Kudos to NatHab
May 15, 2019
Usually we plan our own trips, and manage our own travel arrangements and reservations. Well, usually we don’t have reservations and just wing it wherever we we end up, so keep that in mind.
But a few destinations are just too daunting to do totally on our own. Language barriers, complicated logistics, Byzantine regulations, all reasons to work with a professional to keep things on track. A safari definitely fit into that category.
As a larger, extended family, we have traveled with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions. My in-laws have taken the whole clan on cruises to the arctic, Antarctica, the Panama Canal, the Galapagos. They do an amazing job, so I looked into their options for land-based trips in Africa.
There are a number of luxury safari organizers out there — Abercrombie & Kent, Micato, Africa Adventure Consultants, Roar, among others. While we wanted a fantastic experience, we were more interested in flexibility and unique experiences than super-luxury. We wanted a private safari for the six of us, to give us the most flexibility and options each day. I printed out itineraries and options from each of these companies, and used them to build our wish list.
I discovered Africa Travel Resources (ATR), which let me pick camps, reviews at Expert Africa, and finally the Safari planner at Natural Habitat Adventures that let me plan days, transit, and camps. I was hooked.
I love Natural Habitat Adventures. They are also a Lindblad partner and a World Wildlife Fund partner, and their fantastic options for planning a safari really stood out. We could go as comfortable/plushy as we wanted, and take advantage of their extensive network in-country to set up the trip we wanted. My contact there, Lindsay, was phenomenal. Of all the people I talked to at the various companies, she listened carefully and included all the things we asked for, offered suggestions for alternate camps and timing, and in general was a terrific resource. She was up-front about the costs, and understood the balance we were trying to have between cost and experience, and what we felt was important vs things that didn’t matter much to us.
We ended up with a highly customized trip in Kenya and Tanzania that included some really phenomenal camps, visits to conservancies that were top-notch, carefully coordinated internal flights, and some really fun additions like bi-plane rides and a hot air balloon safari over the Maasai Mara. You can check out the itinerary here. It was AMAZING.
NatHab really was a good match for our travel style. For those trips that we want a bit of help on, they are first on my list to call!