Eka, who hails from the Republic of Georgia, is an exceptionally accomplished Caucasian equestrian and mountaineer. In 2000 she was the first woman in the history of Tusheti to win the prestigious local Tushetoba Horse Race, at the age of 15. With deep family roots in the wild mountain region of Tusheti, on Georgia's northeastern edge, Eka's love of the Caucasus Mountains and their hardy, traditional people is infectious. Her goal as a guide is to give her guests a personal and life-changing travel adventure through sharing her culture and passion for Georgia's striking natural beauty. Eka graduated from Trinity Episcopal School in Virginia, USA, and earned a BA in International Business at the University of Tbilisi in Georgia's capital city. She has worked as a development tourism officer supporting non-governmental organizations involved with tourism and conservation. Like many Georgians, Eka also has a strong interest in local food, wine and agriculture. She and her husband, Olaf Malver
, own 100 acres of vineyards in Georgia's Kakheti wine country that produce grapes for Danieli Winery, their recently launched boutique winery. Eka's family also owns beehives that support a successful family honey business. Her in-depth knowledge of Georgia and her amazing enthusiasm for its mountains and people help to create travel experiences that provide unforgettable memories for Eka's guests!
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
"Eka is such a strong leader which was so important on this type of adventure. She was so concerned with each person's safety and was able to make decisions on the spot to deal with shifting nature and how to work around it. When a bridge was washed out we made more river crossings. She decided we should stop earlier that night which was a just right decision. The meadow we camped in that night was spectacular. She has an extraordinary grasp of her countries history and shared what it was like being a part of more recent history. Her love and passion for her country is so evident... Thank you for your love and kindness, Eka. She shared her family with us...her beautiful children and warm, loving Mom. Can she ever cook!!! As a group of strangers coming together for a strenuous adventure, Eka had a knack for including everyone and bringing us together as a family for over a week. What an amazing young woman!!"
"Eka was a fabulous guide and leader of the support team. She went far out of her way to make us feel at home in Georgia and her knowledge of the land, people and history was outstanding and really gave us a great insight into the culture."
"Eka's love of Georgia and her knowledge about the country and its history, as well as her personal story, made for an exceptional experience"
"Eka made our trip the trip of a lifetime. I observed her expertly tending her "flock"(us) to give us the safest and most memorable trip imaginable. Words can hardly do her justice."
"The best part of the trip. The Georgian mountains would not have been nearly as interesting if it were not for her personal knowledge and experiences in these regions."