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Saving Wildlife Through Travel to Africa

Visit wild and pristine places, and help conserve these remarkable landscapes

Conservation Safaris Build Communities

YOUR STAY HELPS SUPPORT REMOTE CULTURES WHO LIVE AMONG WILDLIFE

 

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Bushtracks and The AWF

A partnership dedicated to the wildlife, people, and wildlands of Africa

BUSHTRACKS' CONSERVATION PROGRAM

As a Bushtracks traveler you are assured of exploring some of the most wild and pristine areas in Africa where remote communities live with mega fauna and charismatic big cats – extraordinary animals and cultures that are worthy of protection. You can also be assured of visiting one of our select lodges, where your visit will help conserve these remarkable places and cultures.

On our interactive website you will find over 300 carefully selected lodges within Africa’s best wildlife and wilderness areas, in 10 different countries: South Africa; Botswana; Zambia; Zimbabwe; Namibia; Mozambique; Tanzania; Kenya, Uganda; and Rwanda. To learn more about these lodges, or to search them using our powerful filters, click here http://www.bushtracks.com/browse/accommodations 

Your visit to each of our select lodges benefits the rural communities who live in close proximity to these wildlife areas. Some of the community members work in the lodges and receive training and steady salaries. Others might grow and sell vegetables to the lodge, work for anti-poaching units, or benefit from local schools and clinics or other projects driven by the lodge.

We also work with lodges that respect the culture of their employees and the rural communities surrounding the wildlife areas. For this reason we always encourage our guests to engage with these modern Africans and learn about their amazing traditions and lifestyles.

Bushtracks also has a significant partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), and owners David and Carolyn Tett are Council members of the Board. AWF, together with the African people, ensure the wildlife and wild lands of Africa will endure. We believe that it is simply not enough to protect single species or individual pieces of land, that we must take a more holistic approach which works at the "landscape level". For this reason AWF embraces large landscapes and wildlife corridors, and implements a variety of efforts that conserve land, protect species, and empower people.

ON YOUR NEXT SAFARI, CONSIDER OUR CONSERVATION LODGES

Your visit to any of our select lodges and camps will benefit the rural communities who live in close proximity to these wildlife areas. Some of the community members work in the lodges and receive ongoing training and steady salaries. Others might grow and sell vegetables to the lodge, work for anti-poaching units, or benefit from local schools and clinics or other projects driven by the lodge. Here is a list of our seven favorite conservation lodges which have made a positive impact in their regions, and illustrate how these successful business ventures can provide rural communities with economic incentives to conserve wildlife, and their natural surroundings and cultural heritage.


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SAVING AFRICAN WILDLIFE THROUGH TRAVEL

Born and raised in Africa, Bushtracks' owners Carolyn and David Tett create authentic safari experiences based on six generations of African heritage.

For more than 24 years, their family-owned business has sent thousands of international travelers to Africa, supporting the top wildlife conservation lodges on the continent, and helping ensure their individual successes deliver economic benefits to their respective rural communities, who in turn protect their wildlife assets.  

As a company specializing in custom, private safaris to Africa, they will create safaris tailored to your preferred dates of travel, pace, interests and activities. They also have 7 of their favorite safaris listed below, that include some of the best conservation lodges in Africa, and help save Africa’s wildlife through travel.



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Meet Our Conservation Experts

Born and raised in Africa, and after 24 years in the safari business, David and Carolyn have been blessed with wonderful relationships and friendships with some of Africa’s best advocates, travelers, visionaries, guides, conservationists, and owners of exceptional lodges and private reserves. Here are a few of our extraordinary people who work with us closely and care about Africa:

Craig-Sholley-African-Wildlife-AssociationCraig Sholley

Craig’s experiences with wildlife and conservation began in 1973 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire. As an L.S.B. Leakey grant researcher in the late 1970’s, Craig studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey and, in 1987, became director of Rwanda’s Mountain Gorilla Project, of which African Wildlife Foundation was a sponsor. He became a full-time employee of AWF in 2001 and now serves as Vice President for Philanthropy and Marketing. The world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in three countries spanning four national parks – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National ParkRead Craig's Latest Articles >>

