West Africa's Premier Travel Company
Building schools, protecting rainforests, having a sustainable positive impact locally.
Ethical and Sustainable Travel
Responsible Tourism Policy
When you travel with Ashanti African Tours you can be assured that all trips are ethical and sustainable, as we put the environment and the communities at the heart of all that we do.As such, this policy draws on the criteria set out by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and tries to recognise many of the principles within the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.
Our first and second school building projects giving over 600 children access to education
All Ashanti African Tours trips aim to have a positive impact on the countries, communities and environments we visit. Our policy of operating low-impact, ethical tours allows us to create authentic, cultural connections, which not only enhances the traveller experience, but also creates economic opportunity and social development, whilst preserving local cultures for future generations.
- To support local community-run businesses, thereby creating income for local people which reduces the negative impact on local ecosystems through hunting and farming activities
- To maintain the preservation of locally-run eco-tourism initiatives
- To provide opportunities for local communities – school projects educating the future generations; free training to educate youths to become self-sufficient and free reading and writing lessons for adults
- To continue to actively protect endangered and vulnerable wildlife species
We use locally-owned and locally-operated infrastructure:
- We support and promote local restaurants and shops which source services locally
- We focus on using locally owned hotels, guesthouses and homestays
We provide employment and business opportunities for local people:
- All our drivers and guides are local and are direct employees rather than freelance contractors. As such, they receive additional workplace benefits such as pension contributions and healthcare. Staff are paid far above the minimum wage and are able to benefit from a company profit sharing scheme
- The company is owned by a husband and wife team – British and Ghanaian. With the exception of one of the owner’s; our operations team are all local people.
- We ensure that our guides are experts in their field by supporting them with their training needs.
Pangolins and Picathartes are just two of the endangered and vulnerable species we are protecting
We support local charities and organisations:
- Brenu Akyinim – a popular beach front location which is good for birding. The schools had been destroyed by a storm so we built two classroom blocks totalling six rooms and also included hand wash stations. We renovated the existing three classroom blocks and toilets and built teacher accommodation – 300+ children benefit from this project
- We sponsor the local girls’ and boys’ football teams
- We have a community fund where we pay for every tourist we take to the Upper Guinea rainforest – a popular area of wildlife tourists
- We have almost completed the construction of five chalets in Bonkro – we will donate these to the communities and they will be available to tourists, with all income generated going into the community fund
- We are also constructing a reception centre and once completed, tourists will pay to enter the forest and collect a guide. The community will also be able to sell souvenirs, drinks and snacks to tourists to generate further income
- We are in the process of extending the power to the community of Bonkro
- We sponsor 23 community forest committee members who patrol and protect the forest from illegal logging and hunting. To date, our company has spent approximately USD $130k on the Brenu and Bonkro projects
- In the planning phase, is a restaurant and kitchen for the Bonkro chalet project
- We encourage our guests to contribute to these projects too.
Tourist accommodation built and donated to local communities by Ashanti
- We limit the physical impact of the tours we operate by educating the local communities and by working in partnership with other local companies.
- We used to hear the constant noise of illegal chainsaw operators cutting trees and the locals used to hunt the rainforest wildlife. We had several community meetings and explained the benefits of responsible tourism to preserve the forest and involve the local community
- We encourage guests to deal with waste appropriately and limit their use of single-use plastic. On our tours, to reduce the usage of plastic bottles, we use large containers to fill smaller reusable bottles for clients.
