A Spirit of Adventure
Dr Dave Bomba – aka The Adventure Doctor
In Southern Africa the jungle boy (now the Adventure Doctor) was born. As a child he defied death in his encounters with black mambas and angry hippos. A few years later he sailed away to the Land of Oz in search of new adventures.
Captured by a fascination with scientific discovery he spent many years in academia working at the cutting edge of healthcare innovation. Occasionally, he would escape to the wild backcountry of Australia’s Mt. Kosciusko region or trek through some of the world’s great national parks. Luckily he escaped from his research laboratory and reclaimed the spirit of adventure, which he found after trekking across the Nullarbor to the remnants of an ancient continent known as Gondwanaland.
These days you will find him exploring the rugged coastline of West Cape Howe National Park; climbing the majestic peaks of the Stirling Ranges; bushwalking on the Bibbulmun Track; cycling the Munda Biddi Trail; or soul surfing in the Great Southern Ocean. Or, maybe you’ll just find him enjoying a nice glass of wine at one of Denmark’s many wineries, talking about past adventures and adventures yet to be had!
On the more serious side…
Dr David Bomba is the 2013 FACET Golden Guide recipient. Dr Dave, as he is known to his customers, owns and operates Out of Sight Tours in the picturesque town of Denmark in the state’s far south coast. Dave and his wife, Lenore Lyons, established Out of Sight Tours in 2007 with the aim of providing personalised ecotourism experiences in the region’s stunning wilderness areas.
Before moving to Denmark, Dr Dave worked for over ten years in the university sector as an educator and researcher working on the relationship between health, well-being and the environment. Over time, however, he grew tired of talking to an academic audience about the role that the natural environment plays in our well-being and wanted to demonstrate what he had learned in a real-life context. So Dave chose to step out of the classroom and into ecotourism – and has never looked back!
Dr Dave believes that the best way to protect the natural environment is to provide visitors with the opportunity to develop a true and meaningful connection with the places that they visit. According to Dave, the more people understand what makes a place unique, and the more opportunity they have to form a real connection with a community and its people, the more committed they are to helping to protect it.
Based on this philosophy, Dr Dave decided to establish a tour business that provides visitors to Denmark with the opportunity to gain a much deeper insight into the area’s unique landscape than is possible on a self-drive itinerary or on a mass-based tour. Research shows that visitors want to know more about the areas they visit and that traditional holiday brochures or visitor guides do little to address this thirst for knowledge. They also want to meet local people and go to places ‘off the tourist map’.
Using these criteria, Dr Dave developed a product that is much more than a ‘tour’ – it is a memorable and engaging ecotourism experience. His full-day 4WD tour to West Cape Howe National Park, the southern-most point of Western Australia, inspires visitors with its stunning landscape and unusual history. An area of unique biodiversity and a significant geo-heritage site, it is one of the few locations in Australia where the break-up of Gondwanaland is revealed in the rugged rock-face of the majestic dolerite cliffs.
Dr Dave’s commitment to the principles of ecotourism is evident throughout the tour. The business has achieved Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation and is carbon-neutral, thereby ensuring that all their activities contribute to the conservation of the region. Each tour caters to a maximum of five people, thereby enabling visitors to interact on a one-on-one basis with their professionally-trained guide who shares his expert scientific knowledge about the area’s botany, biology and geology.
Most importantly, the tour uses a customer-focused rather than a guide-focused approach to interpretation. When asked about his approach to guiding, Dr Dave said “My aim is to reveal the beauty and biodiversity of our environment through my passion and personal engagement with the customer’s own stories. This means learning about who they are, how they see the world, what they enjoy most about being outdoors, and then tailoring each and every tour to enhance their experience”.
Tailoring the tour in this way means that Dave doesn’t use prepared scripts or lengthy monologues, but seeks to genuinely engage with each and every person on tour. This approach requires a high level of concentration and enormous energy. Although Dr Dave’s tour places strong emphasis on learning about the natural world, his overall aim is to ensure that everyone enjoys themselves because, as he says “After all, they’re on holiday!”
The recipient of numerous business and tourism awards, including three Gold Medals at the WA Tourism Awards, Dr Dave cites the FACET Golden Guide award as his greatest personal achievement. “Receiving this award has been a great honour”, he said. “This award promotes excellence in tour guiding and recognises the amazing work performed by all tour guides. It’s a wonderful feeling to join the ranks of some of the state’s best guides and to know that my peers recognise and support the work that I’m doing to deliver extraordinary tourism experiences”.
Want to peak over the edge of West Cape Howe’s rugged cliff tops? Join Dr Dave on the “Experience of a Lifetime!” by visiting www.outofsighttours.com