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Guides

World's Best Expedition Leaders

There's no question that one of the most important aspects of any guided travel adventure is the quality of its leaders. In our commitment to offering the best nature vacations on the planet, we provide the very best Expedition Leaders—it’s that simple. Our award-winning Expedition Leaders travel the world leading our small-group nature journeys, and though many have one or more master’s degrees or PhDs, they are chosen for their good nature as well as their good grades! We frequently fly our leaders from around the world to an exciting nature locale for guide training to share ideas and skills that simply cannot be learned in school. We are very proud of this collection of quality individuals who don the Natural Habitat logo.

View a list of your favorite Expedition Leaders and their worldwide guiding schedules here.
Eric Rock

Eric Rock
Worldwide

NHA 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 an essential role in improving existing trips and developing new ones. His illustrious... 
Melissa Scott

Melissa Scott
Worldwide

NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2003

Melissa is NHA’s esteemed Staff Naturalist, a title she earned through her extraordinary knowledge of the natural world. Melissa was raised in southern Indiana and grew to love nature at an early age...

Brad Josephs

Worldwide
NHA 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 ...

Roberto Plaza

Galapagos
Expedition Leader Since: 2001

Roberto, NHA's Galapagos Field Manager, 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...

Olaf Malver

The Polar Regions, Europe and Indonesia
NH 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...

Aditya Dev

Asia
NHA 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...

Alexander Arias

Costa Rica
NHA 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...

Alexandra Villacis

Quito
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2006

Alexandra has a bachelor’s degree in tourism and an MBA in marketing and has been working in tourism since 1991. She is passionate about sharing the natural treasures of her native Ecuador with...
Andrea Reynolds

Andrea Reynolds 
Worldwide

NHA 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...

Andres Vergara

Galapagos
NHA 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...

Andy Corbett

East Africa
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2012

Influenced by a childhood immersed in nature, Andy made a natural progression to a degree in marine biology and oceanography. While he was at university Andy first traveled with his family to Kenya...

Annie Van Dinther

North America
NHA 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... 

Anthony Dodds

Africa
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2007

A second generation Kenyan born in 1962, Anthony grew up a "bush kid" and reveled in all aspects of the African wild. After a brief and not entirely successful education, he was back in the bush...

Astrid Frisch

Mexico
NHA 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 ...

Bonnie Chartier

North America
NHA 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...

Brad Bulin

The North
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2012

Brad grew up in Wisconsin where he worked on a dairy farm and taught school from elementary to college level while also serving as a volunteer firefighter. Yearning to spend more time with the outdoors...

Brad Hansen

Tanzania
NHA 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...

Brooks Kamanakao

Botswana
NHA 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...

Callum Sargent

Southern Africa
NHA 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...

Carlos Ordonez

Quito
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2006

Carlos is a native Ecuadorian who spent his teenage years attending high school on the east coast of the United Sates, where he became fluent in English. He began his career in the tour-ism industry in...

Cassiano (Zapa) Zaparoli

Brazil, Patagonia, Galapagos
NHA 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...

Charles Ndlovu

Zimbabwe/Southern Africa
NHA 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...

Colby Brokvist

North America
NHA 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...

Dave Luck

Africa
NHA 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 ...

Dawson Smith

Yellowstone
NHA 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...

Denis Erabu

Uganda/Rwanda
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2006

Born in Eastern Uganda, Denis is from the Kumam tribe. He grew up in a rural village where his father is a local chief. After completing secondary school, Denis moved to the capital of Kampala...

Dushyant Singh

India & Bhutan
NHA 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...

Elise Lockton

Worldwide
NHA 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.....

Esteban Biamonte

Costa Rica
NHA 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...

Fabio Trujillo

Panama
Expedition Leader Since: 2013

Fabio Trujillo may be known best for his great smile and infectious enthusiasm, which infuse every element of his work as a naturalist guide. He holds a degree in Geo and Eco Tourism from...

Fermin Tzib

Belize
NHA 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....

Fernando Romo

Mexico
NHA 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...

Francis Casapino

Peru
NHA 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 Kudumo

Botswana
NHA 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...

Franco Morao

Namibia/Southern Africa
NHA 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...

Gavin Lautenbach

Africa & Borneo
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2011

Gavin Lautenbach has been guiding for the past 15 years, mostly at small private camps in South Africa, and has led specialist photographic safaris, walking safaris...

Giancarlo Toti

Galapagos
NHA 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...

Grant Atkinson

Africa
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2004

Grant grew up on the Eastern Cape of South Africa in a region known as the “Wild Coast,” where he spent his time fishing and bird watching. Observing nature, especially birds, remained a key interest as...

Gustavo Andrade Torres 

Galapagos
NHA 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...

Harsha Jayaramaiah

India
NHA 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...

