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World's Best Expedition Leaders

If you’ve traveled with us, you know that our Expedition Leaders make the difference between a gratifying trip and a truly superlative adventure. Simply put, our leaders are the best in the business. Painstakingly recruited and selected, this group of highly trained professionals brings a set of traits that foster an outstanding travel experience. They are passionate about the places they share with our guests, and they exude an irrepressible enthusiasm that can’t help but infect those who travel with them. As naturalists, biologists and environmental educators, their knowledge deeply enriches the experience of those who see the natural world through their eyes. While many of our Expedition Leaders have master’s degrees or PhDs, they are also chosen for their good nature as well as their good grades. Many of our guests are veterans of global travel, sophisticated and independent – but they choose to go with us because of our Expedition Leaders’ expertise. In the realm of nature adventure travel, great guides set us apart.

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Eric Rock

Worldwide
Expedition Leader Since: 1999
Eric’s role as NHA’s Head Naturalist not only allows him to lead a wide range of adventures around the world, but also to play...

Eric Rock

Eric’s role as NHA’s Head Naturalist not only allows him to lead a wide range of adventures around the world, but also to play an essential role in improving existing trips and developing new ones. His illustrious career began in Alaska in 1989, where he worked as a field researcher on many of the state’s diverse animal species, including river otters, waterfowl, moose and reindeer. He also served as the Head Naturalist at Kantishna Roadhouse Lodge in Denali National Park. His involvement in many of our North American destinations, including Alaska, British Columbia, Churchill, Canyons and Yosemite, has been integral to their continued success and popularity, and his participation in more exotic adventures, like Bhutan and Papua New Guinea, will undoubtedly serve to enhance travelers’ experiences in those areas as well. When not guiding for Natural Habitat, he works as a freelance documentary photographer. Eric’s knowledge, compassion and deep love of the natural world have a long and lasting impact on those who travel with him.

Upcoming Adventures with Eric:
Monarch Butterfly Photo Adventure
Canyons of the American Southwest
Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures
Northern Lights Photography Tour
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari
Natural Habitat's Base Camp Greenland
Polar Bears Of Churchill

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

D. Grossman
"Eric Rock was the best guide we have ever had on any trip we have attended. Extremely knowledgeable and personable with a knack for making trip members feel comfortable. It was a photo trip, and his help and guidance with our photography was excellent. His generously letting us use his Canon telephoto lenses was an added bonus which was above and beyond anything we expected."

N. Brockmann
"Eric was an *EXCELLENT* guide! His knowledge of photography, nature and culture is extensive and his willingness to share that knowledge was much appreciated. I am a casual photographer and did not have the powerful lenses but to my delight and astonishment Eric offered me the use of his 100-400 lens which dramatically improved my photos of the polar bear s. Also, he set up his 500mm lens and offered it to those who wanted to try it. (I of course did!) I was astounded by his generosity! Though there were professionals and very, very serious non-professionals on the trip, Eric made efforts to explain photography basics (I felt as if it were especially for my benefit :)) On the night we ventured out in hopes to see the Northern Lights (which we did!), he was incredibly helpful: to my embarrassment and relief, he set everything up for me and I clicked away and got some beautiful photos! Eric is generous, energetic, patient, knowledgable and funny--all great attributes for a superb guide. Despite the groans and moans from the group, I enjoyed his silly jokes and puns."

M. Schultheis
"Eric was A plus plus! He was informed, friendly, professional, and helpful to a whole new level. He exceeded my expectations tenfold!"

C. Kennedy
"Eric was a fabulous guide. I appreciated his intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna, and enjoyed the inspiration we all felt from his passion for Alaska. He is a terrific educator and story-teller; his anecdotes, personal reflections and good humor will make so much of the information we learned memorable. He managed very skillfully a wide-range of personality styles, outdoors skills, and photographic experience and knowledge amongst our small group. As a complete beginner photographer, I found him kind and patient, and very generous in sharing his equipment."

K. Brackett
"How can I possibly find ANYTHING that wasn't 'excellent' about Eric? Here is someone who has landed in the perfect profession for his skills and personality. To think -- he could have been a snake charmer instead! And aren't we all glad that he chose the former over the latter???? I have never been a group traveler, but if this is what it can be like (thanks to Eric), I may be convinced to start traveling less independently. Put me on his list of 'groupies' -- I will follow him anywhere."

Melissa Scott

Worldwide
Expedition Leader Since: 2003
Melissa holds an esteemed position as an NHA Staff Naturalist, a title she earned through her extraordinary knowledge of the natural world and her magnetic personality. Melissa was raised in southern Indiana...

Melissa Scott

Melissa holds an esteemed position as an NHA Staff Naturalist, a title she earned through her extraordinary knowledge of the natural world and her magnetic personality. Melissa was raised in southern Indiana and grew to love nature at an early age. The mountains beckoned, and she traveled to Montana where she received her BS degree from Montana State University in environmental education with special emphasis on the sciences. She was a naturalist and assistant director at Woodleaf Outdoor School in central California and has worked as a rafting, fly-fishing and hiking guide. Melissa began guiding for Nat Hab in 1987 in Glacier National Park and continues to lead our trips in that region, as well as in Churchill, the canyons of the American Southwest and Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Melissa loves the great outdoors for its wildlife, flora and magnificent natural landscapes, and maintains a deep passion for environmental education and conservation.

She is also an accomplished photographer and enjoys helping guests capture exceptional images of nature and wildlife. Her immersion in photography began in 1987 when she bought a used Canon AE-1 camera, inspired by the natural beauty of Glacier National Park. Having come from America's heartland, she was overwhelmed with the beauty and grandeur of Glacier's landscapes. "Attempting to capture but a small piece of what enveloped me was the consummate challenge," she says. Initially "failing miserably," she has since invested "much time and many hours behind the lens to capture the essence of this magical place" and others. In the process, she has become an outstanding nature photographer, aspiring to share all she has learned with travelers, so that they may be similarly motivated to preserve not just images but the places themselves on this planet we all call home.

Upcoming Adventures with Melissa:
Polar Bears of Churchill
The Wild Side of China: A Nature Odyssey
Great Gray Whales of Baja
Glacier National Park

Natural Habitat's Base Camp Greenland
Canyons Photography in the American Southwest

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

L. Hines
"Melissa was one of the best guides I've ever had the pleasure to travel with. Seriously. She was gracious, accommodating, exceptionally knowledgeable about all things Glacier National Park from the flora and fauna to the geology and history. She worked very hard to include everyone and still make alternate arrangements for those who weren't up to some of the hikes. I can't find a single negative thing to say about her."

S. Hums
"Melissa went the extra mile (and took us happily along). Her knowledge was astounding, told us wonder stories of local happenings, took us off the beaten track to see some really cool things. Melissa was attentive, helpful, and always willing to change plans if the group wanted to do or see something."

M. Kuppenheimer
"You have a real treasure in Melissa. We have been lucky enough to have traveled with her 3 times. She is patient and sensitive to everyone's needs - physical and emotional. She is an incredible resource, full of information about the area's history, culture, geology, plant and animal life. She shares this knowledge easily and informally. She has obviously researched the entire area and bent over backwards to expose all of us to a rich variety of experiences."

D. Pick
"I honestly do not think I've ever had a better trip leader from any company on any trip I've ever taken - really appreciated her taking an interest in everyone and filling every minute with activities."

M. Ozner
“Melissa Scott is unbelievable. Her knowledge and expertise with the mammals and birds is incredible. It is one thing to know the species but to be able to imitate their calls was amazing. She is so thoughtful of all the guests and went out of her way to include everyone. Of all my trips with all the different companies she is definitely one of the best. I will look for her as a guide on future trips. Did I mention how funny and appropriate she and her stories are?? I was a single traveler and never felt alone. Thank you Melissa."

Brad Josephs

Worldwide
Expedition Leader Since: 2005
Brad is a naturalist interpreter specializing in bear biology and ecology of the North Country. He attended the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and graduated with a B.S. in wildlife biology in...

Brad Josephs

Brad is a naturalist interpreter specializing in bear biology and ecology of the North Country. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, graduating with a B.S. in wildlife biology in 1999, and since then has worked as a biological research tech on various projects throughout Alaska. He has guided numerous professional photographers, photography workshops, bear viewers and film crews on expeditions along the remote coast of Katmai National Park for the last 11 years, as well as in Churchill, Manitoba for the past six years. In addition to being a “bear junkie” and wildlife photographer, Brad’s hobbies include botany, gardening, bird watching, and volunteering with the Homer, Alaska volunteer fire department as an EMT. Brad’s love of wildlife has led him on numerous solo adventures throughout the world including trips to Borneo, Central America, the Amazon, China, Africa, Sri Lanka and India.

Check out Brad's blog, Alaska Bears & Wolves, to see his amazing collection of bear photography & videos, plus lots of other images and info about Alaska and wildlife!

Upcoming Adventures with Brad:
The Wild Side of China Photo Adventure
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour
Polar Bears of Churchill

The Wilds of Borneo: Orangutans and Beyond


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

L. Cudworth

"Brad's extensive knowledge of the wildlife of the Katmai area brought our awareness of the brown bear and their environment to a new level and understanding. We hope and pray that nature guide companies will continue to respect this area and allow the wildlife to continue to live in harmony. We know if Brad has anything to do with this then they will be safe. We are thankful for his efforts. He is knowledgeable, kind, consideration, thoughtful and he genuinely cared about us and our experience at Katmai. He truly exceeded any expectation we may have had. We will always thank him for giving us the opportunity to share the meadows and beaches with the brown bears and other gentle creatures of Katmai. It has changed our lives forever more."

D. Watson
"Brad was fantastic! His knowledge of the area and the wildlife was impressive. He communicated very well with us and made sure we got the correct angle for our photos and in the best light. He really enjoys what he does and it really shows!! I always felt safe and secure with him and enjoyed our conversations with him. Thank you Brad!"

D. Sherrell
"Brad took this trip to another level. His knowledge of panda biology gave us a much deeper understanding of these incredible bears. His willingness to answer questions, offer explanation and insight about what we were seeing was a huge bonus. Brad took the time each day to make sure each person on our trip was having an experience custom made for them...he has so much energy and patience. Cultural differences can be challenging, so having Brad there made ALL the difference."

E. Letendre
"LOVED Brad. His passion for the land and creatures was clear and he employed his knowledge base appropriately as to depth and timeliness of facts delivered without being overwhelming and never preachy. Just a pleasure to be with and very courteous to everyone under all conditions of stress: excitement and downtimes. He was particularly helpful to me getting some camera tips down so I was sure to get at least better shots than without him, given my lack of serious training as a photographer."

C. Kelly
"Brad was beyond excellent. He helped us with our cameras to ensure we did the very best our equipment allowed. Basically he taught me a lot about my camera. He is extremely knowledgeable. He is an excellent spotter. Handled all questions with the utmost professionalism. I hope we can travel with him again."

Roberto Plaza

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2001
Roberto, NHA's Galapagos Head Naturalist, received a degree in biology with an emphasis in ecology and sustainable development, from the Latin University in Costa Rica. Since 1994 he has worked as a certified...

Roberto Plaza

Roberto, NHA's Galapagos Head Naturalist, received a degree in biology, with an emphasis in ecology and sustainable development, from the Latin University in Costa Rica. Since 1994, he has worked as a certified naturalist guide for the Galapagos National Park, and also acts as a Park consultant in matters related to tourism management and conservation. His interest in bird watching, botany, and evolution began as a child living in the coastal zone of Ecuador, and he is passionate about his country and its wildlife. Roberto has been chosen to guide Natural Habitat’s scheduled Galapagos charters because of his passion for the region and his intoxicating nature. He is considered one the top guides in all of the Galapagos.

Upcoming Adventures with Roberto:
Classic Galapagos Adventure
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Carter

"Roberto was excellent! We were impressed with his wealth of knowledge about the Galapagos Islands and all of the animals. It is obvious that he enjoys what he does, and he does it well. He was courteous and patient with all of the travelers, helping anyone who needed assistance. We could tell that he loves and cares about the islands, and is committed to help conserve them. He is a true asset to your staff."

L. Hanson
"Wow! Roberto was unbelievable..he was a never-ending wealth of knowledge... so much information was relayed, and at perfect moments. Roberto put this trip in the unsurpassable category! We feel very fortunate to have met him and had him as our guide. What an ambassador for the Islands."

T. Ricker
"Roberto is a truly wonderful guide. He cares a great deal about the Galapagos land, people, and animals and it shows everyday. His understanding of EVERY aspect of life there is abundant. On excursions with Roberto, he seems as fascinated with the surroundings as we are, even though he's probably seen them hundreds of times. When I returned home, I missed Roberto's pleasant wake-up calls."

S. Randolph
"Excellent guide! Very fun and friendly and a genuine 'people person'. We were always in motion but never felt rushed; Roberto created a perfect pace and a wonderful environment to relax and enjoy the experience. His George Clooney looks and Roberto Montalban wake up call voice were a fabulous bonus! Highly recommended!"

M. Hayward
"Roberto is a wealth of knowledge and genuinely cares for the environment, and he has the patience of a saint. "

John Mittan

Africa, Borneo and Antarctica
Expedition Leader Since: 2005
NHA Staff Naturalist John Mittan was born in 1979 in South Africa, where from a very young age he was introduced to the joys of the African bush. At the age of 5, he left with his family to live in Australia...

John Mittan

NHA Staff Naturalist John Mittan was born in 1979 in South Africa, where from a very young age he was introduced to the joys of the African bush. At the age of 5, he left with his family to live in Australia where his passion for the natural world and all living things continued to grow. His memories of Africa remained powerful, however, with fond recollections of camping safaris with his parents in many of South Africa’s game and coastal reserves, and he continually hankered after the African bush he had left behind.

John was schooled in Perth, Western Australia, where he remained an avid outdoorsman, participating eagerly in sports such as soccer, tennis, swimming, and in particular, surfing. He took numerous trips with family and friends to experience Australia's many natural wonders, and he was also fortunate to travel back to the great wild places of Africa on many occasions. These trips further cemented John’s conviction that he wanted to return to his country of birth and fulfill his dream of becoming a field guide.

John pursued a biological science degree in Sydney, studying biology, microbiology, ecology and geology. One inspired day he responded to a Getaway magazine ad for EcoTraining, the most recognized field guide training facility in Southern Africa, based in the world-renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The only available opening was in a scant three weeks' time. John decided it was "now or never." He went straight into the month-long course where he underwent intensive training to learn about birds, plants, animals, insects, geology, ecology, weapons handling, walking in dangerous animal areas, and, of course, guest relations. John showed a rare passion and enthusiasm that was noticed by the lecturers/owners of the facility. They requested that he start work immediately for EcoTraining: John's career as a guide had begun.

After gaining experience as an instructor, John worked as a guide at Ingwe Game Lodge, spending two and a half years as a ranger and head ranger, as well as assisting a research organization called K.E.R.I., which studied leopard and cheetah. John’s parents had returned to South Africa and bought a lodge in the Blyde River Canyon region, and while he could have joined the family business, he opted to work for Wilderness Safaris because of the company's exceptional dedication to the environment, communities and people. John became a senior guide with Wilderness Safaris Namibia in April 2003, a tremendously fulfilling post that furthered his development as an experienced specialist guide. There, he went on to lead the guide-training department, educating guides and leading safaris himself, all over Africa. He also took pride in bringing guide-training opportunities to underdeveloped communities in Namibia. Working in cooperation with NGOs and donor bodies, John firmly believes that since the future of the environment lies in the hands of the youth, this is where training is most needed.  

While John has led safaris for Natural Habitat Adventures for years, in 2014 he joined the ranks of Nat Hab's select staff naturalists, acknowledging his exceptional guiding skills, extensive knowledge and superlative relationship with his guests.

Upcoming Adventures with John:
The Wilds of Borneo: Orangutans & Beyond
Madagascar Wildlife Adventure
Wild Ethiopia: The Roof of Africa

Sailing Antarctica: The Ultimate Polar Nature Expedition


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

L. Leonard
"John is the best guide I have ever had. He was most professional. He gave so much of his time being helpful to each and everyone on the trip. He knew so much about every living creature, both big and small, that we saw. He knew the history of Uganda and of Africa. He made the trip interesting. He has a great sense of humor and is fun to have as a guide."

T. Lake
"John was an exceptional Ambassador of Africa. His knowledge and compassion for both political and environmental issues was exhaustive. His knowledge of photography assured me great photos. John made the trip a great multidimensional exploration of Africa."

P. Labay
"John Mitten was outstanding as a guide and leader. He was enthusiastic, the breadth and depth of his knowledge was unmatched, he was exceedingly friendly and he kept all of us working together as a team. He both met and exceeded all of my expectations. I can't rave about him enough, he was that good! John made our trip spectacular."

B. Seevers
"John - should be cloned. He did an absolutely fantastic job of dealing with diverse personalities and abilities. His knowledge of wildlife, flora/fauna and birds is outstanding. Excellent!!!"

J. Heindel
"John is an extraordinary ambassador for Natural Habitat and for the wonders of Madagascar. His encyclopedic knowledge of the wildlife -- from the smallest tree frog, to the largest lemur -- is matched only by his delightful sense of humor and unflagging patience. Above and beyond, he is an amazing photographer, who is generous (and kind) in making sure we all got the best possible photos of this once in a lifetime experience. I've traveled with countless guides and expedition leaders -- John ranks right at the top!"



Olaf Malver

The Polar Regions, Europe and Indonesia
Expedition Leader Since: 2000
Olaf's enthusiasm is unparalleled for exploring the planet's most remote and dramatic destinations, defined by their unique natural beauty and/or authentic indigenous cultures. His passion for the history of the world's...

Olaf Malver

Olaf's enthusiasm is unparalleled for exploring the planet's most remote and dramatic destinations, defined by their unique natural beauty and/or authentic indigenous cultures. His passion for the history of the world's greatest explorers is what drives him, and he is deeply curious about opening remaining frontiers to himself and his fellow travelers – which is why Olaf founded Explorers' Corner – now part of Natural Habitat Adventures. The name "Explorers’ Corner" is a reference to the single, dusty corner of all great libraries where a select few adventurers gather to examine antique maps as they plan their next expedition. That's where Olaf feels at home.

He speaks six languages, has a PhD in chemistry and a master's in international law and diplomacy from Tufts University. He is also a former science educator at University of California San Francisco. He is a passionate ecotourism activist, working to promote sustainable tourism in developing countries in the quest to protect the world’s natural habitats. But his greatest infatuation is with adventure. Olaf has been an adventure travel guide for more than 30 years, leading kayaking trips on all seven seas and hiking and trekking trips worldwide. He has pioneered numerous paddling routes on groundbreaking expeditions, particularly in Greenland. A serious outdoorsman, Olaf has climbed mountains, traveled by dog sled and hiked in more than 80 countries over 35 years. Olaf is a Fellow of the exclusive Explorers Club, an honor bestowed on a handful of the world's premier adventurers. Now, as CEO (Chief Exploratory Officer) at Natural Habitat Adventures, Olaf ensures that we maintain that same spirit of true adventure that has driven all the great explorers for centuries. When he isn't leading one of our groups through the back of beyond or planning the next grand foray, Olaf is at home with his wife and two children in the Republic of Georgia, where they tend a family vineyard and hike in the Caucasus Mountains.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

R. Shostack
"Olaf went out of his way to make our trip special and fun. He made a point of making each person feel welcome, he interfaced phenomenally with the local staff, and made the evenings around the fire fun. This is my second trip with Olaf and I can't speak highly enough of him."

J. Craig 
"Olaf is an excellent leader and is definitely the person one wants to be with in exploring new territory. He is able to work extremely effectively with local personnel and remains flexible and open to optimizing every experience. His extensive wilderness experience has honed his already excellent judgment to the point that I would feel safe with him on an expedition to the moon!"

B. Parker
"Olaf is an incredible asset, He is very experienced and knowledgeable. His leadership style allows local guides to have flexibility in making tactical decisions and build consensus while he guides the adventure strategically... I would chose to join any adventure/expedition that Olaf was leading in the future."

Aditya Dev

India, Bhutan and Nepal
Expedition Leader Since: 2013
Aditya manages guiding operations for Nat Hab guests in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and loves to share the entrancing natural beauty and serene culture of this small country with his guests. Aditya has...

Aditya Dev

Aditya manages guiding operations for Nat Hab guests in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and loves to share the entrancing natural beauty and serene culture of this small country with his guests. Aditya has guided nature tours across Bhutan, Nepal and India, and it was in the latter where he got his start. With a degree in science and a passion for adventure, Aditya began his career in the hospitality and travel industry 20 years ago, running a wildlife camp at Bhitarkanika National Park in Orissa. He then went on to spend a further eight years in India’s premier national park as a naturalist guide and lodge manager. Aditya has guided nature tours across the Indian subcontinent and enjoys crafting unique and interesting experiences for his guests. He has also assisted the BBC Natural History Unit on a 3-part series on tigers.


Upcoming Adventures with Aditya:
The Grand India Wildlife Adventure
India's Tigers & Wildlife: A Photo Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

J. Popatia
"We have always had outstanding Expedition Leaders in our previous five trips with NatHab, and Aditya met our expectation one hundred percent. He was very friendly, solicitous and approachable. He was always helpful, looking out for our needs at all times. When he realized some of us were not up to snuff in photography, he went out of his way to spend an afternoon giving individual lessons in how to get the best pictures with our cameras. Above all he was a very knowledgeable naturalist which made the trip to the tiger reserve all the more interesting. Many kudos to him."
 
L. Haehnle
"Dev made this taste of India a fascinating adventure. His knowledge, expertise and communication provided such insight into the culture, the people, the transportation modes, the issues, daily living, and maximizing the Ranthambore experience."

E. Freudenburg 
"Traveling with Aditya in both Satpura and Ranthambore National Parks was like traveling with a friend in India. He was so enthusiastic about finding wildlife for me to photograph that he and our Satpura naturalist (David) took me on an expedition 40km into the park where we discovered a male tiger than no one had ever seen. Aditya is an exceptional Nat Hab guide."

R. Anderson
"Extremely knowledgeable and committed. Solicitous of every group member. A wonderful guide."

J. Tomlinson 
"Dev was above and beyond. He was able to read every one of us, know our needs and was always one step ahead. He was so knowledgeable, great speaking voice, always a smile, a sense of humor and a pleasure to have as our guide."

M. Greenfield
"Dev should be your trainer for all leaders and hotel/logistics managers. There was nothing that he didn't pay special attention to, including staying up most of the night to secure good airplane seats for our trip past Everest. It was a diverse group and he handled variations in temperament/ability/interest with grace and humor. We have always had good leaders, but none of this caliber."

K. Johnson
"Aditya was so thoughtful and attentive and just a pleasure to be around. It was like being with a friend. I would definitely like to participate in a travel adventure with him again someday."

Aditya Panda

India
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Aditya Panda is an award winning naturalist, wildlife conservationist and photographer from Orissa. Since his teen years, he has worked for the conservation of tiger and elephant landscapes and waterfowl...

Aditya Panda

Aditya Panda is an award winning naturalist, wildlife conservationist and photographer from Orissa. Since his teen years, he has worked for the conservation of tiger and elephant landscapes and waterfowl near his home. While his conservation work is mostly limited to eastern Central India, as a naturalist and photographer he has traveled extensively across India’s tiger and elephant habitats, including famous safari circuits and lesser-known wilderness areas. Aditya’s current conservation work focuses on identifying and preserving the integrity of larger tiger and elephant landscapes, empowering human-elephant conflict mitigation squads and working with frontline forest personnel in tiger habitat. When Aditya is not engaged in conservation battles, he enjoys working as a naturalist and introducing people to what he believes is the most fascinating wildlife landscape anywhere—India’s tiger land. He is a natural and attentive host who can engage guests in conversations on a wide range of topics. He is always eager to go the extra mile to make guests comfortable and his infectious interpretation style, which stems from his fascination with the wilderness, helps guests gain a deep understanding of Indian wildlife.

Alexander Arias

Costa Rica
Expedition Leader Since: 2006
Originally educated as a computer scientist, Alex’s abiding love of the outdoors eventually lured him into his current vocation as a naturalist guide. For the past 12 years he has been introducing guests to...

Alexander Arias

Originally educated as a computer scientist, Alex’s love for the outdoors eventually lured him into his current career as a professional naturalist guide. Since 1995, he has been introducing guests to the natural splendors of his homeland of Costa Rica and has received certifications from the Costa Rica Tourism Institute and the National Institute of Biodiversity. Today, he is one of Nat Hab's top naturalist guides as well as our Costa Rica Photo Expedition Leader.

Alex's passion for nature and desire to share his local knowledge have aligned in his complementary vocation as an accomplished wildlife photographer. For more than a decade,  Alex has been shooting animals and birds in the varied habitats of Costa Rica and beyond. He enjoys sharing his expertise with his guests, to help them get the best possible nature photos during their travel adventures. In his free time, he can be found birding, biking, kayaking, exploring new trails or rappelling down waterfalls. You'll also find him capturing and processing wildlife images for his photography website. Alex is also involved with various conservation projects in his homeland, improving restorations of natural habitats following unsustainable farming practices.


Upcoming Adventures with Alex:
Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
Costa Rica Wilderness Explorer
Family Costa Rica Adventure
Photographing Wild Costa Rica
Tropical Discovery: Costa Rica to Nicaragua

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

H. Epstein
“Alex was knowledgable, personable, and has a great sense of humor. He engaged every individual in our family and on the trip, paying to attention to everyone’s needs, likes and dislikes, level of energy every day, etc. He knew an amazing amount about Costa Rican history, geography, economy, and of course flora and fauna.”

B. Fortney
"Alex was a wonderful guide. He showed much patience with certain circumstances. He was so informed about everything and tried so hard to find the most amazing things. A trip to never forget because of him."

T. Kepford
"The blend of Alex's expertise, charm, and love for his country made our 1st Nat Hab trip an experience we won't forget. He is a real treasure and ambassador for the preservation of our natural world."

C. Sheffield
“Wonderful guide! Always willing to give of his time. Easy-going, friendly and really knows his birds.”

A. Elliot
"I cannot say enough good things about Alex. He was so knowledgeable and so patient with us-even when we asked the same question many times. His own enthusiasm about the birds, beasts, and conservation matters was fun and inspirational to see and hear! He was also efficient organizing his herd of charges--seeing that we were on time and in the right places; at the same time he managed to be laid back and allow latitude when appropriate."

R. Kinstler
"Alex is an excellent guide, very aware of our interests and willing to make changes to meet our needs. His sense of humor and good nature added greatly to my enjoyment of the trip."

J. Mazzone
"We loved Alex. He was very patient with all of us . I felt he gave each of us the individual attention and help that we asked for. Alex had a great sense of humor, and his knowledge of birds, plants, geology, history and the local culture was amazing. I felt like he tailored the trip to each of us."

B. Gent
"Alex was an excellent Expedition Leader who deserves top marks in all the categories. No task was beneath him and he was always kind, courteous, considerate and respectful. He consulted the group as required, presented options for choice, but was able to make decisions not only by consensus but on occasions directly as the circumstances warranted. He is another NatHab asset."

J. Bruckman
"Alex is a true asset for Natural Habitat. He has every aspect that makes a great leader. I felt he was the best from the first meeting. He became our friend during the trip, and is truly an outstanding person."

Alfredo Perea

Mexico
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Alfredo was born and raised in Mexico City. While studying biology at the National Polytechnic Institute, he got direct experience with wildlife by volunteering at a turtle camp...

Alfredo Perea

Alfredo was born and raised in Mexico City. While studying biology at the National Polytechnic Institute, he got direct experience with wildlife by volunteering at a turtle camp, which played an integral role in a marine turtle conservation program. Ten years ago, Alfredo fell in love with rock climbing and mountaineering. Since then, he has participated in three mountain expeditions to the Cordillera Blanca (Peruvian Andes) and he currently leads national and international expeditions up Mexican volcanoes.

When he isn’t scaling mountains, Alfredo works to share his passion for nature in as many ways as possible. In this vein, he teaches at an environmental education center where he leads school groups in outdoor activities and environmental exercises to help increase their awareness of and love for nature. Alfredo also leads groups of business people at a coaching center. These integration courses, which are aimed at business executives, use outdoor activities and experiences in nature to teach how aspects of a “mountain philosophy," like effort, planning and leadership, can translate to the office. His enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to teach a wide range of people, make him an excellent leader in any situation.

Upcoming Adventures with Alfredo:
Kingdom of the Monarchs

Andrea Reynolds

Worldwide
Expedition Leader Since: 1994
Andrea caught the travel bug at an early age, having grown up in such diverse places such as Japan, New Zealand, and New Jersey. After earning a degree from the University of Denver, she went on to guide...

Andrea Reynolds

Andrea caught the travel bug at an early age, having grown up in such diverse places such as Japan, New Zealand, and New Jersey. After earning a degree from the University of Denver, she went on to guide in the Hawaiian Islands, living in a one-room cottage overlooking the Pacific shores. Andrea began working in our Boulder office in 1994. After five years, she returned to the field to guide groups on our New Zealand, Alaska and Churchill expeditions. Andrea has since returned to Colorado and is once again working in the office. She continues to share her love of the natural world by guiding a few trips each year. Andrea has traveled to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, Africa, Alaska, Canada, Costa Rica, Belize, Patagonia, Mexico, Iceland, Antarctica and Australia.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

O. Halmagian
"I found Andrea Reynolds to be an outstanding guide she went above and beyond to make sure everyone in the group has a great experience. She is an indispensible asset to your company. If I ever decide to go on a trip with your company I would make sure she is my guide."

D. Oberndorf
"Excellent is not high enough of a rating for Andrea. She was simply fantastic! She was able to meet everyone's varied needs and requests, answer questions and make recommendations. She is so knowledgeable about the area and her love for the outdoors shines through. Her sense of humor and enthusiasm are a delight to be around, and she is always a professional. She was on top of every detail, kept the trip well organized. Along with her excellent qualities as a leader, she is a remarkable woman and was a joy to travel with. We'd sign up for any other trip that promises Andrea as a guide."

