June 30, 2022 7 min read
If lazing around on a beach all day with not a care in the world isn’t your idea of bliss and if like many you have spent the last few years dreaming of getting out on an epic adventure, then what is stopping you? You may not know how to begin planning your dream, lack the confidence to go it alone or increasingly worry about the impact of your adventures on the very place you wish to visit. Going with a guided group, can take much of the stress and hard work out of the planning, leaving you to enjoy the experience. Below are 7 adventure travel companies that a huge focus on sustainable travel so you don’t even have to worry about the impact of your adventure. Between them they offer a range of truly amazing opportunities for once in a lifetime trips such as aurora hunting in the arctic circle, taking a safari to Zambia to photograph lions and elephants or something a little closer to home.
Their Story: Wild Frontiers was founded over 20 years ago by travel writer Jonny Bealby after his own expedition through Pakistan and Afghanistan where he was so taken with the landscape and the people he stayed for an extra 3 months. During that time as he was writing his travel guide he was surprised by the lack of tourism in an area so beautiful and easily accessible. So in 1998 Jonny Bealby returned leading his first expedition group through Northern Pakistan. For a few years after that until 2001 Jonny ran his business as a sole trader out of the back room in his parents home then he decided to take the plunge and expand. Now Wild Frontiers takes groups to over 60 different countries and works with NGOs and communities through their Wild Frontiers foundation to give back to the amazing places their expeditions take them to.
Adventures Offered: Small group tours and tailor-made adventures. Offering walking tours, cultural trips, wildlife tours and wilderness adventures across the globe from Scotland to Antarctica Wild Frontiers has a huge range of fantastic experiences to choose from.
Wild Frontiers Foundation: All of Wild Frontiers itineraries are designed with the culture, community and ecosystems of their destinations in mind. The Wild Frontiers Foundation was started in 2009 to raise money for projects within the countries they travel to. The money helps to run initiatives for education, community empowerment, conservation and emergency relief.
Find out more: https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_GB
Their Story: Founded by two friends, Darrel Wade and Geoff Manchester, in Australia, Intrepid has always been about offering responsible, off the beaten-track-adventures. Starting off in 1989 with just a drive to make a difference, a typewriter and a kitchen table they never thought that 30 years later they would be the world's largest sustainable adventure travel company. Even before they were turning a profit Darrel and Geoff’s business plan included donating to charity and in 2002 they set up their own foundation to give back to communities in their travel destinations.
Adventures Offered: Intrepid Travel offers immersive cultural experiences for small groups, including as many local people as they can in their itineraries. No matter what your adventure style is from camping in the wilderness, to sailing or something a bit comfier, Intrepid offers over 2800 different trips to choose from so there will be a trip for you.
Intrepid Foundation: Intrepid’s customers were the driving force behind the Intrepid Foundation, always asking what else can be done to help the communities they were travelling to and the locals they were meeting. The Intrepid Foundation’s partners are fully vetted by local Intrepid teams to make sure they are making a positive impact and creating solutions for important issues. Their partners help causes around the world such as reforestation, wildlife sanctuaries, refugee and humanitarian aid and breaking the poverty cycle. Since 2002 the foundation has raised over $12 million AUD for over 130 community partners.
Find out more: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/uk
Their Story: Much Better Adventures is a travel company for those with a wilder side. Founded in 2012 from a rickety old chalet in the Alps they are on a mission to help adventurous souls to swap the city for the outdoors. They work with local hosts and guides to help support a community of independently owned businesses and through crowdfunding a few years ago they are part community owned by their customers. As a growing business, the bigger they get the more good they do!
Adventures Offered: Adventures in wild places. Much Better Adventures caters for small private groups and solo-adventurers who are keen to join a group of strangers and have the adventure of a lifetime. Expert local guides who know where to go and how to stay safe will take you kayaking, hiking, wild swimming, biking and more depending on your choice of adventure. With Much Better Adventures you can stay close to home and kayak Scotland or go as far as the Arctic Circle and try your hand at aurora hunting and chase the Northern Lights.
Much Better Adventures Foundation: Much Better Adventures is protecting the world's wild places one adventure at a time. 5% of the revenue of each adventure booked goes towards supporting projects that mostly focus on rewilding and reforestation. However, during the past few years they have rediverted those funds to help local guides and their families during the pandemic. Through the foundation they remove twice as much carbon from the atmosphere than is produced by any of their adventures. Not only this but the foundation helps to improve mental health, increase job opportunities, help during times of flooding and droughts and preserve wildlife.
