Ethiopia trekking holiday, Lalibela & Gheralta

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2019: 21 Sep
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Ethiopia trekking holiday, Lalibela & Gheralta

Environment

Our clients are fully briefed in the best environmental practises before travelling to Ethiopia. This Lalibela & Geralta adventure involves hiking through very natural environments and we work with the policy of ‘Take nothing but memories, Leave nothing but footprints’.

This means that we do not leave any foreign materials or waste in these environments from our camps, nor do we take any objects from the environment nor disturb its equilibrium by our presence or actions.

Water is a precious commodity in Ethiopia and our local guides actively advise travellers on initiatives to manage water consumption during the Lalibela & Geralta Mountains Adventure. They are are committed to encouraging you to treat this scarce resource with the utmost respect.

On this adventure we use local hotels in the Addis Ababa and then a mixture of locally owned lodges and camping the rest of the tour.

The greatest damage to the environment caused by our clients is via the output of carbon dioxide from their international flights to the adventure destination country. YWA is currently implementing a carbon-offset programme for our clients in collaboration with the tree-planting charity WeForest and provide our clients with the ability to measure and offset the carbon footprint of their adventure flights by donating to WeForest to plant trees:

Community

We use our popular and charming local guide from Ethiopia on this adventure and he will help to explain the cultural necessities throughout in order not to offend, confuse or endanger the local villages and communities we meet en route.

Some examples of this are that in Ethiopia it is very offensive to wear a hat when entering a church for a man. It is very offensive to eat food with your left hand, as this is traditionally the hand used to clean yourself after you go to the toilet; to do this in a local person’s house from a shared plate of food would be one of the most offensive things you could possibly do to them.

It is also very offensive to wash or defecate downstream from settlements that use a river or stream as their primary water source – to which clients are often completely oblivious.

YWA discourages any projects related to orphanages in Ethiopia unless we have conducted a good amount of due diligence and planned a long-term project. Resident children have been shown to develop attachment disorders as a result of interacting with infrequent volunteer groups who shower them with affection and then leave suddenly. YWA will only be involved in projects where we know we are making a positive, lasting and meaningful difference.

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