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Getting to Andros Island, The Bahamas is very easy!
We may be slightly off the beaten path, but that's a big
part of our appeal. Even though we're not in the center of a big tourist hub (thankfully!) we're really quite accessible.
(more info on getting to Andros)
Ecotourism is a carelessly used word in today's vernacular. It means different things to different people. At its most basic, it is an oxymoron. (If you really want to protect and preserve an ecosystem in its current state, keep Bahama Mockingbirdthe tourists as far away as possible from it.) At its most complex it has been accused of "legitimized imperialism." (Eco-tourism gives the industrialized world an excuse to seek out thelast few isolated places for their own profit and gain.)
The truth of the matter lies somewhere in the middle, or maybe even somewhere else altogether.
At Small Hope, we use the word "ecotourism" to refer to an experience that allows visitors to learn more about the life systems in our natural world. We have "ecotours," by which we mean we have tours in which you can observe and experience the life and the nature that surrounds us. Each and every living Bahamian Orchid on Andros Island Bahamasorganism is connected to the other. On Andros, because there is so little development, this truth is particularly vivid. Our deepest hope is that you experience this sense of connectedness, and carry that feeling home with you.
To this end, we focus our life style and our activities on the outdoors. Some would say that we are a "nature-based" resort. And they wouldn't be wrong. But we are more than that.
We are more than a park, or some designated natural area made accessible, protected, or tame. And we are more than some exotic tour company that will fold up its yurts as soon as the next hot spot is discovered. Our commitment (spanning four generations) is long term.
We aren't living on protected lands. We aren't working as a place apart. We are part of a community.
Small Hope is one of the oldest businesses on Andros--and with its sister company Androsia, a major employer on the island. As winner of two Cacique Awards, the Lodge and its founder, Dick Birch, have been recognized Bahamas Bird Watching - Snowy Egretas a leading force in the development of "ecotourism" in the Bahamas. Small Hope was also instrumental in establishing the largest national park in the Bahamas which is in North and Central Andros and we support the Andros Conservancy and Trust. Small Hope Bay Lodge is one of the first resort hotels in the Bahamas to develop and maintain an Environmental Management System.
At Small Hope, we see our responsibility to our ecology as two fold:
1. To adhere to sound development practices, ones that are sensitive to the natural environment; and to maintain environmental integrity through wise and sustainable resource management;
2. To share these development practices and the benefits derived fromthem throughout the community; and to support opportunities for economic viability in conjunction with environmental and cultural integrity
Beyond this, we exist for our visitors, to offer them the chance to experience in the most honest way we know, the natural life systems of Andros.