RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL POLICY
RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL POLICY
Encounter Africa Safaris Limited promotes responsible tourism as a way to minimize the footprints of our clients while ensuring that both the local community and the environment benefit. As such, we design our tours in such a way that you get more out of your holiday by being closer to the local cultures/communities and the environments.
We have designed tours for both solo travelers, and group travelers ranging from 2 people to a maximum of 16 people travelling together. The main purpose for maintaining such low numbers is to minimize your carbon footprints at the destination while enhancing your experience.
Accommodation & Meals
We book our clients in lodges constructed with locally harvested materials, to give you an authentic African experience while on holiday with us. Most of these lodges also employ locals. So, as you travel with us, you will be creating and enhancing employment opportunities for the local people who neighbour tourism resources. In case you love camping, we also arrange camping gears to enable you reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint for the whole trip.
Moreover, all the lodges that we use are dedicated to buying produce from local stalls and markets and making a range of traditional meals. Guests might have the chance to order for an African specialty such as a stew with matooke – steamed green banana.
By travelling in a small group, you will be able to freely interact and easily meet new people at the destinations. Above all, these small groups can perfectly/easily be accommodated by small accommodation units run by local entrepreneurs. This will be one way of you supporting local entrepreneurship and eventually local development.
Also, local environments, the communities and the variety of species (endangered and otherwise) some of which are our key attractions will not experience any serious impact by our travel.
We at Encounter Africa Safaris Limited understand that we can be the starting point for reducing our carbon footprint. We are gradually adopting an energy conservation measures and recycling policies. We also strongly encourage all our partners i.e. accommodation service providers, guides etc. to adopt sustainability principles aimed at reduce the impact of travel while maximizing benefits to the environment and the communities.
The permit fee charged to see the Gorillas either in Uganda or Rwanda goes directly towards protecting the fragile environment where these endangered species inhabit. The same applies for other species and or attractions.
By travelling with us, you contribute to household welfare of the rangers, and local guides or porters who help by either guiding you during the trek or carry your luggage or even carry the unable trekkers on a stretcher, locally referred to as ‘helicopter’ to enable you reach these endangered species. The local tour guides, drivers and porters we employ are well conversant with the environment you will visit. So, by choosing to travel with us, you will be enhancing employment opportunities and improving the financial situations of the youth in the destinations you visit.
Beyond this, we also work directly with a number of charitable organizations in the destinations. You can support a school project by donating in kind to the school children or volunteer to teach them for a couple of days. For visits to local Museums, you can learn about the different communities in the places you will visit. This helps to educate visitors, drive income to the area and to support the local economies.
Please let your holiday contribute environmental conservation and community development. You can do by paying for village walks, cultural performances, buying crafts and strictly adhering to responsible travel principles while on tour.
Local Crafts and Culture
In addition to purchasing locally supplies, our guides encourage travelers to purchase goods and souvenirs from local stalls in the places you visit. There are several of them in the destinations you visit. Please let us know your interest early enough so that proper arrangements can be made. Of course, we encourage our staff, partners and guests to respect the customs and local craftsmanship. We understand that language is a key tool for effective communication – so we encourage our guides to teach you some local dialects (depending on the region) to enable you make a more genuine connection with people you meet on the trip.
We believe that sustainable tourism creates many benefits for people and places, but we must also reduce the CO2 emissions from our holidays. Carbon offsets are not the answer. We must take individual initiative for this cause.
- Conscious about food. Ask us for highly recommended local restaurants where you will enjoy food from locally grown products. Avoid internationally imported foods – they contribute to CO2 emissions.
- Employ local guides because they understand the destination perfectly well
- Encourage you to learn basic words of the dialects in the destination you will visit to make a more genuine connection with people you meet during the trip
- Encourage you to avoid carrying what could be considered dangerous to the environment e.g. polythene bags and other plastic materials. We are working on reducing this on our trips.
- Encourage disposal wastes of any kind appropriately. We always have waste bins in the car. Please use it – your guide will then dispose the waste at designated places.
- If you intend to bring gifts of any kind for charity, let us know so we advise accordingly. We strongly discourage giving of sweets, food materials or money directly to children, as it encourages a culture of begging.
- Encourage purchase of local products to support the local industry. After all, you are travelling to get an authentic experience at the destination. By so doing, you will enable disadvantages families to educate their children, afford basic medicines and other household necessities.
- We have selected projects where you can do some volunteer work (depending on your skills, interests and time available). Please enquire with us.
- Encourage respect for local cultures, norms and religion. If you are not sure about what to do, please ask us for guidance.