Award-winning tour operator Austin-Lehman Adventures (ALA), the multisport tour company setting adventure travel standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, is off to a roar in Africa this year announcing double digit growth and the naming of a dedicated staff specialist to lead the Africa safari sales team.
Such growth and expertise is made possible through a strategic partnership with Wilderness Safaris, one of the continent’s leading conservation and ecotourism companies.
Dan Austin, ALA director and founder, said his company’s long-term commitment to Africa and developing meaningful and sustainable tour programs, especially in Namibia and Tanzania, are “as strong as can be.” This includes hosting in-office training sessions with Wilderness Safaris and appointing Carol Austin, a veteran member of the ALA team, to the new position of Africa Specialist.
ALA’s deep commitment to Africa also includes Dan Austin’s founding of the 501c3 non-profit initiative Wheels of Change that donates used bikes, parts and tools to various rural communities throughout Africa. A March 2013 shipment of 400 bikes from Billings, MT to Nambia will create a Bicycle Empowerment Center at the Wuparo Conservancy in the Caprivii region of Nambia. An award-winning safari camp in Namibia, Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge, expects to establish a village bike tour using some of the donated bikes. This tour will become part of ALA’s safari programming in the region.
Of particular interest to Austin is the nation of Namibia where he envisions ALA as a leader in cultural and sustainable wildlife safaris. Austin points out that nearly half of the country’s 76 registered conservancies are adjacent to national parks or in key corridors between protected areas. Wildlife-friendly land uses adjacent to and between parks are enhancing the viability of Namibia’s protected area network. The recovery of prey species, combined with an increased tolerance of community, is facilitating the recovery of high-level predators in Namibia.
“Namibia is the only country in Africa where black rhinos are successfully being translocated out of a national park and into communal conservancy land areas, in stark and dramatic contrast to the poaching taking place in many countries in the region,” explains Austin. “Its free-roaming lion population is expanding thanks to a dramatic decrease in poaching.”
“Namibia very well may be one of the greatest African wildlife recovery stories to be told,” believes Austin whose company has run multi-sport vacation opportunities here since 2008.
In 2013, ALA is offering eight unique safari and tour itineraries on the African continent with both set departure dates and the ability to customize a private safari just for a single group of family or friends. The new Africa wildlife adventure itineraries in Botswana,Namibia and Tanzania include:
Tanzania - Best of the Serengeti brings guests to the Great Rift Valley, home to Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro and one of Africa’s highest concentrations of wildlife. The 10-day program is from $6,498 per person, double.
Botswana - Migration Routes reveals the wonders of constantly moving game herds on the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta and the wildlife-filled Linyanti concession with seasonal elephant herds. The 10-day program is from $5, 798 per person double.
Botswana - Great Wilderness Journey explores Botswana's contrasts and extremes in prime wildlife viewing areas where few people travel. This is a nostalgic, first class camping / lodge safari that recreates the sense of a game-viewing adventure reminiscent of the great African explorers. The 11-day program is from $8,498 per person double.
Diverse Namibia explores dunes, desert, plains and superb wildlife combined with exclusive accommodation in private reserves and concessions. The 10-day program is from $3,498 per person double.
Namibia - The Great Journey reveals the dunes of Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert, the diversity of the Skeleton Coast, marine life just off Swakopmund, the volcanic rock-strewn landscape of Damaraland and game-filled Etosha National Park. The 13-day program is from $6,598 per person double.