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Aid for out-of-work adventure guides

My husband and I had a life-changing safari adventure with a fantastic REI group in Africa.  Our guides were really superb!!  I'm aware that COVID has decimated the tourism business in Africa (and elsewhere), and I'm concerned about the health and livelihood of these wonderful guides, their families, and their communities.  I would like to find a way to help them, and wonder if REI has any kind of assistance fund for their guides.

To be clear, this is my idea, and was not prompted by any guide or REI employee.  The members of our travel group have stayed in touch, and those that I've heard from so far are in favor of this effort.

Please let me know any ideas or resources to address this need.  Thank you,

H. Todd

1 Reply


Thank you for reaching out and we are happy to hear you had such a good experience on your safari!

We are moved that you are looking for a way to help the guides from your trip. At this time, we do not have a specific assistance fund set up for international guides impacted by the pandemic. In May of 2021, REI Adventures refocused it's offerings to US based programs and trips and brought to a close it's international itineraries. From the press release:

The decision to focus on growing our U.S. programs while ending our international ones was not a result of pandemic-related challenges...While planning for the future, it became clear that investing in the growth of our U.S. offerings would be the best way for us to connect millions of people to the life-changing power of outdoor adventures.

You can find more information, including an FAQ section, in our REI Adventures section of our website, here. There you can also find the contact information for our REI Adventures team there, if you have further questions.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.