This company has operated on responsible tourism values since its inception. From an environmental perspective, our initiatives extend from our company offices to our tours. Our head office and stores are powered by a local green energy provider, we encourage cleaner transportation methods for staff, and purchase all supplies from a local green business supplier. Our office is as paperless as possible and our brochures use 100% PEFC certified sustainable paper.
Supporting communities is and always has been at the heart of our tours. We provide business opportunities to local people by employing local guides and tour operators. The majority of accommodation used on our tours are small-scale, locally-owned hotels. Our tours mainly use public transportation wherever possible and are small in size to keep our impact on fragile sites and communities as minimal as possible. We monitor the sustainability of our tours through traveller evaluations in order to allow for continuous improvement. We support the local economy and business initiatives by visiting locally-owned shops, restaurants, and markets on our tours.
Many tours incorporate community projects as a way of supplementing community income and supporting community development projects. In 2003 we founded a non-profit organization as a way for our travellers and our company to give back to the people and places we visit. We develop community projects around the world in the areas of health, education, small business development and environmental conservation. Funds are raised through traveller donations and fundraising. The company pays all administration fees which means that 100% of each individual donation goes directly to the community projects. Each year, we continue to support and develop new partnerships with more community projects and community-based tourism initiatives worldwide, in Latin America, Asia and Africa. On most tours, you have the option to visit a project as part of your trip.
Tour leaders provide travellers with information about local environmental issues in their respective regions, and provide suggestions of how we can best protect the local environment and culture. To reduce the amount of waste created on tours, tour leaders also encourage travellers to use refillable water bottles instead of disposable plastic, cotton tote bags, reusable batteries, etc. We also include destination-specific information in our guidebooks, which are provided to each traveller including information particular to the local culture and environment and tips on how to be a responsible traveller.
On this trip:
Low Impact Accommodation: The accommodation used on a trip can make the difference between local people receiving many benefits or none at all. It can also mean huge impacts or minimal impacts on the environment. On this trip we camp, at designated campsites in national parks and outside towns, and we also stay in huts, bungalows, and small hotels. Camping is a very low-impact style of accommodation because the structures are temporary! Camping means little to no electricity consumption, low water consumption and definitely no energy sucking air conditioning!
Camping on safari is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated public campsites inside of and nearby the national reserves and parks. These campsites generally are very basic, and we carry tents to pitch at the campsites.
Our campsite outside of Lake Manyara National Park is well serviced with a small restaurant/bar, store, warm showers, flush toilets, and electricity. Once we move into the Serengeti National Park and to the Ngorongoro Crater rim, the facilities become more basic with long-drop latrines, simple cold shower or bathing, and no electricity.
Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime.
Nature & Wildlife Protection: This trip affords countless opportunities to contribute to wildlife conservation by visiting famous national parks where some of the world’s most incredible natural attractions can be found. National parks and private reserves protect the world’s last remaining large tracts of natural forest, wildlife refuge and the planet’s biodiversity. Visiting national parks is an important way to contribute to conservation because entrance fees are the core method of funding many parks, from maintenance to security and protection from poaching. Visitors help the parks to pay staff and keep the park protected.
We will first visit with Kilimanjaro National Park. Upon registering with park authorities, begin the four-hour walk to the Mandara encampment. Pass through a thick rainforest zone, where there is a high chance of rain in the afternoon. Spend the night at Mandara Hut (2,743 m), an attractive collection of buildings. The lower terrain is gorgeous and fascinating, as we will pass through a thick rainforest zone, stopping at the Mandara Hut. Over the next two days you will continue to your ascent to the saddle of Kilimanjaro. From up here the views are vast and beautiful. As the camps have limited activities, you should take advantage of your time on the hikes to take in all the scenery and great views.
On day 9 after breakfast, we depart for the world famous Serengeti National Park, one of Africa's premier game parks. The park is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times as large! The area where you will be staying and game viewing is in the central Serengeti 'Seronera' area, which lies in the southeast of the National Park. Because of the sheer size of the National Park other areas will not be accessible during your stay.
A brief visit to Lake Manyara National Park will allow is to see animals such as blue monkeys, hippo, impala, elephant, wildebeest, buffalo, warthog, and giraffe all roam the park’s territory. The park is also home to legendary tree-climbing lions, and also has small populations of leopard. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s bird life, with over 400 species having been recorded within the parks boundaries. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
Cultural Immersion: On day 8 we make our way to Lake Manyara National Park and take part in a village tour to learn a little about what a typical village in the area is like. The village - Mto wa Mbu, whose name means "mosquito river," has over 18,000 inhabitants from 120 tribes. This two-hour tour will take you from the village's local market through several different farms, local huts, and artisan shops, and back to the market, giving you the opportunity to get a true glimpse of northern Tanzanian culture!!
Support World Heritage: On this trip there are numerous opportunities to visit important heritage sites such as Zanzibar. 'The spice island,' has an extremely interesting history and culture as it was the centre of the slave and spice trades in the 1800s. Zanzibar is one of the most fascinating places in East Africa, despite a heavy increase in tourism since the early 1990s. Thanks to an ambitious and far-reaching preservation programme funded by UNESCO and the Aga Khan Foundation, many famous old buildings have been restored, or are in the process of being renovated.
When Bruce went travelling after University in 1989 he realised he had limited options: he could either go backpacking or stay on a resort. Returning to Canada, he set up a company that bridged the gap and offered young professionals an affordable way to immerse themselves in the culture of different countries. Bruce gave some of the profits back to the communities he passed through. Today he has offices in 38 countries and runs a travel foundation that builds projects all over the world; he is adamant that all staff adhere to his original business model of sustainability and happiness.
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