This tour operator was the first to get access to China over 30 years ago and the first to take a truck to Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side. They have since expanded into 91 countries. Their product is driven by their clients because they listen to feedback and have to constantly evolve to provide a greater experience and better value. The exclusive centres they use have been grown organically and are often owned by ex-leaders. The holidays remain innovative, though you will now be travelling in a Mercedes 16-seater sprinter coach rather than a rusty old Bedford overland truck.
Accommodation & meals:
The majority of this trip is spent camping, therefore reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint for the whole trip. Each tour has their own chef, dedicated to buying produce from local stalls and markets and making a range of traditional meals. Guests might have the chance to learn to make an African Lakes regional specialty such as stew with ‘Ugali’ - a maize flour and water mixture with the consistency of dough.
We employ local tour guides, drivers, porters and chefs and so all of these employment opportunities provide financial benefit for people in the community. Beyond this, we also work directly with a number of charitable organizations in the area. Along with offering the opportunity to get involved in a school project in Jinja, for example, we make a point of visiting the genocide museum in Kigali, Rwanda. This helps to educate visitors, drive income to the area and to support the work of the Aegis Trust which prevents further acts of atrocity in the region.
Local Crafts & Culture:
In addition to purchasing supplies locally, tour guides encourage travelers to purchase goods and souvenirs from a Maasai village. Through this we encourage and respect their customs and craftsmanship while sharing with our visitors at a fair price for the Maasai people. Our guides are also keen to teach Swahili as a means of making a more genuine connection with people they meet on the trip.
This is a small group tour and so numbers do not exceed 18, meaning that local environments and the communities and variety of species (endangered and otherwise) that we encounter are not seriously impacted by our stay. This group size also allows us to travel with ease and therefore to stay at a number of unique, lesser known campsites and one hotel that would not usually benefit from tourism commerce due to its limited size.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
The permit fee charged to see the Gorillas in in Parc National des Volcans goes directly towards the preservation of this endangered species and their fragile but beautiful environment. By travelling with us, you ensure that rangers are paid a fair wage and have the provisions and personnel to protect themselves and wildlife against harmful poaching activity.
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