YPT now have a regular history of bringing our scheduled group tours to Southern Iraq and are able to organize tailored independent trips there too.
We find Iraq to now be very safe and team up with experts who have their ear on the ground to make sure the situation stays stable. Iraqis are renowned for their hospitality and kindness.
Due to visa reasons, trips to Iraq must be made in a group of minimum 5 people. For security reasons, we wouldn’t recommend travelling with more than 15 people at a time.
Our local partner will arrange your visa pre-clearance with the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign affairs which will in turn send that pre-clearance to the embassy in the country in charge of people of your nationality. This might mean having to apply in the country of your passport if you are residing in another country. Once that pre-clearance is received, you will need to visit the embassy and receive your visa there. This can often be done within a day but sometimes take up to a week, depending on the embassy.
Please note that a visa for Iraqi Kurdistan does not include a visa for Southern Iraq but that a visa for Southern Iraq includes a visa for Kurdistan. While many nationalities can visit Kurdistan visa-free, a visa is required for most to visit the rest of Iraq. if you are planning to visit both Kurdistan and Southern Iraq in one trip, you should get an Iraqi visa that covers the duration of your whole trip including your time spent in Kurdistan.
Group Tour or Bespoke Tours
Since there is a minimum requirement of 5 people to join a tour of Iraq in order to get a visa, it might be a good idea to join one of our regularly schedule group tour of Iraq. However, for those who have specific interests shared with a few friends, it is always possible to organise independent tours of Iraq tailored to your interest. Whether you want to spend longer than a day in Babylon or to have a longer tour of Baghdad, our bespoke tours are sure to suit you and your friends.
What can you do there?
Our trips include an english speaking iraqi guide with over 30 years of experience in the business as well as a driver and a minivan. Hotels can be discussed but we tend to bring our customers to the best available options for safety and comfort reasons.
Iraq is a land filled with interesting ruins from ancient time but also many holy cities of Islam. We can also bring you for a boat ride on the Mesapotamian Marshes and citiy and market tours. You will be surprised by the freedom we have there!
Those interested in recent history will surely want to join us for a Baghdad Tour. While traces of Saddam Hussein have been airbrushed from the country, we will get you to meet people who have lived Saddam’s era so you can discuss with them and figure what it was like.
It is also a solution for those who want to visit Iraq and see its capital without having much time to wander outside of Baghdad.
Iraq Islam Tours
Iraq, as we mentioned is also very interesting for those invested in religious history. As the second most important country for Shiites, Iraq has a wealth of mosques and shrines related to the history of Ali.
Academical tours of Iraq
As the cradle of Western Civilisation, Iraq is filled with ziggurats, temples and cities such as Babylon dating from ancient days. Young Pioneer Tours can arrange projects related to academia and we have been known to facilitate travel in Iraq for documentarists, conservationists, ethnologists, archaeologists and historians both to put you in touch with local experts but also to start field research projects.
For those who are interested in Ancient History but are not necessarily professionals, a visit of the National Museum of Iraq, located in Baghdad is certainly a must!
Located near Basra, the Mesopotamian Marshes are Southern Iraq’s best offer at wildlife sighting. We can arrange boat ride around the marshes where you will see a plethora of birds and plants but also see the local people who live in huts along the marshes.
Overland tours of Iraq
It is possible to enter Iraq from the Kuwaiti border which is located near Basra. Contact us if you are interested in such a project. We can also arrange overland tours of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan and we recommend doing it in that order rather than the opposite for visa purposes. From Iraqi Kurdistan, one could also go to Iran. At the time being, Young Pioneer Tours does not deem it safe to go between Syria and Iraq overland.
Getting in and out of Iraq
Trips can start from either Baghdad or the land border in Basra and can visit almost all cities of Iraq including: Najaf, Samara, Karbala, Babylon and Tikrit. Another possibility to avoid the hassle of security at Baghdad airport is to fly in and out of the country via Najaf, which has quite a few international flights.