When our group of 5 (3 adults, one eighteen-year-girl and one twelve-year-old boy) was making plans for our first trip to Jackson, WY to visit the area, particularly Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP, we researched for the best way to maximize our time and our money while satisfying everyone's interests. We were not familiar with the parks or the region. In our research (including through TripAdvisor), we came across Paul Martin's Photo Safaris. We read the reviews, spoke with him on the phone and visited his website. His personally guided tours seemed to be the best bang for our buck and our time. From the first contact with us by phone to the drop-off at our hotel on our 2nd tour, (we did the 12-hour Yellowstone tour, as well as the Sunset Dinner tour) Paul was always professional, respectful, knowledgeable and efficient. It was always obvious to us that his goal was to make our experience with him the best he could offer. He did an exceptional job accommodating a tween and a teen's interests, personalities and food selections, as well as for the adults. He was sincerely interested in what we were most interested in. With that understanding, he saw to it that we were satisfied. We rode in his very clean and comfortable custom safari vehicle, with high seats that recline and swivel, with a pop-up roof and huge windows that provides no obstructed view! He provided delicious muffins, coffee, tea and hot chocolate as well as cold drinks and a delicious lunch during the Yellowstone tour and phenomenal gourmet appetizers for the Sunset Tour. He provided each of us with high-powered binoculars. He also had spotting scopes which he pulled out of the vehicle when we were trying to view wildlife activity too far off in the valley. Whoa! Those scopes really brought the animals into clear view. It was obvious to us that he wanted nothing less than the best for his guests!
Throughout our tours, Paul showed us many of the highlights of the parks. We learned about the animals, their habitats, their behaviors and their physical features. We learned about some of the local history, and about the "science" behind the glaciers and the geyser basins. All of this really enriched our expereinces in these beautiful parks.
We saw plenty of elk and bison very close to the roads we were on. Great opportunities for shooting pictures or just watching. We also were lucky enough to see momma grizzly and her two cubs. Again, close enough to get some wonderful pictures, but not in any danger. We had a more difficult time finding the elusive moose. Paul explained that the long winter and extra snow melting run-off has created a change in their habitats so they were not always sighted in their usual locations. We eventually did find a cow moose with her calf at one location and a bull lying down at another location. We were happy to get some nice pictures of them. Because Paul shared as much knowledge of animal sighting locations as we were interested in learning, we followed his suggestions on our own another day and hit the jackpot when we found a cow and calf feeding along side the road at one location and two other cows, a calf and a bull at another location - VERY close to the road (where Paul suggested we look!) We are so excited about our find and the beautiful pictures we were able to get!
We have NO doubt that we maximized our time and our money with Paul's Safari. We took information he provided and enjoyed five more days in the Jackson Hole area. We would highly recommend Paul anytime. If we were fortunate enough to get to visit this area again, we would be contacting Paul again.
Personal. Professional. Knowledgeable. Delicious. Comfortable. Respectful. Patient. We could not have asked for anything more!
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