07 October 2010

Graduates launch travel company with a twist

l-r Mike Griffin and Ollie Kilvert

A pair of adventurous University of Sheffield graduates have launched a unique travel company, offering intrepid travellers tours to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Mike Griffin, 25, and Ollie Kilvert, 25, have set-up `Be Travellers´ in a bid to entice people to visit more unusual holiday destinations in Central Asia, including the Wakhan Corridor in north eastern Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The enterprising pair will be offering a host of trekking and cultural tours including a journey through the ancient Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, a month-long trekking tour to the Wakhan Corridor and an epic overland journey navigating the two highest paved roads in the world through Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Pakistan. Mike and Ollie will also be utilising their expertise to offer specially designed custom itineraries for people who want to avoid the pitfalls of independent travel to the region.

The idea behind their venture was sparked by the pair after they fell in love with the region following an extensive exploration of it during the 2008 Mongolia Charity Rally, an 8,000 mile charity drive from Durham to Mongolia.

They saw the area as a new `travel frontier´ offering big opportunities for the future and decided to start the company on the notion that few people had thought of enjoying the stunningly beautiful region, which has a visible history of more than 3000 years.

Mike, who completed a PGCE in Science Education at the University of Sheffield, said: "Our unofficial slogan is `Be Travellers, Not Tourists´ and this is the concept behind everything we are doing. Independent travel is very rewarding, but fraught with risks and uncertainties. Our goal is to keep the spirit of freedom and discovery in independent travel while removing the potential problems."

Ollie, who studied Geography at the University of Sheffield, said: "Between studying and working, I´ve always maintained my pursuit of discovering far flung places, so starting up a travel company focusing on such exciting destinations is like a dream come true for me. I´ve been lucky enough to broaden my travel horizons and explore areas many people wouldn´t normally venture to, so I´d love to give other intrepid travellers the chance to experience the beauty of Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan for themselves."

To visit the Be Travellers website, which launched last month, visit the link below. To find out more, contact Oliver Kilvert, Director of Be Travellers Adventure Travel Ltd on ollie@betravellers.com.