Guilt-free Ride; Natural Habitat Adventures Takes Travelers Off-Road in the World’s First Hybrid Safari Vehicle

1 July 2008

By Paige Stringer

Recently named a "pioneer in sustainable travel" by National Geographic Adventure magazine, Natural Habitat Adventures is a company that walks the talk when it comes to achieving eco-friendly travel. They are recognized as an industry leader in finding and advocating alternative energy solutions, and became the first travel company in the world to become 100% carbon neutral. They have now taken their commitment to climate conservation one step further with the planet's first-ever hybrid safari vehicle.

The new Safari One is a four-wheel-drive hybrid Toyota Highlander that has been retrofitted for optimal wildlife viewing. It is projected to achieve 25 miles to the gallon, which is more than double the mileage of a typical safari truck of the same size. The Safari One accommodates four passengers, and includes custom features such as beefier suspension, a roof with a sliding canvas top, and specialized flip-up photography windows. It is also outfitted with safety devices and conveniences such as tow capacity, on-board dining gear, and fire protection tools.

Natural Habitat Adventures founder and director Ben Bressler dreamed up the concept as a way to further reduce the company's greenhouse gas emissions. The company spent more than a year researching and building the specialized vehicle. "Our goal was not only to further reduce our own carbon footprint, but also to raise the bar on low-impact transportation for the entire adventure travel industry," Bressler explains.

Natural Habitat Adventures is putting its new green transport in action this summer on western U.S. expeditions including an exploration of Grand, Bryce and Zion Canyons.

Travelers who join Natural Habitat Adventures on these trips will not only explore some amazing places, but can feel good about it too.

For more information about Natural Habitat's new Hybrid Safari One visit