Responsible tourism: Madagascar small group tour, wildlife & culture
The environment and the issue of sustainability is high on our list of concerns in particular. We take pride in helping to achieve a healthy balance between environment, local people and YOU, the tourist.
We do not encourage or promote any unethical business or wildlife activities. As an example, Madagascar is a place where people may want to visit places where people can touch lemurs – we never include this in any of the tours we offer as we learned that these lemurs are not always treated well and that they will never be released into the wild. Moreover, their babies will also remain captive for their whole lives. We tell our clients that they should not touch animals as it is not ethical practice.
Our wildlife safaris or tours are run by experienced locals who rely on the National Parks for their livelihoods, and operate in the respect of local and international wildlife standards. Visits to nature reserves and national parks are popular among holidaymakers to Madagascar. We give instructions to both our clients and guides on how to minimise impact on environment disturbance to the wildlife.
We ask people to travel light and not to take plastic material with them if possible. We also encourage them to eat at least once a day outside their hotel in order to support local businesses.
We ensure that the hotels that we choose for our holidays are doing something good for the environment, from recycling through growing their own fruits and vegetables to using solar power.
To ensure a heightened level of environmental awareness from our clients, we provide them with detailed environmental information about places they visit, and how they can help.
Responsible tourism satisfies these social needs through contact with local people, and takes us further up the ladder to self-actualisation and realisation through creative activities, knowledge and exploration.
Our mission is to bring tourists closer to local people, their traditions, customs and beliefs. We provide many opportunities for our clients to experience what is the ‘real’ country.
We encourage and include many local projects in our itineraries. For example, in Madagascar we offer the chance to be part of a locally run project to stay in the village with locals and help them with their everyday activities.
As James Beard once said “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” Therefore, we encourage our clients to try to learn how to cook local dishes by interacting with local people. While touring, we suggest to them that they can visit local art museums, see local performances and respect local people and they beliefs.
Here are also 2 more examples, where you will contribute during this tour: 1. Anjaha Community Reserve in Madagascar, Anja Park is a great place to see ring tailed lemurs in the troops. It is community run initiative to protect the lemurs. Many community parks and reserves were established to protect natural resources and to empower Malagasy people with rights to their lands and the benefits of ecotourism. Anja Reserve is the most visited community managed forest and ecotourism site in Madagascar. Anja has become a vital example of how community management of natural resources can both effectively protect the area and benefit the community.
2. Mitsinjo Reserve (Madagascar) belongs to the Andasibe - Analamazaotra National Park. It is a community-run conservation organization work with the local communities to protect the nature and wildlife in sustainable way. Association Mitsinjo was formed in 1999 by residents of the village Andasibe in east-central Madagascar. Interested to work as guides for the growing number of tourists visiting the region, their project eventually grew into much more. In 2003 it gained management of Analamazaotra Forest Station and in 2005 the Torotorofotsy Ramsar Site, which are now their main focal areas for conservation, research and sustainable development initiatives. Today the organization is composed of more than 50 members from the local community.