Asher Burke had described Kenya as “the closest thing on Earth to heaven, a transcendent experience.”Courtesy Brett Stapper
Kenya helicopter crash is tragic end to young entrepreneur’s ‘ultimate experiences’ dream
Asher Burke “lived with fearless courage and a passion for experiencing all of life’s adventures,” his family said.
By Mac William Bishop, Caroline Radnofsky and Gabe Joselow
Americans Asher Burke, Brandon Stapper, Kyle Forti and David Baker died in a helicopter crash on an island in Kenya’s Lake Turkana on Sunday, along with local pilot Mario Magonga.
Asher Burke first traveled to a lodge in Kenya six months ago with his girlfriend. The experience changed his life, and he wanted to share it with others.
The San Diego native decided he would try to set up a company offering “ultimate experiences” for globe-trotting young entrepreneurs: people like himself.
The core of the idea was to offer helicopter safaris in Kenya, based around the lodge he had stayed in at Lake Turkana.
Burke returned to Kenya and bought a share in a camping lodge. He partnered with locals, including at a helicopter tour company, and set out to build his dream.
A serial entrepreneur, Burke set out to prove the concept, drawing upon his close-knit circle of friends based in Southern California and from among like-minded acquaintances with a thirst for exploring the world.
Among these were his childhood friends: Kyle Forti and two brothers, Brandon and Brett Stapper. They were joined by another entrepreneur, David Baker, from Coronado, California.
Burke billed the adventures as organic, immediate and intense: flying in small helicopters across the African landscape without a concrete itinerary, stopping along the way anywhere and everywhere participants wanted, to “explore Africa in this incredible way,” Brett Stapper told NBC News.READ MORE