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Tiger Mountain Responsible Tourism
A few weeks ago we wrote about our in country partner in Nepal, Tiger Mountain Properties. We recently donated to Tiger Mountain's local school programs. In our recent blog, Tiger Tops Swisssair blog, we wrote about the educational outreach in place near Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge. Over the next few weeks, we would like to share some more information on Tiger Mountain's ecotourism initiatives.
Tiger Mountain helps connect guests with local communities and wildlife, improving villagers’ lives and helping protect eco-systems. Tiger Mountain lodges and eco tours comply with rigorous environmental policies to help mitigate the negative impact of travel on the environment. To reduce energy and waste Tiger Mountain properties use solar power, vehicles maintained to emission control standards, and ox carts or elephants whenever possible. Food served at the properties includes organically raised vegetables and local products. The lodges are constructed from local materials, by local craftsmen, and strive to preserve the indigenous ethnicity. Additionally, the hotels employ people from the local communities, and purchase local products whenever possible.
Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge (TTJL) and Tented Camp
Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge and its tented camp are located in the core area of Chitwan National Park. Those properties have played a pivotal role in preserving the diminishing tiger and rhino populations and habitat and have established a responsible conservation policy that guides all of Tiger Mountain’s lodges.
With the support of the International Trust for Nature Conservation, Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge has focused on tiger conservation research and monitoring, grassland management, various bird studies, and youth training programs and conservation camps. It has played an active role in the anti-poaching and wildlife crime effort. Additionally, Tiger Tops established a clinic to respond to the health needs of local villagers. Tiger Tops’ funding to local schools, educational institutions, and conservation organizations throughout the years has been significant.
Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge (TTTL)
Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge is located on the edge of Chitwan National Park. Tharu Lodge runs a free clinic for villagers and provides free emergency medical care 24/7. The lodge has an emergency vehicle to transport serious cases to the hospital, which is a community service provided by all of the Tiger Mountain Lodges.
TTTL emphasizes respect and preservation of the local culture and traditions of the local tribes. The lodge engages villagers in partnerships for social and economic support. These income generation projects include handicrafts, agriculture, and vocational training. TTTL offers subsidized foot pumps, with the hope of increasing kitchen gardens and improving family health and nutrition.
Added dimensions of the TTTL education programs (mentioned in an earlier blog) include economic benefits for parents. A pass on your good fortune goat breeding project provides an income source for children’s parents. Parents also take turns working in the school gardens to grow vegetables for the students’ meals and have learned to grow nutritious produce.
In an effort to involve the villagers in the conservation efforts, TTTL encourages participation in bird counts and wildlife workshops. TTTL also funds the salary of a buffer zone guard, and provides vehicles and other support for patrolling and monitoring wildlife projects. Road/bridge building, electrification of villages and a recycling program are other ways locals have benefited from the eco lodge.