When Travel and Leisure Magazine announced the Best Travel Agencies of 2012, a long list of agencies from across the country, only one from Utah appeared: Safari Experts.
The Park City company was formed by owner Tim Lapage, a Kenyan-native and world traveler. This is the first time the business has been recognized by the industry-leading magazine, a popular source of information for travelers. Serving not only Park City, Safari Experts plans trips for clients all over the world, drawing on a lifetime of connections and relationships built by Lapage, all of which contributed to receiving the accolade.
"It is one of the main travel industry awards out there," Lapage said. "It sets us apart from other businesses if people are looking for someone they feel secure about, it is nice we are able to point to the award."
"We are now a recommended agency through Travel and Leisure, which is fantastic," he added. "We know Africa better than anyone, and it took a phenomenal amount of time. I challenge anyone to show they know Africa better than we do."
As with any given time of the year, Lapage will be off traveling to find the best deals, the best locations for clients. He will be leaving this month for Antarctica, another possible destination offered through Safari Experts where those on the trip will travel from Australia to a portion of the Antarctic Continent teaming with plankton, penguins and whales.
"It's taken me all my life to build the connections I have," Lapage added, "but we want to meet demands while also providing these unique trips. It takes time to build the right relationships, but we can offer trips, vacations, all over the world now. And we do it right."
Whether clients are looking to book something in Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand or India, Lapage guarantees the trip of a lifetime, of carefully planned itineraries that fit any budget. Even group trips have cropped up when the timing was right, Lapage said, the most recent of which took a group of women to Peru for a hiking and yoga retreat ending at Machu Picchu.
"We customize trips to the off-the-beaten path places," Lapage said. "No trip we do is ever the same. It's always customized to what you want, but without costing you more."