Responsible Travel

At Venture Uganda Travel (aka. Venture) We like to think we are a responsible tourism company and we try to provide services which help our clients to travel responsibly.

This means we think about how we deliver our services and try to ensure that, on balance, our holidays and educational visits have a positive impact on people, wildlife and environments.

We start from the view that travel is good. At its best, it brings travellers opportunities to visit places, both natural and man-made, to meet people and learn something about how they live. This can create friendships, break down stereotypes, help you understand and appreciate others and other ways of doing things and makes you cherish the natural world. Inevitably, travel shapes you as a person and influences what you think and do.

Venture funds staff housing at school

Travel is also good for the host country: in Uganda tourism is the leading forex earner for the economy. It brings jobs, training and professional development for staff and communities and also opportunities to interact with people from different parts of the world.

However, travel can also have negative effects, especially if it is not done thoughtfully. Pollution, carbon emissions, over-tourism, depletion of resources, disturbance of local people, inauthentic tourist experiences and so on.

At Venture, we simply consider our triple bottom line: our economic, social and environmental performance. We try to do this in an ever-changing world and with a particular focus on education in its broadest sense. We seek inspiration from others and welcome feedback on our own activities.

Enough talk! What do we actually do?

Promote year-round travel to Uganda and East Africa

Provide authentic community experiences

Prioritise locally-owned suppliers

Promote balanced reporting about Uganda

Ensure our profits stay within Uganda

Promote regional holidays: slow down and stay in one area

Provide expert guides who share their local knowledge

Offer 'off-the-beaten-track' travel experiences

Advise clients using our local knowledge

Recommend responsible accommodation

Help local people and communities to join tourism

Educative visits to wildlife and nature

Carbon offsetting by planting trees in our forest

Employ and develop Ugandan staff

Support other organisations who act responsibly

Sell fairly-priced, quality holidays, accessible to all

Seek technology to help us improve sustainability

Support our own village community

Some examples

Gorilla tracking

Gorilla tracking

Tourism funds conservation. Gorilla tracking is a great example: gorilla numbers have increased while neighbouring communities have got jobs and boosted incomes by providing accommodation, activities and selling crafts.
Supporting Our Staff & Guides

Supporting Our Staff & Guides

We employ and develop local people. Our lovely office staff plan excellent visits. Our professional guides share their knowledge of wildlife, culture and history: some speak foreign languages, some have additional expertise, like birding. Our interns will make a great contribution as the next generation. Above all, they all love their country and want you to have the best time exploring it.
Wetland Conservation

Wetland Conservation

Venture Uganda recently donated a new boat to long-term partner, “Kisoro” who goes above and beyond to ensure tourists find the much sought after Shoebill and other birds. Securing this tourism income means Kisoro, and other community members, will continue to protect the wetlands.
Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Get to know more about Uganda and her people, rather than just whizzing around the tourism highlights. Visit communities, cultural sites, historic places or stop along the road: meet people, hear stories and have a go. For example, play the drums and learn about their cultural significance on a guided tour of the Uganda Museum.
Tree Planting

Tree Planting

We offer our clients the chance to plant a tree in our forest or elsewhere. This goes some way to off-setting the carbon emissions from their travel. They can check the progress of their tree on their next visit 🤪 🤪 🤪
Domestic Tourism

Domestic Tourism

If national parks are just for foreign tourists and wild animals are just a nuisance, then local people will never cherish and protect the natural world. We promote domestic tourism including taking school children from a park -boundary community to enjoy a day in the park they live beside but had never entered.
Community Tourism

Community Tourism

We have helped individuals and communities to join tourism. We provide advice on how to establish viable activities like farm visits or cultural experiences and then we offer these services to our clients.
Responsible Accommodation

Responsible Accommodation

Kluges Guest Farm, as an example, is not a eco-lodge but it is owned and run by a lovely Ugandan-German couple, supported by a ‘family’ of local staff. They serve home-grown, home-cooked food, they protect a forest and a wetland both of which can be visited with a local bird guide. They use solar water heating, log fires, harvest rainwater… It’s not perfect but is a great place to stay and does a lot of good stuff.
Wildlife conservation

Wildlife conservation

Poaching is a problem and here’s just one example. Community members set wire snares to catch antelope for bush meat. When foraging, elephants can get their trunks caught and ripped off as they try to break free. Retrieving the snares and dissuading the poachers requires massive resources. Visits to national parks contribute much-needed funds.

