Meet the Team
Behind the quality of Soar Excursions is a team of professionals who are passionate about travel, photography and sustainable development initiatives. Between them, they carry years of experience of traveling through uncharted terrains, little visited domains of the natural world and learning about many communities that they meet. They use their personal expertise to provide a uniquely different travel experience.
Aditya is a qualified wildlife biologist working in the field of wildlife and conservation since 2000. He has extensively travelled in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya-Pradesh during his work on critically endangered vultures. Currently he is pursuing his PhD on toxicology of vultures from Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore. He has worked with Bombay Natural History Society and Wildlife Institute of India for research projects on Vultures, Flamingos and Asiatic Wild-Ass. His papers and articles on vultures have been published in national and international journals. He has been into wildlife photography since 7 years and photographed over 350 species of birds across India. His photographs have been published in many books and photography magazines.
As a naturalist and tour leader he has led many birding, wildlife and adventure tours in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Western Ghats, South India and Central India. He has assisted National Geographic, Animal Planet and BBC in different documentaries. He is well acquainted with habitat, ecology and biodiversity of these regions. Aditya has excellent communication skills in English, Hindi and Gujarati. He also holds a great experience in handling large groups for camping activity.
A qualified Chemical Engineer, Niyati is extremely passionate about nature and cultural heritage. She chose to go with her passion for traveling and has been doing travel photography for a few years. Niyati has a good knowledge of culture, architecture and social history of many regions of India. She has been leading special tours for groups of diverse interests such as textiles, monuments, indigenous communities, etc. She also holds a great experience in handling large groups for camping activity. She has a deep interest in social justice movements, cultural heritage, and conservation of the environment. She has been leading experiential learning programs with several American schools.
Niyati has assisted and facilitated as field work co-ordinator for various experiential study abroad programs on the subjects of Urban Planning and Rethinking Food Security. She works with various american schools as the Program Coordinator for the Spring and Summer Experiential and Experimental learning programs. She has assisted leading newspaper journalists from national and international media as well as students of architecture and textile designing for socio-political, textile and monuments tours. Niyati has excellent communication skills in English, Hindi, and Gujarati. She is a very good interpreter while interacting with various tribal and ethnic groups.
Pavan is a student of commerce with deep passion for wildlife and nature. As a professional mountaineer, he has lead various bike and bicycle tours as well as trekking tours for Soar Excursions. He has extensively travelled to wildlife reserves and important birding sites all across India and Bhutan. His volunteering with various wildlife rescue and nature education organizations marked the beginning of his lifelong passion for nature. He has photographed over 500 species of birds and many species of insects, reptiles & mammals. Various books and photography magazines have published his photographs. Gifted with keen eye and an impressive presence of mind makes Pavan a good spotter and interpreter. He has worked on projects related to Indian Wild Ass, Vulture Conservation, Cranes and Flamingos as well as assisted various travel journalists. He has good communication skills in English, Gujarati and Hindi.
Sonal Mehta is the Executive Director of Eklavya Foundation since 2001 works as social activist and action researcher for past 30 years. She is associated with Soar Excursions as senior advisor for the Experiential Learning Programs. She teaches Humanities as visiting faculty at CEPT University, Ahmedabad for past 20 years. She has been India Country coordinator of several comparative and experiential Study Abroad programs offered by International Honors Program, SIT, World Learning, USA since 2008. These programs include Beyond Globalization: People, Nature and Politics; Cities in the 21st century: People, Planning and Politics; and Rethinking Food Security: People, Agriculture and Politics during Spring and Fall semesters. She has designed and coordinated the program of Experiment in International Living as Vacation Abroad for Maret High School, Washington D C in 2012, 2014 & 2016 and for the St. Paul Academy High School, Minneapolis, USA in 2016, 2017. She has mentored several Cooperative organizations of Women and Indigenous tribal communities of Gujarat state, India for social, cultural and economic development. She has established training and production centers for developing sustainable and craft based products from mud, bamboo and other natural materials to provide livelihood to marginalized youth belonging to most vulnerable indigenous communities. She has worked as coordinator of Rehabilitation programs on behalf of major consortiums of development organizations post earthquake of 2001 and post Tsunami 2004. As a qualified Physicist, she worked as Science Collaborator and Science Educationist with Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Center from 1985-2001and as Research Fellow at Space Application Center, ISRO from 1980-84. She was awarded Shastri Indo-Canadian Fellowship for conducting filed research on Environmental movements and the First Nation communities in Canada during the year 1994. She has been invited to several international seminars, symposiums and academic meetings in Germany, UK, Mexico and USA.
Educated in Environmental Studies, Vishal is deeply involved in natural history and conservation. Having assisted in numerous research projects on wolf, Sarus cranes, crocodiles, Odonates, vultures, flamingos etc. with reputed organizations like Wildlife Institute of India, Bombay Natural History Society, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Voluntary Nature Conservancy etc., Vishal is adept with the traits and behavioral patterns of many species in Gujarat. His key interest is in understanding etymology of birds, reptiles and arachnids in different habitats of Gujarat. Born and brought up in Kheda district an important wetland region of Gujarat, Vishal has spent about 14 years observing crakes, bitterns, raptors, warblers and water birds. He is an excellent spotter and a great company to be with during your birding trip.
Where to find us
3rd Floor, Kanuj, 2, Municipal Housing Society, Opp. Loyola High School, Memnagar, Ahmedabad – 380052 GUJARAT
+91 98 79 754204