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INSIDERS AFRICATM

Exploring Africa's Wildlife And Wild Places

Greater Kruger Safaris for Families in South Africa

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Every year three generations of the Rowland family assemble at a beach house they’ve dubbed “Camp Rowland.” Last year, with two of their grandchildren college-bound, they decided to take “Camp Rowland” on the road to Africa. Here, grandmother and storyteller Judy Rowland recounts a magical moment for her family at MalaMala Game Reserve, a private reserve bordering South Africa’s Kruger National Park. MalaMala is a Bushtracks’ perennial favorite destination due to its reliable wildlife sightings, welcoming staff and knowledgeable guides, and their Junior Ranger programs for kids and teens on safari. 

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Posted in: Destinations

AFRICAN SAFARIS IN THE GREEN SEASON

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It’s not too late to plan an African safari for 2014, or early 2015. End of year travel coincides with Africa’s Green Season, or summer. It’s a dream season when Africa comes alive with young of all species, and dry landscapes like the Kahalari Desert in Botswana are transformed into verdant seas. And it’s a time you will find better rates at many camps and lodges.

The Green Season perfectly describes Africa’s summer: from December to March. Conveniently timed when the northern hemisphere’s weather is at its most dreary and cold, Africa’s Green Season offers a warm welcome to travelers, and often at a considerable savings. 

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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Destinations

What are the Big 5 African Animals?

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What are THE BIG 5 animals of Africa? If you planning a trip to Africa, you'll want to learn about the iconic animals that symbolize the wildness and scale of Africa, and they are the wild stars of all our personalized African safaris.

Lion

The “King of the Jungle” lives out on the at savannah and is a very powerful and agile hunter. Because lions prowl in prides, a coordinated lion attack on a buffalo herd can be an incredible battle. Since only 1/4 to 1/6 of lions’ predatory chases are successful, you can enjoy the thrill several times in a day. Once they’ve caught dinner, they’re not nearly as active; they sleep around 20 hours a day.

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife

Map of Southern Africa

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Map of Southern Africa

Discover the mosamazing animalon earth in some of the most incredible places in southern Africa. 

Bushtracks is owned by a sixth-generation African family who has been making the  most exotic, unspoiled, and precious places  on earth accessible to travelers for more than two decades. Learn more about what makes the Bushtracks experience special by speaking to an Expert Safari Planner at 800-995-8689, or download or map of southern African featuring: 

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Posted in: Planning, Tips, and Tools

Serengeti Migration Safaris: Following the Wildebeest Migration

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You won’t be the only one following millions of wildebeest and zebra on our Serengeti Migration Safari in Tanzania in Eastern Africa. Predators can’t resist such a giant gathering of their prey. The drama of survival will play out before your eyes with lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs and hyenas playing the main roles. Living their own life dramas, elephants, baboons, bushbabies, giraffes, aardvarks and a huge variety of other animals support one of the best wildlife adventures on earth.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Destinations

The Deserts of Africa

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Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent (30.2 million sq kilometers or 11.7 million sq miles), ranking second to Asia (44.4 million kilometers or 17.1 million sq miles) and larger than North America (24.2 sq kilometers or 9.4 sq miles). Accompanying its enormous size, Africa is home to the world's largest desert, the Sahara, as well as the Namib and the Kalahari. Each is incredibly diverse and vast covering a majority of Africa. With their alluring beauty, yet sometimes harsh environments, these regions of the continent offer a fascinating environmental and cultural history dating back millions of years.

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Posted in: Destinations

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

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