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:
"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."
"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!"
"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."