She is based in New York City these days, but Wheeler has deep roots in East Africa: she was head of Micato Safaris’ East Africa offices in Nairobi for 20 years, during which time she also held positions at the US Embassy and American Chamber of Commerce. She brings back a working knowledge of Swahili and a passion for the diverse countries in this part of the continent. Rather than simply providing her clients with “luxury for luxury’s sake,” Wheeler adds creative elements to safaris—wildlife photography guides, for example—and incorporates cultural experiences, including visiting a paleoanthropological base camp in Kenya, shadowing fishermen in search of Nile perch on Lake Victoria, or following Maasai guides on an educational trek through the Chyulu Cloud Forest near Mt. Kilimanjaro. Places she’s excited about right now — and that means something, considering she’s been to over 100 countries — include Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, and western Tanzania.
"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