After decades of guiding and working in adventure travel around the world, my parents, Richard & Louise McGowan, started a new company in 1996 to focus exclusively on crafting custom safaris for independent travelers. They called their new company Next Adventure. They understood that an African safari is unique in how deeply it connects with us, and so often a “once-in-a-lifetime safari” inspires a return to Africa, an appreciation for wilderness and a lifelong interest in conservation.
While the entire planet reels from this pandemic, our hearts are with the extraordinary array of people who make up the African safari travel industry: the guides and camps staff, the pilots and cooks, the housekeepers and laborers, and especially the communities in and around wildlife areas. The absence of visitors to these regions will have a dramatic impact where livelihoods and essential services are supported entirely by tourism. For those of us who promote and work in sustainable travel, it is a time to buckle down, reconnect, focus on gratitude and make a plan.
Though Richard passed away in 2007, we have kept true to his vision, and here are 3 things we’re grateful for as we stay the course in this challenging time:
We have strong relationships both with our clients and all our partners throughout Africa. It’s a joy to get to know each and every traveler, to match them with just the right experiences, and to hopefully build a long term relationship. Our tagline is “We take safaris personally,” and our work is truly personal for us.
We’ve deliberately kept Next Adventure a small family-centric business. While there are lots of benefits to being a larger company, safaris are special, and we want to be special. We want every aspect of the experience to be positive, and we’re grateful we can be nimble, flexible and creative through difficult times like these.
We’re committed to an ecotourism model that benefits the land, wildlife and communities we visit, and we have the freedom to focus on safaris that matter to us and are meaningful to our clients.
Over the years, we have weathered many storms, and we have no choice but to look beyond today’s crisis toward a time when we can get back to doing what we love: sharing the best of wild Africa via our most trusted colleagues and friends.
The good news is that while our ability to travel can come and go, our human curiosity and wanderlust will always be strong. This is why we are so confident in the resilience of the travel industry, and we look forward to how sweet it will be when we can all start traveling again.
Keep well, and, whether you are a past client or just interested in learning more about who we are and what we do, we’d love to hear from you!
Kili McGowan, CEO & Co-Owner