About Us

Aqua-Firma is a company driven by a long-developed passion for exploring and conserving the best of our planet's wilderness and wildlife - in particular where land and water meet.

From the Equator to the Poles, we explore the areas surrounding the great oceans, rivers, lakes and icecaps - destinations which are home to some of the most dramatic encounters with wildlife and the natural world.

Qualified to advise and inspire

Our in-depth knowledge of these environments is built on our foundation as marine and environmental scientists, conservation experts, professional wilderness guides, diving instructors and yacht masters. We have ourselves snorkelled and dived all five of the world's oceans; kayaked through tropical rainforest and Arctic sea ice; photographed the great migrations of Africa; and dived with penguins beyond the Antarctic Circle -  just some of the experiences which have made us experts in our field!   

Many experiences are also created with the input of leading wildlife and marine life researchers, professional photographers and guide book writers: people who have a passion to communicate the environments they know best through years of on-location, first-hand experience.  The result is the opportunity to experience wilderness locations in ways which are invigorating, enlightening and responsible.

Expert led Small Groups and Bespoke Journeys, Tailored for You

We offer a combination of tailor made journeys and expert-led small group expeditions. Some of small group journeys, such as our Whale Shark and Manta Ray Research experiences, are highly seasonal in tune with Mother Nature. Others, such as our overland North Tanzania or Sri Lanka Safaris, can operate on any date.

Wherever possible, our experiences can be tailored to suit your degree of comfort and adventure, timings and budget whether you travel alone, in the company of friends or wish to join a group. You will be able to sit with penguins in Antarctica or enjoy dolphins riding tropical waters from the bow of a yacht; watch lemurs calling across Madagascan valleys, or view Polar bears on Arctic sea ice !

Wildlife and Conservation

Aqua-Firma was conceived in 1986 and is built on many years of working as marine scientists and professionals in the world of rainforest conservation. We have a long history of providing consultancy, financial support and on-location advice on conservation and tourism projects in the Amazon, South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

We continue to invest in conservation alongside our global partners.   Some experiences are specifically designed to try to share the natural world with key species and experts who know their behaviour intimately. In terms of Marine life, our Whale Shark, Manta Ray and Humpback Whale experiences are amongst our marine favourite;s and our research experiences to Tanzania, Madagascar, Komodo and Mexico are accompanied by leading international and local researchers whose work you help to fund by joining us.

Bridging land and marine, we can take you to the Giant Leatherback and Green Turtle conservation projects we support and rainforest reserves which we help to expand through our Carbon Offset donations. For wildlife very much on land (the Firma half of our name) we take you in search of Lemurs, Mountain Gorillas, Polar Bears, Emperor Penguins, Orangutans, Chimpanzees, Big Cats and the Great Migration of the Serengeti.

Personal service, advice and support

Whenever you pick up the phone to Aqua-Firma, you can be sure you will speak to a person with passion and in-depth knowledge about the locations we travel to. Before, after and 24 hours a day whilst you are travelling, you can contact us for help and information. It's never a trouble to ask.

We are UK based, with a growing International clientele.  Our office sits in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Charlestown, Cornwall, a perfectly preserved 17th Century harbour populated by elegant tall ships and the backdrop for a long list of cinema and television productions. We invite you to come and meet the team and chat through your travel plans over a Cornish cream tea.

Our promise and your protection

We offer a personal and professional service with a promise that for any experience which is directly comparable, our prices are never beaten.   We are a fully ATOL and ABTOT bonded travel company and happy to provide flights and accommodation as a seamless financially protected package.

  • Aqua-Firma co-founder, Ralph-Pannell
  • BBC TV & Radio Presenter Mike Dilger - Ecologist, Botanist and regular presenter on the BBC One Show & most recently BBC World News
  • Julie Hanta, Trip Host & Director of our Madagascar Conservation Partner
  • Aqua-Firma Private Guide & Vehicle in Sri Lanka
  • Mangabe Forest Conservation Project, Madagascar
  • Members of the Mafia (Island) Team
  • Charlotte Caffrey, co-founder of Aqua-Firma - Marine Scientist & regular leader of Polar Voyages to the Arctic & Antarctica
  • Dr Simon Pierce, Whale Shark Research guru & Photographer / co-Founder of the Marine Megafauna Foundation
  • Dhammi in Sri Lanka - Expert Guide, Researcher & Conservationist
  • AQUA-FIRMA Whale Shark Team in Action in Mexico
  • Holly Trekking in Torres del Paine, Patagonia
  • Dr Chris Rohner Introduces Preparation of Whale Shark Skin Samples
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