Walking and sightseeing holiday in Dominica
Description of Walking and sightseeing holiday in Dominica
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Our partners behind this holiday promote inclusivity on all their trips and across their business and we are all committed to ensuring travellers face no discrimination on any part of the trip they control.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetA large part of our walking holidays relies on walking the forests of Dominica and observing forest rules, while providing our guests with opportunities to enjoy the wildlife in their natural habitat. Many of our guests come on bird watching holidays, and to learn about the fauna. Others come as well to see turtles nest and do research, and without the animals and the environment within which they exist, Dominica would not be an attractive destination.
As a company we have been able to maintain this interest by working with local community and have been using villagers as local guides. (We have used the services of Alan John of Colihaut to hike the back hills along the west coast and Segments 9, 10, and 11 of the Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT), Prosper Paris of the Kalinago Territory to lead tours within the Kalinago community and along Segment 6 of the Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT), and Justin Dubois and Gilles Carbon both from communities in the far north of Dominica as guides along Segments 12 and 13 along the WNT as well). As locals, these people have spent most of their lives cris-crossing the back roads within their neighborhoods, and have always known the value of the land as a resource, and seen the need to respect and take care of the land and all that it provides. Operating as guides have therefore been the perfect means for them to preserve that heritage while earning a living and sharing a part of the land with the visitor.
Our programmes have been influenced by the current issues and interests of the local community. Where necessary, we have also been able to build on the local knowledge and capability of these resources by providing training in tour guiding and customer service to ensure that services delivered meet international standards.
As users of the forests we play a key role in helping to preserve and police the natural habitat to ensure that their well-being is always protected. This includes observing the rules as laid down by the Department of Forestry - as relates to hunting/fishing, and reporting on activities that are harmful or detrimental to maintaining that natural balance – trail overloading in sensitive areas, littering and indiscriminate disposal of garbage, and the non-observance of forest rules in areas.
It is important to mention that Dominica has no poisonous animals, and this is a great reason why people visit - to be able to experience the Garden of Eden...as God had designed it. It has also been the rich heritage associated with the abundance in flora and fauna that enabled Dominica’s Morne Trois Pitons National Park to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. We have seen it very important to work to preserve this legacy.
ALLOW US TO ADD AN ARTICLE PENNED BY MICHAEL EUGENE……
That World of Opportunity Called the Waitukubuli National Trail
My visit to the Pennine Way in August last year – part of a study tour in the development of the Waitukubuli National Trail was a fantastic learning experience! At 268 miles long, this is the United Kingdom’s oldest long-distance walking trail, and receives thousands of visitors annually.
This trip was indeed an eye opener, and showcased small communities providing services and products to hikers along the route. We saw the magic of mini and micro scale enterprise at work – feeding and sustaining the local livelihoods within these towns, while stimulating the local economies.
At 115 miles, there can be no difference between the Pennine Way experience and a hike along Dominica’s Waitukubuli National Trail. Apart from the location, the climate, and geography, the ideas for developing the trails have been the same – to open up the country side and provide a gateway for visitors to enjoy and experience local community life. For deeply rural communities like Bourne and Penville that are already receiving groups of hikers and enjoying the benefits of local commerce, this is really exciting. These villagers are already enjoying the opportunity of servicing the needs of hikers along the route.
From a tourism perspective, the role of the WNT is well pronounced - more so as it will be the first and only long distance walking trail in the entire Caribbean region - connecting 29 communities as it meanders through our Nature Isle. Rest assured that products and services will need to be provided to meet the demands of trail users and others visiting - home-stay in Lower Penville or Bellevue Chopin, transportation access to Segments 8 and 9 in the heights of Carholm and Melville Hall Estates, night hikes on Segment 4 to experience Tou Santi and the other wonders of the sleeping Morne Trois Pitons National Park World Heritage Site, pre-packaged meals for hikers going the secluded trails of segments 7 to 11, laundering and baby-sitting services along the route, mountain huts in the heights of Segments 8 and 9, and the list goes on……
From a health and wellness perspective, the WNT will also open up new avenues for health tourism while creating easier access to our outdoors and hidden secrets……and all those things that are being sought by millions wishing to escape for an once-in-a-lifetime encounter. Our sulphur deposits and mud’s, herbs and spices, essential oils, fruits, and mineral spring water – all raw materials in great abundance can be transformed and processed so that we can derive greater value from them! With these come niche opportunities to offer personalized services.
The WNT is also an information-rich resource and excellent teaching and research tool, and can be a hub around which research and other interpretative works and studies can be done. Indeed, considering the variety and richness of Dominica’s biodiversity, there is little doubt that this can become a 115- mile long classroom bustling with learning activity and educational programmes in small enterprise sustainability and management, hospitality skills, art and craft, history, cuisine, botany and zoology, and other areas. This can be developed as a model for outdoor learning and education.
And there is also opportunity for us to operate as stewards to preserve this great wonder – as individuals and communities we must police the trail and ensure that visitors adhere to National Parks and other legal regulations. We must ensure that there is no littering or vandalizing of trail infrastructure.
It is also our responsibility to ensure that hikers register with Trail Officials, and that they not go alone on the trail, and purchase eco-site passes - all these to avoid shortchanging the quality of the product and watering down the experience to the hiker.
Remember the WNT is ours to build and cherish, and we should not miss the opportunity to use it to develop ourselves and our communities – one hiker at a time!
Product Development - WNTP
PeopleMuch of what we do is woven within the local communities.... and so it is important for us to empower then and build their confidence...so we use local homes and restaurants to provide our food whenever possible.
Within the southern community of Soufriere, through our NGO - Friends of Waitukubuli, we have partnered with Heart and Sole (Ramblers WH) to help to refurnish the computer lab at the local primary school. Beyond this, there have been donations of books and other educational bits from our guests to the school...all with the intention to supporting and building capacity.
In Capuchin, the northern most community in Dominica, we have contributed revenues to construct a loading dock / pontoon, which the fishermen and community have been able to use. This investment is part of the revenues earned from having tours through that area. An aspect of that tour provides for a 50 minute boat ride with the local fishermen along the west coast - a setting that provides for story telling while providing perspective about island living and fishing.
Our tours also extend into the Kalinago Territory and the rural east coast villages of San Sauveur and Good Hope where we are encouraging the local communities to develop capacity to receive visitors and show case the local life styles and traditions.
In San Sauveur, a community that has never known tourism, we encourage the villagers to open up their bay oil stills and cassava factories to guests...and to interact with them, with the hope and intent that we can stimulate small enterprise development, while creating market opportunities for the agri produce.
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