Over my 20 years at Nat Hab, I’ve had the great luxury of traveling to a wide variety of our nature destinations around the world. Travel is my greatest passion, and there is no activity I’d rather be immersing myself in. It makes me grateful for feeling more alive, although, upon my return, I often grow frustrated with my inability to adequately describe the full color and texture of these experiences with family.

Nat Hab staff member Rick Guthke explores Greenland.

As a father, I’ve long dreamt of the opportunity to share some special moments in nature with my children in a far-flung wilderness. Maybe if I could arrange to take my family with me, the failings of my storytelling would be rendered moot and they could experience the power of nature with me firsthand.

Children with their mother watch an elephant at a watering hole in Botswana.

It happened—and it happened in a BIG way. Africa! My wife and children joined me for a 2 week trip through South Africa and Botswana. Watching wildlife elbow to elbow, sharing binoculars, experimenting with my Nikon, toasting the sunset with a soft drink—each moment was better than the last.

A meerkat family in Botswana.

To see Africa through the eyes of my children was the most rewarding travel experience of all. To hear them try to describe what it was like to sit among meerkats in the Kalahari, to drive 4 wheelers through the salt pans, to be mock charged by elephant in the Delta, to walk with a bushman family, to boast about being the first to see a leopard in a tree, their shudder of fear hearing a lion during a wildlife walk…their words are also inadequate. But now they have memories to stick with them for a lifetime, and I do hope they have caught the travel bug as I have. I hope that they feel their horizons expand and feel compelled to act—to get involved, to feel what is possible in this beautiful world of ours. I hope that they might be even better versions of themselves.

A leopard in a tree in South Africa.

By Rick Guthke, Chief Operating Officer of Natural Habitat Headquarters.