There’s a reason why Ryan is so well-versed in the safari experience of southern Africa – it’s where he grew up.

Born in Zimbabwe and schooled in South Africa, Ryan and his best friend spent every school vacation at the camp owned by his best friend’s father, a professional hunter. While the guests were hunting by day, Ryan would explore the bush, taking photographs, rescuing injured animals and chasing warthogs.

Two days after their final exams, Ryan and his buddy moved to Kariba, a small safari-oriented lake town in Zimbabwe near the Zambezi River. Their first job was maintaining and repairing the safari vehicles, which took a pounding on the off-road trails. At about age 19, Ryan left the bush to become a professional rugby player, but his soul yearned for southern Africa, where he returned in 1995. He became a guide at South Africa’s Londolozi Private Game Reserve, where leopard is often spotted, along with more than 400 species of bird.

Ryan was hooked immediately when he met ATI owner Malaka on safari in 1997. Within months, he moved to Sarasota, and by September of that same year, Ryan was back in the African bush leading a group of lucky Admiral travelers. Ryan’s lifetime of experience living with the animals of the bush enables him to answer virtually any guest’s question. His intimate understanding of the animals also affords Ryan the ability to take exquisite safari photographs – he is the photographer responsible for many of the images on this site.

Ryan returns to Africa at least once a year to escort groups, but even if you don’t travel with Ryan, you can rest assured that any safari he prepares will be an experience to treasure for a lifetime. Ryan’s extensive contacts and friends in the safari industry and his intimate knowledge of the camps, history and wildlife of the region are a great benefit to ATI clients. Ryan ensures exquisite treatment and thorough preparation, on top of the added value of Virtuoso amenities and service.

“I believe a safari can change a person’s view on life,” says Ryan. “When you see the sheer tenacity of an animal protecting her young, and you think about your own children… it’s almost spiritual. It’s all about truth, tenacity, courage, strategy, and exposing deception. I have seen grown men cry.”

Ryan is also among the few travel advisors with the distinguished honor of representing the Virgin Galactic suborbital space flight as an Accredited Space Agent.  Having participated in extensive training, he is knowledgeable and passionate about this experience as a life-changing opportunity for like-minded adventurers.

Ryan Hilton:
Africa Specialist