A beautiful adventure tour in the mountains of Georgia between Europe and Asia.
Travel date: October 1 to October 7 2023
Be part of the Transhumance, the traditional nomadic migration of the Caucasian shepherds between the Mountain Summer pastures and the winter grazing grounds in the lowland.
Hike together with the Georgian shepherds and their sheep, dogs and horses from the mountains of Tusheti in the Greater Caucasus down to the Alazani valley in Kakheti.
Adventure and hiking tour. Hiking time four days, 4×4 transfers to/from Tusheti. It’s a great trip for photographers.
In addition to the sheep, the shepherds’ horses, cows and dogs also run across the mountains into the plain.
Transhumance is pastoralism or nomadism in which livestock, such as sheep or cattle, are seasonally moved between fixed summer and winter pastures. This practice is common in montane regions where the herds are moved between high-altitude summer pastures and low-altitude winter pastures. The transhumance is a form of grazing based on the seasonal move of herds between various regions with different climates. It has been practiced for centuries and is still used in many parts of the world today.
The old shepherd culture in the Caucasus, the migration from the mountains to the steppe region is under threat.
It is difficult to find young shepherds willing to find and retain this hard work in the harsh weather conditions of the Greater Caucasus. Tourism and the booming economy in Georgia make many other jobs more attractive.
We have been organizing the cattle drive Tusheti since 2004 and we notice a decrease in the number of sheep flocks every year.
Take part in this unique journey while it is still possible.
Experience the beautiful autumn in the Georgian Greater Caucasus!
You find a packing list here
Tusheti is located in the north-eastern part of the Greater Caucasus chain and is the homeland of the Tushi people. Twice a year the Tushetian shepherds change pastures for their sheep, goats, cows and horses. In the spring they move from the southern steppes in Shiraki on the Azerbaijani border across Kakheti to the north and then over the 2970 m high Abano Pass to the Tusheti mountain villages. On lush meadows in the harsh mountain air, they produce the finest types of Tushetian cheese, tend their herds and maintain centuries-old traditions.
At the end of September, after the potato harvest and before the first snow falls in the high mountains, the temporary shepherd camps are dismantled, horses, donkeys and trucks are loaded and the herds are driven back to Kakheti over daily stages of 20 to 30 km. In addition to our regular tours to Tusheti in the summer months, we only offer this adventure trip on one date in autumn. The participants can expect grandiose landscapes, Tushetian hospitality, solitude and an adventurous journey with the herds on horseback or on foot across the chain of the great Caucasus. Tusheti is an Eldorado for nature lovers, riders, adventurers, anglers, photographers, journalists and artists.
The photographer Michael Fröhlich photographed a beautiful book about the Tusheti cattle drive http://www.blurb.de/b/4811098-viehtrieb-in-tuschetien
- City tour Tbilisi
- Off-road drive over the Abano Pass (2870 m) to Omalo
- Visit of Omalo, Dartlo, Parsma and Girevi
- An afternoon in the shepherd camp
- Cattle drive with the shepherds
- Visiting the Kakheti region