Routes to Africa wants travelers and volunteers to come to Uganda and encounter people, wildlife, scenery, culture, and activities that will impact your heart and mind for a lifetime. We also focus on investing in the needs of local people in practical ways. Read below to learn about our core values, and click the link to let us introduce ourselves.
At RTA six core values drive everything we do and how we do it
Who wants to go home from a trip to Africa and say they had an incredible time? Well, who doesn't? Of course you want the best trip possible. If you contacted us to rent a Land Rover to use while visit your bother at the orphanage where he volunteers, then you want one in good shape that works. If you are coming to earn independent study credits for college by studying the impact of HIV/AIDS on a local village, then you want to be connected with the people who can reliably get you the information and be where you need to be to submit your work and get an A. If you contacted us to take a quick trip to Murchison Falls because you only have a few days left before returning to the States after working at a hospital in Jinja for 3 months, then you want to reach there, have a guide who knows how to find animals and teach you about them, and make sure you experience the hidden gems of the park. If you contacted us to do a 2 week missions trip with your youth group, then you want to know that you are doing sustainable, impacting work and have your youth and the people you are coming alongside grow and change and be affected in lifelong ways. Well, we want all of these thing - and more - for you. We want every aspect of your trip to run as smoothly as possible. For as much as it is up to us and in our control, we want you to go home feeling like you just had the most awesome experience of you life - no matter what you did here.
Your footprints will remain in Africa. Whether you come to volunteer, vacation, or voyage, there will be an impact on the land, infrastructure, people, and community. Let's have those footprints be ones that leave paths of renewal, investment, empowerment, eco-awareness, and partnering. Let us not leave dirty footprints of ethnocentric, cultural snobbery, western problem solving, or harmful imprints. Let us give and walk away with beauty.
1. Serve the client. A lot of people say that customer service isn't what it used to be. Unfortunately, this is too often true. At RTA, we seek to shatter that impression. Maximizing your trip experience is vital to our purpose. When you make a trip like this, it needs to go well and be an overly positive event. Certainly, things in Africa are different than other parts of the world, so that can present some unique situations. But, with a qualified staff who seeks to reward the client at all times, a wonderful trip can easily be had by all. As long as you communicate what you want or need, we will do our utmost to accommodate you. 2. Serve the local people. One reason for having this business is to create jobs in a place where they are essential to the improvement of people's lives, yet nearly impossible to find for many reasons. Another reason is to help people via lasting, effective investment in local communities. RTA wants to connect volunteers to places where projects and work are being done that empower people - not enable them. That way, the work the volunteers do is also empowering and not enabling. Finally, RTA gives back. A portion of any client's trip of any kind is given to one of our partner projects. We want to be able to help regularly and practically.
Africa is not a place to take chances on too many things. It is crucial that anyone with whom you are dealing knows what they are doing and has integrity. Reliability is key. At RTA, "Our Team" is comprised of people who have long worked in the fields of both tourism and hands-on, non-profit investment work. We have all worked at various levels for credible, non-governmental organizations (NGO's), churches, and schools. Plus, there are many years of field and office work dealing with clients and trips of all kinds. We have all traveled extensively ourselves and know first hand what the parks and adventure locations are like. We deal with a large network of reliable businesses we utilize for a client's trip. We personally train and approve our guides, drivers, and hosts. We know what we are doing, how to do it well, and how to make it the best for you.
People want peace of mind when they travel. They want things to run smoothly so that they can accomplish their goals. Vacations are meant to be relaxing and fun. You want to do all the things you planned on. Volunteer trips are meant to be meaningful and efficient. You want to make the most of your time and have an impact. Adventure trips are meant to be challenging - but not because you are trying to find transport or guides or book gorilla permits on your own. Rather, the adventure is in - the adventure! - the challenge you have invested time in money in trying to accomplish. Having an experienced, committed travel host is essential for these things. There is such peace of mind in knowing that someone local is taking care of all the things about which you might stress or find difficult because of language and cultural barriers. Of course, anyone who wants to learn more and be part of the travel process, is welcome, but most people are relieved that someone else is managing the details. A trip that runs smoothly is central to its success and your peace.
Focusing on safety goes without saying, does it not? It would seem so, yet the truth remains that different cultures have different perspectives on what is safe and what isn't. At RTA, we respect the safety needs and concerns from your perspective and with great care. Insuring that precautions are taken and safe practices used are vital. Health concerns, road issues, vehicle maintenance, places to avoid, specific things to do or not do, and clients' individual issues are all areas of awareness at RTA. Bottom line: we are not satisfied unless you are safe.
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