M. Seitz
"Andrea's experiences worldwide made me feel that I was in the best hands for this adventure."

T. Taylor
"She was outstanding. Went out of her way to make the trip excellent, well mannered, pleasant, cheerful, just fabulous!! Would take a trip with her anytime!"

J. Frank
"Andrea was TOP-NOTCH. Exceptionally responsive to my requests. An affable, compassionate, highly aware leader. Fun and happy gal. Wonderful personality - I couldn't be more pleased. I would trust Andrea with ANYTHING!"


Andres Vergara

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2013
Andres Vergara was born and raised in Ecuador's capital of Quito. His grandparents, however, lived off the coast of Ecuador where Andres' love of nature and wildlife was nurtured. Andres observed...

Andres Vergara

Andres Vergara was born and raised in Ecuador's capital of Quito. His grandparents, however, lived off the coast of Ecuador where Andres' love of nature and wildlife was nurtured. Andres observed various interesting species near his grandparents' home, including the neotropical cormorant, a flightless cormorant similar to those that are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Infused with a passion for the sea, when Andres came of age he moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he studied to become a ship captain, ultimately spending a few years sailing the world as deck officer on board merchant ships. Later, he landed in the Galapagos where he became one of the youngest captains in the islands, piloting a variety of large yachts for many years. His favorite part of his job, however, was sharing the amazing wildlife and natural history of the Galapagos with his guests. In 2005, he says he discovered his "true vocation" when he became a naturalist guide for Galapagos National Park, a profession he has been avidly practicing since. 

Andres describes himself as a "family man," and says his whole family is involved with conservation and defense of the Galapagos lifestyle, devoted to protecting nature and supporting a healthy environment for the local community and its wild residents. His wife is
a marine biologist involved in full-time Galapagos conservation work with Galapagos National Park and WWF. The new and exciting discoveries that each and every adventure in the islands holds is what Andres loves most about his job. "Being able to show the wonders of the Galapagos is a privilege and a duty for us as naturalist guides who love this place," says Andres, "and the best way to do this is to share the islands with our select groups of Natural Habitat travelers."

Upcoming Adventures with Andres:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers: 

G. Adams 
"Just a wonderful guide. So passionate about the Galapagos. We ran into other groups and saw how their guides worked with their people. They don't come close to comparing to Andres. He was just top notch. Never got excited or angry. Always calm and happy. Just great!"

P. Clark
"Andres, is for sure the best guide I have ever experienced. On a scale from 1-10, his knowledge of the Galapagos was a 15."

B. Hutchinson
"Andres was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and organized. He made this a trip I will always remember as one of the best experiences I have had while traveling. I would take another tour with Andres at any time."

E. Hildner
"Andres is always optimistic, always energetic, always voluble and personable; excellent English; never a question whose answer he didn't know."

A. Frager
"I can't say enough about the quality service and care Andres brought to our Galapagos experience. He was highly knowledgeable about the wildlife, the environment and the history, along with showing every day how much he cared to show us a great time."

N. Spannaus
"Andres is exceptional. I was totally impressed. I can't say enough about him as an expedition leader. He is very passionate about the Galapagos and it comes through in his behavior, attitude, and all of his interactions with trip participants. He has comprehensive knowledge of all things Galapagos, and his interpersonal skills are well honed. He has a great sense of humor."

Annie Van Dinther

North America and Antarctica
Expedition Leader Since: 1999
Annie's career as a naturalist began on a whale-watching vessel off Cape Cod. With degrees in biology and geology, and with her enthusiasm for teaching and understanding animal behavior...

Annie Van Dinther

Annie began her career as a naturalist on a whale-watching vessel off Cape Cod. With degrees in biology and geology, and with her enthusiasm for teaching and understanding animal behavior, she eventually became head naturalist. The rich waters of Stellwagen Bank provided the perfect classroom to lead field courses in marine biology and research humpback whales. NHA discovered Annie in 1999, and she has been inspiring travelers ever since. Her contagious curiosity and devotion to deep observation of our natural world permeate every adventure she leads. With a focus on Canada, Annie has guided trips to see polar bears and belugas in Churchill; Spirit bears, brown bears and whales in British Columbia; harp seals in Quebec’s Magdalen Islands; and whales and birds in Newfoundland. She has also guided trips in Mexico, the Galapagos Islands and Alaska. An award-winning writer, Annie now lives in Alaska where she divides her professional time between writing, guiding sea kayak trips, and leading Natural Habitat adventures.

Upcoming Adventures with Annie:
Polar Bears of Churchill
Sailing Antarctica: The Ultimate Polar Nature Expedition
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari
Alaska's Inside Passage Wildlife Explorer
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai
Alaska's Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

K. Tonn
"Annie was amazing!!! Her knowledge and passion for Churchill and the polar bears was exceptional. I felt extremely confident that we were in very good hands and were getting the very most out of our time in Churchill. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the night she shared with us her own story about her first time in Churchill and how she became an Expedition Leader for the polar bears. She's a fantastic story-teller and it really was a special story to hear."

E. Cox
"Annie was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide. She went above and beyond in every way possible. She even lent me some ski pants. Annie made the trip so enjoyable and exciting and was always on the look out for animals. She was outstanding!!!"

L & B Rizzotti

“She added so much to an exciting adventure. Top-notch dedication and a great leader! Lots of laughs too!!!”

S. Schultz

"Wow, this woman is fantastic. She is so knowledgeable about the animals, the area, the history, and the people. I am so glad Annie was our guide, we had a wonderful experience. She knows where to look for the animals, and when to stay out late and watch for the aurora. Always reachable, always kind, and what ever little thing you needed, she was right there. I have never taken a "first Class" trip and I will rethink my future trips. Going first class is the best..........Thank you soooooo much, from a very very satisfied customer."

C. Feeney
"Annie is among the best tour leaders I've interacted with across many tours. She was able to engage with all of us in a very effective way, plus provide appropriate information to ensure the trip was as enjoyable as possible, safe, and balanced."

D. Srembo
“WOW! We were a lucky group to have such a wonderful guide. She answered all questions and provided information in depth! Worked hard to help serve food, prepare lectures and see to the group’s every need and spent extra time with all of the group individually to answer questions they might have. That personal touch made the trip so much better! The trip will remain a lovely memory for me!”

J. Crowe
“Annie was a superb guide. We’ve been on a large number of expeditions like this one, and she ranks right up there among the best guides we’ve ever had.”

M. Walkoski
“Exceptional and certainly beyond my expectations in all categories…made the trip a real pleasure!”

K. Berry
“Hardworking, friendly, and with a considerable amount of local knowledge. An outstanding leader.”

Astrid Frisch

Mexico
Expedition Leader Since: 1999
Astrid trained as a biologist at Mexico’s National University and has been leading natural history expeditions throughout Mexico since 1991. For years, she has introduced our guests to her country’s most ...

Astrid Frisch

Astrid trained as a biologist at Mexico’s National University and has been leading natural history expeditions throughout Mexico since 1991. For years, she has introduced our guests to her country’s most remarkable wildlife and wild places; from the monarch butterfly sanctuaries of central Mexico, to sea turtle nesting sites in the south and the humpback whales of Banderas Bay. Her knowledge and passion as a naturalist are unsurpassed, and her warmth and good nature make her one or our most popular Expedition Leaders. When she’s not working in the field she is actively involved in humpback whale conservation and research in her home city of Puerto Vallarta.

Upcoming Adventures with Astrid:
Kingdom of the Monarchs
Swimming with Mexico's Whale Sharks



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

T. Dunzendorfer

"Astrid was outstanding. Both of our guides were absolutely lovely people that I would feel privileged to consider friends. And - on top of it - Astrid has extensive background scientific knowledge. She was simply unbeatable."

D. Schultz
"Astrid is one of the very best guides I have ever had in over 10 years of out-of-the-US-traveling. She was just plain fun to be around! She had a great passion for her work and the whales and butterflies and was eager to share her knowledge."

T. Brady
"Astrid was amazing in all aspects of leading a trip. She was kind, friendly, direct, with excellent communication and clear direction. She also made excellent decisions throughout the trip and helped keep everyone smiling through extraordinary circumstances. I would travel with her again ANYTIME!"

K. Carroll
"Astrid was an excellent leader. She is a very good PR person for the country of Mexico! Her knowledge of Mexico, Mayans and Whale Sharks is very wonderful. I feel very lucky to have had her for a guide. She is amazing!"

P. Johnson
"Astrid is a superb leader: knowledgable, kind, funny, and just a lovely person. Is she leading a trip to the butterflies this winter? If so, please let me know."

Bonnie Chartier

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 1999
Born in Churchill and the daughter of a trapper, Bonnie has had the outdoors in her blood since she was a child. Her love and enthusiasm for the Arctic is obvious to all who have traveled with her...

Bonnie Chartier

Born in Churchill and the daughter of a trapper, Bonnie has played an instrumental role in fostering the development of tourism in the region. With the outdoors in her blood since she was a child, Bonnie’s love and enthusiasm for the Arctic is obvious to all who travel with her. Her knowledge of native wildlife is unsurpassed, and her natural history expertise is evidenced in her book, A Birder’s Guide to Churchill, which is widely distributed by the American Birding Association and is currently in its 3rd edition. Bonnie also co-authored Encounters on Hudson Bay. For the past nine years she has been a Canadian Ranger, a sub-component of the Canadian Armed Forces reserve that provide a military presence in Canada's sparsely settled northern, coastal, and isolated areas. She currently sits on the Cape Churchill Wildlife Advisory Board. Bonnie received the Manitoba Business Woman of the Year award in 1995.

Upcoming Adventures with Bonnie:
Polar Bears of Churchill

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

K. Becker
"Bonnie grew up in polar bear country and knows so much about the area. I was amazed and delighted! She is passionate and it carried over to all of us that were fortunate enough to travel with her. She is also very personable and funny. I would definitely want to travel with her again."

J. Flynn
"We loved having Bonnie as our guide. She was lively, responsive to all questions, very clear in both giving directions regarding the trip logistics and in educating us about the bears and other wildlife, and the history of Churchill. Her enthusiasm kept everyone excited and engaged. We had a good group, but I think Bonnie did alot to help us "gel" and to keep us energized and ready to pack in as much as we could during our adventures.She also worked well with our drivers."

P. Johnson
"Bonnie was absolutely wonderful - she's awesome!! I was extremely impressed with her personality, friendliness, knowledge / expertise of the bears and other wildlife. She made sure all of us were having a good time and took good care of us. Some of us had asked to get some pictures of some signs in town and she made sure we worked it into our schedule. We asked to get our passports stamped and she made sure we had time to do that as well. I would definitely do another trip with her as my guide."

M. Shirley
"Couldn't ask for more from a guide than Bonnie provided. When told that my daughter and I are birders she made it a point to bring a scope - we each got two life birds on the trip! Not only did she take care of us and educate us, she was fun to be with too."

M. Pimm
"Bonnie was great, and the highlight of the trip. She took great care of us, knows the area and the wildlife very well. We had a great time with her."


Brad Hansen

Tanzania
Expedition Leader Since: 2010
A love for Africa and its animals is in Brad Hansen’s blood. Born in South Africa, where he studied agriculture, Brad decided to follow his passion for African wildlife by pursuing a full-time career as...

Brad Hansen

A love for Africa and its animals is in Brad Hansen’s blood. Born in South Africa, where he studied agriculture, Brad decided to follow his passion for African wildlife by pursuing a full-time career as a private safari guide. He has undergone extensive training to become certified by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa, an organization that promotes responsible, conservation-minded tourism, and is also a highly trained tracker, utilizing computer-assisted CyberTracker technology. When Brad moved to Tanzania to become managing director of an Arusha-based tour operator, he led numerous safaris along Tanzania’s Northern Circuit. As he became intimately acquainted with the region, he established his own private guiding company via which he has become one of NHA’s outstanding Expedition Leaders in Africa. In between guiding trips, Brad has been a team member on numerous expeditions throughout Africa run by a leading National Geographic filmmaker.


Praise from Natural Habitat Travelers:

L. Warren

"Brad MADE THE TRIP. A perfect blend of knowledge, good humor, communication, and integration into our family during the trip. A fascinating guy living a fascinating life but 100% down to Earth and approachable. He made our family feel safe, informed, and amused all at once. He is a gem."

J. Anderson
"Brad was wonderful. He paid attention to every detail. He was very knowledgeable and communicated a wealth of knowledge to us. Brad was extremely fun and professional. If I ever had a chance to return on safari I would definitely want Brad as the expedition leader. Brad is a definite asset to your team."

D. Clarke
"Brad is an exceptional expedition leader. He is very knowledgeable, sets good daily itineraries and is personable and helpful during the daily events. He is a very good photographer and was very helpful to me in particular in helping me to get great photos from my Nikon D-610 which is a fairly new camera to me."

P. Roberts
"Brad was an outstanding leader. His knowledge of the wildlife was great and his ability to spot animals while on our trip, very good as well. Brad always worked to show us a number of habitats and animals."

L. Sullivan
"Brad was a capable expedition leader and clearly passionate about his work. He was a good story teller; was motivated to keep guests engaged, comfortable, and informed; and had a fun sense of humor."

Brooks Kamanakao

Botswana
Expedition Leader Since: 2010
Not every guide can claim to have been born in the bush he now guides in, but Brooks can. He grew up in the small village of Motopi, on the banks of the then-flowing Boteti River, one...

Brooks Kamanakao

Not every guide can claim to have been born in the bush he now guides in, but Brooks can. He grew up in the small village of Motopi, on the banks of the then-flowing Boteti River, one of the main channels of the Okavango Delta. Belonging to the Bayei tribe (the people who introduced poled mokoro boats to the Okavango Delta), Brooks had a fascination with Botswana’s wild areas from a young age. Determined to pursue tourism as his vocation, he began his as a barman/ waiter. His real interest was in the wilds of the bush, though, and he soon managed to move into the position of tracker, which he pursued for a year before passing his guide course in 2000. Since then, Brooks has developed his bush knowledge and fine-tuned his guiding skills working at premier camps like Kings Pool and Mombo. Brooks’ combination of superlative bush knowledge, friendly hosting and special interests in astronomy, birding and the diverse cultures of Botswana, make him a very popular guide, often requested for private safaris.

Upcoming Adventures with Brooks:
Botswana Explorer Safari
Family Botswana Safari
Secluded Botswana Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Adams
"Brooks has got to be one of the finest guides in Africa, and we were privileged to have him. He is not only at the top of his profession, he is a truly remarkable human being, a very special person."

S. Morro
"Collectively my family took over 3000 photograph. While there are wonderful memories in those photos, there are two things that photos cannot capture - Brook's passion and persistence. Passion for Botswana and its culture. Passion for his job and maintenance of high standards. Passion for the bush and its preservation for future generations. Persistance - He never rested. He was relentless in pursuit of wild life. His skills as a tracker and his acute sight and hearing continually amazed us and resulted in encounters with wildlife that exceed expectations every day. While our paths are not likely to cross again, I will forever think of Brooks when I see an animal track, hear an animal call, or bird sing. He is an incredible person."

T. Hall
"There cannot possibly be a better guide anywhere than Brooks. He put our safety first-and our comfort and pleasure. His knowlege of everything is superior and beyond our expectation s. His language skills and ability to communicate was superb. He showed us photos from books to be sure we knew what animal or bird looked like and as we saw things again....we all knew, even the birds, on sight! Dealing with a group with 'different personalities' is challenging and he did an excellent job at that. He was always extremely helpful-and had a good sense of humor. We cannot say enough about Brooks, the person and the guide!!! What an asset to Nat Hab."

A. Quick
"Several people along the way told us how lucky we were to have Brooks as our guide and we learned quickly how true that was. His ability to manage people, his excellent knowledge, his enthusiasm, his willingness to go out of his way to help with any issues clients are having, his sense of humor, etc etc. If I were to return to Botswana, I would definitely want to have him as a guide again! I have always been impressed with the quality of guides Nat Hab uses, but Brooks ranks right up there at the top!"

M. O'Hare
"I can't say enough good things about Brooks. This was my first safari. I was traveling alone and did not know the other guests. However, they were experienced and knew each other. Brooks went above and beyond to insure that I was included. He spent considerable time and effort making sure I saw the animals and that everything was okay. His knowledge and skills (tracking etc) are exceptional. His passion for his job is evident and he is extremely good at it. Brooks is a great asset to your organization."

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Callum Sargent

Southern Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Callum has been in love with all things wild from a very young age. After studying for a degree in business, he soon realized that his passion for the African bush could not be extinguished...

Callum Sargent

Callum has been in love with all things wild from a very young age. After studying for a degree in business, he soon realized that his passion for the African bush could not be extinguished. While working toward his two-year diploma in Game Ranging and Lodge Management, Callum worked as an overland safari guide, which took him to some incredible places throughout Southern Africa. On completion of his diploma he started guiding in the northernmost part of Kruger National Park, a wild little slice of paradise known as Pafuri. During the six years he was based here, Callum helped set up a network of walking trails while deepening a true love of walking in the bush. In 2011, Callum moved to Botswana to embark on a childhood dream, guiding safaris in the Okavango Delta. He now realizes that dream every day, relishing each moment spent sharing the wonders of this magical part of the world. With a keen interest in photography, birding and tracking, Callum cannot imagine a more perfect place to live and work than in the wilderness of Botswana.

Upcoming Adventures with Callum:
Hidden South Africa & Botswana


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

B. Frank
"We can't say enough good things about Callum. He made the trip so special. His subject knowledge was unbelievable. We were well informed each day and on every activity."

J. Power
"Callum was seriously TOP NOTCH. He handled difficult situations with utmost professionalism (everything from a difficult guest to the more serious issue of a broken car). He is fun, creative, attentive, knowlegable. He is flexible but firm when he needs to be. I have every intention of trying to get back out to the bush with him I could NOT give him higher marks."

B. Nilsson
"Callum was great-- very knowledgable and willing to share that knowledge. I appreciate the extra assistance he gave me-- a very thoughtful young man. And lots of fun!"

Cassiano (Zapa) Zaparoli

Brazil, Patagonia and Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2010
Zapa grew up on his grandparents’ farm in the interior of Brazil, where he developed a deep love for nature and wildlife. As a teen he loved to camp and fished in the tropical forests and rivers...

Cassiano (Zapa) Zaparoli

One of Nat Hab's most beloved guides, Zapa grew up on his grandparents’ farm in the interior of Brazil where he developed a deep love for nature and wildlife. As a teen, he loved to camp and fish in the tropical forests and rivers around his home. Zapa received a degree in Tourism Administration from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul State, located on the edge of the Pantanal. Immediately following completion of his studies, he was hired as a naturalist guide at one of Brazil’s top ecolodges, where he further developed his knowledge of his country’s incredible nature, as well as his skills as a wildlife photographer. Since then, Zapa has worked in various biomes in Brazil including the cerrado grasslands, coastal rain forest and Pantanal – South America's largest wetlands – and also in other biomes of South America. Each year Zapa undertakes a personal photographic journey around South America, where he has captured more than 35,000 photos of the continent’s nature, culture and wildlife. These experiences have allowed him to lend his expertise in the Galapagos on our photo tours, as well as in Patagonia as a naturalist Expedition Leader.

Upcoming Adventures with Zapa:
Jaguars & Wildlife of Brazil's Pantanal
Expedition Patagonia
Classic Galapagos Photo Adventure
Patagonia Photo Expedition



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

M. Adler

"Zapa is absolutely a gem. Indispensable. His knowledge and professionalism were top notch. He was always affable, courteous, helpful, and ALWAYS put our needs and attention before his. I feel that he actually made the trip more memorable and enjoyable. His ability to function as a guide went beyond any of my expectations. Do not lose him!!! One of the best overall and most memorable trips in my life!"

C. Anjard
"Of the 14 trips I have taken, Zapa stands out as one of the best leaders I have encountered. His people skills were exceptional and he was extremely sensitive to the needs of the group. He deserves a gold star!"

R. Kewer
"Zapa ranks up with the best leaders/guides we have met. His ability to find and identify species is remarkable. His disposition is perfect. A great asset to NatHab."

R. Elsie
"Zapa was an amazing guide - he was on top of every last detail of the trip. He is great with logistics and does not get the least bit upset when things go wrong (i.e. - broken bus and no A/C) therefore we don't get upset. He is very knowledgable of the area and I don't think there was anything else he could have done to make the trip better!!!!!!!!!!! He knows everyone in the Pantanal and makes things happen. He also knows his birds and animals as well as the environment of the Pantanal. I cannot say enough positive things about him. We will look to see when he is guiding the Patagonia trip."

L. Sandusky
"Over the years we've traveled to a number of places and as scuba divers we've been with a lot of guides in a wide variety of locations. None have been better than Zapa - he's the best I've ever experienced!"

J. Sina
"I can't say enough about the way Zapa communicated his excitement about nature, along with his knowledge. His enthusiasm helped bring a higher level of enthusiasm and sense of adventure to us all."

E. Carter
"Zapa is the best tour leader I have ever experienced in all of my travels in the past. I have traveled internationally about 20 times to all continents and he ranks at the top of the list of tour leaders I have had. He is an asset to your company."

K. Klump
"I cannot praise Zapa highly enough. He proved to be an excellent naturalist with an uncanny ability to spot birds and mammals and an apparently encyclopedic knowledge of both. He was energetic and enthusiastic and he made the trip all that we hoped it would be."

L. Rainbow
"We will follow Zapa to the ends of the earth!! Need we say more?? Personable, humorous, knowledgeable, extremely capable under all circumstances-makes any trip a very special and memorable experience!!"

G. Van Dyke
"I am not certain what I can add to all the superlatives that have been said about Zapa by many, many other guests. He is everything a guide should strive to be. Knowledgeable, helpful, patient beyond words, attentive to ALL travelers' needs and desires, delightfully funny and interesting. Natural Habitat should be proud to have a young man such as Zapa working with their organization. This was my second trip with Zapa and he is the reason I will be traveling to The Pantanal with Natural Habitat in July."

Cecibel Guerrero

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Ecuadorian born, “Ceci” spent 15 years living in Toronto Canada. It is here where she obtained her bachelor in Business Administration. After attending a training given by the Galapagos National...

Cecibel Guerrero

Ecuadorian-born Ceci spent 15 years living in Toronto, Canada, where she obtained her bachelor's degree in business administration. After attending training programs with the Galapagos National Park Service and Charles Darwin Research Station, she obtained her license as a naturalist guide, which allowed her to pursue her passion, which is sharing with visitors the special, unique and magical place that is the Galapagos. After a few years' hiatus to stay home with her two young children, Ceci came back to the Galapagos in 2008 to work in the place she loves the most. Her favorite activity to share with guests is snorkeling, and she is a certified scuba diver as well. She also has a special interest in reptiles. “If you love wildlife, people and photography, this is the ideal job," Ceci says. "I feel blessed and honored to work in one of the most pristine places on Earth.”

Upcoming Adventures with Ceci:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure

Celinda Humilde

Peru
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Celinda was born in Maras, Peru, a small community located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, approximately 25 miles north of Cusco. When she was young, her family moved to Cusco...

Celinda Humilde

Celinda was born in Maras, Peru, a small community located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, approximately 25 miles north of Cusco. When she was young, her family moved to Cusco where she attended a public school, expanded her knowledge base,and along with her brothers, eventually went on to be part of the first generation in her family to pursue higher education.

In 2001, Celinda began working in the tourism industry. She is a certified guide, and though she says she found this career by “coincidence,” she feels that being a naturalist guide was her destiny. She has worked for various companies leading exploratory glacier journeys, hiking trips on the Inca Trail, and cultural visits to rural areas. In her free time, she loves to travel with her family, discover new places and explore new trails.

Charles Ndlovu

Southern Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Charles has been fortunate to spend nearly his entire life in the African bush. His father was a game ranger, which meant a lot of trips into the bush for Charles during school holidays...

Charles Ndlovu

Charles has been fortunate to spend nearly his entire life in the African bush. His father was a game ranger, which meant a lot of trips into the bush for Charles during school holidays. After completing secondary school, Charles volunteered to assist the Hwange National Park research team. During the year he spent in this capacity, the senior ecologist on the project noted his potential and passion and hired him as a semi-skilled casual employee, and he spent the next four years working with researchers. In 1989 Charles became a trainee safari guide, pursuing the opportunity to realize his greatest love: sharing the wonders of the African bush with visitors in a manner that promotes conservation and ensures the welfare of wildlife.

Working his way up through the system over the next decade, Charles obtained his Professional Guide’s License in 2000. He especially enjoys taking guests on nature walks in the bush and sharing his in-depth knowledge of the land and its inhabitants. Charles is very proud
of his job and the responsibility it affords to help protect nature, and he does his best to make sure humans leave as little on the environment as possible. Always attempting to instill conservation-focused awareness in his guests, Charles pays attention to the smallest of things that make a big difference overall, like picking up even a small plastic wrapper from a toothpick. He is actively involved with the water pumps at the pans, ensuring that while water is provided for the animals, it is done with as little evidence of human presence in the bush as possible: no oil-contaminated soil, no litter and no diesel leaks. 

Upcoming Adventures with Charles:
Hidden Jewels of Zimbabwe & Zambia


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

D. Lethcoe
"Charles was the best. He's very professional in that he is communicative, responsive, knowledgeable, and sensitive to our needs as travelers and photographers. He always tried to get us good shots without vaguely harassing animals. We moved gently and quietly in their environment. He wanted us to have the best experience and we did. He knows so much about animal behavior, and that helped our enjoyment in viewing them."

D. Cremer
"Charles is a top notch guide in all respects!! He made our trip so comfortable, easy and fun !! By the time we had to leave, he felt like
family!! Hats off to that wonderful man!"

L. Bolick
"Charles was very knowledgeable and professional - his obvious love and passion for wildlife, the environment and his country is inspiring. His kindness and sense of humor made everything extra-special."

P. Cietek
"Charles was outstanding. He is one of the rare Guides, who is sensitive to the photographers. His knowledge and expertise was outstanding."

R. Nickel
"Charles went above and beyond what he had to do in order to provide a great experience for us. On mornings we were traveling he was more than willing to hit the road a bit earlier so we could have one more game drive in an area. He went out of his way to help me set up for a perfect photograph of the Milky Way after returning from our final evening game drive. After dinner he took me out away from camp for another shot at the stars so there would be no light pollution from the camp."

Claudia Mancilla

Mexico
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Born and raised in Mexico City, Claudia has been trekking in the mountains since she was a child. These unique childhood experiences sparked a love of adventure and a passion for nature that led her...

Claudia Mancilla

Born and raised in Mexico City, Claudia has been trekking in the mountains since she was a child. These unique childhood experiences sparked a love of adventure and a passion for nature that led her to take part in mountaineering expeditions in Peru and Argentina. Then, while earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry, Claudia’s work brought her to participate in two oceanographic research cruises on the Caribbean Sea furthering her knowledge of the intricacies of nature.

Claudia has worked as a raft guide in Mexico and a teacher at both the university and high school level, thus honing her skills for educating travelers of all kinds. For the last 15 years, Claudia has facilitated training, motivational, leadership and team building courses for diverse Mexican business executives. Claudia also works for FUNDES, a Foundation for sustainable development in Mexico, as a consultant supporting small producers in rural communities in Mexico. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and scuba diving.

Upcoming Adventures with Claudia:
Kingdom of the Monarchs

Colby Brokvist

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2006
Colby hails originally from New England, and has traveled and guided extensively throughout North America. An enthusiastic naturalist, Colby holds a degree in Environmental Sciences, has presented...

Colby Brokvist

Hailing originally from New England, Colby has traveled and guided extensively throughout North America. An enthusiastic naturalist, Colby holds a degree in Environmental Sciences and has presented independent research to the Geological Society of America. His passion as a guide lies in providing interpretive and educational experiences for his clients. Colby is an avid rock and ice climber and has backpacked some of the country’s most famous destinations, including the Appalachian and John Muir trails. Colby loves both the serenity and excitement found in the wilderness, and finds it even more gratifying to share with his guests and good friends.

Upcoming Adventures with Colby:
Polar Bears of Churchill



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Flynn

"We could not have asked for a better guide. Colby was extremely knowledgeable, very well organized, but more than that, he was very thoughtful and sensitive. We all enjoyed one another, but Colby definitely set the tone. He is an exceptional young man, and we all felt safe and comfortable with him and fully trusted his judgment. The trip was outstanding, thanks to Colby."

C. Strub
"We cannot even begin to list how fantastic Colby was as our trip leader. (We will run out of characters, and I probably sound redundant). His knowledge and passion for the wildlife, the plants, the geology, the history of the area was huge. He was organized, always attentive to the groups' and individual's needs, he was enthusiastic, he answered questions, he just made the trip. To have the Colby be so enthusiastic just added to the wonder and awe I felt just watching the magnificent bears. He answered questions, no matter how simple or difficult, did not make you feel stupid with the questions. He has so much knowledge and passion, it simply made the trip even better than expected."

J. Slansky
"Colby was EXCELLENT...actually there are not enough superlatives to describe his knowledge, personality, caring nature, helpfulness....He is THE BEST and a true asset to your organization."

K. Krause
"I'm extremely impressed with Colby as an expedition leader. His knowledge base is extensive and his presentation skills exceptional. He was very friendly and approachable and made everyone in the group feel part of the group and made sure each person received the most of his/her tour."

B. Mulzer
"Colby was outstanding - incredibly knowledgeable, great sense of humor, made the trip so fun in addition to spotting wildlife!"

R. Baker
"Colby is one of the most knowledgeable and professional guides we have had on a trip (we have been to over 150 countries). When polar bear viewing was slow, he filled in with information and stories. Lectures were excellent. His knowledge of the bears assisted greatly in locating and having them walk by the Tundra Buggy. Colby was an excellent guide who can position you to maximize bear viewing."

