The Best way to have the most enriching experience possible is to communicate with the locals. Talk to the shop attendant, the taxi driver, the bar staff or the woman selling grocery at the street stall. Talk to as many people as you can. Thinking like a local and support local stores by shopping-smart. This means shopping for locally made products and supporting local businesses. By choosing to think, talk and invest your money in local communities, you’re sure to experience and learn so much more about the culture, the food, the history and the heart of the people.
While travelling, finding children and elderly in inhospitable conditions can be heartbreaking. As hard as it may be, it’s important not to encourage beggars by giving them money or a gift as this is the start of a vicious circle. Some kids skip school, others are forced by parents and in some cases children are maimed or drugged to increase their earning capacity as beggars.
Meaningful mingling with foreign cultures are some of the most memorable highlights of a holiday. Understanding that people have different thought patterns from your own is key in enriching this enjoyable experience. Be considerate, open minded and respectful in these social interactions, just as you would at home. The locals are equally as intrigued by you, as you are of them.
The real worth of a picture is the story behind it. So before you go around snapping whatever you like, take a moment to get to know the locals you meet. This will result in a much better experience and photograph. Try not to spend your trip behind the lens of a camera and while doing so, remember to always ask for permission before taking someone else’s photo. Ask yourself why you are taking a picture and would you enjoy being photographed in the same situation.
Rarely do we think about the ecological effects of traveling off the beaten track but wondering off the trails leads to destruction of flora and erosion. Basically leaving massive footprints that could take years for the land and plants to recover. The responsible action would be to tread lightly and stick to the designated path, this shows that you respect and want to protect the natural environment you have travelled soo far to experience.
Maintaining a clean environment is the core of responsible tourism. Plastic bags are incredibly harmful and toxic for the environment. In an effort to tackle plastic pollution, Tanzania has announced a nationwide ban on the use of plastic bags in early 2019. Tanzania is now a plastic bag free nation so be sure to take your own reusable bag and dispose your litter responsibly. And should the opportunity arise, please take your non-biodegradables home with you. The country will greatly benefit.
Slow down, you’ll never value or appreciate your holiday by trying to cram in too much. There is a reason as to why you packed your bags and set of for an adventure. Leaving everything behand to just enjoy the moment of explore something new. Stop rushing and spend a little bit longer getting to know the area you’re in. When in town take local transport and in rural areas try to explore on foot or whiles riding a bike.
Any comments or feedback about your holiday are greatly appreciated, especially any suggestions on reducing environmental impacts and increasing benefits to local communities. Our company is on various online holiday reviews websites like TripAdvisor, be sure to leave a comment. Also remember, if you’ve promised to send pictures or gifts to local people please do so, many are promised and not all arrive!
For any serious issues regarding human rights abuses or wildlife exploitation for tourism, you may also want to contact relevant charities, from Amnesty International to WWF or indeed the Ministry of Tourism. Using social media to spread the word is a good way too. We love to post the happy pictures on social media all the time, so spreading the word about unethical practices helps too.