LT&C welcomes new member, karibu adventures, to share its mission to keep wild places that way

Orca with head out of water in Canada

We virtually sat down with Andrea Mandel-Campbell, the founder of karibu adventures and a new LT&C member, to learn more about what inspired her to set up a mission-driven travel company during a global pandemic. 

Based in Alberta, Canada, Andrea was introduced to LT&C by fellow Canadian Mike Robins, an LT&C member, example provider, and professional tourism developer. 

Andrea launched karibu adventures in 2022, leaving a corporate career to build a travel company that highlights the value of nature and wildlife and to be part of the solution to the biodiversity crisis.

We asked Andrea why she decided to become an LT&C member: “Your organization’s mission is very much the reason I started my travel company in the first place; I wanted to create a travel company that helps conserve nature. People love to travel, and travel can be transformational; we need to leverage this into something positive for nature and wildlife.”

Temagami, Ontario

Sharing some of the world’s most amazing wild places, and keeping them that way

karibu currently has three destinations: Temagami, Ontario and North Vancouver Island, British Columbia in Canada, and Alta Valsesia in Italy. The destinations are all located in protected areas. 

Temagami has five provincial parks in the western part surrounded by eight conservation reserves, which make up a protected area of around 147,000 hectares. 

North Vancouver Island has the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world, and an LT&C Example, Broughton Archipelago Park, British Columbia’s largest marine park, and the 1715-hectare Michael Bigg Ecological Reserve, home of the Orca “rubbing rocks”. 

And Alta Valsesia is a 6,500-hectare natural park, UNESCO Geopark, and the highest park by altitude in Europe.

Orca, North Vancouver Island
Alta Valsesia, Italy

In selecting destinations, Andrea looks for places that retain their “original essence” and “wild” qualities, with pristine nature and beauty, which haven’t been affected by over-tourism. The tours all fit with karibu’s mission to “share some of the world’s most amazing wild places, and keep them that way”.

“I wanted to share the beauty of these unique wild places so that people appreciate why it’s important to protect and preserve them. It’s about bringing people to places that are less well known and require some effort to learn about, get to, and understand why it’s important to preserve them.”

Wildlife encounters … and bears

The company’s name was inspired by the Caribou, the North American reindeer. In Temagami, you can expect to see birds like loons, osprey, eagles, and Pileated woodpeckers, as well as black bears. And in Vancouver Island, you can experience an “aquatic Garden of Eden” with orcas (the best place in the world to see them), humpback whales, seals, otters, Stellar sea lions, white-sided dolphins, and Grizzly bears (although Andrea assures us they are not on the trails and precautions are taken). 

In Alta Valsesia, ibex, marmots, and chamois are some of the alpine wildlife you can encounter.

Guiding principles

One of karibu’s guiding principles is “travel, not trample”. To be mindful of its footprint, tours are in small groups of 6-12 people, and the number of trips to a location is also limited.

Another is being active in nature because, as Andrea points out, “to really experience nature, it has to be an immersive experience. Watching something is not the same as actively being in nature, whether hiking, canoeing, kayaking, or scuba diving. To really embrace the magic and connect with nature, it requires you to be in it.”

Kayakers explore the islands in the Broughton Archipelago Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada.

Giving back to Indigenous communities

As a former foreign correspondent in Canada and Latin America, Andrea engaged with Indigenous communities and saw first-hand how they are important stewards of nature.

Partnering with Indigenous communities, and being inclusive to create a product informed by what they value and how they want to be present, was first and foremost when setting up the tours, especially to North Vancouver Island, the ancestral home of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw people, where karibu is the first group to be invited as privileged guests to Hada, in the Great Bear Rainforest.

To be a real partner on the ground and hardwire these partnerships into the business model, Andrea points out, “I made a very deliberate effort and outreach to community members to say ‘I want people to understand and appreciate whose land we are on and what the cultural context is.’ I formed partnerships with local leaders so that people can learn about their culture, history, and heritage, which is incredibly rich and vibrant, and provide an economic return to them for being part of this initiative.”

Potential examples

We hope the protected areas karibu visits can become LT&C Examples in the future. 

In the meantime, Andrea believes some best practices can be adopted and implemented by other destinations; for example, the movement in Canada’s Northwest Territories toward returning traditional land to Indigenous communities to manage their own protected areas.

Join a tour

If you’re interested in joining a karibu adventure, Andrea offers LT&C members a 20% discount on tours. 

You can see our events page for more details: 

Canoeing the Great Canadian Shield – Temagami Ontario, Canada; 30 July–4 August & 13–18 August 2023

Hiking in the Italian Alps – Alta Valsesia, Italy;  4–10 June & 10–16 September 2023

Alta Valsesia, Italy

Andrea’s ambition is to continue to grow and “find more special and unique nature and wildlife destinations”, and she welcomes LT&C members to reach out for ways to collaborate.

You can find karibu at and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Temagami, Ontario

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