An indigenous community in Botswana, hard-hit due to the tourism drought caused by the global pandemic, are to receive £16,000 thanks to a charity trek by 32 members of the UK travel industry.
It was the second G Trek for Good, an initiative developed by global adventure operator G Adventures in 2019.
The group battled through snow and sub zero temperatures to summit North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal, to raise £32,000 for two charities, Planeterra and ABTA LifeLine.
Half the money raised will go directly to helping the Naro San community, located in D’Kar, to restore a community-run campsite, helping them to host travellers and provide much-needed income.
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.
“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,” says Evie Ndhlovu, regional programme manager, EMEA for Planeterra.
“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.
“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.”