San Diego Office
Once a white water rafting guide on the world renowned rapids of the Zambezi River, my first encounter with Africa was as a mixologist in a Cape Town cocktail bar. It was the beginning of a life-long love affair with the continent—a passion that has grown across countless journeys on horseback, by canoe, light aircraft, on foot, and behind the wheel of a car.
I’ve been designing one-of-a-kind trips for clients all over the world for over 20 years having founded Aardvark Safaris in 1999. I like to think my love of Africa and adventure is infectious so whether you want to know where to find tree-climbing lions in Uganda and Tanzania, spot endangered black rhino in Kenya, or find out the most important thing to pack on your Kilimanjaro climb, I’m your man.
John Spence in the news
Meet John Spence
What my guests have said
"Fred and I definitely appreciated the work that you and your team did for our many trips--they were simply stellar. I’m sure we’ll be in touch again in the near future."
Favourite places I've been
- Always push yourself a little outside your comfort zone.
- Americans collectively give up a massive 169 million vacation days each year. People, let's reclaim our vacation time!
- Take well meant advice from friends with a pinch of salt and plan the perfect trip for you and your party.
- I love the quote, "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."
- I always travel with a headlamp. It may not be sexy but you'll be surprised how often it comes in handy.
My hot picks
When you fly into Cusco you’re often taken aback by the high altitude so this Belmond property provides a serene old world retreat from the bustling city.
Location, location, location! Chiawa is perched right on the edge of the Zambezi and has elephants wandering by the bedrooms. Amazing staff and guides.
Great location close to water for out of this world game viewing, even from the comfort of your bedroom.