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Inappropriate / Inaccurate? Sergey Gluhoverov

Description:

Sergey Gluhoverov is proud to be born in Kyrgyzstan and offers a huge variety of tours through the "Celestial Mountains" for travellers.

Cultural and Ethnographic tours
Hiking
Camping and Yurt accomodation
Hotel accomodation
Cycling
Silk Road
Heli Skiing
Skiing
Eagle Hunting
Rafting
Handicrafts
Bishkek City Tours
Bird Watching
Photo Hunting
VIP tours
Hourly, Day, And multi week organized tours

Costs vary widely depending on length and type of tour selected. For example the above price of the cheapest day-tour for the Alamedin gorge (near Bishkek) is $19 per person for hiking (based upon six people) where horse riding the Shamsi gorge would be $65.

Sergey is also the guide of guides in Kyrgyzstan. While working as a guide and observing others he saw a need for guides to be offered training. In 2005 he started a unique company called "Excursion Plus" and they have a license from the Ministry of Education and Science of Kyrgyz Republic to offer training to guides. Twice per month during the winter and spring they offer FREE seminars for those in tourism. They bring in famous archeologists, teachers and scientists to further educate Kyrgyz guides and other individuals in tourism.

Leap Local team member and travel writer, Kirsten Koza, will be travelling with Sergey in August 2010 on a several-week mountain bike trip. She will post a rating after her return on August 28th.

More details of the trip Sergey planned for Kirsten can be seen on her website: www.kirstenkoza.com

Contact Details:

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Leap 2010 WINNER Uploaded by Nicola Dee on Jan. 17, 2012.

Sergey Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on July 5, 2010.

Dinner with Sergey&Masha in Bishkek Uploaded by Joachim von der Lahr on Sept. 17, 2010.

Panoramic view in Kyrgyzstan Uploaded by Joachim von der Lahr on Sept. 27, 2010.

Sergey with a nomad woman Uploaded by Joachim von der Lahr on Sept. 27, 2010.

Breathtaking Kyrgyz roads Uploaded by Joachim von der Lahr on Sept. 27, 2010.

An airport greeting from Sergey makes any traveller feel like a celebrity. This was my very appreciated reception at four in the morning. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 6, 2010.

Sergey isn't just being a good sport. He loves his job. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 6, 2010.

Sergey offers tours year round. He also provides free training seminars to guides in the winter which is a slower tourist season in Kyrgyzstan. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 6, 2010.

Sergey is always ready to laugh - yet he is also an expert on the culture and history of his country. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 6, 2010.

He is. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 6, 2010.

Sergey is experienced with all size of groups from individual to medium sized and very large. The supporting guides he uses are fabulous. Even though I travelled solo - I had a support team of three amazing guides, a driver, a mountain bike guide and a cu Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 6, 2010.

Sergey arranged for me to stay with this wonderful Kyrgyz nomad family in their yurt. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 6, 2010.

Felt Making - Sergey knows all the best craftsmen and artisans in his country. This is my attempt at felt making being rescued by the felt maker. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 6, 2010.

Everyday the landscape on the The bike routes that Sergey planned provided completely different landscape - for weeks no day was the same. This is Elena who biked with me in Kyrgyz on my favourite 75 km day. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 8, 2010.

It was an adventure staying in a yurt at Song Kol -- hail, snow, wind, altitude and a vodka soaked sunset - well it was me that was soaked. So fun and thankfully memorable, as in I can remember it. :-) Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 8, 2010.

Sergey getting a little more altitude. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 8, 2010.

I almost dropped Kara Bala. He's a 16-yr-old eagle. Sergey arranged for me to spend time with Artsan, an 8th generation eagle hunter. Eagle hunters hunt with eagles not for them. Sergey can make this experience as hands on or hands-off as you'd like. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 8, 2010.

You can cross a river this way with Sergey. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 8, 2010.

Or you sometimes cross a river this way - I'm being helped by Kyrgyz nomad children. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 8, 2010.

Or you can cross a river with style like my bike is with a nomad on his horse. Uploaded by Kirsten Koza on Nov. 8, 2010.

Customer Reviews

Overall
9 / 10
5 reviews

Kirsten Koza (recommender) (10 / 10)

reviewed Sept. 6, 2010, 4:33 p.m.

Kirsten Koza spent 2-4 weeks with Sergey Gluhoverov.

