Nepal red panda tour and Chitwan safari
Description of Nepal red panda tour and Chitwan safari
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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.
PlanetIn Nepal (as with everywhere we travel we apply all the same ethics and principals set down by Tour Operators For Tigers (TOFT) to all the tiger safaris. By being a member of TOFT we use only TOFT approved accommodation, so you can be assured that the food you eat is locally and responsibly sourced as is the furniture, fuel and other resources used by the accommodation. We are regularly in talks with the park commissioners and other local authorities and help to build sustainable practises.
Many of the places in Suaraha (the village nearest the entrance to Chitwan) do not comply with standard eco-tourism practises so we regularly meet with hotel and resort owners and explain how better to run their hotels and resorts so that they will receive more guests as they run in eco-friendly ways. This will increase their business (which is what they are really interested in) as well as making sure that they have a pristine ecosystem full of amazing wildlife in the park for future generations.
When looking for red pandas in the mountains it is important to be aware of the fragility of the Himalayan ecosystem, by travelling with a zoologist as well as local guides, the impact on the environment is a minimum. As many things are recycled as possible and we make sure that all signs of our camp are taken back with us to the town and disposed of responsibly.
In Nepal we actively supporting the Crocodile, Vulture and Turtle Breeding Stations inside Bardia National Park, which aims to reintroduce Gharial, vultures and endangered freshwater turtles back into the Bardia National Park and has already seen success in Gharial reintroduction programs.
We also keep a record of all the tigers and other rare wildlife we see on each tour and record the environmental factors, this data is used by ourselves but also given to the researchers who work out of each of the national parks. As well as multi-national organisations like Panthera and the World Conservation Society. All the information collected in invaluable as the knowledge of the dwindling population of tigers is under such a threat. We also donate our pictures to the researchers to aid in their photo identification studies.
The wildlife is of course of the upmost importance to us on this tour and all other tours run by us. All pictures and videos which we take of wild red pandas are handed over to the RPN for their ongoing studies. This helps to keep tabs on the individuals in the area and further understand the behaviour of the species; as the red panda is still far from understood completely, every sighting is invaluable to conservation and research efforts. We also actively campaign against poaching and the illegal fur trade worldwide; we are also keen to report any abuse of the environment or wildlife that we see to the local authorities. The tour also supports efforts to stop poaching and deforestation by employing forest guardians and by donating to their work. We also help support programmes that increase the sustainable use of bamboo (living large tracts of the red pandas food intact) and we also help support their work to make sure that the red pandas ecosystem is better understood and that the local people use the environment in a sustainable way.
With all of our Nepalese trips we also directly contribute to charitable organisations working in Nepal, which include children's hospitals in Pokhara and community programs in the outskirts of Chitwan where they are focused on setting up many women's handicraft initiatives, local schools and also local community gardens. All of these projects and many more are supported by our clients whenever we stay here and make bookings with this lodge.
All our fees go either directly to the forest guardians, red panda trackers or the RPN and therefore to their on going work to protect and conserve the ecosystem here.
Throughout this trip we use as many locally produced and sourced foods as possible, by doing so we minimize waste as most of these locally produced products have less packaging that mass produced products. All waste we do create during the trek is taken back with us to the city so they can be recycled effectively. In fact nearly everything we consume along the way is locally produced in the villages that we pass through. Leaving next to no waste from packaging.
For water conservation we reduce washing of bedding and towels by encouraging our clients to use the same towel for the duration of their trip, so to reduce water usage in cleaning them regularly. Where washing has to be done when on the trek we use the rivers (not machines) and do not use any chemicals.
As we after often in the eco camps and small independent guest houses we are well off the power grid and so solar power is crucial for our trips. All of the camps and guest houses we visit use solar power as their primary source of energy and water heating.
We only use one vehicle on this trip, we minimize the amount of driving on the trip, most of the movement on the trip is walking.
All of our local suppliers in Nepal are pioneers in establishing eco tourism, they work hard to introduce eco friendly practices such as employing local people, using local products and also saving water and energy as well as being as sustainable as possible. In Nepal our suppliers are involved eco tourism at a government level and are key in establishing eco tourism to some Nepal's most remote rural communities.
PeopleIn Nepal the community benefits as we visit the local cultural dance performances and take guided tours of the indigenous villages. This increases the revenue received by the locals and helps to promote sustainable eco tourism in the area. We also support local initiatives which are helping to train up local guides and drivers as well implement educational programmes which promote sustainable use of the natural resources and of course promote environmentally friendly tiger safaris.
The park is a pioneer in involving the local people here which is paid for direct by tourist activities within the park. This is stopping the area around the park and the buffer-zones not being too heavily developed. Traditional ways of life are still common practice here because the money distributed from tourism to the local people is very good (around 30-50% of the total revenue finds its way to the local people). It is initiatives such as this which are helping Nepal achieve increasing numbers of rhinos, elephants and also tigers!
Also by visiting these remote rural areas we actively encourage employing the local village people as porters, guides, drivers and accommodation staff as well as spending time to understand and observe their traditional ways of life.
Throughout this trip we have opportunities to purchase local crafts as well as seeing how they are produced. We will be traveling through communities that produce local crafts and products for their traditional uses as well as tourism. It is the hard work of our suppliers in Nepal that are encouraging the local communities to produce such crafts to help stimulate their rural economies and also to help educate our clients on their local culture.
When traveling we give all of our clients the opportunity to contribute and participate in local traditions and activities. We are at the mercy of local people and the local communities when off the beaten track in Nepal. So it is crucial we make sure that we have a great relationships between our clients, guides, suppliers and the local communities. By bringing supplies (such as medication, school supplies and solar chargers) from the towns to these rural communities we help to secure a strong relationship through eco tourism.
The local community benefits directly from this tour in many ways. The most obvious being that the guides, trackers and accommodation owners are all local to the Dobate village and surrounding rural areas. The work that the RPN are doing here in conserving the forest is incredible, they are employing full time guides to become eco-guides as well as forest guardians in control of protecting the forests here. This as made guiding a genuine career prospect which has helped to keep the current generation of men in the villages (as opposed to the migration out of the mountains and into the towns and cities). As well as contributing directly to employing the guides and staying at the local rest houses and tea houses we contribute to the RPN and their forest guardian scheme and their continued educational work conducted for all age groups in rural Nepal. The education side of the work conducted here (and supported by joining this tour) is to raise the level of awareness in local villages surrounding red panda habitat, as well as to raise awareness in the general public worldwide. Communities surrounding red panda habitat are usually marginalized and have inadequate elementary education. This work complements this education through its “forest guardian” program. ‘Forest guardian” workshops are also run that provide educational training about the importance of red panda and the fragility of the Eastern Himalayan ecosystem. At a “forest guardian” workshop community members are trained to perform monthly monitoring of sample plots in each community forest area, documenting presence/absence of red pandas, other wildlife, and take note of changes in vegetation.
All our guests are encouraged to embrace and understand Buddhism and the daily lives of the local people, we find that this is the best way for the local ethos and culture to embed itself into foreigners and as a result the awareness of the area and its people becomes more ingrained in the mindset of tourists.