Journey to Valbona

Campaign description

Journey to Valbona

Preserving the Albanian Alps while creating new businesses and opportunities for local people
Categories: Tourism Recreation

Journey to Valbona, an initiative by The Organization to Conserve the Albanian Alps (TOKA), is since 2010 the best source of information for travel to the ‘wild’ (but very civilized) North of Albania. They ended up marking, mapping and maintaining over 200 km of hiking trails. They became responsible for leading the legal battle against the bad hydropower developments that threatened the […]

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Journey to Valbona, an initiative by The Organization to Conserve the Albanian Alps (TOKA), is since 2010 the best source of information for travel to the ‘wild’ (but very civilized) North of Albania. They ended up marking, mapping and maintaining over 200 km of hiking trails. They became responsible for leading the legal battle against the bad hydropower developments that threatened the Valbona National Park, and started training Albania’s first Mountain Rescue Team.

When TOKA started, they were only trying to provide a little helpful information with a WordPress blog, as information was so hard to find . . . but there were so many people, and so many questions!  In the past years, somehow Journey to Valbona grew enormous. They’ve helped literally 1,000s of guests and new friends connect with guesthouses, hiking trail information, and transportation but somehow also ended up getting mixed up in actively trying to help develop the services and business they saw that guests wanted, and helping to create new businesses and opportunities for local people. In the last years they have organized biological surveys in the valley, started kayaking and horse-riding tourism development and found a new house for TOKA.  

TOKA needs help to continue working for sustainable development of the whole valley (inside and outside the national park) – to preserve the Valbona River from hydropower plants, to create alternative tourism opportunities and to support local communities. Biologists, hydrologists, tourism experts, lawyers, communicators, etc. are much needed.

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Our Needs

Online help
Web design, graphic design, social media expertise
Photo and video (incl. drone) reporting and teaching
On-site help
General on-site help Urgent
  • We need your help
Participation in actions, patrolling, transportation of people and materials, participation in biological surveys, help to local people or cooking
Environmental science work Urgent
  • We need your help
Biological surveys of Valbona Valley, alternative reports
Hydrologist, geologist, geographer, GIS expert
Tourism expert
Lawyers to help in legal cases, translators Albanian-English
Equipment and gears
River kayaks and gears, binoculars and spotting scope

Languages we speak

  • English
  • Albanian

What we do

What we offer to volunteers

  • Accommodation
  • Horse-riding
  • White-water sports (rafting, kayaking)
  • Trekking

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