True Wild

Handcrafted African Safaris

True Wild is a personalized safari agent specializing in Southern African Safaris. Our lives are dedicated to conservation and environmental education - to connecting people to nature and wild places in their own back yards and across the Earth. We see True Wild as an extension of this work and bring the same integrity and passion to handcrafting your safari as we do to conserving mountain lions in California, or leopards in Africa.
Our Mission image
What is Unique
Our starting point is unique
True Wild LLC was formed by South African conservationists, Dr. Quinton Martins and Elizabeth Martins. Quinton is an experienced safari guide and big cat researcher who is currently the Director of the Living with Lions mountain lion project in California, while Elizabeth, with her strong education background, conducts the outreach and education component of the project. This couple, passionate and dedicated to make a positive change in our environment are committed to planning an exceptional safari for you, putting you in the trusted hands of people in the safari and conservation world they know and respect.

Our safaris are unique
Our specialty trips to Africa go far beyond the traditional safari experience. We encourage having a group leader tailored for your needs accompany you on your safari. Love big cats? Our very own big cat expert, Dr. Quinton Martins, can lead your trip and immerse you in the lives of African carnivores. Interested in plants? Travel with Professor William Bond, a world-class Ecologist who will astonish you with the mighty battles he sees raging between forests and grasslands. If you're a birder, you want to have someone lead your group who understands and shares your passion. And if you want a general safari, we will choose a group leader with excellent general knowledge of the African bush who will make sure that your experience is given depth and breadth.

Dr. Quinton Martins

Partner, Safari Advisor and Expert Guide

Quinton is a passionate conservationist from South Africa who has dedicated over 25 years to wildlife, as a professional safari guide in Africa and a scientist specialising in big cat research. He is True Wild’s safari advisor and one of our expert guides.

Liz Martins

Managing Partner and Family Safari Guide

Liz is a passionate environmental educator with a background in Waldorf teaching in South Africa. She loves bringing people into better connection with nature. A True Wild partner, she manages the business and does specialist guiding for family groups.

Neil Martin

Partner and Marketing

Neil, electrical engineer by training, was a director at Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies and Keysight Technologies. He has over 30 years experience in sales, business management and marketing which he brings to True Wild as its marketing and business partner.


"Imagine camping near the farthest out watering hole where herds of African Buffalo, elephants and other big game cluster, fishing the crocodile filled Lower Zambezi River for Tigerfish, visiting local villages and schools, staying in high end lodges or more primitive bush camps where you sleep with the sounds of lions, hippos, and exotic birds... Wow!! Quinton Martins recently arranged this African trip for my wife and me. We were impressed with his knowledge of lodging and dining, camps and guides, photography and local cultures, and the experience itself far exceeded our every expectation. Thank you, Quinton, for this trip of a lifetime, our first to Africa, but certainly not our last!" Alan and Gail Ross, Kenwood CA

Our Aim
We want your safari to leave an indelible impression on you. To impact your life. To connect you more deeply to wild places wherever you find them.

Personal Attention
Booking an African safari can be overwhelming, is expensive, and often a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We help you through the process by meeting with you to hear what you’re hoping for and what your particular interests are. From there we’ll handcraft a safari specific to you that fits our high standards and provides you with a quality experience. We will handle your accommodation, activities and transfers between international airports and camps.

Handcrafted Itineraries
We want you to have the best possible safari, so we focus on crafting an itinerary that works as a whole, building on each experience, giving you variety in landscape and activities, deepening and enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the incredible wilderness that you will find yourself in.

Specialist Group Leaders
Our group leaders add immense value, orchestrating your experiences, drawing a thread through your entire trip. They will help interpret the fascinating unfolding journey allowing you to focus on the most unique qualities of each place.

Pre-trip Gathering
We want to prepare you to get the most out of your safari, so we offer a pre-trip gathering that provides you with both practical advice and broad context to your upcoming safari experience. If you live locally in the San Francisco North Bay, we can also take you out on a hike before your safari to go over some of the skills and awareness that will heighten your experience, such as animal tracking and understanding predators.

Post-trip Conservation Opportunity
We hope you will connect your safari experiences with wildlife back home, finding ways to get involved with local conservation organizations, or using your experience in some way to help make a difference in protecting our environment. We can help get you started.



Here in this sacred house of silence I can lose myself - the sky is as endless as it is containing and here the water teases land Here in the nearness of where I stand there is always distance - a space, an in-between and here I am alone, but I belong. Here in this great crucible of dreams the scattered feathers and the dried out prints of hoof and pad stand as sacred signatures... an ancient contract. Here in this vast and visible in-between is the birth place of fire urging flight into footprints and wings out of scales. Here silence becomes free

Special Themed Safaris

Special Themed Safaris

Mostly we arrange safaris on request, however we also create special themed safaris led by Californian biologists who can help connect your experiences in the African wilderness with your life back home. Find out more about our current Special Themed Safaris with set dates by looking through the attached descriptions.

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Specialist Group Leaders

Specialist Group Leaders

We have a fascinating selection of group leaders. We will recommend one based on your interests to lead your trip while sharing much of their own special interests and expertise. All are experts in their field - ornithologists, biologists, wildlife photographers, environmental educators, authors, naturalists.

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Safari Camps

Safari Camps

We are very selective when it comes to the Safari Camps we choose as they are the crux of your experience. We choose camps in superb locations, which provide the best quality experiences. We prefer small camps with exclusive access so that your game-viewing and living experience is not overshadowed by crowds of tourists. Comfort and luxury are a given but not the basis of our choices. Check out our gallery for some of our favourite camps.



Most Safari Camps include a variety of activities, led by camp guides who have an intimate knowledge of the area and their wildlife. Activities may include game drives; walking safaris, with your senses fully alert and tuning in to the rhythm of the wild; boating or kayaking for excellent birding and a new perspective on wildlife; fishing; sleeping out under the stars; observing and photographing quietly from hides; and select cultural experiences.



Transfers between camps is often in small charter planes. For shorter distances, you will have road transfers or speedboat transfers. We use the best local providers. In some cases it is worth considering getting your own private charter plane, which gives you more freedom with timing and detours en route.



As each trip is unique, we will only be able to provide a quote after consultation. Here are a few guidelines on what to expect when it comes to pricing:

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Would you like to talk to us about a safari?


Quinton Martins, PhD

Specialties: Big Cats; animal behaviour; conservation; ecology; scorpions; birds; photography

Liz Martins

Specialties: Safaris with children; nature-inspired art; self-development through nature-connection

Jeff Sikich

Specialties: Large carnivores, human-wildlife interaction, animal behavior, urban wildlife, conservation

Jeanne Wirka

Specialties: botany, plant and animal interactions, nature writing, fire ecology, habitat conservation

Carolyn Whitesell, PhD

Specialties: large carnivores, human-wildlife interactions, animal space use, conservation, urban wildlife

Jake Harvey

Specialties: large carnivores, spatial ecology, human-wildlife conflict, urban wildlife, feeding ecology, interacting with people

Ayla Martins

Assistant Group Leader: Specialities: Excellent game spotter and tracker; mountain lion research assistant; personal travel assistant.

  • 13875 Highway 12, Glen Ellen, CA, USA