5 mins read | Friends of Pala

Getting to know Tom Harding – Nemo Travel

Tom Harding from Nemo Travel on a eco travel tour in Africa

We’ve been getting to know Tom and the team at nemo for the last few months, and oh have we had a lot to talk about. From a mutual love of Africa to our aligned approach to seeing the world better – it’s left us feeling hopeful. Hopeful that nemo will bridge a gap and empower a new way of travel that doesn’t cost the earth, literally.

Every one of nemo’s curated trips directly contributes to Hello World, an amazing charity working to bridge the digital divide. The team of nemo travel experts are making dream trips more meaningful than ever, not to mention ten times easier to organise. We won’t tell it as well as them though, so read on to meet nemo’s founder Tom and learn about how awesome they are…

Tom Harding from Nemo Travel travelling in africa

We love the environmental and social awareness behind nemo trips. Why is this so important to you?

It’s a real elephant in the room across the luxury travel industry and one that we wanted to tackle head on, showcasing a tangible commitment to changing attitudes around travel’s impact on both the environment and society. We care deeply about the planet, the people and animals that inhabit it and from selecting partners that embody our values and advocating longer, slower travel, to offering a carbon flight calculator on our itinerary pages, we live by the ‘it’s cool to care’ philosophy. But that’s not all, by donating 1% of every trip booked to Hello World, an incredible charity that build educational hubs in marginalised communities, we are helping our travellers feel a part of something more than just their own experiences, creating trips to be proud of!

For most people, the idea of a ‘travel agent’ seems pretty outdated, but nemo is doing things differently. What are the benefits of planning a trip with a nemo Travel Expert?

The three P’s! People – we have an incredible team of experts who understand the modern travellers’ needs and genuinely want to help at every stage of the journey. Platform – our tech is industry leading and only getting better. The itinerary builder lets travellers take control and customise their own trip based on our recommendations. Product – our trips are carefully curated in partnership with local experts, whilst hotels and activities we suggest are heavily vetted and have to tick all the boxes.

Jeep on luxury travel safari in Africa


Are you an adventure, food, museum or all three type of explorer?

Adventure and food for me, ideally back to back for the duration of the trip!

We see you’ve spent quite a bit of time in Africa too. What drew you there to start with and what keeps you wanting to go back?

It all stems from an obsession with wildlife, from first viewing of The Lion King I’ve been hooked. I’ve been so lucky to spend a couple of years managing safari lodges in Kenya, which opened my eyes up to so much more than I’d have expected. The traditional cultures holding strong in a modern world, the big landscapes that can make anyone speechless and the unique feeling of adventure the moment you touch down is so special.

How do you see the way we travel changing in the next 5 years and what’s your biggest hope for the industry?

Meaningful travel is the buzz word of the moment and it’s one we can fully vouch for. We’re keen advocates for longer, slower travel and making each trip really count. Most of us took travel for granted pre-COVID, but after 18 months of lockdowns we’re seeing travellers using their pent-up wanderlust to plan incredible adventures, seeking experience-rich trips filled with opportunities to connect with local cultures and totally immerse themselves in the destinations. Long story short, less Marbella, more Masai Mara!

Nemo travel Africa safari tour

What do you think the coolest thing about nemo is?

Our mission is to have a positive impact on a fairly old-school space. Bespoke or luxury travel has forever been about superlatives, amazing but meaningless imagery and hollow wanderlust. Our vibe is much more ‘real’, we get our travellers, we’re building an intuitive tech-focussed platform to make their lives easier and we’d love to go on every single trip we plan.

If you could give 3 tips for travelling with less impact, what would they be?

  1. One big trip abroad a year over three short trips is a great start – longer, slower and more authentically immersive travel.
  2. Seeking lodges or hotels that are run by locals and that give back to the community.
  3. Selecting destinations that are a bit off-the-beaten-track and away from the tourist traps, these regions have some of the most authentic, low-impact experiences and stays.
Nemo travel African safari watching lions

Where are you headed next and what pair of PALA sunglasses would you pack?

I’ve got a road trip around Northern Spain planned for my honeymoon this Summer. My fiancé is a Spanish teacher, so she can practice what she preaches and so can I. As for the shades, she’ll be rocking the Meria’s and I’ll be cruising around in Lich (Smoke).

Finally, we’d love to know how you See The World Better…

Through giving back to our charity partners Hello World and by connecting travellers to unique destinations, local guides, marginalised communities and hotels that focus on community empowerment, we believe we’re enriching lives and creating meaningful connections across a global spectrum.

Okay – so now you’re convinced to book a trip, make sure you’ve got the perfect pair of sunglasses to match.