Posted by Hatka Hatnaa Posted on 8:10:00 AM
This 37-year-old team in Berkeley, California, dreams up more than 30 unique trips across 75
countries every year and is known for pioneering adventures that other outfitters copy later—kayaking tours through remote stretches of Tierra del Fuego, the world’s highest trek (at 23,000 feet) across Tibet—and doing it all with an eye toward supporting locals and minimizing environmental impact. But what makes Wilderness Travel truly exceptional are the company’s trip developers and guides. Take Barbara Banks, a polyglot who’s spent 23 years with the company traveling hundreds of thousands of miles setting up local connections. (Norwegian ferry captains know her so well, they’ll make unscheduled stops to allow Wilderness Travel groups to disembark directly at their waterside hotel after a day of hiking fjords.) Some recent new trips: sea-kayaking and camping on isolated beaches in Palau, visiting little-seen pyramids in Sudan, and tracking desert lions in Namibia with Flip Stander, a Ph.D. who has spent decades living among the big cats.