East Africa overland tour
£1345 excluding flights
Description of East Africa overland tour
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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.
PlanetWildlife: Visiting the mountain gorillas is one of the ultimate wildlife-viewing experiences. There are thought to be only 700 of these magnificent creatures left in the world. They are essential to the tourist economies of both Uganda and Rwanda and somewhat controversially the tourist dollar is essential to the survival of the gorillas. The gorilla trek and permit money are used for anti-poaching programs and maintenance of the National Parks which contain the gorillas natural habitat.
Visits to the gorillas are very well controlled by the Parks Authority in order to minimise the potential negative impact on the gorillas. Group sizes are limited to eight; visits last for one hour, there is only one visit allowed per day and a distance of seven metres has to be maintained. Every effort is made to ensure that the gorillas are not exposed to human bacteria. Physical contact is not allowed and visitors are not allowed to trek if they are suffering from a cold. A tourist infrastructure has also built up around the gorilla trekking points providing accommodation, food, transport and souvenirs. This in turn has created a lot more local employment.
We also visit a number of other conservation /community projects en route that support local communities and conservation initiatives. In Uganda for example, our clients have the opportunity to visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary which cares for rescued or orphaned chimpanzees. In Kenya clients can visit Elsamere, the home of the Elsa Conservation Trust which has donated millions to wildlife and conservation projects and has an on-site conservation center.
PeopleVolunteering & charity: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a world-renowned education and conservation project in Nairobi, working to protect Kenya’s wildlife and habitats. It is most well-known for its successful orphan rescue and reintroduction project. Elephants are its main focus but rhino and other wildlife are also rescued and its projects range from rehabilitating and returning these orphans to the wild, to protecting habitats and operating anti-poaching teams.
Oasis sponsors an orphaned elephant through DSWT and our travelers have the opportunity to visit the orphan unit in Nairobi.
In Uganda, we support Soft Power Education, an organisation that provides education to Ugandan children. We visit this project during our trip and some of our clients have returned to Uganda after their trip to undertake voluntary work here.
Friends & neighbours: We support small-scale cafes, bars and restaurants on our tours and encourage our travelers to as well. One of our crews’ favourite places is The Equator Café in Uganda, not surprisingly, situated very close to the Equator! This café's proceeds help to support Aids orphans. They make incredibly delicious muffins and smoothies so Oasis crew and travelers are always happy to make a stop here. Our crew have even been known to phone in advance to ensure they don’t miss out. The café also doubles up as an art gallery, further supporting the local community. We make sure our travelers have plenty of time to browse and purchase any artwork before indulging in the food!
On this trip we stay at small, locally run campsites and where possible buy our food in local markets, thereby directly supporting local communities. We use local companies to run all our excursions.
For example, our Gorilla trekking co-ordinator started out many years ago when he was a child selling us cakes and drinks before our travelers headed off on their gorilla trek. He has now been arranging our treks for many years and also offers our travelers other activities that involve the local community such as banana beer making. This provides extra income to the community and great opportunities for immersion in the local culture.
Before commencing the tour all our clients are provided with detailed pre-departure information which includes Responsible Travel advice. This information is re-emphasised by our Tour Leader at the start of the trip. Clients are advised about many aspects including respecting local customs particularly in terms of dress and behaviour, water conservation, respecting and conserving wildlife and their habitats as well as endangered species products that should not be purchased.
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