Marking World Elephant Day with the African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go are Supporting AWF and their Incredible conservation work on World Elephant Day

To mark World Elephant Day, Water-to-Go are raising awareness of the conservation work done to protect the world’s elephants with specific reference to the African Wildlife Foundation, who we are working in partnership with.

The survival and well being of elephants is currently under threat due to various reasons such as escalating poaching for the commercial ivory trade and increasing loss of natural habitats. It is important that we recognise these threats to these great animals and ensure solutions are found so that they are protected. The African Wildlife Foundation are one of several organisations that are set up to specifically tackle these issues and remove the threats.

If you want to do your bit and donate towards a worthwhile organisation who are working to ensure elephants and other African wildlife thrive, you can purchase a limited edition Water-to-Go bottle for just £20 (when using the code below) where £10 from every purchase goes towards the work AWF do.

(Use code AWF20 to get an exclusive World Elephant Day discount)

About World Elephant Day 2019

World Elephant Day (12th August) was founded by the World Elephant Society in 2012, to raise awareness around the problems facing the world’s elephant population and to highlight potential solutions.

This year, the day will also focus on the escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity as the very real threats the world’s elephant population. Elephant numbers have dropped by 62% over the last decade, and they could be mostly extinct by the end of the next decade. An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts. You can follow the day across social media via #worldelephantday.

The day will also celebrate these awe-inspiring animals. In fact, an elephant’s trunk has more than 40,000 muscles, more than all the muscles in the human body. They can tear down trees or even pick up a blade of grass with their trunks. The African elephant weighs 22,000 pounds making it the World’s largest land animal. You can help support these brilliant creatures by support AWF with a Water-to-Go limited edition AWF bottle.

Africa loses 8 percent of its elephants to poaching every year

African Wildlife Foundation

However, despite a ban on international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers. If the elephants are to survive, the demand for ivory must be stopped.

Elephants are a keystone species. It means they create and maintain the ecosystems in which they live and make it possible for a myriad of plant and animal species to live in those environments as well. The loss of elephants gravely affects many species that depend on elephant-maintained ecosystems and causes major habitat chaos and a weakening to the structure and diversity of nature itself. To lose the elephant is to lose an environmental caretaker and an animal from which we have much to learn.

Water-to-Go’s Partnership with African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise awareness of the work that they do and to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. As part of our partnership, we have produced a limited edition AWF branded bottle available from our website. To find out more about our partnership with AWF click here.

As part of our partnership, £10 from every bottle sold will be donated to African Wildlife Foundation to help support their vital work in the conservation of Africa’s endangered wildlife. To get yourself a bottle and support AWF’s incredible work, click here.

(Use code AWF20 to get an exclusive World Elephant Day discount)

African Wildlife Foundation’s work with Elephant Conservation

AWF work all over the continent, helping ensure all wildlife is able to thrive in modern Africa alongside local communities. AWF also has a number of programmes and projects, helping protect the population of African Elephants. Currently, the two biggest challenges facing African Elephants is firstly the threat of ivory poachers as well as their slow reproduction rate. They believe that to protect the African Elephant they must be given space to roam, empower community members to protect the elephants and raising awareness.

AWF also train law officials as part of their conservation work to combat wildlife crimes such as poaching and trafficking. It is imperative that we support their work to ensure the future of these magnificent animals. Do your bit to support the protection of elephants with Water-to-Go.

Learn more about World Elephant Day on their website

South African Safari Packing List

A Guide to help you pack the best items on your Safari to South Africa

With over 10 million foreign visitors a year, South Africa has a big appeal to tourists and with the famous Kruger National Park, Safaris play a large part of that tourism. The country has many Safari parks, which together attract millions of visitors every year, with the Kruger National park being the biggest Safari attraction in South Africa.

We’ve worked with safari companies such as Africa Star Tours and Volcano Safaris, and in doing so have gathered some great feedback about what the best items are to bring on your South African Safari trip.

We’ve also partnered with African Wildlife Foundation to help protect Africa’s incredible wildlife and wildlands that you will be experiencing on your Safari. To find out more about our partnership click here.

South Africa’s Kruger National Park

As probably the most popular South African Safari, we’ve provided a few facts about the Kruger National park before you go. With over 1,6 million visitors a year, the Kruger National Park is South Africa’s biggest safari location, having welcomed its first tourists in 1927. The park spans 19,485 km² and is host to a wide range of wildlife including Lions, Leopards, Elephants, buffalo, hippos as well as over 500 species of bird. The Reserve itself has 21 Rest Camps, 2 Private Lodge Concessions And 15 Private Safari Lodges for you to stay at.

