One of the greatest benefits of living in the twenty-first century is the connection we have to the world beyond our doors. Thanks to air and sea travel, we’ve been able to traverse every corner of the globe and now cross continents in a matter of hours. Whilst this has led to a better connected global community and infinite discoveries, it has also deepened our footprint on areas that were previously untouched and the effects that tourism is having on the environment and climate change are colossal indeed.
It’s no wonder, then, that the last couple of years has seen the rise of eco-tourism, with many finding ways to reduce the impact their adventuring has on the world around them.
Though there are plenty of things we can do to help offset our travels, the responsibility falls to hotels and tour operators to clean up their acts and make significant changes to their environmental policies. Rather than wading through the sustainability ethos of every establishment you come across, there are several travel companies that are solely eco-focused, so you can book your next trip safe in the knowledge that it’s as ethical and eco-friendly as possible.
Here are our top picks.
In answer to the myriad roundups of best cafes, hotels and bars to be found online, Kynder has carved itself a niche by only promoting establishments that care about their customers, the environment and the local community. Working with a wide range of writers, photographers and videographers, the team behind this uber- hip travel company has been able to cover almost every corner of globe. What that leaves the reader with is a comprehensive guide to the bars, restaurants and hotels across the globe that are working hard to only impact the planet and its inhabitants in a positive way.
For more information visit kynder.net
If you’re the kind of person who loves to take in several stops and experiences during a single trip, Eco Companion has the tools to and expertise to pull together the itinerary of your dreams. From hotels to tours and experiences, the team creates trips that are focused on sustainability, so whether you’re looking to stay in an eco-lodge or are hoping to volunteer with a local conservation project, they’ll be able to set you up. You can lend a hand to beach clean ups, turtle conservation projects or even community based education.
For more information visit www.ecocompanion.com
Gone are the days when ‘eco-friendly’ equated to basic living conditions and a lack of luxury. Thanks to Bouteco - which exposes wanderlust-filled travelers to the some of the best eco-friendly hotels in the world - you can now find beautiful boutique hotels with a sustainability-focused conscience. Primarily operating through social media, this social enterprise has taken on the task of unearthing the finest eco-hotels so that you don’t have to. They also help hotels share their best eco stories, ensuring that guests know all there is to know before booking.
For more information visit www.bouteco.co
With the tagline, ‘travel beyond the ordinary’ don’t expect a typical package holiday from Steppes. The independent company organises tailor-made luxury holidays for those looking for unique adventures that’ll take them off the beaten track and into the wild. Whilst they endeavour to show you the best that a country has to offer, they favour spots with fewer tourists and take you to areas that would have been difficult to find on your own. Each tour is eco friendly and respectful to both the wildlife and communities you’ll encounter and with each booking, the company donates £10 to charity. Whether you’re into architecture, photography or anthropology, itineraries can be shaped to personal interests and include recommendations from some of the world’s leading travel experts and documenters.
For more information visit www.steppestravel.com
Safari holidays are often once-in-a-lifetime experience, so if you’re planning on your own trip, you’ll want to enjoy it knowing that the local communities and wildlife are well looked after. That’s where Wilderness Safaris comes in - they’re the leading eco tour operator in Africa, offering guests a window to some of the continent’s most spectacular wildlife through the 50 luxury camps they have dotted across Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, the Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Zambia - all of which equates to around 2.5 million hectares of bushland. The purpose of the company is to preserve Africa’s wilderness and culture - the company trains local communities in conservation, so that they can better protect the wildlife and continue to benefit from tourism in a sustainable way. By working with locals, they’re helping to safeguard the future of the area and the livelihoods of the people living in it.
For more information visit wilderness-safaris.com
Writer: Bianca Barratt