Responsible tourism: Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda overland truck tour
We are dedicated to minimising the effects our trips have on the environment, and are committed to ensuring that we have a positive impact on the local communities we travel through.
On this epic trip through Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, we will be travelling overland using a combination of overland vehicles, boats, and 4x4s, trains thus cutting out the need for air travel and reducing carbon-emissions d reducing carbon-emissions. Going overland (by car and on foot for excursions) means you get to experience physically crossing the borders between countries as well as explore places which are off the beaten track.
We have a strict set of rules regarding wildlife-spotting, for example when in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Nakuru National Parks, and while trekking to the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. In order to minimise the impact of our presence on the wildlife and ecosystem of the areas where we travel, we explicitly forbid any involvement in activities that harm or exploit animals, and advise our crew in specific activities to avoid in this regard.
In Nairobi we have the opportunity to visit and support the David Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.
In Nakitoma we visit and support the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a wildlife conservation project that is slowly reintroducing rhinos into Uganda.
In Ruhengeri we trek to see the incredible mountain gorillas, the price of the permits going towards the Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation projects to develop the country’s sustainable tourism and conserve Rwanda’s wildlife.
We believe that local culture and communities must be an integral part of our trips. We recognise that we are guests of the local communities we travel through and strive to make these communities into our partners.
Wherever we are in the world, we prefer to use smaller locally-owned businesses, ensuring that local communities gain a direct economic benefit from our business, for example, we use small locally owned hotels, campsites and activity providers wherever possible.
We use local guides and operators throughout the trip; for example, in the National Parks we use responsible local operators that provide training and employment to many local people as guides, providing them with stable employment in the tourism industry.
We also feel it is important that our guests immerse themselves in the culture of their host country and we ensure that we weave experiences that will facilitate this into our itineraries.
All of our vehicles conform to UK emission controls when they leave the UK and are regularly serviced and maintained in established, locally-owned workshops ensuring that they run as efficiently as possible and our economic returns to a country reach beyond tourism. Waste products such as oils and tyres are often reused several times after we have finished with them, as we pass them on to local people.
All trucks carry a 350-litre water tank, providing drinking water for the group and minimising the need to purchase bottled water. Rather than using plastic bags when shopping for food, we also provide reusable longer lasting bags; we bury our bio-degradable waste or give it to local people to feed livestock; and for cooking we generally use gas instead of wood, a cleaner fuel which leaves natural resources for local people. Passengers and crew are encouraged to use rechargeable batteries for items such as cameras, which can be charged from mains supplies or on our trucks as we travel.
In the office and as a company: We are committed to trying to reduce, re-use and recycle as much as is possible: we reduce what we print by using email and online media for the majority of our communication; any necessary print is always 2-sided and all paper products (in addition to plastics, glass, cardboard, oils and metal) are recycled. We minimise our energy consumption in whatever way we can (e.g. using energy efficient light bulbs and minimising water usage with reduced water cisterns in the bathroom for example).
We are committed to promoting human rights within our sphere of influence – this means trying to ensure that everybody involved with us are treated with fairness and respect, including our office staff, crew, local guides and suppliers, as well as all the other stakeholders. In Kigali we visit and support the Rwandan Genocide Memorial, a centre administered by the AEGIS Trust, a UK-based NGO that educates new generations about the dangers of ethnic division and campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide.
We are also involved with a variety of community projects in key destinations as we visit. Our involvement with these projects is a long-term commitment, allowing us and our passengers to participate directly in delivering real practical benefits to the communities we travel through on the ground. The projects are not tourist initiatives, but a way of employing tourism to generate funding and support and facilitate community interaction. For instance, in Gilgil we visit and support the Saidia Children’s Home, an orphanage and education project for orphaned children from the area (visits take place whilst the children are at school).