Tag Archives: ecotourism

World Environment Day 2019 – Beat Air Pollution

The United Nations’ mandated World Environment Day on 5th June every year.   Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

This year, the theme revolves around air pollution. Air pollution is a man-made problem that has been responsible for early deaths of about seven million people every year, around 600,000 of whom are children. It is estimated that 90 per cent of the world’s population breathe polluted air. 

“The right to a healthy environment is fundamental to human well-being and is legally recognized by over 150 States at the national and regional levels. It should be globally reaffirmed to ensure the enjoyment of this right by everyone, everywhere while upholding the human rights principles of universality and non-discrimination,” David Boyd, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment said in a statement.

As travellers, we explore everything. The fresh mountain air, the warm tropical breeze, the aromatic smell trailing through winding lanes of old quarters of world cities, the powerful fumes of history in old monuments…the list goes on. Air is primary to our existence. Whether it is the cold, billowing wind of Antarctica, or the sultry breeze of Rajasthan, or the mountain air of the Himalaya, every breath we inhale adds to our experience and to our memory of that place. So it becomes important for our tribe to be aware of this primary important element of life. While policy makers have the larger responsibility of ensuring clean air for all, we as world citizens can do our bit by reducing our carbon footprint, by supporting causes and outfits that work towards reducing air pollution, and by generally advocating good clean air. After all, we have only one planet.

Mandip Singh Soin Speaks at the 5th Mail Today Tourism Summit 2019

Indian media outfit Mail Today organised its 5th Mail Today Tourism Summit 2019 last Friday, 31st May. The event, held at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, witnessed a number of thought leaders from the tourism industry to discuss ideas that could redefine the future of tourism industry. There were panel discussions on how online companies are shaping travel, luxury travel, and destinations Indians prefer.

Speaking at the panel on “Digital Nomads: How online companies are shaping travel plans”, Mandip Singh Soin, founder president, Ecotourism Society of India, commented on how awareness needs to be created towards responsible tourism, even by online companies.

Read more about the event here.

Satpura National Park: Luxury Safari to the Heart of India

On the 40th anniversary of Ibex Expeditions, Mandip and Anita Soin, owners and Directors, take you on an enthralling personally led deluxe journey through this forest declared as a National park in 1981. Have you considered walking in a forest in the footsteps of erstwhile explorer, Captain James Forsyth of the Bengal Lancers who traversed this forest in 1862? The Satpura Tiger reserve covers 528 km from Gujarat in the East through Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and is an extensive forest area with unique flora and fauna and is the only tiger park in India that allows for a controlled walking safari and mobile camping access accompanied by forest guards.

We first experience a walking expedition through the forest spending two days in a mobile camp. Later we experience the deluxe Reni Pani safari lodge and engage in canoe and jeep rides, all the while enjoying the local hospitality and community interactions. We then travel to the beautiful Ahilya fort (Relaix and Chateau) in the countryside town of Maheshwar living like a royal and explore the countryside with its seamless confluence of textiles, culture, serenity, and architecture. Boat rides on the Narmada river, island picnics and drinks by the poolside sum up the high life as you retreat into a bygone era of simplicity and grace.

Since 2012, Ibex Expeditions has supported the Give Back to Nature programme of WWF India and for each participant of this journey, we will donate US $ 40 per person.

Itinerary

Arrival Delhi

On arrival into IGI Delhi airport at hours, you will be met by our Office Assistant, holding a name placard followed by transfer to your hotel. Since your arrival is late at night, check-in to your hotel and rest.

Hotel: Imperial 

Delhi

After breakfast, proceed on a guided tour of Delhi at 0930 hours which includes the city’s world heritage sites. Drive through New Delhi roads & sights such as India Gate, The Presidential Palace and Parliament house to get a feel for the grand new city that Sir Lutyens built in the early 1900s.

