Travel Experts from National Geographic

Imagine observing lions on the prowl in the Serengeti with a wildlife biologist, examining ancient ruins in Peru with an archaeologist, or shooting images in Paris alongside a celebrated National Geographic photographer. National Geographic’s travel experts; researchers, explorers, writers, and photographers have brought the world to our members for more than a hundred years. Now, our experts bring you to the planet’s most intriguing places to share their knowledge and their insights. From photography to history to marine biology, our National Geographic experts are passionate about their fields, and they enrich the expedition experience through fascinating presentations and informal discussions. Meet our featured experts below.

Meet our featured experts below

Our experts

Kristofer Helgen


Zoologist Kristofer Helgen is a National Geographic Explorer who has led research expeditions to remote areas on almost every continent in his search for undiscovered species. From the jungles of Papua New Guinea to the slopes of the Andes, Kris has identified some 100 new mammal species and documented viable populations of animals previously thought to be in major decline or even extinct. Kris is a professor of biological sciences at the University of Adelaide and has served as curator of mammals at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Kristofer will join the following Private Jet departure: Apr 01 – 17, 2019


Our experts

Michael Melford


National Geographic photographer Michael Melford has produced more than a dozen feature stories for National Geographic magazine and more than 30 for National Geographic Traveler, including eight covers. Some of Michael’s recent assignments have focused on Russia, Israel, and North America’s national parks. He has produced photography for eight books for National Geographic, including three on Alaska, his favorite being Treasures of Alaska, for which he spent four months traveling to every corner of the state. When not shooting for National Geographic, Michael enjoys giving seminars and workshops on photography and sharing both his love of nature and his extensive knowledge.

Michael will join the following Private Jet departure: Jul 12 – Aug 02, 2018


Our experts

David Harrison

Anthropologist and linguist

Anthropologist and linguist David Harrison has been a National Geographic Fellow and co-director of the Society’s Enduring Voices Project, documenting endangered languages and cultures around the world. He has done extensive fieldwork with indigenous communities from Siberia and Mongolia to Peru, India, and Australia. His global research is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Linguists, and his work has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, USA Today, and Science. David is both a professor of linguistics and associate provost for academic programs at Swarthmore College.

David will be joining the Great Empires by Private Jet on 29 May 2018.


Our experts

Steve Boyes

Conservationist and Biologist

Conservationist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to preserving Africa’s wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. A native of South Africa, Steve spent more than five years in the Okavango Delta doing fieldwork for his doctorate in zoology. He currently runs the Cape Parrot Project with support from National Geographic’s Conservation Trust. His work takes him all over Africa, studying wildlife rehabilitation and biodiversity, fighting the wild-caught bird trade, and planting thousands of trees in forest restoration projects. Steve is the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust. Steve recently completed a National Geographic-sponsored expedition across the Okavango Delta to promote broader protection for the watershed and its wildlife.

Steve will join the following Private Jet Adventure: Dec 27, 2017 – Jan 15, 2018

Our experts

Lee Berger


Paleoanthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in- Residence Lee Berger is a Research Professor in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. His explorations into human origins in Africa have resulted in many notable discoveries, including the most comprehensive early hominin fossils found so far, which belong to a new species of early human ancestor, Australopithecus sediba, and, in 2013, the richest early hominin site yet found on the continent of Africa. Lee will accompany the entire expedition.

Lee will join the following Private Jet Adventure: Oct 28 – Nov 17, 2018

Our experts

Tierney Thys

Biologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer

Biologist and award-winning documentary filmmaker Tierney Thys is a National Geographic Explorer and Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences. She has travelled to every continent and visited more than 60 countries. She is an expert on giant ocean sunfishes and the Daily Explorer in National Geographic’s Animal Jam, an online world boasting 70 million registered players in 120 countries and five languages. Tierney has received numerous grants from the Society, has active marine study sites in Indonesia and Galapagos and has developed student expeditions in Monterey, Belize and Bali. Additional research activities include investigating how nature imagery influences brain activity and the effects of nature on incarcerated populations. Tierney is a TED All-Star speaker and passionate about sharing the wonders of the world and promoting global stewardship.

Tierney will be joining the Around the World Private Jet Adventure on Jan 23 – Feb 15, 2018