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John Spence

WANDERLUST John Spence is San Diego’s go-to guy to arrange a one-of-a-kind vacation.


Tripping Out

By Kayleigh Donahue Hodes

Photography by Cameron Gardner


John Spence’s Aardvark Safaris merges with United Kingdom’s luxe travel firm, Scott Dunn.

Only seven years after expanding Aardvark to Solana Beach, Spence has opted to sell the U.S. portion of his company to international travel giant Scott Dunn—all with the goal of finally fulfilling his clients’ global dreams. “The opportunity to join Scott Dunn gave us the team and business know-how necessary to provide the kind of service and trips our clients are used to… but on the global level that they’ve been asking for,” Spence says, nodding to the U.K. company’s success.

Longtime Aardvark patrons will be happy to see familiar faces, including Spence’s, in the new Scott Dunn office. “I personally called our 1000-plus clients to make sure they knew we weren’t being swallowed up by a bigger machine,” he explains. “[Joining together with] Scott Dunn is simply filling the gaps.”

In addition to the African adventures of years past, local jet-setters will now be able to book anything from a private polo match in Rajasthan to truffle hunting in France. All they have to do is call Spence—it’s now in his command. 

Private guides, skiing in Europe, unoaked chardonnay, book clubs

Beards, group tours, designer luggage, shopping malls