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Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

Holiday destinations

Responsible Tourism

Our Responsible Tourism Pledge

We now offer trips to all corners of the world, and whilst this growth is welcomed, we are conscious that inevitably our holidays have a detrimental impact on the world around us, and we want to do all we can to reduce our carbon emissions.

To this end we have become a signatory to Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, along with a growing number of like-minded reputable tour operators, and have pledged to do the following:

In 2021 we will be focusing on:

  • How we can reduce the carbon emissions that our holidays produce.
  • and how to counter balance this carbon by supporting carbon offset measures.

Here are some of our current and future plans we have to minimise the impact of our business as a whole:

Carbon Offsetting

Already doing:

  • We have been offsetting carbon since 2007, but will be continuing our donations to tree planting in Peru this year. This is with a trusted partner where the funds generated go directly to a project where the community plants trees on its own land.

Will do:

  • Although we already donate to a carbon offsetting charity, and have been doing so continuously since 2007, we are currently investigating contributing to a local tree-planting project in South Gloucestershire, and another in Scotland.
  • From 2021, we will increase our person carbon offset contribution to help cover carbon produced by hotels, local road travel, trains and internal flights.
  • Carbon offsetting will be included in the prices of our Flight Inclusive holidays.
  • For every person booking a long haul flight inclusive holiday with us we will plant 20 trees in Peru, and for every person booking a short haul flight inclusive holiday with us we will plant 7 trees in Peru.

Reducing Carbon Emissions

Already doing:

  • We already offer the majority of our customers a free filtered water bottle which means they can instantly cut down on their single-use plastic consumption. This will be an ongoing project.
  • We already predominantly use local hotels and restaurants but will continue to ensure that, where possible, we always use these rather than multinational chains.
  • We have joined the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency initiative to stand alongside like-minded travel companies, to work together to initiate best practices to make tourism as sustainable as possible.
  • We have joined the AITO Sustainable Tourism Committee which promotes best practice in sustainable tourism.

Will do:

  • We will re-evaluate our flights to make sure we are using the most fuel efficient airlines with the youngest fleets and, where possible, direct flights for each trip.
  • We will eliminate unnecessary staff flights wherever possible.
  • We will endeavour to minimise internal flights.
  • We will be asking all our worldwide agents and suppliers to look at their own carbon footprint and encourage them to reduce it.
  • We will promote our more low impact trips to give customers an informed choice.

Within our office

Already doing:

  • All the electricity used to power our office comes from an energy supplier who generates their power entirely from renewable sources.
  • All our office waste either already goes to be recycled or if it is non-recyclable it does not go to landfill. Our waste is recycled at one of the country’s most efficient recycling centres. Our non-recyclable waste is guaranteed not to end up in landfill and goes to a site that creates energy from waste. Any leftover ferrous deposits from this process are recycled, and the remaining residue is converted into aggregate which is used to resurface roads or made into carbon negative building blocks.
  • We will not be issuing our annual glossy brochure in 2021 and perhaps beyond, saving lots of trees! All the latest information for our trips can be found on our comprehensive website.
  • As part of our Responsible Tourism initiative, we will continue to support our favourite charities, such as the Shiva Charity in Nepal (Ginette Harrison School), Community Action Nepal (porter welfare) and Simien Mountains Mobile Medical Service, as well as setting aside a sum for disaster emergency relief. We will also support other charities with whom we have historical links on an ad hoc basis.
  • We have stopped offering unnecessary optional flights – for example our Everest sightseeing trip.
  • We have joined our town’s Plastic Free Pledge initiative, meaning that Wotton-Under-Edge will be the first town in the country to commit to coming together to reduce the town’s plastic consumption as a whole, and to offer each other ways to collaboratively find alternatives.
  • We have signed up to become a Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Business Champion.

Will do:

  • Identify projects where we can support local trekking and touring staff who have lost their income through travel restrictions due to Covid-19.
  • Recently we commissioned an ‘energy survey’ of our office and hope to install instant water heaters and secondary glazing in the near future.
  • We will investigate installing solar panels to provide our electrical needs and possibly replace our gas-fired central heating.
  • We commit to using environmentally friendly cleaning products in the office in, if possible, reusable containers.
  • We will cut down on paper in the office.
  • We will buy recycled and refillable office stationery supplies.
  • We will very shortly have an online portal where clients will complete their personal information, instead of filling out paper forms.
  • We intend to have a fully online filing system, and dispense with virtually all of our paper filing system.