A Camera to Capture your Journey

Having some form of camera will be a fantastic item so that you can capture some of the rarest animals on our planet. Using just your phone camera may be fine for some pictures however, it may not be the best option for capturing animals you’re not able to get up close with.

Therefore, getting yourself a good quality camera can help you capture some of the best photos during your Safari. It will help you get some great pictures of both the wildlife and the landscape along your way and is a great way to capture your memories of the trip.

The Best Camera for a Safari

There is a range of high-quality cameras available from brands like Sony, Panasonic and Fuji. Make sure to have a look around and find the best camera for your needs.

One great camera for a Safari is the Canon 80D. Firstly it’s a durable and weatherproof, meaning it will be able to deal with dusty South African Safari conditions. Additionally, it takes an excellent quality of photo so you’ll be able to capture the sights your trip in fantastic detail. However, whilst this camera is excellent for a safari it does come at a significant cost, so if you are looking for a cheaper option this may not be the best camera for you.

 

Binoculars

For similar reasons to a camera, bringing binoculars will enhance your experience during your Safari as well. You’ll want to make the most of your time out in the wild and that partially means getting the best view of as many animals as you can. Unfortunately binoculars cant change how many animals you see, but if there are animals a long way in the distance the binoculars will help you get the best look you can.

What to consider when buying Safari Binoculars

When choosing your binoculars you’ll want to consider a few different factors before your purchase:

  • Magnification: Make sure to get binoculars that are able to see a fairly long distance away, otherwise they won’t be much use! You can also get binoculars that have variable zoom which may be a useful feature.
  • Convenience: Travelling around all day means you won’t want to be carrying any unnecessary weight, so finding yourself a lighter and smaller pair of binoculars can be very beneficial.
  • Durability: As you’ll be out in the wild all day a pair of binoculars that can cope with the terrain is essential. Make sure to look for binoculars that will be able to withstand dusty South African conditions especially.
  • Quality of Image: You’ll want binoculars that are able to clearly see a fair amount of detail through the lens. The last thing you want is to be looking at a blurry spot instead of an elephant!
  • Cost: Whilst all these factors are important you’ll need to balance these against cost. If you’re looking at a lower price range you may have to compromise on some of these features, however you should still be able to find good quality binoculars at a reasonable price.

Sun Cream and a Sun Hat

With South African temperatures regularly hitting over 25ºC, sun cream and a hat will be essential for your Safari. These would be useful items if you were just on holiday but as you will be out in the sun all day on safari they become essential items for you. It’s also important to make sure you bring sun cream with you during the day so you can top up regularly.

As well as using sun cream regularly, a great item to prevent sunburn is a sun hat. This will not only help prevent sunburn on your neck and face but also keep your body temperature cooler throughout the day, reducing the risk of sunstroke.

The benefits of Suncream

There are numerous health benefits towards using sunscreen with the most obvious being you won’t be having to endure the pain of sunburn during your holiday. However, there are also long-term benefits such as reducing the chances of skin cancer, reducing premature skin ageing and preventing blotchy skin.

Safari Specific Clothing

Having already discussed a sun hat, you’ll also want to think about the clothing that you’ll be wearing out in the sun. Out in the heat all day you’ll want to make sure you’re feeling comfortable and not too hot in your clothing.

When thinking about your attire, comfort and ease are two factors that should be essential. In scorching South African heat, having restricting clothing that may even be hard to move in will almost certainly have a negative impact on your safari experience. Another factor that could be considered is bug bites. Companies such as Rohan make insect repellent clothing which can be very useful in any country where you will face the threat of bitey insects.

Also think about Safari Appropriate Footwear

As well as your clothing, you’ll want to think about what sort of footwear you’ll need for your safari. This may depend on how much walking you’ll be doing, however, it’s probably best to look for some specific walking boots so that you won’t be doing any damage to your feet after a long day of walking. After all, you won’t want to be going into day 2 with blisters on your feet.

Reusable Water Filter Bottle

Being outside in the heat all day means you’ll need to find an effective way to stay hydrated throughout the day. The issue of hydration during the day is often solved through single-use plastic bottled water, which of course is very damaging for the environment. However in some places, tap water may not be a safe option and there won’t be many water sources out on your Safari. So what other options do you have?

The most effective way to keep you hydrated throughout the day, without having to contribute to the world’s plastic pollution problem, is through a filter water bottle. The Water-to-Go bottle can filter dirty unsafe water as you drink. This means that you can fill up from any fresh water source with confidence you won’t suffer any illness. You can therefore, fill up from any tap water or even a river or lake during your Safari.

A good tip for your safari may be to take a large over 2-litre bottle of unfiltered water and decant this into your filter bottle. This is because there is a strong chance your filter bottle won’t hold enough for a full day out in the sun. So unless you know you’ll be stopping regularly for water, make sure to carry more than enough for a full day’s safari with you.

