Green steps by Asian Adventures
Asian Adventures is India’s largest birding tour operator, based in Noida (near New Delhi), India. Since 1994, we have offered conservation-based travel in the Indian subcontinent and beyond, for guests both domestic and inbound, providing them with sustainable, meaningful, and enjoyable experiences. We also own and operate several wildlife and wellness ecolodges across the country, offering sustainable accommodation options for both responsible travellers and the average holiday-goer alike.
While we have always strived to give back to nature as much as possible, these efforts increased during and after the recent pandemic. Some of the work we have been doing includes:
- Conducting webinars to spread knowledge with a wide range of people across the globe by showcasing ecotourism and conservation work by the stalwarts on topics such as birds, wild mammals, reptiles, butterflies, amphibians, habitats, communities, etc.
- We have also partnered with Planeterra to help train upcoming ecotourism stakeholders. This includes small homestays, ecolodges, wildlife and birding guides, and more. With this systematic training, we aim to not only improve the economic conditions of local communities with the help of tourism but also provide people with a more sustainable means of income.
- For many years, Asian Adventures has undertaken the training (and subsequent hiring) of local bird and wildlife guides. Many of these are from local rural communities that are dependent on forest products such as timber, foraged fruits and herbs, and more. This training will help give them a more sustainable means of income that is not dependent on the forest. Not only are locals more familiar with the region and its wildlife, but this also helps to instill a sense of pride in their local wildlife. Many of our guests have appreciated the extensive local knowledge these guides provide.
- Asian Adventures has also partnered with various NGOs and small local ventures that provide employment and training to people in local communities. For example, the Corbett Gram Vikas Samiti in the village of Chhoti Haldwani (near Corbett National Park) provides locals with employment in their ecolodge and restaurant. Many of these people were formerly dependent on forest products for their livelihoods.
- We also help several small wildlife NGOs such as Kilmora with their digital needs. Whether we provide training to them on how to manage their online presence or do their digital marketing for them, we see this as our way of helping these NGOs with their noble work. No organization is too small, not even a localized NGO working to help Rhesus Macaques in New Delhi.
- We have a “no-plastic” policy in our various eco-lodges, as well as in our head office. Soft drinks, mineral water, and other products that use single-use plastic packaging are not sold in our lodges. We encourage our guests to reduce their dependence on plastic as much as possible. While this may have irked some of our guests, the majority of them have greatly appreciated our commitment to reducing plastic waste.
- We are in the process of replacing the chemical cleaners used in our eco-lodges and offices with natural bio enzyme cleaners. The use of bio enzyme cleaners helps us recycle some of our organic waste as well as reduce our use of chemicals. Our managers at the lodges (in Pangot, near Nainital, Uttarakhand & in Sasan Gir, Gujarat) have become quite the pro at creating natural cleaners and room fresheners with amazing aromas.
- As far as possible, we have always followed a policy of hiring local guides, translators, drivers, and more. This has been beneficial to us as their familiarity with the area and its wildlife has always been appreciated by our guests, while we are also able to help local communities economically. Their extensive local knowledge has also helped us during natural emergencies.
- In our ecolodges, we have also promoted and showcased local cuisine as much as possible. This has helped us reduce the carbon footprint created by “food miles”. In addition, we see this as a great way to showcase local culture, as well as provide our guests with the freshest produce and novel cuisine options. So many of our guests have loved the delicious Kumaoni dinners in our Himalayan ecolodges, while the ever-famous Gujarati cuisine is always on offer at Gir Birding Lodge (at Gir National Park).
- We also grow the majority of our produce using natural methods in our lodges. Natural fertilizers, compost, and natural pesticides are used, reducing the amount of chemicals we use, while giving our guests the yummiest veggies and fruits!
- Our eco lodges are also heavily involved in composting. Much of this compost is used in our own vegetable gardens, and the surplus is donated to local communities to help others around us reduce their chemical use as well.
- We have conducted several wildlife awareness and garbage cleanup drives in local communities and village schools. These drives help local communities learn more about the surrounding wildlife, as well as dispel any myths and misconceptions they may have about certain animals. These drives also educate children and adults alike about why conservation, sustainable development, and being eco-friendly is important. Recently, our naturalist at Jungle Lore Birding Lodge spent an amazing day interacting with children in the local school at Pangot. It’s always heartwarming to see how children have a natural love for nature and wildlife.
- The Global Wildlife Fair online marketplace was launched to bring together various natural history professionals, including ecotourism operators, conservation NGOs and professionals, artists, photographers, and more, on a single online platform for networking and business opportunities. It is a work in progress.
- Global Wildlife Fair is being planned and organized in 2025 to bring together ecotourism and conservation professionals to save Asian Elephants and other wildlife species. In addition to this noble work, the fair will also provide the professionals an event for networking and business opportunities.
- We are also helping plan a new eco-lodge with an expert team under Hitesh Mehta in the landscape of Corbett National Park. This will provide more options for those who wish to travel to Corbett National Park and make their visit as sustainable as possible.
- We also help various eco-lodges across the country with their management and help them adopt ecotourism practices. We have helped them adopt green policies that make their business even more sustainable while providing responsible travellers with authentic and enjoyable experiences. No training is too small, even if it is giving them hands-on training on creating compost.
- Asian Adventures also strives to conduct regular one-day outings, termed as ‘Earth Walks’. These outings serve primarily to make people aware of the wildlife in and around their home cities, while also providing them with enjoyable and quick holiday experiences. Our Earth Walks in Pune, New Delhi, Pangot, and Bharatpur have been enjoyed by all sorts of nature lovers, from wildlife photographers to families.
- During our tours, we always ensure that our clients are aware of other, more sustainable options, including methods of transportation, alternate accommodations, and more. We recognize that many nature lovers wish to travel responsibly but are unable to do so due to a lack of options, and we work to discover and offer them.
- We are currently in the process of creating various online workshops on bird identification, butterfly identification, and more. These workshops will help to make people not only more aware of the wildlife around them but also appreciate various aspects of wildlife such as ecology and conservation.