Sue_McConnell_-_Larger_2Susan McConnell

Susan McConnell is a conservation photographer, neurobiologist, and Professor of Biology at Stanford University. She has traveled extensively in southern and eastern Africa, where she has photographed wildlife and worked with conservationists to promote biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources. Through her photography Susan strives to connect people with their natural heritage and stimulate a commitment to conservation. Her images have appeared in Stanford Magazine, Nature’s Best Photography, Outdoor Photographer, Expressions, Currents, and the American Kennel Club Gazette. Notably, her photographs of elephants in Namibia were featured as a cover story in Smithsonian magazine and one of these was exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Read Susan's Latest Articles >>

david-bristow-africaDavid Bristow

David Bristow is a Bushtracks' Specialist Guide based in Cape Town. For 13 years David edited Africa’s leading travel magazine Getaway, and his colleagues dubbed him “the walking enviropedia.” Now a freelance writer, he continues to share this knowledge, primarily through storytelling. He is an environmental scientist and has written some 20 books that focus on the natural environment, culture and history of the region. His specific focus is the history of the Cape, its peoples, cultures, politics and how the natural environment has influenced human development there. The geological (including paleontological) and archeological record are among his abiding interests. Read David's Lasted Articles >>

 

Cheryl-Dybas_082909-Bushtracks-ExpeditionsCheryl Lyn Dybas

Science journalist, and Bushtracks guest blogger, Cheryl Lyn Dybas brings her passion for African wildlife and conservation to many publications, including Africa Geographic, Natural History, BBC Wildlife, BioScience, The Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, and National Wildlife.  She is also the winner of a National Magazine Award-Canada; a contributing editor for Natural History magazine; and a contributing writer for Oceanography magazine.  She is a featured speaker on science journalism and conservation biology at universities, scientific societies, and other venues. Read Cheryl's Latest Articles >> 

 



Richard-Knocker-Serengeti-Migration-Bushtracks-ExpeditionsRichard Knocker

Richard Knocker has been a professional guide and camp manager for 22 years, has led trips all over Africa, and has worked as a specialist guide for Bushtracks. He speaks English and is fluent in Kiswahili, French and Turkish. A passionate birder and botanist, he considers himself a privileged observer and here shares his thoughts on the Great Migration. Read Richard's Latest Articles >> 

 


Ken_ZarabaKen Zaremba

With a special interest in wildlife and nature, photographer and Bushtracks’ guest blogger Ken Zaremba has traveled the world and enjoys sharing his adventures through photography. Most of his photo trips now are into the jungles and wilderness in pursuit of all things wild. Nature and all its creatures hold a special fascination for Ken, as do the people of remote places. After retiring from over 35 years in software systems engineering, Ken has spent the last twelve years capturing photographic images from over sixty countries on seven continents. Read Ken's Latest Articles >> 



shirly_and_bob_sandersonShirley & Bob Sanderson

Bob and Shirley booked their first custom safari - a group trip up the Great Rift Valley in a DC-3 - after talking with David Tett about Africa at a UC Berkeley Alumni travel reception in 1999. Thirteen safaris later, they say they intend to keep going on African luxury safaris forever!

The Sandersons have traveled on several Bushtracks cultural trips to Africa and India, including North Africa and the Great Sahara and Casablanca to the Cape. We've taken them to Timbuktu three times and arranged a sunrise photo shoot of the pyramids at Meroe, Sudan. Several countries on these trips can no longer be visited, so we're glad to have been a part of their "go while we can" travel strategy.




shirly_and_bob_sandersonFiesta Warinwa

Growing up in the Equitoria region of South udan, a land once abundant in wildlife before civil war, the seeds for a career in wildlife were planted early. Fiesta began her career with African Wildlife Foundation in 1999 as an intern until being hired full time as a Landscape Conservation Officer. Fiesta spent several years directing AWF’s Samburu Heartland and later moved on to direct AWF’s program in the Kilimanjaro Heartland. Fiesta now oversees all of AWF’s program implementation activities for Kenya, including Kilimanjaro, Samburu, and Mau Forest. Fiesta holds an M.S. in wildlife conservation and management from University of Reading, UK.

Bushtracks & the African Wildlife Foundation

AWF (African WIldlife Foundation) and Bushtracks Expeditions have been partners for over a decade. Founded by AWF Council members, David and Carolyn Tett, Bushtracks has crafted numerous independent safaris for AWF’s members and trustees.

