The Safari Prescription
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 is known for its safe safaris into the wild that are led by experts, who know where to find the best sightings.
Adventure Safaris specializes in trips to Africa, where a close encounter with a pair of lions can be a thrilling bucket- list experience.
Mark Hamilton Quinn
Adventure Safaris owner Mark Hamilton Quinn interacts with African locals as he leads travelers on excursions.