Israel Canto

Belize
Expedition Leader Since: 2014

Israel was born in the Mayan village of San Antonio in the southern part of the Cayo District in Belize. Yucatec Maya is his native language, though he also speaks English, Spanish, Creole and Mopan Maya...

Jared Baecker

North America
NHA 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.....

Jimmy Tosso

Costa Rica
NHA 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...

Joe Charleson

Africa
NHA 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...

John Mittan

Africa
NHA Expedition Leader since: 2005

John was born in 1979 in South Africa and from a very young age was introduced to the delights of the African bush. He left with his family at the age of five to live in Australia where his passion ...

Joseline Cardoso

Galapagos
NHA 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...

Julio Madriz

Costa Rica
NHA 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...

Justin Gibson

The North
NHA 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...

Karel Beets

Mexico
NHA 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 and Adventure Travel...

Karen Walker

The North
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2005

After growing up in Oregon and graduating from college in Washington, Karen’s passion for adventure led her north to Alaska. She has worked as a nature guide and natural history trip leader throughout...

Keith Valentine

Madagascar
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2008

Keith hails from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he developed an interest in the outdoors, wildlife and African at a young age. At 21, he became the youngest person to have seen 850 birds in...

Kevin Taylor

North America
NHA 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...

Lazarus "Lazi" Moalosi

Botswana/Southern Africa
NHA 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...

Leah Magowan

North America
NHA 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 ...
Leonardo Chavez

Leonardo Chaves
Costa Rica

NHA 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... 

Linda Himelbloom

Alaska
NHA 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...

Ljana Sligo

New Zealand
NHA Expedition Leader since: 2009

Ljana, a native of New Zealand, has been a biology and environmental education teacher for many years. She spent some time as the Head of Science at a South Island high school, leading student groups on...

Luis "Champi" Rodriguez

Galapagos
NHA Expedition Leader since: 2012

Born in 1970 in Quito, Ecuador, Luis credits his parents with fostering his long-held love of nature. With mountain climbers and mariners in his family heritage, Luis adopted a passion...

Malcolm O'Reilly

Scotland
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2011

Malcolm’s passion for the natural world began early. As a child, he reveled in escapades in the British countryside, the company of his many pets, and a bedroom full of bones, fossils, feathers and old bird nests...

Marco Fallas

Costa Rica
NHA 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...

Mike McCartney

Kenya
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2010

Mike McCartney is a second generation Kenyan, born in Nairobi in 1967. Mike spent much of his childhood on various coffee farms in different parts of Central Kenya; his father was a coffee...

Naiman Mungure

Tanzania
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2007

Naiman has been guiding Tanzanian safaris since 1994. He has taken courses in wildlife management and graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Naiman’s quiet, kind personality...

Nancy Madrigal

Costa Rica
NHA 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...

Patricia Valdespino

Mexico
NHA 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...

Paul Brown

North America
NHA 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...

Phil Berry

Zambia
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2009

Phil was born in Plymouth, England, the son of a Royal Navy engineer who moved his family to Africa in 1946. Phil grew up in remote areas of Southern Africa, most notably Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and, from...

Rashid Ali

India
NHA 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...

Ratna Singh

India
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2013

Wildlife and animals have always been a central part of Ratna Singh's life. She grew up on a family farm in a small village in central India, and although she went away to boarding school at a very young age...

Renzo Zeppilli

Amazon
NHA 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...

Richard Avilino

Botswana
NHA 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......

Rick Morales

Panama
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2005

Rick was born in the Chiriqui Highlands of Panama. A naturalist and avid birder, he has compiled an impressive bird list as well as a long list of experiences and adventures as a naturalist guide and ...

Rinie Van Meurs

The North
NHA 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...

Roberto Aguilar

Galapagos
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2006

With a background in biology, law and tourism, Roberto is the perfect person to introduce travelers to the diversity of Ecuador. A Quito native, he went to high school in the U.S. and he is...

Rosa Alegria Gonzales

Peru
NHA 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...

Sandra Elvin

The North
NHA 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 ...

Sean Beckett

North America
NHA 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...

Simon Stobbs

Africa
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2006

After completing a post-graduate degree in psychology, Simon worked as a Human Resourses Manager in an IT company for 2 years. He then decided that it was time to follow his passion and pursue a career ...

Suhail Gupta

India & Bhutan
NHA 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...

Thuto Moutloatse

Africa
NHA 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...

Tim Francis

Scotland
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2011

A passionate hiker and wildlife enthusiast, Tim is a former business development manager who spent 4 years working in South America before returning to the Highlands to live and become a nature guide...

Toby Sinclair

Bhutan, China, India
NHA 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...

Veronica Maruri
Galapagos

NHA 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...

Victor Horatius

Botswana
NHA Expedition Leader Since: 2009

Born and raised in Maun, Botswana, Victor grew up spending weekends and school holidays helping out on a farm in the Kalahari. He studied International Business Communication and worked his...

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