Consider your Medication and the Threat of Malaria

As one of the most deadly diseases in human history, Malaria remains a genuine threat to anyone travelling to the African continent. Malaria medication is available in the UK and is likely to be essential for your Safari. Before going on your safari make sure to consult with your GP to ask about any vaccines or medication you may need before travelling.

Insect Repellent to prevent Bug Bites

Travelling anywhere in Africa, bringing insect and specifically mosquito repellent is an important item. The last thing you want during your Safari days is to be constantly itching because of insect bites. The spray will also help you avoid mosquitos and the dangerous diseases they carry.

As previously mentioned, you can also get yourself insect repellent clothing which will be able which is another great way to keep yourself protected. Both methods should work effectively, however to be safe it may be best to still use repellent spray even if you’ve got the clothing as well.

Essential Items for Travel

Slightly less specific for your safari, but make sure to double check you have your usual travel essentials. Make sure to check what you need for your specific journey, but some things these should include are:

  • Passport
  • Travel Insurance
  • Flight Tickets
  • First Aid kit
  • Personal Medication
  • Local Currency (the Rand for South Africa)

Ditch Single-Use plastic bottles on National Refill Day with Water-to-Go

Stop Plastic pollution caused by single-use plastic bottles on National Refill Day

National Refill Day is a public awareness campaign aiming to stop millions of single-use plastic bottles from polluting our streets and oceans. The day is encouraging people to carry a reusable water bottle and refill on the go. 

Brought to you by City to Sea as part of the award-winning Refill Campaign, National Refill Day is an awareness campaign to get the UK public to stop bottling it when it comes to our drinking water. Refill want to create a new social norm for refilling on the go – saving us money, keeping us hydrated and preventing millions of single-use plastic bottles at the source.  

This is something that we are big advocates for and want to encourage everyone to do. We have all the seen the disastrous effect that plastic pollution is having on our planet and it is imperative that we all do our bit to protect our planet.

On June 19th the Refill campaign will be asking the public if they’ve #GotTheBottle to stop buying single-use plastic bottles and replace them with a reusable bottle instead. If just 1 in 10 Brits Refilled once a week, the country would save around 340 million plastic bottles a year.

Water-to-Go reducing plastic pollution

One of our core missions at Water-to-Go is to reduce the environmental devastation caused by single-use plastic bottles. Just one of our 75cl filters will replace 400 single-use plastic bottles. Just think of the difference this could make.

Additionally, the bottle’s unique filtration technology means you can fill up from any non-salt water source, such as rivers, lakes and mountain streams, to access safe drinking water. So no matter the situation you won’t need to revert to single-use plastic bottles for accessing clean drinking water.

Water-to-Go Marking National Refill Day

As part of National Refill Day, we’re showcasing some of our favourite places our customers and ambassadors have refilled their Water-to-Go bottles.

Enjoy!

Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, has refilled his Water-to-Go bottle from the Yangtze river in China on his world-first #MissionYangtze expedition to walk the whole length of the Yangtze river.

Water-to-Go ambassador, Chaz Powell, fills his Water-to-Go bottle from the Gambia river on his recent expedition to become one of the first to walk the whole length of it.

Water-to-Go bottles making an appearance at Glastonbury Festival. If you are at a festival this year, make sure you stay well hydrated and plastic free with a Water-to-Go bottle.

Have a look at our Summer packing list with all the essentials you will need to keep you single-use plastic free. (To get festival ready with Water-to-Go, use discount code: FESTIVAL19)

Tim Kroeger filled up his bottle from a tap whilst on a trip in a village in West Africa.

Keenan Williams refilling his Water-to-Go bottle from a lake in the Brecon Beacons.

Holly from The Outdoor Guide fills up from the snow mountains whilst on a trip in Switzerland.

Tarran Kent-Hume refilled his Water-to-Go bottle from the Rio Negro whilst on an expedition kayaking the Amazon River.

Jule from The Happy Choices drinking water straight from a waterfall whilst on a walk in the Canadian wilderness.

Our Blue 75cl bottle getting a top-up from a mucky puddle whislt on a hike in South Korea.

This refill of the green bottle is straight from a standpipe whilst on a charity trek in the Pyrenees.

Becky the Traveller fills her pink 50cl bottle from a mountain stream whilst on a hike in the Lake District.

Send us your pictures filling up your Water-to-Go bottle from questionable sources and we will feature them on our social media channels.

Water-to-Go Marks World Environment Day 2019

#BeatAirPollution

Wednesday 5th June marks the World Environment Day for 2019. This year World Environment Day will be hosted in China with the UN’s focus for the day on air pollution. Worldwide, around 7 million people die prematurely from air pollution every year, with around 4 million of those deaths occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.

