Skip to content

Social and environmental responsibility

Among our objectives is to be as socially and environmentally responsible as possible. It is a task we are doing step by step and improving whenever we have the opportunity. We still have a long way to go.

Elephant care in Chitwan with Tiger Tops

One of the issues we were concerned about was the tourism system in Chitwan and the caring of the elephants, with the main activity being elephant safari in the jungle on their backs. As soon as we heard that the Tiger Tops company was creating the Elephant Camp and that it would radically change the way elephants were treated, we went for it. At Tiger Tops the elephants have plenty of space to themselves, they are never tethered to a chain and travellers visit the jungle on foot with the elephants, not on them. The concept revolves around these animals and the activities are related to their world. In this way, Tiger Tops elephants are neither stressed nor nervous animals.

We currently work exclusively with them, hoping that other companies will join this way of working.

Collaboration with BeArtsy’s Rato Baltin Project

We are very happy about our small collaboration with the Rato Baltin Project (Red Bucket Project) of the NGO BeArtsy because it fully fits with our concern to strengthen the role of women in Nepalese society. They are doing enormous and tremendously difficult work in the rural communities of Achham in western Nepal regarding Chhaupadi. Chhaupadi is the ancient tradition that forces girls and women to live apart in insecure huts during menstruation, unable to do much of the daily chores, such as they cannot drink water from the public fountain or continuing school. Feel free to read the complete information.

We are local for local people

It has always been clear to us that well-meaning aid is good, but it is not our model. For us, supporting the local economy, the “real” economy, is more important. That’s why we always work with local guides and agents. In fact, we are local! There are travel agencies that promote their social responsibility with big headlines, that maybe make financial donations, but then take the guides from their country, eliminating much-needed jobs here.

Even the only two items that we could say are not “fully Nepalese”, such as the salary of the only non-Nepalese member of Plan Himalaya or the donations to BeArtsy, are spent entirely in Nepal.

We are part of KEEP Nepal

Since 2019 we are active members of KEEP Nepal (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project), a Nepali association that works in the field of economic revitalisation and education in Nepal in tourism-related businesses and communities, trying to maximise the positive impact and reduce the negative one, with special emphasis on environmental aspects.

There are various programmes in place, such as training for porters, English language courses, ecological implementation, training for tourism agents, health centres, rural community development, and even programmes to raise awareness about not spitting in the street.

Office paper

The reduction of single-use material is a constant quest, not only for us. In this sense, the paper used in the office is one of the elements to be reduced. We have already reduced a lot of it, although we still have to print some: travellers’ documentation, invoices, etc. However, some of the paper we give to travellers, our business cards, etc. are made with “lokta” paper, a hand-made paper from vegetable fibres usually made by women’s communities and associations.

On the other hand, we have eliminated all the photographs that used to join the programmes. In this way, we do not save ink or paper, but you do. We have also eliminated much of the text that included travel notes, terms of the contract, etc. Now, all the additional information is available on the website and the photos look much better! (However, if you prefer it in print, just ask us.)

Dhukuti products

In Nepal, there are quite a few local handicraft organisations, usually employing women. We like them because they are basically businesses that function like normal companies, but which prioritise decent wages and the possibility for many women to be economically independent.

One of these associations, one of the most serious and reliable, is the “Association for Craft Producers” which has a beautiful shop called Dhukuti in Patan. We always count on them when we have to do something special for our travellers.

Earthquake 2015. Rebuilding of the Himalayas

Those were exceptional days when everyone did exceptional things. For our part we set up a small non-profit organisation, Rebuilding of the Himalaya, through which we channelled some donations from customers and friends. We were able to organise several jeep trips in the Nawalpur area to distribute rice, lentils and oil as basic needed plus general medical care. In the second stage, we were able to send school supplies so that the children could start school again and we helped with materials for the construction of a temporary community house.