GeoEx Safari Experts

Starla Estrada

Starla Estrada GeoEx Safari ExpertOur Managing Director for Africa, Starla is a passionate adventurer, seasoned traveler, and bona fide safari expert. She has roamed the African continent searching out the best local guides (incredibly well-informed folks who can grant exclusive access to typically off-limit areas), securing the most unique and exquisite lodgings, and unearthing those surprises you won't find in any guidebook.

Bona Fide Africa Expert

Starla, who oversees GeoEx’s impressively diverse roster of Africa trips (spanning 25 countries), has lived out a wide range of wildlife adventures herself. She's driven the length of Namibia seeking out elusive creatures, experienced firsthand the unbelievably diverse habitats of Tanzania's iconic Serengeti, meandered among frolicking lemurs in Madagascar's dry forests, and more. 

Safari Planner Extraordinaire

Her deep connection with the continent and knowledge of Africa's varied topography, climate, and safari options makes it second-nature for Starla to arrange exceptional wildlife experiences and authentic cultural interactions for GeoEx travelers. She is happy to organize visits to private homes, meetings with local experts, and other special experiences—whether it’s navigating the hippo-filled waters of Botswana's Okavango Delta, walking with forest elephant in the Congo, beach-lolling in the Seychelles, or savoring pinotage in the South Africa Winelands.

Her Favorite Safari Moment

"Smelling Africa for the first time—the rich earth and soil—when my small plane landed on the grassy airstrip of the Chyulu Hills and my pilot threw open the windows. I was instantly hooked. That smell of African earth, it’s one of the things I crave most about Africa when I’m not there."

Her Most Fun-to-Plan Safari

"It was for a family that had traveled with GeoEx to all parts of the world— except Africa—and came to us for a southern Africa trip. They thought they would visit the continent just this once. Before their safari ended, they had already called to plan the next adventure. Five Africa trips later they’ve seen such diverse regions of Africa as Serra Cafema in remote Namibia and the Lower Zambezi in Zambia, and they’ve become acquainted with gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda, as well as Ethiopia’s rock-hewn churches and Lower Omo tribes."

Watch Starla's Video on Mobile Safaris

Read Starla's Kenya Field Report: Wildlife Walks, Sleeping Under the Stars, and Exciting New Finds

Jessica Silber

GeoEx Safari Expert Jessica SilberJessica Silber, Director for Africa, finds her heart in Africa. Her first meeting with the continent was as a college student in Tunisia, where she drank the tap water freely (learning a valuable travel lesson). The wind-whipped Sahara and sunburned Mediterranean coast gave her a sublime introduction to Africa’s diversity and vastness. Years later, she moved to Tanzania and lived there for a year. Weekends in Zanzibar and trips into Kenya and Mozambique brought this region into even greater context. Most recently she traveled to the Republic of the Congo to track western lowland gorillas.

Jessica is thrilled that she can incorporate Africa into her life as a travel specialist for GeoEx. She delights in planning first-time safaris or helping repeat travelers journey to bucket-list countries. One of her favorite parts of the process actually occurs after a trip has ended, when guests—sometimes months after they've returned from a hard-to-reach, harder-to-understand place like West Africa and Ethiopia—reach out to share a memory or a reflection.

Kim Keating

GeoEx Expert Kim KeatingKim Keating, Director for Africa, fell in love with Africa when she visited Zimbabwe at age 19. “From the moment my feet touched down in Harare, Africa overpowered me,” she says. “The sights, smells, people, animals—it was unlike anything I had ever experienced.” Her six-week volunteer stint on a black rhino conservation project opened her up. “I originally traveled to Africa for the animals,” she says, “but what caught me by surprise was how much I loved meeting the people.

Whether it's hanging out in Amharic during an unexpected layover in Ethiopia or coming face-to-face with wild dogs during a sunset safari walk in Botswana, Kim finds Africa's unpredictable nature captivating. Her excitement for all adventurous travel is contagious. She thrives on finding out what draws GeoEx travelers to Africa and creating journeys that exceed their expectations. Kim can't wait to assist you in lining up your next adventure.

Kate Doty

Kate DotyKate is our Managing Director of GeoEx Premier Access. She's been handcrafting incredible journeys—including one-of-a-kind safaris—for GeoEx travelers for more than two decades. In fact, it was Kate who spearheaded the launch of GeoEx’s Africa program (which included offerings in seven countries) and created best practices that have become a model for other tour operators. She has managed location expeditions in exotic locales throughout East and southern Africa in collaboration with the Disney Company, utilizing her hard-earned knowledge of the continent and its vast diversity to assist in the creation of Disney World's Animal Kingdom.

Today Kate is our go-to guru for the most exclusive, customized safaris. Whether it’s engaging with shy gorillas in Uganda's dense jungly forests, exploring Zambia's beauteous remote eastern corner on foot, floating by hot-air balloon over the galactic sand dunes in Namibia, searching out pride of lions in Kenya's rolling Masai Mara by helicopter, or sipping sundowners beside an animal-thronged waterhole in a private South African conservancy, she specializes in designing compelling, action-packed itineraries and safaris that suit our discerning travelers' every want and need. Kate's also highly skilled at navigating other remote and challenging locations, providing our travelers both completely personalized, off-the-beaten-path adventures and peace of mind.

“Kate catered our trip to exactly what I wanted....excellent recommendations” - Ginny C.