Tag Archives: environment

African Honeymoons …. luxury with a touch of adventure

Over the years, Europe, Asia and tropical islands have been the preferred choice for honeymooners the world over. Despite the rugged beauty and amazing safari lodges and wildlife experiences, the African Continent has been a little neglected…. well, it seems that is changing. The world over couples are seeking out the path less trodden.

Here are 5 destinations that have been catching the eye of honeymooners around the globe:

Botswana Safari lodge1. Botswana

Picture yourself drifting on your private makoro (essentially a wooden dug out propelled much like a gondola in Venice), the sun set reflecting like lightning rods off the canals in the Okavango Delta, as a herd of Elephant feed on the lush grass. Makoro and walking safaris are the norm here and they are an incredible way to soak up the wilderness experience before retreating back to your luxury tented camp to enjoy some champagne. Other amazing places to visit are Gabrone Dam and Mokolodi Natural Reserve.


Honeymoon in Zanzibar2.  Tanzania

Ever thought of marking your honeymoon with a personal challenge? Breathing the rarefied air on the stunning Mount Kilimanjaro may not be for everyone, but would certainly be a unique experience for those seeking something very different. Your challenge surmounted, you can then relax and enjoy some African gems, like Lake Tanganyika. The deepest lake on the continent and home to some of the rarest sea animals in the world. Then head to the Zanzibar archipelago a stunning collection of islands with gorgeous beaches and wonderful eco-luxe retreats. The capital Stone Town even boasts, a UNESCO world heritage ranking as one of the most ancient cities of East Africa.

Honeymoon in Kenya3.  Kenya

Kenya has long been synonymous with african safaris. Sharing together with Tanzania on elf the most amazing animal migrations on the planet as thousands of wildebeest (sadly they have seen a 80% drop in number sin the past 30 years) go in search of new pastures. Combine all manner of wildlife experience, with some of the most luxurious resorts and tented camps in Africa and you have a recipe for a magical honeymoon. The stunning scenery of the Great Rift Valley, the volcanoes of Hell’s Gate National Park and the Crater Laker Game Sanctuary, should also not be discounted, but the rustic “outpost chic” islands of Lamu will make the perfect conclusion to your honeymoon adventure.

Honeymoon Mozambique4.  Mozambique

If you are looking for a relaxed beach style honeymoon, then Mozambique with fabulous cuisine and gorgeous beaches should be on your list. It boasts exotic flora and fauna, crystal clear water and luxurious resorts. Consider Manta Reef at Inhambane and if you are lucky you can cement your life together with a sighting of one of the most graceful and elusive rays on the planet.

Honeymoon in South Africa5.  South Africa

Wonderful food, wine, beaches, wildlife and one of the most beautifully situated hip cities in the world, if not for your honeymoon, then come here at some stage in your life. Enjoy lazy picnics in the Cape Winelands, hike the Cape Peninsula, watch the famous table cloth descent upon Table mountain and drive the beautiful Garden Route. When you have had your fill of scenery and culture, you can visit some of the best safari parks in the world. Certainly a fantastic option to celebrate your future together.


If you would like to add a give back element to your honeymoon and make it a meaning full shared experience, then contact Hands Up Holidays and one of our consultants will help you plan an unforgettable honeymoon experience.





Rainforest Alliance – our new partnership

Rainforest Alliance voluntourism

Rainforest Alliance voluntourism

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to have more enriching, sustainable and meaningful experiences, then we’d recommend our partner in responsible tourism, The Rainforest Alliance.
The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
They believe that the best way to keep forests standing is by ensuring that it is profitable for businesses and communities to do so. That means helping farmers, forest managers and tourism businesses to realize greater economic benefits by ensuring ecosystems within and around their operations are protected, and that their workers are well-trained and enjoy safe conditions, proper sanitation, health care and housing. Once businesses meet certain environmental and social standards, Rainforest Alliance links them up to the global marketplace where demand for sustainable goods and services is on the rise.
Their website has a wealth of information about their vital work, and even has its own section on sustainable tourism. We fully support all their efforts – watch out for updates on Rainforest Alliance week later in the year.
In the meantime, we hope this spirit of environmentalism inspires you to think about the incredible experience that is voluntourism .
Check out our website and of course, feel free to ask us any questions!

Voluntourism in Europe

Voluntourism in Slovakia

Voluntourism in Slovakia

If the thought of travelling out to remote destinations or far-flung countries doesn’t really appeal to you, it’s always worth remembering that it’s also possible to get a taste of voluntourism within Europe. We currently run two fascinating European programmes, in the eastern states of Romania and Slovakia. Our Romanian programme involves you in renovation projects, helping elderly citizens, while the Slovakian trip helps with efforts to conserve endangered bears. Both are fascinating insights into the local cultures, full of history and with stunning scenery to explore. Find out more on the voluntourism website.

Voluntourism in Belize

Voluntourism in Belize

Voluntourism in Belize

Belize is one of our lesser-known destinations, a small monarchy in the north of Central America. Our Building Up Belize tour focuses on natural conservation and sustainable agriculture projects.

Interesting to note that the UN Foundation has just officially listed the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System as “World Heritage in Danger” due to unsustainable tourism activity.

The UN is rising to the challenges of conservation, and you, too can help make a difference to the very communities that this marine system supports.

Ahead of World Responsible Tourism Day…

As World Responsible Tourism Day takes place on November 9th, what better time to take stock and examine how tourism is affecting our planet?
If you’re looking for inspiration, you could do worse than track down a new book by Leo Hickman, The Final Call: Investigating Who Really Pays For Our Holidays.
See the tourism problems – from coral bleaching to human rights abuses – that Hickman encounters in his analysis. If you’re interested in travelling with a more positive impact on local communities and the environment


Voluntourism in Vietnam

, then click through for inspiration on voluntourism .

Machu Picchu on the endangered list

One of the world’s best loved sites, the incredible Incan village of Machu Picchu, was rediscovered 100 years ago this year. Around 1,800 visitors pass through the ruins every day, and as you can imagine, this places some strain on the maintenance and preservation of the site.

Voluntourism in Peru

Visit Machu Picchu as part of a voluntourism adventure

According to Ethical Traveler, UNESCO is considering adding Machu Picchu to its endangered list, such is the toll of deforestation and uncontrolled development. Unsuitable sewerage systems and local inflation are also a cause for concern. Peruvian authorities are issuing decrees, though, looking to keep the site accessible and at the same time funnel revenue directly into the preservation of what is one of the world’s great wonders.

Another way of seeing Peru and the Incan’s legacy is to look at responsible, sustainable voluntourism – check out the Incas and Amazons tour on the Hands Up Holidays website.

Voluntourism and clean oceans

Galapagos Clean Ocean Voluntourism

Galapagos Clean Ocean Voluntourism

Where would you go to find enough plastic cups, plates, forks and spoons to give a picnic for 100,000 people?

Well, you could try the world’s coastlines.

Add over a million plastic bags to that haul and you’ve got just some of the garbage collected on International Coastal Clean-Up day. The global operation, which relies on volunteerism, is promoted by Ocean Conservancy (www.oceanconservancy.org) and is this year celebrating 25 years of cleaning up our seas.

Nine million volunteers from 152 countries and locations have cleaned 145 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers, and the ocean on just one day each year each September.

Impressive stuff, and you can make a difference like this as part of a voluntourism trip to the Galapagos as you assist local fishermen to clean-up beaches normally off-limit to tourists.

Galapagos Wildlife Voluntourism

Galapagos Wildlife Voluntourism