This company has operated on responsible tourism values since its inception. From an environmental perspective, our initiatives extend from our company offices to our tours. Our head office and stores are powered by a local green energy provider, we encourage cleaner transportation methods for staff, and purchase all supplies from a local green business supplier. Our office is as paperless as possible and our brochures use 100% FSC certified sustainable paper.
Supporting communties is and always has been at the heart of our tours. We provide business opportunities to local people by employing local guides and tour operators. The majority of accommodation used on our tours are small-scale, locally-owned hotels. Our tours mainly use public transportation wherever possible and are small in size to keep our impact on fragile sites and communities as minimal as possible. We monitor the sustainability of our tours through traveler evaluations in order to allow for continuous improvement. We support the local economy and business initiatives by visiting locally-owned shops, restaurants, and markets on our tours.
Many tours incorporate community projects as a way of supplementing community income and supporting community development projects. In 2003 we founded a non-profit organization as a way for our travelers and our company to give back to the people and places we visit. We develop community projects around the world in the areas of health, education, small business development and environmental conservation. Funds are raised through traveler donations and fundraising. The company pays all administration fees which means that 100% of each individual donation goes directly to the community projects. Each year, we continue to support and develop new partnerships with more community projects and community-based tourism initiatives worldwide, in Latin America, Asia and Africa. On most tours, including this one, you have the option to visit a project as part of your trip.
Tour leaders provide travelers with information about local environmental issues in their respective regions, and provide suggestions of how we can best protect the local environment and culture. To reduce the amount of waste created on tours, tour leaders also encourage travelers to use refillable water bottles instead of disposable plastic, cotton tote bags, reusable batteries, etc. We also include destination-specific information in our guidebooks, which are provided to each traveler including information particular to the local culture and environment and tips on how to be a responsible traveler.
On this trip:
Low Impact Accommodation: The accommodation used on a trip can make the difference between local people receiving many benefits or none at all. It can also mean huge impacts or minimal impacts on the environment. On this trip we camp, at designated campsites in and around towns, and we also stay in a small hotels. Camping is a very low-impact style of accommodation because the structures are temporary! Camping means little to no electricity consumption, low water consumption and definitely no energy sucking air conditioning! Camping in Kenya is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. Just remember we will be taking everything with us that we brought to the area, and using reusable items so as to create little to no waste.
Supporting the Local Culture & Economy: In addition to the wealth of opportunities to discover wildlife and nature in the several game reserves and wildlife sanctuaries visited on this trip, optional activities that allow you to interact with the locals and really experience the culture are a good way (and a fun way) to make your trip have a positive impact in Kenya. Activities that take you to homes, markets, restaurants, and villages are vital to the local peoples’ ability to truly benefit from tourism. People in rural communities, especially in developing countries, often lack access to the economy due to their location, lack of funds, or ability to market their products. Visitors offer them the chance to supplement their income.
Nature & Wildlife Protection: This trip affords countless opportunities to contribute to wildlife conservation by visiting famous national parks where some of the world’s most incredible natural attractions can be found. National parks and private reserves protect the world’s last remaining large tracts of natural forest, wildlife refuge and the planet’s biodiversity. Visiting national parks is an important way to contribute to conservation because entrance fees are the core method of funding many parks, from maintenance to security and protection from poaching. Visitors help the parks to pay staff and keep the park protected.
Here are some activities and places that incorporate real cultural immersion and learning experiences as well as wildlife conservation:
• Visit a local village - In Nairobi you have an opportunity to buy some lovely local handicrafts, or exchange some photographs with your group in the late afternoon, before enjoying your last safari evening together.
• Masai Mara - With its vast open plains and distinctive flat-topped acacia trees, no visit to Kenya would be complete without a visit here! In the afternoon we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our permanent tented camp, our base for our time here. Then we make our way into the reserve for an afternoon game viewing drive, with excellent chances of seeing the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino.
• Samburu Game Reserve - Samburu is a wildlife haven to many species rarely found elsewhere. We enjoy an afternoon game drive in search of the northern species of game that are not seen south of the equator, such as the Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy's Zebra, Beisa Oryx and Somali ostrich. On day 3, we spend a full day game viewing in search of the "Big 5" - elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, and buffalo - in addition to other creatures of the area.
Visit our Community Project: On many of our trips we offer the opportunity to visit one of the local projects we support through our non-profit foundation. Travelers can donate to any one of our projects through our “dollar-a-day” program, or at the end of a trip, but also have the chance to take part in the activities with our partners while in the area! On this trip we will be nearby one of our projects and you may be able to visit before or after the trip:
Limuru Childrens Center : The Limuru Children's Centre (LCC) is situated amongst the tea fields of the Kenyan highlands, on the outskirts of Nairobi. LCC has three main programs; long-term care, day care and feeding program, and academic scholarships.
LCC currently has 35 boarders that are under their care full-time, aged 4 – 15 years old. These children are either orphaned, or come from an unstable family environment. For those children that have relatives, LCC works hard to reunite them with family members, if they are in a position to take care of them. In addition to long-term care, LCC also provides daycare for over 100 children, in two locations. The children are all under 6 years of age and have been identified by a social worker as needing additional support. All of the children receive two meals each day and attend a preschool program.