The safety and well being of all of our groups, including all team members, staff and local staff, is a constant priority and absolutely fundamental to ensuring a safe and happy experience for all parties involved. Our leaders give guidance and encouragement throughout the journey so that group members benefit and enjoy all that the desert has to offer.

The rigorous selection of our in-country partners combined with a long standing relationship in some destinations has developed a high level of understanding and trust, so we can be confident of excellent care and support for all of our groups from the local guides.

We are fully compliant with BS 8848, the British Standard for providers of adventurous activities abroad.


Our Leaders

Wind Sand & Stars carefully selects mature and qualified group leaders, who not only have proven experience of working with relevant client groups for each of our journeys, but also experience of the destination environment, combined with an understanding of its culture and unique history. For our school groups, as well as their experience of working with young people, a belief in the value of adventure education is essential.

Our leaders are employed for their judgement, experience and knowledge. They may also be required to have relevant qualifications in the outdoor industry, depending on the nature of the journey itinerary:

  • Mountain Leader Summer (assessed) qualification
  • A DBS certificate for leaders of school groups
  • A current Advanced First Aid certificate
  • Experience of the destination
  • A background in personal development with young people for school groups

CVs of all our Expedition Leaders are available upon request.

Support and back-up

Each group tour will also benefit from outstanding back-up and support while they are overseas. This includes:

  • 24 hour on-call back-up from the Wind Sand & Stars office (including 24-hour on-call doctor)
  • Thorough and specific Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans with up to date information on medical facilities
  • Reliable and knowledgeable ground handling partners
  • Regular contact from the Leader using registered call-in times while away
  • A satellite phone and mobile phone
  • A comprehensive medical kit

Destination safety

Safety is our top priority and we carefully assess the security situation before and during each trip that we run, maintaining a highly professional, cautious and conservative approach. In each destination Wind Sand & Stars has developed extensive local knowledge and a network of reliable contacts, based on a strong relationship with our ground handler and the local communities with whom we work. We also keep in touch with the British Embassy and Consular staff in-country and take note of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice.

We recognise that the FCO Travel Advice is there to guide all tourists who may not have the benefit of prior experience or local knowledge. There are occasions that our local assessments of threats to travel within some specific areas differ to that of the FCO and we would not necessarily cancel a journey based solely on the FCO advice against non-essential travel there.

As an experienced operator, we feel that Wind Sand & Stars is well placed to make an informed judgement on journeys. As well as keeping abreast of local and international news reports, we receive regular updates from our network of reliable contacts on the ground and always strive to secure objective and accurate information.

Should a local situation become a concern, Wind Sand & Stars would react as appropriate to ensure the safety of any group, working in collaboration with our ground handlers and the appropriate authorities, keeping all parties informed.

Click here for the latest information on South Sinai .

Get in touch

“So many thoughts about our wonderful trip to St Catherine; the fantastic warmth of welcome from the Egyptians, Fathers Justin and Nilus, and the unique history which we felt privileged to be given access to. In my book, how could one not enjoy and be inspired!”

Julia Palmer, St Catherine Retreat, February 2017

“A great experience altogether and I am grateful to all the organisers, to the guides and drivers, to all the staff at guesthouse and hotels, to the Bedouin we visited; all contributed to a perfect trip. “

Verena Watson, Tailor Made Desert Journey, April 2016

“Huge thanks to all at Wind, Sand & Stars for an amazing trip. John’s passion for Ethiopia fires his erudition and he gave us more insights into the country, past and present, than we could ever have gained from local guides.”

Christine Dunmow, Exploring Ethiopia’s Orthodox History with John Binns 2016

“I am hugely impressed with Wind Sand & Stars’ organisation and their relationship with the Bedouin family who looked after us. These local contacts made the experience especially rich.”

Richard Ames-Lewis, Adventure into Silence, October 2014

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