Keawe Adventures was started in 2008 by Hawaii born and raised, Makani Christensen. Makani felt Hawaii lacked in providing tourists an intimate, personal, and embracing connection to Hawaii's diversely-rich culture. Upon returning to Hawaii from his combat services, Makani decided to provide that local perspective to the tourism industry with the real stories from the people who live it and the knowledge passed-down from their families. A waterman all his life, he began his company with a focus on watersports and fishing activities, eventually providing all types of fun and educational tours to local, mainland, and international clients.
Makani CHRISTENSEN, CAPTAIN (MARINES)
Born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, Makani has developed the majority of the tours based on how he grew up on the island of Hawaii. His way of life consists of snorkeling, fishing, surfing, hiking, hunting, camping and spending time with his young family.
After studying at Kamehameha Secondary School, Makani graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He then entered the military as a Marine Officer, where he served his country for 5 years with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. After receiving the Joint Service Commendation medal, Makani was honorably discharged in 2008.
Along with his Bachelor of Science in Oceanography and his strong Hawaiian genealogy, Makani’s love for the land and sea is what inspired him to start his own business. It is here where Makani finds true joy; sharing with others about Hawaii’s history, culture, and ocean environment.
A Native from Hilo, Hawaii, Kahana is our lead guide and the General Manager of Keawe Adventures. He is a graduate of the Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus and spent a few years living in Asia as a young adult. He is also wise in holistic healing as a graduate of the World Acupuncture Academy.
Kahana is an expert hiker with years of experience throughout the island chain. He has completed most of the hikes on Oahu including a 5 day trek across the Koolau Mountains. Additionally, he is a skilled waterman who conducts most of our surf lessons, stand-up paddle tours, and spear fishing adventures. Kahana is revered as one our best Pearl Harbor and Island Guides.
Chris was born in Florida and moved to Hawaii to take up surfing full time. He surfed professionally for a few years and transitioned to the North Shore hotel industry, holding various sales-related jobs. Deeply involved in the community, he knows many people throughout the islands and enjoys being the owner of an ocean-sporting event, The North Shore Swim Series.
Chris started the North Shore Swim Series about 20 years ago, which runs from May through August attracting thousands people from around the world. His can do attitude and attention to detail continues to inspire athletes and Keawe Adventures clients from around the world. If you have a chance to book a tour with Chris, you will not be disappointed.
This guy knows his Hawaiian History! When Kiliona came to work for Keawe Adventures a few years ago, his transition into the tourism industry was a seamless, perfect fit. Known as the "Gentle Giant," he is the true meaning of professional aloha.
A Polynesian Native, he also spent many years living among the Native American tribes of the United States before returning to Hawaii to pursue his university degree in Hawaiian History. Additionally, Kiliona was trained in olympic swimming, is active in ancient Hawaiian Awa Ceremonies, and is one of the most requested guides at Keawe Adventures.
FERNANDO, STAFF SGT RETIRED (ARMY)
He served in the Army and fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his career he deployed 5 times into harms way. Fernando held the rank of Staff Sergeant during his career and held many positions during his career. He was assigned to the the 10th Mountain Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. Unfortunately he was medically retired in 2015, after proudly serving 12 years in the army. He is currently attending the University of Hawaii for his Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering. Fernando is one of our most seasoned veterans and a subject matter expert in military history. He is also our dive master and hiking guide.
TONY, SENIOR CHIEF RETIRED (NAVY)
Senior Chief Petty Officer Tony Chance is great tour guide, community leader and father. Tony is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan where he lead sailors in the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of Forward Operating Bases, schools, and community centers. His leadership helped the overall mission of his unit and the overall success of our country.
“some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world.” -Ronal Reagan Tony doesn’t have that problem!
Tony has made a difference in the world and now is making a huge difference in out community. With a shoe string budget, an idea and passion he started a community organization Hui O Ho’ohonua, which focuses on the complete restoration of of Pu’uloa (Pearl Harbor). They recently secured half a million from the City and County of Honolulu to help restore a small peninsula and historic site at Pearl Harbor-Kapapapuhi Point Park.
As a veteran, Tony has also dedicated his time to helping veterans transition into civilian life. He has worked and volunteered with many of the Veteran Organizations to include: The Vet Center, Wounded Warrior Project, The Naval Academy Alumni Association of Hawaii, and more. His desire and passion to help lead him to pursue and obtain a masters degree from the University of Hawaii in Social Work.
NANCI, TOUR GUIDE
Nanci Comes to Keawe Adventures with 10 years of experience in the tour industry. Conducting thousands of tours throughout Oahu, with a smile. Friendliness, honesty, and attention to detail are her strongest traits.
Nanci Specializes in Pearl Harbor and Island tours. With almost a year at Keawe Adventures, she has single handily gotten more great Trip Advisor reviews than any other employee. She puts maximum effort into each tour she conducts, and the proof is in the reviews.
OLAV HOLST, TOUR GUIDE AND HISTORIAN
Olav Holst is a military historian and retired US Army officer. He served as a Combat Engineer and a Civil Affairs officer. He also taught Military Science at the University of Hawaii. He enjoys studying the WW2 Pacific theater of operations and particularly the Pearl Harbor attack. Olav graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in International Business. He also graduated from the Pacific Asian Management Institute and the University of Hawaii Real Estate Appraisal School.
Olav has enjoyed taking people to Pearl Harbor since 1999 and been involved with telling its history. He scripted and narrated a Telly award winning documentary on Pearl Harbor for Chariot Productions. He helped create a two-hour documentary for the History Channel, appeared in and narrated the PBS documentary for the Old Glory Honor Flight to Pearl Harbor. He has spoken for the National Park Service during the 70thAnniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack Symposium. He also worked with the National Geographic Society for a special Pearl Harbor tour. He conducted press briefings for Disney’s Pearl Harbor movie. He assisted NBC for their broadcast special during the 60th Anniversary and appeared in other television programs such as Chuck Henry’s Travel Café. Olav also worked with Electronic Arts and Entertainment for their Medal of Honor Rising Sun game.