Although it was hard to imagine a more beautiful spot than San Francisco's Presidio illuminated by the soft glow of a harvest moon this past Wednesday evening, Bushtracks president David Tett took 100 attendees on a virtual safari to the wild beauty of Africa during his 45 minute presentation filled with stories, his favorite places for safaris, and the exciting announcement of a new host for the 2018 Incredible Africa by Private Jet trip.
David began his sweeping overview of the continent by introducing himself, his wife and co-founder Carolyn Tett, and the six generations of his family who have called Southern Africa home. "My father, like my grandfather, loved the bushveld, and he took us on camping trips just about every school holiday. This was before there were camps and lodges, and we experienced the bush in a very authentic and personal way, one that we try to replicate for our guests today."
Since founding Bushtracks in 1989, David and Carolyn Tett and their California-based team of experts have designed safaris to 33 African countries for independent travelers and institutions like National Geographic Expeditions, the African Wildlife Foundation, Stanford Alumni Institution, and Smithsonian Journeys.
For 2018 and beyond David recommended the following Bushtracks safaris:
Any of the following safaris can be customized to suit travelers' desired destinations, travel dates, and traveling companions.
1. Classic Big Five Safari: featuring cycling and other activities at Mashatu Game Reserve.
2. Big Cats of Botswana Safari: the Okavango Delta in the African summer (January - March). Vibrant colors, wild babies, and considerable savings.
3. Serengeti Migration and the Masai Mara: follow the famed migration of wildebeests and zebras with a private guide.
4. Uganda's Great Apes and Big Game: a single-country safari that combines gorilla and chimp tracking plus classic Big Five game viewing.
5. The Best of East and Southern Africa: new routing allows travelers to connect wide-spread ecosystems like the Masai Mara, the Okavango Delta and Cape Town in a two-week trip.
Educational Expeditions with Experts for 2018
These safaris depart on set dates and use private aircraft to fly directly to each destination.
David concluded the evening by sharing a video that previews the 2018 trip, Incredible Africa by Private Jet. He then surprised the audience with the announcement that anthropologist Donald Johanson, who discovered the hominid fossil 'Lucy' in Ethiopia in 1974, will be joining the 2018 expedition as its host throughout the entire trip.
Professor Johanson, pictured left above with David, was on hand to elaborate on Africa's enduring fascination for him: an interest that goes back four decades. "Why must you take this trip?" he inquired of his rapt audience, "Because going to Africa for all of us is going home -- it is where we became human." Johanson's seminal discovery of Lucy -- a skeleton with the pelvis of an upright-walking hominid -- allowed researchers to state conclusively that upright walking went back as much as 3.5 million years in Africa.
The entire team at Bushtracks extends its gratitude to Professor Johanson, the staff at the Golden Gate Club, and all the people who took the time mid-week to attend the presentation and learn more about Bushtracks African safaris.