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The walking, cycling and other active holidays that we operate at KE, are by their very nature relatively low impact. They allow our customers to interact directly with communities in mostly rural areas, and we do our utmost to be respectful, to protect the environment and to ensure that those same communities benefit from the tourism that we bring to their regions.

Very often it is the smallest of things that can make the biggest difference, so here are a few useful tips to help travellers get the most out of their experience, and have a more positive impact on local communities and the environment.

Before You Travel

Go paper-free

KE sends all correspondence by email. Get excited about your upcoming adventure by reading online, and avoid printing at home. Familiarise yourself with your smart device to ensure that you can save and bookmark documents.

Do a little research

your experience will be all the richer if you learn about the country you are visiting. There is a wealth of information on the internet and in guidebooks (or even better, e-books) - and you can always give us a call too. Learning about the culture and customs of a country before you go will allow you to interact with the local people better, and can affect which clothes you pack.

Learn a few words of the local language

Even just hello, thank you and goodbye. This is the best way to really get stuck in, and any effort is always appreciated.

Pack with care

Weight restrictions on flights are due to the additional fuel used to carry heavier bags, so lightening your luggage reduces your carbon footprint. Some carriers also charge more for luggage depending on size and weight. Make sure you avoid packing disposable items wherever you can, so that you don't leave rubbish abroad. And don't forget your biodegradable travel wash! Take a tote bag for your souvenir shopping so that you don’t have to use disposable plastic bags.

Water bottle

Be organised and take your own water bottle(s) to fill up. Ensure you have enough capacity for your chosen holiday, for example, you will need more capacity on a walking or trekking holiday than a cultural/sightseeing trip. For destinations where you cannot drink the tap water, please do not to buy bottled water. Instead take water purification tablets or a filter bottle. We highly recommend Water-to-Go filter bottles, which filter out more than 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and cysts.


Getting to Your Destination

Go by ferry or train if you can

We encourage our travellers to consider taking a ferry or travelling by train wherever possible to reach the start point of their trips, and to return home. It can be a great travel experience in its own right, as well as being more comfortable and relaxing, and of course is far better for the environment. See our Travelling by train information page.

Research your flight

The routing that you take will affect your CO2 emissions. For example if you fly directly from London to Cape Town less CO2 is emitted than going from London via Dubai to Cape Town. Many online flight search engines now give you a CO2 emissions figure for each different route. This takes into account the aircraft and cabin type, passenger load, airline rating, the flying direction and the routing. It is a complex science, but these numbers will give you an indication.

Extend your holiday

There is a trend towards taking fewer trips but staying for longer, which generally is better for the environment and means you are spending more in the local economy. So consider booking a longer trip, or extend by a few days to explore the destination further or take some time to rest and relax before returning home (look for the KE extensions and other add-ons on each trip page)


Whilst on Your Holiday

Respect local customs

By doing the research you will know what to expect in terms of religious sensitivities and local traditions. One of the most important things you can do is ensure that you adhere to local dress codes, which could include covering up more than you are used to, wearing headscarves or hats and removing footwear when entering religious buildings.

Minimise erosion

When walking on marked footpaths stick to them, and avoid stepping on native flora.

Leave no trace

On all KE guided group trips waste is carried out. Your leaders will tell you where to put your rubbish. Take out any rubbish you can yourself, and dispose of it in a responsible manner, including recycling whatever you can.

Be mindful of water pollution

If you want to swim or wash in rivers, consider that downstream the river water could also be drinking water or used for cooking. Do not contaminate water supplies by washing in it. Any washing products should be phosphate free and biodegradable.


Respect local people and ask if you can take their photo before pressing the button. Do not take pictures of children without parental permission, and always put the phone or camera away near military or border areas.

Protect wildlife

Do not touch or feed any wildlife, and only view from a responsible distance. We never offer elephant riding and ensure that animals are not exploited. We endeavour to only include wildlife-based activities in the wild or where animals exhibit natural behaviours as close to their home environments as possible ie sanctuaries or orphanages.

Try local products

Support local craftsmen and business owners by buying local wares, and think about where you are. It's great to get your souvenirs in rural areas where they see fewer tourists as opposed to buying in the capital, or at the airport at the end of your trip. It is generally cheaper, and your money will then go directly to the craftsperson, and directly benefit the community.

Sustainable souvenirs only

Make sure your souvenirs are sustainable. Some countries still sell artefacts and products made from endangered species and hardwoods, which in many cases are illegal to take out of the country, and/or illegal to bring into your home country.

Give back in the right way

If you wish to support rural local communities or the area you are visiting, it is advised to speak to your leader or local contact, to see where additional resources would make the most difference. Often there is a local enterprise which helps a community in the long term, or a charity which supports worthwhile local projects. KE supports the Juniper Trust which is a good example of a charity which actively supports local communities, mostly through education, in Nepal and Pakistan.

When You Get Home

Talk about your holiday

Share photos and tell your friends and family about the local people that you’ve met and about how they live. Explain how climate change affects their lives, and whether you feel bringing tourism to those destinations is a positive thing.

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