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, support  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:

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

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 local 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 handlers 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.

Read more about safety in South Sinai.

Get in touch

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A unique experience and a privilege to share the Bedouin’s way of life, for a short time.

Guest, Sinai Summits, April 2019

It was the most wonderful trip, so glad I took up this opportunity. All beautifully organised – well done.

Icons of St Catherine’s Guest November 2022

Enthralling and beyond my hopes, it was a deeply spiritual experience at many levels. I am still raving about it all to anyone who crosses my path!

Icons of St Catherine’s Guest November 2022

“The whole trip was AMAZING – thank you so much.”

Francis Burkitt, St Catherine tailor made, August 2017

We got more out of our adventure than we had ever hoped for, thanks to a country of huge diversity and historical interest and to a very special guide.

Cunningham family, Jordan, April 2017

So many thoughts about our wonderful trip to St Catherine’s; 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’s Retreat, February 2017

“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

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