Burkina Faso small group tour

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2016: 26 Dec
2017: 27 Jan, 24 Feb, 27 Oct, 24 Nov, 26 Dec
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Burkina Faso small group tour

Environment

This tour travels through some very remote regions, many of which have barely been touched by the presence of humans, and we strongly believe in maintaining their pristine nature. We strive to ensure that we leave these areas as we find them and our team have been trained in strict no litter policies, meaning that we take all refuse to either be recycled or properly disposed of in nearby towns.

Similarly, in conjunction with our local team we work with hotels and guesthouses to implement best practices when it comes to environmental matters – again in some places this is far behind what we might be used to in other parts of the world. This includes basic things like not replacing towels each day, as well as saving electricity and turning lights off.

Our travelers are specifically briefed on not to buy souvenirs made from endangered species – people in remote parts of the country do not always have the same respect towards wildlife as most travelers will have, and can
sometimes offer such things for sale. This also extends to bushmeat – it is quite common to find antelope, porcupine or even monkey served in restaurants, and we specifically advise our travelers against contributing to the depletion of local populations.

Community

As with many of the trips that we offer, this tour has a strong focus on local culture and different ethnic groups. Where possible we try to ensure that local people benefit from our presence.

We spend time with the Bwa people to see their extraordinary mask dances, which involves staying near their villages. Through long association with this area, our local team has established solid relationships with certain Bwa villages and our presence here is very much welcomed – we feel that it is very important to be seen as guests here rather than outsiders come to merely look. We are able to spend time with the communities learning about their traditions and customs. To ensure that our presence has a benefit to the community we consult with tribal elders and make a suitable donation which they then use to further the interests of the local people. We do not recommend that our travelers give gifts to local children, but anyone wishing to make their own donation is advised to discuss this with the local guides to establish how this can be best distributed. While here, and when spending time with other ethnic groups, we employ locally based guides who can help us to understand the local cultures – this also helps to create small scale employment.

We also visit the Lobi people, who are a rather shy and reserved group, a legacy of their experiences with both the slave trade and colonialism. We employ a local Lobi guide who can provide an introduction to the community and also ensure that we are not seen as ‘invaders’ but rather guests.

These are very traditional areas with certain codes of behaviour, and the people here are not that accustomed to outsiders. We ensure that our travelers are appropriately briefed in order so as not to offend local sensibilities.

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