Balochistan Adventure

Untamed Borders Summer Newsletter 2021

In this issue:

  • A Note from James
  • Upcoming trips
  • Where we can travel to
  • We have moved!

A Note from James Willcox, Founder

For some, food is an intrinsic part of travel. Simply mention a region or city and you instantly think of a specific moment in life. Maybe a lavish meal, a roadside snack or the smell of fresh produce, you are transported to another place and time.

For me, by far the strongest of these memories is when someone mentions Balochistan, because I can’t think of Balochistan without thinking about Lamb Sajji.

Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest  and least populated province, a vast block of arid landscape wedged in between Afghanistan, Iran, the rest of Pakistan and the Arabian Sea. My first trip there in 2008 was also my first trip to Pakistan. I crossed from Iran at the rough border town of Taftan, took a night bus escorted by a policeman to Quetta and eventually enjoyed the delights of the Sibi Mela where I watched Buzkashi along with tens of thousands of Baloch tribes people.

In Quetta I splurged on Lamb Sajji. Sajji is a method of cooking where a large fire is made and as the embers burn, legs of lamb (usually 20-30) are placed on vertical spits surrounding the fire. The chef slowly bastes them, turning them over hours like a vast manual rotisserie as they turn succulent ready for the evening.

Seeing the Sajji shops in the afternoon I couldn’t resist going back for dinner – and it was delicious, perhaps one of the best meals I’ve ever had! I thought Sajji would be something I could enjoy in the rest of Pakistan but alas, it really is a Baloch speciality and for 13 years and a dozen trips to Pakistan I have yet to taste Lamb Sajji again. I have been dreaming about it ever since, on and off for a third of my life.

Balochistan has been hard to access in the intervening years, due to permits and instability. However, things have eased a little and this December we will be organising our first ever group trip to the region. I have signed up to lead it, so perhaps finally our guests and I can get to taste Lamb Sajji again*.
Of course there is more to see and do on the trip. We also take in the remarkable ship graveyard at Gaddani, the mud volcanoes of Hingol National Park, The Makran Highway and a trip by train through the Bolan Pass. You can see the full itinerary here and a few photos here.

Hoping that you get some food and travel memories this year,


*vegetarian options also available.

Upcoming Trips


Join us in Yemen this coming winter, the country at the crossroads of trade and cultures between the Middle East and Africa. Our 6-day trip visits the main sights of the Hadramut region of Yemen including spectacular Shibam, the old city and Sultans palace in Al Mukalla, and the delicate mud built towns and villages Wadi Dawan. We also have a group trip to the beautiful Yemeni island of Socotra, known as “the Galapagos of the Middle East” departing this November.

Iraq – Cradle of Civilisation 

In March visas were made available on arrival in Iraq for 36 nations. So why not join our Autumn departure, a 9-day trip into the heartland of Iraq, travelling the region bound by the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Tracing back through history, we will travel to the centre of some of humanity’s first civilisations, visiting the ancient Sumerian site of Ur, ancient Babylon, and the riches preserved at the National Museum of  Iraq.

Horn of Africa 

Explore the wilder parts of Ethiopia and Somaliland, starting with a road trip through the otherworldly Danakil Depression, the hottest inhabited place on earth. Visit Erta Ale’s lava lake and Tigray’s spectacular rock churches before exploring Harar and crossing into the de-facto independent state of Somaliland.


Countries we can Travel to

With COVID restrictions changing frequently, here isa list of destinations we can currently guide you:

  • NEW! We can now guide in Libya!
  • Pakistan (Including group trips in November and our new Balochistan trip)
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Iraq (including a group trip October and February)
  • Yemen (including a group trips in November, January and April).
  • Ethiopia (including a group trip in November)
  • Central African Republic
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan (including a group trip in March)
  • Somalia (including group trips in November and Mogadishu Add On)

On these trips we ensure that our guests are up to date with any entry requirements and they also make themselves aware of any re-entry travel requirements when they return home. In addition, all our trips comply with local public health protocols and we also ensure our staff and guests follow general WHO guidelines.

We Have Moved!

With a growing team, we have moved to some lovely new offices in North London! If you would like to pop in and say hello…well you can’t due to COVID restrictions…but we can go for a coffee nearby!

We would also like to take this opportunity to introduce our new starter Kate! Kate has been working in adventure travel for the last 10 years, and during that time has travelled across five continents to some of the world’s most adventurous destinations. Kate is an expert when it comes to crafting your perfect trip, and she will be on hand to answer any questions you may have – so feel free to drop her an email!

N.B We haven’t moved to the V&A, this is new member Kate with a few of the team on a work outing!

If you would like to talk to us about anything mentioned in this newsletter then please do get in touch.

We hope to see you all on an Untamed Borders adventure at some point soon.

The Untamed Borders Team

July 2021