At Natural Habitat Adventures, we believe we have a crucial responsibility to help protect our natural world, and that conservation and exploration go hand in hand.
In collaboration with World Wildlife Fund, our conservation travel partner, we've developed innovative and exclusive itineraries in remote places largely inaccessible to tourist crowds. Our Expedition Leaders are the most highly trained naturalist guides in the industry, sharing expert interpretation along with personal attention to each traveler. And our distinctive lodgings are integral to a matchless nature immersion, offering proximity to wildlife and exceptional comfort in an unobtrusive context. Averaging just nine guests, our groups are the smallest in the industry, facilitating quiet opportunities for close-up, meaningful interactions with wildlife.
Our passion is to help travelers rediscover their connection to the natural world, while protecting it in the process. Nat Hab caters to a distinct kind of guest: one who shares our love for this planet, who is a seeker of life-affirming experiences, one who considers nature home—where you go to feel your most connected, inspired and alive.
History of Nat Hab
Nat Hab has taken a winding road to transform from a fledgling one-man operation to become the world leader in conservation travel.
- 1985 – While teaching at a small boarding school in New Hampshire, Ben Bressler founds a small travel company focused on teacher-student adventures in nature. The first trip took a group of students to Colorado's Rocky Mountains. The company was launched with $600 Ben had saved from driving a garbage truck at an amusement park in New Jersey.
- 1987 – Natural Habitat Adventures is born when Ben collaborates with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to design the company’s first tour to see baby harp seals in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence – launching its commitment to making wildlife conservation an economic benefit for local communities, instead of depleting resources.
- 1987 – The fledgling company hires its first employee.
- 1988 – Natural Habitat Adventures debuts its first polar bear tours to Churchill, Manitoba.
- 1989 – The company expands with bear-viewing adventures to Alaska’s Brooks Falls, small-ship exploration in the Galapagos Islands, and Kenya safaris.
- 1990 – Ben travels Rwanda to explore the Virunga Volcanoes in search of endangered mountain gorillas on his honeymoon.
- 1994 – To attract a more adventure-oriented staff, the company moves from New Jersey to Boulder, Colorado.
- 2002 – Nat Hab adds wolf-watching tours to Yellowstone, operated in conjunction with the Teton Science School, to demonstrate the value to the local economy of protecting reintroduced wolves.
- 2003 – Nat Hab's innovative alliance with World Wildlife Fund is initiated. WWF selected Nat Hab as its global travel partner because of the quality of Nat Hab's trips and a shared commitment to conservation.
- 2006 – Conde Nast Traveler names Nat Hab the #1 Ecotourism Operator in the World on its annual Green List, a highly coveted one-time award.
- 2006 – With the guidance of Sustainable Travel International, Nat Hab creates its innovative Carbon Pollution Reduction program, making Nat Hab the world’s first 100% carbon-neutral travel company by offsetting C02 emissions from all trips and office operations.
- 2006 – Natural Habitat Adventures expands to China with the introduction of its first panda-focused wildlife trips to Sichuan Province.
- 2007 – Nat Hab begins working with Mpopongi Primary School in Kenya’s greater Maasai Mara region. Donations support school and boarding fees, teacher salaries, solar installations, school supplies and more.
- 2008 – Nat Hab is named the #1 Best Place to Work by Outside magazine, the first of five consecutive years the company was featured on this prestigious list.
- 2008 – Nat Hab named a World’s Best Tour Operator by Travel + Leisure magazine
- 2008 – India is added to Nat Hab trip collection, offering travelers a chance to view endangered tigers in the wild.
- 2008 – Nat Hab introduces the planet's first hybrid safari truck—Nat Hab SafariOne. Additionally, some of the company’s U.S. and Canada adventures begin utilizing alternative fuel vehicles: 12- passenger transfer vans that run on recycled vegetable oil.
- 2008 – Nat Hab purchases Explorers’ Corner, a boutique active adventure travel company, to expand eye-level kayaking and hiking tours in the Galapagos Islands, plus unique expeditions elsewhere.
- 2012 – Natural Habitat Expeditions is launched, a set of more active small-group trips that explore unusual and remote natural destinations via kayak, trail, sail and snorkel. Acclaimed global adventurer Dr. Olaf Malver is named CEO (Chief Exploratory Officer).
- 2012 – Natural Habitat Expeditions debuts new Sailing Antarctica, an exclusive and singular way to experience the earth’s last great wilderness in rare solitude – “a genuine adventure for the intrepid explorer.”
- 2012 – Natural Habitat Foundation is created to support both environmental and community development initiatives in destinations where the company operates.
- 2013 – WWF and Nat Hab partnership expands to collaboratively develop a groundbreaking trip series called “In Search Of…” Travelers accompany local WWF scientists in the field in search of the world’s most elusive endangered species, venturing deep into the species’ habitat with the goal of encountering the animal in the wild. The first trip inspires guests to raise more than $20K in support of snow leopard conservation work in Mongolia.
- 2014 – Nat Hab builds Base Camp Greenland, a new way to explore the Arctic wilderness of remote East Greenland, and the only luxury expedition camp anywhere in the region. The first guests arrive in 2015 to explore by boat, kayak, and hikes over tundra and ice.
- 2015 – The custom-built Aurora Pod is introduced as a new feature of Nat Hab's Northern Lights & Arctic Cultures trip to Churchill, Manitoba, providing a 360-degree view of the night sky in heated comfort from cushioned seating inside a structure with glass walls and ceiling.
- 2015 – Nat Hab expands its Alaska coastal grizzly-viewing trips with the launch of the newly christened Natural Habitat Ursus, a privately chartered small ship providing access to remote areas of Katmai National Park where visitors can come safely within feet of mighty brown bears.
- 2016 – Nat Hab joins forces with Lindblad Expeditions in a business partnership to complement and expand its adventure travel offerings, opening up new destinations and experiences for Nat Hab travelers. Founded in 1958 by Lars-Eric Lindblad, Lindblad today is the world’s leader in small-ship expedition cruising.
- 2019 – Nat Hab begins offsetting all guests' flights to and from the starting point of their adventures, increasing the total amount of their carbon offsetting by 300-400%.
- 2019 – Nat Hab operates the world’s first Zero-Waste Adventure, a wildlife safari in Yellowstone, departing July 2019.
- 2020 – Nat Hab launches Climate Change & Our Wild World, a 2020 adventure series honoring 35 years of conservation travel.
- 2020 – Nat Hab announces its Women in the Wild adventure series, a collection of Women-Only expeditions to Churchill, India, Botswana and Yellowstone.