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Daily Inspiration: Meet Boone Thomson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Boone Thomson.

Hi Boone, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
It took me a half-century to travel to Africa. I had been serious about wildlife photography for about five years and followed a photographer out of London on Instagram. His images blew me away. I jumped when he advertised a discounted safari as part of a Kickstarter campaign to publish a book. What I experienced that week in the Masai Mara was like an awakening. I grew up enthralled by Mutual of Omaha’s the Wild Kingdom and movies like Out of Africa and Born Free. For some reason, it never seemed realistic to travel to Africa for a safari. I guess I felt it would be too expensive and too time-consuming. But in 2015, I flew halfway across the world to Kenya. Seeing those wild creatures in person for the first time was similar to seeing your first child born. You’ve seen pictures and read stories describing it. But there is nothing like being there!

Here’s the thing: once you experience Africa, it pulls you back. And it’s not just the amazing wildlife. It’s the sun setting on the endless plains. It’s a warm fire on a cool night. It’s the friendly nature of the African people. I’ve returned to Africa five times since that first trip in 2015.  I visited South Africa in 2016, Botswana in 2018, Kenya again in 2019 and 2021, and Zimbabwe and Botswana in 2022.  Now I want to share the experience with my friends and their friends. I want to take away the fear some have of traveling so far away. This is why I started Boone Thomson Safaris. This is my passion. After years of working for a big corporation and then risking a steady salary to start a recruiting firm, it’s time to follow my heart and do what I love. This is my story, and all the chapters have not been written.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Covid has been the biggest obstacle to starting my safari business. We had to cancel our trip in 2020. Many of my guests canceled in 2021. But I found 26 people who were brave enough to travel across the world during a pandemic last August. So we oversold the trip. We rewarded those guests with fewer crowds in the Mara.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in wildlife photography and try to tell a story with my images. I’m looking for dramatic natural light in my images. Animalscapes are my favorite style of image to capture where you show the animal in its environment. National Geographic has selected my images for publication. I’ve won the international Rotarian Magazine photo of the year twice. Last year I won the Pangolin Photo black and white challenge. First place was a safari for two to the Chobe River in Botswana.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Adventure travel and safari travel are going to grow. A huge number of people over 65 are in good health, have money, and want to experience new places. Also, I believe that coming out of Covid, people prioritize experiences over material things.

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