In the footsteps of the Bedu, ethically
Bedouin Paths, an ethical tourism company based in London, is launching quality hiking tours in Sinai, Egypt.
With a sustainable future and the local community in mind, Bedouin Paths will be dedicating a large percentage of the profit from its trips to fund English classes for Bedouin children and develop the Wadi huts in the mountains. The company’s website has now gone live and hikes are expected to begin this month
Intrepid tourists have the choice of a seven, 10 or 14 day hike either in the mountains or the desert around Mount Sinai and will depart from the town of Katreen.
Those embarking on the desert hike will walk around 150km to the coast, for example, passing through the stunning Sinai desert and landscape. If the challenge proves too much, the guests can hop on a camel instead and rest their legs. Hikers will follow in the path of Moses, stay overnight at desert oasis, and gaze upon ancient ruins.
Bedouin Paths has struck a deal with Sheikh Mousa, who controls the local Bedouin area, to create a special hiking experience - from the skill of the guides to the route taken to the quality of the food.
“The hikers will sleep on mountain floors, ride sweaty camels, feel the strain in their legs and have their clothes full of campfire smoke – and then wonder why they sit in an office the rest of the time,” said Mark Knutton, founder and owner of Bedouin Paths.
The tours are specifically being used to fund English classes, run from a dedicated school building in Katreen, and the money from the eco tourists will also go a long way towards improving the Wadi dwellings by introducing water, sanitation and electricity.
A person and their four friends booking a 14-day hike pays for a teacher for over 3.5 months, while an individual booking a 10-day hike pays for a new well. The equation is that for every day an individual hikes, a teacher can be employed for one day.
The hikes are suitable for persons aged over 12 of various abilities and fitness levels. Tours start from about $700, excluding flight, but fully including the cost of food, drink, guides, accommodation, camels, and so on, and can be booked for singles or groups at www.bedouinpaths.com.