JUNE 20 - JULY 2, 2019
Lisa was born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa. A safari guide for 20 years, she has been an integral part of the Bushtracks expedition team for the past decade. She has a natural affinity with children and adults, and enjoys horseback riding and art in her spare time..
After an evening arrival, we'll gather the following morning for a welcome breakfast at our tropical lodge hidden amongst one of Tanzania's largest coffee plantations, before boarding our private aircraft mid-morning to begin our adventures together. While some travelers may want to sleep and recover from international flights, for those with extra energy, the Arusha Coffee Lodge has a range of on-site activities worth exploring: the Shanga workshop creates artwork from recycled goods employing local artisans with disabilities, while a tanzanite boutique specializes in ethically-mined gemstones and jewelry. For those who arrive a day early, the 'bean-to-cup' journey from the coffee plantation's evergreen coffee bushes to the roasting process is a wonderful way to perk up after your long flight. Stay at Arusha Coffee Lodge
Our hour-long flight will bring us to our lodge in time for lunch and our first game drive in the northern part of the famed Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the park is best known for its huge herds of plains animals, like wildebeest and zebras, there is also plentiful resident wildlife like topis, gazelles, impalas, buffalo and giraffes, plus lions and leopards that use the rocky kopjes and river lines to their advantage. We'll explore the expansive grasslands on morning and afternoon game drives in the company of expert guides who will reveal hidden wildlife, and help us locate the first arrivals of migrating herds of wildebeests in the north. Stay at Lamai Serengeti
After breakfast a short flight will bring us to the Ngorongoro Highlands, our base for game drives and cultural encounters. On arrival, we'll work off our lunch and stretch our legs in a friendly soccer game at a local primary school. The next day, we'll take a scenic drive up to the 7,500-foot-high rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and descend onto the enormous crater floor, a beautiful setting famous for both its rich wildlife biodiversity and archaeological finds. On the final day, we'll get to know the Maasai way of life by visiting a village located in the midst of two wildlife corridors. Here we'll enjoy a home-cooked lunch before observing a range of activities: dancing, banana-beer-making, Makonde carve, cow-milking, and even Maasai tattoos. Stay at Plantation Lodge
A two-hour morning flight brings us to a completely different landscape in southern Tanzania, ours to enjoy for three days. The Selous is Africa's largest game reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set on the Rufiji River, our camp gives us access to grassy plains, open woodland, and forests. Game drives in open-sided vehicles offer sightings of zebra, wildebeest, giraffes, waterbucks, baboons and wild dogs. For change of scenery, boating excursions offer water-level views of animals on land, plus hippo and croc sightings. Expert guided walks will reveal a hidden, fascinating insect world and plant life. The setting invites repose: a dip in the nearby hot springs, fishing, cool drinks by the bar, or simply gazing at the panoramic view from your veranda. Stay at Sand River Selous or Kiba Point
A forty-minute flight brings us to Unguja Island, the principal island in the Zanzibar archipelago - the fabled 'Spice Islands' just 30 miles offshore. Our island days will follow the ebb and flow of the tides with activities timed accordingly. Visit Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site and historic Swahili coastal trade center. Reflecting the longstanding seaborne trading activity, the townscape is characterized by a complex fusion of Swahili, Arab, Persian, Indian and European influences. Walk the maze of winding alleys and lively markets, and see cathedrals, mosques and temples side by side. For a change of pace, enjoy a sunset cruise on a traditional wooden dhow and look for dolphins frolicking offshore, or walk to the neighboring fisherman village of Kizimkazi and experience the local culture.
A SMALL AMOUNT OF LUGGAGE SPACE = A HUGE IMPACT ON TANZANIA'S KIDS
Through arrangements with the Nomad Trust, we've partnered with Pack for a Purpose to gather requested items for a school we'll visit. You can help us fill a duffel bag with these items, and meet the children who will benefit from your donation. The Merenga Village is on the edge of the Serengeti National Park and serves 800 children from ages 5 through 13 years old. A vital part of a holistic conservation strategy is ensuring that park-adjacent communities benefit from wildlife and are motivated to help protect it.
"On other family trips, like those to Mexico or Hawaii, we certainly had a great time as well, but this was really different. We all woke up early together, had a fun breakfast together, and then embarked together on an exciting quest to see what animals and sights would be seen that day! There were no decisions or discussions about what would be done each day. There wasn't a thought about meals or who would make them...and they were all SO good.”Julie Muller, 2016
"Our guide took particular care of the two girls, 8 and 10, instructing them on such survival skills as building a bush fire, finding fresh water below the sand, boiling water in a plastic bottle, making rope out of fibrous bushes, and tracking game (they marched, head-down, following a set of tracks for a few paces, at which point he reminded them of the importance of looking up as well. When they did, they were floored to see a giraffe munching nearby!).”Suzanne Redfern-West, 2015
"We were so impressed with how completely informed our guides and rangers were on a wide range of topics. They really turned the safari into an educational experience for the girls with in-depth discussions on not just the wildlife, but also history, culture, and the relationship between tourism and the environment. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip - but we hope to return.”Marlene Ma, 2016
"The elephants were everywhere and were so close to our vehicle. Our ranger, James, told us to be very quiet. I realized after the elephants had wandered away that I had been holding my breath the entire time. It was unbelievable - there were so many and they were all around us. I also thought seeing rhinos and a cheetah was a very unique and wonderful experience because there aren't many left in the wild.”Julia Ellman (age 14), 2013
"When you are embarking on a Grand Adventure that will involve everyone near and dear to you, nothing can be left to chance...I had heard that if Bushtracks was doing the planning, all you had to do for yourself is breathe! So true.”Judy Rowland, 2013