World Environment day will focus on urging governments, industry, communities, and individuals to join together to explore renewable energy and green technologies as well as improving air quality in cities and regions across the world.

Plastic Production is Contributing Towards Air Pollution

A report published by the Centre for Internation Environmental Law has shown that plastic is a significant contributor towards the greenhouse gas effect. Through its full lifecycle from production to its refining and its management as a waste product.

The report states that “at current levels, greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle threaten the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5C’. In fact, amongst the suggestions of the report authors is that the production of single-use plastic should be stopped ‘immediately.”

Plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product. This plastic binge threatens attempts to meet the Paris climate agreement. It means that by 2050 plastic will be responsible for up to 13% of the total “carbon budget” – equivalent to 615 coal-fired power plants.

The Guardian

Our beautiful planet and environment is under threat and it is imperative that we tackle this. According to this report, the proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change. In order to protect our planet, we must eliminate single-use plastics.

A great way to eliminate single-use plastic bottles is by using a Water-to-Go bottle. Our 3-in-1 filter technology will provide clean, drinking water anywhere in the world, without needing to purchase single-use plastic water bottles. Make your commitment and join the global movement with Water-to-Go.

Helping Protect Africa’s Wildlands with African Wildlife Foundation

As part of AWF’s multi-faceted approach, protecting Africa’s wildlands from pollution is a big priority within their overall mission. AWF work with local communities in a variety of ways to help reduce climate change from Africa.

They work with communities to introduce climate-smart agriculture as well as working on sustainable energy solutions. Working with rural-scale farmers they aim to introduce new, sustainable farming techniques aimed to reduce climate impacts, maximise soil health and produce higher crop yields.

Water-to-Go in Partnership with AWF

We have partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation, creating limited edition AWF branded filter water bottles. For every purchase of the special edition bottles, a £10 donation will be made to AWF, helping protect Africa’s natural environments and the habitats of the continent’s wildlife. Click here to get yourself a bottle and help ensure wildlife and wildlands thrive in modern Africa.

For more information about Water-to-Go and how you can protect the planet and do your bit for the environment, check out our website.

Chaz Powell – What next for The Wildest Journey?

After many years of travelling and after pursuing many different life changing adventures, I soon realised I needed more and soon realised I needed ‘The Wildest Journey’ and something that would stretch me far out of my normal comfort zone.

I knew I wanted to discover wild lands that were little known to others, lands where people daren’t venture due to tales of danger, mystery and the unknown. Something that would take me to a whole new level of exploration and be my ultimate adventure.

So, in 2016 and 2017 I spent a combined duration of 137 days walking for over 3000km from source to sea along the mighty Zambezi river. An expedition that for me was the ultimate test – To walk the length of Africa’s wildest river….

Photo credit: Frazer Waller

Walking the Zambezi

The expedition had taken two years of strict planning and during those 2 years, I’d managed to find myself a local guide, who had also seemed passionate about walking the length of the Zambezi river and tackling this wildest journey by foot.

But after reaching the river’s source and coming face to face with the reality of walking through remote lands for the next 5 months. He quickly changed his mind and succumbed to his fears, saying that this was a crazy idea and it can’t be done! He then turned back in the direction we had come and left me alone to walk the length of the Zambezi river, I never saw him again.

Photo credit: Alex Frood

After the shock of being left alone in these strange lands, I soon got my head together and started walking. Remembering why it was I had taken on this challenge and knowing I needed to try and embrace every second of this great journey.

From then on, I spent time in the remotest of settlements with the humblest of people. People who had absolutely nothing in their lives but seemed to give absolutely everything. I came to rely on these people not only to help guide the way, but also for the incredible hospitality I received on a near daily basis. But this wasn’t without hesitation, as I was often mistaken for being a demon, a witch, a diamond smuggler and even a reincarnation of the great David Livingstone. I was the first white person many had ever met, so it came as quite a shock to see me walking through their remote lands.

Photo credit: Alex Frood

During my great journey, I faced many a challenging obstacle along the mighty river. From crossing the 400-mile long swampy Barotse floodplains, near-death experiences in the Zambezi gorges, and being held hostage in a small remote village in Mozambique. All of these challenges moulded me and saw me overcome all the fears that I’d built up before tackling this mighty quest. I’d reached the Indian ocean and my end goal knowing that I wanted to continue to take on more wildest journeys and to raise awareness for the devastating loss of wildlife and wild lands across the continent of Africa and throughout the world. I knew it was my passion to explore and discover and I’d now continue to do so to fight for the voiceless.

Footsteps on the Gambia

My next adventure was to be a world’s first source to sea trek along the Gambia river. An epic journey to follow the West African river by foot through Guinea-Conakry, Senegal and The Gambia for 1120km.

