Responsible Travel Experiences
We strive to spread the joy of travel and facilitate enriching and life-changing experiences for our guests, by seeking to understand our guests’ travel dreams and making these come true through our tailor-made travel. To achieve this, we regularly travel to our travel destinations and provide personalized concierge-type support to our guests before & during their trip through our team of dedicated Trip Coordinators.
We aim to promote Responsible Travel Experiences which live up to the following criteria:
- facilitate mutually enriching encounters and more meaningful connections between our guests and local people
- benefit local communities and community projects
- benefit local conservation projects and contribute to conservation of endangered animals or habitats
- promote deeper understanding among our guests of local cultural, social and environmental issues
We strive to achieve this through:
- promoting off-the-beaten path places and avoiding destinations that are likely to be adversely affected by tourism
- placing great emphasis on high quality local guides who are able to provide in-depth insights into the destination in a culturally sensitive manner
- facilitating responsible and enriching experiences for our guests through visiting communities and getting an understanding of or involved in local community or conservation initiatives
- trying to ensure that at least one member of our team has visited every place that we promote to our guests
- encouraging our guests to deepen their understanding of the destination they visit and providing guests with relevant information on culture & traditions, through personal advice, travel guides and Tips for Responsible Travel
Building on this, we seek to design and promote Responsible Travel Itineraries which:
- promote Responsible Travel Experiences
- support fragile and considered destinations that need tourism to survive
- feature Sustainable Hotels
- contain environmentally-friendly modes of transport (i.e. reduced flights / train journeys / shared vehicle usage on safaris / electric vehicles)
We assess our impact through regularly testing the experiences we offer to guests as well as gathering post-trip guest feedback, which is a great inspiration for us and enables us to continually enhance our service.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
The greatest joy of travel is of course, to experience. Both planned and unplanned, experiences are what allow us to connect to the soul of a new destination, and of its people and landscapes.
Whatever your interests, fitness level or travel style, we have a responsible travel experience for you.
I. Light Footsteps
The mode in which you travel can make a vast difference. What we call a safari today – in which we witness wildlife in their natural landscape – has been around since the 19th century, taking place by foot, boat or atop an animal. With more and safari camps looking to be environmentally responsible, these traditional approaches are being brought back once again.
- Walking Safaris and Bush Walks
Accompanied by expert naturalists who have your safety as a top priority, this experience allows you to be intimate with your surroundings, where you can look out for signs such as prints and shrubs that allow you to successfully track the wildlife, and learn about the local botany.
- Water-based Activities
Rivers and oceans are ideal spots to enjoy low-impact leisure activities. A boat ride, such as a mokoro safari in Botswana, canoeing in the Amazon, or floating market visits in Asia, provides opportunities to discover wildlife and/or understand the culture of regions often inaccessible by land.
- Horse Riding Safaris
Horseback riding allows you not only to observe the landscapes but maintains the traditional way of life, particularly in Argentina with the renowned gaucho culture of South America.
- Hiking, Trekking and Climbing
Feet are a responsible traveler’s best friend! You could choose from an array of hiking, trekking and climbing experiences that suit your fitness level and physical ability, be it climbing mountains, volcano trekking, rainforest hikes or plantation walks.
- Bicycle Tours
A bicycle allows you to observe new destinations ecologically and at a slower pace so that you can fully breathe in your surroundings. In many cities, we are happy to offer bicycle tours as an alternative to car rides. We also offer bicycle tours out of the city – such as in Chilean vineyards, rural Indonesia and Tanzania, or Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
II. Go off the Beaten Path
Avoid contributing to overtourism with a simple solution: head where few tread! When offered responsibly, not only does this support local communities who benefit from an income source they otherwise wouldn’t receive, it also provides you with a unique and enchanting experience that is hard to replicate. We work hard to discover remote regions in which we can offer a range of such authentic experiences.
- Village Visits and Markets
A plethora of village visits await you in our enchanting world. You may want to visit Himba villages in Africa, stilt settlements in Asia, or a potter’s village in India. The hub of many rural regions is the market, and delving into this everyday experience with our experts can provide much insight into the authentic, local ways of life.
- Local Farm or Plantation Visits
Visiting a small-scale farm can offer much insight about low-impact agricultural practices adopted in different parts of the world. As you visit a cocoa plantation in Ecuador, a tea gardens in Malawi, rice farms in Lao, or organic cotton fields in India, you may just find yourself pondering over human history and our struggle for survival.
- Meet Local Families
There’s always value in sitting down and having a conversation with local people. Even if you don’t include a homestay in your journey, you can still meet local families, perhaps over a traditional meal. Many of our guests have been invited to the homes of their guides and chauffeurs during the journey and become lifelong friends!
