Bushtracks Expeditions was founded by the Tetts, whose family goes back six generations in Africa. For you this means an authentic safari experience, planned by African insiders who are closely connected to the places, camps, and guides of Africa. These are wild places they know intimately - natural ecosystems with safari camps set in the best wildlife locations, and true to their African roots and traditions. Traveling with Bushtracks means you are introduced to hosts, guides and African personalities the Tetts have known for decades, who have a passion for living amongst wildlife, a dedication to conservation, and a spirit of sharing Africa’s magic. The photos below from the Tett family albums best chronicle a relationship with Africa that began six generations ago, and continues on with the next generation."
It all began in 1866 when Joseph Hamilton Barry (shown above with nephews), a wine merchant, was sent from London to Cape Town, South Africa on behalf of the family business. He settled in Swellendam and built an empire that began with shipping grain on the "Duke of Gloucester."
S.S. Kadie on the Breede River, South Africa
Four generations later David Tett's grandfather Michael Hamilton Barry, a Rhodes Scholar and Oxford law graduate, moved from the Cape in South Africa to Bulawayo, the capital of Rhodesia (which became Zimbabwe in 1980). He married Phyllis Hopkins who was born and raised in Bulawayo, and became a founding partner of the law firm Webb, Louw and Barry. Michael was an avid outdoorsman. He owned large tracts of wildlands in the Tuli block and Matebeleland where he took his grandchildren, the Tett boys on safari adventures during the school holidays.
From left, back row: MIchael, Jennifer and John Barry. Matopos family farm, Rhodesia (now ZImbabwe).
The Natal Mercury: One of (South Africa) Natal’s first (WWII) evacuee children arrives in Durban from England. He is 10-year-old Michael Robert Tett who traveled 6,000 miles to stay with his aunt and uncle, Mrs. R. C. Clephan, of the Ixopo district. Michael, whose parents have never discussed the war with him, does not know that he has been evacuated and he regards the whole trip as a holiday. One of his first activities in Durban was to jump into a rikshaw and ride around town. He was keenly interested in the Zulu words he heard and was delighted when the rikshaw puller bucked.
Refugee is the one word in the English language which Michael disliked. When some well-meaning person called him a refugee he replied, "I refuse to be called a refugee. It is an ugly word and I don't like it." He described his wartime voyage out from England as "very exciting...with sports all the way."
Michael's home is in Chiselhurst, Kent, where he had left behind a baby brother. His one ambition during his visit to South Africa is to learn to shoot. During his short stay in Durban, he spent a considerable amount of time taking his uncle up and down elevators, for which he had an "inordinate passion." Since his arrival, Michael has not mentioned the war, and his only comment on hostilities was "is there any chance of the Germans coming here?"
After graduating in law at Cambridge University, Michael returned to Rhodesia and married the Tett’s mother, Jennifer Barry who, like her mother was born and raised in Bulawayo. They had four boys, Nicholas, Adrian, David, and Christopher.
Michael Robert Tett, England
From a very early age, Jennifer and Michael Tett would take their four sons on extended camping safaris to the Makgadikadi Salt Pans and the Okavango delta in Botswana, and Hwange, Mana Pools, Gonarehezou, and Chizarrira National Parks in Zimbabwe. These were the days when safari lodges did not exist, so they would set off in an old Series I Landrover hauling a trailer stuffed with canvas tents and equipment that would support them in the bush for two to three weeks at a time. They walked through game rich savannas led by their father, armed with an old 303 rifle and a curiosity to learn about the African bush. Unknowingly these childhood expeditions led by Michael and Jennifer Tett were laying the foundation for Bushtracks Expeditions, formed in 1991 by David Tett, his wife Carolyn, and his two brothers Nicholas and Christopher.
David, Adrian and Christopher in a scotch cart. Matopos family farm. Rhodesia,1970's
David and Carolyn Tett. Okavango Delta Flying Safari. Botswana, 1990's
The Tett cousins: Alex, Porter, Sebastian, Angus, and Venetia. Victoria Falls, Zambia