Photo credit: Tim Roberts

After a long 2-day journey we eventually reached the source of the Gambia river. The river itself starts in the remote highlands of the Fouta Djallon in Guinea-Conakry, and is a wild, rugged landscape consisting of steep hills and remote settlements. Paths along the river’s banks were minimal and we were often forced into climbing the steep tracks away from the river itself! This was the beginning of what would turn out to be an incredible yet wildest journey, where we found ourselves tackling this challenging environment, but were treated like kings in this land of warmth and kindness. Leaving us feeling overwhelmed and fascinated by the amazing cultures and the hospitality we received from the most humble of people.

Photo credit: Tim Roberts

Soon the river started to widen and consisted of numerous twists and turns. Its presence left us feeling overwhelmed and in a fascinating state of isolation along its wild banks. We came to rely on it not just for the water it gave us to drink and cook with, but for the sense of freedom it bestowed upon us with its beauty and grace. It was home to not only the good people who accommodated and fed us whilst we hiked its waters edge. But also to the wildest of animals and the most magnificent of ever changing wild landscapes.

Photo credit: Tim Roberts

During my journeys I relied on drinking straight from the rivers with my trusty Water-to-Go bottles. There was several sections of river where the water was just too contaminated. So whilst using my bottle it gave me both the confidence and tools I needed to survive in the most remotest of regions.

Chaz Powell

One of the most incredible parts of our journey was walking through the Niokolo Koba National Park. After nearly being denied access into the park, but by some miracle managing to secure a last-minute permit. We hiked and skirted along the river’s edge until reaching the parks gates. On arrival we were accompanied by two game rangers and started by far the wildest section of our trek. Unfortunately, during those 4 days I felt at my lowest. My appetite had disappeared and the heat/lack of food was seriously draining my energy supplies. But these guys got me through and made it by far one of the most memorable moments of our source to sea journey.

Photo credit: Tim Roberts

When times became difficult, it was often the good people we met along the way that would lift our spirits and inspire us to keep pushing forward with our journey. People who had very little in the way of possessions but would often open their doors and hearts to us to make us feel welcomed. This kindness of strangers is what motivated us through the difficult times, and the good people of Guinea-Conakry, Senegal and The Gambia made this expedition one of greatest journeys I’ve ever made.

Photo credit: Tim Roberts

On reaching the Atlantic Ocean and the end of our 1120km, 47-day source to sea journey by foot. We were left feeling a huge sense of satisfaction, elation and overwhelming joy. We had become the first known people to take on and complete this mammoth task, and we knew that this difficult, yet humbling challenge had all been worthwhile.

Photo credit: Tim Roberts

We had hiked through some of the wildest regions in Western Africa and been welcomed by all that we had met on our path. This was an adventure that will stay with me forever and one that will be difficult to compare with any of my future ‘the wildest journey’ expeditions.

Photo credit: Tim Roberts

What next for The Wildest Journey?

In September 2019 myself and (potentially) a small team will be setting out in an attempt to walk not only the width of Madagascar, but also source to sea along the country’s longest river – The Mangoky.

Starting on the East Coast of Madagascar we will walk to the source of The Mangoky River and then follow its 564-kilometer (350 mi) length all the way to the Mozambique Chanel on the country’s Western Coast. We will be heading out on this epic adventure to not only take on an incredible journey. But also to raise awareness and funds for the loss of wildlife and wild lands throughout the region…

So there is a lot to look forward to. Keep up to date with all of my adventures and expeditions on Instagram and Facebook.

Photo credit: Alex Frood

Water-to-Go marks Endangered Species Day

We are marking Endangered Species Day alongside our partners African Wildlife Foundation

Friday 17th May 2019 marks Endangered Species Day. This is a day in which people of all ages can learn about the importance of protecting the world’s endangered species and what everyday actions we can take to protect them. Check out the video below to find out more about our partnership with AWF and how you can get help to ensure the sustainable future of Africa’s endangered animals.

Water-to-Go and the African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do and to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. As part of our partnership, we are producing a limited edition AWF branded bottle available from our website. To find out more about our partnership with AWF click here.

£10 from every bottle sold will be donated by Water-to-Go to the African Wildlife Foundation to help support their vital work in the conservation of Africa’s endangered wildlife. To get yourself a bottle and support AWF’s incredible work, click here.

African Wildlife Foundation’s Endangered Species Conservation

Africa is home to keystone wildlife species that are facing extinction, including Mountain Gorillas, Rhinos, and Leopards. To protect populations from further decline, AWF has on-the-ground safeguards training rangers and using sniffer dogs to prevent wildlife trafficking and poaching. AWF believes wildlife must survive in their natural habitats and so they empower local communities through conservation-friendly development as well as working with international agencies to protect Africa’s wildlife and wildlands.

