Destination Himalaya specializes in groups and custom tours to the countries surrounding the Himalaya (Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan), as those are the countries we are from and know best. However, we often get requests from past (and new) travelers who rely on our expertise and experience in the travel industry and ask us for references for destinations beyond the Himalaya. With these requests and our travelers’ desire to have the best experiences in mind, we are unveiling our newly established Travel Experts Alliance, a partnership with several fellow colleagues with unparalleled expertise and deep passion for their destinations. These are colleagues we personally know, who have realized the common dream of exploring the world’s truly wild places.
Call us on our Toll Free number 1.800. MY INDIA (1.800.694.46342) or email us at Info@DestinationHimalaya.net and we will connect you with the travel specialists from around the globe who can arrange a journey for you with the same level of service and wondrous experiences as you have come to expect from Destination Himalaya.
Following is a quick overview of the Travel Experts Alliance members.
Sanjay Saxena was born in New Delhi, India. The son of a Brigadier General in the Indian Army, Sanjay has lived all over India and traveled extensively across Asia. He began mountaineering and rock climbing in the high Himalaya at age fifteen, after successfully completing mountaineering courses from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, India.
A professional guide since 1979, Sanjay has led countless groups trekking, climbing, touring and safaris to Tibet, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Venezuela, Iran and of course throughout India. In January of 1992, David Breashears and Sanjay co-led the first western descent of the Brahmaputra river in India. The 250-mile white water rafting trip was filmed for the BBC series “Classic Adventures,” and was shown in North America by Arts& Entertainment. In 2001 he led the first western group to journey overland from Kunming to Lhasa along the “southern road.” Despite all of the "office work," Sanjay still finds the time to personally lead between two and four expeditions every year.
Sanjay's deep, insider's knowledge of his homeland together with his talent for creating unique itineraries to traditional and remote destinations, make him one of the travel world's top-ranking India and Tibet specialists. For nine consecutive years (2003 – 2011), he has received Conde Nast's "Top Travel Specialist" award for his exemplary work in South Asia, specifically India, Tibet, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Under his leadership Destination HImalaya has also been chosen by National Geographic Adventure for one of the "Best Outfitters on Earth" Award.
Since Mongolia's peaceful transition to democracy in 1990, Jalsa has passionately promoted travel to Mongolia, his ancestral homeland oftentimes called the “last wilderness nation” due to its largely intact wildlife and nomadic traditions and lifestyle. He founded Nomadic Expeditions in 1992, a company that specializes in creating unique adventures throughout Mongolia such as birding trips targeting Central Asian rarities, dinosaur fossil excavating scientific journeys, family adventures to the alpine taiga in Northern Mongolia, weddings in the Gobi Desert, journeys to the Golden Eagle Festival of the Kazakhs in the Altai Mountains, overland jeep safaris and spiritual retreats.
Jalsa's dedication to sustainability and world-class service has made Nomadic Expeditions an internationally recognized company and recipient of a number of accolades, such as “Best Outfitters on Earth“ title by National Geographic Adventure Magazine in 2007 & 2009 and “Best Adventure Travel Outfitters” award by Travel and Leisure Magazine in 2010. Jalsa has been recognized as the “The World's Top Travel Specialist for Mongolia” by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
In 2002, we opened the doors of the Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia's first and only true luxury accommodation. The Three Camel Lodge is more than a luxurious destination camp; it is also a center of education and conservation in the Gobi region. The National Geographic Adventure Magazine named the Three Camel Lodge as one of the “50 Best Eco-Lodges of the World.”
Having traveled much of the globe, Jalsa believes that Mongolia is one of the world's last unspoiled treasures and is dedicated to the preservation of its natural and cultural wonders.
In 2003 Andrea moved with her husband Brandon to Cambodia where they started Journeys Within Tour Company and B & B. In the last eight years Journeys Within has also set up additional offices in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, meaning that any Journeys Within trip includes Journeys Within drivers, guides and experiences throughout.
