Meet the Team

Jim O’Brien

Who-are-we-Jim-225x184Jim is an avid traveller with personal experience of some of the world’s most challenging – and interesting – countries under his belt. With almost two decades of experience in the travel industry, Jim started his career as a tour leader in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent before settling down to a slightly more settled life on the Essex / Suffolk border. With a deep connection with Africa, Jim’s recent travels include pioneering trips to meet the Toposa people of South Sudan, travelling through Nigeria, a good contender for Africa’s most difficult country, and being one of only a handful of travellers to have visited Somaliland, the breakaway country that no-one recognises. His experience also includes leading the first ever English speaking group tour to Chad’s Ennedi Mountains, perhaps one of the most exciting destinations we offer, and destinations further afield include such diverse countries as Suriname, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Bangladesh.

 

Kelly Meekings

Who-are-we-Kelly1-225x184Kelly’s job is as varied as they come, ranging from managing our overseas partners to designing itineraries and keeping up to date with developments in all of our destinations. With fifteen years of experience in the industry, Kelly is expertly placed to deal with the various issues that our tours involve, and is virtually ‘unflappable’ – managing everything with a deft hand and a calm smile. Kelly’s recent trips include travelling through the nomadic steppes of Central Asia, spending time with tribal groups in Papua New Guinea and discovering the incredible wildlife of Madagascar, and she likes nothing more than setting up camp in a remote desert somewhere – with two small children at home we think she enjoys the peace and quiet!

 

Corrina Kidd

CorrinaWith a background in anthropology, Corrina‘s passion is in discovering the hidden corners of our planet where unique cultures can still be found, focusing on Asia and the Middle East. Corrina’s responsible for much of the careful research that goes into our tours, but she can often be found on the phone to our travellers and local partners putting final tweaks to an itinerary or answering some last minute questions. When we asked about her favourite places, she umm-ed and aah-ed for a long while before narrowing it down to northern Pakistan, then added a few others!

 

Matt Bowden

Matt-225x184Matt has a keen interest in the outdoors, regularly ‘Munro-bagging’ in Scotland and doing long distance walks closer to home. Matt’s recent travels include exploring the island of Socotra, hiking through the Caucasus mountains in Georgia and tracking gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and he’s most at home on a windy hillside with map in hand, en route to a village pub with a fire.

 

Joan Riera

Joan grew up bJoan2-225x184etween Catalonia and Cameroon, and was initiated into Africa cultures at the early age of 10. Later he studied Anthropology and Sociology at Richmond University and continued his studies in traditional African societies. Joan has written several travel guides and since 2005 has focussed on West and Central Africa. He now collaborates with Native Eye in the design and organisation of unique trips in little visited African destinations – the more challenging the better!

Call us on 020 3286 5995
or email info@nativeeyetravel.com

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