S. Ham
"Colby is clearly in a league by himself. We have shared time with literally hundreds of guides all over the world, but this young man is a model all others should aspire to. His communication skills are incredibly polished and effective. His sense of timing, knowing when and how to pose a thought-provoking question, and use of humor are surpassed only by his subjective matter knowledge which is amazingly deep and wide. His guiding is unsurpassed - what a joy it has been to know the Churchill region through his trained eyes and what a pleasure it was to have these days with him. We know Churchill in a way few outsiders could every know it, all thanks to Colby."

Conan Dumenil

India
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Conan was born and raised in the South of India. Though he has a degree in commerce and a post graduate degree in tourism, he was always drawn to the wild...

Conan Dumenil

Conan was born and raised in the South of India. With a degree in commerce and a post-graduate degree in tourism, he has always been drawn to the call of the wild. Conan started exploring the jungles of India as a college student and has never looked back. He initially trained as a naturalist in the foothills of the Himalayas, and since 2005 he has been guiding trips to various regions of India. Conan has been featured in an NDTV documentary on young people who have chosen alternative jobs, and also in Outlook Traveller magazine's feature on 64 Wildlife Getaways. In addition to regular guiding, he has assisted crews on television documentaries for Animal Planet and the National Geographic channel, documented various animal calls through sound recordings, collected and documented reptiles, amphibians and insects for research, and worked on captive care of various reptiles. A keen ecologist, Conan enjoys observing the dynamics of the natural world and sharing his experiences with others. Though his expertise lie in birds and mammals, he is also a keen angler, a budding herpetologist, gardener and avid photographer.

Upcoming Adventures with Conan:
The Grand India Wildlife Adventure

Court Whelan

Worldwide
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Court’s background in wildlife and conservation biology led him to pursue a joint PhD in ecotourism and entomology, while simultaneously coordinating and guiding small-group wildlife expeditions and ecotourism adventures...

Court Whelan

Court’s background in wildlife and conservation biology led him to pursue a joint PhD in ecotourism and entomology, while simultaneously coordinating and guiding small-group wildlife expeditions and ecotourism adventures around the world. From leading nature safaris to such far-flung places as Papua New Guinea and Madagascar, to locales closer to home such as Costa Rica, Belize and Mexico, Court says his guiding experiences allow him to “help people travel to and learn about extraordinary natural areas that make meaningful lifelong impressions for everyone involved.” In addition to a passion for discovery, teaching and adventure, Court also is an avid nature and wildlife photographer and is always eager to share his knowledge and creative guidance with his guests. Whether it’s macro photography of poison arrow frogs in Costa Rica, the vast landscapes of Namibia, or charismatic polar bears on the frozen tundra of Canada, no subject is off limits when it comes to Court’s enthusiasm for photography and sharing tips with his guests. When he isn’t planning and leading nature safaris, you’ll find Court hiking on trails from his backyard in Colorado, fly-fishing in a nearby canyon, or taking some turns on any number of the beautiful ski slopes in Colorado’s high country.

Upcoming Adventures with Court:
Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures
Myanmar & Thailand: Exploring Nature & Spirit

Canyons of the American Southwest
Canyons Photography in the American Southwest
Alaska's Inside Passage Wildlife Explorer
Churchill Polar Bear Tours

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

G. Kinstler
"Court was wonderful. I would gladly go on any of his future trips. He listened to everyone and worked with them on their level. He gave me private time which I greatly appreciated. The knowledge I learned from him will definitely help me in my photography journey. Nothing but nice things to say. Court is a great guy and a top notch leader."

J. Floyd
"Court was very friendly, a good listener, and good source of information. Would not hesitate to take another trip with Court. He was always available and had information when we needed it. Good source of knowledge about wildlife and plant life along Inside Passage."

M. Benyamin
"Court is invaluable to the company preaching what it sells. Court was incredibly knowledgeable, great company, helpful and patient. We both can't say enough about Court!"

M. Vaughn
"Court was fantastic. I have traveled to many places with a variety of groups, and Court is one of the very best. He has a way of putting people at ease and helped to make our trip safe, but while keeping things moving for the group. Overall fantastic job."

P. Austin
"I found Court to be an organized group manager, who effectively handled all the matters of room assignments, transportation, baggage details etc. In addition, however, he was endlessly patient, personable and always informative."

N. Ciancio
"Court played a big role in our overall enjoyment of the trip.  Quite simply put, he is an outstanding guide."

B. Landmesser
"Court was amazing. He was helpful and I learned a lot about the local area, and about photographing the lights. It was a pleasure having him as our guide."

V. Richardson
"Court was an excellent guide. He was extremely knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm. I had such a great time and would definitely go on another trip that he leads."

J. Grant

"Court is an outstanding guide. He is professional while at the same time, playful. He always maintains a sense of humor. His knowledge of the areas we visited was impressive and he was always eager and excited to share. Court has great organization skills and works hard to make everything move smoothly. I observed that he was always very balanced in the manner he treated everyone in our group."

S. Leong
"I don't think I've met anyone better suited to being an Expedition Leader. He's a true professional, calm in all situations; attentive to everyone; courteous and helpful to anyone who needs assistance; knows more than any tour guide I've ever come across and is able to communicate his knowledge to others; instructions are always clear. He looks out for the safety of his group members (i.e. assisting others walking on icy walkways from the restaurant to the van). Court is professional but humble and has a sense of humor too. As the Expedition Leader, he sets the tone for the entire trip."

M. Howard
"Court is incredibly knowledgeable about wildlife, geology, northern lights and photography. We couldn’t have asked for a better leader.
He was very patient with the individuals in the group, no matter how demanding. He kept us informed as our schedule was changed due to weather and had alternative activities provided to keep us occupied and to learn more about the arctic cultures. We travel extensively, and this was our best guided trip, ever!"

J. McCalla
"Please let me know how to nominate Court for 'sainthood.' He is an amazing individual with the patience of no one I have ever met. He was incredibly attentive to everyone's needs in our group....and some needed more attention than others. He is a credit to your company, and an extremely talented individual."

M. Leong
"Court Whelan is an exceptional leader and is really in a league of his own. He is very well-organized and was on top of every aspect of our trip. He is the only man I know that can multitask! Humble yet extremely knowledgeable, he eagerly shared what he knew about Winnipeg, Churchill, photography, the wildlife and geology of the areas we traveled through, and everything we needed or wanted to know about the aurora borealis. His enthusiasm matched ours and he was very helpful to all of us with photography tips and adjusting the camera settings on each of our cameras to best photograph the northern lights. He has a good sense of humor and made us laugh every day. Court was flexible and resourceful when suggesting options for the group, particularly if some wanted to rest, go shopping, or have an alternative activity that was not so physical. He was very honest, open, communicative and kept us well-informed and up-to-date with information regarding travel and weather conditions that could affect the trip. He always had a positive attitude and appeared cool and composed even though he must have been under a lot of stress reserving extra nights at the Polar Inn and the Fort Garry Hotel, arranging additional meals for us, and coordinating everyone’s return flights. He is well-liked and respected by those who work with him and his team worked really well together making everything run smoothly. Court is an all-around competent leader to the utmost degree. I hope you know how lucky you are to have him. It is because of him that I will be traveling with Natural Habitat Adventures again!"

Daniel Hagaman

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
During the past decade, Daniel has passed the seasons being drawn back-and-forth from the extreme opposites of the earth. Living in Alaska and Patagonia, he migrated with the sun...

Daniel Hagaman

During the past decade, Daniel has passed the seasons being drawn back and forth from the opposite ends of the earth. Living in Alaska and Patagonia, he migrated with the sun and the birds, spending many of his northern summers with the bears in Alaska and his southern summers in the Patagonian temperate rainforests of Chile and Argentina. He is a naturalist and teacher who has lived and worked in Latin America for more than 15 years. Aside from gazing upon breathtaking mountains and fjords, Daniel’s primary interests include ornithology and sustainable resource management for protected areas and wilderness.

Raised in Wisconsin’s frozen north woods, Daniel realized early that there were other, equally impressive places with larger mountains to climb and rich cultures to learn about. Mountains lured him to Colorado, where he studied anthropology and sparked his desire to travel. Currently, Daniel lives with his family in the irrigated deserts of western Colorado, where he spends his free time gardening, taking photographs and exploring the mountains and canyons of the American Southwest.

Upcoming Adventures with Daniel:
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari

Dave Luck

Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2001
Growing up in Zambia and spending time in the Bush, Dave developed a passion for the wilderness. Time was spent learing the ways of surviving in harsh environments, tracking animals and accompanying anti-poaching ...

Dave Luck

Growing up in Zambia and spending time in the bush, Dave developed a passion for the wilderness, learning how to survive in harsh environments, tracking animals and accompanying anti-poaching patrols to combat elephant and rhino poaching in the wild Luangwa Valley. He spent his early guiding days in Zimbabwe's Matusadona National Park and the Okavango Delta in Botswana where he managed various safari camps in the delta and was also the captain of a houseboat dedicated to wildlife viewing. Dave has traveled extensively in southern and central Africa including Madagascar and the Seychelles. In Malawi he managed a lakeside lodge specializing in unique kayaking trips and scuba diving in the crystal-clear waters.

Dave now lives and works in Botswana where he has led privately guided trips for many years. He currently leads several different itineraries through some of the country's most pristine wilderness. Though Dave specializes in elephants and birds and has a passion for reptiles, especially chameleons, his deep knowledge of 'everything Africa' is astounding. As a Natural Habitat "Hall of Fame" Expedition Leader, Dave has led journeys to varied nature destinations, including Wapusk National Park on Hudson Bay in the Canadian sub-Arctic to search for polar bears, to Uganda to track gorillas and chimpanzees, and Tanzania during the great wildebeest/zebra migration.

In addition to being one of Africa's most respected safari guides, Dave has also has been involved with the "Children in the Wilderness” program – a grassroots environmental education project founded by Paul Newman. When he's not out guiding safaris, Dave's passions include photography, mountain hiking and biking, scuba diving in the Indian Ocean and fly-fishing.

Says Dave: “I am amazed with the fact that we as humans are all connected somewhere, somehow, to the wilderness and its inhabitants. With our complex lifestyles we ‘lose touch’ with what is out there in the wilderness. I really get excited when people come on my trips and their souls re-connect with nature. This is the most rewarding part of my day-to-day experience.”

Upcoming Adventures with Dave:
Secluded Botswana Safari
Secluded Botswana Photo Safari
Botswana: Kalahari, the Delta & Beyond
Botswana's Green Season Photo Safari
The Great African River Safari
The Great Uganda Gorilla Safari
Ultimate Gorilla Photo Safari



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

B. Lanni

"Dave Luck was amazing and knowledgeable! He really made things come alive with his stories and experiences! I felt very comfortable with him leading our group and I learned a lot about animal behavior, plants and birds. He was very versatile! I can't say enough about what a wonderful, informative guide he was!"

J. Francis
"Dave was amazing! His knowledge of the areas and wildlife were amazing. He was very helpful to all levels of photographers. He was great with animal interactions (very respectful), great at tracking them, telling us about them, and then giving them plenty of time and space. Can't say enough wonderful things about him. Simply, the best!"

B. Wallen
"David was an outstanding guide. I really can't imagine anyone doing a better job. He has the soul of a teacher. He has a wealth of knowledge that he enthusiastically shared. He really went the extra mile to provide us with an exciting and informative experience."

J. Cunningham
"I have now been on 27 Safari's and this was my 4th with David. David is the BEST Guide I have ever had in Africa."

A. Linder
“Dave's knowledge of the animal's behaviors and his ability to anticipate their behavior helped us be prepared to capture some wonderful photos. He was persistent and thorough while on the game drives, following tracks and making great effort to find the animals that he knew were around the area. Each of our game drives were more successful than the one before it, because of Dave's expertise. Dave engaged the kids in wonderful extra activities that enhanced their experience. From fishing, to a mud bath to swimming in the river to making animal tracks, he was right there with them enjoying the experience. He was excellent!"

Dawson Smith

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Dawson is a skilled naturalist, great communicator and charismatic educator who loves to share the wonders of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with his guests...

Dawson Smith

Dawson is a skilled naturalist, great communicator and charismatic educator who loves to share the wonders of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with his guests. Holding a bachelor’s degree in forestry and a master’s in natural science education, Dawson is well versed in the ecology, geology, wildlife biology and public lands management issues of the Greater Yellowstone region. In addition to guiding Natural Habitat trips, Dawson has been an outdoor field educator for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the Teton Science School. His depth and breadth of knowledge, engaging personality, leadership skills and consummate professionalism make him a highly capable and versatile Expedition Leader who thrives on creating exciting learning experiences for his guests.

Upcoming Adventures with Dawson:

Polar Bears of Churchill


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Alkon
"Dawson was excellent. He was incredibly knowledgeable, and did a great job conveying that knowledge to the group. He also was very patient as I watched him repeat the same information multiple times to folks who either didn't hear it or forgot he had already explained it. He was polite and helpful and good humored and everything I would want a guide to be. He also had amazing eyes and spotted wildlife from incredible distances including and Arctic Hare and a Snowy Owl (I had a hard time seeing the owl after he had the scope on it--I am amazed he saw it without the scope to begin with). His knowledge and careful attention to our environment added immensely to the experience."

K. Johnson

"Dawson was absolutely perfect! He was thorough, attentive, patient and extremely knowledgeable. I feel very fortunate to have had him as our guide."

C. Kotarba
"Very fortunate to have had Dawson as our leader. Had the patience of a saint; was funny, optimistic and just an overall nice guy. Give him a raise!"

F. Picciurro
"Dawson's enthusiasm was infectious and his vast knowledge made everything we did and saw interesting...could not have asked for more!"

R. Lewis
"Dawson was a joy- great enthusiasm and great breadth of knowledge."

M. Ratkowski
"Dawson was a great guide. He was really attentive, knowledgeable and just made sure he paid close watch on all his travelers. He made the trip so enjoyable."

Drew Hamilton

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Born in Alaska and raised in the wilds of Iowa, Drew spent countless hours outdoors as a youth building forts along the Iowa River and delivering an incalculable number of newspapers...

Drew Hamilton

Born in Alaska and raised in the wilds of Iowa, Drew spent countless hours outdoors as a youth building forts along the Iowa River and delivering an incalculable number of newspapers. The travel bug bit as a teenager when his family lived on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, their base for exploring Turkey, Greece, Ukraine and western Russia. After stints living on the East and West coasts of the U.S., Drew made his way back home to Alaska in the late 1990s. His first job there sent him to a bear-viewing camp where he found his calling—bears. Since then, Drew has spent more than a dozen years observing and photographing brown bears, black bears and polar bears across Alaska and Canada, including six seasons living in the famed McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, home to the largest congregation of brown bears on Earth. Winters are generally a slow time in the bear-viewing business (think hibernation), so Drew fills his time cross-country skiing, editing photos, making homemade pretzels and staying up all night to photograph the aurora.

Upcoming Adventures with Drew: 
Polar Bears of Churchill
Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures
Northern Lights Photography Tour
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour

Praise from NHA travelers:

S. Meents

"Drew was a charismatic walking encyclopedia, extremely knowledgeable about any question we asked. Friendly, personable, thoughtful...I can't imagine taking the polar bear trip with anyone else. You're very fortunate to have him working for your company."

K. Kowalski
"Words can not express how wonderful Drew was. He made this trip better then I ever imagined. He was amazing from the time we meet until the time we said goodbye. If I haven't said it yet Drew was absolutely amazing."

D. Cameron-Brown

"Drew's enthusiasm and love of sharing about bears was unbelievable. He spent time with everyone who needed help with photography and made shots of the aurora possible for many of us. For us he added an extra dimension to the trip and made us want to do further bear trips."

P. Fieldus
"Drew's enthusiasm says it all! His enthusiasm and knowledge about all kinds of bears and bear behavior added richness to our trip! Even though I rarely have energy to get thru a busy day anymore, his excitement and willingness to keep us all engaged in the adventure made this trip so much more special for me! He’s a hoot! As a first time traveler with NabHab, Drew’s style and his genuine energy that will make me look at additional tours with this company…and with his leadership. In fact, I’ve already been talking up this tour with friends!"

K. Doyle
"Drew Hamilton as a superb trip leader! He is highly intelligent, well-educated and definitely a bear expert. Plus he's a wildlife photographer--it doesn't get better than that. Drew has a terrific sense of humor as well which is a must when random people are thrown together in a group. He was a complete professional, always gracious and always on top of the day's activities. We could not have asked for a better person as a leader and we'd take another trip with Drew anytime."

E. Chang

"Drew was amazing. We've travelled a bunch and he's the best tour guide we've ever had. Anything we asked him for he instantly got for us. If we are fortunate enough to go on another Nat Hab bear trip we will certainly request that we get assigned to Drew!"

J. Mayer
"With both his obvious knowledge and his passion for bears he made this a very fun and educational experience. I have been on several other tours in the past and Drew was definitely one of the best guides I have ever worked with.

A. Miller
"Drew was incredible. He went to great lengths to ensure everyone of us the best possible experience. His love for the bears (polar and brown)nature and his job was evident. His extensive knowledge on polar bears and the tundra was impressive. His personality invited everyone to participate and have a good time. I hope you realize the treasure you have with him. Thank you and Drew for an incredible experience."

S. Lobliner
"Drew is one of the best leaders we have ever had on any trip. This was a true photography trip. His knowledge of cameras, settings and anything to do with cameras is amazing. He let me borrow one of his lenses so that I could experiment. He made sure that everyone on the trip was able to get the best pics possible. His enthusiasm for the bears was definitely contagious and we loved hearing his stories about bears. He also shared his love of the Churchill area and the people he knows there."

K. Deasy
"Drew was truly outstanding. He is incredible at working with people and passionate about everything related to the trip, and beyond. His enthusiasm is infectious. If a problem arises, Drew solves it. By the conclusion of our journey, it felt as though Drew was family, and I believe everyone in our group would agree with that sentiment. Probably the greatest compliment I could pay Drew would be to note that he made it far more likely that I would again travel with NatHab, and I would do everything I could to get Drew as Expedition leader again. We were very fortunate to draw him for this particular trip."

Dushyant Singh

India, Bhutan and Nepal
Expedition Leader Since: 2009
Dushyant's passion for wildlife began when he was appointed as a management trainee at Tiger Tops Lodge in Chitwan, Nepal. Within 10 months he became the naturalist/manager of Tiger Tops Karnali...

Dushyant Singh

Dushyant’s passion for wildlife began when he was appointed as a management trainee at Tiger Tops Lodge in Chitwan, Nepal. Within 10 months he became the naturalist/manager of Tiger Tops Karnali Tented Camp. Finally he took over as the resident naturalist/manager at Karnali, where he was responsible for the overall management of both the lodge and tented camp. During his 6-year stint with Tiger Tops, he actively participated in conservation and the development of the national park. After leaving Karnali, Dushyant, as a freelance naturalist, began leading several wildlife/special interest tours in India and Nepal. Before joining Travel Inn in India, he worked as resident naturalist and manager at Baghvan Lodge in Pench National Park for two years. In addition to wildlife, Dushyant, a graduate in English literature, enjoys traveling, reading, cricket, soccer and horse riding. His wife teaches in a primary school and they have a young son. Dushyant is India Safaris & Tours Operations Manager and has been working with the company since 2006.

Upcoming Adventures with Dushyant:
The Grand India Wildlife Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Monaco
“Dushyant was such a pleasure to travel with! He was very knowledgeable about the wildlife and Indian culture (He answered my numerous detailed questions--about all things Indian, including wildlife--patiently and thoughtfully--he clearly has a great deal of expertise.) He also managed all of the logistics perfectly--which I imagine is a bit of challenge in India. I especially enjoyed his stories about Nepal and working in the reserves.”

P. Bril
"We can't say enough good things about Dushyant. We feel very privileged to have had him as our Expedition Leader. It is difficult to imagine a better leader. He is clearly very knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of guiding expeditions. Plus, his passion for his country, its people, and its wildlife is infectious. Even when there were logistical glitches (not of his causing), he remained calm and efficiently constructive in solving problems. In fact, nearly every one in the group had an extraordinary need of one thing or another (forgetting an item somewhere or requiring an ATM, etc.), which he effectively accommodated on top of dealing with the myriad details involved in keeping the expedition going smoothly. He made Herculean (and ultimately successful) efforts to be sure we eventually saw a tiger up close. I had some concerns about the humaneness of riding elephants, and he painstakingly explained, based on his personal experience, how the mahuts work with the elephants. He was always available to answer questions, solve problems, and impart insightful information. His sense of hum or and caring nature (for example,he made sure one guest's birthday was appropriately recognized with a cake and roses) were always apparent, even when he might have had every reason to be tired and/or exasperated with a glitch, a traveler, etc. Nat Hab is very fortunate to have Dushyant Singh as their "man in Delhi."

M. Smith
"What a blessing to have Dushyant as our guide. His service and his orchestration and attentiveness were amazing. The trip was flawless... There was never a moment of doubt that we were having the best experiences possible."

H. Gainley
“Dushyant Singh was always there for us and took care of all the things that detract from travelling--like tips, baggage and didn't overwhelm us with plans too far in advance. Knows his country well."

M. Graham
“Dushyant was GREAT!!! He was extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife-tigers, elephants, birds, etc. He was very helpful to me as a vegetarian, to let me know what I should and shouldn't eat. He really tried to make sure that everyone had a great time."

N. Mueller
“Dushyant Singh was a fantastic guide. He was personable, professional, interested, thorough and a really nice person."

W. Agee
"We are well traveled with a number of travel groups. By far, Dushyant was the best Expedition Leader we have experienced. He has an engaging personality, is level headed under all conditions, fair in his treatment of all travelers, highly knowledgeable, very organized and extremely competent. We have no suggestions for any improvements. There are no deficiencies."

R. Zamarin
"We have taken over 25 small group trips in the last 12 years, and have had excellent trip leaders, but none better than Dushyant. His personality and quiet demeanor in solving things quietly, seamlessly, and in the background, helped make the trip the best it possibly could be-all at no effort or concern to us as travelers."

Elise Lockton

Worldwide
Expedition Leader Since: 2008
Elise’s passion for travel and interpretation is obvious when you learn about the places she has chosen to live, work and travel. A degree in Environmental Studies introduced her to the world of interpreting nature.....

Elise Lockton

Elise’s passion for travel and interpretation is obvious when you learn about the places she has chosen to live, work and travel. A degree in Environmental Studies from Prescott College in Arizona introduced her to the world of interpreting nature, which has evolved into both a passion and profession.

Since 1993, Elise has worked as a naturalist-at-large in latitudes both north and south. Her naturalist career started in the jungles of Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador working as a resident naturalist at remote jungle lodges. After discovering Alaska, Elise’s path shifted north, and for 20 years she has been leading natural history-focused trips on both land and sea. Outside of Alaska Elise leads polar bear trips in Churchill, Canada and has worked as a staff member on expedition ships traveling to the Arctic, Antarctic, Russian Far East and the Sea of Cortez, Baja. There is nothing she enjoys more than integrating biological, cultural and historical information and sharing that with intrepid travelers. When she is not working or traveling, Elise resides near the entrance of Denali National Park or depending on the season, the island of Kauai.

Upcoming Adventures with Elise:
Polar Bears of Churchill


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

R. Holland
"We felt SO LUCKY to have been assigned to Elise's group. Her knowledge of the arctic flora and fauna, climate science and basically all of our earth's creatures and habitats is extremely extensive, and her visual aids on the ipad and posters were very informative. We had a professor of polar studies in our group, as well as several teachers, naturalist volunteers and experienced travelers. No question stumped her, she could give you a thorough but succinct answer, while still focusing on finding as many bear viewing opportunities as possible for us."

C. Christie
"Elise was terrific .. upbeat, accommodating, knowledgeable, approachable, interesting, funny, easy to chat with, and very flexible. I admire her way of life and how she lives what she loves."

P. Donshik
"Elise was a joy to be with. She is a born teacher and communicator and her knowledge about Polar Bears and all things related to them was enormous. She is easy going and friendly. You are indeed fortunate to have her as a guide."

M. Mahon
"Elise was attentive to every detail, question, situation and if she didn't know it, which I think only happened once, she got back to us. I asked if the ability for sighting wildlife was part of the job requirements. She was always looking and still present with the group, constantly interacting. She could sight things out of nowhere. There was never a time, even upon trying to get in the extra activities in Churchill at the last minute that we ever felt that she didn't have it all together and that we were her most important traveler. It is amazing the knowledge she has on Canada, the history, the current culture, the animals, and the interest she has in learning from her clients, espeically since she is not from the area. She is an outstanding employee and because of her and the rest of the staff we encountered I would not hesitate to recommend your company or take another trip with her or even another guide."

J. Crawford
"Obviously, all "excellents" gives you a pretty clear idea of how I feel about our personal guide. Elise is just a gem. She is first and foremost completely amazing in her knowledge about Churchill, polar bears, flora, fauna, history, etc., etc. Our group was very inquisitive about everything under the sun, and Elise seemed to know everything. If she wasn't sure of an answer, she checked rather than guess, and we knew the answer by the next morning. She did a great job delivering the material. I never felt she talked on and on, although I now feel knowledgeable beyond my expectations. I watched how Elise related to all the different participants in our tour. She was warm, friendly, professional, humorous, and helpful. Elise went out of her way to please and assist everyone, and best yet, she made every thing seem effortless. I hope to have another opportunity to travel with Elise in the future."

B. Barnes
"In all of our years of travelling we have never had a guide as dedicated, knowledgable, hard working, pleasant, helpful as Elise. Elise made this trip extra special and without her it would not have been the best trip we have ever had. We hope Nat Hab realizes what a remarkable lady Elise is."




Esteban Biamonte

Costa Rica
Expedition Leader Since: 2004
Esteban Biamonte’s aim in life is nature preservation. Literally since his early youth he has been a nature lover, especially when it comes to birds. Nature was his passion long...

Esteban Biamonte

Esteban Biamonte’s aim in life is nature preservation. Literally since his early youth he has been a nature lover, especially when it comes to birds. Nature was his passion long before he found out that such a field of study even existed. Now, years later, he is a biologist, finishing his Masters Degree in bird conservancy, a tour guide with 13 years experience certified by the Costa Rican Board of Tourism, and, of course, an inveterate naturalist. Extracurricular activities include travel, latin dancing, reading, and the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do.

Upcoming Adventures with Esteban:
Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
Costa Rica Wilderness Explorer
Family Costa Rica Adventure

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

R. Komson

"Esteban is a superb guide. He is a knowledgeable, personable, professional, enthusiastic and attentive biologist. He is a natural teacher. He did a great job. In addition to us, our 17-year old son's appreciation of nature was greatly enhanced because of Esteban's vast knowledge of Costa Rican culture, plants, vegetation, terrain, animals, reptiles, insects, and birds in particular."

J. Feeney
"Estaban was wonderful in every way. His very gentle and calm manner was a delight every day. He found every animal possible and his knowledge of Costa Rican birds was excellent. He could not have been any better, we love him."

J. Mariott
"Wow! What a guide! He is SO knowledgeable regarding all the aspects of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. We learned so much about the interaction of the various species in the various ecosystems that we visited. We went on every walk, optional or not, as they were just so interesting. He is so nice, helpful and friendly. He found all those out of the way little cafes for us to sample local cuisines for lunches. The food was so delicious and the people were so nice...the environments were so lovely. I don't think we really had any problems, but, if we had, I'm sure Esteban would have handled anything with no trouble."

T. Hanson
"Esteban was a perfect match for our family. While we really enjoyed the adventure part of the trip (zip-lining, rafting, etc), we especially benefited from Esteban's expertise and environmental interpreting. I felt that we saw as much wildlife as was there to see. Nothing escaped Esteban."

M. Kwintner
"Our guide was very knowledgeable and helpful, with a wonderful passion for his work and Costa Rica."



Fermin Tzib

Belize
Expedition Leader Since: 2009
Fermin Tzib is a Belizean of Mayan descent who has been guiding natural history groups throughout Belize for many years. After completing his education in Belize, and furthering his education in the US, he then....

Fermin Tzib

Fermin Tzib is a Belizean of Mayan descent who has been guiding natural history groups throughout Belize for many years. After completing his education in Belize, and furthering his education in the US, he then spent time working at the Mayan Temple site of Caracol, cataloging birds and wildlife. The success of this program helped Caracol to become a flagship Mayan Tourist attraction in Belize, which is how Fermin made his entrance into tourism. He went back to school, and was one of the first to receive the Belize Tourism Certification. He is a certified scuba diver and an avid birder, with a passion for Mayan history. Fermin has worked extensively throughout Belize and portions of Central America, and has been guiding natural history and archaeology groups in Belize for many years. He takes great pride in his country and looks forward to sharing it with you.

Upcoming Adventures with Fermin:
Ultimate Belize Nature Safari

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

T. Nolle

"We could not have had a better guide than Fermin for this trip. He was extremely knowledgeable about birds, Mayan history and culture and anything we wanted to know about Belize. There was anything that he didn't know about. He was so much fun to be with."

S. Zimdars-Swartz
"Fermin was an absolutely spectacular guide. Caring, expert, knowledgeable, attentive and fair to everyone's expectations. He made the trip for me."

L. Cudworth
"Fermin ties for the best guide we have ever had in our many years of travel. Each and every day, he made us feel like we were so special and he always went out of his way to make sure he exceeded our wishes. At the end of our journey together, he wrote each of us a kind note and gave us a small Mayan carving representing our birth month. He's a keeper!!"

K. Clayton
"Fermin's knowledge of the country was incredible ! He knew so much about the animals, plants, history, archaeology - - -. He was eager to share all his information with us. He gave us a map of the country the first day with our routes highlighted , so we could know where we were and where we were going. Seems like a small thing, but was just one of the things he did to make the trip more enjoyable. He made sure that every person in the group got out to participate in the activities and see the sights, even if they had difficulty walking or climbing. He took some of us on separate outings, used golf carts or a van to be sure that everyone got the most out of every area. He was up early and out late. Where did he get all that energy and enthusiasm ? :)"

B. Grossman
"Fermin took really good care of me. He checked my accommodations personally and asked the staff to be extra careful given that I am phobic about spiders. That was much appreciated. Also, I am a beginning birder and Fermin spent a lot of time with me helping in bird identification. He was great! I would definitely take a trip with him as guide again."

