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10 Camera Setup Tips for Your Photo Safari

Bushtracks specialist guide and guest blogger, David Bristow, shares his tips on setting up your digital camera to take stunning photos of African wildlife on your photo safari. Modern digital cameras are extremely complex machines. In the “olden days” of film cameras you had to think of only a few camera settings namely, film rating (ISO or the old ASA), shutter speed, depth of field and focus (often manual).
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Posted in: African Safaris, African Wildlife Photography, David Bristow, Photo Safari, Photo Safaris

Planning a Trip to the Serengeti

Say “African wildlife” and the first image that pops into many people’s heads is a river churning with wildebeests and the occasional croc. That river is the Mara River, and it is located in northern Tanzania, where it cuts across the uppermost part of Serengeti National Park. Here and in the central Serengeti and the Masai Mara, from June through November you can follow the annual migration of millions of wildebeests and zebras. So if you are thinking about seeing the Serengeti Migration in 2015, you’re about 8 to 9 months out from the expected beginning of the migration, which is a great time to start looking into camp availability.
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Posted in: Serengeti Migration Safari Trips, The Serengeti

Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time and Botswana Elephants

Bushtracks explains what bestselling author Jodi Picoult's latest book and one of its favorite Botswana safari camps have in common: elephants. We were excited to learn that the latest book by international bestselling author, Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time, has a very affectionate association with Mashatu Game Reserve, one of Bushtracks’ favorite Botswana safari camps. The concept of how elephants display and deal with grief is a focal point of Picoult’s 24th novel which is partly set in Botswana. Ms. Picoult has had a close working relationship with Jeanetta Selier, the elephant researcher at Mashatu, during the research of her novel.
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Posted in: Elephants Safaris, Elephant Conservation, Book Reviews on Africa, Jodi Picoult

Biking Safaris in Africa for a Cause

HOW MY CYCLING SAFARI BECAME CYCLING FOR A CAUSE When your father is David Tett, Bushtracks president and co-founder, Africa is in your blood, and biking is a way of life. Here, David’s 13 year old son Porter, shares his impressions on biking safaris in Africa with his dad, and how that experience inspired him to fundraise for World Bicycle Relief, an organization providing specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to entrepreneurs, students and healthcare workers across rural Africa.
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Posted in: African Safaris, trips to southern africa, Adventure Safaris, Mountain Biking, South African Safaris, African Charities and Causes, World Bicycle Relief

African Safaris for Families

INSIDERS' PHOTOGRAPHS & STORIES FROM AFRICA: Three generations of the Talbot family joined together in Kenya to enjoy a Bushtracks safari spanning the Laikipia Plateau and the Masai Mara regions. Here they share their safari photos and stories.
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Posted in: African Safari Tours, Best African Safaris, Photo Safaris

I Can’t Wait to Get Back to Africa

I’m heading back to Africa next week on what I expect to be a very exciting, inspiring and productive visit. Although I always enjoy an excuse to head back home to southern Africa, this trip is all about conservation, and addressing how the African Wildlife Foundation can more effectively respond to the many threats facing Africa’s wildlife and wild places. 
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Posted in: African Wildlife Foundation, African Wildlife Conservation

Tourists Return to Zimbabwe in Record Numbers

Zimbabwe is an amazing African country that has it all, and tourists are flocking here in record numbers to discover why. From big game parks such as Mana Pools National Park on the edge of the great Zambezi, to the golden grasslands and savannas of Hwange National Park, to the stunning scenery and granite hills of Matopos National Park, it's no wonder Zimbabwe is the place where David Tett, Bushtracks' Co-founder and President, was born and raised. Our travelers can experience the impressive stone ruins of the Kingdom of Monomatapa at Great Zimbabwe, and the World Heritage site of Victoria Falls, and it's all here in a safari country that does have it all. Our friends at ATTA (African Travel and Tourism Association) recently shared some important travel and tourism insights on Zimbabwe that travelers should consider as they start planning their African safaris. 
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Posted in: Zimbabwe, Tourism in Africa, African Travel Reviews

Serengeti Safari Special Offer*

From Cheetah to Chimpanzee...Make a dash for some winter Sun For those who are starting to think of escaping early next year, combine Lamai Serengeti with Greystoke Mahale for unbeatable experience and value 7 Nights at Lamai Serengeti & Greystoke Mahale Safari Starting from $6,711 per person/double occupancy, valid for travel between 7 Jan - 15 Mar 2015 (includes 1 free night). Add 3 nights in the thick of the migration at Serengeti Safari Camp to make a 10 night safari and get 2 nights free.
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STORIES FROM AFRICA BY OUR SAFARI EXPERTS

