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Optimizing Your Safari: 10 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Safari Company

By Liz Donahey | Jan 09

Liz is Bushtracks' Digital Marketing Manager. Like an online safari guide, Liz, helps travelers navigate the often complex landscape of African travel by keeping www.bushtracks.com up to date and creating online communities where returning Bushtracks travelers can continue their adventures by learning more about Africa and connecting with others who love all things African. When she’s not busy blogging about the latest goings-on in Kenya or Zambia, you’ll find Liz enjoying the company of her three little girls, husband and kennel of golden retrievers. Prior to joining Bushtracks in 2013, Liz spent the last decade exploring the uncharted terrain of digital marketing and information technology, creating online marketing roadmaps and platforms, and teaching part time as an Assistant Professor at Dominican University of California.

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Optimizing Your Safari:
10 Crucial Questions to Ask Your African Safari Company

  1. DOES THE SAFARI COMPANY CREATE AUTHENTIC AFRICAN SAFARI EXPERIENCES? 

    Africa is in our blood because we were born and raised there. It means we create authentic safari experiences based on six generations of family in Africa, and more than 20 years of hands-on experience. Other companies have little or no African heritage to guide them. 
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.


  2. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY UNDERSTAND YOUR TRAVEL STYLE? 

    Bushtracks is family owned and managed by David and Carolyn Tett. While David was born and raised in
    Zimbabwe, Carolyn is a sixth generation American, raised in California. Together they craft personalized
    safaris that blend American sensibilities with a deep understanding of Africa. This makes Bushtracks
    unique compared to most other safari companies. 
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.


  3. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY OPERATE ITS OWN SAFARIS

    Bushtracks is the safari outfitter in Africa, so when you book with us you are going direct. We implement
    your preferences ourselves, in the planning and on the ground. We personalize your experience and
    control the quality from start to finish eliminating miscommunication and delays caused by middlemen. Other companies pass off your safari to a third party in Africa, leaving you in the hands of people you have not spoken to and who do not fully understand your preferences. 
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.


  4. IS THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY REGISTERED IN THE U.S.

    When a safari company like Bushtracks is registered in the United States, your travel investments are protected in a U.S. bank; you can buy trip cancellation insurance; and depart well-prepared with medical coverage. Traveling with a company registered abroad can put your investment at risk without means to recuperate your monies if your safari is interrupted or not delivered. If you fall ill or get hurt you may also have to navigate foreign courts without the protections afforded to U.S. residents or offered by a U.S. registered company like Bushtracks.
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.


  5. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY OWN SAFARI CAMPS IN AFRICA? 

    Safari companies that also own lodges are in two businesses – the hotel and the tour business – and this creates a strong financial incentive to funnel you into their lodges rather than optimize your safari experience. Bushtracks has no ownership in any lodges, so we are impartial and will choose a selection of camps and locations that are best suited to you. 
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.

  6. DOES THE COMPANY HAVE A HIGH REPEAT AND REFERRAL RATE

    Other companies build their businesses around volumes of one-off travelers. At Bushtracks, over 60% of our business is generated by referrals and repeat travelers. This motivates us to optimize every day
    for every guest on every safari. For nearly 20 years, we have also operated safaris for institutions such
    as National Geographic Expeditions, Smithsonian Journeys, World Wildlife Fund, and the African
    Wildlife Foundation, and we are consistently held in high regard by their trustees and traveling members. 
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.


  7. IS THE AFRICAN SAFARI PERSONALIZED AND OPTIMIZED FOR YOUR AND YOUR BUDGET? 

    We build every safari from the ground up, hand picking each location and safari camp to match your preferences and budget. We leverage 20 year relationships with the premier African lodges, and send them a substantial number of guests which earns Bushtracks and our travelers the best rates available. Other safari companies often shoehorn you into an existing “custom” itinerary to save on trip development time and cost. 
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.


  8. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY OFFER A CONCIERGE SERVICE IN THE U.S. AND 24 HOUR SUPPORT IN AFRICA? 

    Bushtracks offers a concierge service through our very experienced safari planners based in California.They work as a close knit team to thoroughly prepare you for your journey, and monitor your trip from start to finish. We also have offices in key gateways such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Kasane, Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Arusha, and Nairobi, with more than 50 staff on the ground, available 24/7 to ensure your safari experience is unforgettable, and to support you in an emergency. 
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.


  9. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY HAVE INCREDIBLE SAFARI PLANNING TOOLS ONLINE

    www.bushtracks.com is a one-of-a-kind website that offers powerful planning tools to our guests. Here you will find our unique Trip Builder tool, transparent information on lodge prices, camp reviews, travel logistics, and more. No other safari company offers these innovative planning tools to their travelers and empowers  them to make such informed decisions. 
    Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes. 


  10. DOES THE AFRICAN SAFARI COMPANY HAVE CRITICAL AVIATION EXPERIENCE IN AFRICA? 

    Most safaris include flying on local airlines, scheduled light aircraft, or private charters. We have accumulated over 20 years of hands-on aviation experience, flying more American travelers on
    a wide range of aircraft through more African countries than anyone else. Our unmatched experience
    in African aviation and strategic air charter enables us to fully optimize your logistics, minimize your
    travel time, and maximize your time on safari. Other companies? No. Bushtracks? Yes.

 

Introducing our 2014 African Safaris Brochure:
An African Safari Vacation Planning Essential

For more safari planning facts, to learn about our top trips for 2014 and more
please click on the image below.

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10 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Safari Company