Conscious Travel | Discovering the world’s wildest places with Natucate

Do you love learning about the natural world and have a sense of adventure? Do you wish you could get out from behind a screen, step out of your comfort zone, and step into wild nature?

You can!

Natucate is an agency that specialises in organising projects for nature travel, wilderness experiences, voluntary work, internships, courses and sabbaticals.

With projects in over 30 countries, they offer some incredible opportunities to expand your horizons while having an unforgettable experience and gaining career-relevant training.

While we wish we were out with them volunteering on a whale shark conservation project in the Maldives, learning field guide skills in Botswana, or protecting natural areas in Spain, we thought we’d find out more about them so you can explore for yourself!

Meet Daniel Kaul, Natucate’s founder, who considers himself a conservationist, facilitator, strategic thinker, mentor and problem solver with a particular passion for a high level of service, travel, conservation and the outdoors.

Meeting elephants on a game drive, during a private wilderness experience in Botswana. Credit: Natucate.

How did Natucate’s story start?

I was sitting at my desk in my IT job in Germany, which I had been doing for a few years after studying geography. However, the hunger for more passion-driven and life-fulfilling tasks pushed me back to my stay abroad in America.

During my studies, I spent three months on a volunteer project in Arizona and Colorado. In this project on the west coast of the USA, I had the opportunity, together with other volunteers from all over the world, to make a valuable contribution to nature conservation and simultaneously explore the beautiful wilderness of the USA more closely. A time filled with joy, dedication and passion.

For me, one thing was sure: without passion, without me! And so, back at my desk in Germany, I planned to create opportunities for other people to have their own life-enriching experiences.

A volunteer assisting with research in the Amazon rainforest, Peru. Credit: Natucate.

I started writing emails and calling the current project leader of the volunteer project in the USA, in which I once participated myself. I had to be very persistent and patient to finally get the chance for a meeting. As a starting point toward fulfilling my goal of creating meaningful conservation, I aimed to become a partner for this specific project.

And my drive seemed to be convincing or annoying enough to hand me something. I got permission to promote the project, but only in certain countries, such as Latvia. I didn’t make a single sale. But my hunger to pursue this passion guided me in the right direction. I found more projects, partners and destinations. The basis for Natucate was created.

Volunteering with forest conservation in a neotropical forest in Costa Rica. Credit: Natucate.

What does Natucate do?

By definition, we are a conservation-oriented travel operator, but in our deepest heart, we are much more: matchmakers, enablers, empowerers. We provide meaningful volunteering for open-minded nature lovers; courses where everyone can learn in, about and from nature; sustainable adventure travel and tailor-made years abroad, among other options.

For us, appreciation and respect for natural habitats and resources are always at the core focus when we travel or support others to have their personal experiences on a journey.

A vulture during a private wilderness experience in Botswana. Credit: Natucate.

What makes Natucate unique?

We love and live the word adventure. But how exactly each person defines “adventure” for themselves can be quite individual.

The one who sets off alone for the first time on a journey into the unknown will be delighted about the support of our close-knit service. We take a lot of time to discuss questions and expectations and assist our clients before, after and during their trips.

For thrill-seeking travellers, we also offer trips to the last wild places where, for example, you sleep under the open sky or where wild animals move through the unfenced camp at night.

A lion during a private wilderness experience in Botswana. Credit: Natucate.

Both types of adventures are incredibly exciting for us to be able to guide. Since both journeys will create personal once-in-a-lifetime memories for our adventurers ­– it is always an honour to be part of that.

Loyalty and transparency are though not only a focus on our interaction with customers, but also on our relationships with our partners. We visit most of our partners on-site to get a personal impression of the project. We only support genuine species and nature conservation and clearly position ourselves against programmes that allow direct interaction with wildlife, animal breeding projects as well as so-called “orphanage tourism”.

Once a partner and Natucate decide to work together, we strive for a stable, long-lasting, respectful and trusting collaboration. To maximise the positive impact of the project’s work and to minimise the impact of tourism on species and the environment, we support our partners with advice and expertise. We create a triangle that honours the interests of all – clients, partners and Natucate.

Wolf conservation in Portugal. Credit: Natucate.

Who are your programmes for?

Thanks to our diverse portfolio, we can make many different participants happy. From short breaks from hectic everyday life for ten days, to individual combinations up to one-year stays ­– we plan together with our customers according to their wishes.

Every age group is represented among our clients, from students over working people to best agers. We organise adventures for individuals as well as families or groups.

Volunteering in Spain. Credit: Natucate.

But besides this diversity that we love, we all have something in common – our clients, partners and ourselves – we are all keen on learning about nature and conservation. For us, the urge for adventure and distant lands is connected with a love of nature and meaningful stays.

We all truly cherish the incomparable experience of immersing ourselves in nature and bringing nature and education into harmony. Ecologically compatible and culturally sensitive travel is close to all our hearts.

Nature conservation volunteering in Waitawa Regional Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Credit: Natucate.

What are the benefits of a Natucate experience?

As long-standing partners, we maintain a trusting relationship with the local teams and, for example, travel to the camps of our Field and Guide courses in Africa ourselves every year. If you book your learning adventure with Natucate, you can be sure of expert advice, comprehensive travel preparation, 24/7 support and the benefits of German travel law.

African Wild Dog during a private wilderness experience in Botswana. Credit: Natucate.

What success story are you most proud of?

Our state of mind and body determines how we act and how successful we are. We offer opportunities to change this state in a fun way.

It doesn’t matter if you are hungry for opportunities to do good, challenge yourself by encountering the unknown, or are at a turning point in your life. Many of our clients plant the seed for a significant change in their lives on one of our adventures.

All these small first steps, the development, the growth and the chances that are taken make up Natucate’s most remarkable success story. After a learning-filled journey into the depths of nature, you won’t be the same when you come back. How could you?

Helping protect sea turtles and tortoises in the Seychelles. Credit: Natucate.

What’s next for Natucate?

Due to the pandemic, many conservation projects lost their financial support, could no longer pay their staff and were therefore unable to maintain their essential conservation activities. And also, wildlife tourism offers local communities the opportunity to benefit from nature positively instead of exploiting it.

We are working closely with our long-term partners to bring conservation projects back on track – a recovery process that will likely take time.

At the same time, we keep in mind that in collaboration, we aim to create not only sustainable, but regenerative projects. Projects that not only do not harm, but make places better than before. We want to rethink tourism.

Volunteers in the wolf sanctuary in Portugal. Credit: Natucate.

Are you ready to plant the seed for a significant change in your life by joining one of Natucate’s adventures? 

Visit Natucate’s website to learn more about their philosophy, explore over 30 destinations and check out the types of life-changing travel they offer. 

 

Interviews

Leave a Reply