- Local Enterprise and Living Traditions
Some of the most exciting businesses are lesser-known socially responsible enterprises that exist purely to serve a small community. We believe in keeping skills alive by providing you a chance to visit deserving artisans and learn how such enterprises were established and function. You could try your hand at the craft yourself!
- Wilderness Camping and Stargazing
Embrace the vastness of savannas and deserts by going wilderness camping, often known as fly camping. Stay a night or two under a simple canvas in a remote destination, where you leave no trace but take away a treasure chest of memories. Under the sprawling, starry night skies, we offer many experiences of sleeping in unique ‘Star Beds’, in the most breathtaking locations.
III. Cultural Immersion
While culture continually evolves with time, certain customs have barely changed for centuries and we wish to celebrate this. We believe that history can guide us in the present day, helping us to understand the world around us. Cultural immersion is often in the everyday – in the food we eat and the languages we speak, the music we play, and in artistic treats.
- Cooking Classes and Street Food Tours
Hands-on and demonstration cooking classes provide a lively cultural encounter with native ingredients and local cuisines. Concluding with eating the meals you have prepared, there is always plenty of time to connect with your host. Our foodie travelers particularly love our street food tours, where you can tuck into safe and hygienic fare with experts.
- Street Walks
We offer a carefully selected collection of experiences that we feel positively benefit families who live in extreme poverty. Our knowledgeable guides can not only show you the modern and stylish districts but also take you to less privileged neighborhoods. We enable them to help promote a dialogue between our guests and community members and ensure that the experience is meaningful for everyone.
- Language Classes
The best way to connect with people is to know the lingo. Learning the local language in the country is always fun, especially with a teacher who can show you not only how to converse, but also to guide you on how to interact with the community while observing cultural nuances.
- School Visits
We are able to arrange visits to a local school and invite guests to come prepared to deliver inspiring talks, or be willing to share useful life skills. We especially encourage educators who are seeking to observe different teaching methods. We believe children should be engaged in meaningful activities with our guests, and that any visits should not hinder education or normal daily routines.
- Historic Lessons
Delving into the past can be transformational and thought-provoking, and sometimes deeply touching. We arrange experiences that we believe promote global citizenship and care, and add to our sense of responsibility – such as visits to sites like Mother Teresa’s house, and the Genocide Memorial in Rwanda that offers testimony to the resilience of survivors.
IV. Take a walk on the wild side
There’s nothing more humbling and eye-opening than witnessing Nature in all its glory. Let us invite you to journey with us into the wild where you can encounter from a safe distance, some of the most extraordinary flora and fauna.
- Wilderness Conservation
We firmly believe that wildlife experiences should only be offered if they are contributing to education and the conservation of animals being observed. With more and more species becoming endangered, a vacation is the perfect opportunity to learn about and support wildlife.
- Elephant Rescue
We are passionate about rescuing elephants exploited by tourism and overwork, or injured. We offer a range of experiences where you can spend a half or full day at an elephant rescue camp in Asia, learning about these gentle giants. In addition to supporting elephants, these experiences protect the land and resources and employ local people.
- Gorilla Trekking
Trekking to observe endangered gorillas in the wild can help sustain the funds required for their conservation. We couple these experiences with expert guides and community-integrated projects that protect and economically support the local indigenous people who co-exist with gorillas in these natural habitats.
Some of Our Responsible Partners
We are happy to partner with the following organizations to deliver more and more authentic experiences that directly benefit the local people and environment.
When tourism sends a message to the world that a destination is worth protecting, it can have its advantages. By arranging responsible journeys to the Polar regions, and adhering to strict guidelines, Quark Expeditions seeks to do exactly this. With vessels that use clean burning fuel and a low emission factor, sustainable seafood, responsible disposal of waste at sea as per international regulations, eco-friendly amenities and recycled paper, and supporting charities dedicated to the Polar regions, Quark Expeditions promote sustainable tourism in Antarctica from which both visitors and the destination can benefit.
I Like Local
I Like Local is an organisation that provides experiences focused on bridging the gap between different cultures by bringing visitors together with local people so that deep connections and lasting memories are formed. Like Enchanting Travels, I Like Local believes in the transformational power of travel. Local people can improve the quality of their lives and help strengthen the regional economy as 100% of the money is paid directly to them.
One Horizon is dedicated to assisting the poorest people in Kenya through humanitarian projects. Several of these are focused on empowering women, many of whom are homeless or struggle to support their families. Through One Horizon you can meet people and see places that a typical tourist would never have access to. One of our favorites from these projects is Go Granny Go, which has helped elderly ladies – some of who were poor farm hands – start their own businesses.