Natural Habitat Adventures

Ted Martens

Ted’s journey into the travel and tourism industry began the summer after his sophomore year of college. A two-month backpacking trip through Europe ignited what has become a life-long passion for international travel. After spending a semester studying abroad in southern Spain and a summer in Southeast Asia, Ted graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Getting a “real job” didn’t sound like nearly as much fun as traveling, so he and a few friends decided to spend a year living, working, and exploring Australia and New Zealand. Living “down under” opened his eyes to the full scale of the tourism industry and solidified his desire to pursue it as a career.

After returning from the southern hemisphere, Ted earned a master’s degree in Tourism Development from Arizona State University, where his thesis research investigated ecotourism development in Central America. Following grad school, Ted became the Director of Outreach and Development for Sustainable Travel International (STI), a non-profit focused on bringing sustainability solutions to the tourism industry. Working at STI brought Ted in touch with the Nat Hab crew, where he helped establish NHA as the world’s first carbon neutral travel company. Before joining the Nat Hab team in 2011, Ted and his wife took a year-long hiatus, embarking on a round-the-world trip across 20 countries in South America, Africa and Asia. Today, Ted leads marketing and sustainability efforts, pushing Nat Hab to be a leader in "conservation travel". In his free time, Ted can be found playing music or exploring the slopes and trails of Colorado’s backcountry.
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Ted's Adventures
    The quintessential Machu Picchu shot with my wife, Sarah, on our round-the-world adventureRiding across Torres del Paine’s aqua-blue glacial lakes with a rare clear view of the Cuernos.  Chile’s flagship national park is one of the most breathtaking landscapes on the planetWatching huge chunks of ice calve off of Perito Moreno glacier, near Calafate, ArgentinaPresenting … Cerro Torre, part of the Fitz Roy massif in southern Argentina.  The Patagonia clothing logo was designed after this rangeThe Indian holiday, Holi, is one of the most colorful celebrations I’ve ever encountered.  It took days for this colored powder to come out of my skin and hair!The Taj Mahal is more impressive in person than I ever imagined it would be.  A must stop for any trip to IndiaTaking in the view from the Zambian side of Victoria Falls.  The local name for the falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya, means the smoke that thunders.  A great start to a Nathab Secluded Botswana trip!Our group visited Simonga village, a small settlement near our lodge on the Zambezi River.  A interesting peek into rural Africa life.One of the highlights of our time in Botswana was a ride in a traditional mokoro canoe.  The balance required by the guide is impressive!Sunset over the Okavango Delta in BotswanaOur first leopard encounter!  In South Africa, I had the opportunity to visit a cat rehabilitation center.  This cheetah was rescued as a baby and raised in captivity.  Most residents at the center are released when they grow older (though this one will not).The Great Migration in the Serengeti is indescribable.  Thousands and thousands of wildebeest and zebras cover the vast plains, slowly moving in search of food and water.  When something spooks them and they start running, it feels like an earthquake.A lion basks in the sun near the road in Ngorongoro Crater, TanzaniaSummiting Mt. Kilimanjaro was one of the hardest physical challenges I’ve ever completed.  But the view from the roof of Africa was worth it.Beware!  Polar bears roam these shores!  Fortunately, we saw bears only from Natural Habitat’s custom built Polar Rovers.This may have been the most incredible wildlife encounter I will ever experience.  The polar bear appears to be a gentle giant, and a curious one at that.  Here, this bear stood up and looked me straight in the eye, just long enough for me to snap this awesome photo.Polar Rovers are amazing machines.  Here I am with Elise, our incredible Nathab naturalist and guide.  Namibia: Hiking the dunes of Sossusvlei (and then running down!) was a highlight of my first trip to Namibia.  Namibia: Namibia is known for its desert-adapted elephants.  These two juveniles put on quite the show for our safari group at sunset in the Damaraland ConservancyNamibia: ½ Ted, ½ Kudu.  At Desert Rhino Camp in the Palmwag ConcessionSailing Antarctica: Traveling to Antarctica on an expedition sailboat may be the grandest adventure I will ever have.  It felt as though we had the world’s largest and most pristine national park at our fingertips, and all to ourselves.Sailing Antarctica: A highlight of our Antarctica adventure was the opportunity to kayak among seals, penguins, and stunning icebergs!Swimming with Sharks: Snorkeling alongside the world’s biggest fish may seem like it could be intimidating, but these gentle creatures paid no attention as we joined them for a casual swim in the warm waters off of Isla Holbox.
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