Karvansarai

Conscious Travel

For us having a positive impact is a lifestyle and ultimately we strive to enrich the existence of all living species by rewilding our world and connecting to nature.

We, Tara and Alessandra, met in the jungles of Ranthambhore, India, pursuing our passions of wildlife and conservation. We then met Alon when he guided us through the Congo Basin rainforest in the Central African Republic. We take the environmental and social impact of travel seriously and seek to be conscious in all that we undertake.

Karvansarai is working on several projects concerning our wildlife, natural and social environments. As they develop, we will share them with you and hope you will partake in them as well.

See What We Support for more information.

Not only when we travel but day to day it is often overwhelming trying to make informed decisions.

Was this shirt made in a sweat shop by a child? Is the cloth made from cotton contaminated with pesticides? Was this fish caught by dynamite fishing killing the corals I snorkeled over just yesterday? Does this contain palm oil which is causing deforestation, the burning of carbon rich peat forests and endangering wildlife like orangutans?

The questions are endless!

At Karvansarai we recommend to the best of our knowledge businesses that are operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Parts of the proceeds of every trip booked with us go to supporting causes close to our heart. Ask us to find out more.

We ask for your help as well, to give us feedback on your experience so with every time we can improve.

We encourage all Karvansarai travellers to try to tread lightly and consciously – every bit counts.

What do we believe we can do to be more conscious travellers?

We ask before taking pictures of people.

Learning the local customs helps us be more aware, everything from the way we dress to how to be in sacred places.

Curiosity is great but not when we find ourselves suddenly standing uninvited in a stranger’s home. Respect for people’s privacy is crucial, they are not an exhibition.

We do not encourage begging, but are respectful all the same.

We support local businesses and those that are contributing to projects for the community and environment.

Negotiating is often part of the culture and the fun but there is also a limit, pay a fair price. If the price is too good to be true, someone or something else, like our beloved planet earth, is paying the price!

We do not buy products made of endangered species, plants, and woods or made in an unethical way to people, animals and our environment.

We never touch or take with us any wildlife, plants, corals etc. Leave no trace and just take pictures.

Wildlife viewing varies depending on location and the type of wildlife so we get informed beforehand and learn how to appreciate without disturbing. We don’t support anything that involves touching, feeding, riding, keeping in captivity, hunting, doing anything that is not their natural behavior when it comes to animals.

Water is precious and often requires considerable energy to reach you – turning the tap off between brushing our teeth and soaping ourselves in the shower is simple but goes a long way. We reuse our towels and opt to not change our sheets daily.

In many countries where tap water is not potable and there are no recycling facilities, plastic bottles either get buried in landfills or fill our air with toxins as the trash gets burnt. We carry and refill our own reusable water bottle. There are many options out there from simple BPA free plastic /glass/metal bottles to ones with their own filters.

We recommend http://www.fill2purewater.com/ Use our exclusive promotional code karvansarai10

Say no to anything disposable /one-time use (plastic/non-plastic) – takeaway coffee cups, plastic straws etc. Instead we have cool Keep Cups for our coffee or tea and glass/bamboo/metal straws for the next fresh coconut we drink. We skip the hotel amenities and bring our refillable toiletries and/or container less products like shampoo soap bars. We refuse plastic bags and make sure to pack our reusable bags instead.

Earth is becoming ‘Planet Plastic’ and the numbers are staggering,

  • 8,300 million tonnes of virgin plastics have been produced
  • Half of this material was made in just the past 13 years
  • About 30% of the historic production remains in use today
  • Of the discarded plastic, roughly 9% has been recycled
  • Some 12% has been incinerated, but 79% has gone to landfill
  • Shortest-use items are packaging, typically less than a year
  • Longest-use products are found in construction and machinery
  • Current trends point to 12 billion tonnes of waste by 2050
  • Recycling rates: Europe (30%), China (25%), US (9%)

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40654915

Properly dispose of our trash. Especially in remote places we take everything we brought with us including our trash! Many places do not recycle so we try to reduce and reuse instead.

When we are not sure if the seafood or meat was caught or raised ethically and sustainably, we opt for a vegetarian/vegan diet. It also helps reduce our chances of getting ill where hygiene standards are not that high as well as have a lower carbon footprint. We use the Apps Seafood Watch to check for responsible seafood options and Happy Cow to find Vegetarian/Vegan eating options.

We use natural cosmetic products especially when travelling on boats where the water is going directly into rivers, lakes and the sea. Many hotels recycle their water so it’s important we only use biodegradable nontoxic products. It’s also better for us!

When snorkeling, diving, swimming we use a coral safe sunscreen.

Natural mosquito repellents protect us as well as the creatures around us. If wearing DEET never touch flora and fauna. The beautiful frog on the night walk may die if it comes into contact with repellents.

Turn off all electronics especially the a/c when not in use. And no matter how hot it is we insist to turn off the car engine while stopped.

We follow the philosophy of ‘If you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it here or anywhere for that matter.’

And most importantly we have fun while doing all of this and share with others IT’S POSSIBLE!

 

Karvansarai

We encourage all of our travellers to explore and discover – build their own relationships, plant their own roots and create their own unforgettable memories with a little bit of inspiration and guidance from us.

What is the meaning of
Karvansarai?

Kārvānsarāi
(Persian for Caravanserai)
back in the day was a roadside inn located along the trade routes, a meeting point of different cultures and people, where travellers shared stories of their adventures from faraway places and exchanged information about roads travelled and roads ahead. Welcome to our virtual Karvansarai, journey into the fabric of the places we love and discover what lies within you.