We are passionate about Africa and recognise that in carrying out our work as a tour operator we have a responsibility to respect other people's places and ways of life. We aim to maximise the benefits our clients' travels can bring to an area, and we aim to be responsible in all our dealings in the areas of environmental, social and economic impact.
In Africa we work generally with small camps and lodges who understand that in the long term they will benefit from working in a responsible way. They protect their local environment, its flora, fauna and landscapes; they respect local cultures and try and benefit local communities through employment, sourcing of supplies and support of local schools, healthcare facilities and other community projects; they minimise their impact on their environment.
Camps would be delighted to chat with clients about this, often overlooked, area of their work.
Tidworth & Scotland
Within our offices we have reviewed our working practices and as far as possible we aim to reduce the resources we use. We then reuse scrap paper and recycle as much of our waste as possible. Unusually for tour operators our brochures are not date specific, so do not have to be thrown away, and we print only enough newsletters to fulfil current demand. Responsible tourism is an agenda point at each staff meeting to encourage ideas.
We encourage our clients to act responsibly when they travel and provide information for them in our predeparture information notes.
We were pleased to have been awarded a 4* award by AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) to recognise the efforts we made in this area.
We are proud supporters of the Koiyaki Guide School in the Masai Mara in Kenya as are some of our clients. As a company we have sponsored the fees for a student in each of the school years 2005-6, 2006-7 and 2008-9. We were delighted to see the students graduate and to go on to find work in camps in the Mara. In 2007-8 and 2010-11 our donations helped train rangers within the Koiyaki Wildlife Associations, an integral part of conservation in the area, allowing local communities to benefit from the wildlife they live alongside.
Aardvark director John Spence, together with friends Paul O'Halloran and Dan Compton, undertook a sponsored cycle ride to raise funds for the guide school which supported teachers' salaries.
With the help of our clients travelling to Kenya, we manage to get enough binoculars (donated by John Loveland) from the UK to the students each year for them to have one set each.
For more information on Koiyaki, or to find out how you can help, visit their website www.koiyaki.com
International League for the Protection of Horses
For many clients travelling to Africa on riding safaris our Scottish Office make a donation to the ILPH to support their work closer to home in the recovery and rehabilitation of abused and neglected horses.