As travel has expanded to ever more places to go and ever more ways to get there, protecting our planet’s natural and cultural wonders has become ever more important.

Big Five was founded on a vision of exploring our planet in responsible and enjoyable ways, and that still remains at the core of our small and purposeful travel company. This continuation of our commitment to providing great travel experiences with meaning harks back to the very beginnings of Big Five in Nairobi, Kenya. The founder and CEO, Mahen Sanghrajka, had a dream to share the Africa that he loved with small groups of like-minded travelers. Early on, he became part of a group of tour operators who established a code of ethics for wildlife safaris that included things like prohibiting smoking in national parks, and training guides to respect wildlife in its natural setting, such as not driving vehicles very close to animals to avoid disturbing them. Today those ideas may seem obvious, but in the early 1970s, they were not.

Fast forward. Today, Big Five has grown to offer unique trips of a lifetime to countries around the world.  So, too, has our deep commitment to sustainable tourism also grown. In 2007, we founded the nonprofit Spirit of Big Five Foundation. It aims to broaden the scope and depth of our support for wildlife conservation and habitat restoration, protecting cultural heritage and supporting poverty alleviation, education and healthcare initiatives in the places we visit.

In 2017, the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development gave us an opportunity to share our stories with you in a series of blogs about how traveling with Big Five can also help support local people and the planet. We are now especially excited to share with you our new sustainable tourism website –

This website is not really about the Galapagos Islands. Rather, it was named after the legendary islands of nature, and specifically created for travelers who want to learn more about sustainable tourism – beginning in Latin America and soon expanding to the rest of the world. Based on our years of exploring these places, we want to provide a snapshot about what these countries are doing to embrace sustainable tourism in order to also enable you to craft special trips to spectacular destinations, while helping to protect them for future generations. For more information, visit


January: Supporting the Economic Wellbeing of Local People                               

FebruarySupporting Environmentally Friendly Practices 

March: Supporting Cultural Heritage

April:  Support for Protecting Natural Heritage and Biodiversity

May: Supporting Peace through Tourism

July: Supporting Protection of Biodiversity

August/September: Supporting Responsible Tourism at

November: Supporting Living Cultural Heritage

December: Detecting progress