Responsible tourism: Rwanda & Kenya wildlife vacation, on a shoestring
Wildlife - As part of our Animal Welfare Policy, we only offer wildlife encounters that directly benefit the conservation and rehabilitation of the animals found in a particular area. On this short overland tour, we trek to see the endangered Mountain Gorilla in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. There are believed to be less than 800 mountain gorillas remaining in the world, and about half of that population live in this particular forest. We adhere to strict rules while visiting the families. For example, the time allowed with the gorillas is restricted to one hour to safeguard the gorilla families from excessive human contact. The direct economic contribution to the forest (clients pay for a gorilla trekking permit) helps to protect this important area from slash-and-burn farming, poaching and encroachment by human construction.
Transport – On this tour you will travel on one of our privately owned modern, powerful, comfortable and safe Mercedes Benz expedition vehicles. They are custom-built to comply with strict Euro IV emissions regulations set by the European Union. We regularly check and maintain these vehicles to the highest possible standard in order to limit carbon emissions and ensure the comfort and safety of our passengers.
Friends & Neighbours – We support the local economies of the areas that we visit on this tour by using only locally-owned camp sites. For example, in Lake Bunyoni we camp at the Bunyoni Overland Resort, which is locally owned and provides important employment opportunities for people living around the lake. It is also ecologically built with local materials, so its impact on the environment is minimal. In addition, when buying food to cook en route, we go to local markets and buy fresh produce from local farmers, so our presence in the area has a direct economic benefit for local people.
A fair deal – We are proud of the fact that 95% of the specialist guides employed by us are individuals who originate from the local area. As such, it is very likely that when on excursions into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or around Lake Bunyoni, the expert guide who will join us to provide specialist knowledge will be from that country and region. We ensure that these local partners are employed under fair conditions, are paid a living wage, work reasonable hours and are given adequate support by our own staff.