Meals: Breakfast

Delhi – Bhopal by plane

Early morning transfer to airport to board the scheduled flight to Bhopal. Flight – Jet Airways 893: 0540 – 0700 hours Reporting time – 0400 hours On arrival at Bhopal airport, transfer to your retreat on the outskirts of the town. Post lunch at 1400 hours, your private city guide will report to the hotel for a guided excursion to Sanchi stupa (45 km one way). Today, the remarkably preserved Great Stupa is the centerpiece of Sanchi’s World Heritage-listed Buddhist monuments. Return to the retreat in the evening for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Meals: Breakfast on the plane, lunch and dinner

Hotel: Jehan Numa Retreat

Ladakh: A Photographic Journey to “Little Tibet”

Flying into Leh, the former capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, feels more like landing on the moon than landing in India. Its harsh, mountainous terrain is starkly beautiful and very dry, due to its high altitude and cold desert climate. Dotted with stupas and whitewashed houses, the Old Town is dominated by a dagger of steep rocky ridge topped by an imposing Tibetan-style palace and fort.


Our special anniversary edition journey to Ladakh this September will be led by Himraj Soin, an adventure travel journalist who is an avid skier and climber;
studied at Colorado College. He is a National Geographic Student Expedition leader
and photographer and his expeditions have taken him to Tibet, Mongolia, Bhutan,Borneo, Madagascar, Peru, Morocco, Namibia, Argentina, Chile, and Antarctica, and more.

Following a theme of a responsible eco adventure, walking in the footsteps of the  this photo adventure journey will take you to all Buddhist monasteries, trek through breathtaking passes. You will discuss Buddhist traditions, learn about renewable energy projects with conservationists, visit outfits promoting sustainable development and walk along hillsides dotted with chortens and monasteries with exquisite Himalayan vistas.

The journey will take place this September. Send in your queries to ibex@www.ibexexpeditions.com!
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Antarctica Matters: Racing to Cross Antarctica

Two adventurers are attempting to cross Antarctica alone, without support, without being resupplied by food, or assisted by any means of transport other than the power of their legs. If either or both succeed, they will be the first to do so. No one has been able to cross Antarctica on foot, unsupported, yet.

The two adventurers are attempting this feat separately, and couldn’t be more different than each other.

Lois Rudd is a 44-year-old British Army captain. He wishes to slide into the record books, tracking two other British explorers—Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton.  Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole in 1911. Ernest Shackleton wrote that “there remained but one great main object of Antarctic journeyings — the crossing of the South Polar continent from sea to sea”. 

Mr. Rudd is a grizzly British Army adventurer, carrying hot chocolate powder, dried porridge, along with the rest of his kit.

The second explorer is a 33-year-old American mountaineer and explorer—Colin ‘O’ Brady. Mr. Brady is a chiselled professional triathlete-turned-mountaineer. He has over 70,000 Instagram followers, a YouTube channel, and brought his own custom-made energy bars called Colin Bars.

While for Mr. Rudd the reason for taking on this journey is a personal one, Mr. Brady wants to win the race, and make history. 16 people have attempted to cross Antarctica so far. All failed. Waiting to see what happens now.

Source: Financial Times

We are going on an epic voyage to this expansive continent in March 2019. The journey aims to create ambassadors for Antarctica, who will pledge to protect and preserve the region from exploitation of all kinds. Check this link for more details of the journey, and send in your enquiries to us at ibex@www.ibexexpeditions.com

 

UPDATE: Colin O’Brady eventually won the race in 53 days. For more, read this BBC story.

North East India: Responsible Tourism Recommendations at India’s International Tourism Mart 2018

 

Nongriat, Meghalaya Photo Credit: Neil D’Souza

The north-eastern part of India is an explorer’s paradise. Part of the eastern Himalaya, the region is covered by the mighty Brahmaputra-Barack river systems and its tributaries. The region has some of the last remaining  rainforests of the Indian subcontinent, that support diverse flora and fauna and several crop species. Dense forests, living roots bridges, emerald pools, high mountains and among these live some of the most amazing tribes of the world. The north-east is truly a gem.

At the 7th International Tourism Mart 2018 for the North East Region, our founder and explorer Mandip Singh Soin was a panellist at a session on adventure and ecotourism development in the region. He gave a number of recommendations to maintain the beauty of the region and work harmoniously with local communities. These included recommending tour operators to get an STCI certification (Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India), and to follow #responsibletourism practice in every step that accrue benefits to the #localcommunities and environment and allow for interactions with the amazing tribes of the region.

When tour operators, governments and travellers make responsible tourism and sustainable travel as part of their policy and thought process, good things can be achieved.