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Description

Sergey organized a three-week inclusive mountain biking and cultural trip across northern Kyrgyzstan for me.

He found/employed the local mountain bike guide, local support vehicle driver/4x4, and he’d trained the Kyrgyz cultural guide and cook. They were all educated, skilled, multi-lingual, experts in specific areas, caring, and all loved to laugh – which made the trip.

Sergey even found me the best rate for airfare (and I always think I'm the Queen of finding the cheapest seat - he beat my price by five hundred dollars).

This trip would have been very difficult to organize on my own as I don't speak Russian or Kyrgyz or read Cyrillic. I contacted several guides and organizations in Kyrgyzstan in advance and Sergey’s was the only response I received and it was immediate. Most individuals in Kyrgyzstan don’t have websites, many areas don’t have internet.
Guide book information is thin. It makes planning in advance tough. Arranging a trip upon arrival would be equally tough and loaded with pitfalls and the most expensive/larger tour organizations in Kyrgyzstan and from overseas are the only ones that are easy to find contacts for due to the lack of websites and accessibility to general tourism information. The guide books also tend to feature the largest and most expensive services in Kyrgyzstan.

Sergey organized in advance for me the remote yurts I stayed in with nomad families (real families, living as they did thousands of years ago, not tourist trap yurt camps), the guest houses, supplied the camping gear for the wilderness, food (all fresh unprocessed ingredients purchased at markets), even supplied toilet paper, plus walkie talkies for the guide and support vehicle as we were out of cell phone service areas often.

Sergey jumped through flaming hoops (his company is new, just five years old, and he wants to make it the best in the country) when last minute my arriving flight through Moscow had to be cancelled due to the peat fires in Russia, which meant I arrived a day later and everything had to be altered. He did it all with a smile and grace - he's a class act and incredibly professional, but he's genuine as well.

He managed to get the majority of my money back from the cancelled flights from two different airlines, and delivered it to me upon my arrival in Bishkek in som (or com, which is the local currency). Since Kyrgyz Republic currency is not available in North America, this meant I didn't have to deal with changing funds upon arrival. This unexpected coup also meant I didn’t have to have a battle with my travel insurance company when going back home.

When I first arrived at the airport Sergey, my driver and Kyrgyz cultural guide greeted me with traditional food set up on a table with cloth, in the parking lot - and then it was off to my hotel room for a rest and shower before the start of the bike trip – at the hotel was more food, drink, flowers, a photo-shopped card of me in Kyrgyzstan - and a surprise gift of vodka lying on my bed (which I saved for later but not much later). I've never received such a reception anywhere in my life! This was five-star service from a local guide. He knew my trip to get to Kyrgyzstan was difficult and he made my arrival as warm and thoughtful and special as possible.

Obstacles and challenges were constantly dealt with on the trip. A rock slide and a mountain pass separated both my mountain bike guide and me from our support team for a couple of days, forcing a schedule change again. This was done with style and attention to making sure that I received everything that was promised.

Since my change of flight resulted in me having to spend extra days in Kyrgyzstan when my biking trip ended (the original trip) Sergey organized yet another wonderful yet completely different cultural tour for me and another interpreter/driver – this tour included spending time with an eagle hunter (I almost dropped an eagle), outdoor museums and petroglyphs, a 4-day drive around Lake Issyk-Kol (the second largest high elevation alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca) and indoor museums, three unique guest house experiences with locals of different ethnicity, and breathtaking scenery.

Tourism is a fledgling industry in Kyrgyzstan. They’re lucky to have a dynamic and young individual like Sergey shaping it. He has vision. He gets it. He is truly the guide to the guides.

I will separately review the guides that Sergey found for me and post their contacts. However, I do recommend highly going through Sergey at Nomad’s Dream in Bishkek. The level of service and understanding of travellers’ needs is high (for example Sergey understands tourist basic needs like clean and pure drinking water – where my driver and bike guide thought I could just drink from a mountain stream regardless of cow and horse feces). Kyrgyzstan is a difficult travel-country that doesn’t have infrastructure for tourism set up yet – so it is beneficial and safer to use the expertise of Sergey, especially if the traveller has time constraints and wants to see as much as they can with the least amount of headache.