A. Furze
"Superlative in every way!! He was so sensitive to each traveler's needs and interests; offering so many diverse options for adventures. I am in such admiration of his passion for both his culture and knowledge of the natural world. You are VERY lucky to have such a special person on your staff!"

Fernando Romo

Mexico
Expedition Leader Since: 2006
Born and raised in Mexico City, Fernando moved to Puerto Vallarta in 1999 to study marine biology and pursue his love of nature. During his studies he collaborated in different research projects including humpback whale...

Fernando Romo

Born and raised in Mexico City, Fernando moved to Puerto Vallarta in 1999 to study marine biology and pursue his love of nature. During his studies he collaborated in different research projects including humpback whale and bottlenose dolphin photo-identification and conservation of Bluefooted boobies. His thesis was the first study done in the area about marine mammals. He has been a member of the Mexican Society for the Study of Marine Mammals since 2000. He splits his busy schedule between his two passions: research and guiding. Currently he is working in the humpback whale photo-identification catalog of Banderas Bay and guiding Monarch butterfly and humpback whale trips.

Upcoming Adventures with Fernando:
Kingdom of the Monarchs
Monarch Butterfly Photo Adventure
Swimming with Mexico's Whale Sharks
Mexico Sea Turtle Odyssey

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

S. Rayner
“Fernando was awesome!!!! He has a great personality, professionalism, and he made the trip wonderful! He has a great knowledge of the monarchs as well as birds. I enjoyed listening about his research on the whales and his passion for nature. He is in a class of his own!”

D. Bronsteter
"Fernando was the most helpful, hilarious and caring expedition leader! He understood my dietary restrictions during the trip, and made sure that all the food I would be getting was cooked with those restrictions in mind. He also helped me get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 on the way home at Mexico City airport-if he hadn't, I wouldn't have known where to go at all! Between him and the rest of the people on the trip, I couldn't stop laughing- I couldn't have asked for a better leader!"

H. Short
“Fernando in particular went to every length to ensure that everyone was enjoying themselves and happy. What a great guy!”

D. Levesque
"Fernando was fantastic! Very professional and kind (he bought me cough drops when he noticed I had a bad cough). He was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the natural and cultural habitats we encountered. He never got tired of answering the same questions over and over again and nobody felt left out. Communication was clear and concise and it was hard to believe he has only spoken English for a short time. He was considerate of each traveler's needs and safety. He is a treasure. If I only had one word to describe Fernando it would be 'joyful'."

D. Harder
“Thoughtful, polite, funny, charming, extremely knowledgeable, competent – excellent!”

M. Chandler
“Fernando was terrific. He went out of his way to make sure we were all comfortable, having a good time, seeing whales, and understanding everything about their activity. He was a terrific conversationalist on the tour and at meals. And he went out of his way personally to take us to a release of leatherback turtles into the ocean. We have nothing but the highest regard for him.”

A. Anstet
"Can't even say enough about how Fernando made this trip absolutely amazing. Professional, helpful, humorous, open, genuine, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and kind beyond measure. We learned so much about turtles and ocean life, experienced the local culture, laughed until it hurt, and were challenged to make a difference. What a great guy. I would be honored to travel with him again."

Francis Casapino

Peru
Expedition Leader Since: 2002
Born in Urubamba, Peru’s Sacred Valley, Francis has had personal contact with Andean highland communities and cultures throughout his life. Francis is passionate about Andean anthropological studies...

Francis Casapino

Born in Urubamba, Peru’s Sacred Valley, Francis has had personal contact with Andean highland communities and cultures throughout his life. Francis is passionate about Andean anthropological studies, particularly native costumes, traditions and social customs. He also enjoys teaching and sharing with others his vast knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Andes and Amazon rainforest. Licensed in tourism, his expert knowledge of his country, combined with his charm and enthusiasm, make him an ideal Natural Habitat Expedition Leader in the remote areas of Peru’s Amazon and Andes.

Upcoming Adventures with Francis:
Discover Amazon & Machu Picchu
Guided Machu Picchu Adventure

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

D. Sylvester
"Francis was the BEST! He made the trip special but more importantly he has a gift to make each member of the group feel special. He provided insight and exposure to the Peruvian culture that was "off the beaten path" from what a tourist would get if they did not have Francis. He had the "know how" and connections to bring the group to the historic sites at the right times where I felt that I was the only one at the popular overrun tourist place. For example, Machu Picchu. I have a picture of myself there where there are no people in the background. That is unheard of unless you edit a photo to delete the people in the background. It was as if I was alone at that sacred site. Francis had changed the itinerary so we visited Machu Picchu in the afternoon where the crowds had already left. Francis is charming, witty and bright with a strong command of the English language. He surely went above and beyond his role as a guide where his skill, talent and compassion were demonstrated. He enhanced my trip. I am grateful and blessed to have had Francis as my guide to one of the most magical places in the world."

B. Hanson

"Francis was absolutely outstanding. When I said good-bye on the last day, I felt like I was saying good-bye to a friend, not just someone who was our host. Francis was professional, engaging, accommodating and just down right funny! He really made the trip a memorable one for us."

S. Joyce
"Francis was phenomenal. He was professional, courteous and really paid attention to our group and any questions we had. In my opinion he was above and beyond any expectations I had and I think he is a huge asset to Nat Hab to have him as part of your group. If all of your guides are like him I can't wait until my next trip!"

K. Bogart
"Fabulous, Fantastic, Wonderful, Fun, Charming, Patient, Knowledgeable, Darling, Efficient, and he could dance! - LOVED HIM! I can't think of enough superlatives to describe Francis. He was unbelievably fun and made us all feel instantly 'at home' and 'part of his family'. It was incredible - his knowledge and passion for every subject made it easy to take it all in and enjoy every minute. Not to mention that without his patience and encouragement, I personally would never have made it halfway up Machu Picchu. I MADE IT and it was SO WORTH IT! Thank you, Francis - it was so worth it to see it all from that guard tower! What a view!"

C. Tamasik
"Francis is a gem. We loved him. He was unfailingly pleasant, helpful, courteous, respectful. He was very well-versed in the history of the area and seemed to have a rapport with many of the shop keepers, hotel people, restaurant people, etc all of which made the trip run smoothly. He was fun too. Francis is the best guide I've ever had on a trip."

G. Syfert
"Francis was by far the best guide I have ever had on any trip! He was always the gentleman, kind, organized, humorous, and a great sport when we played some tricks on him. He was very attentive and knowledgeable about the area and especially Machu Picchu. This was my dream trip and it far exceeded my expectations primarily because of Francis. He imparted details that I am sure no other tours received, he kept us away from crowds and he made sure that we took time and had the time to absorb the spiritual aspect of Machu Picchu. Hold on to this guide-he is a gem. He is so humble and yet has so much to offer. He was a joy to watch with the villagers at the Amazon."

Francis Kudumo

Botswana
Expedition Leader Since: 2010
Francis had an idyllic boyhood: born and raised in the Okavango Delta, he fished from a dugout canoe and camped on islands around open campfires. At night his father would tell stories about...

Francis Kudumo

Francis had an idyllic boyhood: born and raised in the Okavango Delta, he fished from a dugout canoe and camped on islands around open campfires. At night his father would tell stories about the birds and wildlife, which kept him fascinated for hours. Though he went to school far from home, memories of the delta and its wildlife remained vivid, and he couldn’t wait to return to the bush during school holidays. Upon graduating, he fulfilled his national service requirement working as a teacher in a primary school in Gantsi, where he formed a Wildlife Club in the village to educate local people about animals and the environment. He also organized trips for school children to game reserves in Botswana. Continuing to a career in tourism, Francis obtained an advanced-level guide qualification and is also a certified walking safari guide. His special interests are birding, tracking animals and stargazing.

Upcoming Adventures with Francis:
Botswana: Kalahari, the Delta & Beyond
Secluded Botswana Safari
Epic Botswana & Namibia Safari
The Great African River Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

A. Randall
"Francis was a gentleman and a gentle man. We trusted him implicitly. His intelligence, humor and clear devotion to the surroundings were a joy to behold. I have been on four Nat Hab trips. This was the absolute best..really life changing...and much of the reason relates to Francis and his ability to project his love for out planet and all it holds. I would tell you that everyone involved was wonderful. The eight of us felt very fortunate to have him with us each day..explaining, sighting, instructing and watching out for our welfare.. Francis has the most remarkable eyes and ears. I was continuously stunned at his ability to know and feel everything around us."

C. Reece
"He seized every opportunity to point out and explain interesting wildlife behavior, habitats, etc., and seemed to take as much delight as we did in tracking down and spotting wild dogs and leopards; he told us about trees, plants, the stars, the geographic history of Botswana and Southern Africa (including the movement of the plates that I can't spell); he fixed a flat tire, and dislodged the jeep from a huge rut--all with good humor, great patience and a wonderful smile. I would very much like to travel again with Francis as the guide."

J. Cobcroft
"Francis was always all of the above. He was patient, kind and helpful, with a great sense of humor. He always knew where to find the animals & indeed on this trip I saw animal behavior that I hadn't seen before. A leopard interacting with elephants, plus the other extraordinary behavior of a young leopard trying to stalk a zebra. Hippos fighting on land. A wild dog kill & lots of wonderful sights of animals playing. Francis was a good tracker and just knew where to go."

J. Moncrief
"Francis was very knowledgable and an excellent tracker. We were impressed with his ability. If he knew a guest had a particular interest, he made every effort to find and point out the indicated animal. He also made sure that every guest was comfortable and was receiving good service in each camp. Francis also showed us animal interactions that we never expected to see, like the bee eater riding on the back of the Kouri and the Goshawk hunting with the honey badger."

C. Allen
"Sometimes you meet people who you hope you meet again - Francis is one of those people. He was kind, patient with all our questions (some asked time and time again!) - he has a great sense of humor and is clearly highly committed to the work he does. His depth of knowledge on the animals, birds, flowers, plants - were mind-boggling! I learned so much from him. He was sensitive to the needs of the group (we had a great group by the way) - taking time to make sure we got pictures and tried his very best to make sure we saw all the animals we wanted to -- realizing he has no control over mother nature he did an outstanding job. Most important - I FELT EXTREMELY SAFE under his guidance. Once I realized how effective he is I put my trust in him competely - and never regretted it. I cannot say enough about him. I am the Director of a 6000 person firm -- I would love to have people like Francis working with me."

J. Cranco
"I cannot say enough about Francis and Bothu. He knew everything but he also had a very gentle way about him. He was just so knowledgable about all of the animals,the environment and Botswana. I loved that he told us about all of the animal's habits, about their food --what they ate and who ate them!, and about their daily lives. He had a terrific sense of humor and a lot of patience. He answered every question even when it was asked again and I felt very safe. He really knew the guiding job but he also knew how to drive every mode of transportsation we took and he was so organized. Everyone at each camp knew him and respected him and I felt honored to be on this trip with him. I have been telling everyone about both Francis and Bothu. She was excellent too. They made a wonderful team and there was not one detail that Bothu did not attend to. She made every transfer easy and made sure every camp was doing their job in the lovelist way. I read all 12 books of the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency...it is why I chose Botswana for Safari and both Bothu and Francis lived up to the kindness, gentleness and professionalism that Mme Precious Ramotswe, key character exemplified consistently. She referred to it as "The Botswana Way". My little heart is still so full of this."

T. Bell
"We have taken multiple guided tours, with NatHab and other companies, and Francis was perhaps the best guide EVER. His depth and breadth of knowledge was astounding. The range of duties he performed expertly, from driving the safari vehicles and boats, to serving tea, was more extensive than any other guide we have travelled with. I would go anywhere with Francis. You could not have a better representative for NatHab than Francis."

T. Fransen

"I was amazed at his ability to spot and track the animals he knew we wanted to see, and he never gave up looking for them until we did. He was tireless, patient and extremely knowledgeable when answering endless questions about the animals and the environment in which they live. I could tell that all who know him there have great respect for him as well, and that says so much about his character."

J. Brown
"Francis was very respectful of the animals and environment. I was very impressed with his knowledge of the plants, birds, geography, people and animals. Extremely professional in sharing his knowledge" 

Franco Morao

Southern Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Franco Morao was born in 1983 on a remote farm on the outskirts of the Namibian town of Gobabis. When he was two years old he entered a children’s home in Windhoek, where he stayed for...

Franco Morao

Franco Morao was born in 1983 on a remote farm on the outskirts of the Namibian town of Gobabis. When he was two years old he entered a children’s home in Windhoek, where he stayed for most of his school-age life. When he completed secondary school in 2002, in a stroke of incredible timing, Wilderness Safaris' "Children In The Wilderness" program approached the SOS Children's Home, where he had been living, to bring some of the kids into the wilderness to experience their country's natural wonders. Among this group was a young, ambitious and eager Franco. His passion for Namibia's fauna and flora shone from his eyes as the bus filled with exuberant young people arrived in Sossusvlei National Park. Receiving some encouraging mentorship, Franco was enlisted as a tent leader. After seeing the safari guides at work, he knew this was what he wanted to do for a career.

In 2004, after an extensive initial training program, Franco was appointed as a trainee guide at the same lodge where his life-changing experience took place. After eight months spent working through all the departments at the lodge, he passed his assessment to become a full-fledged guide. He went on to pass his intermediate level certification in 2006 and achieved his advanced status while guiding on the private Ongava Game Reserve in 2010. Franco continued with national guiding courses and graduated with a Level 3 National Guiding Certificate in 2012 – the highest possible achievement in Namibia. He has worked at safari camps throughout the country and loves sharing his passion via small-group safaris.

Through his in-depth experience, Franco has gained extensive knowledge of Namibia, its ecosystems and its wildlife. He is still actively involved in the Children in the Wilderness program as a camp director, participating every year since 2002. He is passionate about his work, loves meeting and socializing with all kinds of people, and enjoys exercise and outdoor activities. He is currently learning Italian, Spanish and German to be able to better communicate with international guests. Franco has a special interest in birding, is a keen and aspiring photographer, and hopes to become a specialist guide in these areas. 

Upcoming Adventures with Franco:
The Great Namibia Wildlife Safari
Epic Botswana & Namibia Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

L. Eagen
"Franco is an exceptional guide -- informed, inspiring, well-organized, responsive, and passionate about Namibia. NatHab is fortunate to have someone of his caliber. He made this trip the exciting and inspiring adventure it was."

L. Johnston
"Franco was truly an exemplary expedition leader. He is so proud of his country and passionate about wildlife that it came across in everything he did. He was very attentive to the group's needs at every turn."

B. Carrier
"Franco ranks among the best expedition leaders we've had with NH (and any other tour company). He is truly a great ambassador for Namibia and NH. He is passionate about the land, wildlife and people of his country and truly an expert in all three. He is always enthusiastic and continually works hard to ensure all travelers expectations, interests and needs are met. He works extremely well with all of the camp staff, drivers and trackers - they appeared genuinely glad to be working with him. He's a star!"

S. Simon
"Franco is an exceptional guide . He is very knowledgeable about natural history and is skilled at locating wildlife. Franco's sharp eye and his understanding of animal behavior enabled us to locate a group of cheetah sleeping under a tree. Franco was always working to make our time in Namibia full of fun and adventure. "

T. Peterson
"Franco earned "10" in all categories and additionally a "10" for his kindness/understanding when a traveler became ill. He ensured that the sick traveler was safe/comfortable and then took the rest of us on the planned drive to the desert-adapted elephants! He knew where the animals were, spotted them with unbelievable skill and even found some animals that he rarely finds! Fantastic job!!"

T. Conway
"Franco is the soul of kindness. He really does go above and beyond - for instance, my daughter and I are lactose intolerant so he personally went to the kitchen of each camp we stayed at to ensure that we got our meals without dairy products! Many times his own meal was uneaten while he made enquiries in the kitchen on behalf of his travelers."

A. Quinones

"Franco was extraordinarily knowledgeable and passionate about the ecosystem as a whole, transmitting and communicating his knowledge to our group, and ensuring we had extraordinary game drives with his vast experience in the different areas of Namibia that we traveled in. He is a gifted tracker and a natural teacher with an extraordinary amount of patience. I was also impressed by his attentiveness to each and every one of us in the group and his willingness to go above and beyond to ensure we had a unique and genuine wildlife experience."

Giancarlo Toti

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2009
Giancarlo was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he attended both elementary and high school at the American School of Guayaquil. He studied industrial engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of...

Giancarlo Toti

Giancarlo was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he attended both elementary and high school at the American School of Guayaquil. He studied industrial engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Guayaquil (ESPOL) and spent four years working for a CAT dealership before he was hired by the Charles Darwin Research Station to head the marine lab’s operations and logistics division. Since then, Giancarlo has become involved in several projects in the Galapagos marine reserve, spending hundreds of hours diving around its waters. Two years ago Giancarlo was accepted into the latest naturalist guide course offered by the Galápagos National Park.

Upcoming Adventures with Giancarlo:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:


D. Byrd
"Warm and engaging, took his time, showed great interest in the tour, the animals, landscape, history, everything! Most sincerely recommend him."

S. Randolph
"Giancarlo is an excellent guide and also highly recommended. He is very knowledgeable on the sea life and vegetation. He set a wonderful pace for the group, we never felt rushed, and yet the 'trains ran on time'. He is great fun to be around always kept us laughing. Also highly recommended!"

T. Ricker
"In a word, Giancarlo is AWESOME! His knowledge and passion for his work are apparent. He seemed to approach each excursion with a level of enthusiasm that is contagious. He really takes joy in nature and his surroundings on the islands. He is able to impart his knowledge of all aspects of the Galapagos, from lava formations to the tiniest of spiders. Details were not overlooked. I especially enjoyed snorkeling with him. He has a great eye for finding the elusive and quick moving animals. He was also kind enough to share his amazing photos with us."

E. Hegelund
"Giancarlo was AMAZING. His knowledge about everything went beyond just the name of the item but the history, genus, mating practices, etc. I have never met a more informed person. He was stellar."

R. Colasacco
"Giancarlo's knowledge of all aspects of he Galapagos was truly impressive. But beyond this knowledge was the time he took to impart this knowledge to everyone on the tour, and his willingness to help everyone in every way to enjoy this adventure to the fullest. He is definitely an asset to Natural Habitat and the GaIapagos Islands."

Gustavo Andrade

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2009
Gustavo’s connection to the Galapagos Islands runs deep. His great grandfather moved there in 1912 when he came looking for a job in a sugar plantation. Gustavo took his first trip around the...

Gustavo Andrade

Gustavo’s connection to the Galapagos Islands runs deep. His great grandfather moved there in 1912 when he came looking for a job in a sugar plantation. Gustavo took his first trip around the islands in a boat named the Beagle III when he was just six years old as his father contemplated a future career as a yacht captain. He says the experience of playing among dozens of sea lions as a boy changed his life and would eventually inspire his current career. He holds an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and an MBA. In 2005, he decided to quit his office job and cast off his business suit and at long last pursue his dream of becoming a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands. We are proud to have Gustavo on our team of Expedition Leaders.

Upcoming Trips with Gustavo:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

T. Brown
“Gustavo just the best. And so kind, too. We also appreciated his excitement about seeing wildlife, especially since they have probably seen a frigate puffing out or a blue booby dance about a million times--but it was our first time, and his excitement helped make it a special event."

A. Currie
“Gustavo is a gem of a guide. A+. I liked the fact that he is native to Galapagos. I would highly recommend him specifically to anyone going to the Galapagos. His knowledge level was very high, a pleasure to work with. His enthusiasm for his home area is infectious."

C. Wood
“Gustavo lives on the Galapagos and probably the most informed guide there is in the Galapagos. I tended to eavesdrop on other trips and you could tell what kind of caliber guides we had compared to the others and that we were in a totally different division. Gustavo was extremely helpful while snorkeling pointing out different ocean life, he was very enthusiastic about the history of the islands, the politics of Ecuador, the plant life and animals/reptiles we found on the islands. I really have a lot of respect for him, working so hard and always smiling and staying positive. He was really exceptional."

T. Haigh
“Could not have had a better guide. Real passion for nature and his work, which showed in his enthusiasm and positive high energy approach. Incredibly knowledgeable and has spent most of his life studying nature and wildlife in the Galapagos We spent most of our hikes in Gustavo's group and he went out of his way to help those with special needs. Also a real pleasure to spend time with socially."

K. Tietjens
“He was a great guide and was very good about pointing out unique animals and plants. He also spent time in the evening pointing out constellations. He got several items to make s'mores when we went camping. He was a real joy to hang with for the week."

Harsha Jayaramaiah

India, Bhutan and Nepal
Expedition Leader Since: 2012
Harsha is an enthusiastic naturalist with eight years of experience as a guide. He has worked as head naturalist in a top lodge in India where he was also in charge of training new naturalist guides...

Harsha Jayaramaiah

Harsha is an enthusiastic naturalist with eight years of experience as a guide. He has worked as head naturalist in a top lodge in India where he was also in charge of training new naturalist guides. Widely travelled and an explorer by nature, Harsha enjoys identifying and understanding the behavior and habits of a wide range of Indian wildlife, including mammals, reptiles and birds. Harsha also leads birding and wildlife trips in tiger country, from India's central highlands to the foothills of Himalayas, as well as in the grasslands of Gujurat. His dream is to go birding over the entirety of India, to see as many birds as possible at a single stretch over several months, while hitchhiking his way around the country. Harsha's inquisitive nature, along with his eagerness to explore and learn, makes him a phenomenal naturalist who knows how to captivate guests' interests and keep them spellbound with his wildlife stories.

Upcoming Adventures with Harsha:
The Grand India Wildlife Adventure
India's Tigers & Wildlife: A Photo Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

M. Valerie
"Harsha was beyond a 10 in every way. From his wonderful personality and sense of humor, his tremendous patience, his constant attention to our needs and comforts and schedules, and his willingness to go the extra mile for each individual. He was an encyclopedia of information and every time he was asked a question he didn't know the answer to he was on his phone getting any details he could find. There were several of our trip members who have traveled extensively with groups who said he was the best guide they ever had."

B. Seevers
“Harsha was outstanding and an excellent example of NHA standards. Very helpful, supportive and understanding, good with people and still learning. He was very attuned to the group, a gracious host able to handle different personalities as well as all the business details. When he was in the same jeep as me, his knowledge of wildlife, environment and photography was evident. I found him to be an asset to the program.”

J. Seith
“Harsha was very good and consistent throughout, one of the best I've had anywhere. Good sense of humor, attention to detail, good photo knowledge, managed the group well. Would travel with him again without hesitation”

C. Tamasik
“Harsha was all of the things listed above and much more. Very attentive, very willing to work with me and my digital camera to help me get better pictures (which I did). He was always patient, kind, interested, and also very knowledgable about the animals and the area. He was one of the best guides I ever had on a NatHab trip.”

J. Harmon
“Harsha was FANTASTIC! He was totally professional and helpful and yet he felt like a good friend right off the bat. He was funny and we always felt like everything was under control and safe. His briefings were always helpful and very accurate."

J. Dee
"We've been on many expedition-style trips, and, while we have been fortunate to have traveled with many excellent expedition leaders, not one has outperformed Harsha in any category. He is a treasure, and a real asset for NatHab."

B. Hauser
“Harsha was one of the best leaders I have had with Natural Habitat mainly because he gave EVERYONE equal attention. He didn't talk too much or too little and his knowledge was excellent. I really enjoyed having him as our leader. A very competent, efficient and nice man."

C. Cameron
"Harsha is an outstanding expedition leader and a very fine gentleman with a great personality. I rate him far above a 10 in every way. He was very attentive and kind, making me feel comfortable and secure. He showed that he truly cared about us, the animals, the environment and took seriously his position as expedition leader. When a fellow traveler fell ill, he handled the situation with utmost expertise. Harsha played a big role in making my trip so memorable!"

B. Wagner
"Harsha is an excellent leader and a complete gentleman. He orchestrated a seamless and calm adventure in a country which is anything but calm. He also brings an excellent and balanced perspective on Indian culture and society along with his extensive naturalist knowledge."

Hoskuldur Jonsson

Greenland
Expedition Leader Since: 2008
Höskuldur "Hoski" Jonsson is a highly experienced kayak guide, certified in Iceland and the recipient of four-star guide and safety awards from the British Canoe Union, the governing body overseeing paddling...

Hoskuldur Jonsson

Höskuldur "Hoski" Jonsson is a highly experienced kayak guide, certified in Iceland and the recipient of four-star guide and safety awards from the British Canoe Union, the governing body overseeing paddling sports in the United Kingdom. Höskuldur has worked for numerous companies in Iceland and Norway, managing and guiding kayak tours there and in Greenland. He has also studied Adventure Tourism Management in the UK. Hoski's passion for outdoors activities, especially kayaking, mountaineering and snowboarding, is second to none. His enthusiastic pursuit of adventures in nature has taken him around the world where he has climbed mountains including Kilimanjaro and spent months backpacking around South America. Greenland remains one of his all-time favorite destinations for exploration, and he never tires of leading paddling tours to these Arctic environs.

Upcoming Adventures with Hoski:
Natural Habitat's Base Camp Greenland

Jackson Looseyia

Tanzania
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Renowned as a world-class safari guide in the Maasai Mara, Jackson Looseyia was born in the region in 1967 and attended school in the Mara during his childhood. He grew up in intimate connection with the African wilds...

Jackson Looseyia

Renowned as a world-class safari guide in the Maasai Mara and adjacent Serengeti, Jackson Looseyia was born in the region in 1967 and attended school here during his childhood. He grew up in intimate connection with the African wilds, coming from a long family lineage of master trackers. Jackson’s father was a famous hunter who clashed with park authorities and was imprisoned, yet on his release he became the archetypal poacher turned gamekeeper, his prowess tapped as head ranger in the southern Mara to protect the wildlife he previously pursued. On forays into the bush with his father, sometimes for months on end, young Jackson learned to track dangerous animals such as lion and buffalo.

When Jackson was 20, he started working as a junior tracker for a local safari operation, following in the footsteps (literally) of his late father who had been chief tracker. Jackson went on to become the first Maasai guide in the Mara after he displayed not only an exceptional ability to track wildlife, but to interpret it to guests as well. To grow in his guiding prowess, Jackson went to South Africa to where he attained further expertise. Over the ensuing years he became a guide trainer,  and by 1996 he was part-owner in Rekero, the safari company that first hired him. In 2010 he branched out again, launching a new enterprise called Nomadic Encounters, an innovative concept to make private homes available to safari guests for a truly exclusive experience.

Jackson has also been a commentator and guide for a number of film projects in the region, especially those involving its big felines. In 2008 the BBC hired him as a presenter for its popular Big Cat Live series. He also guided film crews for Disney’s African Cats, BBC’s Planet Earth, and a number of other wildlife-focused productions. From the smallest insect to the largest predators, Jackson has an intimate knowledge of all the wildlife in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, but the big cats remain his favorites, especially the elusive leopard that he describes as “an animal work of art.”

While Jackson’s success has taken him to many places in the world outside Kenya and Tanzania, the Mara remains his heart’s home, and guiding his primary passion. Jackson and his wife Ann have five children.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

G. Gaeth
"Jackson is an amazing person! We learned so much on this exciting adventure. Everyday was filled with new experiences and information. Jackson has a real knack for sharing his vast knowledge in a fun and exhilarating way. His warmth, expertise and generosity made this trip unforgettable."

Jack Ward

Scotland
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Jack grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, U.K. where he spent most of his childhood tracking deer and watching nesting birds in the woodlands. While working as head ranger for the Deer Study Center...

Jack Ward

Jack grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, U.K. where he spent most of his childhood tracking deer and watching nesting birds in the woodlands. While working as head ranger for the Deer Study Center, he earned a bachelor’s degree in animal behavior and welfare from the University of Chester. Simultaneously, he completed a ranger course in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

Since graduating in 2011, Jack has worked as a marine biologist on Quebec’s St. Lawrence estuary, a caribou conservation officer in Jasper National Park, a guide in Costa Rica and as an ecologist and guide throughout the Scottish Highlands and Islands. In Cairngorms National Park, he worked as a reindeer herder who monitored the herd and led groups to explore the mountains and surrounding wildlife. Jack also worked as an ecologist on the Hebridean isles of Skye and Islay and as a wildlife filmmaker with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Scottish Wildlife Trust across the far northwest.

Jack continues to pursue a career in conservation as a fully qualified deer manager and bird ringer (aka bird bander). He is passionate about conserving nature and helping people understand all levels of our environment. Jack has a real love for the wildness of the mountains and is a keen wildlife photographer. He is happiest when hiking in the mountains or running on the fells.

Upcoming Adventures with Jack:
Scotland's Wild Highlands & Islands

Jared Baecker

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2003
Jared received his BS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana in Missoula. His field research experiences have led him around western North America. Jared has been a populations biologist.....

Jared Baecker

Jared received his BS degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana in Missoula. His field research experiences have taken him around a great portion of western North America where he has worked as a populations biologist involved with studies of snowshoe hare, lynx, wolverines, mule deer, Columbian sharp-tailed grouse and a variety of other passerine birds. Jared is an avid outdoorsman who spends a great deal of his time exploring the wild lands of the Yellowstone ecosystem with his fly rod, camera and backpack. For a decade Jared has worked as a naturalist in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with a focus on predator-prey interactions, giving him great insight into the behavior of Yellowstone’s wolves. Jared’s passion for nature has also brought him to the frozen North where he has guided polar bear expeditions in Churchill and Spitsbergen since 2003.

Upcoming Adventures with Jared:
Polar Bears of Churchill


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

J. Watson
“I was VERY impressed with Jared’s sharp eyes – he was responsible for spotting the moving branch of a brush and found black bears for us, then somehow noticed a pair of wolves very far away as we drove. Incredible.”

J. Sines
“Wonderful guide – very polite, considerate, knew his critters, history, and geology. Couldn’t have been better!”

