Turkmenistan cultural tour

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Date
Price
Basis
19 Apr 2017
£ 2795
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Apr 2017 departure
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Turkmenistan cultural tour

Environment

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to this trip and as tour operators, it is something we are careful to promote. Your guide on this trip will have been trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. This is particularly important on this trip as some nights we will be wild camping such as on day 3 in the Valleys of Karakala, day 5 in the white Canyon of Yangisuw in Gozli Ata, on day 7 we'll camp in the shelter of the sand dunes close to the Darvaza gas grater and day 8 in the Karakum desert.

We are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through this region can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on all of our trips we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive - after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring.

By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit – this is important as this trip visits some delicate ecosystems.

When you take one of our trips, we make a contribution to “Carbon Clear” – an organisation devoted to ‘offsetting’ or ‘neutralising’ harmful greenhouse gas emissions caused by your flight. This is done by funding projects across the world that will reduce greenhouse gases on your behalf through sustainable energy or rainforest restoration.

Community

In Turkmenistan we use local ground handlers - this means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy and helps to improve employment opportunities in remote regions. By incorporating homestays, locally owned hotels and the services of guides and drivers into our itineraries, we ensure that money you spend on your trip goes directly into the local economy and local communities benefit from tourism. We also visit local craftsmen such as on day 3 we will drive to Nohur tribal mountain village where we'll stop at a local home and learn about silk weaving, a local craft which will benefit this family financially. We try to eat at as many local and family run restaurants as we can such as on day 4 in Balkanbad and day 6 we'll visit a fish bazaar in Turkmenbashi.

In order to facilitate an enduring support structure for the communities we visit, and to show a commitment to these values, in January 2009 we set up a charitable foundation through which we can directly channel funds to both existing NGOs and our own development projects. In addition to organising ethically sensitive tours, having our own charitable foundation allows us to raise money – through the cost of our tours, charity trips and fund raising events – which can then be used to fund various projects in education, sanitation, reforestations and a number of other important issues facing developing communities.

We also support several other Aid agencies and NGOs around the world which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit such as:
- Tesfa an excellent community based tourist project in Ethiopia, set up by one of our former guides.
- the Hope Foundation which works to help the street children of Calcutta by providing education, nutrition and health care and ultimately removing them from the street into better lives.
- Shuxiong Schools Fund, another one of our guides set up schools and educational projects for Tibetan children in Eastern Tibet, Bhutan and recently in the harsh environment of Zanskar, Ladakh where the community school in Rangdum has been given a vehicle to transport the children to school in all weather conditions.
- Adopt-A-Minefield, with more than 830 square kilometres of land left to clear of this deadly menace, Afghanistan is the most heavily mined country in the world.
- Children of the Caucasus, set up and run by the British Georgiaphile, Peter Nysmith, this is a great little charity that helps orphaned children of Georgia and the Caucasus through art, theatre and education.
- Mines Advisory Group, which clears and destroys the landmines and weapons that make areas unsafe after war. Today, they have field activities in Angola, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, northern Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Somaliland, southern Sudan and Vietnam.

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