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Mark Lakin is a Co-founder of Epic Road. Awarded "Top Travel Specialist" by Travel+Leisure, Mark is recognized as one of the best travel designers in the world (read his full acknowledgement and feature in Travel+Leisure's 2015 A-List Africa and Antarctica, and 2016 &  2017 A-List Japan). Mark's passion for luxury, adventure, photography and philanthropy galvanized a journey across all seven continents that continues today. Mark is a fine art travel photographer using photography as a means to document pristine landscapes, exotic animals, untouched tribal civilizations and record humanity in its most evocative moments. His inspirations include tribal culture, animal migration, extreme sports, ethnic markets, vibrant beaches, and local architecture. Mark is passionate about his non-profit work to educate Africa's youth and alleviate poverty. He serves as an active Board member of Yamba Malawi, a non-profit organization that uses donor dollars to seed small businesses in rural Africa, creating employment and a hand up. The proceeds of these business have been used to care for over 100,000 orphans over the past 10 years. He is an active Board member of World Wide Helpers, a social network that helps connect volunteers with worldwide charitable organizations offering low-cost volunteer opportunities. He also leads immersion experiences in Africa related to poverty and human rights abuses for CouldYou?, a non-profit organization that helps participants find where their individual skill sets intersect with the needs of humanity. Mark is a member of the Explorer's Club whose members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: first to the North and South Poles, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, and first to the surface of the moon. Mark's favorite travel experiences are going on a bow & arrow hunt with the Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania, sea-kayaking with the seals and whales in Antarctica, getting lost on the streets of Havana, tracking the big cats in the Serengeti, white water rafting down the Zambezi River, relaxing in the solitude of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha, gorilla trekking up the volcanoes of Rwanda, satellite collaring a cheetah and microchipping a rhino alongside field ecologists in the name of conservation, interacting and playing with wild orphaned baby elephants at a renowned rehabilitation center, giving the gift of light to a tribal community without electricity, ice climbing glaciers in the Icelandic countryside, going on expedition with modern day explorer Kingsley Holgate through Ethiopia's Omo Valley, absorbing the contrasts of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, dining in India and Japan, swimming with wild dolphins in New Zealand, herding cattle across the Namib with the Himba Tribe, trailing blue whales by zodiac off the coast of Sri Lanka, and enjoying the art, solitude and nightlife of Burning Man. Mark is regularly hired to speak at conferences, educational institutions and galas on transformative travel, conservation initiatives, humanitarian endeavors, and living a life defined by significance rather than success. He founded the Transformative Travel series at Soho House and speaks at their clubs around the world. Mark’s presence on social media allows him to share his message with over 115K people via @mark_lakin and @epicroad. You can reach him at ml@epicroad.com.

 

Marc Chafiian is a Co-founder of Epic Road. Starting a luxury experiential travel company with long-time friend Mark Lakin allowed him to pursue his dream of finding new ways for tourism to work for the benefit of the planet.  Today, Marc's vision of bringing wildlife conservation, climate change and land/marine conservation to the forefront of all travelers’ consciousness is being realized through the company’s global humanitarian and conservation initiatives. His favorite destinations include the beaches of northern Mozambique, Faru Faru Lodge in Tanzania, Mongolia, Svalbard, the Okavango Delta, Montauk and the mountains surrounding Salta in Argentina. Marc's passion for adventure travel and conservation meshes perfectly with the company’s ethos: to inspire travelers with transformational experiences that captivate, excite, and raise awareness.  His favorite travel experiences include geo-tagging, measuring and recording giant leatherback turtles as they lay eggs in the sand, sailing a traditional dhow in Mozambique, studying lion genealogy in the game rich plains of the Serengeti, tagging sharks in the name of conservation, dog-sledding and measuring glacial retreat on the rugged glaciers of the Polar Circle, and diving with bumphead parrotfish in the Indian Ocean. When not dreaming up his next adventure, he likes to spend time with his family on the water – kayaking, sailing, surfing, diving, fishing and swimming. You can reach him at mc@epicroad.com.