Being the co-founder of the first luxury safari company in Asia is not something most investment bankers can brag about at a business lunch. Victor Dizon had dedicated 15 years in the banking industry before he ventured on a shared passion with a Wall Street buddy in 2002 and started A2A Safari. In its first decade, the company anchored its business exclusively through African safaris. After a few years, it had expanded its purview to Antartica and Latin America.
What makes A2A Safari one of a kind is its tailor-made attention to its clients. This is perhaps Dizon’s most impressive contribution to his trade. His company is known for mapping each of its travel plans on the personal tastes and financial blueprint of its patrons—the ultimate goal being to plan and plot out a journey of a lifetime.
Coming from a profession of calculated risks-takers is a useful advantage for someone who travels for work and pleasure simultaneously. Dizon’s key to success rests between passion and practicality. He keeps one eye out for new destinations, and another on the market growth. A2A Safari sets its course to more exotic places in Asia in the near future.
Which cities or towns had the most impact on you?
Tons. Havana was amazing. I spent my birthday there last year. Others are Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, London and Cape Town.
Every place has an authentic identity (beyond the tourism commercials and slogans). How do you discover this identity?
By exploring the place yourself. Also, don’t rely on bucket lists or the internet. And unplug.
Which is the most exotic place you’ve been in?
The Kunene Region bordering Angola and Namibia. We met the Himbas, a Nomadic African tribe, living off the land in the desert. They told my wife that she was the first yellow person they saw. I guess they found us just as exotic as we found them.
What are your top 3 favorite destinations so far and what makes these places special to you?
Africa, Latin America and Europe—wilderness, culture and food.
Which place would you recommend people to visit for architecture? For food? For peace of mind? For love?
Architecture: Brazil, Japan, Morocco
Food: Italy, Japan, Portugal, Mexico
Peace of mind: Namibia, Bolivia, Patagonia
Love: The beaches of the Philippines
Give us your best travel anecdote.
My wife almost divorced me on our honeymoon. I took her to Zimbabwe for our honeymoon and we got into a very sticky situation with a canoe and some hippos. Needless to say we survived to tell the tale. This tale is best told with copious amounts of wine some other time.
This article first appeared in Vault Magazine Issue No. 24 2018.