Gabon adventure tour, journey to Moukalaba-Doudou national park

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Date
Price
Basis
13 Jun 2017
£ 4495
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Jun 2017 departure
05 Dec 2017
£ 4495
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Dec 2017 departure
09 Jun 2018
£ 4495
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Jun 2018 departure
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Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Gabon adventure tour, journey to Moukalaba-Doudou national park

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. The nature of this trip means that some nights are spent camping. 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. We use gas for cooking, but on occasions may use firewood – but only where this does not deplete natural resources and deprive local communities from using this themselves. Washing of dishes is carried out well away from any water sources so as not to contaminate them.

In conjunction with our local team we work with hotels and guesthouses to implement best practices when it comes to environmental matters. 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 Central Africa 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.

One of the highlights on this tour is a visit to a community-managed forest around the village of Doussala, home to some groups of gorillas. In collaboration with Kyoto University, IRET, WWF and the ANPN, the local NGO ‘PROGRAM’ is in charge of the habituation of some of the gorillas for tourism development. The NGO, ‘PROGRAM’ fosters community-based ecotourism and organises gorilla trekking around Doussala and safaris to a camping site on the bank of the Mbani River, on the beautiful Mbani Plain. Former poachers have now been trained as guides to take visitors on walking tours deep in the forests.

We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services. As well as our local guides and tour leaders, we employ guides from the communities and regions that we visit, ensuring that the benefits from tourism are more fairly shared and do not end up always being funnelled towards the government or one major town.

Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travelers. This has much less impact when traveling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travelers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.

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