G. Mann
“Jared was awesome. He worked HARD! He made sure everyone had a full and educational experience.”

L. Piersma
“I cannot say enough about Jared. He was incredible. Professional, personable, knowledgeable, and excitable. All your guides are wonderful, but Jared tips the scale. He relates well to young and old. You’ve got a gem there.”

M. Wasinger
“Jared was exceptional. He provided a wealth of information about the habitat and animals. He was extremely helpful and knowledgeable and was constantly looking after all of us. I would look forward to traveling with him again.”

P. Moore
"Jared is absolutely wonderful. The combination of his knowledge, love of the animals and attention to our group, made this a trip I won't soon forget."

Jean Lawrence

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University, Jean pursued a career that reflected her love of the natural world. She worked as an interpretive ranger at Grand Teton National Park...

Jean Lawrence

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University, Jean pursued a career that reflected her love of the natural world. She worked as an interpretive ranger at Grand Teton National Park and later completed a master’s degree in zoology and physiology from the University of Wyoming.

Jean’s passion for conservation biology led her to work for the National Park Service and United States Forest Service as a field biologist focusing on threatened and endangered species, including the California condor, Southwestern willow flycatcher, Mexican spotted owl, and Colorado River cutthroat trout. She participates in Audubon and Hawk Watch International bird counts throughout the year.

Jean enjoys continuing to explore the wonders of the Yellowstone Ecosystem and working as a guide to share these marvels with Nat Hab travelers.

Upcoming Adventures with Jean:
Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari
Yellowstone: Ultimate Wolf & Wildlife Safari

Jenna Berry

Scotland
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Jenna is an experienced naturalist specializing in interpreting the fauna, flora and ecology of the Scottish Highlands. In 2011, she graduated from Bishop Burton College, with a bachelor’s degree...

Jenna Berry

Jenna is an experienced naturalist specializing in interpreting the fauna, flora and ecology of the Scottish Highlands. In 2011, she graduated from Bishop Burton College, with a bachelor’s degree in animal behavior. Since then she has worked for both the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds interpreting wetlands, seabird colonies and native Caledonian pinewood forests.

Today, Jenna works as a ranger for the award winning Aigas Field Center and leads birding, wildlife and photography groups across Scotland. Jenna’s extensive knowledge of Islay, the Inverness Glens, the Black Isle and the rugged West Coast and her passion for educating others, comes through in every tour. In addition to being a keen birder and photographer, Jenna’s hobbies include drawing, painting, moth trapping and traveling. Jenna’s love of wildlife has taken her around the world to various locations including South Africa, Hungary, Spain, and India.

Upcoming Adventures with Jenna:
Scotland's Wild Highlands & Islands

Jeremy Covert

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Jeremy, who was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, became enamored with nature at a young age thanks to the woods near his house on the banks of the Ohio River...

Jeremy Covert

Jeremy, who was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, became enamored with nature at a young age thanks to the woods near his house on the banks of the Ohio River. His family consistently adventured outdoors, making frequent visits to the Great Smoky Mountains to learn its flora and fauna and to experience its seasonal variations.

Jeremy attended college with the intention of studying marine biology, but instead earned degrees in drawing, design, and painting with a minor in philosophy. He then left the Midwest to attend graduate school in Bozeman, Montana where he earned a Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA).

Since leaving school, Jeremy has followed an exciting and varied path. He has taught college classes at several universities, directed multiple art galleries, worked as an outdoor educator, and guided whitewater rafting, backpacking, hiking, sea kayaking and ski trips. He has also led backcountry igloo camping outings and mushroom harvesting, identification and cooking trips.

For the past 20 years, Jeremy has split his time between the West Coast and Montana where he enjoys exploring mountains and rivers and visiting with flowers and animals. Jeremy is an avid sailor and a practicing and showing artist who loves to sketch, paint and shoot photos as much as he loves to share the outdoors with his guests.

Even though he doesn’t live there anymore, Jeremy still has a very special place in his heart for Smokies. He and his large, close-knit family, who were instrumental in his love and patronage of natural spaces, still get together in the Smokies frequently. Whether it’s on personal trips or while leading expeditions in Glacier National Park for Nat Hab, Jeremy loves sharing the magic of natural settings and wilderness with family, friends and guests.

Jimmy Tosso

Costa Rica
Expedition Leader Since: 1998
Although Jimmy has participated in and led many classroom programs designed to educate guides about the natural history of Costa Rica, his true love is in the field—Costa Rica’s rainforest, cloud forest and...

Jimmy Tosso

Although Jimmy has participated in and led many classroom programs designed to educate guides in the natural history of Costa Rica, his true love is in the field – Costa Rica’s rainforest, cloud forest and lowland natural habitat. After graduating from the University in San Jose, Jimmy was a scholarship winner to the Costa Rica Tourism Bureau study program. Of course he is an excellent birder (a necessity to be a top Costa Rica guide), but he is also highly educated in all of the wildlife and habitats, as well as the country’s colorful culture and history. As one of NHA’s top Expedition Leaders, Jimmy is truly a pleasure to travel with and will ensure the success of your trip.

Upcoming Adventures with Jimmy:
Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
Costa Rica Wilderness Explorer
Family Costa Rica Adventure

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Pittman

"Jimmy had an infectious enthusiasm for his job. He was born to be a guide. I mean he was REALLY good. He has excellent language skills. He went above and beyond the call of duty. Jimmy appeared to be genuinely interested in showing and teaching us about the symbiotic relationships between flora, fauna, etc. Even though he has done this over and over many times for 20 years. He is an excellent spotter which was definitely to our advantage. We consider ourselves very lucky to have had Jimmy for a guide. And we consider you very lucky to have him as an employee. He more than any other single factor made this trip a complete success for us. We sincerely believe this trip would not have been the same (or even come close) without Jimmy. Please convey our thoughts to him and let him know what a superb guide he is and how appreciative we are for his efforts."

J. Randel
"Jimmy is SUPERB...his 20 years experience comes thru at every turn. DO NOT lose him - he is at the very top of the Leader List. I loved Costa Rica...the people, the food and the wonderful job the government is doing to encourage responsible behavior with a burgeoning Eco-Tourism based economy."

B. Burton
"Jimmy was excellent is every single area. His kindness and genuine love of all living creatures was a true gift to all those with whom he came into contact with."

R. Bartelt
"I couldn't have been happier with our guide! He was passionate and knowledgeable about nature and about his country. He was kind and considerate to our group. He talked a lot about the policies and politics of the government with respect to parks and conservation. My wife and I like birds, but we are not experienced "birders". Jimmy is, and he truly got us both very excited about birding in Costa Rica. We learned so much from him. He is incredible at spotting things in the forest--what a gift. I liked how Jimmy was flexible in where we stopped, when there was something special to see."

J. Overturf
"He was more than excellent! He handled a crisis that needed quick action extremely well without losing sight of the rest of his group. In my opinion, he made the trip. He had such a good sense of what we enjoyed as a group, and tweaked things to our tastes. You could not have a better person as representative of NatHab."


Joe Charleson

Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2012
Along with his wife, Gillian, Joe Charleson manages Natural Habitat Safaris from Kenya, where he divides his time between Nairobi, Leleshwa Camp, and the bush, when he's out on safari...

Joe Charleson

Along with his wife, Gillian, Joe Charleson manages Natural Habitat Safaris from Kenya, where he divides his time between Nairobi, Leleshwa Camp, and the bush, when he's out on safari. Joe was born in 1975 in northern England and at the age of 10 moved with his parents to Kenya, where his lifetime of adventuring in Africa began. Joe's father soon had the family out on camping trips exploring many unfamiliar corners of the map – the more remote the better -- and in such settings, Joe's passion for nature and wilderness was nurtured.

 After schooling in Kenya, Joe returned to England to attend Bristol University, graduating in 1997 with a degree in Biological Sciences that has supported his deep interest in wildlife and its conservation. Joe captured a coveted position as a resident guide at prestigious Jack’s Camp in Botswana, cutting his professional teeth in the arid, inhospitable Makgadigadi Salt Pans on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. With his family still in Kenya, he returned ‘home’ to continue a career as a professional safari guide and manager at Cottars 1920s Camp in the Maasai Mara game reserve, where he met his wife Gillian.

Soon Joe established his own company offering professional safari guiding services and shortly thereafter he and Gillian established Leleshwa Camp, an intimate private tented camp on the edge of the Maasai Mara. Owning a camp provided invaluable experience in developing his skills as a guide, leading trips, acting as a host and revealing the natural wonders of Africa to guests. In the process, Joe got to know the local Maasai community well, living side by side in a remote part of the Mara ecosystem, untouched by tourism. Joe took an active role in working with the community leadership to establish the Siana Conservation Area, and continues to work with the community as a whole to ensure that this important wilderness areas is protected and that all community members see the benefits of tourism on their land.

In March 2005, Joe was invited to join The Original Ker & Downey Safaris, one of the oldest and most respected safari companies in Africa, as a partner and professional safari guide on their truly traditional private luxury mobile camping safaris, further enhancing his depth of skills. Joe loves to explore new areas and search out unique experiences which, when combined with a sense of fun and adventure, guarantee an amazing safari. In 2009 Joe and Gillian welcomed their son, Kian, opening up an opportunity for Joe to watch a son of his own grow up in the bush, sharing his parents' passion. Family life has added a new dimension to Joe's safari experiences, with a deeper appreciation for the joy of learning about Africa, its remarkable wildlife and fascinating people, and sharing this knowledge with people of all ages.

2012 marked the next big step in the evolution of Joe's safari-based career path, with the advent of his and Gillian's partnership with Natural Habitat Safaris. 

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers: 

N. King
"Absolutely fantastic expedition leader. His wealth of knowledge was outstanding and the passion he has for what he does, the wildlife and his country was infectious. He was the best and I would want him as my expedition leader if I ever get a chance to go back. "

L. Knopp
"Joe was a fantastic leader in every way. He was very patient with everyone, and encouraged everyone. His knowledge of the animals and their environment was truly amazing. Fantastic choice of a GREAT leader!"

C. Papworth
"Joe was an exceptional Expedition Leader always willing to please and caring in every way, we could not have asked for a better person for our safari."

A. Tanzy
"Joe was a super Exp. leader. He left nothing to chance and took care of every detail to make our Safari the best. He remained on top of everything. He's the best!!"

B. Westerman 
"Joe Charleson was an outstanding trip leader, and we were most impressed by his local knowledge, organizational skills and pleasant personality. Hard to imagine how he might improve."

M. Fine
"Joe was a superb expedition leader. He paid attention to what each guest especially wanted to see and tried his best to get them what they wanted."

Jonathan Willet

Scotland
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Jonathan’s inspiration to become a naturalist came from an unusual source–the television. As an avid fan of exotic nature documentaries, Jonathan cultivated a collection of animal and plants facts...

Jonathan Willet

Jonathan’s inspiration to become a naturalist came from an unusual source–the television. As an avid fan of exotic nature documentaries, Jonathan cultivated a collection of animal and plants facts and a desire to become the next David Attenborough that led him to begin experiencing and appreciating nature first hand. He gained an expansive knowledge and understanding of Scotland’s wildlife and habitats while getting his bachelor’s degree in zoology, his master’s degree in ecology, and spending time in the field.

Jonathan furthered his education by volunteering on nature reserves and then began his guiding career in 1995 with two summers at Aigas Field Center, outside Inverness. He continued leading groups in a variety of settings until, in 2006, he realized a lifelong dream by starting Red Kite Tours, his own guiding company. Jonathan describes running Red Kite Tours as the most satisfying endeavor of his life.

Jonathan’s main interest lies in experiencing and sharing his knowledge of wildlife with travelers, but he also uses folklore, geology and place names of the Highlands to help travelers gain a full understanding of the exceptional landscape and the animals who call it home. Since 2003, Jonathan has visited Finland, Iceland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Latvia on field trips to gain a wider perspective on Scotland’s’ ecosystems within a European context.

Committed to consistently furthering his education and abilities as a guide, Jonathan has continued to pursue professional development in his field, logging many hours of continuing education over the years. In 2014, Jonathan qualified as a Scottish Tour Guide Association Blue Badge Tourist Guide, a feat that requires study time equivalent to earning a master's degree. 

Born just outside of Glasgow and thus, a lowlander by birth, Jonathan, who currently makes his home in Maryburgh (near Inverness), is a highlander by inclination. Known for his ability to talk in a knowledgeable and entertaining manner about most subjects related to the Highlands of Scotland, Jonathan gives travelers a true education. But, be careful if you ask him about dragonflies; it could be the start of a very long conversation since they are his favorite wildlife.

Upcoming Adventure with Jonathan:
Scotland's Wild Highlands & Islands

Joseline Cardoso

Galapagos
Expedition Leader since: 2005
As an Expedition Leader, Josy's desire is to share her passion for the islands with her guests and to impart an appreciation for their natural environment and wild inhabitants...

Joseline Cardoso

Josy was born in Quito, Ecuador and moved to the Galapagos at the age of 10. To this day, she considers it the best thing that ever happened to her. She attended school in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz and studied abroad in the U.S. and Italy. By the time she was 18, she knew she was destined to pursue her dream job as a naturalist guide, and she began guiding in the Galapagos in 2005. She has a bachelor's degree in tourism administration and hotel management from the University Espíritu Santo in Guayaquil. She also obtained a scholarship to pursue master's studies in in tourism management and planning at the University of Alicante in Spain. As an Expedition Leader, Josy's desire is to share her passion for the islands with her guests and to impart an appreciation for their natural environment and wild inhabitants.

Upcoming Adventures with Josy:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat Travelers

L.Hornig

"I cannot say enough good things about Josy. I hope my daughters grow up to be just like her! She was truly focused on our comfort and making sure we had a good time. She also knows her subject matter thoroughly (and I am a science teacher who has a PhD in Evolutionary Biology, so my standards are pretty high) and conveyed information at just the right level, and always in context. Josy handled all the practical matters with ease and grace."

C. Kleeman
"Josy was an all-around fantastic guide! Very knowledgeable, very enthusiastic, and friendly to boot. She clearly knew so much about the islands (geology, plants, wildlife, tourism) and was eager to share her knowledge with us. She was also wonderful to talk with while on board the ship, where she told us about her experiences growing up in the islands, her dreams for the future, and also got involved in the various games we played. Basically, I could not give her a higher recommendation!"

J. Kremer
"Josie was so exceptional...professional, caring and able to transmit her passion and enthusiasm for the Galapagos to all of us. She was wonderful with each of my grandchildren and made sure that each of them had an extraordinary experience."

J. Sparks
"Joseline was absolutely amazing. She connected to our group immediately and interacted with all of us. Josey was professional. When we were snorkeling, every few minutes she would take a count to make sure we were all in the area and okay. Josey was warm, friendly, and extremely knowledgeable."

Judy McKenzie

New Zealand
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
A professional guide since 1996, Judy has an extensive background in many facets of New Zealand's travel industry. She leads groups throughout the country, and she has worked with families...

Judy McKenzie

A professional guide since 1996, Judy has an extensive background in many facets of New Zealand's travel industry. She leads groups throughout the country, and she has worked with families and individuals on a more personal basis as well, designing and leading custom tours around the South Island. Judy is passionate about New Zealand and has an intimate knowledge of its history, nature and culture. Guests who travel with her not only enjoy their exploration of New Zealand's wildlife and natural features, but they have an in-depth educational experience as well. Her avid interest in people, coupled with her desire to provide exceptional personal service, make her an ideal guide for overseas visitors to the country she calls home.

Prior to entering the tourism realm full-time, Judy worked as a nurse in Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa before setting in Queenstown, New Zealand in 1988. New Zealand's great outdoors offers endless possibilities for adventuring, catering to Judy's enthusiasm for an active life. When she isn't guiding, she likes to spend her time mountain biking, road cycling, hiking, skiing, sailing, horseback riding and gardening. While Judy has a heart for adventure, she also keeps a keen focus on safety in the outdoors and holds a slate of first-aid qualifications.

Upcoming Adventures with Judy:
New Zealand Nature Explorer

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

T. Iki

"A most delightful and knowledgeable leader. She's a terrific ambassador for New Zealand and a Nathab treasure."

T. Blase
"Judy went out of her way to make our trip enjoyable, including adding some driving changes to go some more scenic routes. She did a great job throughout the trip."

C. Rarick
"Judy was absolutely wonderful! She worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone on our trip was accommodated in every possible way."

W. Dixon

"Judy bent over backwards to be sure that the additional things folks wanted were provided (a trip to the Australian fault line, Bluff oysters, etc.), and she was most helpful in assisting me when I had difficulties walking downhill. Very knowledgeable and agreeable."

C. Kasen
"Judy did an excellent job in all respects. Her love for New Zealand and knowledge were superb."

G. Stoneman
"Judy was a fantastic trip leader. She was very responsive to our needs, very knowledgeable, and a genuinely nice person. We were very fortunate to have Judy as our leader."

L. Jack
"Judy was unbelievable in every way. She had the knowledge of a native, the patience of a saint, the enthusiasm of a naturalist and the energy of an athlete. Could not have asked for someone more suited to her job."

B. Mulzer
"Judy was terrific! She truly went above and beyond in accommodating everyone in the group. She was a lot of fun to be with, anticipated issues(crowds from big buses, weather, etc.) and knew how to best work around any challenges to maximize our time."

Julio Madriz

Costa Rica
Expedition Leader Since: 2010
It’s no wonder Julio Madriz Nuñez loves the land: he was raised on it. Born into a farming family in rural Costa Rica, Julio spent his childhood developing a natural understanding of Costa Rica’s...

Julio Madriz

It’s no wonder Julio Madriz Nuñez loves the land: he was raised on it. Born into a farming family in rural Costa Rica, Julio spent his childhood developing a natural understanding of Costa Rica’s ecosystems. However, his aspirations led him to the city, where he studied microbiology at Costa Rica University in the capital of San Jose. Before becoming a naturalist guide, he and his wife had five children, whom he calls his “greatest gift, my pride and joy.” While raising his family Julio returned to farming but eventually made his way back to his true passion, which is studying Costa Rica’s amazing nature and sharing its beauty with others. He has worked in various biology research programs and on production crews for a slate of international nature films, a pursuit that has taken him to Europe, North and South America, and throughout Central America. Such experience has enriched his abilities as a guide, enabling him to better understand the needs and interests of travelers from abroad who visit Costa Rica. Julio enjoys reading, running and trekking in the outdoors he knows so well and loves so much.

Upcoming Adventures with Julio: 
Costa Rica Private Custom Adventure

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

T. Pribitkin
“I really enjoyed having Julio as our guide! He is a really kind and helpful person. He always answered any questions we had and filled our brains with great knowledge.”

S. Sagar
“Julio was absolutely perfect. He was engaging to the younger audiences and had an excellent sense of humor. He couldn’t have been better.”

Justin Gibson

The North & China
Expedition Leader Since: 2011
At the age of eight, Justin saw his first wild bear. More than 20 years later, his infatuation with all things ursine continues to grow. While attending the University of Alaska, Anchorage, he spent...

Justin Gibson

At the age of eight, Justin saw his first wild bear. More than 20 years later, his infatuation with all things ursine continues to grow. While attending the University of Alaska Anchorage, he spent summers as a ranger in Katmai National Park. He has since guided countless visitors into the Alaskan wilderness for more than 12 years. More recently, Justin has been guiding polar bear expeditions in Churchill, Manitoba, though his nature obsession doesn’t stop with bears. A self-described eco-nerd, Justin is fascinated with wildlife, botany, microbiology, birding, glaciology and scuba diving. When he’s not guiding, Justin likes to travel and photograph the world’s beautiful places, including recent trips to Yellowstone, Jordan, Taiwan, Cambodia, Egypt, Thailand, Laos and Malaysia.

Upcoming Adventures with Justin:
Polar Bears of Churchill
Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures
Northern Lights Photography Tour
The Wild Side of China: A Nature Odyssey
The Wild Side of China Photo Adventure
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai
Alaska's Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

E. Hente
"Where do we begin??? Justin was an outstanding, excellent, helpful, knowledgeable, professional and caring guide. His personality was terrific. Although we were not on a "photo tour," as a professional photographer, Justin was extremely willing to share his knowledge and help those of us who were not as knowledgeable at any time!"

E. Acosta
"I could not have asked for a better guide. Subject knowledge excellent. Courtesy and helpfulness better than anything ever experienced. Very engaging with the travelers. Even offered tips on photography—above and beyond all around. Genuinely wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and experience the once-in-a-lifetime trip."

C. Brose
"Justin is INCREDIBLE!!!! Not only does he have a vast knowledge of the bears, but if he didn't have the answer to a question, he would get it. He was very generous in helping make everyone's stay a memorable one. He is an incredible photographer and was very kind in helping others and sharing ideas on how to get the "perfect" shot. I was very impressed by his interactions and people skills. He is a polished and personable young man. We would LOVE to go with him again!!!"

E. Ownbey
"Justin was an AMAZING Expedition Leader. Very professional, great attitude, a true expert regarding Poalr Bears!! He took an amazing trip and made it a "Once-in-a-Lifetime" experience!!! I don't know how anyone could do a better job at representing your company."

J. Pilarcyk
"Justin is a very caring young man . . . eager to research facts for us . . eager to please us and very genuine! I think our entire group fell in love with him and wanted to take him home."

E. Piwetz
"Justin is an exceptional Expedition Leader and functions at the highest level of competence at all times. He is continually vigilant, assessing the situation and responding accordingly in a consistent manner. His photography expertise is superior. His concerns for our safety in the "dangerously cold" climate was always paramount. There was no issue/problem that he could not solve. He is a delightful individual and has the perfect personality and temperament for his position. We have had guides/rangers etc. throughout the world and he ranks with only the best! Our expectations are always high so to please us is no small feat. Justin made the trip perfect!"

Karel Beets

Mexico
Expedition Leader Since: 1999
Karel’s lifelong love of nature and the outdoors lead him to a career as a naturalist and conservationist in 1991. He is a co-founder and past president of the Mexican Association of Ecotourism...

Karel Beets

Karel’s lifelong love of nature and the outdoors lead him to a career as a naturalist and conservationist in 1991. He is a cofounder and past president of the Mexican Association of Ecotourism and Adventure Travel and he recently completed his Master’s degree in sustainable development and tourism. When not leading our guests on monarch butterfly, humpback whale and sea turtle expeditions, he pursues his passion for exploring his native Mexico and is an avid birdwatcher and scuba enthusiast. He is also actively involved in humpback whale conservation. Karel’s extensive knowledge of Mexico’s wildlife and natural history and his great sense of humor make him an enduring favorite of our guests.

Upcoming Adventures with Karel: 
Kingdom of the Monarchs
Monarch Butterfly Photo Adventure
Swimming with Mexico's Whale Sharks

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

P. Dear

"Karel was great. He seemed to really want everyone to have a wonderful time and he was full of great information. He also has a great sense of humor which always makes group travel so much more fun. And he served a fabulous coffee and cake snack from the back of our van on the beach at Escobilla while we took a break from the unbelievable turtles arriving in mass!"

D. Quebec
"I enjoyed his sense of humor and especially his helpfulness with my slower pace up the mountains to see the magnificent monarchs. I will never forget this wonderful experience thanks to him."

Y. Buff
"Karel was extremely helpful and gave me superior physical assistance on the trails. He always stayed behind to help those of us who lagged behind. Karel was very patient."

M. Morgan
"Karel was simply outstanding. What a responsibility! 5 women, two of them 81, one 71, and two in their 50's. I required a great deal of help hiking, getting on and off the horse, and Karel was always there with a willing hand to help. He is a gentle man and I look forward to traveling with him as Guide with Nat Hab again. I cannot say enough about this patient, gentle and intelligent fellow."

C. Randall
"Karel was also our trip leader on the Sea Turtle trip. He is extremely knowledgeable and the sweetest person on the planet."

Katie Crafts

The North
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
As a kid, Katie wore mom-made, whale-covered jumpers (the uniform of the cool kid, right?!). In high school, she developed a study abroad program so that she could travel to Spain and see what...

Katie Crafts

As a kid, Katie wore mom-made, whale-covered jumpers (the uniform of the cool kid, right?!). In high school, she developed a study abroad program so that she could travel to Spain and see what more of the world was like. In college, she spent six weeks on a tall ship, sailing from Massachusetts to the Caribbean using a sextant. Through these experiences, she started to piece together the planet from a cultural an environmental perspective.

Katie earned a B.S. in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where a yearning for adventure in higher latitudes implanted itself in her imagination. She blames it on library procrastination, where she stumbled upon a book about the ecological impact of decaying ships. The feature article was about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, The Endurance, which was beset in the Antarctic sea ice in 1914. And thus, her journey began.

In 2014, Katie sold her home and hit the road. Starting in Antarctica, she traveled from 68 degrees south to 82 degrees north—just 500 nautical miles from the North Pole. Her modes of transport included a 400-foot-long Russian research vessel and a converted Toyota Matrix car-home, which she drove to Alaska with her dog as co-pilot.

When she isn’t chasing higher latitudes, Katie seeks higher elevations at her home along the Cascades in Hood River, Oregon, where she lives with her dog, Mollie. She finds ice wherever possible, and works as a porter for glacier cave research expeditions around the Pacific Northwest. She is eager to share Greenland's northern reaches with her guests, and looks forward to exploring more of the polar planet.

Kenn Magowan

Greenland
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Born in Rhode Island with a restless and adventurous spirit, Kenn spent his early years wandering between the ocean and rivers until his travels eventually landed him in Alaska...

Kenn Magowan

Kenn is the Assistant Base Camp Manager at Base Camp Greenland. Born in Rhode Island with a restless and adventurous spirit, Kenn spent his early years wandering between the ocean and rivers until his travels eventually landed him in Alaska. During more than two decades as a wildlife and kayak guide, Kenn has led hundreds of paddling trips throughout remote and pristine areas of Alaska, Canada’s Northwest Territories, Svalbard and Antarctica.

At the University of Alaska Southeast, Kenn pursued outdoor education and Alaska wilderness studies, and bolstered his knowledge of the natural surroundings by absorbing skills for remote self-sufficiency by studying diesel engines, marine electrical systems, boat building and woodworking—a fine accumulation of skills that should come in handy at Base Camp Greenland.

Remote living is something Kenn has done before. Living 65 miles from the nearest village more than 500 miles from the nearest road, he worked as a dog handler in western Alaska, training dogs to run the 1,100-mile Iditarod and managing 75 miles of trap line on the upper Anvik and lower Yellow rivers. He lived a subsistence lifestyle, without electricity or modern conveniences, where long hours in sub-zero conditions were the norm and a harsh environment left little margin for poor judgment.

Since 1993, Kenn has led kayak, rafting and canoe trips in remote areas of Alaska, arranging everything from food and equipment to pre-trip information for his guests. He takes great pride in his attention to detail, and has proven his mettle as lead guide in managing to be everything from natural history interpreter to camp chef. In addition, Kenn spent a year as the Kayak Master aboard the M/V Akademik Sergey Vavilov, leading close-up viewing of polar bears, walrus and other Arctic wildlife in Svalbard and Spitsbergen. On shore, Kenn has more recently led pack trips among the densest population of brown bears in the world on Admiralty Island.

Further demonstrating his logistical prowess, after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, Kenn traveled there as a volunteer to help assist 70 at-risk orphans who were in the midst of legitimate adoption processes without access to vital documents that had been destroyed in the Ministry of Interior. Kenn enjoys cycling and hiking, having hiked the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail and pedaled across North America, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. Gregarious and easy-going, he makes his home between the ocean and mountains in Juneau, Alaska.

Kevin Taylor

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2003
Kevin has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and gained a master’s degree in botany from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Kevin’s experiences have ranged...

Kevin Taylor

Kevin has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and gained a master’s degree in botany from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Kevin’s experiences have ranged from working as a contract biologist with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Service in Helena, Montana, to teaching summer courses with the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. Kevin later became a part of the faculty at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Kevin has had a passion for the wolves of the Yellowstone region for years and, on our trips, conveys that passion to each and every traveler. He brings to Natural Habitat Adventures experience in plant taxonomy, natural history knowledge, and a teaching background, educating people about the biodiversity, wonders, and value of conservation in the natural world.

Upcoming Adventures with Kevin:
Yellowstone Ultimate Wolf & Wildlife Safari
Yellowstone Winter Photo Expedition
Yellowstone Wolf Quest & Photo Adventure
Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari
Hidden Yellowstone Photo Safari

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

S. Ryan
“KEVIN ABSOLUTELY MADE THIS TRIP MORE THAN WE COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED OR ASKED FOR. As well as viewing some extraordinary wildlife and scenary, we both learned so much from him about what it was that we were viewing. His passion, enthusiam, professionalism, knowledge and genuine friendliess were an intregal part of what made this trip so special for us. And it is what will have us returning to Nat Hab again for future adventures." 

H. Kendrick
“As noted, excellent in every way! His enthusiasm, eagerness to share knowledge, receptivity to questions and comments made this trip one of the best wildlife experiences we have ever had! It was a true joy to be with him!!"

M. Burkely
“Kevin is an outstanding leader, at times under rather difficult conditions. At first I had difficulty in walking in snow and ice--don't get much practise in Florida! Both guides helped me, ensured I was safe, and made certain I was not only coping, but enjoying myself. Kevin is extremely knowledgeable, but also very patient and extremely kind. He made my trip special!"

R. Kinstler
“Once again Nat Hab came through with the excellent results I've come to expect. Kevin is one of the best guides I have traveled with and both guides worked very well together. His knowledge and attention to detail were evident throughout the trip, including personal help whenever necessary."

N. Bronner
“Kevin is among the best guides ever! So friendly and knowledgable, that he made the trip amazing!"

Kurt Johnson

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Kurt Johnson is a naturalist, author and photographer with a passion for the natural world and ecotourism. He grew up in both the urban setting of northern Virginia and the remote Adirondack Mountains of New York state...

