South Africa Garden Route holiday, small group
Description of South Africa Garden Route holiday, small group
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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.
PlanetWe do not visit or support attractions which keep wild animals in enclosures or trained for entertainment. South Africa has such great National Parks and game reserves, that we much prefer to see wildlife in their natural home. The tour also makes use of many Fair Trade-certified activities and accommodation establishments.
We know that tourism and the development required to support it will always have some kind of impact on the local environment and ecosystems. It is our duty as tour operators, and as travellers, to strive to ensure that we support and make positive impacts, while also aiming to reduce any negative impacts as much as possible. We know that making the positive difference we aim to achieve will not be an easy task.
We try to design some city tours to be done on foot as much as possible and reduce the amount of driving each day.
Drinking water and the waste associated with single-use plastic water bottles is something we are working hard on in all our destinations. We encourage travellers to bring their own water bottles, and are also rolling out a program of providing large water canisters on group tours instead of small bottles, and offering filtered water bottles to travellers, which can vastly reduce waste generated by our customers on an ongoing basis after their tour with us.
We encourage energy saving on our tours by asking travellers to turn off all air-conditioning, lights, and electronics when leaving their hotel rooms. Littering at any of the sites must also be avoided. If trash cans are not available, we facilitate the collection and later disposal of any waste generated during our tours.
Many of the sites we visit on our tours are seen as natural wonders. We encourage our travellers to treat these sites as such, sticking to marked paths, not picking wild plants or flowers, and avoiding disturbing the local wildlife as much as possible.
For us, Responsible Travel is the only way to travel.
Our office operations have been updated to vastly reduce the amount of paper and ink used, and we have a strict policy of only using recycled paper for printing and recycling and re-using any waste paper produced. By moving to a mainly home-working team, we have also reduced the CO2 emissions we produce through commuter travel.
The impacts we have as travellers, and operators, extend beyond the immediate locations we travel to, and include our office operations, the way we travel between places, the things we buy and use in destinations, and what we take with us and leave behind.
PeopleOur Garden Route tours use a range of locally-owned and owner-run boutique guesthouses and small hotels, where you can often have close contact with the family running them, creating a great connection with the local area. The Backpackers accommodations are also locally-owned and managed.
We aim to use only guides who have lived and been brought up in South Africa, and who have lived and worked in the Garden Route region extensively, as we feel they can provide the best balance of the guiding information required, plus more insights into modern day culture and life in the region.
Throughout our long tourism business journey, exceeding 20 years of operations in the Middle East and Asia in particular, we have succeeded in establishing strong links with many of the communities we are dealing with in our host destinations.
We believe that the Responsible Travel concept has to be a two-way strategy, with both the travellers and the local community gaining benefits. We benefit the local communities we visit using a wide scope of activities that have a positive impact on the local economy, directly by donating money to charity organizations, financially supporting some local communities and by recruiting employees who belonging to the local community. We aim to use locally-owned hotels instead of international chains, and encourage our guests to buy local products and make use of services provided in the communities they travel through. We help indirectly through the experiences and cultural exchanges that take place between the local population and the travellers during our tours.
We promise to try to support the local community of every destination we take our travellers to. We do this by employing local guides, using local handicraft shops, and recommending shops to our travellers so that their holiday spending contributes to the people of that country. Furthermore, we provide each traveller with a tipping guide or arrange a tipping kitty that will help to ensure that those numerous people working hard to make sure our holidays run smoothly and are a great experience, are rewarded as they should be.
We also try to consider the social and cultural aspects of the local community and how to respect the customs and traditions of its inhabitants. Our tour notes will provide advance information on dress codes and particular local customs, and our guides will expand on this in their explanations during the tour. This means we can create valuable and rewarding opportunities for our travellers and allow local people to mingle and exchange ideas and thoughts without causing any unintended offence.
By creating long-lasting relationships with our local ground handling agents and partners, and ensuring our sales consultants visit the destinations they are selling, we are able to establish what needs the communities we visit have, and ensure that our travellers are also informed appropriately.
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