Our Contribution

SimienEcoTours is a small, well-organized Ethiopian tour operator for visitors who enjoy ecologically responsible, community based and pro-poor tourism.

But what are we concretely doing?
We're contantly trying to minimise your environmental and carbon footprint, for example with the following measures (some photos below):

- Asking trekkers to bring refillable water bottles. We will then use the spring water in the mountains and boil it to avoid rubbish like empty plastic bottles.
- Asking our clients for food preferences before the trek to avoid carrying and wasting unwanted and not needed food.
- Avoid aluminium as packing material, since in those areas it's difficult to dispose.
- Buying food in containers at our store and then decanting into smaller reusable containers for treks.
- Buying as locally sourced food as possible (i.e. not imported), such as the honey produced in Debark (see this beekeeping project).
- Buying things in recyclable containers, and supporting local recycling initiatives, as far as possible.
- Using renewable energies, for example tools that can be charged with solar power.
- Talking about responsible tourism with our clients (any suggestion from your side is welcomed!).
- Avoiding to “teach” children to beg. Lots of kids in poor areas are asking for stuff because generous tourists have given it in the past. Children will learn that begging is more “profitable” that attending school and quit school. In extreme cases these end in organized cliques that abuse of children. In case of donations we strongly suggest for example to donate in bulk to a school.
- Using ground transportation instead of booking flights as long as not needed due to time constraints.

empty_plastic_bottles_are_not_always_recycled.jpg refillable_water_bottles.jpg
Empty plastic bottles are not always recycled Refillable water bottles
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The aluminium waste problem needs to be solved Our reusable hard case lunch boxes
Small solar charger

Furthermore, 5% of our profit goes directly to the communities and will be spent on different projects such as local schools, health centers, water wells, reforestation and different other conservation or social programs, most of them with the collaboration of some local partners experienced with development or cooperation programs. We also create supplementary jobs for local people while organizing and managing trips, in particular treks, employing additional human power that are needed as muleteers, cooks, guides, scouts etc. We also organize coffee ceremonies or visits to schools or health centers in some remote villages, which can generate income for the community and enables to experience the very attractive Ethiopian hospitality.

All our guides come from poor areas in the Simien Mountains, an experience which provides us with a realistic and complete understanding of the different problems – social, environmental or whatever nature they might be – and enables us to find the best way to provide help and assistance and to choose sustainable development programs and projects to carry on.

Here you can find a description of some of our projects that we have already completed, that are still going on or that we are planning to implement in the near future.

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