Classic South Africa vacation, Garden Route
£2250 excluding flights
Description of Classic South Africa vacation, Garden Route
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetSmall Group Travel
Our scheduled small group tours operate with a group size between 2 and 12 guests. By specialising only in small groups we reduce the impact on the destinations we visit and it means that when we stay in environmentally sensitive areas and interact with local cultures, we do not leave a large footprint from our tours.
Wherever possible we choose to use locally owned hotels and lodges ensuring that local communities gain a direct economic benefit from our business through employment and tourism. We try our best to avoid large chains and more commercial properties unless the location dictates that we must, in which case we always ensure they use local staff so that the benefits are still felt within the community.
On all game drives, we remind our guests that we are the visitors and that we do not want our presence to impact the wildlife or their environment in any way. We are always accompanied by fully trained and qualified guides who will ensure that our groups understand how to interact with wildlife appropriately. The feeding of animals is strictly prohibited.
We know that in many of the areas that we visit, water is a very scarce resource. Our guests are encouraged to be conscious of their individual water usage and not to take long showers or waste water wherever possible. All small group guests are provided with a pocket hand sanitiser before the trip so that they can reduce water usage when washing their hands, and all guests are actively discouraged from taking a bath over a shower, particularly in Cape Town where the water shortages have been well publicised.
Travelers Code of Conduct
Every guest is provided with pre-trip information regarding the countries we will be visiting and they are encouraged to read up on the current social and political environments before they travel. We ask every guest to treat the people they meet locally with respect and fairness, and to make a concerted effort to understand the local customs and community beliefs. With regards to drinking water if the local supply is not safe to drink or is scarce, our guests are encouraged to purchase water in bulk and share it with the group in reusable containers, rather than purchase single use plastic bottles.
We know that being environmentally friendly starts at home, and as such we operate a virtual office so as not to increase the impact on the environment from having a separate office. We recycle all ink cartridges and paper where possible, and do not give out travel brochures other than minimal literature at our travel exhibitions. We recognise the need to reduce overall paper usage in travel documentation and as such have partnered with Travefy, a travel app, which allows our guests to refer to their itinerary on their smart phones and therefore they will not need to print it. This is implemented for all types of vacations from small group tours to tailor-made private trips.
On each of our small group tours there is a dedicated tour leader who escorts the group and ensures it all runs smoothly. In addition, we also employ local guides for each activity, which not only benefits the community directly through employment but is also of great value to our guests as they gain valuable insights into the local community. Their experience is enriched with the true expertise from people who live in the area, and it gives them a chance to see how their tourism is benefiting the places that they visit. On this tour specifically, we use a variety of local whale watching companies and safari specialists to ensure our tourism is being spread across a variety of communities rather than using one specific large activity organiser.
The national parks that we visit in each country support a large number of local communities and in particular provide local services and housing to the many staff that help to run the parks. Supporting these parks by paying the entrance fees is an important part of how we ensure the community is supported, and the parks are maintained, as well as providing an essential source of funding for the anti-poaching units.
Where we have influence, we are committed to promoting human rights. We ensure that everybody involved with our company is treated with fairness and respect, including our office staff and tour leaders. We ensure our local guides are paid and treated fairly, and only work with local business who follow this policy too. We have sourced small companies to use throughout this tour so that we can be absolutely sure they are treating their staff well, and for almost every excursion we have personally met the guides.
When we visit local craft markets we encourage our guests to barter in a friendly and respectful manner with the local people but ask them to remember that for almost of the locals they interact with this is their only source of income and the livelihood that supports their families. Our advice is not to bargain too hard over what may only be $1 to you but is worth a lot more to them. Buying local crafts is a wonderful way to support the local community, however we prefer to encourage our guests to buy smaller wooden carvings rather than large pieces in an effort to conserve the woodland in the surrounding areas.
A small donation from the profits of each group tour is made to an anti-poaching unit called the Black Mambas, the first majority female anti-poaching unit in the World. Their objectives are the protection of rhinos with boots on the ground and by being a role model in their communities. These 22 women and 1 man want their communities to understand that the benefits are greater in conservation than poaching, addressing the social and moral decay that is a product of the rhino poaching. More information can be found at https://www.blackmambas.org/