North Africa overland tour
Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travellers (depending on the trip, operator and how many others are booked on the trip) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places.
How North Africa overland tour makes a difference
On this trip we encourage our groups to plan ahead in order to lessen their environmental impact in the areas they will be travelling in. Our pre-departure information encourages travellers for example to minimise the amount of unnecessary packaging they take with them (as recycling facilities are virtually non-existent in most of the areas this trip visits); encourages them to take environmentally friendly soaps and detergents with them; take solar-powered or wind-up electrical items such as torches with them (or at least rechargeable batteries).
During our pre-tour information talk environmental issues are re-emphasised to our travellers. Our Tour Leaders emphasise water conservation; rubbish disposal, respecting and conserving wildlife and their habitats; purchasing of endangered species products and so on. Travellers are also advised about respecting the many ancient sites we visit on this trip so that they will be preserved for future generations for example ‘taking only photos and leaving only footprints’; only walking in designated areas etc. The entrance fees that we pay at these sites helps to maintain and preserve them.
Accommodation on this trip is mostly at campsites. We have been working with some of the small hotels and campsites we use to introduce concepts of environmental awareness. This has led to one of the hotels we use in Cairo introducing a keycard system controlling lighting, air conditioners etc. They are making plans to implement other changes as well following our discussions.
On this trip we stay at small, locally run campsites and hotels/hostels (or bush camp) and where possible buy our food in local markets, thereby directly supporting local communities. We use local companies to run all our excursions and local guides at sites of historical interest. In Libya for example we have a local guide and police escort with us throughout our stay (the police guide is a necessary requirement by the Libyan government for all groups of travellers) and we also hire local guides at the ancient sites of Ghademes, Leptis Magna and Cyrene. In Egypt we use local Egyptologist guides to visit the Pyramids, Sphinx and Egyptian History Museum.
In Ghademes we have a group meal with a local family-giving them an extra source of income and creating an opportunity for cultural exchange.
Before commencing the tour all our clients are provided with detailed pre-departure info which includes information on Responsible Travel. This information is re-emphasised by our Tour Leader at the start of the trip-clients are, for example, advised about respecting local customs particularly in terms of dress and behaviour.
Charities supported on this trip: We support two charities in Egypt. In Cairo we have donated computers, teaching materials and provide regular financial assistance to the Sudanese Community Development Program-a school for Sudanese refugee children (www.scdp-egypt.com). We have also helped the school set up a Sponsor-a-Child scheme, and arranged a letter exchange between the Sudanese children and a school local to our UK office. This promotes opportunities for inter-cultural understanding and provides the Sudanese children with great encouragement. We can arrange pre tour visits to the school, and many of our clients regularly donate old clothes and shoes to the Sudanese Refugees via our collection system at our Cairo Hotel. Most recently (summer 2008) we have funded an air conditioning system to the schools computer room. We struggled a bit with this one as aircon is not generally considered very environmentally friendly but this room is unusable during the summer months. Our UK office staff also held a fundraising comedy night for the school in October 2008 and raised £1000. This money has been used to help towards the cost of rent and teachers salaries.
In Luxor we sponsor the Sunshine Project International, a home for abandoned and orphaned children. Apart from a regular financial commitment we have also donated bedding and play equipment to the school and even delivered a sandpit from the UK. Luckily there was no need to deliver any sand! Clients on our trips that visit Luxor are given the opportunity to visit the home.
North Africa overland tour