From tracking orangutans in Borneo to snow leopards in Ladakh, Natural World Safaris has become an expert in specialist wildlife tours. Globetrender speaks to Will Bolsover, founder and managing director, about why close encounters with animals can be transformative.
When was Natural World Safaris launched?
I first founded World Primate Safaris in 2005. It was the first and only company in the world to specialise in primate safaris. The company steadily grew as we recruited our team of former guides and lodge managers, creating “World Big Cat Safaris” and “World Bear Safaris”. In 2013, we united these under the all-encompassing Natural World Safaris.
Who is your target audience?
Generally, the Natural World Safaris client is aged between 40 and 65, is well-educated and self-informed. They are interested to learn and are there for the experience. We are also trying to increase our engagement with a younger demographic.
In what ways are you innovative?
We focus on transformational travel, aiming to stretch you and push your boundaries. The more depth we go into with your journey, the more you will understand what travel is really about. It’s about exploring lesser-known destinations within a country and getting under the skin of a destination.
Travelling with Natural World Safaris is about taking you out of your comfort zone. It’s about taking you away from the luxury of air conditioning and Egyptian cotton sheets, to a tent in the middle of the harsh landscape of the Kalahari Desert so you can be at exactly the right place at the right time for incredible wildlife experiences.
It’s the thrill of the extraordinary, pushing your own boundaries for a sense of personal achievement or the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.
How does you stand out from the competition?
Our team is extremely important when it comes to standing out from the competition. All members of our team have either lived or worked in the countries that we offer trips to.
We focus on destination travel, recently launching our specialist service “NWS Select”. This comprises four individual travel desks covering an array of niche areas, from photographic safaris, to expedition superyachts. These are Navigator, Frontier, Portfolio and Aperture. We don’t do “mainstream” travel.
What emerging destinations would you like to highlight?
It is very hard to pick just one. I would say Greenland is one of our favourite emerging destinations. Departing for the first time in August 2018, we have chartered a smaller ship to navigate the rugged fjords and landscapes of the east coast of Greenland, letting you get extra close to the more natural and untouched places from the ship itself. Eastern Russia and Siberia are also two of our destinations to watch, with lots of undiscovered territory to explore.
What new specialist-led tours have you recently launched?
Specialist tours that we have recently launched include are the Jaguar Photography Safari in Brazil led by award-winning wildlife photographer Steve Winter. This is just one of our NWS Select Aperture safaris, a specialist led-service for photographers and budding photographers.
A new addition to Aperture is David Yarrow, a celebrated fine-art photographer. You can explore South Georgia with David in November 2018, travelling with Natural World Safaris to capture pairs of yellow crested macaroni penguins.
What are the most amazing trips you have been on?
Siberia has to be one of my favourites, tracking the life of the Siberian tigers through setting up and retrieving camera traps and eventually spotting these magnificent beasts. Both Uganda and Rwanda can provide you with some breath-taking gorilla safaris.
What is the future of adventure travel?
Natural World Safaris is going to continue to push boundaries. We are going to explore different assets of the same country, finding the undiscovered corners of the places you have already been to.