We feel strongly that all our holidays should benefit the local communities, protect the environment by minimising pollution, and respect local traditions, religion and heritage. We tread lightly - low volume, low impact holidays are the best way of preserving the beautiful and fragile places we visit. Mountain Kingdoms is a previous winner of the prestigious annual Association of Independent Tour Operators' (AITO) Responsible Tourism Award. We acknowledge the importance of AITO's sustainable tourism ethos, which recognises the social, economic and environmental responsibilities of tour operating.

Responsible Tourism Initiatives

In 2020 we were rewarded for completing AITO’s Project Protect programme, where AITO encourages its members to participate in making an annual pledge to sustainable tourism. We decided that our filtered water bottles would be a perfect fit for this initiative. Mountain Kingdoms has been offering clients, who are not given a free Mountain Kingdoms kit bag (these are required for certain treks), a free Water-to-Go bottle. This helps to drastically reduce the amount of single use plastic water bottles that they might have otherwise bought on their trip.

We have supported many charities over the years and we will continue to support some of our favourites, but we will be focussing primarily on carbon offsetting initiatives with our trusted partner, Ecoan, who are based in Peru.

Further information about all our Responsible Tourism initiatives can be found below.

​Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency

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​Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency

Together with other leading tour operators and travel professionals, we have joined the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency initiative ( to declare a climate emergency and come together to find solutions. We acknowledge the science stating we have 10 years to address this crisis. We accept our responsibility to tell the truth, act now, and work together to help turn it around.

We have published our Responsible Tourism Pledge and are working hard to implement ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Read our Responsible Tourism Pledge


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Water-to-Go are a revolutionary company with an aim to firstly cut down on plastic waste created by the huge amount of discarded single use water bottles while also protecting customers’ health and well-being by offering safe, healthy water anywhere in the world. They have achieved this by developing a unique multi-use drinking bottle with a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source. Water-to-go work together with organisations such as Mountain Kingdoms to provide clean healthy water from almost anywhere and reduce environmental damage created by plastic water bottles. By choosing a Water-to-Go bottle you reduce plastic pollution and save resources.

To find out more about the company visit:

To find out more about Mountain Kingdoms involvement with Water-to-go click here

Our commitment to elephant welfare

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Our commitment to elephant welfare

The welfare of animals in tourism is extremely important to us here at Mountain Kingdoms. In 2017, in conjunction with World Animal Protection and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), we stopped offering elephant-back safaris in any of our destinations. This is because it is not possible to train an elephant to accept a human onto its back without inhumane treatment. Also, elephants' spines are not designed to carry heavy loads, and the houdah (chair) that they are fitted with is uncomfortable and leads to sores.

Since then, ABTA has carried out further research and there is now a strong weight of evidence to suggest that, sadly, harmful training methods of elephants are still widespread. For that reason, ABTA has revised its guidelines to advise against any form of direct interaction with elephants including, bathing or painting. Instead, we support organisations that promote elephant welfare and offer activities such as simply observing elephants or walking with them (keeping a respectful distance) in their natural habitat.

We will be keeping a close eye on any further recommendations from ABTA and will revise our policy accordingly. For more information please visit World Animal Protection

Carbon Offsetting by replanting Peruvian forests

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Carbon Offsetting by replanting Peruvian forests

Through one of our trusted partners in South America, we donate directly to a tree planting project in Peru run by Ecoan Their aim is to restore the endangered Queuna forests in the Andean mountains of Peru and it works with villagers to grown seedlings and plant the trees. As well as absorbing carbon, the trees help prevent flash flooding in the mountains.

Five hundred years ago, when Spanish conquistadors first set foot in Peru, the high Andes had abundant forests of a low-growing and durable tree called Queuna (kay You nyuh). The forests, home to to more than 150 native species, absorbed and later released water from rain and glaciers, produced oxygen, absorbed carbon dioxide, and provided firewood and construction material to native people. Five hundred years later, these ancient forests have almost disappeared, and with them many of the species have almost become extinct. Now the aim is to replant these forests and bring back the diversity and other benefits.

Carbon offsetting latest news:

In 2018 Ecoan started a huge project to plant 130,000 trees and Mountain Kingdoms was happy to support them financially with this quest.

Porter Welfare

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Porter Welfare

On some of our treks, where there are no roads or tracks suitable for vehicles or animals, your luggage and camping equipment is carried by porters. In conjunction with Tourism Concern, we have drawn up comprehensive

guidelines for porters' rights and working conditions which our agents

are obliged to adhere to. The welfare of our local trekking staff is of

great importance to us, and we try our best to ensure they have

appropriate clothing, shelter and footwear.

