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Eco-Resorts: Changing the World - One Journey at a Time.
Changing The World -
One Journey At A Time

"Our trip was perfect. I can't think of one thing I would have changed." L.R., USA More Comments

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Elephants in the Masai Mara

Ecotourism...

...is an insightful, mindful and participatory travel experience to natural and cultural environments, assisting the economic well being of the local cultures and environments for future generations.

BEFORE TRAVEL

Being an eco-tourist is easy. Before you travel, choose a safari operator that provides direct financial assistance toward the environmental areas and people you will visit. Ask your safari operator which accommodation choice uses alternative energy sources, reflects the local culture and heritage, was built with local materials and offers a variety of excursions and educational materials to natural and cultural sites.

As you plan your trip, ask your tour operator for a list of background reading books and learn a few words of the local language, especially "please" and "thank you". Knowing the culture and language of your host area will help break down any cultural barriers and create an instant rapport with the people you meet.

ON SAFARI

When actually on safari, give the wildlife space, stay on the roads and keep your voice low. Keep your trash in the vehicle and dispose of it properly at your campsite or lodge.

When purchasing your souvenirs and handicrafts, purchase the work of local craftsmen and artisans. Woven baskets, beadwork, jewelry, woodwork and cotton cloth are some of the more common handicrafts. Most tribes have traditional designs, shapes and sizes, providing a wide variety from which to choose. Check that your carvings are made from neam or jacaranda wood, rather than endangered hardwoods.

RETURNING HOME

Ecotourism continues after your return home. Tell your friends and family of your experiences and encourage other visitors to consider alternative ways to travel. As you spread the word on how easy it is to contribute to the preservation of wilderness and traditional cultures while traveling, you'll help create the win-win situation for everyone involved: travelers, wildlife and local cultures.

Copyright Anne Loehr of www.eco-resorts.com

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