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INSIDERS AFRICATM

Exploring Africa's Wildlife And Wild Places

Expert Tips on Taking African Safari Photos

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In the olden days (the days of film cameras) you had to follow a few golden rules to get great photos. You had to hold the camera dead steady because film speeds (ISO) were so low, usually only 50 or 100, so camera shake was a big issue – actually it still is, but people seem to give it less mind now, largely due to image stabilizers built into zoom lenses. 

The other was light. What you shot was what you got and no amount of processing could change the exposure, or light and dark areas. To get the light right not only did you have to get the shutter speed right, but also the aperture. With digital cameras most people shoot on one of the auto settings (P or A), and let the camera sort out all the technical stuff. Note: unless you know better, always prefer the P setting.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture

New African Safari Traveler Testimonials eBrochure

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OUR TRAVELERS SAY IT BEST...

THE MORIARITY WEDDING IN CHIAWA, ZAMBIA, SOUTHERN AFRICA

“Chiawa Camp was an ideal location for our wedding, and the experience was beyond what we had ever imagined and hoped for. The staff handled every detail: going out into the bush to pick flowers and twigs for our wedding ceremony, bringing in the Chiawa Choir to liven up the event, and taking amazing photos. We had champagne in the tent while we were getting ready and the choir welcomed us separately down the aisle during sunset. The local village pastor conducted the ceremony, which took place in camp, down by the water, with hippos, birds and a few crocs! After the ceremony Rich and I were whisked off to a private dinner on the Chiawa barge in the middle of the Zambezi River. We will remember the experience forever. It was truly magical.”

- Rich & Sarah Moriarity
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Catching Lions

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African wildlife conservation photographer and Bushtracks traveler Susan McConnell describes efforts to protect lions in Mozambique’s Niassa Reserve from accidental snaring and offers a solution for lion conservation through the Wildlife Conservation Network. 

Through a loudspeaker hung near the decaying carcass of a poached elephant, we broadcast the bawls of a distressed buffalo. The calls ended in quiet. We scanned the bush with a red spotlight, less visible to cats than white light. Nothing. Ten minutes later we played the calls again, and a second sound became audible—a low, grunty-breathy huhn huhn, coming from the right. Keith Begg touched my shoulder. “Lion,” he mouthed.

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Saving African Elephants in the Serengeti

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Ecologist and science journalist Cheryl Lyn Dybas reports on the use of beehives to save African elephants in the Serengeti.

Where there are farms along the perimeter of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, there are elephants—and all manner of attempts to prevent crops from being trampled.  Farmers have tried various elephant-deterring techniques, from beating tin cans to lighting fires, most of which haven’t appeared to work.

Now officials in Tanzania’s Mara Region near the park have asked authorities to construct fences to keep elephants away from villages and agricultural holdings. The Mara Regional Commissioner, John Tuppa, told a Tanzanian newspaper, The Citizen, that the move will help end destruction of crops by stray elephants. Tuppa is asking for fences to be built as soon as possible.

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife

Namibia African Safari Destinations

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DISCOVER NAMIBIA'S DESERT BEAUTY AND WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

If you are searching for wide open spaces, wild deserts, ancient welwitschia plants and strange looking quiver trees, red sand dunes that are over 1,000 feet tall, the Big Five, innovative cheetah conservation projects, desert elephant, and Herero women who wear fantastic headdresses, then Namibia is for you. Flying over the red dunes of Sossusvlei, along the remote and rugged Skeleton Coast, and seeing colorful geological formations from the air also makes Namibia one of the most fantastic flight seeing countries on earth.

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Expert Packing Tips from a 10-Time Bushtracks' African Safari Veteran

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Packing for an African safari is always a challenge, and Bushtracks often takes last-minute calls from guests seeking help packing their bags, which is understandable. You’ll be away from home over two weeks, traveling in places where it is hard to pop out for extra socks or your favorite brand of sunscreen. And maximum weight limits for luggage can be as light as 33 pounds per person in East Africa, or 41 pounds per person in Southern Africa. Here, one of Bushtracks’ most well-traveled safari-goers, Cynthia Tuthill, shares her secrets for packing everything she needs for her safari into a single carry-on.
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Posted in: Planning, Tips, and Tools

Conservation Safaris: Black Rhinos of Namibia's Damaraland

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Bushtracks' Specialist Guide David Bristow details how one of Africa's harshest environments sustains and protects critically endangered black rhinos of Namibia's Damaraland Desert. 

