Tanzania trekking holiday, Rift Valley trail

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Tanzania trekking holiday, Rift Valley trail

Environment

Environmentally responsible travel has never been as important as it is now and it’s at the very heart of our philosophy. From our inception, we have ensured that our responsible travel philosophy permeates everything we do, both at home and abroad. We choose suppliers that match our own environmental principles.

Our local suppliers have taken on the challenge of reducing the negative impact that operating their business has on the environment. Their lodge and offices are now over 80% solar-powered. They compost all of the bio-degradable waste from their lodge kitchen as well as from the tours. They have
established a “recycle wherever possible” approach to non-biodegradable waste. They are committed to reducing/stopping the use of single use plastics. Clients are encouraged to save water at the lodge, reusable food-grade steel water bottles are being introduced for use on the trek.

Our supplier is planting an increasing number of trees each year, which serve to not only stabilise the soil against soil erosion but also capture carbon.

With regards to this tour what more environmentally sensitive way could one travel than by walking? The very act of walking enables the hiker to form a close relationship to the environment around him or her taking in the litttle things that can be missed when traveling by vehicle. The plants and insects come into focus which surely must be a good thing in raising wareness about the richness of the habitat that needs to be preserved. The walkers are led by local guides working in their own back yard of which they have a huge knowledge. They also received training, part of which is raising awareness of the environmental impact that trekking can have, a fine balance is to be had between creating new tracks in pristine habitat and over using the ones already created.

We create a field manual for each traveller, amongst the information it provides are tips about how to travel in an environmentally responsible fashion for example use a refillable water bottle or if the drinking water is suspect a steripen or filter rather that using plastic bottles of water.

At home - our office is in an eco build which generates some of its own electricity and uses rain water harvesting. We travel to work by sustainable forms of transport. Bicycle sheds and showers are provided. We practice recycling and aim to eliminate single use plastic.

Community

More than having a neutral impact on host environments and indigenous human communities, we strive to have a positive one.

The money we create cascades into creating local jobs. We deal directly with local people: the food and accommodation that you will use throughout your itinerary is locally owned and purchased locally, in local currency. Local guides are trained, employed and so once again, money is passing directly to grassroots level.

Despite Ngorongoro being part of the Serengeti National Park it allows restricted human activity. This means that you will see resident Maasai families and their herds of cattle that live alongside wild animals. On the walk we visit Naiyobi, a small village where there is an opportunity to see and talk to the Maasai in their own back yard and learn how their lives are intertwined with the lives of their cattle. We have our lunch here. Again much needed money reaches our host community.

Social and environmental responsibility is at the heart of our suppliers work. Over the years they have focused their small locally run business into one that can offer some opportunities to and affect some positive change in the communities they work in. For example the lodge they own works with a women's group to develop items that the lodge can purchase regularly (like soap and jam etc) and other items that guests can purchase (arts and crafts). The women are all from local surroundings. The aim is to provide a market for all these local groups both from the lodge directly but also to our guests. They have a few Community Based Organisations that they support yearly as well as an NGO status school for toddlers from under-privileged families which they play a significant role. They are also proud members of KPAP, an excellent organisation dedicated to ensuring fair treatment of Mt. Kilimanjaro crew members.

At home we support our local community, being actively involved with our local ten tors challenge and supporting local charities Dartmoor rescue and the Devon air ambulance.

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