Trinidad & Tobago birdwatching small group tour

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Trinidad & Tobago birdwatching small group tour

Environment

On this tour you will stay at the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad, which has become a model for sustainable development and ecotourism projects in the Caribbean, winning many prestigious national, regional and international awards. The Lodge at the Asa Wright Centre is a comfortable non-profit making hotel, most of their funds come from their guest facilities and you can therefore help them develop their conservation efforts just by visiting the Centre.

When building Cuffie River nature Retreat, your lodge in Tobago, as few trees as possible were removed. This means that, given its location in the middle of a heavily forested area, the building draws an additional cooling advantage from the presence of the many surrounding trees. Green technology was employed in the design and construction of the Retreat. For instance, its floors and external walls are made of clay tiles and bricks respectively, because they do not attract the heat of the sun and help to keep the building cool. The buildings are designed to utilize nature’s energy-saving gifts of light and air, thus making air-conditioning unnecessary. A permanent rain-fed water system, eliminates the use of chlorine for purification. Instead, a charcoal filter is used to filter the water before pumping it into the taps and the swimming pool utilizes salt instead of chlorine.

On this tour, you will visit various bird sanctuaries and national parks, many of which do not normally benefit from visits from mainstream tourism. The entrance fees we pay to enter these go directly to sustaining them.

Wherever you travel, you will be accompanied by well-trained and experienced local guides, who are familiar with their environment and are responsible for protecting it, offering advice on how to preserve the delicate balance of nature. They are also of course, best placed to know where to find the various species of birds.

Community

We only employ local guides, who we know and trust completely, and do not send a leader from the UK to accompany you on this tour.

During this trip you will be based at two different properties, both of which are located in rural areas close to the local communities. These hotels are the main source of employment for the nearby villages and local people are trained in a wide range of skills.

At the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad all their resident guides are trained in conservation and wildlife and sometimes even sponsored through to University graduation. The Centre actively participates in the life of the surrounding local communities and all of the Centre’s employees, including the birding guides come from the nearby villages. The Centre is committed to conservation education at all levels and approximately 4000 local school children visit the estate each year.

The concept of the eco-tourism resort where you will stay in Tobago, was born out of the rural development experience of owner/manager, Regina Dumas. Her work in this field led her throughout the Caribbean where issues affecting rural people and their livelihoods were all too evident. For Regina, the human, environmental and infrastructural factors were found to be the most significant to the well-being of the rural sector and thus played a central role in the envisioning and development of this project. The result is a beautiful blending of attractive architecture, set in the midst of idyllic rainforest, and with warm and welcoming hospitality awaiting every guest who enters the eco-lodge.

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