On this holiday you will be based at Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad, which has become a model for sustainable development and ecotourism projects in the Caribbean winning many prestigious national, regional and international awards. The Nature Centre is an actively participates in the life of the surrounding local communities and all of the Centre’s employees, including the birding guides come from the nearby villages. Their mission statement is “To preserve a part of the Arima Valley in its natural state; to create a conservation and study area; and to protect the wildlife therein for the enjoyment and benefit of all persons of this and succeeding generations”. Since its inception in 1967, the Centre has functioned as a wildlife sanctuary and a centre for conservation, research and education, as well as being a fantastic nature lodge. Operated as a non-profit trust, all the funds obtained from visiting guests are directly invested in conservation programmes, so just by staying here you will be helping directly to their efforts.
On this tour, you will visit various bird sanctuaries and national parks, many of which do not normally benefit from visits from mainstream tourism. The entrance fees we pay to enter these go directly to sustaining them. Wherever you travel, you will be accompanied by well-trained and experienced local guides, who are familiar with their environment and are responsible for protecting it, offering advice on how to preserve the delicate balance of nature. They are also of course, best placed to know where to find the various species of birds.
For instance in Tobago, your guide Newton George comes from the village of Speyside, adjacent to your hotel and is probably the island’s most knowledgeable birding guide. With 34 years experience as one of only two Forest Reserve Rangers on the island, he retired from this position in 2004 and now leads bird watching tours on a full time basis. His environmental credentials are without question and among his many claims to fame is establishing the Red Billed Tropic Bird viewing site on Little Tobago, which was featured in David Attenborough’s Trials of Life.
We run our small office, which is an extension of our home, in an energy efficient manner. We recycle everything possible, including ink cartridges and purchase recycled paper.
We choose all the accommodation that we use very carefully, for their location and their operating systems and work very closely with them. We visit every property regularly, to ensure that standards are kept, that they remain sympathetic to the environment, that whatever possible is done to be more energy sufficient and just to keep in touch.
We always recommend that guests eat out in local restaurants, try the street food from vendors and take part in the local culture, thus spreading holiday spending throughout the local community.
You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.