It is something of an irony that the desert-adapted black rhinos (Diceros bicornis spp. bicornis) of Namibia’s harsh Damaraland region, surviving as they are at the virtual limits of their environmental and evolutionary limits, should represent the best survival chances for the species.

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife

The Ultimate African Safari By Private Jet - 7 Reasons Why

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WHY GO BY PRIVATE JET?

If you’re only going to Africa once, this is the ultimate African safari! Here are the 7 reasons why:

PC-12_over_Delta_Michael_Poliza_21. Travel in comfort and security by private jet and bush planes watching as unforgettable Rift Valley vistas unfold below you with your every need attended to by familiar staff and crew. 

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Posted in: Expeditions by Private Jet

Namibia Desert & Cheetah Safari

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THE BEAUTY, THE BEASTS AND THE BEACH

Explore the dunes of Sossusvlei and the awesome space of the Namib Desert, counted as the oldest desert in the world. Sossusvlei is Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert. Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 300 metres, the highest in the world.

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Posted in: Destinations

Top 3 Places to Visit in Namibia

For many of our travelers, stunning Namibia tops the list of places they want to visit on their second trip to Africa. Alternatively – particularly for photographers -- a Namibia safari pairs beautifully with a Botswana program in the Okavango Delta, offering an unparalleled range of scenery and subject matter. When starting your planning, you’ll want to include these three destinations: all are proven favorites, offering landscapes, culture, and wildlife that can be experienced nowhere else on earth.

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1. Namib Desert: One of the World's Largest and Oldest Deserts

Marvel at the majestic dunes of the Namib Desert, one of the world’s largest and oldest deserts, as you explore on foot, or soar above them in a hot-air balloon. The undulating, orange dunes – captured in popular memory by the aerial scenes of the film The English Patient – are among the tallest in the world, with the tallest reaching 325 meters, or 1,066 feet, about the same height as New York City’s Chrysler Building. As if the stunning landscape and clear, starry skies weren’t reason enough to enjoy Sossusvlei, the area is home to desert-adapted flora and fauna such as ostriches, springbok, gemsbok, bat-eared foxes and aardwolves, all of which can be encountered on safaris in vehicles or on foot. One of our favorite desert retreats is Little Kulala, on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, with 11-thatched kulalas (or cottages) each with rooftop skybeds for stargazing and a private plunge pool.
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Posted in: Destinations

Mountain Trekking Safaris in Africa, Aliquid Novi


The word trekking is a uniquely African one (it is Afrikaans for a long journey, pretty much the same as the Swahili “safari”), so it is fitting we go mountain trekking in Africa.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture

Congratulations to the Okavango Delta! The 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site Designee

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On June 22, 2014 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) voted to recognize Botswana’s Okavango Delta as its 1,000th World Heritage Site, and only the second World Heritage Site in Botswana. The Okavango Delta now joins a list of the world’s most treasured cultural and natural sites, including the Pyramids, the Great Barrier Reef, the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, Victoria Falls, and Serengeti National Park.

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife, Planning, Tips, and Tools, Destinations

TOP 3 WEDDING VENUES IN AFRICA

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Looking for the best African safari destination for your wedding or honeymoon? Here are the top three best places to get married in Africa for the perfect romantic safari getaway. June remains one of the most popular times for weddings, and it happens to coincide with one of the very best times to go on safari in Africa. Custom safaris, which can be arranged around the date of your choosing, make tying a safari to your wedding or honeymoon one of the easiest parts of tying the knot!

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Posted in: Where to Stay, Activities and Culture, Destinations

World Giraffe Day is June 21, 2014

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They are among the most easily recognized animals on earth, but you might be surprised to know how little you know about giraffes! To celebrate world giraffe day on June 21, 2014 here are five interesting facts about the world’s tallest mammals and where you can see them on a safari to Africa.

  1. Baby giraffes weigh 150 pounds and stand 6 feet high at birth. A baby giraffe drops about 5 feet to the earth when it is born, but is up and running a mere 10 hours later.
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GOOD NEWS FOR THE SERENGETI

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Posted in: Activities and Culture

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