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We understand that travelling ‘green’ can be tricky, and ironically, also requires a lot of energy to organise. Here at SUITCASE we not only recognise, but celebrate the importance of travelling in a way that causes minimal disruption to the environment you are visiting. So we invite you to discover trips that will bring you closer to your planet; whether you dream to dive into the clearest waters off Southeast Africa, to ogle at the seemingly never-ending Bolivian salt flats, or to feel the sand of the Australian desert with your bare hands. The sheer amount of impressive opportunities offered by these eco-tourism organisations means that whatever floats your boat, you can do it safe in the knowledge that there will still be big, beautiful oceans and lakes and rivers left after you’re done. Eco-tourism is going places, and we think you should follow suit.
Sail the Galapagos Islands with Eco Companion
If you fancy yourself a bit of a zoologist, then hop on board with Eco-Companion for your own mini-adventure. Sail around the Pacific’s most thriving epicentre of wildlife in The Beagle, a boat named after Charles Darwin’s own. Eco-Companion believes that ethically managed, low-impact tourism is crucial to a sustainable planet, and their experts work hard to find experiences that fulfil this, whether it be staying in an eco-lodge, taking part in a community-based volunteer project or following an eco-tour that allows you to explore natural habitats without harming them. This particular trip, with its strict adherence to the restrictions surrounding the conservation of the the Galapagos archipelago (and the amount of times we’ve said ‘eco’) make this trip as eco-friendly as they come.
Explore India by Rail with G Adventures
G Adventures believe that travel should be an exchange rather than a commodity. They strive to promote this through the work of their not-for-profit organisation Planeterra, working hard to integrate social activism and community-based interactions into their trip itineraries. They offer rail travel as the best way to bring you closer to these communities while simultaneously using less finite fossil fuels than flying. But the combination of the busy modern trains that track the land between bustling cities and the quaint older machines that pass through the breathtakingly scenic Himalaya region will make the journey alone the experience of a lifetime.
Journey across Peru, Bolivia and Chile with Steppes Travel
Take a voyage of discovery across the alluring communities of the Andes with Steppes, the company who are passionate about finding experiences that take you to the remotest corners of the earth, making a positive difference along the way. Everytime their staff travel abroad, they offset their aviation emissions in accordance with the World Land Trust’s Carbon Balance Programme. And every time you travel, they donate money to a selection of charities both home and abroad. So explore the ancient wonders of Machu Picchu, drift through the streets of Cusco and visit the colonial cities of Sucre in Bolivia. This trip will take you to two of the most breathtaking landscape views: the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia and the Atacama desert in Chile, where the astonishingly clear night skies will leave you questioning why you never considered astrology as a career before.
Sink Your Toes into the Sand of Malawi with Baobab Travel
Baobab Travel’s mission is to create unforgettable travel experiences in Africa that are sensitive to indigenous cultures. They show their dedication to this through the extensive Responsible Travel Policy outlined on their website, which includes their implementation of the Fair Trade Tourism initiative, as well as upholding the Tourism CHild Protection Code of Conduct. They offer a large number of sustainable travel experiences including wildlife safaris and trekking holidays, but we suggest choosing to revel in the sandy delights of the almost untouched Likoma Island, Lake Malawi, where you will stay in the Kaya Mawa Lodge; a dwelling so romantic it defies reality. While you’re there, eschew motorised vehicles (there are next to none on the island anyway), explore the magnificent beaches and rocky coves of the island and dive into one of the cleanest and clearest freshwater sites in Africa.
Experience and Sustain the Beauty of Southeast Asia with Responsible Travel
We have all seen The Beach, and the hoards of sun-seeking graduates that flock to the islands of Thailand in search of their inner Richard (Leo DiCaprio) are evidence of its influence. Responsible Travel will show you the countries of this region in a totally different way that will preserve their culture, environments and heritage; encouraging clients to participate in homestays rather than staying at luxury hotels. They also have a successful ‘Pack for a Purpose’ campaign where you can bring goods and supplies that local communities you visit on the way have directly specified they are short on. Replace those one too many pairs of shoes with some school textbooks and do something good with your luggage allowance.
Have an Aussie Adventure with Frontier
Frontier focuses on scientific and conservation research and run an impressive amount of community development, educational, wildlife rescue and humanitarian projects. With this 15 day trip you can explore the real Australia through visiting and learning about aboriginal sites of historical importance, like Ayers Rock. This enthusiastically ethical organisation will help you turn your down-under dreams to reality with sustainability in mind and of course, will ensure that every day of your trip is a g’day.
Discover the Canadian Rockies with STA Travel
A dreamy aquamarine lake set between snow-topped mountains and abundant evergreens; a view that will reinvigorate your awe of nature for a lifetime. STA, the organisation who works hard to promote sustainability through their fundraising efforts, invites you to experience this breathtaking scenery for yourself. They are particularly commendable in their dedication to animal welfare in their partnership with charity Born Free; auditing every tour they offer that allows direct or indirect contact with animals. Meander the scenic roads of the Jasper and Banff national parks, stare in delighted disbelief at the beauty of Lake Louise and check out the sights of Vancouver.
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