Brazil small group tour, wildlife and culture
Description of Brazil small group tour, wildlife and culture
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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.
PlanetThe key environmental aspect of this trip is our initial stay in the Amazon rainforest, one of the most important regions for global biodiversity. We spend four nights in Uakari Lodge in the Mamiraua Reserve. The lodge is designed to have a minimal impact on the surrounding environment - it's built on stilts in the river so doesn't disturb the forest, and is built using sustainable materials. Showers are solar powered and the lodge serves no red meat in its meals. Excursions are mainly made via paddled canoes rather than motor powered crafts.
Our stay here and the financial contribution we make, helps the lodge with its ongoing commitment to local conservation projects.
Environmental thinking isnít always at the forefront of everyday life in Brazil, so we need to keep it at the forefront of ours. We always make sure to take all litter with us, disposing of it responsibly in big cities and towns and mustnít leave cigarette butts either. Bringing a reusable water bottle is a great idea and if purchasing any snacks, we encourage our travellers to avoid excess packaging.
We visit some very remote and pristine areas on this trip - including the Amazon and Chapada Diamantina - and we are careful to leave these places as they were found. Likewise, if we see any rubbish, we pick it up when possible.
If our travellers see any wild animals being kept in captivity or being mistreated throughout their time in Brazil, we encourage them to report this to the relevant animal welfare and conservation organisations. We also advise our travellers not to have their photos taken with captive animals as this fuels the illegal wildlife trade and encourages locals to keep taking animals from the wild.
PeopleThe Amazon lodge we stay in is a community run venture, with guides employed from the surrounding settlements. Using local guides ensures money stays within local economies and means we will be treated to such valuable, in-depth and honest knowledge which we perhaps wouldnít get from a western guide. It also means we are keeping carbon emissions down. Throughout the tour, we stay in smaller and more traditional hotels where possible, as to avoid putting money into the pockets of big, international hotel chains.
Where small local shops exist within the villages, we encourage our travellers to buy something, be it a cold drink or a snack, so that we have some economic benefit, however small. We employ local guides from communities to show us around Ė not only does this give our travellers a greater insight into traditions but again it helps to put money into the local economy.
We visit a number of sites and monuments on this tour that do not necessarily receive much funding from other sources. The entrance fees that we include help to maintain the heritage of this country for future generations Ė not just western travellers but more importantly for local people, to whom these sites have far more cultural and historical significance. We use locally owned suppliers and our partners here are deeply involved with the preservation of the culture and heritage of the countries we travel through.
In Rio we visit a couple of community based tourism projects, including in the favelas - this is an economically disadvantaged part of the city and our excursion here includes fees paid to the community (so that we contribute and aren't just 'voyeurs') so that there is a direct financial benefit to less privileged groups.
Most people like to take photos on their travels, and itís sometimes easy to forget that the photogenic person in front of you may not want their picture taken. We always ask if itís okay, and respect their wishes if they say no.