About Visit Natives

Our mission

About Visit Natives

Support tourism that benefits indigenous peoples

In general most tourism doesn't benefit indigenous people. Our economic aim is focused on supporting local indigenous families and communities.

Sustainable and fair tourism allows them to enjoy greater economic benefits instead of moving to towns and cities to search for more financial opportunities. 

About Visit Natives

Preserve indigenous cultures

Indigenous people are facing many threats to maintain their traditional lifestyle. Sustainable tourism helps them to preserve their cultural heritage and customs to future generations. 

We support and embrace indigenous languages, cultures, beliefs, and knowledge systems.

About Visit Natives

Promote sustainable travel

Our mission is to make tourism sustainable. Climate change brings new challenges especially for the indigenous peoples who live from nature. 

The indigenous peoples have an ethical relationship with nature; a respect for the environment that also has a spiritual side that we all can learn something from it. We reconnect travelers with nature. 

Our consept

We bring positive change in the world because it matters how we travel.  Our cause is to help indigenous people to maintain their culture and traditional livelihood through small-scale sustainable tourism. Indigenous tourism provides opportunities to promote greater cultural understanding while enhancing indigenous peoples' capacity and economy. All our tours and expeditions are designed and run by the indigenous people themselves.  

When tours are planned and provided by the indigenous people it doesn't only benefit them. Our indigenous hosts and communities warmly welcome travelers as their guest. Their hospitality is extended to all: family members, neighbors, friends, and unknown visitors.  Indigenous people take hospitality to guests very seriously and this makes your stay authentic, memorable and unique. 

You are most welcome to observe and participate in their everyday life, including feasts, and ceremonies. With us, you can create memories and friendships that last for a lifetime.   

We make a positive impact  

Lands inhabited by the indigenous peoples contain 80 percent of the earth’s biodiversity.  Most of our tours take place in locations that are included in UNESCO's Wolrd Heritage List. 

These breathtaking natural wonders are the ancestral lands of indigenous people like Maasai, Hadzabe and Sami reindeer herders. Sustainable indigenous tourism is a way to support the survival of unique cultures, traditional knowledge, and indigenous people's rights to their native and ancestral lands.

With every stay booked with us, we give back to the broader indigenous community. On our first stage, we have started to support free health care services for the Maasai and Hadzabe for whom we purchase health insurance. On our next stage, we plan to provide water pumps. 

 

Book your trip with us, and you become part of an effort to preserve indigenous cultures, improve their socio-economic conditions, and to protect the fragile nature. Your trip can change someone's life for better. 

We stand for sustainable, responsible and ethical tourism 

We can minimize our travel's environmental impacts and maximize benefits for local people. On all our tours, you stay with indigenous hosts in their homes, villages, and homesteads. You sleep in a tent or a cabin, and you eat local food that is prepared by your indigenous hosts from local ingredients.  We either filter drinking water or use big plastic canisters that can be recycled.  We don't leave any trash behind us.


Our experiences take place in remote locations where there is no electricity, no roads, or no wi-fi connection. You can completely slow down and enjoy the surrounding nature with a low impact on the environment. We provide authentic travel experiences that celebrate and conserve indigenous heritage and culture.

Visit Natives protects the rights of the indigenous peoples. We work in close consultation with WINTA (World Indigenous Tourism Alliance) and all our work follows the Indigenous Tourism Engagement Framework for protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples through tourism. This framework is based on the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, the Larrakia Declaration 2012, and benchmarked against other important international guidelines on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

 



We are comm

How we share profit

Ethical guidance for our travellers

Our Traveler kit

We need to ensure all our travelers behave respectfully towards indigenous peoples. Any false stereotypes the visitor may harbor should not be reinforced. Together with Native Immersion, we have created a code of ethics that our travelers need to follow. Our traveler kit is an educational and preparatory service before and after a trip that includes written materials and voluntary online sessions. It guides our travelers about the ethics of travel photography. 

Besides learning Dos and Don'ts, you can prepare yourself better for the experience,  and also learn basic greetings on the indigenous language of your hosts. 


 

Our story

My name is Anniina. The story of the Visit Natives started in Africa, in a very hot and dry savannah many years ago while I was a student at the Helsinki University in Finland. I studied African studies and Anthropology, and before graduating, I wanted to learn more about the Maasai pastoralists' culture and their language. The famous tribe in East Africa. 

I traveled to Tanzania, and I lived for nine months with the Maasai while conducting my fieldwork for the Thesis. I observed and participated in Maasai's daily life, fetched water, participated in feasts, and drank cow's blood straight from the vein. Just to name some highlights. That was one of my best experience ever that changed my life. 

Ever since I have missed similar experiences when I travel.Something more special, where one could have a chance to live with the native people and learn from the culture and the nature around them as many indigenous people live in such a beautiful balance with nature. I felt I have to go back as their culture and way of life is fascinating and unique
. Moreover, I missed my Maasai family and friends, who treated me like their daughter and one of them.

Years went by, and I tried to figure out what I want to do in my life. With the passion for traveling, encountering indigenous cultures and sustainability, I created my dream job, Visit Natives, which enables to
 do good while traveling and support indigenous cultures like the Maasai.

 Let's travel together for good!

Meet our team

Anniina is the founder of the Visit Natives. She has an MA in African Studies from the University of Helsinki. Her expertise is intercultural communication, indigenous cultures,  and ethnography. She founded Visit Natives because she wanted to create her dream job where she can work with and help the indigenous peoples. 

Anniina  Sandberg

Olopiro is a native Maasai warrior born and raised in Ngorongoro Conservation Area which is his home. He has more than ten years of experience on nature conservation and tourism as he has previously worked as a safari guide. He coordinates all the Maasai homestays in Tanzania, and he makes sure that the voices of the Maasai are heard in the areas where Visit Natives operates.

Olopiro Lulungen

We believe in the power of women to change their lives and the world around them for the better. Noondyetian is a Maasai woman from Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania. She works closely with the Maasai women, so their perspectives and solutions are heard loud in our work to empower women through sustainable indigenous tourism. Noondyetian hosts guests in her home, in a Maasai boma too. 

Noondyetian Laizer

Nils is a native Sami reindeer herder from Kautokeino, Norway. He manages all the homestays in Norway and he welcomes guests to his home too. Nils has dreamed about sustainable indigenous tourism for a long time.  He is very passionate about his work and he makes sure that all the homestays are made of high quality. 

Nils Sara

Oddbjorg is Nils's wife and she is also a native Sami from Kautokeino, Norway. Besides her own day job as a teacher, Oddbjorg gives Visit Natives consultancy on issues involving the indigenous peoples and she is also our databank. If you don't know something, ask Oddbjorg! 

Oddbjorg Hetta Sara

We collaborate with

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Center for Responsible Travel
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Our offices

Europe

Tiilipojanlenkki 4 A
01720  Vantaa

Finland

+ 358 443 773 303

Africa

P.O.Box 10302

Arusha

Tanzania

+255 745 015 555


 

Destinations