More and more people are travelling and increasingly the effects of tourism are felt on a local level. Your journey also has positive influences however! Think about local employment and the boost to the overall economy; the creation of national parks and UNESCO World Heritage sites and learning and appreciating other cultures through special encounters with different peoples.
We try to reduce the (negative) effects as much as possible. What can you do (or not do) yourself?
Contact with the local population will be more rewarding if you are already aware of the local customs of the country concerned. Realise that you are constantly there as a guest in a country where one simply has different manners. This is not abnormal; you act differently!
* Wear appropriate clothing respecting local customs and people
* Read up on the history, politics and culture, making contact with the local people easier.
* Learn a few words in the local language.
* Realise that wages are often extremely low and therefore people will expect a tip. Be aware of what to give.
* Choose local restaurants and shops.
* Think carefully when purchasing souvenirs. Certain souvenirs stem from animal suffering.
* If you wish to give something to the locals, buy it in your holiday destination.
* You can also take old clothes, bags or shoes with you to donate.
* Do not encourage begging for money.
* If you want to give, you can also contribute to one of our projects or to another trusted project where the community benefits.
Shoot pictures, but with thought!
The countries you visit are often photogenic, not only because of the nature but also because of the people. Here are a few tips on how to handle this:
* Permission should always be asked if you wish to photograph someone. Photograph with respect.
* People are often more at ease if you show them the photo on the digital screen of your camera.
* It may also happen that people only allow a photo for a fee. Respect this condition and do not commence secretly photographing them from a distance to avoid this.
Reduce plastic and waste!
* Take a refillable water bottle with you when travelling.
* If you encounter plastic while snorkelling, diving or canoeing, take this with you.
* Add this app to your Smartphone: ¡§My Little Plastic Footprint¡¨ and challenge yourself to use less plastic.
* Litter is a major problem in popular walking areas. Don't leave anything behind, instead take it to a place where you can properly dispose of it. Even organic material such as apple cores and banana peel often takes years to break down!
Contribute in your accommodation!
Our hotels are taking more and more measures to reduce energy and water consumption. With a number of simple measures, you can also do your bit:
* Remember to turn off the light, the television/radio and air conditioning (in warm climates) when you leave the room.
* Do not use excessive water: in many of the countries we visit, water is scarce. Do not shower for too long or leave the tap running when brushing your teeth.
* Visiting the jungle? Then choose a biodegradable soap.
* Use your towel(s) for several days. This is often requested by the hotels themselves.
Animals and Nature
* If you go snorkelling or diving, do not touch the fragile coral. They die quickly when touched. Never take a piece of coral as a souvenir either!
* We strongly advise against swimming with dolphins. Same applies to elephant rides.
* To save flora and fauna: walk or cycle on marked routes.
* Avoid using jet skis, quads and dirt bikes. These vehicles cause pollution and disturb nature.
Keep children’s rights in mind
In addition to these green and sustainable tips, we want to highlight one more important and at the same time painful subject. During your trip, you will meet beautiful children who are very photogenic. However, the living conditions of the children are often poor and of concern. These vulnerable children can easily be exploited. Children may suffer sexual abuse by an adult for a fee or other payment (such as food, clothing, gifts) or a promise thereof. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, protection must be given to all children against all forms of trade, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
All our participants that travel overland on safari (mainly Africa) return home healthy and enthusiastic about their journeys through the many national parks. As we travel and stay in areas where the wild is the "boss", you can make your own contribution to the conservation of fragile ecosystems as well as the safety of yourself and others.
* If you stand up in a truck/jeep, do it gently as there may be wildlife in the vicinity. They can scare easily at an unexpected movement.
* Make sure your legs and arms stay on board. This is for your own safety and so that you don't scare the animals.
* It is important to give priority to wildlife and minimize the chase.
* Always maintain sufficient distance with the animals.
Tips for departure!
* Turn off the fridge during your holidays.
* Disconnect all plugs from their sockets and switch your devices off or on standby.
* You may want to leave a light on in the evening to give the house the impression of being inhabited. Use a timer and preferably an LED/ energy-saving lamp.
* Set the thermostat low or program it so that heating does not continue. In winter, set the main thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves to 'frost-free'.