NADIA ECKHARDT, Founder and President
Nadia Eckhardt was born in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa. She lives in Seattle today, but still calls the Cape “home.” She has traveled to all seven continents and more than 125 countries, and plans on exploring a lot more with Expedition Easy and Africa Easy. Nadia is well-versed in many adventure destinations across the globe, from Antarctica and the Arctic, to the Galapagos Islands and Japan, and places throughout the diverse African continent. She divides her time between leading safaris and expeditions, and planning trips for travelers with colleagues in her Seattle office.
Her travel career began in the early 80’s, exploring the Indian Ocean islands, Seychelles, and Madagascar. In 1989, she boarded her first expedition ship (Society Explorer) as shopkeeper and zodiac driver in Bali, Indonesia, and from that moment on, she was hooked on adventure travel. For 30 years now, Nadia has worked extensively on expedition vessels for the top U.S. Tour Operators: Zegrahm, Lindblad, Abercrombie & Kent and Silversea. Nadia is a veteran Tour & Safari Leader, Cruise Director, and Shore Excursion Manager. She is actively involved in shore excursions for the leading expedition companies on exceptional programs along the African coasts and to fascinating places such as Cuba. Nadia combines her destination knowledge and experience, as well as her passion for travel to ensure others have extraordinary adventures to remote corners.c
ASHLEY CARVER, Document Manager
Ashley has always had a great love for and interest in travel and wildlife for as far back as she can remember. This love for wildlife is what prompted her to plan a ‘bucket list’ 25-day safari to Southern Africa in 2010, using Africa Easy as her Travel Specialist. The trip included city touring and safari in South Africa, as well as a visit to Livingstone, Zambia, to see the mighty Victoria Falls. After visiting Southern Africa, she was hooked and decided to change her career focus to emphasize travel, tourism, and wildlife. She reached out to Nadia Eckhardt for work, knowing that she could 100 percent support the product having first-hand experience as a client.
She came to the company with 14 years in the hospitality industry and a strong background in customer service, event coordination, office management, and operational management. Ashley has found her place on the team as Document Manager, responsible for pre-departure and final documents. She has since returned to the African continent for an East Africa safari. She explored Kenya in 2013 on an educational tour of the country, where she experienced a hot-air balloon ride above the Masai Mara. Ashley also visited the beautiful city of Amsterdam where she fell in love with its traditional Dutch architecture and picturesque canals. Most recently in 2015, Ashley explored across the island nation of Cuba, from Havana and Trinidad to Santiago de Cuba.
LYNDA MURPHY, Program Manager
A native of the Jersey Shore, Lynda’s love of the outdoors led her to the Pacific Northwest where she has become well acquainted with adventure travel since 1994. Lynda has worked in many capacities in the travel industry, including as in-house airline coordinator, scouting new destinations, on-site air/land logistics coordinator, cruise director, land-based expedition leader, onboard services manager, and program manager. Lynda has traveled around the globe to all seven continents, visited over 70 countries, and has worked aboard various expedition vessels. She also has led many land-based expedition adventures to the north, south, east, and western coasts of Africa, including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, and Cape Verde Islands. Her passion for travel, and her industry knowledge makes Lynda a great asset to the team.
ILSE DE VILLIERS, Accounts
Ilse was born in beautiful Namibia, and raised in South Africa. She studied at the University of Stellenbosch, and worked in the financial industry in Cape Town. After many vacation hours spent in South Africa’s Kruger region, the bush is part of her make-up. The warm tropical waters and sandy beaches of KwaZulu-Natal also remain a favorite holiday destination of Ilse’s to this day. Seattle has been her family’s home since 2000, where Ilse has been involved in the local school, travel and service lending communities, and recently started a social venture with a close friend. She joined Africa Easy in 2010, where she contributes an incredible combination of Africa knowledge and business skills. Ilse has traveled to various countries in Africa, Europe and the Americas.