Igor Zani – Founder and CEO Altreculture Tours Italy

May, 2021

We’re back home. Thanks very much because the tour has been a great success. I have 100% satisfaction for Shayan and the driver. Both are great professionals. Also services: hotels, restaurants, minivan, there were no complaints and all were above guest expectations!

Luisa - Italy

May, 2021

The itinerary was very well conceived and organized, with full days and perfect time management. Everything worked perfectly even considering the changes due to Covid. The choice of the hotels was excellent and our tour guide was absolutely fantastic.

Tina – Italy

May, 2021

The driver and Shayan, our Guide were absolutely professional and the minivan was totally clean all the time and the hotels were perfect.

Jerry & Jo / Colorado, USA

April, 2021

We greatly enjoyed experiencing Kurdistan and seeing all the wonderful sights! Our outstanding guide provided excellent information about the historical sights plus gave us a true feel for the people living in the various towns and rural areas. The hotel accommodations were good and their food was exceptional. We strongly recommend this trip!


April, 2021

I’ve traveled far and wide in this world, fortunately, so I have some experience with tour guides. You are one of the best I have ever had. Why is that? You are knowledgeable and resourceful. You are organized, keeping the group on schedule, seemingly effortlessly. You are adaptable and resourceful. If items of interest were closed off to us because of Covid, you had alternate plans almost instantly. You are well connected. People respond to you positively, opening doors that would otherwise be closed. You are generous. You and your lovely wife invited us to enjoy a homemade lunch at your home. Kurdistan exceeded my expectations, and it’s people warm and welcoming. I would recommend you unreservedly. You have a friend in me.

Pier-André Doyon, Regional Manager (Africa and the Middle East) at Young Pioneer Tours

February, 2020

We've been teaming up with Balin and his team at Explore Mesopotamia for many years now and every single tour has been a great success. The team is knowledgeable, caring and very professional. Tours go without a hitch while in a difficult region and guests are thoroughly entertained and educated throughout the tours. For all kinds of travel project and logistics in Kurdistan, there is no one better!

Marilyn Marx Adelman, January 2020 issue of International Travel News

January, 2020

The sheer beauty of Iraqi Kurdi­stan absolutely shocked me. Mountains unexpectedly surrounded us everywhere we went, and there was snow in those mountains! The snowcapped scenery certainly enhanced our photographic opportunities. Our guide, Balin Zrar, an affable, incredibly resourceful young man from Iraq, had a marvelous command of the English language, having lived in England for four years. He made life easy for the group at every turn, even sending us into a little shop along the way to pick out any treats that we might want for the trip. Then he paid the entire bill!

(See January 2020 issue of International Travel News)

Ruth-Louise Moran

February, 2019

I wanted to tell you how impressed I was with all your arrangements during my tour of Kurdistan, I cannot think of any way you could have given me a better insight into this fascinating region. Please convey my heartfelt thanks to my wonderful guide and driver. I hope that they enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed theirs. I have appointed myself as your unofficial, unpaid promoter and hope that my friends take my advice and contact you.

Guest from Sobek Mountain Travel

February, 2019

The guides were fabulous. Balin is incredibly knowledgeable and accommodating.

Emma Watson, TravelAge West

April, 2018

When Shannon Stowell, CEO of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), took his 17-year-old son to Iraqi Kurdistan, for example, he found little information on the destination available online.... Because of this, he turned to Explore Mesopotamia, an on-the-ground operator and ATTA member.

“I strongly recommend building a relationship with a reliable tour operator — one with a well-known reputation and a history in the destination,” Stowell said. “The other option is to go yourself and become an expert in the region, but that will also likely end up with finding a good operator who has years in business, a solid risk-management plan and experience working with international travelers.”

Excerpt from A Travel Agent Guide to Selling High-Risk Travel

Conde Nast

January, 2018

Sal Lavallo Visited All 193 Countries in the world. Conde Nast asked him 193 Questions.

Question #5. Ever intentionally miss your flight?

 “I enjoyed my time in Iraqi Kurdistan so much that I stayed twice as long as I expected.”


April, 2017

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for a wonderful experience when I visited Kurdistan last week. We were very fortunate to have Abdallah as our guide, and he was excellent. This was my second visit to Kurdistan, and am very fortunate to have had the services of Abdallah on both occasions. Not only is his knowledge of the area excellent, but his personality made our tour even more memorable. Spending time with him was an absolute pleasure.