Travel responsibly with these seven experiences that give back

Belmond's 'Botswana at its Best' expeditions in the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Belmond's 'Botswana at its Best' expeditions in the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and Moremi Wildlife Reserve

No matter where you travel, it’s possible to do so with the planet and its local communities front of mind. Here are seven responsible, regenerative and eco-tourism initiatives to get on board with

Botswana at its best

Low-impact tourism is the name of the game on a safari through Botswana, home to some of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. And this is exactly how you’ll travel with Belmond, which offers four- or six-night ‘Botswana at its Best’ expeditions that see you exploring the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and Moremi Wildlife Reserve. All the lodges you’ll stay in are seriously stylish but designed with your setting in mind – think a tented oasis, or a private island retreat. And because you’re travelling with Belmond, you know the experiences will be next level – from helicopter safaris with an environmentalist to cruising the Delta in a traditional canoe.

Swimming with gentle giants

Leading eco-travel company, and the largest whale swimming company in Australia, Majestic Whale Encounters is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, a range of new and improved small-group tours has been introduced, in destinations such as Tonga and Tahiti, where travellers will have the opportunity to swim with these magnificent creatures in an ethical underwater encounter. Among the new experiences are a female-only wellness tour in Tonga, a brand-new Antarctic expedition and a freshly minted orca tour in Norway.

Cairns calling

To further educate visitors on the culture of Queensland’s Traditional Landowners, Mandingalbay Authentic Indigenous Tours has launched ‘Deadly After Dark’, a two-hour experience operating every Friday night. From Cairns, guests will cruise across Trinity inlet at sunset, learning about the cultural landscape before arriving at the specially built Yulu (stingray) Shelter. Here they’ll be introduced to the incredible story of how the local Indigenous people reclaimed country and regenerated the badly damaged environment, while enjoying canapes and refreshments made from native ingredients.

Strait to the top end

Discover the unique culture of the Torres Strait islands and the Kaurareg Aboriginal Nation on a weekend away with Strait Experience, the Torres Strait’s own travel company. The three-day ‘A Strait Escape’ tour for just 10 people visits Waiben (Thursday Island) and Ngurupai (Horn Island) to see local performance art and discover the history of the region. The same company has also introduced ‘Wings and Wonders’, taking you to Northern Cape York, Horn Island and Thursday Island combining bird watching with cultural experiences.

Guaranteeing a rosy future

The ultra-luxury Rosewood Hotel Group has launched Rosewood Impacts, a groupwide roadmap for delivering positive impact on all its communities, and the planet. With deeper commitments to empowering people across the brand’s entire ecosystem, and a sustainability approach that puts circular hospitality at the core of business operations, Rosewood Impacts sets tangible goals in the fields of sustainability, employment, education, partnerships, and more, under two distinct pillars: Rosewood Empowers and Rosewood Sustains. Think, pursuing carbon neutrality, engaging in regenerative practices, driving the evolution of circular hospitality and eventually eliminating waste.

Twinkle, twinkle

Deep in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary has been declared an official International Dark Sky Sanctuary – one of only 18 worldwide. An International Dark Sky Sanctuary differs from a Dark Sky Reserve in that it is situated in a very remote location with no nearby threats of light pollution. Become acquainted with Arkaroola’s beautiful dark sky by dozing underneath it on the ridgetop sleep out experience, or witness the magic of the dark sky with one of Arkaroola’s astronomy tours. Whether you’re a stargazing amateur or a keen astrologist, Arkaroola is the perfect place for an unearthly experience.

Time to give back

ÀNI Private Resorts has long been a pioneer when it comes to giving back to the communities in which it’s present. The brand’s latest efforts see its employees supporting local schools, to ensure children in the villages surrounding its resorts in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Anguilla and the Dominican Republic have access to adequate education facilities. Without ÀNI’s support and investment, hundreds of children in each location would not be able to go to school, or would have to travel long distances from their families to receive an education.

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