Ethical gifts and gifts that give back this Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, we are constantly bombarded with festive songs, adverts, cheerful Santas and a bewildering range of gift ideas. Every other travel blog I read at the moment  seems to be sharing a gift list for travel addicts. However, at the risk of...

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How to be a responsible, child safe aware traveller

The first time I visited Africa, many years ago, I remember waltzing into both a school and then an orphanage, amongst a stream of fellow tourists, on an organised excursion. We all took out our cameras and started clicking away while the children looked back at us....

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Saving the marine turtles of West Africa

For thousands of years turtles have been visiting the beaches of West Africa to lay their eggs. The few female hatchlings that battle the odds and survive into adulthood return to the very same beach of their birth, some 25 years later, to lay their own eggs. Yet last...

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Don’t fuel the orphanage industry in Nepal

Earlier today I received a tweet from my friend Sallie, from the award-winning volunteer organisation people and places, asking for my help. She had been in contact with the children's charity, Next Generation Nepal (NGN). Following the recent devastating earthquake...

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Give Child Marriage the Finger #EndChildMarriage

      One of the things I love most about travelling is learning about different cultures and traditions. I try to travel with an open heart and mind, seeking positive, enriching experiences. But every now and again, as is inevitable, I come across...

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A child’s life in Senegal

The dust, the smiles and the rhythm of the drums, West Africa, can really get under your skin; I lost count of the number of times I've visited this corner of the globe a long time ago. As I set out on a journey of a different kind, namely sponsoring a child in...

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Save the Halong Bay Moon Bears

Have you ever been to Halong Bay?

I’ve read many of my fellow travel bloggers’ stories from this enchanting place in Vietnam and for a long time I’ve longed to go there, to taste the delicious cuisine, to learn about local culture, to witness its breathtaking natural beauty and to sail across Halong Bay.

But, as I found out recently, there is a darker side to Halong Bay, that I’m sure no tourists or travellers know anything about.

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On cats, dogs and donkeys

Under the guise of sharing some cute pictures of a few of the many four-legged friends I recently met on Satorini, I’d like to tell you a little about Santorini Animals Welfare Association, a great organisation caring for the unwanted animals of these beautiful isles.

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Keeping Dolphins and Whales in Captivity

Just over a year ago I shared with you Why I regret swimming with dolphins. Following this, while I couldn't undo what was done, I added my voice to the many that are calling for the world to bring an end to the keeping of such intelligent and beautiful animals...

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Taking the fast route – confessions of a cruise virgin!

In just a few days time I'll be off on the adventure of a lifetime cruising with Hurtigruten in the Arctic circle but I have a confession to make - I don't like cruises! Not that I have ever been on one you understand - I have just never liked the idea of them. When I...

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Stick with Foncho to make bananas fair

Do you like bananas? Have you noticed that over the last ten years the price of bananas in the UK has halved while the cost of producing those bananas has almost doubled? It just doesn't add up, does it? In fact, bananas are now sold so cheaply that this is...

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The Baboons of Makasutu Forest

When we arrived at Mandina Lodges we were given a few words of  warning! "Don't leave your toiletries out in your open-air bathroom as the baboons might steal them." Replanting Makasutu Forest and the return of the baboons When the founders of Mandina Lodges,...

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Responsible volunteering with ‘people and places’

In my last post I shared with you my concerns about irresponsible volunteer organisations and orphanage tourism. Today I’d like to tell you about a great volunteering organisation that take a very responsible approach. Getting to know 'people and places' As my...

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Justifiable bad press for orphanage tourism

There has been a lot of bad press lately about volunteer tourism and I’ve heard a few horror stories myself, such as local teachers being dismissed because the school knew that a volunteer teacher was on there way. Even more disturbing still though are cases involving...

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