Complete Africa overland expedition, 42 weeks
£9995To£10595 excluding flights
Description of Complete Africa overland expedition, 42 weeks
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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: One of the many wildlife experiences on this expedition is the opportunity to trek to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitiat. 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 is used for anti-poaching programs and the preservation of the gorillas’ habitat within the National Parks.
Treks are very well controlled by the Parks Authority in order to minimise any potential negative impact on the gorillas. Group sizes are limited to eight; time spent with the gorillas lasts for one hour (and 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 which has increased local employment.
Amongst the other conservation initiatives that we visit is Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Sierra Leone. This is home to an ecologically valuable array of biodiversity including more than 135 bird species, 11 primate species and the rare pygmy hippopotamus. Our fees for entry and guided walks and canoe trips contribute to the conservation of the island’s wildlife and environment as well as development programmes for the local community.
Waste: All our travelers receive detailed a pre-departure information document when they book their trip which includes advice on traveling responsibly and what they can do before they leave home to help reduce the amount of waste produced during the trip. This includes removing packaging from personal items which can be recycled at home and taking a reusable water bottle to save buying plastic bottles of water during the trip. Advice is also given about how to act responsibly during the trip such as disposing of rubbish appropriately and our Tour Leaders reiterate this at the beginning of the trip.
As a company we have a big commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling here in the UK. We are very aware of our environmental impact, so we recycle and compost as much of our waste as possible. We keep paper usage to a minimum but when necessary, we use recycled paper and stationery. Our brochure is available to view or download online and the paper version is printed on stock produced from sustainable sources and vegetable based inks.
PeopleFriends & neighbours: Our aim on this trip is to put as much of the trip costs directly back into the local communities and economy as possible. We purchase food locally, with the majority from markets and roadside sellers. This also gives our travelers opportunities to meet and engage with local people. Additionally, we advise our clients that they can support the economies of the communities they are traveling through by using local shops, cafés and restaurants. Our tents are purchased locally in order to support the local economy and to reduce the environmental impact of international transportation.
Many of the sites our travelers can visit and activities they can take part in during the trip employ local guides, including Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary, the Mount Cameroun trek, Robben Island, the Serengeti safari and Egypt’s Pyramids.
We got to know our Gorilla trekking co-ordinator 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.
In Aswan the feluccas we use are owned and run by Ahmed Fauzi and his extended family. We have been supporting their tiny felucca business from its start. They have recently managed to expand to 3 small sail boats which completely supports their large extended village family.
Charities supported on this trip: One of our crew's favourite places is The Equator café in Uganda. The café's proceeds help to support AIDS orphans. Supporting them is easy as they make the best muffins and smoothies! They café also doubles up as an art gallery, so plenty of time to browse and purchase the artwork before indulging in the food.
We support two charities in Egypt. In Cairo we have donated computers, teaching materials and financial assistance to the Sudanese Community Development Program, a school for Sudanese refugee children. We have also helped the school set up a Sponsor-a-Child scheme and arranged a letter exchange between the Sudanese children and a UK school. This promotes opportunities for inter-cultural understanding and provides the Sudanese children with great encouragement. We can arrange pre tour visits to the school, and many of our clients regularly donate old clothes and shoes to the Sudanese Refugees via our collection system at our Cairo Hotel. In Luxor we sponsor the Sunshine Project International, a home for abandoned and orphaned children. Apart from a regular financial commitment we have also donated bedding and play equipment to the school. Our travelers in Egypt are given the opportunity to visit the home in Luxor and regularly donate baby toiletries and toys directly there themselves.
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