INSIDERS' PHOTOGRAPHS & STORIES FROM AFRICA: Bushtracks Travel Planners routinely visit Africa, and their travels help inspire and inform the custom safaris they design for our guests. Samantha is just about to embark on a Southern Africa safari, having already been to Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Since a picture speaks a thousand words, we asked Autumn, Anna, Lyn and Samantha to share their favorite safari photos and the stories behind them.
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Posted in: Best African Safaris, Photo Safaris

GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

My husband Bob and I have been on safari eight times since 2000. On a typical African safari, I rely primarily on a Canon 1D series DSLR body together with a 100 to 400 mm telephoto zoom lens and also have a second DSLR available coupled with a shorter lens. I have found this equipment is suitable for most of my safari photography, due to the large distances between the animals and the vehicle.
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Posted in: Africa Travel Guides and Tips, Gorilla Trekking Safari, African Wildlife Photography

Celebrating Rhino Day

September 22 is World Rhino Day, an observance first introduced by WWF-South Africa in 2010. Today zoos, wildlife conservationists, businesses and concerned individuals honor both rhinos and efforts to protect all five rhino species: black, white, greater one horned, Sumatran and Javan. Of the five species of rhino, only the black and white rhinos are found in Africa. Ranging from 1 to 2 tons in weight, and capable of galloping up to 30 mph, adult rhinos have no predators except for humans.  Sadly, that one predator has been more than enough to decimate their numbers which, in the black rhino’s case, are down 97.6 percent since 1960. Of all of Africa’s endangered species, the black rhino is unique because almost 100% of its decline can be attributed not to habitat loss or human-wildlife conflict but to outright poaching.
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Posted in: African Safaris, African Wildlife Conservation, African Wildlife Safaris, Namibia, Botswana Safaris, Okavango Delta, Black Rhinos, Rhinos

What are the World's Best African Safaris?

Dear Traveler, In wildness is the preservation of the world,” wrote Henry David Thoreau over 150 years ago. For the past 24 years designing African safaris, we’ve heard this sentiment restated in countless ways by our returning travelers whose views of the world and its creatures are forever altered on safari in some of the world’s wildest places. In this issue, we’re excited to share two of these firsthand experiences: Bushtracks traveler and Stanford professor Susan McConnell writes about her connection to Africa’s lions in a moving photo-essay on page 16, while eight-time Bushtracks traveler and photographer Shirley Sanderson offers her tips for photographing gorillas, considered one of the most profound wildlife interactions, on page 40.
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Posted in: African Safaris, Planning an African Safari

My First African Safari in Southern Africa & the Okavango Delta

Bushtracks’ traveler Kathleen Cameron, just back from an August 2014 African safari in Zambia, Botswana and South Africa with her family, shares her impressions and photos from her first African safari. Since childhood, Bushtracks’ traveler Kathleen Cameron has dreamed of going to Africa. She remembers poring over her Grandmother’s tall stack of National Geographic magazines and thinking “someday I’ll see these beautiful birds and animals in person and meet the people who actually live there.”  So, when family members suggested going to Zambia, Botswana and South Africa this August, she jumped on the bandwagon, or, in this case, the Land Rover! Traveling with two sisters, their spouses and her 25 year old nephew made for a wonderful adventure, and lifelong memories. Here, freshly returned from her trip, Kathleen recounts her safari and exciting wildlife encounters.
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Posted in: African Safaris in Zambia and Botswana, Elephants Safaris, Botswana Safaris

Top African Safaris - Namibia's Big 5 Wildlife & Wild Deserts Special

Namibia's Big 5 Wildlife & Wild Deserts Safari Special Offer 12 Days: Johannesburg, South Africa | Windhoek | Sossusvlei | Damaraland | Kunene River | Etosha - Southern | Windhoek Travel Now* VS Travel Later $11,335 $16,668
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Posted in: Namibia, Deserts of Africa, African Safari Specials, Top Trips to Africa

Photographing African Wildlife in Action

Bushtracks’ specialist guide and guest blogger David Bristow shares his secrets for taking the best action photos of African wildlife, where anticipating animal behavior while being patient will yield stunning African wildlife photography. Having tackled the complex subject of camera technology, we can move on to the fun part of safari photography – “shooting” the game. The first thing you are going to want to do is get a decent image of those scenes and species that most interest you, let’s say “for the record.” But those will seldom be the images that really excite you or others afterwards. The real magic of photography is and always has been about capturing a moment in time – either some dramatically lit scene, or movement of subjects, interaction, the chase, the kill….
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Posted in: African Wildlife Foundation, Photo Safaris

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