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We are safely back in the UK after the trip of a lifetime.
The experience for all of us was so powerful, we think it will take quite a while for us to understand what happened and digest it all.
Africa, Middle East and Europe
On a continent rich in wildlife and cultural diversity and famed for its spectacular landscapes, the importance of responsible travel is high. In Africa and the Middle East we make concerted efforts to minimize our impact on the environments we visit and the cultures we meet. Here’s a sample of just some of our initiatives for travelling responsibly.
|•||Tanzania and Kenya: The National Park authorities charge daily entry fees that are used to maintain and improve National Park infrastructure, protect wildlife, and also to assist in the development of local communities. These fees are included in the price of all our Kenya and Tanzania trips.|
|•||Tanzania: Our operations campaigned to stop the construction of the Serengeti Highway, a proposed 50km stretch of road that was to cut through the path of the 2 million wildebeest and zebra on the annual Great Migration.|
|•||Kenya: Our Kenya program also has a long-standing policy of camping rather than using hotels. Many hotels in Kenya do not follow true sustainability practices - it is common for them to use firewood cut from World Heritage areas to provide energy for tourists. The lodges that we use adhere to strict responsible tourism guidelines.|
|•||Kenya: While on safari, our routes vary each time so the tourist footprint is lessened, and when out walking we employ local guides. We avoid the tourist shops and commercial villages, and encourage our travellers to purchase curios and products directly from the people who make the items.|
|•||Throughout Africa: We encourage our travellers to avoid purchasing products made from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artifacts.|
|•||Oman: Tap water in Oman is safe to drink and so we go to great lengths to ensure that our travelers refill water bottles to save on plastic and we recycle those water bottles that are not be reused.|
|•||Oman: Biodegradable toiletries are provided in our luxury camping and chemical toilets are provided and waste is disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.|
|•||Tanzania: In 2012 World Expeditions is sponsoring a guide to complete a scholarship training course through the Kilimanjaro Guide Scholarship Foundation, which will train them in Tour Operations, Tourism Geography, Wildlife Knowledge and Basic Computer Application.|
|•||Tanzania: Our Kilimanjaro porters are paid a rate in excess of the Kilimanjaro Porter Assistant Project (KPAP) recommended minimum wage for porters. They are also provided with a suitable mountain kit that includes a sleeping bag and mat as well as waterproof boots, gloves, hat, torch and warm clothes. In fact our operation responsible for our Kilimanjaro climbs is one of the founding members of KPAP.|
|•||All Africa: Before arriving in a community our travellers are given information concerning local customs and traditions ensuring that they are aware of the impact their behaviour can have on a local community.|
|•||Tanzania: We carry enough food and water while on safari to avoid depleting the local resources where we are often in remote locations where the villages are farming subsistent and often food and goods are limited.|
|•||Oman: Under the national policy of ‘Omanization” whereby 60% of a company’s workforce must be Omani, our total guide workforce is Omani and bilingual.|
|•||All Africa: We invest in our staff. All staff is trained in first aid, which is updated every three years. Loans are given to full time employees on a 0% interest basis.|
|•||Egypt: We believe education leads to understanding and tolerance. Egypt offers a variety of cultures and religions and so we operate with a strong focus on integration and co-existence therefore it is important for our travellers to be well informed about these diversities.|
|•||Tanzania: our operations have been involved in the development of local schools and the construction of a new training centre for Tanzanians to learn hospitality skills.|
|•||Namibia: our trips visit a Himba village, which has an orphanage for Himba children, and our travellers make donations to support the education and nourishment of the children.|
|•||South Africa: Care for the health and education of close to 1000 orphaned children in the district of Zululand, South Africa, many of whom have lost their parents to HIV. Funds for the children are provided by sponsors – see www.zulufadder.no|
Over recent years we have operated a number of community project trips mostly to improve the education infrastructure in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Ethiopia.
|•||Ethiopia: Mekerabia School Project, Simien Mountains. In 2003, a World Expeditions trekking group met with the remote Mekerabia community and it was decided to contribute to the creation of a school. The community leaders trekked with the group for three days to town and the group purchased roofing iron and nails to begin construction. Every trekking group since has contributed to the school, funding desks, chairs, and educational materials. Within 12 months the new school had enrolled over 700 local children, the community leaders had created a viable school and the Ethiopian government had begun to support the school with professional teachers and curriculum.|
|•||Kenya: Kwanje Ndege Primary school, in 2007 and 2008 two groups of World Expeditions Community Project Travel travellers improved this school’s infrastructure significantly, and at the same time increased the schools capacity for students and improved the health of the students. Works included painting of 6 classrooms, termite proofing, construction of 23 desk and repair of a further 10, construction of chairs for the library, construction of goal posts for the football field and a volleyball net, and installed a 10,000 litre water tank.|
|•||Tanzania: Magara Village, since 2009 the work completed by 3 groups of World Expeditions Community Project Travel people as well as funding received from the World Expeditions Foundation has seen the primary and secondary schools at Magara transformed. Renovation work on both schools has been completed and a computer room has been built, solar panels installed, new computers purchased and installed, 3 computer teachers trained and an ongoing computer maintenance fund provided. Our work in this village continues via the Community Project Travel program.|
Community Projects in Africa
This year we are pleased to announce four new community projects in Africa. The idea is that you travel to a village to participate in hands on community work – building, rendering, installing, landscaping, and painting – whatever is required to complete the project. A portion of your trip cost funds the materials and the wages of an experienced project manager who’ll oversee the works. Each project normally requires your commitment for 3-5 days of the greater tour, after which time you’ll set off to tour and enjoy the sights. We are consistently impressed by how powerful the experience of a community project is for our travellers as they work side by side with the local community to complete the project goals. It’s a fun and positive way to enjoy Africa and at the same time, make a meaningful difference.