‘journey of a lifetime’, and that is a great personal achievement.”
Contact Greg or Gavin at Rally Tours to see how easy it is to do the Trans-Siberian or any of the three other self-drive tours. They will make it happen for you.