A Bit About Me

I originally trained as an ecologist and later gained my Masters in wildlife conservation from the University of Bristol. After a couple of years spent living in a garden shed in the middle of the Kalahari Desert of Botswana, where I studied cheetah and worked on ways to reduce conflict with the farming community, I spent some time managing a lodge in the Okavango Delta before heading back to "Mud Island" to settle down with my dogs.

I still keep the love of wildlife and travel alive however, through working in the travel industry for environmentally and socially responsible tour operators.

Q & A With Harriet

Where was your last trip?

Madagascar with work, and Spain to see family in the hills of Andalucia.

Where is your next trip?

The Peak District with my dogs and maybe Mongolia or Papua New Guinea.

What is your first travel-related memory?

My first travel memories are in my mum's clapped-out old Volvo, exploring southern France. We used to just pack the car up with camping gear and jump on the ferry to Calais, driving wherever we fancied and searching for available camp grounds in the mid-afternoon, having gorged on baguettes and Brie in lay-bys beside sunflower fields. One of the most striking memories from this time would probably be finding ourselves in the middle of a thunderstorm, in the dark, climbing up ever more winding lanes in the Pyrenees, unable to find somewhere to camp for the night. My single mum persevered with her three young daughters for ages, until half of the road we were on crumbled down the hillside. We had met our match, and after what could only have been a 50-point turn on a mountainous precipice, we managed to find a Euro Camp to see out the rest of the storm - not our usual choice of camp ground!

Aisle or window seat?

This is a toughie, and it depends on whether the flight is overnight or during the day for me. For night flights, aisle all the way - you can stretch your legs out better and escape to the loo without having to awkwardly climb over a stranger. However, I can spend hours looking out of the window at the landscapes below, so for a day flight, the window is the best choice.

Do you have any travel habits or rituals?

My travel ritual used to be writing a comprehensive diary, but eventually I fell out of the habit. Now, my camera comes everywhere with me, so I like to document my trips as best as possible through photographs.

What are you most likely to splurge on while travelling?

Food. I love it. Wherever you are, there is always some amazing, new food to be found. And I don't even buy it in expensive restaurants, it is just that I eat SO much food when I am abroad! Otherwise, the splurge would be the pre-travel camera upgrades and lens purchases - there is nothing worse than arriving in an amazing setting and being unable to do it justice for all of your mates back home who can't experience it first-hand.

What’s your favourite thing about working at NWS?

The closeness of the countryside to the office allows me to indulge in my love of all things muddy, while working for an exciting and innovative company that really does focus on the authenticity of experiences for both locals and clients alike. Pizza Express lunches are always a nice touch too!

What do you like doing outside of NWS?

Outside of work I spend most of my time exploring the South Downs with my two spaniels, Poppy and Mouse. I trained in ecology, so love exploring the countryside to see what I can see or hear. Horse-riding is another fantastic way I like to observe wildlife in the UK, getting up close with roe deer, muntjac and birds of prey.

If you could do just one NWS safari, which one would it be?

I am desperate to visit the Republic of Congo – it looks amazing. Also on the list is exploring the wilds of Kamchatka and seeing my first grizzly bears.

Is there a standout destination in your mind?

Sri Lanka - with so much diversity of culture, wildlife, history and scenery in such a small space, it is a beautiful island and severely underrepresented in most peoples' travels. My advice would be to get off the beaten track, because Sri Lanka has so many secrets still to discover.

What is your best travel souvenir?

I have a warthog tusk on my mantelpiece that I found on the ground on the farm in Botswana where I used to live. It was probably brought in from an old carcass that my dog, Murphy, had discovered. That is my best. I don't think I have a worst souvenir, as each one holds a memory!

What is the best or worst travel advice you have received?

Do not get in cars with strangers that you met 10 minutes ago. The best and worst advice ever, on the one hand opening you up to new experiences that you may have never even considered, on the other, putting you in a potentially rather dangerous situation (sorry Mum)!

What is your spirit animal?

My spirit animal would probably be a dog - goofy and loyal.

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We are destination specialists

Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived, guided or explored in great detail the destinations that they sell. They will design your journey around you, at the right place at the right time.

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As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

We really care about our destinations

At Natural World Safaris we frequently monitor the social, economic and environmental impact of our travel operations to ensure we are at the forefront of a sustainable and ethical tourism industry. 

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