RESPONSIBLE SAFARIS TRAVEL POLICY
- Use of Local Guides: Sandfield Travel is committed to using local guides, and we are committed to the training and mentoring of local people with the potential to become guides. Our guides are trained in responsible tourism and will help our travellers to be both culturally and environmentally sensitive.
- Retention of trip costs in local communities: Sandfield Travel is committed to investing in local communities, and we aim to retain a significant portion of our travellers’ trip cost in the destination country. We use locally owned and operated hotels and restaurants. We offer opportunities for travellers to purchase local crafts and food, and our guides will provide guidance on appropriate places to shop for these.
- A real hands-on community development work: All of our trips involve a component of community development work, and as such, travellers have an opportunity to contribute directly to the local communities they visit.
In addition, a portion of each traveller’s trip cost goes to support the development project for that trip. For instance, where our travellers are painting a classroom at an orphanage, the cost of the materials required is included in the trip cost.
In other areas, the trip cost includes a donation to the charity supported by that trip. Our development projects are carefully selected in conjunction with local charities and other organisations to ensure that our travellers’ work will be of maximum benefit to the local community but are also ones that involve travellers working side-by-side with the local people to improve their circumstances – We believe that our help should be sustainable and long term.
- Sandfield Africa Foundation: In addition, Sandfield has established a charitable trust through which we decided to contribute a portion of our profit to support our community partners on an ongoing, sustainable basis; we hope that this will provide our travellers with an opportunity to maintain a vital link with the community development projects in which they participated. Sandfield Travel is committed to investing a portion of our profits into this charity, and we cover 100% of the administrative expenses associated with the charity so that donations from people like you go directly towards the projects.
- Carefully thought-through projects: Our volunteer projects are designed so that even if you have no specific skills, you can make a difference, and the project will contiue even when you have gone, if you do have specific skills, we will match those wherever possible and put you to good use!
- Sustainable travel: Sandfield Travel is committed to sustainability, in the communities in which we operate and in the ecosystems we encounter. We seek to minimise the impact of our trips by minimising and properly disposing of waste created, by conserving energy and water, and by ensuring that endangered wildlife and environmentally compromised areas are treated with respect.
- Environmentally-focused community development projects: In a number of countries, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, the community development aspect of our trip is directly focused on improving the natural environment and human living conditions. These projects include planting trees and helping preserve endangered animals,birds and plant species.
- Environmental training: all of our guides, employees and drivers are trained in principles of environmental sustainability and will offer travellers’ tips on how to conserve water, reduce waste, and otherwise minimize the environmental impact of their trip. We hope that our travellers will be able to take some of the conservation tips they learn from our guide’s home with them.
- Corporate recycling/energy policy: Wherever possible, Sandfield Travel employees use recycled paper and recycle waste created in the office, as well as attempting to minimise waste created and be a “paper less” office. We also work to minimise energy and water consumption in our offices, and we encourage our partners to follow similar waste management.
- Pre-Trip Information: Upon confirmation of a booking we send each traveller a pre-departure pack, describing the destination country, its history, cultural norms, and general health and visa requirements. We also provide important practical information such as how to pack and dress appropriately, what to expect when encountering the local populations, how much money they will need to bring, etc.. We encourage travellers to try to learn a few phrases in the local language before they arrive. Most importantly, we encourage all of our travellers to arrive with an open mind and to be prepared to have their world-views challenged in one way or the other by the new cultures they will encounter.
- Cultural Sensitivity: An important benefit of using local guides during our trips is that they can provide to travellers in cultural sensitivity. Our guides will coach our travellers in general best practices (e.g. how to avoid encouraging a “begging” mentality, how to be sensitive in photographing local people, etc.) as well as specific tips on how to avoid running afoul of local customs. Wherever possible, we schedule the volunteering component of our tours at the start of the trip, so that travellers will have a chance to learn about the local cultures from the locals.
Volunteering where you live: Part of our vision at Sandfield Travel is to enable our guests to experience how fulfilling and rewarding volunteering is, and to inspire our guests to volunteer for longer periods of time, and to volunteer where they live. Regardless of how long or how big