Born and raised in Africa, Carolyn and David can create authentic safari experiences based on six generations of African heritage. Bushtracks is family-owned and operated, with safari experts and offices in both Africa and the U.S., and they will create safaris allowing you to explore the stunning continent of Africa at your own pace, choosing your own dates, destinations, and companions — and they can build in visits to AWF landscapes and projects along the way so you can see AWF in action. Learn more about our African Wildlife Foundation safaris here.

David-TettDavid Tett
Founder & President

David is a sixth-generation Southern African, born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, later earning a Bachelor of Science degree in DNA technology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  He founded Bushtracks  expeditions in 1989 and has been traveling extensively throughout Africa for more than 45 years. Combining his interest in ecosystems, David develops educational programs that include traditional cultures and wildlife. 

 


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Carolyn Tett
Co-Founder & Owner

Carolyn’s family has lived on the West Coast of the U.S. for six generations. She attended the University of California, Berkeley and, during her junior year, she studied at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. While in the U.K, Carolyn met a charming and adventurous Zimbabwean, David Tett, who captivated her heart and instilled in her the fascination and thrill of travel, which they still share today. Many years, countless trips to Africa and two children later, Carolyn serves as the bridge between American sensibilities and David's grass-roots understanding of Africa. 

Featured Conservation Safaris

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Namibia's Desert & Cheetah Safari

Explore the dunes of Sossusvlei and the awesome space of the Namib Desert, counted as the oldest desert in the world. Sossusvlei is Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert. Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 300 metres, the highest in the world. Only after a heavy rainfall, which is a rare event in the Namib Desert, does the vlei fill with water.

As the clay layers hardly allow any water infiltration, a turquoise lake will remain for quite some time. Wildlife here is fascinating in its adaptation to the harsh conditions. Guests are thrilled to see springbok, gemsbok, ostrich, bat-eared fox, the rarely seen aardwolf and many small fauna.



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DAPHNE SHELDRICK ELEPHANT SAFARI

Enrich your safari experience with visits to passionate projects dedicated to elephant conservation – the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust -- the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world, and the Save the Elephants project led by renowned elephant expert Dr. Iain-Douglas Hamilton. This conservation safari takes you to 3 of Kenya’s iconic national parks – Tsavo East, Samburu, and the Masai Mara where you will see Africa’s big cats, migrating herds, and the world’s most intelligent and sensitive animal – the African elephant. Enjoy interactive elephant experiences at the Daphne Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi, and their Ithumba facility in Tsavo East, and stay at Elephant Watch camp in Samburu National Reserve run by Oria Douglas-Hamilton and her team of Samburu warriors.

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UGANDA'S GORILLAS, CHIMPS & BIG GAME

The world’s 900 remaining mountain gorillas live in three countries in four national parks – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park. 

For the wildlife enthusiast, a safari to Uganda's montane forests to trek for these rare and majestic mountain gorillas is a lifetime experience. But the neat aspect of Uganda is you can combine these extraordinary gorilla experiences with Kibale National park’s tropical forests - home to chimps and 13 species of primates, and Queen Elizabeth National park where you can see big herds of hippos, elephants, and buffalo, as well as unique antelope species such as Uganda kob and sitatunga.  


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GREAT WHITE SHARKS AND THE BIG FIVE

The role of the apex predator in an ecosystem cannot be underestimated, and the great white is no exception. The depletion of sharks is likely to destabilize marine ecosystems and affect prey species in ways that cannot be predicted. To see these majestic predators up close is another lifetime experience not to be missed. This safari offers an easy, safe cage diving experience in the best great white habitat in the world – False bay near Cape Town, South Africa.

You will also get up close to the big five including elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes, as well as Africa’s other famous apex predators – lions, leopards, and cheetahs in the private reserves of Mashatu, Botswana and Mala Mala in Kruger National park. 

 

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BOTSWANA LIONS, LEOPARDS & CHEETAHS

The cheetah’s lean build gives it the speed that makes it famous, but this unique physique means they struggle to live alongside bigger cats such as lions in the national parks. Cheetahs therefore live mostly on non-protected land surrounded by farmers and sharing this land often results in human-wildlife conflict. But there is one park in Botswana where cheetahs thrive and have the space to compete with other predators, and that is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

This safari takes you there where you can see cheetahs in the wild alongside black manned Kalahari lions. It also takes you to the Okavango Delta and Chobe National park where sightings of lions and leopards are excellent, as well as herds of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, and many species of antelopes.