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15 Nov 2016
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24 Jan 2017
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21 Feb 2017
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26 Sep 2017
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31 Oct 2017
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12 Feb 2018
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24 Sep 2018
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20 Nov 2018
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Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Eritrea tour

We are passionate about Eritrea and are committed to increasing positive awareness of this little visited East African country.

Eritrea has huge tourism potential which we are keen to help the local communities develop. The economic benefits of tourism play a vital role in this young country’s development and correct management at this stage is crucial. Our local operator is fully briefed and contributes to our ‘Responsible Travel’ policy. Through this and ongoing discussions, they understand that the only way to grow the business is in a responsible and sustainable way.

Your visit makes a real difference, bringing scarce work to local drivers, guides and other staff. You can rest assured that the money spent in the community stays in the community. We also visit local projects, including a fascinating market in Asmara where almost everything on sale has been recycled. By purchasing souvenirs you are promoting recycling and benefiting the supplier directly.

At the end of the journey travellers may donate any unwanted clothing, medicine and books, which are distributed to appropriate local charities.

We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.

We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit.

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 emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.

Reviews of Eritrea tour

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 02 Mar 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The old Steam train journey winding through the mountains from Asmara to Nefasit is fantastic and simply something you can't do anywhere else. (Though this is run only for tourists and you need c.15 people for the train to operate.)

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Read up about where you want to go in Eritrea. Travel is restricted to tourists due to the need to have permits to visit anywhere outside of Asmara. This means some of the fantastic places that Eritrea has within its borders are not able to be visited (and aren't on this trip), oddly also because you need five people to go to some places (but no-one can explain why it's five - it's not a cost thing)!
This trip only really goes to the main 3 towns; Asmara, Keren and Massawa, so the first 5/6 days are great, the remainder is disappointing as there's nothing in Decemhare and little to do in Asmara for more than 2 days. I would make sure you have plenty of books whilst you wait it out for your flight!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Local guides were employed. Beware though you'll end up tipping every person who simply opens a gate for you to see something on the itinerary! It's interesting to meet the Rashida ethnic group, but be warned that if you do not want to buy a bracelet, shell or don an outfit of theirs for a photo opportunity, the mood will turn more sour than the previously seen welcoming smiles.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Eritrea is a fantastic country, but don't expect to see much of it yet with their restrictive tourism. If I had the choice again I would not choose to travel on this trip in its current form; the front half is fantastic, the last part felt like we were simply waiting around for our flights with too much time 'trapped' in Asmara with too little to do. The trip needs to be shorter or have more added to the itinerary.

Read the operator's response here:

We value all feedback given by our travellers, and are disappointed that this traveller felt that the final days of the tour were lacking. Unfortunately, as stated, travel within Eritrea is restricted by the local authorities and it is only possible to visit a limited number of towns and sites within the country - some of these are contingent upon group size, while others are out of bounds for any travellers, no matter what the group size is. While we are continually looking for ways in which to improve our tours, Eritrea operates a rather strict system as to where western visitors are allowed to travel, so options can be limited.

While previous travellers have enjoyed visiting Decamhere, we realise that everyone will have different opinions and will continue to monitor client feedback in order to ensure that we offer an attractive itinerary.
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