Not perfect but trying to act responsibly

We know you have noticed a couple of weasel words, “where possible”, “on balance”. These are not just a ‘get-out clause’ for us but an acceptance of the reality that we are not perfect. But we believe being imperfect is okay, as long as you are actively trying to be better.

You may also wonder why we refer to “responsible travel” not eco-travel, sustainable travel, regenerative travel, net-positive travel or any other such terms. All are helpful in generating debate, and we will take what we can from that debate, but we simply want to behave responsibly; to play our part in ensuring travel is a good thing, for all concerned.

Need more detail?

Click the boxes below to discover more about our approach to responsible travel.

Our company

  • Travel will only ever be good if people enjoy it so, we make every effort to provide outstanding holidays and educational visits
  • We try to be professional and ethical in business. This means treating each other, our partners and clients in a fair and transparent manner and doing what we promise to do.
  • We are constructive and support others who we believe do good things. For example, we are corporate sponsors of Nature Uganda and The African Bird Club
  • We try to run an environmentally responsible office through measures like recycling waste, minimising printing and sharing transport
  • have a website hosted at a data centre that is a member of The Green Grid

Economic activity

  • Venture is a Ugandan-registered company with offices in Uganda. We pay taxes in Uganda and all our profits stay in Uganda.
  • Although it is not always possible, we prefer to use local suppliers for accommodation, transport, activities etc.
  • We employ Ugandan staff and are committed to their welfare and development
  • We promote Uganda as a holiday destination. It is the leading forex earner in the Ugandan economy
  • We help Ugandan people and communities to get involved in tourism to boost their incomes, promote/preserve their culture or activity, or for social interaction
  • We support our own community in Rukungiri district, for example we have built staff housing at a local school, donated books and sports equipment. We also take clients to visit for a truly authentic experience.

Social activity

  • Africa often gets a bad press. We try to counteract this by publishing positive, challenging or surprising news about Uganda and the east Africa region. We are most active on LinkedIn
  • Clients often wish to make donations during their visits and we use our local knowledge to offer advice on how best to do that. We believe assistance should be fair, genuinely helpful and developmental.
  • If clients wish to give tips, we encourage them to use staff tip boxes where tips are shared among all staff not just those who have the chance to meet clients face-to-face.
  • We provide opportunities for clients to interact with local people and learn from each other. This is usually done through community tourism activities, run by community members themselves.
  • We promote cultural sensitivity for example by advising on appropriate dress and behaviour in a particular context. We believe visitors should respect local people and their beliefs and, if you wish to challenge them, do so through open, respectful debate.
  • Hopefully, we inspire guests to ‘re-think’ developing countries and to continue to advocate for, or support, them after going home. For example, by sharing holiday experiences with colleagues, family and friends or through social media.

Environmental activity

  • Simply visiting places like national parks contributes to their income and enables them to do their work – conservation
  • We provide professional guides from whom clients can learn more about Uganda’s natural history, culture and history
  • We go further by offering clients opportunities to engage with various conservation workers, perhaps on specially arranged private visits or over a private dinner.
  • Uganda has few true eco-lodges. We try to work with properties that have made some progress, for example, who use renewable energy, harvest rainwater, have organic gardens or source from their communities. We regularly visit our suppliers to check on what they do.
  • Flights and transport – Ugandan safaris usually involve moving around the country. There is no infrastructure to support electric vehicles. The best we can do is try and offset these emissions by planting trees in our own forest or elsewhere and we offer clients the opportunity to plant the trees themselves.
  • We support community tourism and conservation initiatives by taking clients to visit them. These include guided community walks, farm visits, bark cloth making, trips with local fishermen and private forest visits.
  • We advise our clients on how to recycle and properly dispose of rubbish during their visit. We provide water bottles which can be re-filled in lodges and in our vehicles.
  • We actively encourage Ugandans to experience and cherish wildlife and nature. If nature is just for tourists and animals are just a nuisance, they will not be valued and protected. For example, we took pupils from a park-boundary school to enjoy a day in the park.
  • Very many Ugandans don’t take holidays. As this slowly changes, we promote domestic tourism, getting Ugandans to appreciate and protect their own country.
Lesley Ngamba island Chimpanzee sanctuary lake Victoria Uganda