Extending the concept of ecotourism lodging

I’ve just added Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize to Eco Tropical Resorts.  The sanctuary is located in Belize, Central America.  This is a new kind of listing as their focus is an environmental education center that offers experiential learning programs and training opportunities while serving as a model of conservation land stewardship.  They also have a Wildlife Rehab Center where they care for wildlife with the hope of returning the animals into the wild.  The Sanctuary consists of 1,070 acres of tropical forest, riverine and savanna habitats.

Their lodging facilities are an adjunct to their real purpose of land and animal stewardship.  They offer all kinds of lodging from camping, a bunkhouse, private rooms, and homestays.  The homestays are with local families which helps involve the community in what they’re doing.

I think eco-tourism includes Wildlife Sanctuaries and Parks, working on ways to maintain habitat for wildlife and preserve nature for the future.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I really want to visit Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  I used to do Wildlife Rehab in Northern California and loved rasing baby squirrels and birds.  My sister is a biologist and I’m thinking this might be perfect for a little family get together.

If you want to go see what I’m talking about, here is their url: http://www.monkeybaybelize.org

Nigerian president pushes for Ecotourism

I am constantly looking for eco lodges in the Tropics that have websites so that I can add them to my directory.  Nigeria is one country that I have not yet been able to find one in.  I was heartened when I read about the following:

At the 11th Africa Travel Association conference held recently, President Olusegun Obasanjo talked about attracting funding from the private sector for ecotourism.  He stated that: “There are 1,129 Forest Reserves, 29 Game Reserves, 4 Game Sanctuaries and seven national parks spread across the length and breadth of Nigeria.” The country is ripe for green travel.

Ecotourism is a way for poor countries to attract tourist dollars and help preserve the environment at the same time.  I’m hoping this outlook by the president of Nigeria will help promote eco-tourism for this African country.

 

India Homestays

When I read different posts and writings about ecotourism I have yet to read anything about India Homestays.  It seems to me that they are probably a type of accommodation that has the least impact on the environment.  For one, they are already there because it is a home that is opened up for visitors so no building occurs. Because it is a home, they can only accommodate small numbers, again less intrusive on the environment. They help the indigenous population because it is people of that country that open up their homes.  Most of the Homestays in the directory offer local organic meals and are very conscious of the environment, another plus.

All of the Homestays on Eco Tropical Resorts are located in India.  I have been contacted by so many of them.  In fact, today I added two new India Homestays.  Perhaps other countries can follow suit or maybe they are and I am just not aware of them.  If you know of any other countries that offer Homestays, please let me know via posting here on my blog or emailing me at eco @ eco-tropicalresorts.com. Do remove the spaces in the email.

Solar Powered Boat

I’d like to tell you about Monte Gisborne of http://www.tamarackelectricboats.com.  He is promoting a “green” boat that is powered by the sun, has very little impact on the environment, and runs silently and therefore enables you to see wildlife without disturbing it with loud noises and pollution.  This is an awesome idea that I hope eco lodges and eco tours will pay attention to.  What’s the point of going to a remote eco lodge on a river if you then use a gas boat that has a bad impact on the environment.  The savings in fuel will more than make up for the cost and will also help our waterways.

Monte recently started a blog, http://www.tamarack.wordpress.com in which he describes a family vacation he took recently.  He titles his piece The $3 boat vacation of a lifetime.  Well worth reading. 

Disabled Access at ecotourism lodges

I just added a new lodge in The Gambia, Africa.  It’s called Footsteps Lodge, their website is http://footstepsinthegambia.com.   This is the first lodge that I’ve added to my ecotourism lodge directory that has stressed disabled access.  I’m really impressed by this.  They’ve constructed their lodge on one level so that it is easily accessible, with all their doorways being wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.  Kudos to Footsteps Lodge!
Lise at http://www.eco-tropicalresorts.com/

 

Sri Lanka

I added an Eco lodge in Sri Lanka yesterday called the Kumbuk River Lodge.  Whenever I add a lodge I try to contact the owners or managers to make sure that they are promoting sustainable tourism.  Dinesh, the owner, had this to say about the travelers warnings in Sri Lanka “It is true that we have a protracted conflict in our country with some incidents recorded in peaceful areas from time to time.  But if one studies the global situation, and take the time to visit Sri Lanka, one would agree that the popular tourist destinations of Sri Lanka are as safe as London, New York or Paris.  Sadly the world media only highlights the conflict and the coverage makes it look like the whole of Sri Lanka is a war zone.”

On this same note, I had an email from Ron at Planeta about the situation in Oaxaca, Mexico.  He said that things are not as bad as they are made out to be.  I think it’s easy to scare people about visiting some foreign places but the truth is more likely that we will be harmed in our own backyards.  Don’t let journalistic sensationalism keep you from travelling!

A blog added to Eco Tropical Resorts

It’s about time that I finally added a blog to my ecotourism lodge directory.  There are many things that come up or that I read about that I want to share.  This will be a great venue for that!