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Responsible Travel Policy

Responsible Travel

Introduction

Gorilla Link Tours is a unique safari company based in Uganda with offices in Kampala.  As our responsibility, we believe in showing our clients a real and authentic African experience in a safe and responsible way. We do this by supporting local community projects and respecting the environment in destinations we organize safaris to.

The Responsible Travel Policy

This policy outlines the policies and procedures for mainstreaming safe and responsible travel within Gorilla Link Tours operations and services. We are committed to the safety of the environment and the wellbeing of communities and wildlife in our operations and safaris. We aim to protect our environment and support our communities and will act without hesitation to ensure that these ideals are emphasised. We also support the safety and wellbeing of our staff and clients and encourage their active participation in building and maintaining a secure environment and economic resilience of communities where we do business.

Objectives of the policy

Policy coverage

This policy applies to all individuals involved with Gorilla Link Tours Africa, namely;

  • Staff
  • Clients/customers
  • Guides (based at GLTA Offices and in the communities)
  • Individuals, groups and any associates associated with Gorilla Link Tours.
  • Partner agencies
  • Interns
  • Board members
  • Journalists, photographers, film/TV producers
  • Visitors to our offices

All those involved will follow the policies and procedures outlined in this document and other related policies. If breaches of these policies occur, they will be dealt with following the case handling guidance in this policy.

Policies and Procedures

Cognizant of this responsibility, Gorilla Link Tours Africa will take measures to benefit the environment and local community in the communities and mainstream responsible travel and tourism of countries we operate in the following ways;

Economic

  • Ensure that local communities benefit from our business by using local accommodation facilities or accommodations that use local materials and employ local people, employing local guides, buying food from locally-owned shops and markets, eating and drinking in local bars and restaurants. In doing so, we are not only investing in local communities but also offering our travelers a genuine insight into a country and its people.
  • Before a safari begins, we provide a pre-departure guide and practical travel information to clients so as to prepare appropriately for their safari
  • Proactively identify, support and market local tourism spots that are struggling by interesting our clients to do safaris there.
  • Encourage our clients to buy local products made by locals in the communities we take our clients
  • Our itineraries mention some of the stopovers where clients can buy souvenir crafts from local people. This makes the local people appreciate tourism more and encouraged to conserve since they earn from their craft making skills when travellers buy from them
  • Mention optional activities in each place so that these areas can also benefit from tourism financially. Some attractions/activities are visited more or done more than others. So mentioning the optional activities encourages financial balance when our clients do choose these activities
  • Promote and market Uganda as a preferred holiday destination so that travelers can choose to come here thus contributing to the economy of the country
  • Offer detailed and honest itineraries to our clients, prices with no hidden costs, detailed description of our services, what is included and what is excluded in the price, optional activities in each place. This is to make sure they have a great experience to Uganda and to the other destinations we organize safaris to and to have a positive impact on the environment and local people
  • Use local suppliers or suppliers that support local markets for transport, accommodation and restaurants among others
  • Pay park entry fees, gorilla and chimpanzee permits and other activity fees to Uganda Wildlife Authority, to support their conservation efforts
  • Some of our package costs do not include everything. Drinks, tips, Laundry, phone calls, porter fees, etc. are not included in the cost and are paid directly by clients to the local people. What is included and what is excluded is always mentioned to our clients. Guides stop at some restaurants and bars where clients can pay directly to the local businesses

 Environmental

  • Safeguard the welfare of wild animals during sightseeing in national parks and reserves where we take our clients through personal responsibility and observing the laws governing treatment of wild animals and their Abide by all environmental protection laws and policies in the all the countries we operate.
  • Use and maintain our fleet to the best condition to avoid fluid spillage which can lead to pollution and therefore harm to the environment, and safeguarding the safety of our clients.
  • Use responsible accommodations for most of our safaris that use solar or hydroelectric power, grow organic food in their gardens, use water bottles that can be recycled and support local community projects
  • Our guides bring back plastic water bottles to our offices in Kampala where they are collected and taken to Kawempe plastic collection center in partnership with AMREF and taken by Coca Cola Company for recycling
  • At our office- we recycle paper for draft work, refill cartridge for the printer, use cloud for documentation, minimize printing, save energy by switching off all devices and lights when not in use and after closing time and save water by not washing under running taps
  • We support and also encourage our travelers to support community and conservation initiatives like tree planting, etc.
  • Before each safari begins, provide a pre-departure guide to all our clients that includes practical travel information, rules, do’s and don’ts in the national parks like never asking guides to go off track during game drives
  • Email gorilla tracking rules to all our clients before they come for their gorilla tracking safari that include how they can protect the gorillas and their environment
  • In our pre-departure guide, emphasize to our clients that they are not allowed to litter the national parks, roads and communities and shall leave everything in the vehicle which are disposed off by the guide at appropriate designated places
  • Mention and emphasize off the beaten track activities and or attractions to clients so as to avoid overcrowding of the popular places/activities

Social policy

  • For every safari, Gorilla Link Tours shall donate 5 USD per person to buy sunscreens, sun hats and sunglasses for persons living with albinism (PLWA)
  • Proactively contribute to relief and emergency efforts to our popular tourism regions in the event of disasters/crises. Such efforts may include provision of food, water, clothing and other items. In doing so, we relate to the affected communities as part of our Social responsibility.
  • Provide more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
  • Provide information about the socially acceptable and unacceptable behavior by the locals to our clients so that they do not get in trouble with the locals and can easily be accepted when need for interaction arises
  • Safari guides always suggest community activities that our clients can learn more about and support. For example learn about bee keeping, local brew making, and can support and buy some of the local products
  • Our safari guides to try to teach our clients some few local words so as to easily interact with local people a long travels. For example how to say hello in the local language
  • Provide clients with opportunities to interact with the local people so as to share different cultural experiences from both sides
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