On this tour, you will visit the famous Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, founded in 1964, to rehabilitate orphan orang-utans. The site is 43 square kilometres of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. Today around 60 to 80 orang-utans are living free in the reserve. The facility provides medical care for orphaned and confiscated orang-utans as well as dozens of other wildlife species. Some of the other animals which end up being treated at the centre include sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional injured elephants.
The Nature Reserve, located beside Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort, has a forest garden planted with different types of trees and plants to encourage the habitation of insects and small wildlife.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Hotels Environmental Initiative. In accordance with the Group's environmental policy, all Shangri-La and Traders hotels have "Green Programs" to identify ways to reduce wastage, eradicate practices that damage the environment and generally promote environmental awareness.
The Danum Valley Conservation Area is one of the largest and best-protected expanses of pristine lowland forest remaining in South East Asia. When visiting the region guests are only allowed to walk on well established trails and with experience registered guides to minimise impact on the vegetation. Education is an important part of the package at Danum Valley so guests are also able to visit the Danum Valley Field Centre which was set up in 1986 for the purposes of research, education, training and wilderness recreation to learn more about the importance of the region. Guests can even enjoy talks by the resident scientists on what is being done to preserve Sabahís natural heritage.
The Abai Jungle Lodge operates a tree planting and lunch programme with the local Abai villagers as part of your time there. This programme has been introduced by the Lodge as a way to directly contribute money to the local village community, plus it helps guests learn a little about the way this traditional community lives.
Our ground agents only employ local guides to accompany our clients. All food in the lodges is sourced locally, helping the local rural communities wherever possible.
The Frangipani Resort in Langkawi is the first eco-friendly hotel on the island. While the management understand it is impossible to build a resort which has no impact whatsoever on the region, they feel the small things they do can lead to big changes. The hotel has a truly impressive list of environmentally friendly practices which range from the major to small, individual touches. They have an on-site water treatment plant to recycle the Resortís waste water, some of which is used to flush the toilets in communal areas and water the tropical gardens.
As well as recycling water the Resort understands the need for water conservation and they are aiming for a mains water usage of at most 10%. To try and achieve this they practice simple everyday things like watering the gardens early morning or late evening to reduce the evaporation rate, use large water tanks to harvest rain water and take advantage of water available from an underground well to water the organic garden. They are also planning on building a rainwater filtration system so they can make full use of this natural harvest.
The Resort has also set aside an area as a natural wetland which attracts such wildlife as water hens, cattle egrets, water monitor lizards, tortoise, terrapin and catfish. The wetland also acts as a natural water filter - after sewage water has been treated in the septic tanks, the gray water is channelled to the wetlands area where the aquatic plants such as water hyacinth and water spinach further treat the gray water by absorbing phosphate, ammonia and urea.
The Resort also has an on-site organic garden and nursery where some of the fruit and vegetables are grown for use in the Resort Ė this includes things like mango, papaya and jackfruit trees and okra, corn, spinach and cucumber. There is also a duck and chicken rearing facility on-site where the birds are reared for meat in the Resort which of course reduces the need for transportation, plus some of their eggs are sold to a local salted egg producer to generate extra revenue.
Being generally a very sunny island, the use of solar energy is very important to the resort and is used to heat water which avoids the need for a boiler. The Resort has a comprehensive recycling scheme in place which includes the recycling of the usual items like paper and aluminium cans, but also extends to plastic, steel and batteries. Old but still useful furniture from guestrooms is used in staff quarters. The kitchen waste is composted and turned into organic fertiliser to use in the on-site organic garden. Not only does this save the Resort money but it actually makes them money in received revenue for the recycled items.
The Frangipani Resort also encourages the staff to get involved with the Resortís environmental practices, again in small ways. Housekeeping staff are trained to turn off all room appliances at the wall if rooms are left unoccupied and security staff turn off all compound lighting at dawn. All staff are instructed to turn off lights and conserve energy in staff quarters and offices. The management also have a reward system in place for staff who come up with good environmental practices. The Resort also encourages guests to plant a tree to offset their carbon footprint.
The Resort is also very aware of their responsibility to the local community and as a result they have adopted 2 local schools which they organise environmental education activities for. The staff also try and educate other hotels in their green principles and they have also Ďadoptedí a local village to foster a good relationship and educate them in similar environmental practices which not only help Langkawi but the villagers themselves.
When she was 23, Edinburgh-born Liz bought a £10 boat ticket to Africa; she wanted to see the world and has subsequently lived over half of her life overseas. When she returned from Arabia with her family in the 80s she set up a tailor made tour operators that was the first to sell trips to Oman. She has a strong sense of social responsibility and has seen first-hand how tourism can increase local peopleís quality of life. The company is now a closely-knit three-woman team who share their expert knowledge and experiences to ensure your holidays have a real personal touch.
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