Established in 2018 by wildlife expert and travel enthusiast Stefan Karanec, Ultimate Wildlife Adventures (UWA) brings a freshness and uniqueness to this already exciting sector of the travel industry. The purpose of our existence is to create personalised and unique wildlife holidays for our esteemed clients, support conservation of wild animals and the natural world, and aid the progressive development of local rural communities.
It was Stefan’s passion for wildlife, conservation, and travel that was the catalyst for the development of UWA. He has enjoyed a close relationship with wildlife from an early age. His earliest memories include the unfortunate act of stuffing his face with earthworms as a toddler and playing with wildlife sticker books with his parents. This early connection grew and later in childhood he would spend hours collecting and making habitats for all manner of garden creatures. A Sunday evening would see him enthralled as he watched his hero David Attenborough in the early BBC nature documentaries.
Later in childhood, and then adulthood, he would study wildlife encyclopedias and the internet to develop his knowledge of thousands of different species of animals. As a result, he is equipped with a deep understanding of thousands of different animals’ behaviours, taxonomy, preferred habitats, and the best places to see each individual species. However, his passion for wildlife tourism was not realised until 2002. On a trip to Kenya he was fortuitous to visit Tsavo East National Park. He was overwhelmed by being so close to the very species of animals he had watched on grainy television back in the 1980’s.
Although in retrospect this experience was actually a very low quality safari, the seed had been planted to pursue his passion for wildlife tourism. Seventeen years and forty-nine countries later has seen him be fortunate enough to experience some of the greatest wildlife interactions on the planet.
He has enjoyed special encounters with orangutan in Borneo, chimpanzee and gorilla interactions in Uganda and Rwanda, come face-to-face with tapir and puma in the jungles of Costa Rica, and photographed big cats in Zambia. He has snorkelled with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands and sharks in the Indian Ocean. He has stalked dangerous Cape buffalo on foot in Botswana and floated over the great wildebeest migration in a hot air balloon in Tanzania.
On return from a magical wildlife holiday in Tanzania in the summer of 2017, a trip designed specifically to celebrate his mother’s 60th birthday, Stefan decided he wanted to share the splendour of the natural world with other like-minded travellers. Eighteen months later Ultimate Wildlife Adventures was born.
Stefan is able to draw upon his many years of wildlife travel experience, vast knowledge of Africa and her wildlife, and the professional and personal relationships he has made within the industry, to design and deliver your perfect wildlife holiday.
He has not forgotten his time on the other side of the fence and considers his relatively recent adventures as a tourist as a key component in understanding your needs. Over the years he has experienced just about every style imaginable from sleeping in small 2-man tents whilst travelling through Southern Africa all the way through to premium luxury on his own honeymoon. He has experienced the exceptional, the good, the bad and the ugly. Namely, true wilderness in Namibia, outstanding guiding and tracking in Zambia, sparse game viewing in several reserves, and extreme vehicle crowding on the aforementioned trip to Kenya respectively.
It is these experiences as a tourist that remain fresh in the mind and enable Stefan to relate to you to gain an understanding of exactly what you want from your wildlife holiday, as well as to recommend what to avoid.
We at Ultimate Wildlife Adventures pride ourselves on our promise of providing you with the best imaginable wildlife experience. Each itinerary is designed with the quality and authenticity of wildlife interactions as the key component to base all other factors around. We have created a kind of quality assurance checklist behind the boxes below to help you begin to understand the detail we go into when creating your personalised ultimate wildlife adventure.