Kurt Johnson

Kurt Johnson is a naturalist, author and photographer with a passion for ecotourism. He grew up in both the urban setting of northern Virginia and the remote Adirondack Mountains of New York State where he developed his interest in natural history. Kurt has been fascinated by wildlife since he was a young boy, and he even claimed at age four that his professional aspiration was to grow up to be a monkey. He has yet to achieve this, but along the way he studied wildlife biology in Wisconsin, acquired an additional BS in education and an MS in natural resources in Utah, and has since studied wildlife all over the world. Kurt has been guiding wildlife tours and teaching about wildlife for more than 15 years, including organizing and leading safaris in Kenya and Baja. He also teaches photography and leads astronomy programs. His recently published book, The Field Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, is the most comprehensive identification and natural history guide ever written about these two famous parks and represents Kurt's efforts to communicate the "big picture" of an ecosystem, rather than focusing only on the most charismatic megafauna.

Upcoming Adventures with Kurt:
Polar Bears of Churchill
Northern Lights & Arctic Cultures
Glacier Park and Waterton Lakes: An International Treasure

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Martinez
"Kurt was the single, most important reason we had such a wonderful experience; a real leader, amazingly knowledgeable and great people skills."
 
M. Doyle
"Kurt is a fantastic professional with a true passion for nature and teaching people about it. Nat Hab can and should be very proud to have him represent you."

C. Bariletto
"Kurt truly cared about us. I was not feeling well during one dinner, and he was very concerned. That's above and beyond all the great things he did for us, with the individualized attention to our photographing techniques, and questions, and discussing the landscape, animals, aurora borealis, solar pillar, and all the great things we saw. He is a fantastic and very knowledgable person!!"

L. McKee
"Kurt was an exceptional leader. He did everything he could to see that everyone on the trip was well catered for and made a special effort to see that each persons goals were met. His prodigious knowledge on many subjects really enhanced the trip. He was extremely thoughtful, even in details such as our lunch picnics. We would love to go on another trip with him."

M. Macklin
"I could not imagine a better trip leader than Kurt. I especially appreciated all his help with my camera and picture taking, even though this wasn't a photography trip. He's funny, super knowledgeable, and just an all around nice person."

Lazarus Moalosi

Botswana/Southern Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Lazarus — "Lazi"— was born and raised in Bobonong village in Botswana. During weekends and school holidays he helped his parents on a farm along the Limpopo River...

Lazarus Moalosi

Lazarus — "Lazi"— was born and raised in Bobonong village in Botswana. During weekends and school holidays he helped his parents on a farm along the Limpopo River, where his brother Moalosi, now a safari camp manager, always took him out on patrol. On many occasions they encountered elephant, eland, impala, kudu, hippo, and most of the small game animals. These outings inspired Lazi, who loved wildlife, and instilled in him a great love of the bush. Upon completing secondary school, Lazi was determined to pursue studies in the arena of nature and conservation. He graduated with a diploma in Tourism Management and Hospitality from Speciss College in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, then returned to Botswana to start work as a travel consultant in the safari capital of Maun. This was excellent experience, as it allowed him to learn in detail what guests are looking for on their travels, but it did not satisfy Lazi's urge to be in the bush. He continued with further studies as as a guide and shortly after became a trainee guide at Chitabe Camp. During the last nine years Lazi has also guided out of several other premier safari camps in Botswana including Little Vumbura, DumaTau and Vumbura Plains. He now holds a Level 2 guide certificate with walking safari qualification and enjoys pursuing particular interests in tracking, ecology and nature conservation.

Upcoming Adventures with Lazi:
Secluded Botswana Safari
Family Botswana Safari
Botswana Explorer Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

N. Bennett
"Lazarus is truly exceptional. The breadth and depth of his knowledge concerning wildlife and vegetation are amazing, and he's clearly passionate about his work. Respectful and patient in response to questions, Laz goes the extra mile to ensure the best experience for the group. I cannot imagine a better guide than Lazarus, and am indebted to him for for providing such an incredible experience."

P. Ivey
"Lazie was incredible. His knowledge, dedication and perseverance made an already wonderful trip, unbelievable. His abilities as a guide are unsurpassed in my book. I feel incredibly lucky to have had him as my guide."

N. Boylan
"The expedition leader is key to a great experience. Lazarus made the trip extraordinary! The depth of his knowledge and his willingness to educate us far exceeded any expectations I had. We all felt very lucky to have Lazarus as our guide."

P. Connelly
"I cannot give enough superlatives about Lazarus. He MADE the trip. His knowledge of the animals, the country, the politics, the history was top notch. His tracking skills were phenomenal, locating many animals so that our jeep was the first on the scene -- then he would radio others so that they could see them too. He has a wonderful sense of humor -- we laughed heartily throughout the week. He really went the "extra mile" to make sure all our questions were answered and that we felt safe at all times -- quite a trick when we were staying in tents with lions roaring 50 yards away."

A. Harrison
"Lazi is AWESOME. We are two college professors who know what great teaching looks like, and Lazi exceeded all of our expectations. We learned so much from him! We cannot imagine that there is a better guide in Botswana."

V. Vennell
"Lazi was a superb leader - in fact, it was like taking a college course in "everything Botswana." He was knowledgeable, engaging, and taught us all about the animals and their habits; in addition, he taught us about the country's culture and commitment to protecting all living things."

C. Brenner
"Lazarus has a wonderful combination of skills that make him a superb expedition leader. He has encyclopedic knowledge of the fauna, flora, geology, culture and history of Botswana, and is a caring and attentive leader. It was a great pleasure to have him as our guide."

J. Montgomery
"Lazi had exceptional knowledge in all areas -animal behavior and anatomy, botany, and astronomy. One of his best skills was making the animals seem far more than just 4 legged mammals; they became live beings with families, feelings and concerns. We had previously been on a safari in Tanzania; while the guides were good, they did not approach Lazi's level in any way."

B. Miller
"Lazarus 'Laz' is far and away the best guide/tracker I have ever had. His ability to simultaneously drive, spot game and find tracks from a moving vehicle were incredible. When he stopped and tracked slowly he was able to tell how many animals had passed and what direction they were going. His tracking skills allowed us to find many animals with no other sightings or audible cues. He was amazing. His knowledge of all mammals, birds, plants, etc was also unsurpassed."

Leah Okin

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2003
Leah was born in England and began a life of adventure at an early age. After living in many remote areas, she now calls Alaska her home. Working as a guide, naturalist and Expedition Leader since 1996, her ...

Leah Okin

Leah was born in England and began a life of adventure at an early age. Drawn to remote areas, she has lived in many but now calls Alaska home. Working as a guide, naturalist and Expedition Leader since 1996, Leah’s extensive knowledge and experience have afforded her the opportunity to train other guides in the geology, anthropology, glaciology and ecology of Southeast Alaska. Working alongside personnel from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Forest Service, she conducts educational field programs for Alaskan school teachers, taking them into the wilderness to learn about bear biology, physiology and behavior. In addition to her work in Alaska, where Leah has guided a full spectrum of trips from the southern panhandle to northern Arctic rivers—“from brown bears to polar bears.” She also leads Churchill polar bear adventures and has guided in Papua New Guinea as well.

Upcoming Adventures with Leah:
Polar Bears of Churchill

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

B. Hruska
"Can't say enough about Leah. She was absolutely top notch, the very best in every way! This trip—something I never thought I'd do—so exceeded my expectations, it's hard to put into words. I was overwhelmed and quietly moved to tears by the sighting of the bears on the first day on the Rover (Leah gave me a hug). We learned a lot and our group of 10 (plus the Northwestern rep and the guide) was great to be with and we're now all sharing hundreds of photos!"

K. Ringer
“Leah Magowan was first-rate. She was one of the most prepared, conscientious guides I have ever had. I was constantly impressed at her attentiveness to our members of the group who might have required, or just desired, a little bit of extra attention. She never missed. Please don't ignore 'sense of humor.' She was a delight!"

M. Adamo
“Leah was terrific. She was knowledegeable on all aspects of the bears, the culture, Churchill, other animals, as well as having a great sense of humor. Thanks, Leah!"

H. McCarthy
“Leah was a most accomplished guide. Not only is she great with people and managing all the personalities but she is organized and facilitated all of our movements to and from with great efficiency. She is very knowledgeable about the bears and all of the wildlife we encountered. Her substantial wealth of knowledge made the trip more meaningful. I don't know how many of the guides make DVD of the trip for their 'people,' but she did, and it was most thoughtful."

L. Schaefer
“I can't say enough about how important Leah was to making this a fantastic trip. Her knowledge of the wildlife and life in Churchill is immense, but even more importantly, her energy and enthusiasm in sharing that knowledge was contagious and energizing for all of us. She made it perfectly okay for me to be a kid again when seeing not just my first bear but the umpteenth bear, and even got teary-eyed when saying goodbye. She and our Polar Rover driver were a great team in finding the wildlife and getting us out to the right spots at the right time, even when it seemed a bit odd to us (what, no pictures first?), but they were always right and it made this a trip I will always treasure!"

M. Pigeon
"I have been on many trips with guides. Leah has been the best of all. She went out of her way to make our trip the most spectacular of all. She made sure we experienced every aspect of the polar bear and northern lights experience. I traveled with a disabled friend and Leah did everything she could to assist her."

Leo Garrigues

Costa Rica
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
A birder since the age of six, Leonardo Garrigues has been accumulating natural history knowledge and experience all his life. In addition to studying biology and forest engineering...

Leo Garrigues

A birder since the age of six, Leonardo Garrigues has been accumulating natural history knowledge and experience all his life. In addition to studying biology and forest engineering at the National University of Costa Rica, he has been involved in various projects on the Osa Peninsula, where he has helped monitor jaguars, white-lipped peccaries and harpy eagles. He is also part of a team that is recording bird calls and other animal vocalizations in the Osa. Leo's guiding experience likewise began on the peninsula, where he led trips to Corcovado National Park. He has worked as local guide at the famous Rancho Naturalista in Costa Rica, as well as Tandayapa Birding Lodge and Wild Sumaco in Ecuador. Leo now leads birding and natural history tours all over Costa Rica and is proud to be among Nat Hab's professional Expedition Leaders. In addition to his expertise about birds and wildlife, Leo also enjoys sharing his knowledge about Costa Rican history and culture with his guests.

Upcoming Adventures with Leo:
Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
Costa Rica Wilderness Explorer
Family Costa Rica Adventure

Leonardo Chaves

Costa Rica
Expedition Leader Since: 1994
After attending the University of Costa Rica, Leo went on to Costa Rica’s National Institute of Learning. His extensive travels have taken him to nearly every area of the country, from lowland rainforest to mountain cloud...

Leonardo Chaves

After attending the University of Costa Rica, Leo went on to Costa Rica’s National Institute of Learning. His extensive travels have taken him to nearly every area of the country, from lowland rainforest to mountain cloud forest. He has spent the last twenty-one years leading select groups of travelers on intimate nature tour programs to the most secluded areas of Costa Rica. Adept at locating and pointing out the elusive wildlife, he reveals the splendors of Costa Rica to our travelers. His friends at Natural Habitat call him, “El Professor” referring to his unmatched knowledge. You will find that there is no more qualified or helpful guide in the entire country than Leonardo Chaves, and we are extremely proud to have him on board as one of our staff Expedition Leaders.


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

A. Randall

"This man has to be your best...totally...Leo's excitement with everything we saw, his knowledge, his personality...the way he came to know each of us, and give us individual attention...the time we spent together was a joy...every minute..I cannot rave enough about Leo...and...everyone connected with the tour."

B. Donley
"Leonardo was wonderful!!!!!!! We feel very privileged to have spent a week with such a knowledgeable young man. We learned soooooooo much. He loves what he is doing and I certainly hope our paths cross again somewhere. This is our second trip with Natural Habitat and will not be our last. Every detail was covered! We are lucky you are out there and provide such an excellent opportunity for seeing and experiencing this great planet. This trip was way above what I was expecting."

C. Lauzon
"Leo was hands down the best guide we have ever had on a trip. He had become a friend. He was professional, courteous, engaging, polite, and knowledgeable beyond compare, just a very nice man. I considered it a privilege to have known him for even a short time."

J. Fuller
"Can't say enough about Leo! He was attentive to all 10 peoples' needs. What a great sense of humor! His knowledge of local dining places and attractions greatly enhanced the trip."

K. Holt
"Leo was the best guide ever! He was amazing about his knowledge of the plants, insects, reptiles, birds, etc. He can spot anything anywhere! He made the culture come alive. We enjoyed visiting the homes where people lived and eating with them. He was humorous, always willing to accommodate, patient, and courteous. He helped me on several occasions with my camera to get the best photographs. My sister had him 14 years ago on the same trip and she said everyone loved him, too. I cried when when said goodbye."

Lida Teneva

Alaska
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Lida’s love of nature and adventurous spirit have inspired her to live, travel and work on five continents and in three oceans. She has a bachelor’s degree from...

Lida Teneva

Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Lida’s love of nature and adventurous spirit have inspired her to live, travel and work on five continents and in three oceans. She has a bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College, a master’s in marine science from Columbia and a doctorate in marine science from Stanford.

Lida now works on various marine conservation projects in the Pacific region with Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society, and The Nature Conservancy. Lida first fell in love with the beauty of Alaska in 2013 when she led a Stanford field course on natural resource management in Sitka. She now returns to Alaska each summer to share her knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for wild places with Nat Hab guests.

Lida is an avid photographer, birdwatcher, hiker, scuba diver, and Cessna pilot. Currently, she is planning a conservation flight mission that will involve piloting a Cessna aircraft from Alaska to Patagonia and documenting terrestrial and marine conservation efforts along the way.

Upcoming Adventures with Lida:
Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Safari

Linda Himmelbloom

Alaska
Expedition Leader Since: 2010
Linda loves Alaska! She moved to the 49th state to work as a geologist after living initially in Canada, then into naturalist guide work with NHA after she relocated to Kodiak Island, where...

Linda Himmelbloom

Linda loves Alaska! She moved to the 49th state to work as a geologist after living initially in Canada, then into naturalist guide work with NHA after she relocated to Kodiak Island, where she currently resides. When she’s not out sharing the wonders of the North Country with her guests, you’ll find her hiking, camping, exploring tide pools, cross-country skiing and ice skating on frozen lakes in winter. Linda’s spirit of adventure is infectious,and she loves to get others as excited about the Alaskan outdoors as she is. In the off-season she works for the local college and school district, sharing her knowledge of and passion for the outdoor world.


Upcoming Adventures with Linda:
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photography Tour


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

T. Whitley
“I did not find any place in the previous evaluation to comment about our Kodiak NatHab guide Linda Himelbloom. Linda was outstanding. She very kindly spent a great deal of time with us at the beginning and the end of the trip and as a result we had a great time in Kodiak and got to see lots of interesting things and learn much about the local environment and culture. She is very knowledgeable about Kodiak culture and environment, and is eager to share that knowledge. I really appreciate all she did."

P. Edwards
“Linda was on-time, offered suggestions and flexibility. She was exceptional. Because she lived on Kodiak she was very informed, very pleasant."

P. Sparkman
“Linda was great. Very helpful from the time I arrived. I loved her smile. She complimented Brad beautifully on and off the kittiwake."

D. Watson
“Our local guide, Linda was also very good and knowledgeable of the Kodiak area. She was very accomodating and took us around Kodiak to many different museums and area attractions. I really enjoyed spending time with Linda while we were in Kodiak. She was great!"

R. Lukei
"Linda Himelbloom was outstanding. She attended to our every need."

Luis Becerra

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Luis was born on San Cristóbal Island and is a fourth-generation Galapagos native. He grew up on a farm surrounded by nature, which began to interest him from a very early age...

Luis Becerra

Luis was born on San Cristóbal Island and is a fourth-generation Galapagos native. He grew up on a farm surrounded by nature, which began to interest him from a very early age. Luis has been working as a naturalist guide for 17 years and as an Expedition Leader for a decade. He is married with a 10-year-old daughter who, he is happy to note, shares his love of nature. Luis is gratified to have a profession that allows him to share his passion for the Galapagos Islands—"the last paradise"— with his guests.

Upcoming Adventures with Luis:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure

Luis Lobos

Belize
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Luis was born in the riverside town of San Ignacio, Belize. From a young age, he pursued adventurous endeavors that immersed him in nature near his beautiful hometown...

Luis Lobos

Luis was born in the riverside town of San Ignacio, Belize. From a young age, he pursued adventurous endeavors that immersed him in nature near his beautiful hometown. His love of nature and adventure spurred a desire to study guiding and led Luis to earn a naturalist guide license, which he has put to use while guiding groups for the past 10 years. He enjoys utilizing the expansive knowledge he has about his country to socialize with travelers and to share the wonderful and amazing things that Belize has to offer.

Luis enjoys rock climbing and spelunking, especially because these activities require higher levels of training including swift water rescue and confined cave rescue. Luis speaks English, creole and Spanish. When he isn’t educating or adventuring with travelers, he enjoys spending time with his wife and lovely, young daughter

Upcoming Adventures with Luis:
Ultimate Belize Nature Safari

Marco Fallas

Costa Rica
Expedition Leader Since: 1997
Born and raised in Costa Rica, Marco has small-group explorations through all regions of his country. His research focus is birds and plants, and he has often participated in bird studies conducted throughout...

Marco Fallas

Born and raised in Costa Rica, Marco has small-group explorations through all regions of his country. His research focus is birds and plants, and he has often participated in bird studies conducted throughout Costa Rica. He earned an advanced diploma at the Costa Rica North American Culture Center and has completed courses in vulcanology at the Observatory of Vulcanology and Seismology. You will surely be taken in by his contagious enthusiasm and energy, which are fed by his passion for nature. Marco is always eager to share his knowledge and experience with travelers. Marco also enjoys a cold beer with his guests (and with Nat Hab's director, Ben) on occasion, and we at Natural Habitat refer to him as “El Comidiente” for his wonderful nature and outgoing personality.

Upcoming Adventures with Marco: 
Tropical Discovery: Costa Rica to Nicaragua
Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
Costa Rica Wilderness Explorer
Family Costa Rica Adventure

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Newberger
"Marco was amazing. He had a wonderful rapport with everyone on this trip and he seemed to know about every plant and animal in the country. Everyone learned so much and really enjoyed being with him. Marco had two special surprises for us, lunch at an organic farm and dinner with a Costa Rican family. Both of these surprises were amazing."

C. Baron
"Marco was the most excellent guide anyone could have. His vast knowledge and love of the country kept even the children engaged. He was fun, energetic and so full of facts. It was so much better than reading a book! We all loved him!"

W. Flood
“What could be said of Marco that you do not know. He was so helpful and did so many extra things for us. If the government of Costa Rica does not someday make him Seretary of the Department of Tourism it would be very suprising. He alone made a good trip an outstanding one."
 
L. Carlin
“Marco (aka Tex) was the most knowledgable, helpful and enthusiastic guide we could possibly have asked for. He loves his job, sharing the nature of Costa Rica with others, and it shows! Even on days when the volcano was fogged in, the wildlife was hiding and the paths were muddy, Marco found a way to get us excited about what we were seeing. We were the lucky beneficiaries of his desire to be the best. We also found him to be lots of fun and very warm hearted."

J. Cooper
“Tex was probably the best Nat Hab guide we have ever had. He was very personable and knowledgeable. He was there 110% for us. Nat Hab is lucky to have found him, you don't want to lose him. He has so much passion for his country and its people and it exudes from him."

Martyn Jamieson

Scotland
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Martyn’s lifelong love of the outdoors and a passion for learning about wildlife and archaeology, led him to begin his career with a stint in scientific research. Following several years of studying...

Martyn Jamieson

Martyn’s lifelong love of the outdoors and a passion for learning about wildlife and archaeology, led him to begin his career with a stint in scientific research. Following several years of studying the feeding behavior of shorebirds and the breeding biology of peregrine falcons, Martyn worked as a ranger for 20 years, managing nature reserves and country parks on the Wirral Peninsula in northwest England. Moving north, he spent nine years heading up the Kindrogan Field Center, an experiential environmental education center in Highland Perthshire run by the Field Studies Council.

Over 20 years leading tours and sharing wildlife experiences with hundreds of people in the Scottish Islands make Martyn an enthusiastic and knowledgeable resource on any adventure. His particular areas of expertise include birds, mammals and archaeology, but he enjoys exploring and sharing all aspects of wildlife, botany, history and culture. Ultimately, he wants each traveler to gain an intimate understanding of why the islands are special and what draws so much wildlife to inhabit them.

In April 2014, Martyn relocated to the Isle of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides to experience life as a crofter, or one who occupies and works a small agricultural landholding known as a croft, on the shores of Loch Bee.

Upcoming Adventures with Martyn:
Scotland's Wild Highlands & Islands

Matt Turner

North America
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2016
From an early age Matt has been fascinated with the natural world. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and having lived in the Bay Area for much of his childhood, he made a life-changing decision to attend high school... 

Matt Turner

From an early age, Matt was fascinated with the natural world. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and living in the Bay Area for much of his childhood, he made a life-changing decision to attend high school in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest. The region’s distinctive geology, climate, flora and fauna further stimulated his interest in studying the natural sciences. He has remained in the region for the past 30 years and currently resides in Prescott, AZ.

After obtaining a degree in natural history from Prescott College, Matt worked as a field biologist and ecological/rangeland consultant for numerous federal agencies and private entities. A big proponent for land conservation, Matt also works for a land trust, providing expertise in conservation easements and other land protection tools.

In the early 1990s, Matt began working as a river and backcountry guide. He shifted to being a naturalist guide and over the years, he has led countless individuals throughout the Southwest while imparting a unique perspective of the region’s exceptional natural environment. Drawing on this extensive experience, Matt helps introduce Nat Hab guests to the spectacular gems hidden amid the canyons of the Southwest.

Upcoming Adventures with Matt:
Canyons of the American Southwest
Canyons Photography in the American Southwest

Melissa Silva

Mexico
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Melissa Silva is a Marine Biologist who has been guiding in México for the last 3 years, sharing her passion for wildlife and conservation with guests from around the world...

Melissa Silva

Melissa Silva is a marine biologist who has been guiding nature adventures in Mexico since 2012, sharing her passion for wildlife and conservation with guests from around the world. Though her formal training has revolved around sea creatures, she has also developed wider expertise as a naturalist. She recently joined NHA’s team in the Central Highlands of Mexico to share the incredible monarch butterfly migration with our guests. Born in Guadalajara, Melissa moved to Puerto Vallarta for high school and college, where she focused part of her studies on nudibranchs. She is currently working on her master's thesis focused on seahorse mating behavior. Melissa’s motivation as a guide is to enhance the conservation of nature, which she believes can only be achieved by encountering and knowing the wonders of the natural world. Toward that end, she considers it very important to share her knowledge of and respect for the environment with all travelers.

Upcoming Adventures with Melissa:
Kingdom of the Monarchs

Moira Le Patourel

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Moira began working with Natural Habitat Adventures in Churchill, Manitoba in 2014, building on her role in the Canadian outdoor tourism industry as an adventure guide and naturalist...

Moira Le Patourel

Moira began working with Natural Habitat Adventures in Churchill, Manitoba in 2014, building on her role in the Canadian outdoor tourism industry as an adventure guide and naturalist. Her job has afforded her many intimate encounters with some of Canada's most iconic wild species, which she loves to share with her guests. 

In 2009, Moira completed a diploma in Renewable Resources: Fish, Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation, which launched career in the adventure tourism industry. Her experience with bears began in Knight Inlet, viewing grizzly bears and black bears at the southern tip of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest. As a registered Full Guide for the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC, Moira continues to work among BC’s bears and has now added Manitoba's polar bears to her guiding repertoire since coming on board with Nat Hab.

Moira has also participated in a couple of bear-focused PhD projects and their associated fieldwork, and she worked closely with camera crews during a 2-year time span filming Bears, Disney Nature's feature film released in 2014, as well as during the post-production process. 

As a guide, Moira has spent countless hours observing and photographing wildlife in a natural setting. Maintaining a low impact on wildlife is paramount to her: observing, NOT disturbing, is a mantra she lives by. Patience, respect and a solid understanding of animal ecology and behavior are her guiding principles in the field. Moira recognizes that it is a privilege to be able to step foot into some of the world's most fragile ecosystems, and it is one she does not take lightly.

Moira enjoys sharing her passion for wildlife, photography, and the great outdoors with her guests, believing that a trip of a lifetime is made with laughter, new friends and sharing in the joy of discovery.

Upcoming Adventures with Moira:
Polar Bears of Churchill
Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures
Beluga Whales & Arctic Wildlife of Churchill
Spirit Bears, Humpbacks & Wildlife of B.C.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

J. Tock
"Moira is professional, friendly, appropriately assertive, and supremely confident in her amazing bear expertise. She handled a diverse crowd and interesting personalities with aplomb. She should lead a NATHAB seminar to train guides and employees. She is well respected, and often deferred to, by her peers(drivers, other guides, restaurant and hotel staff). She is sincerely passionate about bears and Churchill. She immediately earned the respect of all clients, and devoted herself to ensure that each client had an amazing experience(which we did!). She maintained the appropriate balance of directed firm safety concerns with a very friendly enthusiastic attitude. Simply put, she is a keeper. This was our third NATHAB trip, and many guides have been superb; Moira stands above all of the others. Thank you."

D. Hensley
"This young woman is, by far, the best expedition leader I have ever traveled with. I was constantly amazed at the knowledge she had to share and her personal interaction with the group. She made the expedition an experience to be treasured."

J. Brooks
"Moira was EXCELLENT!!! I was blown away when I found out how old she was. She is the most mature, professional, caring 26 year old I have EVER met...and that's including my own children! She constantly was making sure that everyone was comfortable & that all of our needs were met. Her knowledge of EVERYTHING on the trip was unbelievable & if she did not know the answer to something, she had it the very next day...she never missed a beat. I cannot say enough good things about her. Nat Hab is VERY lucky to have her!!!"

M. Newberg
"I have been on many wildlife travel experiences and have enjoyed the expedition leaders each time. This time, however, Moira, stands out from all others. Her knowledge, her ability to handle difficult situations, her pleasant attention to each person, and her careful attention to details to help us have the best and safest adventure. She is the very best I have traveled with!!!"

B. Grant
"Moira was the best expedition leader I have ever traveled with. I have traveled with World Wildlife and National Geographic before. Moira is the best!!!!!!"

R. McDaniel
"Moira went above and beyond to make this a memorable trip. She managed to make sure that the group was enjoying the experiences. Her attention to our needs and desires made the trip seem that it was designed just for us."

R. Welsh

"I've enjoyed all my Nat Hab guides, but Moira has been the absolute best! Her knowledge of the plants, birds, mammals and history of the area were top notch. What stood out was her desire to make sure each guest had a fantastic experience. She juggled schedules so we were enjoying indoor sites when it was not so nice outside and vice versa. She's a keeper for sure!"

C. Glorioso
"Moira was by far the best expedition leader we have ever had. We have had numerous cruise directors, guides, naturalists and expedition leaders in many countries. They did not come in even a close second to the experience we had with Moira. Now the bar has been set high and we are educated in what a leader should and can be. We only hope that we will be fortunate enough to have another like her."

K. Roth
"In all our years of traveling, which have been many, Moira has been the most outstanding tour guide we have ever had. She is everything you would want in a tour guide: pleasant to be with, extremely knowledgeable and informative, and takes exceptional care to make sure everyone is having an excellent experience! Moira is one of the best assets your company has!"

Monika Mikulec

Croatia and Montenegro
Expedition Leader Since: 2010
Born and raised in Croatia, athletic Monika has always been a lover of the outdoors. After working in the corporate world for five years, her deep passion for travel and photography took over, and she left the office...

Monika Mikulec

Born and raised in Croatia, athletic Monika has always been a lover of the outdoors. After working in the corporate world for five years, her deep passion for travel and photography took over, and she left the office environment in order to explore the planet. After spending a year living and working in California, Monika returned to Croatia to dedicate her life to responsible 'green' tourism. Her energy and contagious enthusiasm made her a natural for a leader position with a cyclotourism group through Association of Croatian Travel Agencies, and she enjoys guiding groups on exploratory adventures through Croatia's many varied regions. Guests who travel with Monika are treated to a unique experience that combines her intimate knowledge of regional history, customs, traditions and food with a genuine enthusiasm for personal engagement. Monika's special interests, both on the job and off, include sea kayaking, hiking, cycling and wildlife photography.

Upcoming Adventures with Monika:
Croatia & Montenegro: An Active Adriatic Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

Rita Levin
"Monika was superb in every category. Her good humor, flexibility, intelligence, good judgment and ability to interact so well with group members and others with whom she had to deal made her an outstanding guide. We feel our trip was greatly enhanced by having Monika as our guide."

Eva Toft
"Monika was a superb ciceron and a stellar representative of NatHab. We could not have wished for a more knowledgeable and dedicated guide. Her intuitive and indefatigable attention to us made the trip even more enjoyable and interesting. If she were ever tired (or exasperated by our numerous questions) she never showed it. Her stroke of brilliance was the meal at the farm, milking the cow at the top of the list. Brilliant. She was not just a great representative for NatHab but a wonderful ambassador for her country. We learned much and are the better for it."

Frances Waddock
"Monika is an outstanding individual and outstanding representative for Natural Habitat. She manages personalities, changes and challenges with grace, humor and professionalism. She is warm and clearly interested in her guests experience. Her personal imprint was clear, which made this interesting trip a truly memorable experience. I am very interested in continuing an exploration of Croatia's southern islands with Monika."

Jose Calvino
"Without any doubt she makes the trip THE TRIP."

David De Bruyn
"Best expedition leader of any organized trip I ever have taken. Flexible. She made sure all participants were part of dinner/other conversations. She kept track of everyone and always watched carefully during hikes. She is an accomplished kayaker. She had a great sense of humor, and she always listened to what I had to say! And she has class. Due to Monika, I can say this was a unique experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Organize another kayak trip with Monika and you can sign me up!!"

Angie Mongillo
"Monika is a real jewel - charming, knowledgeable and very capable in all areas."

Kathryn Sloan
"Monika was extremely knowledgeable about history, culture and politics, as well as about kayaking. She was obviously experienced and wise, and made good decisions with respect to weather and safety. It was a pleasure to travel with her again, and I would go anywhere with her!"