AWF believe people are critical to protecting these vital ecosystems. Sharing land across the continent, local communities and wildlife often live alongside each other often leads to struggles for both space and water. If people and wildlife learn to live together, inside and outside of protected areas, the future for all in African will thrive. 

Chaz Powell and African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go ambassador, Chaz Powell, recently completed his world-first journey to walk the length of the Gambia river. The 47 day, 1120km and 1.5 million step journey that Chaz Powell undertook meant he became one of the first people in known history to walk the length of the Gambia river from its source in the Fouta Djallon, Guinea to the Atlantic Ocean on Africa’s Western coast.

Find out more about Chaz’s story here

Volunteering Packing List – Travelling Abroad

A Guide featuring the best Travel items to include in your Volunteering Packing List

Are you planning on travelling abroad to volunteer for a charity project? If so you’ll need to make sure you prepare correctly. We’ve created this volunteer packing list to help guide you on some of the best items to take on your trip. We’ve previously worked with volunteers and organisations such as Echo In Africa and African Wildlife Foundation to aid in creating this list of the best items to take with you on your volunteering trip. Whilst we recommend taking these items, researching your destination is important as well so that you can prepare for the specific location of your volunteering trip.

We recently supported Sara Broring on her volunteering trip to South Africa. Click here to check out her story.

Medication appropriate to your Destination

It’s important to be prepared medically for whichever country you are visiting, especially if you are volunteering in countries such as those within Africa where there is the risk of serious diseases such as Malaria.

The medication you’ll need to take on your journey will vary depending on the country you’re travelling to. Make sure to consult your GP or visit a travel health clinic to recommend the medicines/ vaccinations you will need for your travels. Their’s nothing worse than your volunteering experience being ruined because of an avoidable illness.

Sun Hat and Sunscreen

Obviously, this will primarily apply to those volunteering in hot countries where you’ll be in the sun regularly. It’s important to understand the strength of cream you will need and if you’re unsure, it’s better to go with a higher SPF just to be safe. There are numerous health benefits associated with using sunscreen with the most obvious being you won’t be having to endure the pain of sunburn during your holiday. However, there are also long-term benefits such as reducing the chances of skin cancer, reduces premature skin ageing and preventing blotchy skin.

As well as using sun cream regularly, a great item to prevent sunburn is a sun hat. This will not only help prevent sunburn on your neck and face but also keep your body temperature cooler throughout the day, reducing the risk of sunstroke. This will be especially useful if you are volunteering in Africa and are out all day, for example, if you were helping build a school.

Water Filter Bottle

Travelling abroad, in general, it can be difficult to get access to clean safe drinking water, especially if you are volunteering in Africa. Often your only alternative is to buy bottled water in single-use plastic bottles, however, this can be expensive and will contribute towards the world’s extremely damaging plastic pollution problem.

A way to solve all of these issues in one is through the use of a Water-to-Go filter bottle. These portable, lightweight bottles use a 3-in-1 unique filtration system which has been tested and proven to filter out over 99.9% of microbiological contaminants. This means you can fill it up from any non-salt water source around the world and get clean safe drinking water instantly.

In addition to this, these bottles are reusable bottles that only need the filter changed every 2-3 months. This means they will heavily reduce your plastic usage making your trip more environmentally friendly. The bottle also works out at 5p per litre of water so you’ll be able to save yourself some money as well.

Remember Volunteering with a Journal or Scrapbook

Your volunteering experience will likely be something you will look back at with fond memories. A great way to capture this is through taking a scrapbook or journal so you can look back at everything that you achieved.

Keeping this will not only be a great way to one day look back on your experience, but you can also note down any contact info from people you meet along your volunteering journey.

Additionally, if you’re low on packing space or don’t want to pack a physical journal you can record your journey online. ‘Travel Diaries App’ is a great online tool for recording your experiences and uploading pictures almost in a blog format. You can also order a printed book version of your diary on your return.

Camera

To go along with your journal/ scrapbook, bringing a camera is another great way of capturing your volunteering experience. Plus you can add some of your pictures into your diary.

If you’re not too fussed about having super high-quality photos, your phone’s camera will do just fine, or you can go out of your way for some great quality pictures with a digital camera. Either way, you’ll definitely want to capture some of your memories in picture form so bringing some form of camera will be a great choice.

Bring Donations (If Appropriate)

This is a great way to give something extra, especially if you’ve got a bit of spare packing space. You may be able to get an idea of what would be best to bring from the organisation you’re going with as they sometimes provide recommendations on extra donation items.

