Fundamental to our philosophy is that wildlife travel should ultimately help benefit the habitats visited as well as the local people and species that live there. The conservation and protection of ecosystems is therefore central to our vision. By using local guides and choosing our partners carefully, we aim to ensure that local communities and wildlife sanctuaries ultimately benefit through our endeavors.
We believe that ecotourism has the potential to change lives and is one of the best way to conserve endangered habitats and species. Responsibly managed, eco tourism can provide incomes to poorer communities so that it becomes a more attractive, viable and sustainable alternative to other economic activities, which are detrimental to wildlife and the environment.
In essence, we aim to elevate the role that ecotourism plays in the daily lives of people across the globe. We do this by building on the potential of ecosystems by helping to add value to regions. So that a forest becomes a more valuable resource for communities when it is left as a nature reserve - because it provides people with jobs as guides or park rangers instead of a resource to be plundered for poaching or logging.
We team up with the very best local guides, leading naturalists, researchers and conservation organisations to collaborate on projects to conserve and protect endangered habitats and species and promote environmental awareness and education. In doing this we aim to build our reputation our reputation as the number one provider of responsible eco tourist wildlife holidays worldwide.
We favour employing local guides as they always tend to have the most intimate and detailed knowledge of the habitats that we explore. One such example would be the Nyishi tribe of North East India, where we employed many guides and helpers from a village in Leporiang on a recent expedition. Thereby injecting much needed, funds into an exceptionally remote village, whose main source of sustenance is still derived from hunting the animals of the forest.
Engaging local communities, creating employment opportunities wherever possible and funding and participating in conservation drives and community welfare projects, are just some of the positive ways in which we bring benefits to communities and the environment. Another example would be our donations and support for the Aarti Home, an orphanage for abandoned and orphaned children.
We use hotels and lodges that have strong environmentally responsible practices and ethics that they can clearly demonstrate. We also actively support and collaborate with conservation organisations, such as the Gerry Martin Project in India, which is one of the foremost institutions in the country that is actively involved in research into and conservation of endangered habitats - such as the extremely biodiverse Western Ghats region. The Western Ghats are amongst the most biodiverse regions on the planet and face multiple threats from increasing human population encroachment to poaching and deforestation for timber. In terms of recycling, all of our offices strive to adhere to the following.
- Reduce the energy consumption of office equipment by purchasing energy efficient equipment.
- Minimise our use of paper and other office consumables, for example by double-siding all paper used, and identifying opportunities to reduce waste.
- As far as possible, use recycled paper and paper products.
- Arrange for the reuse or recycling of office waste, including paper, computer supplies and redundant equipment.
- Where ever possible, ensure that timber furniture, and any other timber products, are recycled or from well-managed, sustainable sources.
One example of this was a non profit making, snake venom collecting expedition to Arunachal Pradesh that we funded, which was part of an Asia wide initiative into researching snakebite. In India alone, conservative estimates place fatalities from snakebites at around 50,000 a year. In addition to that number there are a further 950,000 non lethal envenomations each year, a great deal of which may leave people paralysed or unable to work and provide for their families. The results of which would therefore have very real ramifications for the treatment of snakebite victims in India.
We also ensure that we fully brief clients who travel with us about the country that they are visiting and its social norms and conventions. Ultimately we encourage clients to have a “traveller” and not a “tourist” mentality and to travel with an open mind. This helps ensure meaningful and dignified cultural exchanges as opposed to touristy and artificial visits. We also provide clients with notes on how to make the most out of their trips and at the same time to ensure that they travel as conscientiously as possible with regards to their impact on the communities and habitats that they visit.