Nancy Madrigal

Costa Rica
Expedition Leader Since: 2010
A chance to show visitors the natural wonders of Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park lured Nancy away from her position as a university student pursuing an advertising degree and...

Nancy Madrigal

A chance to show visitors the natural wonders of Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park lured Nancy away from her position as a university student pursuing an advertising degree and into a career as a naturalist guide. This native of San Jose wasn’t surprised that her professional path circled back to her childhood dream of working in nature. After that shift in 1987, she has been guiding groups in Costa Rica and abroad since. She is licensed by the Costa Rica Tourist Board and has extensive additional training in natural history with some of the country’s premier botanists, ornithologists and archaeologists. Nancy enjoys nature walks, bird watching, nature photography, language studies, music and cooking. She is also an avid global traveller and has lived in Quebec and Washington state.

Upcoming Adventures with Nancy: 
Costa Rica Private Custom Adventure

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

L. Didier
“Nancy was above expectations. Warm. Caring. Intelligent. Helpful. Best Ever. She handled all of us with equal consideration, presence, and understanding. Tremendously warm personality not only with her guests, but also with all her co-workers; e.g. her wonderful driver and fellow guides."

R. Thaler
“Nancy did an excellent job. Her knowledge was prodigious and her enthusiasm infectious. I wasn't particularly interested in birds before the trip, but now I've returned to Santa Monica with the desire to learn about my local birds - this is due to Nancy. She did a good job of keeping us informed and keeping us together as a group - not an easy job. we think Nancy is great and would recommend her to our friends who might want to travel with your company."

J. Hooyman
“Nancy was extremely knowledgeable in all areas - birds, plants, trees, Costa Rica history, etc. - and imparted that knowledge in a way that wasn't boring. She was very attentive to everyone's needs and abilities on the trip and went the extra mile to make sure everyone had a good time. She was very fun to travel with and we thoroughly enjoyed having her as our "leader." I would want Nancy as my trip leader again!"

R. Hagan
“Nancy was a wealth of information about the wildlife and plants of Costa Rica. She was also a very pleasant person to travel with and always trying to be helpful (I'm not used to having so much done for me - it's great though) She has a very good realationship with the hotel managers and staff, which is always nice to see. I truly enjoyed the trip more because of her professionalism and care."

T. Bennett
“Nancy was a fantastic leader. She was very knowledgeable about the animals and plant life of her native country. She worked tirelessly to make everybody's trip the very best possible. I don't think it could have been possible to have a better leader."

Nancy Moore

Portugal, Galapagos, Panama and Chile
Expedition Leader Since: 2004
Nancy’s appetite for adventure was fed at a very young age by her grandmother who would orchestrate weekend drives into the New England countryside and announce, much to Nancy’s delight...

Nancy Moore

Nancy’s appetite for adventure was fed at a very young age by her grandmother who would orchestrate weekend drives into the New England countryside and announce, much to Nancy’s delight, “We’re lost!” She’s enjoyed getting “lost” ever since—in the smells, sounds, sights and warmth of differing cultures, among them the Philippines, Galapagos, Belize, Cuba, Mexico, Wales, Panama, Portugal, Italy, England, Croatia and Greece. Adventuring along the rocky coast of her home state of Maine, the deep waters of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, the urban nooks of Chicago, or the back roads and waterways of Wisconsin, where she currently resides, are also favorite pastimes. She suffers from permanent wanderlust.

Nancy’s passion for outdoor adventures, especially on water, eventually lead to a degree in Environmental Studies, years as a sailing instructor, and still others as a member of the National Ski Patrol (read: frozen water). She has more recently enjoyed longer sails up the eastern seaboard, is an American Canoe Association certified sea kayaking instructor and is also certified as a Wilderness First Responder. Her goal as a guide? “Energy, inspiration, confidence, fun, learning! Help people see new things in themselves and in each other, in the environment, about their own capabilities, about another culture or place. Wanna come?”

Upcoming Adventures with Nancy:
Paddling Portugal's River of Wine



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

S. Shannon
"Nancy is an outstanding leader, she has a quiet confidence that I enjoyed very much. She has a warm relationship with all of the hosts at the various quintas and with the Graham port group that contributed greatly to the hospitality that all of the group received at each guinta. Her long experience on this trip was evident and most helpful."

B. Gibson
"Nancy's experience, confidence and personal knowledge of the area, her positive relationships with in-country guides as well as those with whom we stayed made this a truly exceptional trip. I particularly appreciated her experience and confidence kayaking and leading a group with diverse previous experience. She is an exceptional guide."

A. Berkman
"Nancy was a superb Expedition Leader. She was particularly attentive our individual needs, frequently going the extra mile to make sure that all of our unique needs were met - not just for us but, from what I observed, for everyone else on the trip as well. She was also supportive and patient with our limited kayaking experience prior to the trip, always being attentive to our safety, but at the same time, helping us become much better kayakers. Natural Habitat is fortunate to have Nancy as an Expedition Leader."

C. Snider
"Nancy was a compassionate, professional, and very knowledgeable leader who delivered a top-notch travel experience. I would definitely join another trip with her as my expedition leader."

S. Clifford
"Nancy made our trip a real joy. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job. She has developed a wonderful relationship with the local people which added to our experience."

M. Webert
"It was an absolute pleasure to have Nancy as our leader. Her enthusiasm, friendliness, and professionalism made the trip wonderful. Her helpers, Pedro and Vitor, were also amazing, helping to make everything run so smoothly."

N. Schwenger
"Nancy was a fantastic leader. Her knowledge of the area -the culture, food, wines and the people was remarkable. If a question was asked and she didn't know the answer she found out and relayed the answer. She was truly loved and respected by our hosts and by Vitor and Pedro."

Ollie Porote

Botswana
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Olebogile (known as Ollie) Porote was born and raised in Maun, Botswana. He comes from a long line of subsistence farmers, and his passion for and appreciation of nature and wildlife dates back to...

Ollie Porote

Olebogile (known as Ollie) Porote was born and raised in Maun, Botswana. He comes from a long line of subsistence farmers, and his passion for and appreciation of nature and wildlife dates back to the days he spent as a small boy herding goats and cattle. After finishing school, Ollie did his national service in Botswana's Department of Customary Law, then returned to his heart's vocation, enrolling in a professional guiding course at the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute. He was employed by Elephant Back Safaris for two years before moving to Okavango Wilderness Safaris in 2003. He branched out to guide additional small-group safaris, eventually coming on board with Natural Habitat Adventures in 2015. Highly trained and experienced, Ollie is a top professional guide with expertise in walking safaris and working with special-interest custom groups. Most recently he has worked from DumaTau Camp in Botswana's Linyanti region as one of the most senior local guides in the area. Outside of leading safaris, Ollie's hobbies include photography and fishing.

Ona Basimane

Southern Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Ona was born and graised in Maun, Botswana. His passion for the natural world started at a young age when he had opportunities to visit the Moremi Game Reserve as well as several trips to Lake Ngami....

Ona Basimane

Ona was born and raised in Maun, Botswana. His passion for the natural world was fostered at a young age when he had opportunities to visit Moremi Game Reserve as well as several trips to Lake Ngami. After finishing school, he joined the Botswana Predator Conservation Program as a field assistant. His regular interactions with animals under study such as lion, hyena, leopard, cheetah and African wild dog fueled his growing interest in wildlife and conservation. Following the urge to work in an environment where he could engage with both people and wildlife, Ona pursued a guiding career beginning in 2007. He would spend almost two years at Kalahari Plains Camp before moving to Duma Tau Camp and eventually joining Natural Habitat Adventures.

 Ona is a keen photographer and an aspiring wildlife photojournalist. His images and articles regularly appear in numerous travel magazines including Peolwane, the Air Botswana in-flight magazine, Discover Botswana, the annual publication of the Botswana Tourism Board, and Travel Ideas magazine in South Africa. Through his photography, he is an ambassador for his country, with the pinnacle so far being an invited guest speaker at the Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium in Cape Town in 2013. His passion for photography has also cultivated a major interest in animal behavior and behavioral ecology, which are integral focuses of his work as a guide. 

Ona enjoys leading walking safaris where the focus is on small, close-up macro life that one would completely miss while traveling in only in a vehicle. He is also a keen birder who participates in various birding forums around southern Africa. Another important dimension of Ona's multifaceted role as a guide is his mentorship of younger, up-and-coming guides, whom he seeks to inspire as he travels through various safari camps.

Upcoming Adventures with Ona:
Secluded Botswana Safari
Secluded Botswana Photo Safari

Patricia Valdespino

Mexico
Expedition Leader Since: 2004
Patricia was born and raised in Mexico City, but has spent the majority of her life in the great outdoors. She graduated from the National University of Mexico with a B.S. in biology where she performed research in forest...

Patricia Valdespino

Patricia was born and raised in Mexico City, but has spent the majority of her life in the great outdoors. She graduated from the National University of Mexico with a B.S. in biology where she performed research in forest ecology, particularly tropical dry forest and rainforest. She also studied graphic arts and has married her artistic skills with her love of biology via short-films she has done promoting the conservation of marine species. Nature photography (land and underwater) is one of her true passions and has lead her to travel extensively throughout Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay. Her forest ecology experience has given her a great understanding of the monarch butterflies and their habitat and she eagerly shares her insight with our guests. When not guiding, Patricia enjoys all types of sports and continues to pursue her love of photography.

Upcoming Adventures with Patricia:
Kingdom of the Monarchs
Swimming with Mexico's Whale Sharks

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

C. Kloecker
“I chose to evaluate Patricia because she was the "treasure" of the trip. If I could, I would have added exclamation points after the excellent ratings!"

D. Whipps
“Paty Valdespino was so far above what one could have reasonably expected that I feel that she needs to be acknowledged. She made the trip even more special for both me and my wife. A wonderful ambassador for NHA and for Mexico. ---- Very, very fond of both of our guides. They really did exceed our expectations. Pleasant, knowledgeable, patient. She went out of her way to provide personal attention to everyone on the trip."

L.M. Fisher
"WOW!!!!! I have done a lot of traveling, including five NatHab trips, and am thankful to have had the most amazing of guides. However, Patricia is by far THE BEST!!! She is extremely professional, attentive, courteous, helpful, knowledgable, enthusiastic, genuine, and flexible, but what sets her apart is the depth of heart with which she guides! She was extremely kind and caring to all we met along the way, and it was clear that they all love and respect her. When Patricia is around, there is an instant feeling of community! And, that same kindness and caring she extended to all six of us over and over again in the most amazing and wonderful of ways! I have story after story after story to illustrate the heart and soul of a person who seeks at every turn to make this world a brighter, better place for others! Getting to know Patricia was a true and lasting gift for all of us!!!"

L. Fisher
“Patty was the ultimate guide. She was personable, attentive, professional, and super knowledgeable. She shared our senses of humor and we all came away feeling we had made a new friend. We requested a little tweaking in the itinerary and she went above and beyond to make the request happen. She was the best!!"

A. Peters
"Patty was AMAZING! I would do another nat hab trip only to have another experience with her. Not only is she kind, funny and easy to be around but she is incredibly knowledgeable and explains things in a very tangible, clear way but she also went out of her way to do things for us- always making sure we got the absolute most out of this trip. We loved, loved, loved her!!"

Paul Brown

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2004
Paul, an avid birdwatcher since childhood, received his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey. During his education, Paul assisted with hawk migration census studies...

Paul Brown

Paul, an avid birdwatcher since childhood, received his bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey. During his education Paul assisted with hawk migration census studies with New Jersey Audubon and coordinated the count on the Montclair Hawk Lookout. Paul has also participated in Northern Goshawk nests surveys and done fisheries work on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. Since Paul relocated to the Greater Yellowstone region, he has been leading environmental education programs for groups of all ages with the Teton Science School. One of Paul’s passions is the wolves of Yellowstone; he has spent years working toward assuring their protection. Paul is an accomplished photographer and enjoys helping guests capture amazing images of Yellowstone's wolves, bison, bears and other wildlife, not to mention the arresting scenery of the region.

Upcoming Adventures with Paul:
Yellowstone: Ultimate Wolf & Wildlife Safarib
Yellowstone: Winter Photo Expedition
Yellowstone Wolf Quest & Photo Adventure
Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari
Hidden Yellowstone Photo Safari



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

S. November
"Paul Brown is an outstanding guide who ranks right up there with the best that NatHab can offer. His knowledge of the Yellowstone region and wolves in particular is fantastic. His personality is marvelous and he always goes the extra step to help someone.Sean Beckett has a tremendous passion for what he does. He also has a great attitude and goes the extra step to help someone."

P. Bharvaney
"I have never had a better guide. Paul was mature, attentive and knowledgeable. He was on top of everything and leaded the group effortlessly. I will definitely travel with him again."

F. Nauman
"There are not enough superlatives to describe Paul. He is intuitive about where to find the animals, and completely knowledgable about them. We're hoping to take the Yellowstone Wolf expedition with him at some later time. And he took excellent care of all of us in his group."

S. Ulino
"Paul Brown made this trip as wonderful as it was. He is an exceptional guide. I can't say enough about what a great time we had as a group and he is primarily responsible for that. He is knowledgeable, patient, smart, interesting to listen to, and has a great sense for finding wildlife."

D. Sarosdy
"I CANNOT sing Paul Brown’s praises high enough. That guy is a true representative of what an expedition leader should aspire to…sense of humor, incredible depth to his knowledge, patience to the nth degree, and the epitome of responsibility. Without a doubt, the consensus of our group was that Paul MADE this trip! I mean all of this with the utmost sincerity."

M. Pine
"Paul Brown is the BEST tour guide we have ever had. His knowledge of the area, its history, and its wildlife were extraordinary. He spotted wolves that looked like rocks to everyone else. His performance as a leader/guide in all other duties was also incredible."

Paul Kirui

Kenya
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
One of Kenya’s most distinguished safari guides, Paul was born on the northern outskirts of the Maasai Mara game reserve. He grew up herding cattle on the savannas, where he grew to know...

Paul Kirui

One of Kenya’s most distinguished safari guides, Paul was born on the northern outskirts of the Maasai Mara game reserve. He grew up herding cattle on the savannas, where he grew to know the bush and its flora and fauna intimately. Yet his childhood passion was aimed at becoming a safari guide one day, and during this period, he developed the necessary knowledge and skills for that endeavor, such as tracking, recognizing spoor, and identifying animal behavior and alarm calls.

Paul has a particular interest in leopards and has worked with the BBC Natural History film unit since 2006 as a specialist leopard tracker and consultant for the BBC’s Big Cat Week and Big Cat Live programs. He also took part in shooting the BBC documentary “The Truth About Lions” in 2009, as well as helping Disney Nature during the filming of African Cats in 2009-10.

Paul also had a keen eye for studying birds as a child, a pursuit he has nurtured ever since. He is a specialist East African birder and currently conducts research into vultures in the Maasai Mara in conjunction with the National Museum of Kenya’s Department of Ornithology and the Peregrine Fund. He is a major activist in the arena of vulture conservation.

Paul has worked as a guide in the wilderness areas of Kenya and northern Tanzania for some 20 years and is one of just 20 Gold Level (highest ranking) guides in Kenya. He helped set up the first training school for safari guides in the Serengeti, has been involved with training guides in Rwanda, and is a director of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA). Among all these commitments, he still finds time for his first love: guiding guests through the natural wonders of East Africa.

Payal Mehta

India, Bhutan and Nepal
Expedition Leader Since: 2013
Payal’s life journey has taken her from a typical urban childhood in Mumbai to a career as a naturalist guide. Though she grew up in one of India’s largest metropolises, Payal loved the outdoors...

Payal Mehta

Payal’s life journey has taken her from a typical urban childhood in Mumbai to a career as a naturalist guide. Though she grew up in one of India’s largest metropolises, Payal loved the outdoors from the first exposure she had to the world beyond the city’s reach. As a teenager, Payal trained as a mountaineer. Fascinated with the natural world, she then majored in geology at university. And while she loved learning about the physical world of nature, she also began to nurture a fascination with the living things that inhabit it, prompting her to escape the corporate office she found herself in after graduation. After a year passed in this setting, Payal knew she had to return to an outdoor environment and quench her growing curiosity about the natural world. She joined an elite naturalist training program for Indian safari guides, which only fueled her passion further for this gratifying career choice. After she completed her course, Payal worked as a naturalist guide in India’s Kanha National Park – one of the world’s best places to see wild tigers – for three years. Her stint at Kanha was followed by three more years spent traveling across the wild regions of India as a freelance guide and naturalist guide trainer. Payal is currently based out of Bhutan where she oversees guiding operations for a top operator that is Nat Hab's partner. Payal loves living in this happy Himalayan kingdom where she is able indulge her love for the mountains and the wild nature Bhutan is famed for.

Upcoming Adventures with Payal:
Natural Jewels of Bhutan & Nepal



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

D. Mann

"I'm sure there's nothing I can say about Payal that you haven't already heard. She's just fantastic in every way. I especially appreciated her willingness to get up early with me for some extra birding, re-arranging our schedule to give us time to see an ibisbill and take photos--in the sun--of Tiger's Nest on our departure date. But most of all, I am eternally grateful to her and Dorji for making the hike to Tiger's Nest on a rainy and snowy morning. I will always cherish this memory."

I. Simmons
"I thought Payal was amazing, very will prepared and very professional as well as caring and personable."

R. Barnes-Kloth
"Payal was an excellent expedition leader and all of the travelers were happy to have her on this adventure. I can't imagine this experience without her. She was incredibly thoughtful, caring and professional."

J. Goldberg
"Payal is an exceptional leader who strives to provide her guests with everything that they seek and then some."

T. Segura
"Payal was phenomenal - she knew most everything about the ecology of the area, if she didn't know she was quick to look up information that evening and inform travelers the next day. She was also phenomenal at birding! She is a great asset to NHA."

Pietro Luraschi

Tanzania
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Pietro was born in Milan, Italy in 1975 and later trained as a civil engineer there. His passion for Africa inspired him to first experience the continent as a volunteer in the Tarangire Lion Project...

Pietro Luraschi

Pietro was born in 1975 in Milan, Italy, where he later trained as a civil engineer. His passion for Africa inspired him to first experience the continent as a volunteer in the Tarangire Lion Project, a research project on the lion population in Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania. He studied to become a professional guide in South Africa's Kruger National Park, where he received qualifications for ARH (Advanced Rifle Handling) and, later, Level 3 certification from the Field Guide Association of Southern Africa (FGASA), the most important accrediting association for safari guides in Africa. He also received the Trails Guide qualification from FGASA for walking safaris in areas with potentially dangerous game, obtained at Beho Beho, Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.

Pietro has worked as a guide and camp manager in southern Tanzania in two of the wildest and most untouched areas on the African continent—Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve. He has gained invaluable experience over the years while becoming intimately acquainted with these regions by working at three different camps. Pietro has also been a walking guide in Klaserie and Timbavati game reserves in South Africa. An avid and accomplished photographer, he has had many of his photographs published in East Africa guidebooks. Pietro currently works as a consultant, guide and trainer in various locations throughout Africa. He speaks Italian, English and Kiswahili.

Upcoming Adventures with Pietro:
Secluded Tanzania Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat Travelers:

P. Henderson

"We have had some wonderful guides with NatHab, but I believe Pietro tops the list. He was so very knowledgeable about the animals/habitat. He was very considerate to us (at our physical limitations, especially). We just had a wonderful trip and he was the key."

G. Gibson
"Pietro was amazing. He is knowledgeable, clearly passionate, and very caring. Most importantly, he made the adventure a once in a lifetime experience. The Masaai village we visited was genuine, not a tourist trap. The route he took through the Serengeti made us feel like we were the only people sharing the world with the beautiful animals and scenery. I cannot say enough good things about Pietro and I hope you pass along my comments. Wouldn't even consider doing it again without Pietro leading the way."

B. Ebenstein
"Pietro was the best guide i've ever had bar none. he was personable knowledgeable and helpful to the nth degree."

L. Schumacher
"Pietro was an amazing expedition leader. He was fantastic with us and our teenaged daughter. I was ill one day on the safari and he was extremely helpful. With Pietro as the expedition leader, this trip way exceeded our expectations."

M. Bate

"Pietro was an outstanding expedition leader and met all expectations. He had his hands full with the group members but was able to get to know everyone and was able to meet the varied needs of the group. I would recommend that others request Pietro if visiting an area or trip that he guides."

P. Harmon
"Pietro was the whole package - a walking encyclopedia of knowledge, great fun to be with, helped everyone to get fabulous photos and we couldn't have asked for a better guide."

Rashid Ali

India
Expedition Leader Since: 2012
Rashid’s passions are natural history and wildlife conservation. As a child growing up in a family of naturalists, Rashid developed a keen interest in the natural world as the family visited many wildlife parks...

Rashid Ali

Rashid’s passions are natural history and wildlife conservation. As a child growing up in a family of naturalists, Rashid developed a keen interest in the natural world as the family visited many wildlife parks and nature reserves in India and abroad. It wasn’t surprising that he pursued a career as a professional naturalist guide, spending much of his adult life living and working in India’s national parks, including the famous tiger sanctuaries of Kanha and Ranthambhore. In Kanha he managed a lodge, facilitated guide training programs and conducted tiger census surveys. He also coordinated with the BBC’s Natural History Unit on several projects in Kanha. In addition to sharing India’s nature treasures with guests, Rashid has also guided Indian travelers through Europe, though it wasn’t long before he was drawn back to the wild homelands he loves. Most recently he has been working on a conservation project in the Western Ghats of South India’s Kerala region. Rashid and his Irish wife, Jan, share their home with two children and a collection of extraordinary animals. They live in Pune, where Rashid and his son are regularly called upon to use their skills in handling snakes.

Upcoming Adventures with Rashid:
The Grand India Wildlife Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

G. Dumler
“Rashid's knowledge and understanding were a fine complement to Toby's. He'll make an excellent Trip Leader, we all felt.... with the added dimension of being Indian and happy to share with us that particular sensibility and culture. He, too, is a thoroughgoing naturalist. Glowingly, as he was superb in all respects. He's a fine addition to your staff, for sure."

L. Dee
“I can only say good things about Rashid! He was a joy to travel with, chat with, laugh with, and enjoy India with. His extensive knowledge of the flora, fauna and all things Indian was impressive and he enjoyed sharing it all with us. He has a real passion for nature and guiding, and it shows. He became one of us marveling at all the sights, but he was the one we went to when we had questions or concerns. He took care of us very well. We always came first. His caring nature and temperament are perfect for a guide. I could go on and on... Rashid is definitely a wonderful addition to the NatHab family!"

M. Keenan
“Rashid was the best guide I have ever had. He is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. He anticipates the guests needs and communicates details well in advance so you know how to plan for the day. I thoroughly enjoyed being with him and I learned a lot from him. It was nice to have an Indian guide."

E. Tarr
"Rashid was really just outstanding. He is a great combination of all the attributes listed above. Additionally, he is very intelligent, contemplative and has a terrific sense of humor. I have been on six trips with NatHab and Rashid is the best expedition leader so far."

M. Findlay

"Erudite, competent, charming--Rashid was a great representative for NatHab and extremely knowledgeable not just as a naturalist but about all aspects of his country's history and culture."

D. Pick
"Of the hundreds of trips I've been on, the leader on this trip was the best (and I can be quite critical). He was always thinking ahead and prepared us for each day. He was careful to divide his time equally between participants and took an interest in each of us. He represented Nat Hab well - always easily identifiable as a leader. He spoke well and was easy to understand - it was obvious that he has a lot of experience in trip leadership."

Renzo Zeppilli

Amazon and Cuba
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
From an early age, Renzo developed a deep love for the natural side of his native Peru, which he enjoys sharing with Nat Hab guests as an Expedition Leader on our Amazon River voyages...

Renzo Zeppilli

From an early age, Renzo developed a deep love for the natural side of his native Peru, which he enjoys sharing with Nat Hab guests as an Expedition Leader on our Amazon River voyages. Renzo was born and raised between Peru’s capital of Lima and the nearby Andes Mountains. Nature – especially birds – had attracted his attention as a child. Eventually deciding to pursue a career that would allow him to spend and share time in nature, he studied nature tourism business management, became a licensed guide, and then went on to attain a master’s degree in environmental education, preparing him further for the field. Renzo worked first in southeast Peru amid the intense biodiversity of the upper Amazon rain forests. He then traveled extensively through South America, working as a researcher on conservation projects and as a naturalist/bird guide in places like Brazil’s Pantanal, the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the Ecuadorian cloud forest, and also in Cuba. He is a board member of the Perú Bird Records Committee (PRBC) and has seen more than 1,500 bird species in his native country.

Upcoming Adventures with Renzo:
The Great Amazon River Cruise
Undiscovered Cuba


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

E. Newsom
"Over the last 20 years, we have taken about 60 tours with a variety of tour operators. We have had 3 favorite expedition leaders. We now have 4. In every way, Renzo is a pro."

D. Schneiderman
"Renzo is one of the best trip leaders we have ever had. His enthusiasm, for Cuba's beutay and the adventures planned for us, is immediately apparent, and his personal warmth is a tremendous asset."

C. Staie
"Renzo is an excellent leader. He did a good job trying to balance the needs of everyone on the trip. He also was willing to share his knowledge about the places we visited and the things we saw."

A. Young
"Renzo was terrific in every way and a really nice and well-educated person also! He not only kept the group happy but also seemed to keep all the various vendors happy - restaurant proprietors & wait staff, our bus driver, our Cuban guide, hotel staff, extra guides at various stops, etc."

S. Griffing
"Renzo was outstanding in all these areas. In addition he did an excellent job modifying the itinerary whenever it became necessary."

Richard Avilino

Botswana
Expedition Leader Since: 2006
As a boy growing up in Maun, Botswana, Richard Avilino would sit in his grandfather’s field and watch the bushbucks play on the other side of the Thamalakane River. Those quiet......

Richard Avilino

As a boy growing up in Maun, Botswana, Richard Avilino would sit in his grandfather’s field and watch the bushbucks play on the other side of the Thamalakane River. Those quiet encounters in a frontier town surrounded by wilderness sparked Richard’s love of Botswana’s wildlife and his devotion to conservation.

After stints as a chef and safari lodge manager, Richard completed his studies at the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute and began guiding in 1998. Credentialed at the highest level as a professional guide in Botswana and with the prestigious Birding Certificate from Birdlife South Africa, Richard leads groups into the Okavango Delta, Kalahari, Chobe and Linyanti areas. He speaks Setswana, English and German, having completed intensive language training in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 2000. He has a special affinity for observing the behavior of endangered species such as wild dogs and wattled cranes. Besides introducing guests to the wonders of the wilderness, Richard likes to teach them about geology, the origin of the Okavango Delta and Botswana’s history, particularly its heritage of peace.

Upcoming Adventures with Richard:
Botswana: Kalahari, the Delta & Beyond
Secluded Botswana Safari
Epic Botswana & Namibia Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers: 

D. Yates
"Richard was an absolute star as far as we were concerned. He was one of our group when socializing and a superb and extremely knowledgeable [a walking encyclopedia] nature guide. On top of that he was funny and very entertaining. He is also a very competent driver. He drove us through some spots that I thought we might not be able to traverse. And as I said above his handling of the drive from Maun to camp was terrific. And on top of all that he did me the super favor of getting a bottle of champagne for our anniversary. On his own he had it in our tent with a great card with wonderful art by one of the camp staff and they all signed it. Extra things like that mean a lot to us and show what an excellent guide and person he is."

B. McKee
"Richard Avilino was the best guide!! He was patient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. I think he was as excited to see the animals as we were even though he had seen them many times. He went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we saw as many animals as possible. He made our trip even better than we dreamed it would be."

M. Bruce
"Richard was EXCELLENT PLUS. He was knowledgable, friendly and was superb in tracking and finding wildlife. He made sure our son had safe food to eat (food allergies)."

C. Steiger
"Excellent guide! I was very impressed with Richard's wide range of knowledge (astronomy, wildlife, geography, and plants) and his ability to identify animal tracks. He was very personable and entertaining as well. He always prepared us ahead of time to the days events and what we could expect at each location. He was also very aware of everyone's interests and made sure that I had the best photo opportunities."

K. Johnson
"Richard really made our trip extra special, his knowledge and expertise were fantastic. There wasn't any question we asked about wildlife, plantlife, history, geography, or even the stars that he could not answer. I can't imagine a better guide in Botswana. We saw a total of 3 leopards, 25 lions and 1 cheetah plus numerous elephants, giraffe and other animals. Richard was so great at tracking and locating the animals, and so knowledgeable about the birds! That was very impr essive, he could just catch a glimpse of a bird and be able to identify it for us. He was a real joy and pleasure to spend 2 weeks with."





Richard de Gouveia

Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Richard started out his career as an environmental consultant, conducting environmental impact assessments for various companies. He had always been drawn to the bush and eventually...

Richard de Gouveia

Richard started out his career as an environmental consultant, conducting environmental impact assessments for various companies. He had always been drawn to the bush and eventually, in 2009, decided to change direction and pursue a career in guiding.

He completed a 6-month live-in safari course with Bushwise and went to work at a lodge in the Kruger National Park for a year before moving on to Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. At Sabi Sabi he excelled as a guide and photographer and finished off his 5-year tenure at Sabi Sabi as the Assistant Head Ranger.

His passion for the bush extends way past just viewing the animals and is cemented in exploring the connection between the living and non-living elements of the bush. His favourite bushveld creature is without doubt the leopard, followed closely by the termite - which can only be understood after listening to Richards's in-depth explanation of both species.

His love of the bush is matched by his interest in photography and as a Nikon Ambassador; Richard really wants his guests to enjoy taking photos and tries to help them make the most of their camera equipment. It is his goal to have his guests leave with a deeper appreciation of all aspects of the bushveld, as well as with memorable photos of their time on safari.

Upcoming Adventures with Richard:
Hidden South Africa & Botswana Safari
Great Uganda Gorilla Safari
Ultimate Gorilla Photo Safari


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

L. Shames

"Richard gets an A++. Incredibly knowledgeable, good-natured, enthusiastic and tireless."

