clean breaks – 500 new ways to see the world

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-10-12 08:58

Richard Hammond and Jeremy Smith have just co-authored a tome for all Rough Guide enthusiasts. It's a book brimming over with unusual, ethical green things to do, all over the world, and worth getting hold of, if you're even remotely interested in climate-friendly travel.

The authors describe a Clean Break as – about minimising your environmental impact – on your journey and at your destination – by choosing carefully how you travel and the nature of the place you choose to stay at. It's also about having a positive impact in other ways – by contributing where you can to the conservation of wildlife and local heritage, and suporting local economies.

And before you translate that to mean that you have to give up certain luxuries or adventure extremes to which you are accustomed, the authors say absolutely not... They've selected a whack load of experiences that you will no doubt love, but the difference is that you can rest assured that your presence in some way benefits the locality. Many of the places they review are 'as stylish and innovative as they are environmentally aware, from beautifully crafted treehouses in the South of France and luxury yurts in andalucia to eco-chic hotels in Thailand'.

And South Africa features prominently:

  • Go local on the Wild coast
  • Ride the Cederberg heritage Route
  • Take an eco wine-tour
  • Ride to the top of Lesotho (okay, not South Africa, but close enough!)
  • Walk with the Chacma baboons
  • Wake up with meerkats
  • Track wild dogs in the Limpopo
  • Visit the world's richest floral kingdom
  • Natural heritage at Isimangaliso Wetland Park
  • Help save the chimpanzee from extinction
  • Take the kids to Madikwe
  • Go birding in ancient forest
  • Stay the night in one of South Africa's National parks
  • Conservation in action at Phinda
  • Whizz through the forest at Storms River
  • Kayak with whales in Plettenberg Bay
  • Ride a bike in a township
  • A night on Long Street, Cape town
  • See hippos near Cape Town
  • Stay in Soweto
  • Walk with rastas in Knysna forest
  • Tembe Elephant Park
  • ... and more

    To give you an idea of the type of introduction you can look forward to, to each of the destinations, I chose 'Dome sweet dome', a remote, futuristic camp in chile's Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, as an example to tempt you.

      Tucked up in an igloo-like geodesic dome (made from sturdy galvanized iron and raised above the ground on a wooden base), guests can enjoy all the creature comforts of a hotel yet still have the wind-whistling-against-the-canvas experience of camping. Inside, the domes are high enough for you to stand upright; there are double or twin beds with fleece sheets and blankets, and the 'suite' versions have a private bathroom. Heating comes from a wood stove and each dome has its own hydro-turbine and solar panels to provide electricity.
      Ecocamp's owner, Cascada Expediciones, organises a circular seven-day trek in the Torres del Paine that begins and ends at the camp, taking in Lago Nordenskjold, Valle Francés, the glacial Lago de Grey, the eatern lakes and the gigantic granite monoliths of the Torres del Paine. From the top of this awesome range you'll feel like you're at the ends of the earth, though of course you're not: the Falkland Islands are only 800 km away.

    And look out for their green pages. These pages, inserted in amongst the various countries, come filled with very interesting information, tips, maps and miscellany. One of them is devoted to Green Maps in particular and makes mention of opengreenmap.org. This is the same framework on which the Cape Town Green Map rests, linked to other Green Maps worldwide.

    For anyone who regularly travels and wants to do so in a more responsible way, or even for those of you who, like me, only get to do this kind of travelling from your armchair, Clean Breaks is a MUST have for some incredible insight into what is happening around the world.

    Clean Breaks – make your next trip a clean break – unique accommodation, amazing wildlife, climate-friendly travel, live with the locals, extraordinary experiences – make the most of your time on earth!

    Printed on FSC certified paper
    ISBN: 978-184836-047-1
    Contact Penguin or have a look out for the book on your local bookshop's shelves

    Or look out for our next newsletter, where we will be giving one lucky reader a FREE copy!!

    Jeremy Smith, whose favourite place in the whole book is no 191 'Go local on the Wild Coast', will be available for interviews in Johannesburg from 12 – 18 October. He recently founded and is developing www.ivili.org, a new social network for free sharing of simple sustainable technologies and solution.