My Story

Falling in love with the African safari is one of my greatest surprises in life, because there was a time when glimpsing the Dark Continent was nowhere on my radar.  My love affair with Africa and its safari experience began in 2003 when Jeff, my then boyfriend and now husband, told me it was his childhood dream to travel to Africa and he wanted to know if I would want to join him on a safari.  Excited and naïve, my “wildlife experiences” could be summed up by occasional visits to the zoo and reading from cover to cover, as a youngster, my subscription to World magazine by National Geographic.  I was born and raised in the Midwest and while having traveled extensively throughout the US, my travels beyond North America, at that time, were only a few, so this was an opportunity to experience something completely beyond my realm of reality. Months later, as we were finalizing our Africa itinerary, our agent told me, with absolute confidence, that I would go back.  Without having a toehold on African soil yet, I clearly remember thinking, who is he to say I will be going back?  I never dreamed I would travel there in the first place!

From my very first game drive, I fell in love with how a safari engages the senses:

the thousands of twinkling stars in the Milky Way, the symphonic nightly sounds of hippos, insects and frogs, the sweet smell of wild sage in the breeze, the refreshing taste of a sundowner as the air cools from a warm and dusty afternoon, and the brilliantly glowing pinks, oranges, purples and yellows in an African sunset.  In the beginning, I captured the moments with my mind’s eye, my binoculars being my constant companion, but soon, I was looking through the viewfinder of my first DSLR camera.  Another world opened for me, peering through the lens, and an engaging, challenging, albeit sometimes frustrating, hobby of wildlife and safari photography was born.

My safari experiences grew, along with my array of camera gear, slowly at first, and then picking up speed.  With each passing year, Jeff and I were traveling more and more on safari, exploring new destinations and revisiting our favorites, whether it be mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda, witnessing the wildebeest migration phenomenon in Kenya and Tanzania, skimming the waters of the Okavango Delta in Botswana in a mokoro (dugout canoe), hiking the great sand dunes of Namibia or trekking to glimpse lemurs in Madagascar.

Close to a decade of globe trotting later, I was avidly photographing nearly every major Africa safari destination,

(along with tigers, bears, whales and whatever else flies, floats and frolics in nature), and these photographic journeys were intermingled with skiing and scuba diving adventures in various corners of the world.  Thus, I made the seemingly natural decision to shift my career to African safari travel.  It’s deeply rewarding to witness the awe, joy, enthusiasm and heartfelt emotions from those experiencing Africa for the first time.  Africa’s wildlife, its people, its landscapes, it all reaches into one’s soul in anticipated and unexpected ways.  Being an integral part of people’s lives being transformed by these experiences, it is one of the very best parts.

Through my personal and professional experiences, I have learned, first hand, the art of safari and adventure travel.  My work is my passion, a labor of love.  With a growing collection of insights and knowledge amassed from nearly 300 nights in the African bush and remote wilderness destinations, staying at or visiting nearly 100 camps and lodges, and with well-established networks throughout Africa’s safari destinations, I look forward to personally assisting you in creating your tailor made African journey.  A journey which may actually transform your life, but at the very least, I promise, it will be memorable beyond measure.

- Julie -