*As seen in The Logbook
Indigo Safaris have been creating specialised excursions for international clients since 2009. Opening opportunities for adventure in a host of locations including Africa, Indonesia, the Caribbean and Oceania. Established with the aim of creating dream holidays for divers and wildlife enthusiasts and giving back to the communities and ecosystems their clients are sent to.
Founder Christopher Bartlett, an ex-field guide and underwater photojournalist, works with a small and talented team of people with extensive backgrounds in tourism, safaris and a passion for travel. On this foundation, Indigo Safaris have become the go-to resource for people and groups seeking outstanding experiences.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH
The trips last generally between 3 days and 3 weeks depending on the client’s needs and availability. Almost every lodge, hotel, camp, or dive resort that they send their clients to has been seen by at least one member of the Indigo Safaris team.
In fact, Christopher spends around 8 months of the year on the road, visiting current suppliers, meeting potential new ones, and escorting unique trips. As a qualified guide, he looks for an optimum wildlife experience, and as a parent he looks at suitability for families. Meanwhile his partner Ines looks at lodges with a keen eye for aesthetics and hospitality, and together they ensure the trips created are tried and tested with first-hand experience.
This sort of first-hand experience lends an authenticity that clients have come to trust. Indigo Safaris often use lesser-known lodges and camps that don’t have the marketing reach of the big-name players but who provide excellent value for money from entry to deluxe level.
The trips and tours are constantly updated to keep them as relevant and accurate as possible. While the Indigo Safaris team may be small, their reach is very impressive, and they send clients on unbeatably-priced trips to swim with Sperm whales in Dominica and Humpback whales in the Turks and Caicos. Their clients have dived and snorkelled with adult Whale sharks from St Helena and spent time exploring the highlands and jungles of Papua New Guinea.
Christopher says “tourism isn’t just about having a good time in someone else’s country. It is about learning, fostering understanding, concern, and compassion.” They see it as their responsibility to do something about preserving and safe-keeping the environment. “We choose suppliers and service providers that act responsibly, with the best interests of the local people and wildlife at heart. These suppliers are meticulously selected and we need to be sure that they will do the best job of providing an insight into not only the beauty of where our clients are on holiday, but the threats and dangers facing it” he underlines.
A number of important causes, charities and organisations receive financial support from the company, with 30% of profits given back. From providing meals for children in South Africa through the Peninsula School Feeding Association, sheltering those made homeless due to natural disasters through Shelterbox, supporting the Maa Trust in the Masai Mara region, and assisting research and conservation of marine and terrestrial species. Check out their “Giving Back” page for a full list.
2019 sees some new packages coming out that are guaranteed to impress, including a Bali Adventure Safari, the second edition of their St Helena trips (early 2020) and additions to their top-end Zimbabwe and Botswana safari portfolios.
PRICE.: $150 USD to $1500 USD a night, depending where and when.