The Green Bug story:
Greenbug founder Leif Ryman grew up in the mountains of eastern Oregon. He spent his summers camping with his family in the many beautiful National Parks and wilderness areas of the western United States. Beyond pleasant memories, these trips ignited a lifelong passion for adventure and conservationism that drive him even in the present day.
As a teenager Leif traveled to Sweden as a Rotary exchange student and, in college, studied for a year in Ghana. These priceless experiences taught him the value of being a conscientious tourist with an open mind. He learned how interaction with local culture can elevate tourism to the level of life-changing experience.
As he searched for his calling after college Ryman found himself longing to reconnect with the West African land and people he had so recently fallen for. Given his love for the outdoors and his taste for social responsibility he found the emerging industry of Ecotourism a natural fit. Emboldened by others in the field who had started travel companies, Leif recognized how his experiences had uniquely qualified him to found his own. Green Bug Adventures is the outlet by which Leif can now share his passion for Africa, adventure, and minimally-invasive tourism with the world.
Leif now lives in Ghana full time even though Green Bug Adventures is still based in the US. We started in
About our Partners:
To offer you the most genuine experience we have searched long and hard for the perfect local partners to work with and make your trip amazing. We offer you a secure way to buy adventures to our destinations, and the knowledge to make your decision, the companies below will take care of you while you are on your adventure.
- Our Adventure Tours: To operate our general adventures we have partnered with Easytrack Tours. They has been in the business of community based travel in Ghana since 2006 and have a staff with a combined total experience of over 50 years. Easytrack takes care of our travelers like family and they do everything to make our trips lifetime experiences.
- For some of our more active tours and adventures we are partnered with Braveheart Expeditions who specialize in some of the more active hiking, trekking, biking and abseiling adventures.
- Our Surf Trips: To give the expert lessons on the fundamentals of surfing and guided trips to some of the best empty breaks in the world we have partnered with Ahanta Waves Surf Shop, the first in Ghana and an evolution of Blackstar Surf Shop. This locally owned and operated surf shop is as the center of the community of Busua and have been in business for over 10 years bringing joy to both tourists and locals on a safe surf beach. They strive to do community development with the help of surfing and a for a lot of fun.
As a company that subscribes to the ecotourism principles we take a number of steps to reduce the effect on the environment of our company and our trips. We also strive to make sure that we are sensitive to the communities and countries that we work with making sure that at least 75% of the proceeds of our tours are spent in the country of destination. To do this great care is taken in the choices of where our guests stay, the transportation that they use, and any other companies or individuals that we work with. To learn more about Ecotourism and our standards and policies in relation to Ecotourism please visit our Ecotourism site here. You can also read more about how we choose the lodging providers and guides.
On each trip there are a number of different choices for what kind of lodging is available and what kind you would like to utilize on your adventure.
Eco-lodges, Hotels, and Guest Houses: Care is taken to find comfortable clean places for your overnight stays that are preferably locally owned, give back to the community, participate or contribute to conservation, and provide interpretat ion for guests. This is done in two different steps the first is an evaluation that the accommodation provider completes, which is a series of questions about their establishment that we use to put them into our Ecotourism Rating which you can find out more about here. The second part involves making a visit in person to the establishment to make sure they are living up to the standards in the rating, and also to evaluate if cleanliness and level of service of the establishment are up to Green Bug’s standards.
We also like to collect as much feed back from our customers about their stays at each destination to improve the facilities we are working with for future customers. This will affect how we continue to work with these establishments and could even potentially mean that we stop working with those establishments if they can not maintain a level of responsibility, cleanliness and service that our customers and Green Bug Adventures requires. Unfortunately in some areas the importance of Ecotourism and international tourism standards has not been adopted by locally owned establishments. In some of these cases lodging will be provided by family owned and operated establishments that are owned by expats that live within the country and spend most of their proceeds in their community and give back to the community in many other ways. Education will be provided to local establishments in the area on how these standards can be met in the hope that more and more locals can see the value in such standards. To learn more about the selection process, Green Bug Adventures Ecotourism rating, and each lodging establishment please visit our lodging page.
Home stays: Green Bug Adventures offers the opportunity to stay with families at many destinations particularly rural areas. These home stays are arranged and provided by community based tourism operations that we work with. This is a wonderful way to make one on one connection with people and make lasting friendships. The home stays are with middle class families and the fees associated with the stay will go to paying for the food and also reinvestment into the community. Home stays are usually an option as an alternative to a formal lodging establishment, so this is an optional choice which can be made on the form for the adventure you decide on.
Camping, Tree Platforms, and sleeping outside: In some areas there are options for camping, or sleeping on a tree platform in the jungle, or on the roof of a building under the stars of the savannah, or even in a Hippo hide for overnight wildlife viewing. All of these choices are alternatives to other lodging options, so if this is not of interest to you, we can still arrange a bed in one of the lodging providers that we work closely with. You will be presented with these options when customizing your adventure.
On all of our tours you will be provided with a local guide who will travel with you throughout the whole trip. We choose these guides based on their cultural knowledge and outward going friendly personality (which can not be learned for the most part). This guide will be there for any questions that you may have, to work with any concerns you may have with accommodations or meals, and just to make sure you are comfortable and having a good time. Many of the destination that you will be traveling to, there will be an additional guide that joins you at each of these areas that has expertise in that particular area, be it a national park, a community based tourism project, or one of the many other fascinating destinations. So you will have someone that is well rounded and very personable to help you with anything that you may need, then experts at each location, that are there to offer you in depth interpretation. Please visit our guides page to learn more about the guides in each country.