When I originally started Bedouin Directions I purely catered for individual travellers who did not want shared tours & were looking for a personal experience on their own terms. Therefore, all the tours I arranged were by default Private Tours. However, in the last couple of years people have been requesting shared tours more. My aim is to provide what my guest are looking for SO I still mainly arrange private tours and cater to people who are looking for a more personal and tailored experience, but I have begun to arrange shared tours as well.
The positives of shared tours are that it can reduce the cost of the tour considerably, especially if you are a solo traveller. It also becomes a social experience and a chance to make new friends. It is also more ECO friendly because the number of Jeeps being used in the desert is reduced, so less Jeep tracks and less petrol being used!
The negatives can be that the Jeep is more full, so therefore less comfortable. You are a group so you will all adapt somewhat to each others pace for the tour. You could have less direct 1 on 1 attention from your guide. We also can't guarantee all the people on the tour will be 'like minded'. This comes down to chance.
In the end it is up to you to balance out the positives and negatives, and if you are keen to share we will do our best to find people who would like to share with you.
How does it work?
What we do is keep the website announcement bar (top of website) updated with dates when we have people booked who have stated they would like to do a shared tour. I will also keep the newsfeed on the 'book now' page updated with shared tour dates.
People are then free to book to join these tours. I will manage the numbers, unless people state when booking they prefer the group to be limited to a certain size i.e 4-5 people or whatever your preference is. If you make these statements when booking we will follow them, Insha'Allah.
If there is not a shared tour on the dates you want to visit, and you want to share, let me know when booking and I will make your tour 'open' and available to be booked onto. The date of your tour will then be listed on the announcement bar at the top of the website.
The numbers of people & prices on shared tours can change at last minute, people can cancel, or extra people can book to join (people will often book onto shared tours the night before). We will keep all people on the tour updated on numbers & the price via e-mail, but if changes happen last minute the price for the actual number of people on the tour will be payable, not necessarily the last price quoted by e-mail.
If you share a tour we would not ask you to share a tent, the sleeping arrangements would still be as if you had booked a private tour.
The limits of shared tours are: if the tour is finishing at the Camp all members on the tour will finish at the Camp (if people don't want to spend the night they can be dropped at the village AFTER sunset).
If the tour includes a Bivouac night, then all members on the tour will need to spend the night at the Bivouac site, and it is not possible to be dropped back at the village until the morning in this instance.