Out­doors

The Sa­fari Pre­scrip­tion

RSWLiving - - Departments - BY DANA MIR­MAN

Go on a sa­fari and call me in the morn­ing? Could trav­el­ing into the wild be the an­ti­dote to many of the stres­sors of mod­ern life?

Yes, says Mark Hamil­ton Quinn, a South­west Florida- based world­wide ad­ven­ture guide, who owns and op­er­ates his busi­ness, Ad­ven­ture Sa­faris. Quinn be­lieves that when people travel into the jun­gles, they be­come more com­pas­sion­ate, learn to make greater con­tri­bu­tions to so­ci­ety, and gain a new per­spec­tive on life that can be trans­for­ma­tive.

“The hus­tle and bus­tle of our daily lives is stress­ful and causes people to be­come ag­gres­sive, which can lead to bad de­ci­sions,” says Quinn. “Get­ting into the wild helps people keep their san­ity.”

Quinn, whose clients range from chil­dren to nona­ge­nar­i­ans ful­fill­ing life­long dreams of jour­ney­ing to Africa, says he has wit­nessed in­cred­i­ble changes in his clients who travel abroad with him.

One such client is Joseph Hol­land, a re­tired event and wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher in Le­high Acres, who says that prior to trav­el­ing to Africa on sa­fari with Quinn, his life had been in a state of tur­moil.

“My mar­riage was on the rocks and I was hav­ing per­sonal dif­fi­cul­ties,” says Hol­land. “Mark was a friend and he in­vited me to see his pho­tos from his trav­els. I signed up to go to Kenya for a two- week trip.”

Dur­ing that time, Hol­land says, “Ev­ery day was a dif­fer­ent ad­ven­ture,” and there wasn’t a mo­ment dur­ing which he thought about his prob­lems back home. At the end of the trip, he says he had the “Africa blues” and didn’t want to go home. “The trip was the most pos­i­tive, mind- blow­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and it took all my at­ten­tion away from my prob­lems.

“Be­fore meet­ing Mark, trav­el­ing to Africa had never come into my mind,” says Hol­land. “But I got re­ally fired up about Africa, and re­turned for a sec­ond trip with Mark to Tan­za­nia.”

Hol­land says his trav­els with Quinn “changed my whole per­spec­tive about life and what’s im­por­tant. As a re­sult, I

am calmer and eas­ier to get along with– and you can ver­ify that with my wife.”

In ad­di­tion to not­ing the po­ten­tially life- chang­ing im­pacts African travel has on his Western clients, Quinn firmly be­lieves that sa­fari travel ben­e­fits the lo­cal people and wildlife as well.

“We shop in lo­cal vil­lages and sup­port lo­cal artists; tourism and sa­fari sup­port the in­come ba­sis for many people,” says Quinn. By sup­port­ing lo­cal economies, sa­fari travel in turn pre­vents poach­ing and pro­tects wildlife.

Quinn or­ga­nizes ad­ven­tures around the world from Bri­tish Columbia to the Cay­man Is­lands and in Florida. Vic­tor

"GET­TING INTO THE WILD HELPS PEOPLE KEEP THEIR SAN­ITY."

— AD­VEN­TURE GUIDE MARK HAMIL­TON QUINN

Er­richetti of Cape Co­ral has been go­ing on Florida ex­cur­sions with Quinn for 10 years and says, “Mark cre­ates ex­tra­or­di­nary ad­ven­tures right here in South Florida.”

Quinn spe­cial­izes in African sa­faris. His eyes light up and sparkle with ex­cite­ment as he de­scribes the var­ied African ad­ven­tures he or­ga­nizes for his clients, in­clud­ing go­rilla trekking in Rwanda, chim­panzee trekking in Uganda, fol­low­ing the Great Mi­gra­tion in Tan­za­nia, and surf­ing and kite­board­ing in South Africa.

