Kerala and Sri Lanka holiday

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Date
Price
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06 Nov 2020
£2585
including UK flights
7 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Nov 2020 departure
26 Feb 2021
£2670
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Feb 2021 departure
19 Nov 2021
£2673
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Nov 2021 departure
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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
In the Indian part of this trip, you’ll find the lush and beautiful are of Kerala a joy to explore. As well as visiting the main points of interest, we get off the beaten track at many points to really give us a flavour of local life. Travel is as much about meeting people as it is seeing the sites, and there are many opportunities for both on this tour. Our local tour leaders are great facilitators when it comes to introductions and explaining local customs. We spend time on a traditional house boat and also a night with a family in their home, this gives an excellent chance to learn about the life in this tranquil state. We make use of local trains which is a great experience as well as reducing the amount of time we require a bus.

Whilst in Periyar we are careful to follow the strict guidelines of our Animal Welfare Policy, developed in conjunction with the Born Free Foundation, when viewing wildlife so we minimise disruption.

In Sri Lanka, the famous wildlife such as the magnificent Asian elephants, requires support to protect them and their habitat. Visiting parks such as Wilpattu, where visitor numbers are relatively low and conservation is given a high priority, helps to support the upkeep of the habitat and the animals. This is both through the financial benefit of entrance fees, but also the interest shown by our visits to such places helps provide the government and local people alike with an incentive for their preservation for future generations to enjoy.

We are proud to have adopted an orphaned baby elephant in Sri Lanka’s Udawalawe National Park several years ago. Serendip fell into a trench when she was only a few months old but was rescued and was returned into the wild – where she belongs - when she was 5 years old.

The maximum group size is 16 people. With a smaller group we can spend time with local families, enjoy time on houseboats and make use of public trains to travel between cities. It gives us the freedom to spend time talking to local people as we travel and truly immerse ourselves in the culture.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. Cool Earth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

This trip gives us a great experience of the cultural heritage, natural beauty and friendly and hospitable people of both Southern India and nearby Sri Lanka. By using local tour leaders in each country you’ll be able to enjoy and learn about many aspects of life in these countries not accessible on other trips, and of course it is a significant way to create local employment.

They’ll seek out opportunities to show and involve you in everyday local life; for example stopping off at the roadside to watch toddy tappers at work, paying a visit to a village brick kiln or passing around unusual and exotic fruits purchased in the local market. You'll also be supporting the local economy through using locally owned hotels and restaurants, and visiting local craftwork centres which also helps to maintain traditions; many of our activities directly benefit vulnerable communities.

Our Tour Leaders are passionate about Responsible Tourism and brief each group on arrival. They are also on hand throughout the trip to offer advice on how to get the best from each location without causing any damage or offence, and by contributing to the economy. They help to bridge the gap between travellers and locals, ensuring that both parties benefit from the interaction.

Our village homestay provides us with an excellent insight into lives of the backwaters residents and is a welcome additional source of income for our hosts. Choosing to stay in smaller hotels and homestays, using local leaders and eating out in a variety of local restaurants ensures that our tour really benefits local people in Kerala. Hiring a bike or taking a rickshaw tour helps in the same way and is incredibly good fun too!

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