Setting a New Standard for Leadership
The Shackleton & Selous Society was established to promote and uphold the highest standards of travel planning, proficiency and leadership in the world’s most exceptional and significant wilderness destinations.
As a strictly merit-based ‘fellowship’, the Society brings together the most accomplished expedition leaders and journey planners in a global-first association, guaranteeing guests the highest qualities of hosting, planning and responsible travel – led by the world’s finest travel leaders. Every Fellow has fulfilled a rigorous series of selection and nomination criteria, which ensure that they are among the most knowledgeable and passionate guides, the most efficient ground operators, the most connected local hosts – in short, that they can design the very finest travel experiences – in their respective fields and regions of operation.
The result is a selection of ‘insider opportunities’ that are simply not available to anyone else. Like hiking in New Zealand’s Southern Alps with the first lady to conquer Mount Everest without oxygen. Or riding a timeworn trail across the Mongolian grasslands, with the sons of a legendary horse-trainer. Or visiting an ancient tribe of hunter-gatherers in the forests of New Guinea, with an anthropologist regarded as their honorary ‘elder’.
Many of our Fellows are also leading researchers and wildlife biologists, who have founded projects to protect some of the world’s rarest and most charismatic species. The result is access to an unprecedented range of experiential wildlife encounters, including diving with whale shark conservationists in the Galapagos, tracking tigers with one of the world’s leading experts in Nepal, following polar bears with Inuit guides in the Arctic, and working with young Maasai warriors who have rechristened themselves “lion guardians” in East Africa.
The Fellows’ extensive destination experience – often exceeding 20-30 years – translates into long-held relationships with some of the world’s oldest and wisest indigenous cultures. As well as close links with Guinea’s Asmat and Dani peoples, our Fellows have deep connections with San Bushmen in Namibia, Iñupiat hunters in Alaska, Aboriginal elders in Australia, Buddhist monks in Myanmar, Anatolian herdsmen in Turkey, and Samburu astrologers in Northern Kenya.
This is the ultimate collection of deeply immersive, breathtakingly personal travel experiences: a collection of intimate, informed, uniquely inspirational journeys simply not available to other operators. This is what sets Shackleton & Selous apart: the ability to take you to the ends of the Earth, to show you Nature’s greatest creations, up close, in consummate comfort and style – and in the company of Her greatest experts.
Qualified to lead the world
To become members of The Shackleton & Selous Society, Fellows must have demonstrated an exceptional portfolio of wilderness destinations and experiences, and the capacity to lead groups in complete comfort and safety across the most inhospitable terrain. As well as customised mobile camps, which allow us to access remote destinations in surprising style, most Fellows have long-standing contacts with the owners of an incredible range of luxury homes, private ranches, boutique safari lodges, and beach villas in exclusive and pristine locations.
Each of our Fellows has been meticulously selected according to a long list of rules and protocols, which evaluate their planning and guiding skills, their professional reputations, their client feedback, conservation credentials, indigenous employment records, and support for local communities. Every Fellow must have the finest contacts in their local travel industry, together with world-class logistical and field support: from local guides and trackers, to transport managers, drivers, pilots, yacht-masters, adventure sports instructors, master chefs – and so on.
Whether you’re visiting Brazil or Borneo, Botswana or Bhutan, a Shackleton & Selous Fellow will be your host, your navigator, your confidant, and your leader – and a peerless connection with the people, places and wildlife that make up the journey of a lifetime.