Celebrate Earth Day with Responsible Tourism
This Earth Day (22 April), Exodus Travels is sharing tips from its in-house travel experts in order to help people support our planet when they travel, ensuring that all travellers can make their adventures more environmentally positive and travel even more responsibly.
Where and how to travel
“Before you book a trip, take a step back and ask yourself some important questions,” says Tom Harari, Responsible Tourism Manager at Exodus Travels. “Have a think about your destination itself; going off the beaten track, with destinations such as Kyrgyzstan for example, helps to spread tourist spend. Additionally, places with less visitors are likely to have a much smaller impact on the environment and have the added benefit of more interaction with rural communities. Travelling in small groups, how Exodus operates, ensures that travellers do not disturb the communities or wildlife visited.”
“Single-use plastic is a serious issue. When packing for your trip, look at the alternatives you can take to do your bit to help,” says Jennifer Cox, Product Manager. “Swap single-use plastic water bottles for one, good quality, reusable one and you’ll immediately reduce your plastic footprint. Plus, getting a good quality bottle will keep your water cool in hot weather and it’s less likely to leak. Alternatively, on Exodus camping treks, water is generally collected from streams and boiled, making it safe to drink. Additionally, there are now many more products available to easily purify water than the well-known purification tablets; travellers can purchase handheld UV water purifiers or bottles that filter water as you go.”
“While travel sized toiletries might save on space, they won’t be saving the planet if they are repeatedly purchased on each journey. Buy your own set of bottles and decant from your normal-sized shampoo and shower gels. Be sure those you’re bringing are biodegradable or better still, consider making the switch to packaging free shampoo bars which are starting to become more widely available.”
“Often when we travel, we purchase souvenirs. This small keepsake may have big ramifications for the environment” says Cheryl Nam Responsible Tourism Assistant. “Despite having an international agreement signed in more than 181 countries, the trade of endangered species is a massive problem. Souvenirs made from endangered species, such as sea turtles, are still openly sold, allowing tourists to purchase them innocently without knowing that they are destroying the environment and its ecosystem. Be aware of what you’re buying and familiarise yourself with guides from organisations such as Too Rare to Wear, who help tourists avoid buying turtle shell products.”
Wildlife with confidence
“Exodus trips allow travellers to see wildlife from a safe and respectable distance – allowing people from around the world to see animals in their natural habitat and educating them on the importance of conserving the world’s wildlife and environment. Exodus makes a continual effort to ensure that groups do not chase after or crowd around animals, making sure all groups maintain a respectable distance from the wildlife at all times” adds Cheryl.
For those inspired to book their next trip with a view to travelling more responsibly, why not check out one of Exodus’ top six wildlife experiences.
The extraordinary archipelago of the Galapagos puts travellers at the heart of nature. Here, travellers can embark upon an adventure into an enchanted world, characterised by stark lava fields, cactus forests, volcanic craters, mangrove lagoons and turquoise waters. Observe playful sealions, watch the courting rituals of blue-footed boobies or snorkel with turtles, sharks and rays. Trips into the Galapagos are tightly regulated, as not to negatively impact wildlife and the environment in which they reside. Prices start at £4,699 for 11 days, flights and accommodation included.
Exodus Travels’ Gorillas & Masai Mara camping trip is one of the few trips available where you can see gorillas in their natural habitat. This tour allows the opportunity for travellers to give back to nature as they become part of a remarkably growing sustainable project. Exodus supports Mara in numerous ways: paying school bursaries, providing health equipment to run roadshows that enable S.A.F.E education and funding rain harvesting. As well as being a rewarding tour, it’s also a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a variety of animals; lions, hippos, elephants and cheetahs are among a few that can be spotted, as well as over 450 different species of bird. Prices start at £3,999 for 18 days with flights and accommodation included.
Sri Lanka is well known for its cultural heritage and is one of the best locations in Asia to view wildlife. The wide range of altitudes found in this small island results in a variation of climate and diversity normally found across a whole continent.
Exodus’ Wild Sri Lanka trip gives the opportunity to safely view a variety of wildlife. Blue whales congregate off the southern coast of Sri Lanka, elephant herds gather in Udawalawe and the elusive leopard rules in Yala National Park. As well as game drives in Sri Lanka’s most famous national parks, this trip visits the steamy Sinharaja Rainforest and the relaxing south coast, where the warm waters of the Indian Ocean lap the shore and days can easily drift by from the shade of a palm tree. Prices start at £2,479 for 11 days for accommodation and flights included.
Nestled alongside rivers and tucked at the base of a towering peak or surrounding permanent watering hole, East Africa’s parks and reserves protect an astounding variety of wildlife and centuries of tribal customs. Don’t be surprised to see giraffes grazing under an acacia tree, thousands of zebras dashing wildly across the Mara River or a cheetah stalking its prey before the heat of the day. Prices start at £7,842 for 15 days with flights and accommodation included.
This icy voyage provides the opportunity to get a taste of everything the Arctic has to offer, from Polar bears and walrus to spectacular scenery. Be treated to daily presentations by the Expedition Team on board the ship learning about the wildlife and importance of travelling responsibly. Hike, explore and enjoy the beauty of this adventure to Spitsbergen which takes you to depths of the Arctic, few have been able to visit. Prices start at £5,100 for ten days with accommodation included and flights excluded.
Costa Rica is renowned for having proportionately more protected land than any other country, making it ripe for wildlife tourism. What is less known is the marvellous variety of animals from catatonic sloths, screaming howler monkeys, colourful toucans and nesting green turtles. Throw in the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines and it is easy to see why so many return. Prices start at £1,999 for nine days with accommodation and flights included.
For more information or to book please call: 02087 123 486 or visit exodus.co.uk
Mark Bibby Jackson
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