Available all year. This suggested itinerary can be modified entirely to your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used and how long you spend in each destination
Responsible tourism: Jordan & Egypt holiday
The RSCN is a relatively new organisation, and has made some great strides in conservation in Jordan – not just in terms of preserving the natural landscape but also reintroducing endangered species (the reserve at Shaumari played a major role in the conservation and reintroduction across the region of the Arabian Oryx) and working with local communities to preserve their way of life whilst also ensuring they benefit from increased levels of tourism.
When visiting wild Jordan, the headquarters in Amman, you get a great overview of their activities, and then at Dana and Wadi Rum get to see the fruits of their labour. In Dana, you have one night at Feynan Lodge, set deep in the reserve and built entirely using local materials. Lighting at night is provided by candles, and solar power provides the energy for the lodge.
We are one of the few UK tour operators to be awarded AITO’s 5 stars (the most possible) for Responsible Travel in recognition of our Responsible Travel policy. This is extremely important for us and we take Responsible Travel very seriously. In terms of responsible tourism, the Middle East is generally not very advanced, but we advise clients on how to do their bit, from ways to save water, which is such a precious resource in both Egypt and Jordan, to how to help with the evident litter problem.
The treatment of animals in both countries is far below what we would regard as acceptable. Most notably, you will see donkeys and horses in poor condition being mistreated. We provide clients with details of the charity, Brooke Hospital, who specialise in looking after mistreated mules, donkeys and horses, for those who want to do more to help these animals.
Here in the UK offices we try to protect our local environment in every way we can. Composting and recycling schemes are in place, each department has its own allotment in the office grounds, where free range hens roam. We use fair trade tea and coffee and organic fruit is delivered to the office each week. Car sharing to work is encouraged and a bike purchase scheme is available to employees.
In Wadi Rum the operation of excursions into the desert is in the hands of the local Bedouin – one of the ways of ensuring there is a trickle-down effect from visitors. We are also corporate members of the RSCN so in addition to promoting their activities, we also make a direct financial contribution to them.
In Egypt and Jordan, we always use local guides, ensuring that as much money as possible remains in the local economy. We also are quite keen to promote the lesser-known sights of Egypt: it is so well known for the ancient Egyptian monuments that other periods of history are ignored. This is why we include things like St Catherine’s Monastery and Coptic Cairo – it gives the chance to learn about a side of Egypt you may well have been unaware of, and so you can understand the country better.
Egypt and Jordan are predominantly Muslim countries, although the governments are secular. It is very important to respect Muslim social custom. Clients travelling to these destinations with us will be given advice on how to dress and guidance on how to behave in public in order to show respect for the Muslim traditions and to avoid causing offence, particularly during the period of Ramadan.
We have strong links with the organisation Friends of Conservation (FOC) who have a number of projects they work on across the world; their aim is to 'join with local people and partners to support sustainable ways of living in harmony with wildlife, ecosystems and the environment'. We work directly with FOC on two of their projects, one of which is the Bio-gas project in the Masai Mara in Kenya. Each of our departments also supports a chosen charity in its own region and in the Africa Culture department we frequently fund raise and donate to the Hannan School organisation in Morocco.