At Venture Uganda we try hard to be a responsible company. We are not perfect but we are trying and always welcome feedback to help us improve further. In an effort to be ethical, we:
- Treat our clients in a fair way, offering honest descriptions of our services, explaining clearly what is/is not included in our prices and doing all we can to ensure they have a wonderful visit to Uganda without having a negative impact on the environment or local people
- are a Ugandan-registered company with offices in Uganda so all the money clients pay stays in Uganda.
- use local suppliers where possible e.g. for transport, restaurants and accommodation (although some safari lodges are foreign owned). We also pay national park fees to the Uganda government.
- employ Ugandan staff and are committed to their welfare and the training of new staff e.g. safari guides
- promote Uganda as a holiday destination and are members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) and sit on various specialist committees promoting particular aspects of Ugandan tourism.
- use responsible lodges and hotels in many of our safaris which have a range of green features such as solar energy, tree planting, organic gardens and community projects in their locality
- support community tourism and conservation initiatives by taking clients to visit them
- are corporate member of Nature Uganda
- advise our clients on how to recycle and properly dispose of rubbish during their visit (in a land with few rubbish bins let alone recycling stations!)
- feel ‘travel broadens the mind’ and supports developing economies but we acknowledge that there is a price to pay and so we encourage our clients to participate in carbon off-setting schemes and/or local tree planting schemes
- try to run an environmentally responsible office for example, by recycling what we can or by using only environmentally-responsible printing in our marketing materials
- have a website hosted at a data centre that is a member of The Green Grid.
- provide opportunities for clients to interact with local people and encourage the simple sharing of experience
- promote cultural sensitivity between guests and visitors for example explaining what is acceptable behaviour in Uganda, when it is appropriate to take photos or discouraging local children from begging from tourists
- inspire guests to ‘re-think’ developing countries and to continue to advocate for or support them after going home
- plan, in the long-term, is to establish an institute for social enterprise in Uganda to help young entrepreneurs set up environmentally and socially responsible businesses. This will be established with donations from Venture Uganda until it becomes self-financing.
- support other development initiatives by taking clients to visit them, make financial donations e.g. to one of our local schools, collect donations from clients, advise those wishing to start private development initiatives here, arrange placements for UK volunteers and bring students of development studies to Uganda to get a taste of development in practice to supplement their theoretical studies. We hope, in future, to be able to include some Ugandan students in our educational visits.