****Sergey’s pluses: adaptable to any changes in plans that happen along the way – cheerful and fun – a consummate professional – educated and knowledgeable – in love with his country, people and loves to share all the different cultures of Kyrgyzstan with foreigners (Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian etc.) – he’s living his passion and it is contagious!

(My trip was more expensive than the costs listed as I used a ridiculously large support team for one person travelling (not the norm/the listed prices are the norm). Some people go to a resort – I decided to travel like a princess with her entourage (well not quite, I was still sleeping on the ground and using squat toilets, if there were any at all). If there had been other trip partners on my trip – the costs would have been shared. I did not spend the entire trip physically with Sergey as he does not do mountain biking but I was constantly under his care for the entire trip.)

Best bits: The incredibly generous and helpful and friendly people of Kyrgyzstan (whether, Kyrgyz, Nomad, Uzbek or Russian), my guides, seeing my bike cross a river with a nomad on a horse, the best bike riding I’ve done anywhere in the world (I’ve biked across 18 countries that I can think of off the top of my head – it’s higher), fabulous dinners with Sergey at trendy Bishkek restaurants (I could fly back for shishlik right now), eagles, horses, cheap vodka, breathtaking landscape, unique culture and taking photographs that will make everyone I know jealous that they didn’t join me!
Worst bits: Fermented horse milk (do I need to say more), squat toilets (do I need to say more – I think not but I will if you want), carrying my mountain bike up a mountain and back down again at night due to a rock slide only to be charged by a bull at the bottom and end up sleeping in a nomad’s barn yurt shivering in the cold while spooned with my mountain bike guide Elena (okay at the time it was terrible but now it is my favourite Kyrgyzstan story to tell – only seconded by ‘Deliverance Kyrgyzstan’ a true camping story about a uranium contaminated lake and the creepy villagers who aren’t supposed to be living there.) The worst bits are the best bits.

Ratings

Overall experience: 10 / 10
Value for money: 9 / 10
Eco impact: 9 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 10 / 10

Comments:

Joachim von der Lahr (9 / 10)

reviewed Sept. 17, 2010, 10:03 a.m.

Joachim von der Lahr spent 2-4 weeks with Sergey Gluhoverov.

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Description

"For many years I had envisaged to travel the ancient Silk Road, but time and circumstances did not allow me to carry out my plans. When finally this year I started planning, I was very quickly confronted with the critical choice to select the right travel company.

I intended to travel alone, focusing on history and culture of the Silk Road, the customs and traditions of the many ethnic groups along the way, the reminders of pre-Islamic religions as well as gaining a better understanding of the current situation and living conditions of the post soviet Central Asian societies. It became quickly apparent that most of the better known tour operators specializing in Silk Road or Central Asia travels did not meet my expectations: Most packaged tours imposed a high-speed 5-15 days forced route with little free time as well as the usual constraints of travelling in groups. Some of the places I wanted to visit were off the trodden routes and of no interest to these companies; last but not least, the services and fees quoted were rather expensive. In some cases, a fee was requested just to establish a proposal. The general feedback indicated that these companies are not interested or not geared for dealing with "non standard " single traveler needs.

However, when frustration started to set in, I came across the internet site of the "Nomad's Dream Travel Company" from Kyrgyzstan and its enthusiastic and energetic Director, Sergey Gluhoverov. Nomad's Dream is a very young company and displayed a high degree of enthusiasm and willingness to take customers request at heart: When I exposed my ideas and expectations, I received in a few days a very solid and detailed proposal with routes, dates, descriptions and new suggestions. After several back and forth email exchanges, Nomad Dream had designed a 4 week trip through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, an excursion to Tajikistan and finally Xinxiang Region in China. It included all those sites I was interested in and some I had not thought about, an excellent choice of places, hotels, guesthouses, cultural activities I was delighted with. In each location they provided the transport, English or German speaking guides of good companionship and knowledge as well as the necessary documentation for obtaining visa and other formalities.

Having done my share of travelling, I fully expected the occasional glitch or misunderstanding, but truth is that throughout these 4 weeks, all the logistics from flight tickets, bookings, visits, hospitality, have been simply outstanding without a single incident whatsoever. Even when the situation in the Fergana valley during my visit in Kyrgyzstan (state of emergency declared by the authorities) needed quick reroute to Bishkek, this was organized efficiently and without any hiccup.

