The Believers

Olaf Malver: Intrepid Adventurer

Dec 1, 2005
Outside Magazine


"WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL WE'RE DOING, so let's go! Let's find out what we're doing!" So says 52-year-old Danish explorer Olaf Malver, of the philosophy behind Explorers' Corner, his Berkeley, California–based travel company, which guides clients on adventure explorations around the world, from paddling in tropical Indochina to trekking in the Republic of Georgia. While larger outfitters might offer one untested itinerary a year, Malver—a 24-year adventure-industry veteran who speaks six languages and holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and a master's in law and diplomacy—is convinced that his seat-of-the-pants approach is what travelers now crave. "We're sharing the exploration with co-explorers, not just dragging them around," he says. "We don't cater. We demand involvement. Plus we've already told them that we don't know what we're doing, so when we get into trouble, they take it with a smile."