I’ve never been to a developing country before. What should I expect?

If you’ve never traveled to a developing country before, the contrasts between what you may be accustomed to and what you will experience may be substantial. The expeditions are conducted in rural villages; expeditions are not tourist vacations. You should be physically and mentally prepared to face frustrating and disquieting circumstances while traveling, working, and living in impoverished, primitive areas. Village access is often along bumpy roads and sometimes requires a short hike. While permanent bathroom facilities and/or heating may or may not be available, bathrooms with basic facilities will be.

Sleeping arrangements will likely involve sleeping on the floor of a rustic building or sleeping in tents, should you wish to bring one. As a rule, conditions are modest and the food is simple but plentiful.

Water in developing countries is not safe to drink unless it has been purified. Bottled water is usually available in cities, and hotels often purify their entire water systems, but it is always important to ask before drinking or brushing your teeth. Do not brush your teeth from a tap unless you have verified that the water is purified. Also make sure that any ice served to you has been purified.

The in-country director will make sure that there is plenty of bottled water available for you in the village. The people cooking for the expedition adhere to strict sanitary standards.

For more information, visit the What to Expect page.

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