On 8th September 2022, 32 members of the UK travel industry battled snow and sub zero temperatures to summit North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal, to raise money for Planeterra and ABTA LifeLine.
The second G Trek for Good, an initiative developed by global adventure operator G Adventures in 2019, raised over £30,000, with 50% of the funds being allocated to Planeterra to help support at-risk communities around the world.
G Adventures and Planeterra have announced that all of the funds raised for Planeterra will be directed to supporting an Indigenous San Community in Botswana, who have been hard-hit due to the tourism drought caused by the global pandemic. The money will go directly to helping this Naro San community, located in D’Kar to restore a community-run campsite, helping them to host travellers and provide much-needed income.
Having welcomed travellers pre-pandemic at the Dqae Qare San Lodge, leading experiences that showcased their traditional way of life, the tourism halt and loss of income caused the Naro San community to disperse, resorting to living off the land and relying on small government handouts for survival. The facilities, left unattended in the harsh environment, fell into disrepair.
“The story of the San community is a very sad one, and unfortunately is just one of many we are hearing about as we start to fully understand the devastating effects the pandemic has had on micro enterprises and vulnerable communities. The money they used to earn through tourism was vital in paying for schooling and medical checks in a community where HIV is very prevalent and, without any income, all of this has stopped. When we heard what had happened, we knew we had to help, raising money to support the restoration of their facilities and offering in-depth training to help future-proof their business to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” says Evie Ndhlovu, regional programme manager, EMEA for Planeterra.
“The funds from the G Trek for Good couldn’t have come at a better time, and will allow us to make huge strides in helping the community to get back on their feet. We will begin with restoring the campsite, installing water pumps to bring clean running water to the community and training the San so they can welcome travellers and begin to earn income, ” she continues.
Following the restoration of the campsite, G Adventures has committed to include an overnight camping stay and San-led bushwalk experiences in its 18-to-Thirtysomethings itineraries from March 2023.