Regenerative Tourism and Overland Travel
Are you familiar with the concepts of regenerative tourism or rewilding? Me neither, well, not until I started working with Biosphere Portugal and Rewilding Portugal as part of our quest to make my trips as eco-friendly as possible. When I started running adventure trips in Portugal, I knew our vehicles would produce CO2 emissions, therefor I had to mitigate this and start a journey towards carbon-neutrality and do something good for the community. I happened to have an old pine woodland in the family, which was on the verge of abandonment, so one day I though “why not rewild it and use it as part of this strategy”? This was the beginning of this long journey…
Rewilding an old woodland
One of the main concepts of “rewilding” is to let Nature lead the way, so ever since I started Dream Overland back in 2011, I have been giving mother nature a hand just by clearing dead pine trees to make way for new oaks and other native trees. To complement this, I started planting a new tree for every individual customer coming on my trips.
The first signs of recovery are already showing with lots of new oaks, chestnut, cork and other autochthonous trees growing on what was once a monoculture of pine trees. Along with the new trees came the birds and wild flowers, some of which I had never heard or seen before in the area, and now even dragonflies and frogs appear in the small ponds that formed spontaneously after digging the holes for the new trees to be planted each year.
This 12-year effort makes us very proud for being the first (if not the only) adventure trips company in Portugal to have this approach to regenerative tourism and a leading position in nature conservation. So, who said travelling overland is incompatible with protecting mother nature?