Wheeler, who lived in Kenya for 20 years, has an encyclopedic knowledge of game preserves, safari camps, and less-visited countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia. As the Director of Global Operations for Micato Safaris, one of the best outfitters in the world, according to Travel + Leisure readers, she's got the reach and clout to make just about anything happen, anywhere on the continent. Lately, she's planned trips that included trekking through the Great Rift Valley, fly fishing in the streams of Mt. Kenya, visiting Zimbabwe's most wildlife-rich areas, and meeting with paleoanthropologists studying the origins of humankind. In her conversations with travelers, she's identified a few trends shaping the future of safari tourism, the effects of the pandemic notwithstanding. "My clients were more willing than ever to pay a fair amount of money for one-off excursions to remote places, like a full-day helicopter journey to the Turkana Basin to look at fossils. Or they'll drop in as the only outside (honored) guests for an annual tribal celebration." Another trend? "Clients are also booking longer stays — more than 30 days — and doing the entire trip by private plane to facilitate the adventure."
ADDITIONAL SPECIALTIES: None
Languages Spoken: English and Kiswahili
Minimum Daily Spend: From $1,250 per person per day
Trip Planning Fees: From $500
email@example.com| 212-545-7111 | New York
"Having lived in Nairobi for 20 years, Liz's knowledge of East Africa is simply unparalleled. It does seem that she knows everyone there — she can get things done at the highest level with just a phone call. She travels to Africa several times a year, and constantly has her finger on the pulse of new, up-and-coming properties and experiences — which I love because I’ve traveled to the continent many times and am always looking for something new to try. Her scrupulous attention to detail in building our itineraries has resulted in the most memorable and life-changing trips for me and my family. She has particular expertise in travel by private aircraft (planes and helicopters) which has allowed us to get the most out of our safaris during the time we have. As many times as I’ve been on safari, Liz always has surprises for us up her sleeve for my family, from the spectacular to the thoughtful to the unexpected. She's recently recommended a stay at an exclusive-use conservancy — 56,000 acres of private wildlife viewing, hiking, and conservation activities! She's also curated safari itineraries highlighting African art and artists, and another focused on culinary Africa that includes meeting top chefs and experiences different African cuisines." - Barbara Albert