For us travel has always been about getting into the backbones of places and people. Ever since our backpacking days, when we had a bigger spirit of adventure than budget, we’ve listened to locals, sought out authentic experiences and strived to make a difference without making a negative impact. We’re just as true to that thinking today, only we expect more creature comforts and we know you do too. That’s why we created The Backbones of … as essential guides to responsible luxury for today’s eco-aware adventurers.
You won’t ever catch us greenwashing. We only work with partners who have a proven commitment to environmental and social change. Even the most outrageously opulent accommodation has to balance sustainability, fair working practices and outstanding community contribution to meet our standards. And everything you hear from us is first hand experience, whether it’s an eco-safari review, the green lowdown on a five-star boutique hotel or a one-on-one interview with local charity workers.
And we’re always coming up with new ways to engage and inform you, enhance your business, raise your awareness and involve you in the backbones of meaningful travel experiences. Take a look at what we’ve been up to recently:
We aim to choose our accommodation based on their efforts to put back into nature and the community around them. We want to be able to use our visits to communicate to potential travellers of the good that these hotels/lodges are doing. We enjoy coming up with new ideas to raise awareness or funding for charities we have visited through our communication in online press, print press, social media and through our documentary shorts. Here is a glimpse at some previous efforts:
We joined forces with fashion designer Angelo Lambrou to create a series of t-shirts to be worn by selected celebrities and posted on social media to raise awareness on the good that is being done by Nonceeba to combat the high percentage of abused women and children in the townships.
Melody created a series of graphic art images of elephants, hippos, lions etc that she has photographed and from images sold a donation will be given to Space for Giants.
We are currently putting together a fund raiser in a highly reputable hotel in Verbier in the Swiss Alps to raise money to buy a mini bus for a charity in South Africa.
Making insightful, personal travel documentaries is a major part of what we do at The Backbones of… Created to engage responsible luxury travellers with an authentic experience of people and places, each film also presents a unique opportunity for local environmental and social initiatives, projects and charities to raise awareness through our social media channels and international business network.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
It was late September 2019 and Melody Sky and Pra were in search of an adventure. Not just any adventure, but one that would coalesce their very different skills, involve some incredible travel and make a difference too, of course.
Call it serendipity or just plain luck, but they both happened to mention Botswana. Melody was keen to film there and it turned out Pra had long been interested in how this small, landlocked country had transformed itself into one of Africa’s leading luxury safari destinations.
Pra suggested doing a travel feature, Melody brought up the idea of making a travel documentary, both agreed that they wanted to bring luxury and sustainability together – as always – and The Backbones of Botswana was born. Or at least conceived. The actual journey from idea to production was complex, endearing, heart rending, awe inspiring, phenomenal and – much to everyone’s delight – a success.
At heart The Backbones of Botswana is an intimate personal tale of an amazing country and a unique environment, its wildlife, conservation and incredible people. And it’s the first of many adventures in The Backbones of… collection.