However if not, a great idea is to bring donations that can’t usually be easily purchased in the country you’re volunteering in. Also, try to bring relevant and useful items, for example if you were volunteering at an animal shelter, you may bring squeaky toys or blankets and if you were helping build a school you could bring art supplies, backpacks or stationary.

Your Usual Travel Essentials

Slightly less specific for your volunteering packing list, but make sure to double check you have everything you would usually take for your travels. Make sure to double and triple check what you need for your specific journey, some of these things should include:

  • Passport
  • Travel Insurance
  • Flight Tickets
  • First Aid kit
  • Personal Medication
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Water-to-Go marks World Malaria Day 2019

Water-to-Go is marking World Malaria Day 2019 along with our partners Malaria No More UK. To find out about our partnership click here.

‘Zero malaria starts with me’

The World Health Organisation has joined with the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. This year the focus is on the ‘zero malaria starts with me’ campaign which is a programme aiming to keep malaria high on political agendas, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.

World Malaria Day 2019 will be hosted in the city of Paris, with WHO and RBM partnership working alongside the French Government and the city of Paris. There will be a range of events organised across the city centre, recognising the importance of fighting against malaria, and the need to step up the fight against this preventable and treatable disease.

The 2018 WHO Malaria Report highlights that funding for prevention efforts have stalled and in fact malaria cases are back on the rise. Whilst significant progress has been made in the past 10 years, until malaria is completely irradicated it will remain a threat to hundreds of millions, primarily in Africa’s poorer countries.

Water-to-Go and Malaria No More UK

We’re excited about celebrating World Malaria Day 2019 with our partners Malaria No More UK. As part of our partnership, we are selling a limited edition branded bottle (as pictured below). With each bottle sold you will be donating £8 to Malaria No More UK and will be aiding their mission to end malaria once and for all, plus you can get yourself a fantastic bottle in the process! To get yourself a bottle click here.

Ash Dykes and Malaria No More UK

Water-to-Go and Malaria No More UK ambassador Ash Dykes has been using his branded bottle during his world first expedition along the Yangtze river. Ash is currently just over half way on his attempt to become the first person to walk the entire 4000-mile length of the Yangtze River.

Ash became an ambassador for Malaria No More UK following his trek across the length of Madagascar. During another of his world firsts, Ash contracted malaria and thankfully survived, stating that he ‘wouldn’t wish [his] experience on anyone, it was truly horrific’.

Malaria No More UK on World Malaria Day 2019

Malaria No More and Malaria Must Die have now launched their new campaign, the world’s first voice petition to end malaria. ‘The Power of the Voice’ campaign aims to get people to call on their leaders to end malaria. You can join Beckham’s call and help end malaria once and for all. To add your voice to the petition visit Malaria Must Die’s website by clicking here.

Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays Raise over £1000 for Heart and Sole

Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays are delighted to have raised over £1000 that will go towards charitable projects and initiatives that Ramblers support. Dave Shanks, Director of Water-to-Go, presented the Heart & Sole team with a cheque for £1,150 as a donation based on the number of Water-to-Go bottles purchased by their clients in 2018.

Ramblers and Heart & Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to peoples’ lives. Ramblers Walking Holidays have a scheme called Heart & Sole, managed by their office staff, and their aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries they visit. Their hope is to make a long term, direct impact on these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. Heart & Sole will be able to use these funds to continue supporting ventures at home and in the countries they visit around the world.

Heart & Sole offers much-needed support to projects and charities in the UK and overseas, dealing with both large issues such as animal welfare as well as small, and more personal, ventures such as providing schools equipment to village communities. They are currently working with SPANA in Morocco, Cockermouth Mountain Rescue, SOS Children’s Villages in Costa Rica, Cape Verde, Malawi and Morocco.

In South Africa, Heart and Sole support the Royal Drakensberg primary school, in St Lucia a school breakfast club and Andros Routes in Greece. Most recently, they delivered donated items to an orphanage in Tanzania and foster homes in San Jose, Costa Rica. By travelling with Ramblers Walking Holidays, in addition to experiencing the joy of visiting new places, you can help make a difference in these communities.

Seeing the World on Foot with Ramblers

Ramblers Walking Holidays have been providing great value small-group guided holidays in spectacular locations around the globe for 70 years that allow you to discover the essence of the place you are visiting. They are all about seeing the world on foot, offering everything from lowland ambles to high mountain trekking, from short sightseeing walks to challenging long-distance trails.

Ramblers Walking Holidays also want to encourage sustainable practices in the destinations they send their travellers. They are advocates of responsible tourism in accordance with AITO and are extremely aware of the social and environmental impact of travel. By encouraging clients to buy a Water-to-Go bottle, they hope to reduce plastic waste and do their bit for the environment.