J. Montgomery
"My husband and I have taken over six trips with NHA and Richard was the best expedition leader so far. He was extremely knowledgeable about nature at all the three safari reserves and had good relationships with the rangers and trackers. He addressed everyone's questions and interest in both an informative and cheerful way and made each of us feel special. He gave an excellent presentation about the World Wildlife Fund with his own photos. We will certainly become donors in the future. Richard is a keeper and we hope to have another NH trip with him soon."

S. Ramming
"Superb leader; superb individual. Made the trip successful."

Rinie Van Meurs

The North
Expedition Leader Since: 2003
Born in the Netherlands, Rinie has been a keen naturalist his entire life. He received his formal education in forestry and civil engineering and then set out to travel the world in search of wildlife, particularly in the polar...

Rinie Van Meurs

Born in the Netherlands, Rinie has been a keen naturalist his entire life. He received his education in forestry and civil engineering and then set out to travel the world in search of wildlife, particularly in the polar regions. With more than 200 expedition voyages around Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land, East and West Greenland, and the Canadian High Arctic, Rinie is one of the most experienced European Arctic Expedition Leaders in the world, often employing his expert wildlife photography skills for our photo tours. He has thus far observed more than 1,000 different polar bears and has developed a strong affection for the “King of the Arctic” while guiding Arctic expeditions as well as subarctic adventures in Churchill, Manitoba. Rinie has also published several books on polar bears and polar environments, and has had many photographs published in magazines and photo books.

Upcoming Adventures with Rinie:
Polar Bears of Churchill


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers: 

G. Heemink
“He was right on top of everything – if you had a problem he had an answer –He was right at the door to be sure we did not slip or fall getting out and in the buggy – he walked the ladies that needed help on slippery areas while smiling all the time. The greatest- KEEP HIM!"

D. Gale
Rinie was a fantastic guide with a wealth of information on the polar bears, the environment and photography in general."

S. Donlon
"Rinie was a great guide--informative, funny, helpful, and they handled the group very well. he worked well with other guides and the lodge staff."

H. Holdsworth
Rinie was fun to be with, extremely knowledgeable and very entertaining. His sense of humor and love of the bears made for a very enjoyable experience. I would gladly go on another trip with him and hope to sometime in the future. Hats off for a job extremely well done."

S. Miller
“His presentations were of professional quality and not condescending or pretentious. He was incredibly generous with his time from sunrise to past sunset. Rinie gave more presentations in the lounge than I could attend (I missed a couple for a necessary short nap). However, if I was not there, my spouse was, as were at least some other members of the group as no one wanted to squander those fabulous opportunities. Rinie must have been exhausted by the end of our trip, but they certainly gave us our money’s worth."


Robin Noble

Scotland
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Robin’s family has deep roots in the Scottish Highlands and Islands so he explored the area as a child, began studying aspects of it at age 17 and started living there in 1972...

Robin Noble

Robin’s family has deep roots in the Scottish Highlands and Islands so he explored the area as a child, began studying aspects of it at age 17 and started living there in 1972. In 1980, Robin began running the Orkney Field and Arts Center where he officially began interpreting and teaching about all aspects of the wonderful landscapes of northern Scotland. From lecturing to local groups in isolated village halls, to educating groups at Aigas and Kindrogan Field Centers, to teaching for the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow Caledonian and Stirling, Robin has worked at all levels. He has also led countless groups from esteemed organizations including Caledonian Wildlife, the Traveling Naturalist, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.

Robin’s interests are wide reaching and holistic, thus he studies and teaches introductory geology, natural history and history. His deepest studies have focused on the native woodlands of northern Scotland and the region’s fascinating archaeology. His extensive knowledge and enthusiasm shine through when he is given the opportunity to introduce visitors to his beloved Highlands.

When not guiding groups, he works at home, trying to write up all that he has been talking about for the last 35 years! His second book, “Castles in the Mist,” looks at the impact and enduring legacy of Victorians on the Scottish Highlands and Islands. It will be published in spring 2016.

Rosa Alegria Gonzales

Peru
Expedition Leader Since: 1997
Rosa was born and raised in Peru. She is a native Quechuan, and is extremely proud of the diverse flora and fauna, as well as the cultures, of her native country. Rosa has been a guide and tour leader...

Rosa Alegria Gonzales

Rosa was born and raised in Peru. She is a native Quechuan, and is extremely proud of the diverse flora and fauna, as well as the cultures, of her native country. Rosa has been a guide and tour leader for well over 10 years, escorting many exploratory and media groups in their search to learn about the cultures and traditions of the Incas and other historic inhabitants of Peru. While she now calls Cusco home, she also lived for several years in the Tambopata region of the Peruvian Amazon. Rosa’s strength as a guide is her in-depth knowledge of and passion for her subject matter, as well as her kind and caring demeanor. We are so lucky to have such a special and dedicated woman on board our guide team.

Upcoming Adventures with Rosa:
Guided Machu Picchu Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

M. Robinson

"Machu Picchu was an eye-opening social history adventure. Rosa was able to give us the intertwining of Quechua and Inca tribal histories (not sure if tribal is correct) while connecting each with goals and accomplishments in Machu Picchu construction and use. She shared info about the plants, geology and arid conditions of the site...as well as the Hiram Bingham stories, which delighted me as his grandson was one of my students. She shared my delight in epiphytes and she showed me taller bromels than I had ever seen."

E. Miller
"Rosa is the best guide that I have ever had --- always smiling, knew everything about Machu Picchu and Peru, an absolutely delightful person."

M. Bleden
"Rosa went above and beyond as our guide. She was so very imformative about history, culture and customs. She was very attentive to my grandchildren, which I appreciate. Any situation that came up which needed extraordinary attention, she responded eagerly. I so appreciate her enthusiasm and knowledge."

W. Fowler
“Rosa was so knowledgeable about Peru's history, geography, culture, etc. We appreciated that she shared her cultural perspectives with us. It was enlightening to learn about Peru through the eyes of a local, and it was a pleasure to spend those days with her."

P. Little
“Rosa was Fabulous!!! She made the whole trip so wonderful. Her knowledge level was extremely high. She made everthing come to life. She was very attentive. Had a very high energy level."

Sam Mushandu

Southern Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
One of southern Africa's top safari guides, Sam Mushandu was born and raised in southeast Zimbabwe. Growing up in a rural village surrounded by wild country gave him a great appreciation for nature...

Sam Mushandu

One of southern Africa's top safari guides, Sam Mushandu was born and raised in southeast Zimbabwe. Growing up in a rural village surrounded by wild country gave him a great appreciation for nature, as did the school holidays he spent in the woods herding cattle. Sam’s uncle worked for the department of national parks and often invited him to join him on trips to Zambezi National Park, where his passion for wildlife was ignited. 

After graduating from high school, Sam attended Bulawayo Commercial College where he attained a diploma in tourism. From 1999-2003 he worked for a Victoria Falls-based company, gaining experience in the bush on game drives and camping safaris in Hwange and Zambezi national parks. In 2003, Sam joined Wilderness Safaris where he acquired further valuable guiding experience working in camps in Hwange National Park. There, Sam rubbed shoulders with some of Zimbabwe‘s top safari guides who helped shape his career. Moving on to another company in 2005, Sam expanded his opportunities to learn as he led many safaris during the next decade to diverse locations in southern Africa. He gained guiding expertise in Botswana's Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and greater Okavango Delta; Zambia's Kafue National Park, Mudumu National Park in Namibia, and Kruger National Park in South Africa. Drawing on this depth of experience, Sam attained the status of Professional Guide in 2013, the top guiding qualification in Zimbabwe. He was also awarded the "best guide" honor in the practical exams class as part of the evaluation process. Sam enjoys history and fishing, so his guests should be prepared to be regaled with many fishing stories!

Sandra Elvin

The North
Expedition Leader Since: 2008
Sandra is a wildlife biologist with passions for environmental sustainability and conservation. Her PhD research at York University in Toronto focuses on the impact of industrial development ...

Sandra Elvin

Sandra is a wildlife biologist with passions for environmental sustainability and conservation. Her PhD, completed in 2013 at York University in Toronto, focused on the impact of industrial development on the black bear population of Labrador, Canada, specifically assessing the habitat selections and population movements of bears. During her master's research conducted in 2005, Sandra developed strategies to address collisions between right whales and commercial vessels navigating through the whales' feeding grounds and migration paths. As a biological scientist, she has performed aerial moose and raptor surveys as well as fish habitat and ecosystem health assessments. Sandra currently resides in Toronto, after stints in Northern Ontario, Nova Scotia, France, the U.S., the Philippines and Barbados, to name a few. She is an avid scuba diver and enjoys playing competitive sports.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

D. Stover

"I cannot say enough good things about Sandra! She is truly a special person, a real gem of a guide. She is just one of the best! (which I found true of all of the guides I have had with Nat Hab!) She really had great subject knowledge, helpfulness, checked with each of us how we were doing, etc. She knew when to lead, and when to let the local guides be the leaders. She really goes WAY above and beyond the basic requirements of a guide."

C. Bell
"I cannot say enough good things about Sandra. She was amazing! If I could only pick one excellent quality, I would say Sandra's ability to be flexible and maximize every moment of the trip was outstanding. She made it possible for our group to have an over the top experience."

G. McGreevy
"We can't say enough good things about Sandra. She was always extremely well organized and flexible. She is very passionate and knowledgeable about Churchill, the polar bears, wildlife in general, and Canada. She kept us busy and entertained for the entire trip. She was very patient with all group members and worked well with them as a group and one on one. On a scale of 1 to 10, she is a 20! This was a trip of a lifetime, and she made it live up to all our expectations and beyond!"

J. Beers
"Sandra was one of the best guides we have ever had on any trip all over the world!"

N. Feinstei
"On a scale from 1 to 10 Sandra was a 15, if that is possible. She was amazing. Our whole group could not believe how she went out of her way to make everything happen for us. And, when things needed to be rescheduled, she took care of everything. She was like a Wonderwoman. A definite keeper for NHA. Based on our experience with Sandra and all that she did to make this trip so special for everyone, I would definitely recommend NHA to all our friends who travel."

Santiago Moran

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2015
Santiago arrived on the island of Santa Cruz as a boy of 7. His first memory is the view of Academy Bay as he descended the dirt road from the lush highlands of Santa Rosa...

Santiago Moran

Santiago arrived on the island of Santa Cruz as a boy of 7. His first memory is the view of Academy Bay as he descended the dirt road from the lush highlands of Santa Rosa. He had never seen a color like it, such a vivid, beautiful turquoise. The moment made such an impression on young Santiago that he credits it with his decision to devote his life to "this magical place and the wild waters surrounding it." Growing up on a tropical island is a dream for most children, and Santiago took full advantage of his exposure to the wonders of nature every day. He learned to swim in the lagoon of Tortuga Bay, paddling alongside sea turtles and mischievous seal lion pups. He fished in the tidepools alongside blue-footed boobies and sunbathing marine iguanas. It did not take long for the draw of the great Pacific Ocean to became more than just a passion for Santiago, who made it his profession. He earned his open-water dive instructor certification at 18 and began to lead diving trips throughout the archipelago. With experience the best teacher, he learned as much as he possibly could from his wild classroom. Still craving more knowledge, he opted to earn his naturalist guide certification from Galapagos National Park. Since then, Santiago has guided thousands of dive trips and led hundreds of land expeditions throughout the archipelago over the past two decades. He says, "Nothing gives me greater pleasure or pride than to share my beloved islands with our guests. It is my honor to do so."

Upcoming Adventures with Santiago:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure

Sean Beckett

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2013
Sean Beckett grew up exploring the woods of northern Vermont. His love for the outdoors developed into a love of birdwatching, avian ecology and environmental education...

Sean Beckett

Sean Beckett grew up exploring the woods of northern Vermont. His love for the outdoors developed into a love of birdwatching, avian ecology and environmental education. He graduated from Vassar College in upstate New York with a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies. For several summers he worked for the National Audubon Society's Project Puffin conserving and monitoring Atlantic puffins, arctic terns, and other northern Atlantic seabirds. When the seabirds weren't nesting he traveled across the United States researching and catching owls, hawks, and songbirds. His research on small forest owl migration can now be found in leading ornithology journals. Eager to continue conservation research, he moved into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to work as a conservation cartographer, mapping and radio-tracking species like mule deer, pika, mountain lions, Clark's nutcrackers, and nesting songbirds.

Sean's research background in wildlife ecology and interpretive work with Teton Science School make him especially well suited to facilitate amazing nature and wildlife encounters for his guests. As a Nat Hab guide, Sean has led numerous private and small-group safaris across Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. He likes to share the excitement of hands-on scientific inquiry as a means to foster knowledge of the natural world. For instance, Sean may teach his guests about fire ecology by melting the resin off a serotinous cone with a lighter, or demonstrate the waterproofing and insulating qualities of fur by having them pour water over a beaver pelt. In every setting, he seeks to move travelers over the line from removed observation to a direct and intimate engagement with nature. 

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

A. Clawson
"Sean's subject knowledge was incredible. Very well spoken with a voice that held your attention! He gave very detailed answers to every question which was much appreciated. He picked up on little things that held the children's attention and figured out the things that we were interested in (wildflowers for me). He then added items to the trip that would make it more enjoyable for all of us. Very caring individual and he could explain items to the children in a way that they picked up a great deal of information."

E. Hobbs

"Sean is a wealth of information and was one of the best guides that I've had. He was definitely an above and beyond kind of guy."

M. Fenton
"Sean's enthusiasm was evident the entire trip amongst many other qualities - professional, knowledgeable, ability to inspire, effective communicator. This made for an incredibly enjoyable, comfortable, and energetic expedition. Couldn't have asked for a better leader."

J. Pickles
"Sean was an exceptional guide. His spotting skills and knowledge of Yellowstone's wildlife was remarkable. Not only have I gained insight into the world of wolves and the interplay between their families, but I have come away with much improved camera skills thanks to Sean's tuition. He was attentive to our needs and safety at all times, especially around wildlife. Confident, calm, endless patience and some great stories!!"

P. Shallenberger
"Sean was amazing - the depth and breadth of his knowledge coupled with his enthusiasm and energy made the trip an educational delight. He was able to stay professional while also being fun and funny. Can't say enough. And his home-cooked breakfasts were such an extra treat."




Sheri Saari

North America
Expedition Leader Since: 2014
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Sheri tagged along on family hiking outings in the Columbia River Gorge where she forged a deep connection to wilderness...

Sheri Saari

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Sheri tagged along on family hiking outings in the Columbia River Gorge where she forged a deep connection to wilderness. Throughout her youth, Sheri spent summers on the salty shores of the Salish Sea and found her big smile among old growth cedar, seabirds, and silver salmon.
Her love of nature and exploration inspired travel to Grand Teton National Park and the Himalayas, and sparked further interest in adventure travel and ecology. This led Sheri to begin leading wilderness expeditions for youth throughout Washington, Hawaii, Australia and Fiji.

 Sheri studied at the esteemed Huxley College for the Environment at Western Washington University. From her very first biological field season monitoring marbled murrelets in Puget Sound, she knew she was destined to live a life intimately connected to the outdoors.

 In 1999, Sheri departed Washington's rain drenched forests for the tropics in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Soon, she discovered yet another very wet place on the planet: the Garden Island of Kaua’i, a place she has called home ever since.

 A skilled and inspired environmental educator, Sheri taught forest and stream ecology at Olympic Park Institute and worked for many years as an interpretive and environmental education ranger with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Sheri's keen interest in protecting seabirds and marine mammals led her to begin collecting marine debris and to found the Kauai Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental non-profit dedicated to ocean and beach protection.

 Whenever humanly possible, Sheri seeks out opportunities to travel, study, and reach the most remote wild places. In 2009, she traveled to the distant atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands where she lived alone conducting research on nesting Hawaiian green sea turtles at a remote field camp on East Island, French Frigate Shoals.

 Sheri also cares about people and strives to provide a rich and meaningful life-changing experience for every guest. She is a seasoned guide who has led adventure trips to a multitude of destinations including Yellowstone, Glacier, and North Cascades national parks, the San Juan Islands, Alaska and Colorado. Autumn brings Sheri to the western shores of Hudson Bay to share one of nature's greatest miracles—the annual polar bear migration—with guests of Natural Habitat Adventures. An accomplished naturalist, Sheri thrives while sharing her passion for nature and sense of wonder with learners of all ages.

Upcoming Adventures with Sheri:
Polar Bears Of Churchill

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

E. Ziegler
"Sheri is not only an excellent expedition leader, she has a wonderful personality that made traveling with her delightful. Her knowledge of flora and fauna was exceptional and it was a most delightful week learning from her."

C. Campagna
"Sheri is an awesome person and leader. We felt blessed to have her for the adventure. She went above and beyond to assure we all had a great time. She was able to create a cohesive group from the first minute we met. As a group leader myself for the past 20 years, I would describe Sheri as a "super leader"!

M. Svanberg
"Sheri was a fantastic expedition leader. She was knowledgeable about the polar bear anatomy, habits, evolution, and interactions with their habitat. She was also well-versed in the tundra landscape and habitat from the willows to the lichen to other animals that we saw e.g. arctic hare, arctic fox, red fox and the common raven. The few questions she couldn't answer off the top of her head she looked up and answered the next day. Her energy never faltered and readily engaged with all 16 members of our group - she really went the extra mile! Sheri was easily the best guide I've ever traveled with." 


Squack Evans

East Africa
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Squack Evans was born and raised on a large cattle ranch in southeastern Zimbabwe, and it was here that his chosen life in the African bush began. Born into a family that has been in Africa for...

Squack Evans

Squack Evans was born and raised on a large cattle ranch in southeastern Zimbabwe, and it was here that his chosen life in the African bush began. Born into a family that has been in Africa for four generations, Squack's bush heritage is a long one. His great-grandfather hunted for ivory from Northern Rhodesia to Kenya, though subsequent generations of the family, including his grandfather, Jasper Evans, have pursued conservation-focused safari work, including the pioneering of camel safaris in Kenya. It seems only natural that Squack would follow in their footsteps. Educated at a remote boarding school in the Zimbabwe bush, his love affair with all things wild continued. After finishing school, Squack worked in Kenya running camel-assisted walking safaris for his uncle Simon Evans through remote northern parts of the country, then pursued travels in Europe and Australia.

After successfully completing the first of the Zimbabwean professional guide examinations, he took up guiding full time in Hwange National Park. Continuing his licensing exams through 2001 while heeding the call of longer walking safaris, he returned to East Africa to run Sabuk Lodge and conduct camel safaris once more. Based in Laikipia for 2-1/2 years, he guided many safaris in the region as well as trips to the Maasai Mara and elsewhere in Kenya.

Following the political and economic upheaval in Zimbabwe, Squack's remaining family moved across the border into Zambia, and he took a job in game ranch management near them. After a year, however, East Africa beckoned again, and Squack came to Tanzania to run Chada Katavi camp in Katavi National Park, one of the wildest and most remote parks left in Africa. Over the next two years, Squack's professionalism, knowledge and infectious enthusiasm became known throughout the region, helping to put Katavi, and the camp, on the map as a singular destination in western Tanzania. His special love remains walking safaris, where he enthralls guests with his attention to minute, fascinating detail on all aspects of the bush.

Suhail Gupta

India, Bhutan and Nepal
Expedition Leader Since: 2009
Suhail has made his passion – sharing the wonders of nature and especially tigers -- his full-time career. He started out as a naturalist guide at Tiger Tops ecolodge in Nepal’s...

Suhail Gupta

Suhail has made his passion – sharing the wonders of nature and especially tigers -- his full-time career. He started out as a naturalist guide at Tiger Tops ecolodge in Nepal’s Royal Chitwan National Park and went on to manage the famous tented camp. He then became assistant to Toby Sinclair in Delhi who was producing the landmark BBC series shot in India, “Land of the Tiger”: six one-hour films on the wildlife of the subcontinent. Suhail went on to work on many more films for the BBC, most recently a three-parter called “Tigers – Spy in the Jungle” that was telecast in the UK in 2009. Suhail has provided custom guiding for many different individuals and groups, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Textile Museum.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

W. Newsom
“Suhail is a real gem. He anticipates and takes care of things. He is a good naturalist too."

M. Gollob
“Very thoughtful and friendly and always gave us details and information as needed.”

Thuto Moutloatse

Africa
Expedition Leader Since: 2007
Named "Best Safari Guide on the Planet" in Outside magazine’s 2014 Travel Awards, Thuto Moutloatse had the privilege of growing up in the superb wildlife areas of Botswana, where his father was involved in tourism...

Thuto Moutloatse

Named "Best Safari Guide on the Planet" in Outside magazine’s 2014 Travel Awards, Thuto Moutloatse had the privilege of growing up in the superb wildlife areas of Botswana, where his father was involved in tourism and conservation work. This exposure fostered a childhood love of the wild. Thuto continued to hone his natural bush skills and passion for the wilderness through hiking and horseback riding while he attended Treverton College in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains in neighboring South Africa.

Following graduation, Thuto completed a Travel & Tourism course, undertook volunteer work at Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, then returned to Botswana, beginning his career at Khama Rhino Sanctuary. He soon became a lodge-based guide in the private Linyanti Concession. With an insatiable interest in the differing ecosystems of Botswana, in 2006 Thuto began leading safaris for Natural Habitat that spanned the country's mosaic of prolific wildlife regions, enhancing his natural sense for guiding and furthering his personable rapport with guests over a full safari's duration. He quickly became an integral member of the team and is now frequently requested by repeat guests. Since becoming a safari guide, Thuto has also become an accomplished photographer, leading photography trips throughout southern Africa in addition to his regular safari guiding work. We're proud to have such an acclaimed Expedition Leader as part of our superb Africa staff!

Upcoming Adventures with Thuto:
Secluded Botswana Safari
Secluded Botswana Photo Safari
Botswana: Kalahari, the Delta & Beyond
Botswana's Green Season Photo
The Great African River Safari
Epic Botswana & Namibia Safari
Wild Namibia Photo Safari



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

S. & V. Crockenberg

"First and foremost, Thuto is a formidable tracker and extremely knowledgeable about the animals and birds of the bush. He is also a natural teacher, who speaks clearly and fluently on so many topics. We learned an enormous amount from him during the safari. He is also consistently good-natured (I already miss hearing his "Morning, morning" wake-up call). It was a pleasure to spend time with him. He was solicitous of everyone in the group, willing to go out of his way to be sure that each person had what they needed to be comfortable and to be fully engaged (or as engaged as they wanted to be) in the activities."

T. Klein
"Thuto is clearly one of the, if not the, best guide in Botswana. He could be teaching at a university. An exceptional human being, with encyclopedic knowledge of all things animal, vegetable and mineral, unmatched enthusiasm, and infinite patience with questions he must have heard many times before."

R. Garga
"Thuto made this expedition a trip of a lifetime for me with his winning personality, knowledge of the wildlife and fauna and professionalism as a guide. We were often around formidable wildlife - huge elephants, lions, leopards etc., however, I don't think anyone in our groups was seriously concerned about our safety because we had confidence that Thuto was in control."

J. Nollman
"Thuto was amazing. Very knowledgeable, courteous, f riendly, light hearted, articulate, easy to understand, good humored, aware and most professional. He was most concerned for our well being, comfort and safety. He individually made our trip. If we return, which might be as soon as next year, we would request him and would probably think twice if he was not available."

S. Feldman
"Thuto was first rate - truly informed, a great teacher, eager to share his enthusiasm with us. He was also very willing to accommodate the guests. He had an uncanny sense of where he would find animals and we were constantly amazed at his success. Thuto also had a great sense of humor, so our group had lots of laughs. I admired Thuto's flexibility and his ability to "read" the group's unspoken desires (e.g., for an occasional later start in the morning, for exercise etc) He successfully varied our activities (jeep ride, boat and mokoro rides, walks, tracking of animals etc)."

Toby Sinclair

India, Bhutan and Nepal
Expedition Leader Since: 2007
A London-born Scot, Toby first drove out to India in 1974 and by late 1975 he joined the Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in Nepal’s Royal Chitwan National Park. In April 1977 he moved to Delhi and helped establish...

Toby Sinclair

A London-born Scot, Toby first drove out to India in 1974 and by late 1975 he joined the Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in Nepal’s Royal Chitwan National Park. In April 1977 he moved to Delhi and helped establish both Mountain Travel India and an office for Tiger Tops. Toby has trekked extensively in the western Himalayas. He helped establish the Kipling Camp in Kanha National Park and Bandhavgarh Jungle Camp. He has been on the Advisory Committee of the Bombay Natural History Society and is today on the Government of India Steering Committee on Protected Area Management. He is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the EcoTourism Society of India. He was the recipient of the 2007 Zeiss Award for Conservation. He is a trustee of Global Tiger Patrol.

For the last 20 years his main work has been handling the Field Production of BBC Natural History Unit filming in the wilderness areas and parks of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan. These films get broadcast on Discovery, Animal Planet and National Geographic in addition to the BBC.

Toby has edited and contributed to a series of books on different parts of South Asia including a series of Insight Guides to India; Indian Wildlife; India’s Western Himalaya, South India, Calcutta, Delhi, Jaipur & Agra; and Rajasthan.

In addition to his own photography, he has been consultant to and handled logistics for numerous photographic projects including The Western Ghats (National Geographic, Jan 2002), Tigers (National Geographic, Dec 1999), The Monsoon (Geo, Dec 1998), Snow Leopards (National Geographic, 2008), Kaziranga (National Geographic 2010), Tigers (December 2011) etc. He has also handled the logistics for photographers such as Richard Avedon, Tom Mangelsen, Nick Nicolls, Steve Winter, Frans Lanting, and Art Wolfe among others.

Upcoming Adventures with Toby:
India's Tigers & Wildlife Photo Safari



Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

D. Russler
"Toby was an exceptional team leader. He kept us fully informed of what we were going to be doing and went out of his way to make sure that all participants were taken care of. His immense knowledge of India and the region made for engaging conversation. First class."

G. Dumler
"Toby is amazing. His knowledge is encyclopedic, and he's a great companion & teacher."

P. Baum
"No adjective can fully express how sensational Toby was. His kindness and sensitivity is unparalleled. I missed one morning drive and he bought me a beautiful silk scarf from the village in Assam to cheer me up. I shall never forget him!"

J. McHugh
"Toby is a fountain of information."

S. Rosenberg
"It's always the leader who can make the trip fabulous, regardless of other factors. Toby did that. Funny, knowledgeable, concerned, professional -- he had it all. And, when I indicated my interest in photography, he paid extra attention and made the effort to seek me out and show me specific technical and artistic things. Very much appreciated."

Veronica Maruri

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2011
Veronica was born and raised in Guayaquil, on the Ecuadorian coast. When she was 12 years old, she spent a year in Massachusetts giving her the opportunity to learn English...

Veronica Maruri

Veronica was born and raised in Guayaquil on the coast of Ecuador. When she was 12, she spent a year in Massachusetts, learning English and broadening her view of the world. She completed high school at the Inter-American Academy in Ecuador, returning to the U.S. to attend college. Her first two-week temporary job was indeed a dream come true when she was hired as a science assistant at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz in the Galapagos, a life-changing experience that prompted her to pursue certification as a Galapagos guide. She had told her family that she would be going to the islands for two weeks, but she stayed for 20 years! In 2002 Veronica and her family moved to the Ecuador mainland to enhance her children's education, but she has since returned to the Galapagos as an Expedition Leader for Nat Hab. Veronica knows it is a privilege to have the Galapagos Islands as her front yard, but that's not enough: every trip gives her the opportunity to delight in sharing with visitors  its vast array of animals, plants and geology that they have never encountered before, which is a thrill for her. Her favorite part of guiding is taking visitors snorkeling, especially if it is their first time. As someone who loves to travel the world, Veronica likewise appreciates when people take the time to visit this wonderful paradise which is a World Heritage Site as well as her home.

Upcoming Adventures with Veronica:
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

K. Eckhart
"I could not begin to say enough about her. Veronica was wonderful and incredibly knowledgable. For her to know the name of the species and genus (?) is amazing. The facts she had at her fingertips was like looking it up on the internet!"

M. Swenson
"I instantly fell in love her - she was warm, welcoming. knowledgeable, and attentive. I consider her to be new friend."

C. Flis
"Veronica was pleasant, patient, helpful; she answered any questions we had, even if we had asked it before! She was always concerned for our safety. A wonderful guide!"

E. Davidson
“As with our NatHab experience before, she was great! Very well informed and helpful.”

E. Stephens
“Best guide imaginable.”

Wilfredo Huillca Gamarra

Peru
Expedition Leader Since: 2016
Wilfredo was born in Cusco, Peru. He grew up with a passion for nature and an unending curiosity. In the Peruvian countryside, he fell in love with his surroundings and soaked up information...

Wilfredo Huillca Gamarra

Wilfredo was born in Cusco, Peru. He grew up with a passion for nature and an unending curiosity. In the Peruvian countryside, he fell in love with his surroundings and soaked up information from his parents about local herbs and their uses in local Andean medicine and cuisine. His enthusiasm for sharing his country’s history, traditions and ancestral music, and educating others about conservation and ecology led him to earn a license in tourism and to pursue a career as a guide and tour leader.

Before joining Nat Hab, Wilfredo logged years as a tour guide in Peru, thereby bolstering his education and improving his understanding of his homeland. When he started with Nat Hab in 2005, all that experience and knowledge further enhanced his role as an Expedition Leader. Because Wilfredo enjoys working in the field so much, he approaches each group as if they are his first, bringing a new perspective and fresh energy to every day. Wilfredo strives to provide guests, whom he hopes will become long-lasting friends, with an exceptional adventure and a memorable exploration of his country.

Wilfredo lives in Cusco with his wife and three children. He is a music teacher, Andean instrument manufacturer and a musician. He enjoys playing music with his children and collecting ancient artifacts. His native language is Quechua, the Andean Inca language that was passed down by his parents.

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