While Quinn is pas­sion­ate about the im­por­tance of en­gag­ing in wilder­ness ex­pe­ri­ences any­where in the world, he is es­pe­cially pas­sion­ate about Africa.

“Be­ing in an­other coun­try opens up your eyes and pro­vides in­sight into one’s self and per­sonal growth,” he says. “Some­thing about Africa feels like home, like com­ing home. The people have so lit­tle and are so un­spoiled; we take for granted all the luxuries we have.”

While Quinn’s sa­faris take his trav­el­ers out of the mind­set of the Western world, he does im­port some of the crea­ture com­forts of home, of­fer­ing lux­ury tents with en suite fa­cil­i­ties, hot show­ers and bath­tubs, and fine cui­sine pre­pared by lo­cal chefs. Quinn’s stan­dard trips are about two weeks long and can ac­com­mo­date up to 20 people, al­though he prefers to guide more in­ti­mate groups of about six to eight people.

"I AM PAS­SION­ATE ABOUT GET­TING KIDS OFF THE STREETS AND INTO THE JUN­GLE WHERE THEY RE­ALLY BE­LONG, AWAY FROM VI­O­LENT GAMES AND VI­O­LENT MOVIES."

— AD­VEN­TURE GUIDE MARK HAMIL­TON QUINN

Quinn em­pha­sizes that above all, his African sa­faris are safe and well planned.

“People say to me, ‘ I am afraid to go to Africa,’” says Quinn. “But I tell them that my trips are ex­tremely safe and that they are in more dan­ger on High­way 41 with people tex­ting while driv­ing. Africa is a con­ti­nent made up of many coun­tries that are as dif­fer­ent from one an­other as San Fran­cisco is from Day­ton, with dif­fer­ent cul­tures, foods and at­ti­tudes. It’s very safe as long as you lis­ten to your guide and fol­low rules.”

The key to a safe jour­ney, Quinn says, is the guide’s ex­per­tise.

“People trust me be­cause of my ex­pe­ri­ence,” he says. Quinn is a sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion sa­fari guide who has trav­eled ex­ten­sively around the world. His fa­ther is a zo­ol­o­gist who has built and run sev­eral zoos, and Quinn was raised around an­i­mals, even liv­ing on zoo property. He has had an affin­ity for work­ing with an­i­mals and be­ing in the out­doors since his child­hood and feels strongly that all chil­dren should have ac­cess to such ex­pe­ri­ences.

“It’s im­por­tant kids have a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the out­doors,” says Quinn. “I am pas­sion­ate about get­ting kids off the streets and into the jun­gle where they re­ally be­long, away from vi­o­lent games and vi­o­lent movies.”

Whether his clients are young or sim­ply young at heart, Quinn’s mis­sion is to bring the life- chang­ing power of wilder­ness travel to as many people as pos­si­ble.

“Most of my trav­el­ers say to me, ‘ I can’t be­lieve I waited this long,’” says Quinn.

Mark Hamil­ton Quinn or­ga­nizes ad­ven­tures around the world. He spe­cial­izes in African sa­faris and also or­ga­nizes ad­ven­tures in Florida, in­clud­ing snor­kel­ing with croc­o­diles and al­li­ga­tors in the Ever­glades, kayak­ing in the Florida Keys, and trav­el­ing to a pri­vate Florida ranch which is home to gi­raffes, camels and ze­bras. For more in­for­ma­tion visit Ad­ven­ture sa­faris. biz

Ad­ven­ture Sa­faris spe­cial­izes in trips to Africa, where a close en­counter with a pair of lions can be a thrilling bucket- list ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ad­ven­ture Sa­faris is known for its safe sa­faris into the wild that

are led by ex­perts, who know where to find the best sight­ings.

Mark Hamil­ton Quinn

Ad­ven­ture Sa­faris owner Mark Hamil­ton Quinn in­ter­acts with African lo­cals as he leads trav­el­ers on ex­cur­sions.

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