As a travel agency, as well as personally, we strive for sustainable travel.
We work with African guides and drivers and prefer buying from local companies to contribute to the local economy and to raise financial independence for the population. Based on the fair-trade principle, of course!
By keeping our journeys small-scale the impact on nature and local life are kept to a minimum.
The Papillon funds are the result of our sustainable philosophy.
On our side we give it our very best, but we can’t do it alone, and we count on the help of our guests too!
Curious as to what you can do?
Sustainable travel starts already when preparing for your journey.
West Africa is not (yet) equipped for recycling garbage and garbage pick-up services are rare. Therefore be mindful as to what you bring. Limit your contribution to the garbage dump; leave packages at home and select reusables over one-offs.
Bring a reusable shopping bag or buy one during the journey. It immediately contributes to lowering the amount of plastic in the environment and supports the local people.
Use water wisely! It’s scarce and the availability is not a matter of course. Turn taps off, take short showers and report leakages.
Consider the use of reusable water bottles in combination with water purifying tablets, drops or a water filtering system like the Water-to-Go* rather than buying mineral water.
West Africa suffers from energy poverty, leading to power cuts. Use electricity according to your needs, however turn off lights, fans and air-conditioners when leaving a room!
Get rechargeable batteries for your equipment or use a solar charger. The Waka Waka* is a great travel accessory: a powerful solar torch, also available as a torch/charger with a USB and mini USB port to recharge your equipment. When using non-rechargeable batteries, recycle them at home.
Treating the locals
Treat local people with the respect you would like to receive from them. Adjust your clothing to local customs and sensibilities.
Ask permission before taking pictures of people. If you promise someone a print, make sure to give or send it. It will contribute to a positive image of tourism and makes for a lasting memory.
Small gifts along the way (including money, candy, pens) lead to disrupting the African society and promote (especially children) begging. If you feel like contributing to a local community or project, please consult us or the guide.
By buying souvenirs and local products you’ll contribute to a fair income for the local people. On top of that they are great gifts and reminders of your journey.
* We warmly recommend these products based on our own experiences.