The post-trip questionnaire we send to all clients asks for feedback on the welfare of our trekking staff, and any reported concerns are swiftly acted upon.

Porter Welfare Latest News:

Mountain Kingdoms donates £1,250 in 2014

The Fifth Guide's Refresher Training Course took place in Nepal at the start of this year. From January 26 to 08 February, twenty-five Sherpa guides were given English lessons as well as classes in first aid, altitude scenarios, trek-camp-food-equipment management, map reading, local flora and fauna, national history and geography, Nepali customs and religions and responsible trekking.

Mountain Kingdoms donates over £1,000 a year to provide these classes which are run and organised by our Nepali agents. It’s our way of giving something extra back to the Sherpas for the wonderful service they provide to our clients. Being able to speak English means they can make the career progression from Sherpa to fully fledged mountain guide – a job with better pay and brighter prospects.

Ethical Trekking web100.jpg

Ginette Harrison School, Nepal

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Ginette Harrison School, near Kathmandu, was named after one of the world's most famous 20th century female climbers. The original school building had to be vacated, and the school was moved to old temporary buildings, while a new school was constructed. Now the work is completed, the children have much more space and equipment, and a good place to learn, thanks to generous donations made by individuals and organisations to SHIVA Charity. The charity provides education for some of the poorest children in Nepal.

Ginette Harrison School Latest News:

To date Mountain Kingdoms has raised over £19,950 for SHIVA through a host of fundraising activities and client donations. The next task is to improve the quality of resources in the school and to give the teachers extra teacher training.

Mobile Medical Service, Ethiopia

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Mobile Medical Service, Ethiopia

The Simien Mountains Mobile Medical Service was set up by Wendy and Brian Lovatt, two of our dedicated clients following their holiday in Ethiopia. The SMMMS delivers essential medical care at no cost to remote villages in the Simien Mountains.

A qualified Ethiopian nurse with medical equipment and supplies travels from village to village giving general medical care, providing health education and teaching basic first aid, as well as referring patients to specialists in the nearest hospital and providing follow up care.

The project is now a registered charity and their Five Year Plan has been approved by the Ethiopian Government. The charity has taken over the running of a new clinic at Keyit. The project is making good progress, with SMMMS sponsoring midwives through university. If you'd like to make a donation to this project, contact our Responsible Tourism Manager Niki, or visit the SMMMS website.

Simien Mountains Mobile Medical Service Latest News:

After a lot of hard work, SMMMS are now licensed by the Ethiopian government as a Foreign International NGO.

2018 saw their busiest programme of medical electives with seven from Oxford University spending time with SMMMS. This builds on the success of previous years, giving local healthcare professionals the opportunity to work with highly trained professionals from one of the world's most prestigious medical schools.

They are registered as non-profit, tax exempt, public charity in the US under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, EIN 47-5150326, as well as in the United Kingdom, Number 1162302, and in Belgium, number 0838.437.019. There is a separate donation option for the UK, USA and the EU via Belgium ( and all donations are tax deductible.

Brooke Hospital for Animals

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Brooke's vision is of a world in which working horses, donkeys and mules are free from suffering. Their mission is to transform the lives of vulnerable working horses, donkeys and mules around the world. They relieve their immediate suffering and create lasting change by working with people, communities and organisations. We particularly support their educational work in Asia.

New Futures Nepal

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New Futures Nepal

New Futures Nepal is a UK registered charity, founded in 2002. New Futures Nepal empowers disadvantaged children and adults of Nepal by raising funds for initiatives that promote health, education and independence and supports social integration for children with disabilities to live in the community and within safe and loving homes. We adopt a hands on, personal approach, keep our administration costs low and work with local charities and organisations worldwide to facilitate the charities goals and aims.

New Futures Nepal is run entirely by passionate volunteer trustees and supporters. The charity supports several core projects, including The Hope Centre, a well established purpose built residential children's home for disabled, orphaned and abandoned children in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal. The children are supported through education, health care and social integration to overcome discrimination and promote independence through vocational training and higher education. The impact of this support is evident through the achievements of those young adults who have left the home with some now working as nurses, engineers and hotel managers. As older children progress into adulthood more children in need are welcomed into the home. With support their future can be equally bright.

To learn more visit:

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