• You Just Never Know! An Anxious Journey Down the Okavango

    Croc ahead! Our front boatman named C-Company signaled by pointing to the left riverbank – and a few of the paddlers up front noticed a long, black form slither quickly into the Okavango River. We immediately formed a single tight row of yellow kayaks behind our guide and sped past …

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  • The Achuars’ Amazon – Time to Pray?

    Our lanky teenage-looking pilot closed his eyes and prayed quietly before takeoff into the immense, emerald-green void of the Ecuadorian Amazon. His murmurs were indecipherable through the roar of the old rattling Cessna operated by Aerotsentsak, the airline owned by the Achuar indigenous nation. Soon enough the purple plane pushed …

    Achuar face painting, Amazon
  • The Vast Vastness of Mongolia

    It was with a mixture of mild excitement and deep trepidation that I packed my guide bags for the Mongolia expedition this summer: Leading a trip full of strangers and a co-guide you never worked with, in area rarely visited, and looking for an elusive cat that we were pretty …

    Natural Habitat Adventures camp in Mongolia
  • Why Guiding?

    You might wonder why our Natural Habitat Expeditions guides have led trips for years, breaking trails in new hiking destinations, paddling unknown shores, and scaling unclimbed peaks in crazy locations. Well – I think it is all about people – not necessarily about place or task. To be a good …

    Natural Habitat Adventures Botswana tour guide
  • A Little Volcano Grit Won’t Ruin an Adventure in Kamchatka!

    It’s not unusual, when I’m off on an adventure in some far-flung corner of the world, to be eating some unfamiliar fare… But this gritty feeling inside my mouth was something else entirely. How did I get these minute lava particles between my teeth? Oh yes, it must be that huge volcano erupting some 9,000 feet above my head! I spit out the grit, and grin — I’ve just had a taste – literally – of the enormous eruption of Mt. Karymsky on the Kamchatka Peninsula in far-eastern Russia…

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  • Arctic Adventuring In the Footsteps of Fritjof Nansen

    Last August, Olaf Malver led the first-ever exploratory commercial kayaking expedition into the Skjoldungen Fjords of southeast Greenland, in pursuit of legendary Arctic explorer Fritjof Nansen’s route 125 years earlier. Here is his first-hand account! On the starboard side of my small kayak, a huge tongue of glacier pouring down …

    Group of travelers in Skjoldungen Fjords. By Olaf Malver

I’m writing this week from a place not many would associate with exciting global destinations for adventure travel: Greater Los Angeles. My family and I are here to share Thanksgiving with relatives and see a few sights while we’re at it. But even the most mundane travels don’t have to …

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It’s on the “blue highways” that you’re likely to encounter the things you didn’t plan on. ©Steve Morello

Are Paper Maps Obsolete?

Interstate rest stops are some of my favorite places when it comes to getting ideas for new adventures. Inside their doors are …

Polar bear

Dirty Adventure Travel

Antibacterial soaps, alcohol wipes, and bleach in our everyday cleaning products have made us focused on eliminating all the germs that we …