A safari is unquestionably an outdoor experience. But, in Africa as elsewhere, just being outdoors does not always imply high activity. Mornings you’ll set out in your open vehicle accompanied by a guide to seek wildlife. Later, as animals retreat for a mid-day rest, you may take a nap or relax with a book. In the afternoon, you’ll embark on a second game drive often in a vehicle. Although every safari is an adventure, it is not necessarily high exertion, unless, of course, you design it that way.
David Tett describes the elephant conservation work of Dame Daphne Sheldrick and shares a custom Kenya safari to visit elephant orphanage, Tsavo National Park, Samburu, and the Masai Mara.
You might have seen the recent 60 Minutes episode by correspondent Bob Simon, on the elephant orphanage in Kenya run by Dame Daphne Sheldrick. He asked her what was the most extraordinary thing she has learned about elephants and her reply gives you something to think about!
"Their tremendous capacity for caring is I think perhaps the most amazing thing about them. Even at a very, very young age. Their sort of forgiveness, unselfishness — they have all the best attributes of us humans and not very many of the bad."
- Dame Daphne Sheldrick
Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife
Mountain gorillas are still under threat. Even though the mountain gorilla population in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is growing, the species remains endangered. Poaching, habitat loss, and human–wildlife conflict threaten to halt the progress of this species.
Gorilla lodge makes tourism a win–win. Officially opened in the spring of 2008, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is located just outside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The lodge idea was introduced in 2002, when the Uganda Wildlife Authority, along with the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), sought to address human–gorilla conflict in the region.
What resulted was a high-end lodge based on gorilla tourism, co-owned by a private operating partner and the local communities—represented by the Nkuringo Community Conservation and Development Foundation (NCCDF). This unique partnership was facilitated by IGCP and AWF.
On safari you can expect to spend many hours in your four-by-four vehicle – and front-row seats to the most amazing wildlife show on earth is nothing to complain about. However, when we’re planning a safari for families with teens or young adults, we strongly encourage our guests to also incorporate activities – ranging from high adrenaline like shark cage dives in South Africa or bungee-jumping in Victoria Falls to the more subdued like a canoe-paddle through the Okavango Delta.
Gorilla trekking is a perfect example of a higher level activity safari for teens and young adults aged 15 and older. And Uganda is a great destination for blending vehicle-based game-viewing with an activity that will stretch your teen’s legs, and change their thinking about the natural world for years to come. The world’s remaining mountain gorillas are fewer in number than 900 and can’t be seen in zoos – you must go to high altitude forests in Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo and seek them out. Your adventure begins with an early wake-up, after which your group of 6 to 8 guests will set out in search of one of the habituated family groups of mountain gorillas with experienced trackers. While the duration of the hike can vary based on the gorillas’ location, expect to walk for 2 to 6 hours in terrain that can be steep, slippery and thick with foliage. Your interesting surroundings, the occasional black and white faced L’Hoest monkey jumping overhead, and your guide’s interpretation of the gorilla’s traces combine with your anticipation to make the hike more than worthwhile.Read More
One of Bushtracks’ greatest thrills is connecting our travelers with some of our favorite African experts who are skilled not only at spotting wildlife and interpreting their behaviors, but who are passionate advocates of the animals and their habitats, and who strive to offer our guests the most natural animal encounters.
Posted in: Destinations
This December, when Carolyn and I took our two kids on their 5th safari in Africa in Madikwe Private Game Reserve in South Africa, up by the Botswana border, we had the great pleasure of learning more about some fascinating creatures – great and small
From many aspects, this lesser known private reserve in South Africa revealed wonderful safari moments, from busy scurrying scarab beetles fighting over dung balls, to stunning sightings of numerous white rhino, and even a rare brown hyaena. Maybe surprisingly, it was the African Wild Dogs and the Scarab (a.k.a Dung) Beetles that really captivated us. Neither are exactly kings of the jungle, but on close observation, they are really cool animals.Read More