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Home Guides & Staff Staff Bios Mat Unger

Mat Unger

Mat has been on the move all his life. Born in Chicago, raised in both East Berlin and Denver, Mat is a traveler at heart. Before joining Natural Habitat Adventures, he studied aerospace sciences at the University of North Dakota where he received a BS degree and mild frostbite. Inspired by what he found while traveling with dad and grandpa, Mat has ventured on to visit many far-off corners of the world. Check out his slide show for a glimpse at his recent adventures. Mat thinks the most memorable journey to date is when he and his dad got stranded in the Kalahari Desert while driving a two-wheel drive rental car. He claims it is the most up-close and personal he ever plans to get with nature. When he's not in Canada working on our Polar Bear trips, Mat manages our information systems from his office in New York. And if you ever have a problem, Mat is the guy to call! He can fix anything.

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Patagonia Photos

Here, my wife Julia and I pose atop a volcano in the Galápagos archipelago.  We hope you’ll enjoy our memories of this amazing spectacle of nature.  Back at ground level, the intimacy of the flora and fauna take hold.  Here a large Marine Iguana is basking in the sun as our group explores in the distance.What we found while exploring the islands was strikingly beautiful contrasts. While the volcanic rock provides a desolate Martian vista from afar, up close you’ll find colors never before seen on living creatures. There is something new to discover no matter which way you look. Here we find Sea Lions and ‘Shutterbugs’ peacefully coexisting on the island of Española.  In case you were curious as to what was being photographing one slide back. Here is the subject: a fearless Hood Mockingbird inspecting our water bottle.…and now one last photo with the Mockingbird, Sea Lion, and Homo Sapiens. Look at the water bottle and say “Perfect”.It turns out that Mockingbird was on the right track. You must find your way into the water to get the full Galápagos experience. On this day, the current had washed in a plethora of golf-ball-sized jellyfish and where the jellyfish go, the turtles and Manta Rays are sure to follow.  Considering the islands are directly on the equator, the water is a bit chilly. So much so, that the islands have their own Penguin colonies.  When snorkeling close to shore, these Penguins will come darting into the water as they look for their next meal. I would liken the experience to nothing else. Unless that is, you’ve have had someone throw bowling pins into the pool as you swim laps.   While we’re on the subject of small fearless birds, check out this Vampire Finch taking a bite out of my shoe. Good thing I left the sandals on the boat that day.Once back on the boat, our group was treated with some whale watching. Just another beautiful day on the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.Here’s Julia taking a moment to relax between shore landings on the observation deck of the Letty. During sunset, a Frigate bird catches a ride on the boat’s updraft as we journey on to the next landing.  Later we learned it’s best not to stand directly below these birds that fly just feet above the boat. That’s going to leave a stain.  Later I learned that Frigate birds have a reputation of causing trouble. Here you see an adult Blue-footed Booby feeding its young.  A few seconds later a Frigate bird swoops out of nowhere to make a play for the Blue-footed Booby’s lunch. Yum, looks like Calamari today!As spectacular as these nature encounters were, their true significance was only brought to light when coupled with the extraordinary guiding by Ruly and Roberto. My sincere thanks goes out to them for making the Galapagos a one-of-a-kind adventure.Thanks for stopping by to check out our slides. It was a marvelous trip and I would recommend it to anyone who has a passion for the natural world.Encore? I just couldn’t leave this Yellow Land Iguana out.And just what kind of Galapagos slideshow doesn’t have a photo of a Giant Tortoise? Although not shown here, it may interest you to know that after 25 years of trying, Lonesome George is finally mating.

Galapagos by Land, Sea and Air

Uganda Photos

Let's StartHere I am fitting in with the locals. For reasons unknown to me, these guys named their tribe the Mursi (pronounced more-see). I'm the sixth one from the right.My mission as the systems specialist is to reduce paper waste and increase office efficacy by automating tasks. The wall of dietary preferences was the first to go.People often ask how one becomes the IT guy for a travel company.  Here’s where it started for me.Once upon a time I was a commercial pilot. I've since moved on to a job that allows me to travel MORE. Here I am in a Russian Mig 25 flying up at 70,000ft.  The sky turns completely black up at that altitude.  The real lesson learned is that "you've never been lost until you've been lost traveling at 1,500 mph."I’ve always wanted a job that I can do from anywhere in the world.  However, rollercoaster designer didn’t work out.  Bellow is a Mongolian pedal-you-self ride.My dad was in charge of showing me the world.  Here he is at the helm of his sailboat.  He was looking to sail around the world but couldn't find anyone crazy enough to go with.My grandfather and I have done lots of world trips.  Here he is giving me the finger for taking a photo of him walking his bike up the last bit of a mountain pass.  For the record, he did ride 99% of the pass.These are some of my friends who went to the World Cup without me. Julia, the tipsy one on the right, is my loving (and wicked-smart) wife.Here is our "dog," Quimby. Despite how this may look, she cannot swim, bark, or fetch for that matter.

Mat's Marvelous Adventures

2016 Wildlife Webinars

Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month.

See the Full Schedule Here

Voted Best of Travel 2015

Our Base Camp Greenland trip is named Best Splurge by Outside magazine!

In the News

CNN recently joined Natural Habitat’s Polar Bear Photo Tour! Click here to watch.
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