Find out more: https://www.muchbetteradventures.com/
Their Story: In 2020Catherine combined her years of experience in sustainable travel and rail travel to create No Fly Club, offering a more sustainable version of travel for adventurous souls. Flying is what causes the most damage to our environment in the whole of the travel industry, for example if you take the Eurostar to France you are producing 90% less emissions than flying. Through No Fly Travel Club, the train is part of the immersive experience, they are on a mission to make rail holidays a really exciting alternative to flying.
Adventures Offered: No Fly Travel Club offer flexible independent trips with optional adventures so you can choose your own activity itinerary or have a relaxing day exploring yourself. All of their optional activities include chances to meet the local communities. Every trip and adventure has sustainability at it’s core. Offering adventures leaving from the UK by train to the Alps, Germany, Switzerland and all across Europe.
Responsible Travel: Founded specially to be a sustainable travel and adventure company No Fly Travel Club focus on 3 areas they believe to be the most important - impact when creating the itineraries, impact that comes from the trips themselves and the level of connection the travellers have. Encouraging off peak travel to lesser known destinations spreads out the impact of tourism and offers more cash flow for local businesses, hosting regenerative activities like rewilding or working with local artisans helps to protect the communities they are travelling to and staying in independent, locally owned accommodation are just some ways No Fly Travel Club is helping to reduce their impact.
Find out more: https://noflytravel.club/
Their Story: Armstrong Fortescue was started in 2021 by two adventure guides and wildlife photographers Matt Armstrong and Will Fortescue. They focus on providing ‘phenomenal’ safaris from small groups. Believing in putting wildlife first they use travel and photography to put an emphasis on conservation.
Adventures Offered: Off the beaten track Safari adventures across the globe. Taking small groups Will and Matt guide every adventure utilising their wealth of experience from spending their whole careers in the industry. You can travel in a group or create your own bespoke itinerary to places like Uganda, India and Norway.
Conservation: Will and Matt are great believers that the more people get off the beaten track and experience wildlife, the more likely it is they will become actively involved in conservation. Both co-founders have spent a long time working with conservation organisations. They work very closely with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation providing content and fundraising so they can continue their conservation work. Matt is also a board member for the Wild Asia Habitat Fund. This year the ‘new big 5’ campaign was all about reinventing the big 5 to focus on the most beautiful creatures to shoot with a camera as opposed to a gun. The big 5 can be seen on Will and Matt’s safari adventures. Partnering with Terra Neutra Armstrong Fortescue ensure each safari is carbon neutral.
Find out more: https://www.armstrongfortescue.com/
Their Story: Based in East Lothian Ocean Vertical lead adventures into the wild mountains and oceans of Scotland. Everything they do comes out of a passion for experiencing the natural world. All adventures are silent human powered activities and designed to help you reconnect with the natural world. Since starting Ocean Vertical have been focused on making their adventures as ethical as possible and help to ensure the survival of the last remaining wild places.
Adventures Offered: Ocean Vertical specialise in ethical adventures across the Scottish mountains and oceans. They offer adventures such as coasteering, mountaineering, paddle boarding and climbing all across Scotland. From day activities to a few days in the hills, Ocean Vertical is great if you're wanting an adventure closer to home.
Conservation: Their philosophy is pretty simple- a respect and taste for real adventure, a love for our natural world and a belief that we human beings are not paramount, wilderness for its own sake. Their love for beautiful wild places demands active participation in trying to save them, they donate a percentage of their profits being put into environmental causes and activism. As well as supporting a number of causes they are keen to make sure the equipment and what they are taking into their beloved wild places is as ethical as can be. Often the equipment used in many water sports can be damaging to the environment through its manufacture and disposal. Ocean Vertical have decided to use limestone neoprene wetsuits and here’s why - they are PAH free and contain no petroleum oil, it takes less Co2 to manufacture than traditional neoprene, as a material it is more durable and lasts longer than traditional neoprene, its created using a limestone waste product and its warmer than oil based neoprene. Their t-shirts are also made of organic cotton by a factory that has its own closed loop renewable energy system.
Find out more: https://www.oceanvertical.com/
Comments will be approved before showing up.