The Asiatic Cheetah also known as the Iranian cheetah, is a critically endangered subspecies of theses charismatic cats with only 40 said to be left in the wild.
Today the cheetah survives only in arid areas of east and central Iran in a number of protected zones. Cheetahs thrive in open land and semi desert areas.
The project “Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah and its Associated Biota” was launched in 2001 by the Iranian Department of Environment (DoE) with the cooperation of the United Nations Development Program for Global Environment Facility.
Crooked Compass is acutely aware of the global environmental concerns and the need for sustainable protection of our fragile world. We passionately believe that responsible tourism can play a positive role in highlighting the plight of endangered species like Iran’s beloved cheetahs. We are proud to be part of this movement in bringing together interested individuals and activists and helping forge alliances between global environmental organisations and their Iranian counterparts.
Welcome to Tehran! You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure.
Tehran , although it is a concrete jungle, there is a fascinating side to this hectic city. Expect bold fashion statements, a range of ethnic and international restaurants, chic cafes and plenty of museums and art galleries.
Tehran has incredibly impressive museums. (D)
Overnight at Ferdowsi Hotel or similar
Today you will start your day by visiting Pardisan Park, an educational, research and cultural centre, with the objective of environmental studies, this centre is a multipurpose project aimed at increasing public awareness about the natural environment. Several animals live in the park; including monkeys, rabbits, and the Pallas’s cats. You will meet the members of NGOs and experts on environmental issues in particular focusing on the Asiatic Cheetah. (B,L,D)
vernight at Ferdowsi Hotel or similar
Following breakfast, it is time to check out and drive to Shahrud (405 km). Enjoy a walk through this small city which was on the famed Silk Road before enjoying a relaxed evening. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, drive to the Jangal-e Abr (Cloud Forest) which is one of the oldest and most beautiful forests in Iran. It is the continuum of northern forests in the south of the Alborz mountain range and continues to the Caspian Sea. It is called cloud forest because in most seasons it is covered by an ocean of clouds and fog. It is hard to believe whilst inside the thick forests, you are not far from Iran’s Central Desert. Jungles veiled in clouds provide you with a golden opportunity to enjoy nature at its best, explore, and learn about the fascinating ecosystem of this unique forest.
Enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by raw nature before returning to Shahrud in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
We drive to Khosh Yeylaq Conservation Area before spending the day walking through the area searching for cheetahs and taking in the natural beauty and keeping our eyes peeled for other wildlife. Return to Shahrud early in the evening. (B,L,D)
A morning drive of 140 km to the south east of Shahrud takes you to Qale Bala village near Khar Touran National Park or Touran Wildlife Refuge. This a very untouched and traditional village due to its geographical location so close to the national park where eco tourism initiatives are now taking place. This village is built on top of a stone hill and the locals live in typical mud houses which gives the village a unique atmosphere. With the help of local women communities, the traditional handmade Gelim (carpet) and Taneh (hand towels) are still created in Qale Bala. Spend the night with a local family in their home. (B,L,D)
Overnight Local Homestay
Early this morning, you will start your expedition for the Asiatic Cheetah in Khar Touran National Park. Khar Turan National Park or Touran Wildlife Refuge is the second largest biosphere reserves of Iran. Khar Turan is home to one of the largest populations of the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah. There are said to be about 12-15 of these charismatic cats in the National Park area. In your search you will see the Iranian zebra and gazelles. Persian Zebra or Iranian Zebra, is one of the species of Asian Zebra, a large mammal which is part of the horse family. It is indigenous to the deserts of Iran, Syria, India and Tibet. The Persian Zebra is similar to a donkey but slightly larger in size. The Persian Zebra is now critically endangered, and the remaining numbers can now be found in two areas of Iran, including in Touran National Park. (B,L,D)
Overnight Local Homestay
Today is a long drive day as you make your way back to Tehran (approx 560km). Upon arrival, check into your hotel. (B,L,D)
Overnight Airport Hotel
Following breakfast, the day is yours at leisure until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
Download this tour’s PDF brochure and start your planning offline!
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.