Travel is at the heart of 5ive Star London so we decided to meet with some avid travelers in and around the UK. Will Bolsover is the Owner of Natural World Safaris, a leading UK based luxury safari travel agency.
Will spoke to us of his experience so far and what he advises to clients!
In 10 years of running NWS, what has been your most unique memorable travel experience?
This is tricky as there are so many. My driving passion for all things travel was encouraged by my time spent working in the gorilla safari sector, so this has to be up there! I assisted in setting up some of the first gorilla safaris in Gabon years ago and then moved onto working with a gorilla safari specialist which encouraged me to set up World Primate Safaris and then Natural World Safaris, so gorillas are definitely pretty unforgettable. What is even more satisfying is knowing that since I started in the world of safaris over 10 years ago, due to successful ecotourism (which we have a strong role in) and ecotourism projects, endangered mountain gorilla populations have increased from approximately 600 to more than 800. This is a prime example of how and why ecotourism is essential in preserving our natural world.
What type of wildlife experience would you recommend to a client for their first trip with NWS?
Whilst we offer approximately 30+ destinations around the globe, the continent of Africa is impossible to ignore. Whether it be for honeymooners, families, luxury or adventure, there is something for everyone.
To that extent, one of the most affordable but also diverse destinations for afirst time safari goer has to be Kenya. Kenya is a thriving wildlife destination with a huge amount to offer from riding safaris and game drives to walking safaris, bi-plane rides and pristine beach relaxation.
Which trip would you recommend to go to the number 1 spot on a bucket list or for a special celebration, price and duration not an issue?
If you want to treat yourself then a safari in Botswana has to be at the top of the list. With some of the most exclusive (and expensive) private concessions on the continent and world class game viewing, you will not be disappointed. Botswana is exemplary in its conservation methods and this shows in its wildlife numbers. Individual properties often have hundreds of thousands of hectares to themselves, offering their clients a truly unparalleled exclusive wildlife safari. If you want something a bit more ‘out there’ and ‘wacky’ then Madagascar is my favourite! As an ex-guide from Madagascar I can vouch for its diversity whether it be its geography, climate,people or wildlife – it is truly one not to be missed.
What do you feel makes a trip with NWS so different to any other travel experience?
A number of operators out there nowadays have jumped on the band wagon and now sell a multitude of destinations. Yes, we do sell a variety of destinations however they are all focused around our very specific niche: the natural world. We excel in this area and we aim to keep improving on this year by year. Our in-house expertise and knowledge based on years of experience working in the industry make our service levels, as well as the end product,stand out from the rest. The majority of our staff have either lived or guided in the destinations that they now sell, making for a truly unique perspectiveon the Natural World Safaris product.
At Natural World Safaris we specialise inputting our clients in the right place at the right time ensuring that they maximise their safari experience, whether this be camping out in -30˚C tracking snow leopards or staying in a luxury boutique safari lodge in the heart of Africa.
You travel to remote corners of the world, what do you miss most about home in the UK?
Whilst always great to explore and discover new destinations, it is also fantastic to be able to meet and learn from other worldwide travellers. The best place for this is at the Royal Geographical Society in London which I attend whenever possible. If I am not there, then regular visits to the Natural History Museum are also becoming a focus point as my young kids grow up, becoming more and more enthused by the world that they live in!
For more information and inspiration visit Natural World Safaris!