Responsible Travel

Tourism is one of the world's largest and fastest growing industries and it can have very positive or very negative impacts on its hosts. These days Responsible Travel and Sustainability are hot topics. Responsible Travel is not about donation large sums of money to charity (at least not without thoroughly researching the long-term intentions or effects of the charity) or merely following the trend. We believe Responsible Travel is about taking time to think about how our actions can benefit or how they impact the people, communities, economies, environments and eco-systems we visit and then use this to make a difference (or sometimes more appropriately- how we cannot make a difference) The following are some suggestions to make your experience with us a responsible and respectful one.

Social Impact - Trading Issues

Tourism, when carried out in a responsible manner can be a real help to local communities providing income, positive cultural exchanges and the financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Choose locally made crafts and support local skills, bargaining is often the accepted and expected custom, but don't drive a hard bargain just for the sake of it. We like to use local suppliers and partners wherever possible. That means never using big box stores, purchasing local food and supplies, working with local sponsors and staying at locally owned guest house or lodge. Using local suppliers keeps the local currency in the communities where we ride and helps them stay strong and vibrant. We always give the opportunity to try local food and specialties. Support responsible tourism organizations - those operators who publicly are aiming to make tourism more responsible. Small group size - our groups are small! With a maximum of 8 persons per group we minimize our impact on our environment. By travelling as a small group we can truly have a positive interaction and social exchange with the people we meet and visit.

Always ask before taking photographs. If someone says no, respect their wishes. Learn some of the local language. Learning a few phrases and greetings in the country you visit shows respect to the people and helps to break down cultural/social barriers.

Waste Product

A long time ago, when there were no people on earth, there was no rubbish. When plants and trees died, they rotted and became food for the soil. Animal droppings were eaten by worms and beetles. Nothing in nature was wasted. The world was such a clean place. Then people came. At first they didn't make much mess. They lived in caves and ate plants and animals. They left piles of bones in the back of their caves. These were the world's first rubbish heaps! We always remove all rubbish from the places we ride and deal with it in the most appropriate way reuse what can be reused, recycle what can be recycle, compost all compostable, aim to minimize items put into landfill. When shopping use as much as possible products packaged in reusable, recyclable or still no packaging. Say No to plastic supermarket bags. Use cardboard boxes or reusable carry bags to transport shopping. When there is a toilet available - use it, but when there's not we bury waste at least 50 meters from populated areas and water sources. Burn toilet paper. Conserve water. Take shorter showers... the average hotel guest uses over 300 liters of water per night! In a luxury hotel it is approx. 1800 liters!

Conserving Natural Resources

Never use charcoal (which is responsible for mass-deforestation in many parts of the world) checks carefully the source of firewood. Buy locally made produce which reduces the environmental cost of importation. We aim to inform our bikers - about the effects of buying products that come from endangered species or products that are destructive to wildlife or the environment. Protect plants and wildlife. Flora and fauna is unique to various parts of the world and are national treasures. Damaging or removing plant not only destroys part of the environment but is also illegal in some parts of the world. Many areas are fragile and may take years to recover from damage. So stay on the tracks or find a way around without damaging plants.

By visiting national Parks and wildlife protection projects we can help to contribute to the conservation of threatened wildlife. We have an environmentally conscious office - To avoid paper waste we aim to use as much computer technology as possible, print on both side and use recycled paper.

Fossil Fuels - Energy

Reduce energy consumption. Unplug your mobile phone charger, turn off the lights...

Only use a vehicle when necessary. When possible use public transport, walk or ride a bike! CO2 emissions caused by flying are one of the world's fastest increasing and most damaging pollutants. We suggest you find out what the environmental policies are of the airlines you fly with - which airlines are making positive steps to reducing CO2 emissions? We are working on a project to help off-set the environmental cost of flying in all our mountain bike trips, calculating the amount of CO2 emissions you incurred by coming to join us on your biking trip and we will during all our bike trips plant enough Portulacaria afra indigenous evergreen succulent plant also known as "elephant's food" to offset the amount of emissions incurred by your group.

Become an "eco-tourist" and you'll being doing your bit to ensure the places you've experienced, are there to be enjoyed again next time you visit!

Portucalia Afra or Spekboom

Spekboom has enormous carbon-storing capabilities. Its capacity to offset harmful carbon emissions is equivalent to that of moist, subtropical forest. This is quite incredible - evidence gathered in the Eastern Cape over the past seven year's shows that spekboom has enormous carbon-storing capabilities. Spekboom, an indigenous plant known as "elephant's food", shows potential to mop up the excess CO2 responsible for climate change. The unassuming plant, Portulacaria Afra, is now being restored in thousands of hectares of land,findings suggest that up to four tons of carbon a year would be captured by each hectare. Spekboom is an evergreen succulent that can reach a height of 2,5m and occurs mainly in the south-eastern Cape. Normally found in rocky, dry areas, it also does well in watered flower beds.