Prestigious recognition continues for adventure travel industry innovator, sustainable travel leader
Toronto, ON & Providence, RI – Gap Adventures, the world’s adventure travel leader, announced today that National Geographic Traveler magazine has selected Gap Adventures’ Ghana Untouched as one of its Top Tours of a Lifetime for 2011. National Geographic Traveler lists 50 tours, characterized as most authentic, most innovative, most immersive, best-guided, and most sustainable tours. This is Gap Adventures’ fourth time on this prestigious list.
“This is great recognition of our commitment to innovation in adventure travel,” says Ben Stasiuk, Africa Destination Manager. “Our Ghana Untouched tour is a rare opportunity for an immersive cultural engagement, for travelers to explore the traditions and tribes of villages far removed from the developed world with expert guides who do far more than bridge the language gap – they help our travelers connect,” Stasiuk says.
On the Ghana Untouched trip travelers spend 6 nights in simple hotels, 4 nights camping, and 2 nights in a beach bungalow. Gap Adventures’ small group tours have permission from local tribes to camp on their lands. Camping close to villages or in nearby rural agricultural areas offers insight into the tribal people and their cultures, and sleeping under the big sky in a 2-person, dome tent adds a truly unforgettable dimension to the authentic travel experience. These tents include padded mattresses, and while sites do not have running water or formal showers, toilets and ‘safari showers’ – a water bag and hose system with curtains – are available. An efficient use of scarce water, these showers are a welcome luxury following an active day in remote locales. For more information visit http://www.gapadventures.com/trips/ghana-untouched/DGGU/2011/.
“Travelling over ground through West Africa’s forests, hills, lush tropical areas, beaches, and waterfalls, our groups remain right in the heart of this amazing land,” says Stasiuk. “Our travelers learn about the spiritual traditions of the region – voodoo – and gain insight into the once-powerful Ashanti Empire and origins of Africa’s mystical animist religions,” he adds.
Gap Adventures’ Ghana Untouched trip, which begins at $2,699 (USD), includes: a boat excursion on Volta River Estuary, visits to a bead makers workshop, Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, lmina Castle, Kintampo Waterfalls, Accra craft market, Village of the Gurunsi and Lobi people, a visit with witches, a walking safari in Mole Reserve, hike to Wli waterfalls, a Kakum National Park guided forest and canopy walk, and the Akwasidae Festival in Kumasi, a cultural tradition of the Ashanti people.
The magazine’s editors say they have been surfacing the best tours and outfitters for travelers for the last six years, as part of the magazine’s mission to propel readers out of their armchairs and into the field. Senior Editor Norie Quintos says that the outfitters selected continue to find new ways travelers can connect with places and people, adding that more and more, it is about human interaction.
As a leader in sustainable tourism Gap Adventures strives to minimize its impact on the environment, to respect local people and cultures, to offer economic benefit to local businesses and communities, and to provide a memorable experience for travelers while protecting destinations for future generations.
Using small-scale lodging, local transportation, supporting locally owned businesses, and incorporating community-based ecotourism projects into tours are some ways the adventure travel leader works with its community to encourage and develop in a sustainable manner. Gap Adventures supports and empowers local people to become business partners by including activities, meals, and overnight stays in community enterprises and at the homes of different families in regions it operates tours.