Who We are
An ethical trekking company that was founded from a background of rural development
Nomadic Skies was founded in 2018 by Gavin Anderson and Jigme Lama who between them have over 50 years of professional experience in rural development across Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and The Caucuses. We are based in Ullapool in the beautiful North West Highlands of Scotland but we have close links with the mountain communities where our journeys are focused.
Our journeys have been developed in areas where we have a long and close working relationship:
Dolpo - Remote Tibetan Nepal: Our Dolpo journey was developed following research undertaken by Gavin Anderson and Jigme Lama into rural tourism and trekking as part of a British funded rural tourism development project. This built on Gavin's work on rural economic development in Nepal over 8 years and Jigme's background in rural tourism development in Nepal and with Tibetan speaking NW Nepal being Jigme’s home area.
The pilgrim and silk trade routes of Southern Armenia: Gavin has been supporting development projects in rural Armenia for over 12 years. Our Southern Armenian journey was developed in collaboration with a small Armenian Rural Development Organisation (SDA) and the Armenian World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and is being organised in collaboration local trek leader and mountaineer Gevorg Gasparyan whom Gavin first met when Gevorg was working as a veterinarian in the hill communities of Southern Armenia.
The majestic Virunga of SW Uganda: Gavin has had a particularly long relationship with Uganda having lived there permanently for 9 years up until 2005 and returning frequently to support rural development projects in the country. Gavin organised treks and expeditions throughout East Africa as expeditions secretary and then Chairman of the Mountain Club of Uganda. The Virunga held a special allure and we are now collaborating with local community tourism operators, villages and guides to put together a unique journey in a stunningly biodiverse and beautiful part of Africa.
Nomadic Skies Founder Manager and International Team Leader
Gavin is the founder and manager of Nomadic Skies. He has over 30 years experience working in rural development in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caucuses and has developed a passion for remote rural places and the people who live in them. An experienced mountaineer and trek leader, Gavin has discovered that his real love is for mountains with unique cultures and getting to know the amazing people who live in remote areas.
Uganda local expedition leader
Yobu is an experienced guide who lives on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. he has intimate knowledge of local cultures and the hidden treasures of his home area in Southwestern Uganda. Yobu collaborated with Nomadic Skies' founder Gavin Anderson on developing and pioneering our stunning trek across the volcanic mountains, forests, crater lakes and hills of the Gorilla Highlands. They discovered new locations and experiences together and Yobu will be our lead local guide for our Journeys in Uganda.
Trail Guide and camp manager Nepal
Nurbu is not only an experienced trek guide and camp manager, but also a born entertainer. Give Nurbu any opportunity and he will pick up a drum and start to sing - not only to us but also to and with our local hosts. Nurbu is from the Humla area of NW Nepal, a neighbouring district to Dolpo. He intimately knows the trails and villages of NW Nepal.
Dolpo Expedition guide and cultural guide
Dawa Gyalpo comes from and lives in the stunning Bon village of Pungmo high in the Himalaya. Gyalpo chose to return to Pungmo from Kathmandu when his father died tragically in an avalanche. He now lives permanently in Dolpo, making his livelihood as a seasonal guide and as a Yak herder and farmer. Gyalpo has become an integral part of our journeys in Dolpo, providing unique insights into the culture, spirituality and lives of the Dolpo-pa people and to the environment and wildlife of the area. He also acts as an interpreter for our journeys. Local guides are often sidelined by Kathmandu based and international companies, but local insight, knowledge and wisdom from local guides and the ability to speak the local Dolpo language are in our view essential to gaining an understanding of this amazing area and people.
Pusbah lives in the Dolpo Village of Rechi. She is an amazing host who opens her small house to Nomadic Skies' clients to explain more about life for a younger person in remote Nepal. She is a skilled weaver and goat herder who has sacrificed herself to support her younger brother through school after they were orphaned at a young age. Pusbah's experience is one of strength and dignity.
Nepal expedition leader
Jigme is from the Humla district of high Himalayan North West Nepal. Jigme has worked in tourism and rural development from an early age running early expeditions to the sacred Mt Kailash in Tibet. After studying buddhism and rural development, he became invoved in working in tourism development across the Himalaya of Nepal. Jigme is an expert on Buddhism and the Tibetan influenced cultures of NW Nepal.
Armenian Trek leader
Gevorg has had a lifelong love of mountains, trekking and mountaineering. Originally qualified as a veterinarian he began work in mountain communities in the South of Armenia where he built a strong relationship with rural communities. He moved into tourism in 2015 becoming a recognised leader in developing trails in Armenia and leading mountain and trekking expeditions. He met Gavin, the founder of Nomadic skies in 2009 when he was a vet and the seeds were planted for a future collaboration on exposing trekkers to the warmth and wonders of rural Armenia.
Tour and forest guide
William is from the Batwa people who were the indigenous people of the equatorial forests of Central Africa. He was born in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest but his people and family were evicted from living in the forest in the early nineties. The Batwa are often described as 'conservation refugees' and they have struggled to adjust to live outside the forest. Nomadic Skies is working with Batwa guides who were originally living in Echuya, Mgahinga, and Bwindi forests aiming to support them with developing an income from forest guiding, maintaining their forest wisdom and breaking down negative stereotypes about the Batwa that persist in Uganda. William will join our journey not only as a Bwindi forest guide but we hope as a trainee guide for the whole journey - potentially a first in Uganda.
Community guide - Tibetan healing and herbalism
Tsering lives in the remote village of Ringmo in Dolpo where he is a practicing Amchi - a Tibetan hearablist and healer following an ancient tradition that spans back generations. Tsering offers the opportunity to explore Tibetan healing practices taking Nomadic Skies' clients to the hills above Ringmo to seek and identfy medicinal plants. In doing so he provides a unique insight into the medicinal practices and healing beliefs of Buddhism and Bon traditions.
The spectacular monastery of Trasung Choeling sits on a promontory of land overlooking the ethereal Lake Phoksundo and to the soaring glaciated peaks of Kanjirowa Himal. Nomadic Skies have formed a bond with the Lamas (monks) at this monastery who have offered our clients unique insights into the intimate ceremonies and rituals of the monastery that few other visitors see. The senior lamas offer their time to explain their beliefs and wisdom providing a unique insight into the Bon religion of Dolpo.