- Our aim for 2021 is to include personalised reusable metal drinking bottles for all clients, which will be provided on arrival and can be used long after their tour has finished
- In 2021, we are planning to drill a borehole to produce our own drinking water for future trips
- Our office recycles – we send plastics to Trashy Bags, an NGO who make products from plastic waste in Ghana
- We limit our printing and all office work is from a single online database to minimise the need for printing
- We don’t use plastic bags in our office or on tours – when purchasing items, and food for trips, we use reusable fabric bags. Any plastic bottles we do generate we give to remote communities who re-use them as storage containers
- At our project sites and in areas we visit we advise local communities on how to reduce their plastic waste and use more organic materials instead of plastic when possible. E.g. Most street vendors sell food in plastic bags and we encourage them to use local leaves or baskets instead
The rainforest we are protecting in Ghana
- We acquired some land and are planning a reforestation project: planting indigenous trees, which will reconnect the villages to the forest we are protecting. We commit to planting 75,000 indigenous trees as part of this reforestation project
- We also plan to purchase the timber concession from the nearby timber company surrounding this same forest
- Most recently, we have agreed with the Ghana Forestry Commission a supply of indigenous tree seedlings and saplings to plant for our reforestation projects. We have decided to purchase and plant 3 indigenous forest tree species for every guest that travels with us. This is in addition to our reforestation project. The main aim for this project is carbon offsetting – guests choosing to travel with us would offset their flights to/from Ghana by more than 15 times if the trees live to their expected lifespan. This is based on projected carbon dioxide generated on a return flight for the average guest (approximately 900kg/1980 lbs). The average tropical tree can absorb approximately 48lbs of carbon per year (when mature) and in Ghana it takes 30-50 years for a tropical tree species to grow to maturity, with an average life expectancy of 200-300 years. If the trees we plant for each guest are continued to be protected, then we are confident that we will be making a big difference in carbon offsetting: 3 trees planted would each absorb approximately 10,080 lbs of carbon, totalling 30,240 lbs/13,745 kg for all 3 trees (per guest).
- We have introduced environmentally conscious farming to locals in honey production, snail farming (a local delicacy) and bush meat farming (prevents local hunting in the forest killing endangered animals)
- We have implemented a community outreach programme to educate other communities into the benefits of conservation
- Preservation of culture, heritage and traditions is important to us as it ensures enjoyment for future generations.
We want our guests to learn about local customs and traditions and to highlight the importance of protecting it
- We are currently upgrading our guest welcome documentation to provide some basic local language information
- Within your tour there is the opportunity to meet with local communities, such as the Tafi Atome villagers who are protecting the endangered True Mona monkeys, or you could meet a local family and sample some of the delicious Ghanaian cuisine
- Local customs and social norms are discussed in detail and information is provided to all our guests
- A local guide and driver accompany guests throughout their trip
- Another ongoing project provides support to the youth community with free training offered in tailoring, hairdressing, catering, carpentry, construction and auto-mechanics
- We offer free reading and writing lessons to adults to further equip them in life.
Building safe, clean sanitation facilities for school children
Pre and Post Trip Support
From the moment you first contact us to after you have returned home, we are on hand to advise and support you in all aspects of your proposed travel to West Africa. Our travel team are always on hand and happy to assist in any capacity, from advice on travel insurance, visas, vaccinations, essential packing list, cultural orientation, flights and much more. Never feel you are disturbing us with too many emails, it is our job to ensure you are well prepared prior to travel and then all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the experience.
West African Ethical Tours
Discover West Africa
Environmental and Community Service Coordination
Ashanti African Tours take our environmental and social responsibility very seriously which can be seen through the many projects we have established and funded here in Ghana. If you already have a service programme you would like to incorporate into your time here, we are on hand to make all the connections and arrangements for you. Alternatively, you are welcome to choose one of our many projects we have established that range from education, construction, environmental conservation, health, sport, agriculture, and youth training programmes. To date Ashanti have donated over $135,000.00 USD to our conservation and community connection projects. Our wide selection of projects has something for everyone, if you want to be part of a reforestation project planting indigenous trees, helping train locals in beekeeping, building hand washing facilities for schools or constructing a medical centre for communities in need the options are endless.
Building schools, protecting rainforest, having a sustainable positive impact locally
Ashanti would like to think most international tour operators that send groups to West Africa care about the locations they visit and about having a positive impact during their time here. Booking with a responsible travel company goes a long way to achieving this. Many companies state they benefit locals and conservation when they do extraordinarily little and are more focused on their profit margins. Ashanti are West Africa’s leading travel company putting their profits back into building schools, protecting wildlife, rainforest, biodiversity and connecting communities to the conservation of their environment through community development initiatives connected to eco-tourism. Click to learn more about where our profits go.