Gerewol Festival in Chad

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Date
Price
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24 Sep 2017
2299
excluding flights
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Gerewol Festival in Chad

Environment

This tour travels through some very remote and often pristine environments, and outside of N'Djamena all nights are spent camping. We make a point of ensuring that we do not leave any permanent traces of our stay behind, making sure that we take all litter with us. The desert is a fragile environment and we take great pains to ensure that we do not disturb it.

We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted and green thinking is only just emerging. This also includes working with suppliers to reduce water usage particularly significant in the heart of the desert where the scant water that exists is incredibly precious for local people.

Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.

Community

This trip spends time visiting some of the most remote communities on our planet and we place a great emphasis on treading sensitively. This tour visits when the Mbororo tribe partake in their annual dance festival at the end of the rainy season. Despite being a colourful and open event, the festival is very important to the tribesmen, as they are judged by the women of the tribe for marriage. Our clients are carefully briefed on the festival and the tribe in order that we do not offend. Although visitors are welcomed to the festivities, we always ensure that our presence is welcome rather than simply descending en masse and overwhelming the local people, of which a lot haven't seen western travellers before. In exchange for allowing us an insight into their lives we bring gifts of items that are hard to come by for semi-nomadic people, such as soap and tea, which are gratefully received by the women of the families. We feel that it is important not to intrude upon the lives of these people and so will only stop at settlements that we know are happy to receive visitors.

Where possible we buy supplies along the way, and although our groups are small this can make a significant input into the local economy of villages which otherwise have little opportunity to trade.

We believe tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have limited departures - usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders, and to ensure that what we will see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

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