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Court Whelan

Court’s background in wildlife and conservation biology led him to pursue a joint PhD in ecotourism and entomology, while simultaneously coordinating and guiding small-group wildlife expeditions and ecotourism adventures around the world. From leading nature safaris to such far-flung places as Papua New Guinea and Madagascar, to locales closer to home such as Costa Rica, Belize and Mexico, Court says his guiding experiences allow him to “help people travel to and learn about extraordinary natural areas that make meaningful lifelong impressions for everyone involved.” In addition to a passion for discovery, teaching and adventure, Court also is an avid nature and wildlife photographer and is always eager to share his knowledge and creative guidance with his guests. Whether it’s macro photography of poison arrow frogs in Costa Rica, the vast landscapes of Namibia, or charismatic polar bears on the frozen tundra of Canada, no subject is off limits when it comes to Court’s enthusiasm for photography and sharing tips with his guests. When he isn’t planning and leading nature safaris, you’ll find Court hiking on trails from his backyard in Colorado, fly fishing in a nearby canyon, or working on his photography website.

Upcoming Adventures with Court:
Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures
Canyons of the American Southwest
Canyons Photography in the American Southwest
The Wilds of Borneo: Orangutans & Beyond
Madagascar Wildlife Adventure

Praise from Nat Hab travelers:

G. Kinstler
"Court was wonderful. I would gladly go on any of his future trips. He listened to everyone and worked with them on their level. He gave me private time which I greatly appreciated. The knowledge I learned from him will definitely help me in my photography journey. I have nothing but nice things to say. Court is a great guy and a top notch Expedition Leader."

C. Wolfe
"Court was amazing! He knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING: wildlife, environment, culture, history, photography, etc. He had a great sense of humor and remained cool and organized throughout the trip. We didn't have to do anything except show up. He paid attention to every detail including getting a birthday cake for one our participants! I leaned a lot about photography, which was the biggest reason I wanted to go. He was truly an amazing guide."

B. Locke
"I can't imagine a better Expedition Leader than Court—he definitely deserves a 10+ above and beyond rating! He was so knowledgeable about everything, really fun to be around and an incredible photographer. Every day, every excursion was beyond amazing. I’m still in awe of all the wildlife we saw. It was an incredible experience in every way."

M. Penman
"Court exceeds any number you could possibly assign. His knowledge as both a naturalist and photographer is unsurpassed, and he is endlessly gracious and enthused about sharing it. He is a terrific guide and an even better human being."

L. Schulz

"Court was very informative and tailored his comments to the level of understanding of the participants, which in this case was very high. He has a wealth of knowledge, and his help with photography was terrific. I have traveled on several photo trips with other companies, and Nat Hab puts them to shame. I have never received so much information from a guide."

A. Konow
"Besides getting great information about nature and photography, I have learned many life lessons from Court. His passion for saving the world is refreshing and gives me hope that this planet will survive for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

J. Floyd
"Court was very friendly and a good listener. I would not hesitate to take another trip with Court. He was always available and had information when we needed it. He was a good source of knowledge about wildlife and plant life along the Inside Passage."

M. Benyamin
"Court is invaluable to the company. He was incredibly knowledgeable, great to be around, helpful and patient. We both can't say enough about Court!"

M. Vaughn
"Court was fantastic. I have traveled to many places with a variety of groups, and Court is one of the very best. He has a way of putting people at ease and helped to make our trip safe while keeping things moving for the group. Overall, he did a fantastic job."

P. Austin
"I found Court to be an organized group manager, who effectively handled all the matters of room assignments, transportation, baggage details etc. In addition, he was endlessly patient, personable and always informative."

N. Ciancio
"Court played a big role in our overall enjoyment of the trip.  Quite simply put, he is an outstanding guide."

B. Landmesser
"Court was amazing. He was helpful and I learned a lot about the local area and about photographing the lights. It was a pleasure having him as our guide."

V. Richardson
"Court was an excellent guide. He was extremely knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm. I had such a great time and would definitely go on another trip that he leads."

J. Grant

"Court is an outstanding guide. He is professional while at the same time playful. He always maintains a sense of humor. His knowledge of the areas we visited was impressive and he was always eager and excited to share. Court has great organization skills and works hard to make everything move smoothly. I observed that he was always very balanced in the manner he treated everyone in our group."

S. Leong
"I don't think I've met anyone better suited to being an Expedition Leader. He's a true professional, calm in all situations; attentive to everyone; courteous and helpful to anyone who needs assistance; knows more than any guide I've ever come across and is able to communicate his knowledge to others; and his instructions are always clear. He looks out for the safety of his group members (i.e. assisting others walking on icy walkways from the restaurant to the van). Court is professional but humble and has a sense of humor too. As the Expedition Leader, he sets the tone for the entire trip."

M. Howard
"Court is incredibly knowledgeable about wildlife, geology, northern lights and photography. We couldn’t have asked for a better Expedition Leader. He was very patient with individuals in the group. He kept us informed as our schedule was changed due to weather, and he had alternative activities provided to keep us occupied and to learn more about Arctic cultures. We travel extensively, and this was our best guided trip ever!"

J. McCalla
"Please let me know how to nominate Court for 'sainthood.' He is an amazing individual with the patience of no one I have ever met. He was incredibly attentive to everyone's needs in our group. He is a credit to your company and an extremely talented individual."

M. Leong
"Court is an exceptional Expedition Leader and is really in a league of his own. He is very well-organized and was on top of every aspect of our trip. He is the only man I know that can multitask! Humble yet extremely knowledgeable, he eagerly shared what he knew about Winnipeg, Churchill, photography, the wildlife and geology of the areas we traveled through, and everything we needed or wanted to know about the Aurora Borealis. His enthusiasm matched ours and he was very helpful to all of us with photography tips and adjusting the settings on each of our cameras to best photograph the northern lights. He has a good sense of humor and made us laugh every day.

was flexible and resourceful when suggesting options for the group, particularly if some wanted to rest, go shopping or have an alternative activity that was not so physical. He was very honest, open, communicative and kept us well-informed and up-to-date with information regarding travel and weather conditions that could affect the trip. He always had a positive attitude and appeared cool and composed even though he must have been under a lot of stress reserving extra nights at the Polar Inn and the Fort Garry Hotel, arranging additional meals for us and coordinating everyone’s return flights. He is well-liked and respected by those who work with him and his team worked really well together, making everything run smoothly. Court is an all-around competent leader to the utmost degree. I hope you know how lucky you are to have him. It is because of him that I will be traveling with Natural Habitat Adventures again!"
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