Q & A with Gerard (Ged) Caddick, Founder of Terra Incognita Ecotours, Tampa, FL, USA. A premier ecotour provider traveling worldwide since 2004. Committed to making a difference to you and to the places we visit.
FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, IS DEMAND FOR ECO TRAVEL ON THE INCREASE?
Yes, people are looking for more authentic and educational opportunities when they travel. Ecotourism is one aspect of this interest.
HOW DO TRAVELERS LEARN ABOUT YOU?
We work with several very prominent research and conservation organizations such as the Jane Goodall Institute, Gorilla Doctors, and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and often people who visit those websites will learn about us as well. The rest come from referrals from past guests.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO YOU ACCEPT RESERVATIONS?
As far as two years ahead.
We choose destinations based on the unique wildlife species or experiences that can found there. We also look for the presence of a Conservation Partner whose mission is to protect those species and their habitats.
WHAT SETS YOUR COMPANY APART FROM OTHERS TRAVELING TO THESE SAME PLACES?
I believe we can offer unique insights regarding the conservation issues faced by a specific area or a certain species. Thanks to our Conservation Partners, we can engage our guests at a much deeper level.
HOW COMPETITIVE ARE YOUR PRICES?
We feel our prices are very competitive and strive to keep all our trips as affordable as possible. We include all meals, all bottled water, all transportation, and many of the gratuities.
Oh sure. In fact, we offer a unique twist on the single supplement. If a single traveler books with us and is willing to share a room; even if we cannot find a suitable roommate by the trip departure we will NOT charge the single supplement. It is only applied in the case where someone requires (or demands) his or her own room.
WHAT ARE MEALS LIKE IN THE BUSH? AND CAN YOU STILL MEET THE NEEDS OF SPECIAL DIETS?
I would say our meals are surprisingly gourmet considering some of the remote locations we visit. As for restricted diets, not a problem, we have worked with many clients who request vegetarian or vegan meals, or clients who have to watch their sodium intake.
HOW DO YOU SELECT ACCOMMODATIONS FOR YOUR TOURS?
We factor in a number of criteria. Location, that is, proximity to natural areas or wildlife sites, is very important. We also give preference to smaller, locally-owned lodges or hotels and especially those who use alternative energy sources.
Our Masai Mara and Mountain Gorillas tour is the most popular. We offer this same tour multiple times per year. It offers the experience of a lifetime for wildlife lovers. To witness the Great Migration [of wildebeast in East Africa] and to observe the endangered Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda is almost beyond description.
ANY NEW TRIPS TO MENTION?
Yes, we now offer a new Monarch Migration tour to Mexico.
IN YOUR OPINION WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE TO ELIMINATE WILDLIFE POACHING?
Ecotourism that helps benefit local communities will help to sensitize the local population to the value of their wildlife. They are ultimately the guardians of their wildlife. It is the local people we need to get on our side to reduce poaching! At the same time we need to reduce demand in the countries that purchase wildlife products. It is NOT just China or South East Asia; sadly the USA remains one of the largest consumers of wildlife and wildlife products!
WHAT CAN TRAVELERS DO TO MINIMIZE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT WHEN THEY ARE TRAVELING ON THEIR OWN?
Carry a reusable water bottle. That is a good start.
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