Greg Stephenson, Founder and President.
Greg has lived and worked in Central Asia since 1997. His connection with the region runs deeply since his wife was born and raised in Tajikistan and one of his children was born in Tashkent! He started as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan and has worked with various NGOs and government agencies throughout the region since then. His hands-on understanding of the people, culture, and tourist destinations provides our clients the opportunity to feel comfortable knowing that they are in good hands. His travels throughout Central Asia have given him the opportunity to interact with many professionals in the tourism industry that enables him to providing the highest quality of services anywhere in the world. Greg currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and two children.
Rakhmatjon Ibragimov, Uzbekistan travel specialist
Rakhmatjon was born and raised in the Ferghana Valley of Uzbekistan and is a former student of Greg Stephenson (Five Stans Adventure Founder/President). After graduating from the Transportation Institute in Tashkent, he opened his own travel agency in 2003. Since then, he has been dedicated to providing world-class quality to his array of customers who visit Central Asia. Rakhmatjon has traveled to Europe and the United States and has developed a keen understanding of what his clients expect when it comes to comfort, quality, and service when they visit Central Asia. He has worked as a volunteer for many organizations that provide Uzbeks with access to clean water, energy, and medical care. Rahmatjon lives in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with his wife and daughter.
Sergey Gluharev, Kyrgyzstan agent
Sergey Gluhoveroy is proud to be born in Kyrgyzstan and offers a huge variety of tours for travelers - from bird watching and falconry to rafting, camping, cycling, and skiing. In 2010, Sergey was voted a top guide in an international competition held by the Leap Local organization. In 2005, he started a company in Kyrgyzstan to improve the professionalism and knowledge of guides, and this service is provided free-of-charge for those in the tourism industry. He is a young, energetic professional who works with passion and enthusiasm, and loves making new friends who visit his homeland. Beyond having a great knowledge of his country, he understands the needs of tourists and often goes beyond the call of duty to ensure that their needs are met. Not only does he enjoy sharing the beauty and uniqueness of his Kyrgyzstan with you, but he wants to keep your friendship even when the tour is finished.
Cholpon Soodaeva, Kazakhstan agent
In Kazakh, the name Cholpon means “star” and it is the right name for her! Cholpon’s main attribute is being adaptable to any changes in plans that happen along the way. She’s cheerful and fun, a consummate professional, educated, and knowledgeable. She loves her country, the people, and relishes the opportunity to share all the diversity that Kazakhstan has to offer with her guests! She started her career as a guide, and very quickly proved to be the best in her field. She knows everything about Kazakhstan and it is easy for her to help you make the right itinerary for any tour. She always displays a high degree of enthusiasm and willingness to take your requests with your interests at the top. Once the details have been received, she can provide you with an itinerary that you can depend on!
Babageldi Chariyev, Turkmenistan travel specialist.
Babageldi was born in Turkmenistan’s Mary province, where the ancient city of Merv is located. Ever since he can remember he’s been in love with the history and archeology of his home country. After starting his professional career as an English teacher at one of the private language centers in Ashgabat, he shifted to the tourism industry and became a professional guide. While he thought the move would be temporary, he has remained in the business for over 12 years and has seen his reputation grow to become one of the most successful tourism professionals in the country. Babageldi was among the pioneers that organized horseback riding tours throughout Turkmenistan and, eventually, this grew to become a full-fledged tour operator. Combining 12 years tourism experience within all parts of Turkmenistan, coupled with his never ending love for archeology, makes him one of the most successful and reliable travel specialists in Turkmenistan.
Jamshid Yusupov, Tajikistan specialist
Jamshed Yusupov specializes in community-based tourism in Tajikistan. He has a strong academic background in geology and geography, which are the two loves that he’s kept close since he was a boy. Before his career in tourism, he worked many years for many different geological organizations. Over the years, he was a founding member of the Zeravshan Tourism Development Association (ZTDA), and since 2007 he’s been developing community-based tourism in northern Tajikistan. In 2010, ZTDA won the international TODO award for the world best project on ecotourism. Thanks to his extensive knowledge and wide experience, Jamshed is considered as one of the most influential specialists on community-based tourism in Tajikistan.