Bedouin Paths, an ethical tourism company based in London, is launching quality hiking tours in Sinai, Egypt. With a sustainable future and the local community in mind, Bedouin Paths will be dedicating a large percentage of the profit from its trips to fund English classes for Bedouin children and develop the Wadi huts in the mountains. The hikes begin in early October.
The launch ties in with a global survey by Lonely Planet which reveals that travellers are keen to make significant changes to their behaviour to travel sustainably. The survey polled over 24,500 people worldwide, and 70% of travellers said they had purposely
travelled in a low-impact way in the past, (for example catching a bus rather than flying) and over 90% of people said they would consider doing so in the future.
Bedouin walkers can hike either in the mountains or the desert around Mount Sinai (where Moses came down with the Ten Commandments), venturing out from the small town of Katreen. Those embarking on the desert hike will walk around 150km to the coast, passing through the stunning Sinai desert and landscape. If the challenge proves too much, guests can hop on a camel. Hikers will follow the path of Moses, stay overnight at a desert Oasis, and gaze upon ancient ruins.
Slightly more strenuous, the mountain hike takes in the ancient monastery of St Catherine as well as the mountains of both Sinai and St Catherine. Walkers will swim in rock pools, see old Byzantine ruins, and spend the evening around Bedouin camp fires.
Bedouin Paths has struck a unique deal with Sheikh Mousa, who controls the local Bedouin area, to create a special hiking experience – from the skill of the guides to the route taken to the quality of the food. No other hiking company in the area has secured this level of local input.
The lonely planet survey shows travellers also have good intentions when it comes to protecting the environment. Although 36% of people had never considered the environment in their past travels, 93% of people said they would or might purposefully partake in environmentally friendly travel in the future.
The survey also revealed that the majority of travellers are worried about carbon emissions from flying, with only 7% saying that they did not think aircraft carbon emissions were a concern.
In the survey, respondents were given several options and asked to choose the one that they would primarily support for being most effective in reducing emissions from flights. 43% chose one of the more radical options: boycotting flying for other less damaging modes of transport; airlines reducing the number of flights; increasing flying costs via a carbon tax; or everyone having an annual carbon allowance into which they must fit their travel.