Green adventures - in tune with nature!
Whilst ecotourism is not new, it may not always be at the forefront of our holiday planning. But with environmental issues now of ever more concern, it’s good to give it a thought for our next trip.
Eco-tourism can be defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people” and embodies factors like improving awareness, minimising the impact on the environment, respecting local culture, supporting human rights and conserving biological diversity.
If you want to really get up close and personal with the natural world and understand more of how we interact with it, the Flexicover Team have checked out some interesting destinations.
Most tourists visiting this Pacific island paradise will spend their time underwater! With coral reefs, wartime wrecks, hidden caves and sea creatures including over 1,400 kinds of fish and more than 60 vertical drop-offs, it is no surprise that Palau is known for being one of the world’s most spectacular diving and snorkelling destinations. If water isn’t your thing, you can stroll along its beaches, trek through jungles or watch exotic birds fly around its 250 tiny islands. Its remote location in the western corner of Micronesia has helped it to protect it and the locals of this independent nation are keen to ensure that sustainability is the order of the day, focusing on conservation over urbanisation with educational efforts such as the Palau Project.
Often referred to as ‘God’s own country’, Kerala’s focus has been on sustainable and eco-friendly tourism – key developments include the Thenmala Ecotourism Facilitation Centre and the ‘Green Mansion’ eco-lodge overlooking Gavi Lake. This is one of India’s most unspoiled corners and with clean sandy beaches, fabulous virgin forests, over 10,000 plant and animal species, it makes a great place for a tranquil escape. Many of the state’s forests are now protected with environmentally responsible travel strongly encouraged. This is a great destination for a holiday – stay in a tree house beside a beach or a hill station and wake up to the sound of a chirping colony of birds! Take a backwater cruise in a kettuvallom (house boat) and don’t miss a visit to the breathtaking Kerala waterfalls as you step into its verdant wonderland.
Home not only to lions, leopards, elephants and a spectacular array of wildlife but also to mountains, lakes, rainforests, beaches and deserts, Kenya is a fabulous holiday destination for those seeking adventure. This East African country’s natural diversity is protected with over 50 national parks and reserves from the Kakmea Forest Reserve to the wildebeests in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. In 2002, Ecotourism Kenya launched an accreditation program rating varios developments as gold, silver or bronze to help visitors select facilities such as the Elephant Pepper Camp (Gold) or the Severin Sea Lodge (Silver) near Mombasa. Stay in a safari lodge, walk down the pristine white beaches or dive amongst coral reefs of Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park – it will be an exhilarating experience!
Strict environmental regulations have helped preserve the natural beauty of western Norway’s famous fjords. Whether you hike or bike around them, sail through them, kayak or just take a stroll, there is an abundance of breathtaking beauty and scenery to take in. Look out for eagles and seabirds and visit some of the many small fishing villages where local cultural traditions have been preserved down the centuries. All down the coast, there are many ecotourism havens that are promoted such as Molde, “City of Roses”, or the bird watching experience at Ekkerøy Holiday House.
This Balkan state may not be the first choice for a break; despite bordering some popular tourist spots like Greece and Montenegro - Albania remains a charming little hideaway. You will find pristine beaches of the Adriatic coast, visit quaint towns like Saranda and explore classical sites such as ancient Berat. Check out the country’s sustainable tourism scene including cycling around the northern foothills and admiring the cultural and geological importance of the Caves of Pellumbas. From a city tour of Tirana, its capital, to white-water rafting and sea kayaking, there’s lots to choose from!
If you manage to visit any of these eco-friendly destinations then you may need a helping hand from Flexicover Direct, the travel insurance specialist, committed to providing the highest level of service to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away. Flexicover policies include over 120 sporting activities at no extra cost.
If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!