Andrea has been on the Wendy Perrin Conde Nast expert list for Cambodia, Thailand and Laos for the last four years and takes her role as a regional expert seriously. She lives in Cambodia for more than half of the year and travels extensively through Southeast Asia to make sure the guides, drivers and hotels used by Journeys Within are up to standard. She loves to find new and unique trips, hotels and experiences for her guests.
Since starting the tour company Andrea has focused on philanthropic travel and the idea that travel can change the world and she is a volunteer executive director for Journeys Within Our Community (www.journeyswithinourcommunity.org), a non profit organization she and Brandon founded in 2005.
Journeys Within can arrange tours around guests interests, time and budget and each tour is tailor-made for the traveler. Andrea is a great source of information for the region and is always happy to answer questions and give advice.
Mei is the Founder of Wild China, a Beijing-based premium sustainable travel company offering distinctive, ecologically sensitive journeys to all corners of China. A native of Yunnan province in southwest China, Mei earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company until she found her true passion in sustainable travel.
Mei started Wild China in 2000, inspired by the clash she perceived between economic development and conservation of both nature and culture in Yunnan. She strongly believed that there was a solution to this: providing a sophisticated interpretation of Chinese culture and nature, and therefore creating experiential travel that was unheard of in China. She built Wild China on the mission to assist travelers to experience China differently.
Today, Wild China is an award-winning tour operator that creates bespoke trips highlighted by rich personal interactions and superior access to experts and venues. Travel to China goes beyond a glimpse of the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Warriors. It's about understanding what you see. A skyscraper surrounded by a multitude of cranes is an opportunity to learn about the vast differences in the lives of the migrant worker who is operating the crane and the young couple who will soon live in the skyscraper. Travel to a remote corner of one of China's provinces is having the chance to share a cup of tea with a local Yi shaman in his home, and listen to his stories of learning the centuries-old practice from his father.
Cherri spent much of her youth on a remote cattle ranch in Nevada. Perhaps this “wild and free” childhood catalyzed her zest for adventure and respect for indigenous people. After almost twenty years of combing the African continent, from crossing the Bayuda Desert of Sudan to luxuriating in the elegant hotels of Cape Town, she remains committed to offering incomparable African travel experiences to her clients, and continues to personally seek the ultimate in adventure travel for herself. Beyond the love of exploration is a strong commitment to utilizing her travels and her business as a tool for supporting projects which preserve conservation and help local people across the continent.
“For at least half the year we are based in Africa. Part of that time is spent looking for exciting new places for our clients to visit and making sure the old ones are still great. This distinguishes our product from the competition as we are always up to date, and my staff visits Africa every year. I founded EXPLORE as a result of my involvement in conservation of wilderness and preservation of indigenous cultures and have found that giving people an experience that changes their lives can also change the lives of others whose lives may not be as fortunate.”
Cherri and her husband have a home in Maun, Botswana, and recently purchased a large piece of land on the Zambezi River near Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park, which is being utilized as a base from which to facilitate the training of local people in wildlife conservation, anti-poaching, and other skills that will create employment and discourage poaching. As one of the founders of the Lower Zambezi Conservation Trust they are working with member lodges in the area, advisors at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other conservation groups to help develop this new protected area which will serve the local community, tourism and wildlife.
Cherri is a member of the Explorer's Club, a meeting point for explorers and scientists worldwide. Her passion for exploration was best exemplified in the expedition she organized and led in 2003, which was the first descent of Mozambique's 450-mile Lugenda River. When not in Africa she operates from Explore headquarters in Steamboat Springs Colorado.
She has guided National Geographic through Sudan, Conde Nast Traveler through Botswana, Outside Magazine through Mozambique, Town and Country through Namibia and CNN down the Zambezi River. EXPLORE has been the recipient of the Top 100 Agents Award by Conde Nast for the past ten years