The Water-to-Go and Ramblers Partnership

We have been working with Ramblers Walking Holidays for a number of years to help keep their customers healthy and hydrated on their trips. Through our partnership, we have continued to raise money for Heart and Sole. In 2016, Heart & Sole used money donated by Water-to-Go to sponsor the building of a toilet block in Pakistan through an organisation called Toilet Twinning. In December 2017, Water-to-Go were delighted to present Heart & Sole with another cheque for £750 from bottles bought by their clients which has also gone towards their development projects.

We are delighted to be working with such a fantastic company that has a brilliant ethos and that is supporting some life-changing causes. Learn more about Ramblers Walking Holidays and our partnership here.

Water-to-Go ambassador, Chaz Powell, Becomes One of the First to Walk the Length of the Gambia River

After 47 days, 1120km and 1.5 million steps, adventurer, expedition leader and Water-to-Go ambassador Chaz Powell along with his fellow adventurer and expedition photographer Tim Roberts have become the first people in known history to walk the length of the Gambia river from its source in the Fouta Djallon, Guinea to the Atlantic Ocean on Africa’s Western coast.

This epic journey took them through Guinea, Senegal and the complete length of The Gambia to become the first people in known history to walk the river’s length. The map below shows the route they took.

The 1120km shown on a ZeroSixZero map

“It was an incredible life changing expedition that’s taken us through, wild, rugged and breath-taking landscapes from day one!”

Chaz Powell and Tim Roberts

They said it was “a challenging adventure that’s seen us trek through extreme temperatures and harsh landscapes, whilst enduring constant hunger, dehydration and walking amongst the wildest of animals! But also it’s been the most incredible of journeys where we’ve experienced unending hospitality and kindness from the most humble of people.”

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz is no stranger to adventure and has over 15 years of remote travel and expedition experience. In 2016/17 he spent 137 days walking the 3000km length of the Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth longest and wildest river; becoming only the second person in known history to complete this wild and dangerous journey by foot. Roberts joined Chaz on this latest wildest journey as expedition photographer and to help document this historic feat. He’s also no stranger to adventure and has walked various challenging treks all over the world.

This expedition will go down as one of their biggest challenges but also achievements to date as they have now both written themselves into the history books. Whilst they both wanted to test themselves on another wild journey, an important aspect surrounding the expedition was to experience Africa and learn about the wildlife, the culture and the people that live and depend on the Gambia River.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz and Tim experienced cultures and communities first-hand that many people would not have known even existed so this adventure was able to provide a real insight to Africa that would have been completely different to what many people had experienced before.

It’s important to remember that this was no walk in the park as Chaz and Tim definitely faced a number of challenges along the way including dealing high temperatures and threats from wild animals. One of the major challenges on the expedition was finding safe drinking water. To solve this, Chaz and Tim were pleased to work with the UK company, Water-to-Go. Water-to-Go is a portable water filtration system that eliminates well in excess of 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This, therefore, allowed them to fill their bottles up from any freshwater stream, local tap or from the Gambia river itself to keep themselves healthy and hydrated throughout the expedition without getting ill.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz has used his trusted Water-to-Go bottle on many of his adventures and this on-going partnership highlights his commitment to sustainable travel and protecting the environment. The Water-to-Go ambassador is keen to eliminate all single-use plastic bottles on his expeditions and showcase a simple alternative that everyone can use.

One of the main reason’s behind this expedition was to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and highlight serious wildlife crimes that are happening along the remote regions surrounding Africa’s rivers. Chaz partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation for this expedition, one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations that focuses on the protection of African wildlife and wildlands. Throughout his expedition, Chaz was providing his observations of Africa’s wildlife, wild lands and people to the charity.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz also highlighted our partnership and current charity project with the African Wildlife Foundation whilst on this expedition. Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do and to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. We have produced a limited edition bottle, that Chaz used on his expedition, to raise awareness and funds for the organisation.

If you want to get involved in the campaign, Water-to-Go’s special AWF branded bottles are still available via our website with £10 from each bottle purchased being donated to the incredible projects and programs run by African Wildlife Foundation.

“Through my ‘The Wildest Journey’ expeditions, I hope to inspire people to take note on what’s happening to the remaining wildlife and wild lands and support my journeys to help me raise the vital funds needed to ensure these places are protected and managed well for future generations.”

Chaz Powell

Chaz has a lot more expeditions in store so watch this space to see where he will be exploring next on ‘The Wildest Journey.’

Credit: Tim Roberts

You can help support his remote journeys and be part of helping support his cause by visiting and donating at – www.justgiving.com/TheWildestJourney

Keep up with what Chaz is up to and follow his expeditions on Facebook and Instagram (@thewildestjourney)

Credit: Tim Roberts