I have been very impressed with the Nomad's Dream team, their friendliness, their knowledge and commitment throughout my voyage; I am very grateful for this unforgettable experience in all the countries and places I had the privilege to visit.
I can recommend Nomad's Dream travel company without any restriction to anyone who wants to travel throughout Central Asia."

Joachim von der Lahr

Best bits: very well organized; lives up to promise
Worst bits: Nothing to write home about

Ratings

Overall experience: 9 / 10
Value for money: 9 / 10
Eco impact: 9 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 9 / 10

Comments:

Sergey has an excellent network across Central Asia and is able to provide tours across the whole region. His chosen partners are also of good value.

udvari marta (9 / 10)

reviewed Sept. 24, 2010, 4:04 p.m.

udvari marta spent 2-4 weeks with Sergey Gluhoverov.

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Description

Being involved in travel industry I travel quite often to find new potential destinations.Two years ago I spent 14 days in Kirgyzstan with two of my friends. From the first day we had Sergey with us during the entire tour as a guide. He is a young, energetic professional who works with passion and enthusiasm, proud of his country. Beyond having a great knowledge of his country he understands the needs of tourists and goes beyond the call of duty. He took good care of us when he had to improvise and find a new homestay from one night to another. He provided us excellent yami-yami 3-course picnic lunches even in the remote areas(oh, those sardines in tomato sauce!). He kept us amused when the electricity was cut off in the evening and he taught us children games and told kyrgyz legends by candle light.
We could feel his personal attention to each of us. He understood that due to my limited physical capacity I can go on shorter and lighter walks only while he took my two friends on longer tours in the mountains. In the meantime I was under the protection of our driver. And I must also mention how excellent our driver was! Safe and helpful. We were there in October, the weather changed unexpectedly and we were stucked in snowstorm in the middle of nowhere. But these two people solved the problem and dag out the car with their hands!
There was no impossible request from us - Sergey was flexible enough to reroute the program if we were tired or wanted to see a weekly sheepmarket. We always felt that we were in safe hands with Sergey, therefore I can recommend Kyrgyzstan for individual women travellers aswell. After travelling in many countries I can confirm that it was Sergey, his friendly professionalism which made our tour unforgettable on top of the beauty of this country.

Best bits: in spite of the relativly poor infrastructure excellent organizing: homestays and yurts, punctuality and reliability, energetic and caring professionalism, honest smile
Worst bits: nothing to mention

Ratings

Overall experience: 9 / 10
Value for money: 10 / 10
Eco impact: 10 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 10 / 10

Comments:

Daniel Keller (10 / 10)

reviewed Sept. 27, 2010, 5:29 p.m.

Daniel Keller spent longer than 3 months with Sergey Gluhoverov.

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Description

I spent close to two years in Kyrgyzstan due to my work. During my free-time I undertook various shorter and longer trips all over Kyrgyzstan, throughout the four seasons. Sergey managed to make each trip a unique and unforgettable experience that always would top my wildest dreams. Something you want to tell your grandchildren about. Already during my very first trips I quickly felt like travelling with a good and long-known buddy rather than having engaged a travel guide. Sergey is very proud of his country and all-out passionate for his work. His work principle seems to be “The impossible is achieved immediately, Miracles take a little bit longer”. He not only wants to share the beauty and uniqueness of his homeland with you, but kind of feel it. My first trips lead to known places along the silk-road and still Sergey makes you feel like an explorer discovering the most secret places. He then will tell the ancient story about what happened at this place or how it was formed the way is now. And he not only seems to know all the stories, but also is an excellent storyteller, which the experience something I’d call a once in a lifetime.

Best bits: Looked for a travel guide, engaged the actual incarnation of how one imagines a guide and found a best friend forever
Worst bits: I eventually had to leave Kyrgyzstan and can’t be there as often as I wish to be.

Ratings

Overall experience: 10 / 10
Value for money: 10 / 10
Eco impact: 10 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Yes
Profile Accuracy: 10 / 10

Comments:

RussianQueen (7 / 10)

reviewed Sept. 1, 2012, 8 a.m.

RussianQueen spent a whole day with Sergey Gluhoverov.

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Description

Great service to use! Would go again.

Best bits: The experience with the locals
Worst bits: The communication (language)

Ratings

Overall experience: 7 / 10
Value for money: 7 / 10
Eco impact: 5 / 10
Does the local understand eco issues? Not sure
Profile Accuracy: 7 / 10

Comments: