Environmental & Social Impact

Our mission is to fill our tours with as many positive outcomes as possible!
Escape Adventures Sustainable Travel Story

Commitment to Responsible Travel

It is important to us that when we travel to different parts of our amazing planet that our exchange is always a mutual one. It is our responsibility to take time to think about how our actions can benefit or how they impact the people, communities, economies, environments and ecosystems we visit. We always consider how we can make a difference (or sometimes more appropriately – NOT make a difference)

Escape Adventures’ goal is to be fully honest with ourselves and with you about any possible negative impacts of travel or our cycle tours. Our mission is to fill our tours with as many positive outcomes as possible, to put it simply we choose to be good humans with wholesome values. We have small business values and you can trust us to be open and honest with you and to carefully consider the way we operate every part of our business. If you have suggestions about how we can do better please let us know!

We love diversity!

Our Escape Adventures crew and bikers come from a huge variety of backgrounds. We celebrate this diversity and welcome all cyclists regardless of their education, culture, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, the nation of origin, age, languages spoken, colouring, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs. We believe that the more diverse our groups are the more interesting and fun your tour will be! 

Our emphasis is on cultural preservation and economic sustainability

Our Sustainable Travel Mission

We believe our social responsibility is supporting locals and respecting local cultures, customs and beliefs. The following goals help us to support local economy at the grassroots level as well as offer our bikers full immersion, genuine experiences

  • We partner with and support small, socially responsible localised businesses and suppliers 
  • Employ local support crew and individual services, paying world fair wages
  • Our small group sizes mean that we consider and adjust our social impact in small towns
  • Do our best to treat spiritual, sacred or historical places with the required respect
  • Asking permission before taking photos of strangers, ritual events or special places
  • We include local school visits (where appropriate) to provide a mutual learning opportunity
  • Choose accommodations, restaurants, and shops that align with our values
  • We avoid random gift-giving. It’s important for us to carefully consider and discuss our actions, we do support, well-researched long-term local social enterprises
  • Keep learning and attempting some of the local language
  • Escape Adventures is 100% against sex tourism, human trafficking, orphanage visits, exploitation of people for tourism

How can we keep improving?

  • Keep researching new ideas
  • Run crew training & brainstorming sessions
  • Lead and inspire by example
  • Ask for feedback / suggestions from crew & bikers.
We have unwavering commitment to share environmentally sound & conservation driven experiences

Environment and Responsibility

The environment is our home, caring for billions of animal and plant species, its the home of our future generations – it is a delicate and highly threatened foundation. Today it is essential that we change our habits at home and in the way that we live and travel and adopt a more caring attitude towards the environment.

There is no denying that the tourism industry is a significant contributor to global carbon emissions. A 2018 study found that tourism accounts for around 8% of the world’s carbon emissions, and nearly half of that comes from transport (flying, driving, buses, taxis, ferries etc).

The flip side of this is that travel and tourism account for one in four of all new jobs created around the world and over 10% of all jobs worldwide. Reference: WTTC.  So the big question is: How can we reduce the negative environmental impact of our travel and do something to help mitigate or even better, turn those negatives into positives?

Firstly, we can significantly reduce our carbon emissions by:

  • When possible travel by bus, train or ride a bike rather than drive. At home and at the travel destination
  • Fly Less.  When travelling by air – combine multiple shorter journeys into one longer trip. 
  • Book flights with fewer stop-overs. Reduce flying distance. Less take-off and landing (when planes release the most carbon)
  • Fly economy: more people in a plane means fewer carbon emissions per person.
  • Pack light: Less luggage weight = less carbon emissions.
  • When possible slow down and stay longer

We can also reduce our carbon footprint by:

  • Accommodations: Turn off the air conditioning: AC uses nearly 50% of the energy
  • Accommodations: Put up the “Do not disturb” sign: Cleaning rooms/towels every day is wasting energy and valuable water.
  • Eat local and avoid imported foods. Buy the food grown on local farms. Support local jobs and economy and keep food miles down.
  • Reduce food waste: Ask for smaller portions and avoid all-you-can-eat buffets. Support local eateries
  • Buy locally-made souvenirs that you will use. Find out what it’s made from and check it’s locally made.
  • Use accommodations, operators, and services that are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Do something positive

  • Support Native Forest Regeneration both at home and in the country.
  • Support Accredited Wildlife Parks
  • Seek out and support the local wildlife protection, environment and reforestation projects.
  • PLANT TREES! We all know that trees are good, they suck up carbon, produce oxygen and make us feel good. Plant trees, in our back yard, and on our travels.
As trees grow, they store carbon in trunks, branches, leaves, and roots.

We love planting trees

There are many carbon calculators available online which will all give you a different answer as to how many trees you could plant to mitigate the carbon emissions of your travel. This is not an exact science and we will never say that we are carbon neutral or that we are off-setting or mitigating our (or your) carbon footprint.

What we will say is that we have looked at many carbon calculators to get an approximation of how many trees they would plan to offset a long-haul flight. Using this as a baseline we have multiplied this by a factor of 5 to give us a guideline of how many *FOREVER TREES we can plant to make a positive difference and to make sure that enough of the trees we plant will not only make it to maturity but also keep on contributing for generations to come.

  • Plants 10 *forever trees for every biker and each Escape crew member who travels internationally for our cycle tours.
  •  Plants two forever trees for every biker and each Escape crew member who travels domestically for our NZ cycle tours.
  • We plant two forever trees for each support vehicle for the duration of the tour (based on a 16-day tour).
  • *FOREVER TREES are either trees native to where they are being planted OR food-bearing trees planted with the intention of never being cut down.
We can be crazy bike people and do the right thing

We Make A Difference

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Conservation and protection of African wildlife

Best known for its work protecting elephants, operating an orphan elephant rescue and wildlife rehabilitation in Kenya. 

Read More: Sheldrick Wildlife

Local Schools For Education

Long-standing trusted relationships

Some cycle tours include local school visits, with service community projects, educational travel and mutual learning opportunities

Giraffe Centre Nairobi

African Fund for Endangered Wildlife

Established to protect the endangered Rothschild Giraffe, a conservation and education centre for Kenyan school children. 

Read More: Giraffe Centre

National Parks

Entree fees are a vital source of funding

Without funding/entree fees parks and wildlife would cease to exist. Train and pay rangers, so animals have well maintained safe place to live

Friends Of Usambara Society

Non-profit grassroots organisation support

Planting trees protects and regenerate forests, combats desertification, supports Usambara Mountains region sustainable forestry 

Read More: Friends Of Usambara

Shop Local Goods & Growers

We help keep our communities strong

We support homegrown businesses everywhere we go, buying produce, and day-to-day items from local businesses and services

Read about our adventures and cycling advice from biking tips to some of the gear we love.

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