Travel to Remote Places

This page is all about supporting our friends, and promoting responsible, sustainable tourism. As travellers, we are at our best when we travel with humility, interested in all that our hosts have to offer, and willing to support local economies in small ways. Small gestures from a steady flow of respectful travellers encourages independence and growth.

We would suggest that the following should be considered as a MINIMUM when trying to travel responsibly.

1. We should not judge people in the way that we might judge people at home. We may not agree at all with their customs, but we are travelling to learn not to preach.

2. Learn and respect local attitudes to dress and behaviour. It is best, for example,not to combine trips to indiginous places with wild drinking holidays...

3. Also learn local customs regarding money and tipping. Giving money to children may turn them into beggars.

4. Try to support the local economy as well as the tourist economy. It may take a while to feel the difference, but engaging with the local economies will spread your wealth outside of the tourist areas, which in many countries are not locally owned.

Many places we have visited have been extremely difficult to access, and finding the right gatekeeper is sometimes very difficult. On some of our research trips we have allowed a carefully selected local tour company to prepare the way for us and make all local arrangements, on other trips we have had to work on a more ad-hoc basis. The following are some of our favorite guides. Please contact us if you would like to discuss a trip with them and we will put you in touch. We benefit from this as well as you as it helps us to be seen to be encouraging responsible tourism. Sometimes we may negotiate a small fee with the guide, or a discount on a future research trip. Everything goes to support our work.

We can however accept no liability for any of the actions of any of the guides or companies listed below. Their inclusion does not constitute a recommendation. Please send me an email if you would like us to put you in touch.

 

Fitsum Asebir1

Southern Ethiopia

Fitsum was one of our first guides in Ethiopia and he remains one of the best guides we have ever had with us. Not only was his knowledge of the region extremely comprehensive but also he always seemd to know just what we needed before we even knew ourselves. At the time that he took us he was a university student trying to support hjis way through college.

Tibet

Gonkho took us right into the heart of his communmity and showed us nomadic life at its very best. He operates throguhout Eastern Tibet, which is a little easier to access than Western Tibet, so if you want to meet real nomads, see shining monasteries and beautiful landscapes bedecked with prayer flags, I recommend talking to him.
Gonkho

Moroccan Sahara

There are many tour operators who now run tours from Marraketch to the Western edge of the Sahara Desert. However, if you want to get away from the party in the dunes then you will need someone who knows the locals. Not only can my good friend Rajae Fikri get you deep into the desert, but she also has contacts high in the Atlas Mountains. Most tourists pass them by, yet they are a haven of rich culture and beautiful people. We travelled in both regions and Rajae not only arranged everything well in advance, but was strong and flexible enough to rearrange everything when the Nomads we went to meet suddenly decided not to migrate at all. Thank you, Rajae.

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is worth travelling to for its scenery alone. I travelled with a Russian Guide, but met along the way a young guide who spoke excellent English and clearly had the trust of the local people. If I ever go back I would use her without question.
Fitsum Asebir
Siberia Travel

Siberia

Travelling to Northern Siberia is extremely challenging both in terms of the weather conditions and the necessary permits.

Maasai in Tanzania

Awaiting Text
Fitsum Asebir