National Geographic is committed to sustaining the character and integrity of each place we visit—its environment, culture, and heritage, and the wellbeing of its residents. In providing authentic travel experiences, we strive to support local economies in our choice of services.
For example, just outside of Rwanda's Parc National des Volcans, home to the endangered mountain gorilla, we stay at the Virunga Safari Lodge, an elegant eco-lodge perched on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding volcanoes and lakes. Built and furnished using locally sourced materials, the lodge runs on solar-powered electricity, which helps reduce water consumption and minimize its environmental impact. The lodge also employs residents of local communities to help operate and manage the property.
On our ocean-going small-ship expeditions, our chefs visit markets in our ports of call to pick up fresh produce for meals on board. And all around the world, from Morocco to Peru, we support local artisans by including visits to their schools and workshops. In Myanmar, for example, we stop at a traditional lacquerware workshop, where artisans ply their intricate craft, carrying an age-old art into future generations.
At the same time, we believe that the powerful positive effects of sustainable travel go beyond the local economic benefits, inspiring passionate stewards who are committed to protecting the places we visit.
When you travel with us, you directly support our grantees and explorers, who work to preserve species and ecosystems, protect cultures, and advance understanding of our planet and its inhabitants. Proceeds from our expeditions have recently helped fund National Geographic's Ocean Initiative, a series of innovative projects that aim to protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean.
Thanks to the contributions of donors and travelers, the Lindblad/National Geographic Fund, run in collaboration with our partner in small-ship travel, Lindblad Expeditions, has raised nearly $3 million to fund conservation, sustainable development, and research in the places we explore on our voyages.