Indian Himalayas trek, source of the Ganges

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Date
Price
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17 Oct 2020
£2649
including UK flights
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Community:
Our Himalayan Community Support Projects have been helping people in the Markha Valley, Ladakh since the floods in 2006, when we helped people rebuild homes. Since then we have been involved with the local women groups and Youth Organisation for the Conservation and Preservation of the Hems National Park in building and running a successful Eco Café. The focus is using only locally made or organic produce and eliminating the plastic bottles littered around the Valley with the use of a UV water filter for trekkers. The Ladakhi women have been trained in needle and flat felting in order to make and sell felt snow leopards, ibex and blue sheep as souvenirs. This has had great economic, social and environmental benefit for the area.

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all burnable waste back to a proper disposal place.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip, we spend 7 nights in full-service camps, while the remaining 8 nights are in locally owned guesthouses and hotels that employ local staff. As half of the trip is camping, we minimise energy usage thereby having minimal impact on the environment. While camping, meals are prepared by our local team using locally sourced ingredients. This ensures we are supporting the local community and contributing to their economy. When meals are not provided, our local guides make recommendations for restaurants and cafes so that our clients can sample local specialties as well as support small business.

Local craft and culture:
The primary focus of this trip is a trekking experience taking in the panoramic views of the Indian Himalaya Garhwal. There are however opportunities to learn about the local culture along the way. For example, on the first day, clients will experience the Ganga Aarti performance on the banks of the River Ganges in the spiritual town of Rishikesh. This is a devotional ritual which uses fire as an offering. We will also take a trip to Uttarkashi, an important pilgrimage centre on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, famous for its ashrams and temples and the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. We stay in small villages where our clients can directly interact with the local people and learn about their culture. India has very good shopping opportunities especially for locally made goods and these are often sold in small markets which directly benefit the stall holders.

Climate

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