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Exploring Table Mountain

"I always loved discovering new places with my mother in South Africa" - David Tett

The Tett Boys in the 1960's

The brothers prepare for their next adventure back home in Rhodesia

The Tett Brothers

2015 Family Reunion in Mashatu, Botswana

African Safaris are in Our DNA

The Tetts' Grandfather Starts the Safari Tradition in Southern Africa 

A 25-Year Love Affair

With African Travel and a passion for sharing the safari lifestyle

Safari Traditions

The Tett's on their annual trip to Africa in December 2013

Family Reunion at Vic Falls

The California and Zambia Tetts on a yearly holiday in Southern Africa

PLAN YOUR SAFARI WITH AFRICANS


6 Generations of African Heritage

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."

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1ST GENERATION IN AFRICA: THE BARRY FAMILY SWELLENDAM, SOUTH AFRICA, 1800’S

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."

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S.S. Kadie on the Breede River, South Africa

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4TH GENERATION: THE TETT GRANDPARENTS RHODESIA, EARLY 1900'S

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.

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 From left, back row: MIchael, Jennifer and John Barry. Matopos family farm, Rhodesia (now ZImbabwe).

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5TH GENERATION: THE TETT PARENTS RHODESIA, 1940'S

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.


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Michael Robert Tett, England

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6TH GENERATION: THE TETT BROTHERS RHODESIA, 1970'S

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.

 

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David, Adrian and Christopher in a scotch cart. Matopos family farm. Rhodesia,1970's

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6TH GENERATION: STARTING BUSHTRACKS EXPEDITIONS ZIMBABWE,1990'S

When Carolyn and David got married in 1991, they went to Zimbabwe and Botswana for their honeymoon. David borrowed his brother’s (very) old Landrover and they drove from Bulawayo, through Hwange National Park to Victoria Falls. Then on to Chobe National Park in Botswana, following fire breaks (not roads) into Linyanti and Selinda plains. They got lost in Botswana’ wildlife savannas, used the Chobe river to guide them, came across anti-poaching units in the middle of the night, and started an adventure of a life time that still permeates their company Bushtracks and its daily safari operations.

 

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David and Carolyn Tett. Okavango Delta Flying Safari. Botswana, 1990's

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7TH GENERATION: THE TETT KIDS ZAMBIA AND CALIFORNIA, 2000'S TO TODAY

Today, David’s brother Christopher Tett, his wife Samantha and their three kids live on a family farm upstream from the Victoria Falls, on the banks of the Zambezi river. The farm is adjacent to the Mosi-o-Tunya National park in Zambia, so buffalo can often be seen as you head down the driveway, and it is a favorite place for herds of elephants to cross the river between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Christopher heads up Bushtracks Africa which operates the largest fleet of safari vehicles in the region with offices in Livingstone, Kasane, Victoria Falls, and Johannesburg, and employs over 50 African staff and guides.

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The Tett cousins: Alex, Porter, Sebastian, Angus, and Venetia. Victoria Falls, Zambia