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INSIDERS AFRICATM

Exploring Africa's Wildlife And Wild Places

How to Stay Fit on Your African Safari

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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.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Destinations

PICKING THE BEST PHOTO EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR SAFARI

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PICKING THE BEST PHOTO EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR SAFARI

Given the endlessly captivating subject matter, every safari is a photographic safari, and every traveler, from the casual photographer to the serious shutterbug wants to return home with an array of stunning wildlife images to share.

Unforgettable photographs begin with selecting equipment that takes Africa’s unique conditions and the range of camera options into consideration. Here we offer tips for digital photography equipment, which gives instant feedback on images and allows adjustments in the field to ensure that one’s photographs are correctly exposed.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture

IN OUR TRAVELERS' WORDS: THE WILLIAM FAMILY ON SAFARI IN KENYA

William_family_breakfast_on_the_banks_of_river_in_norhtern_Kenya"While taken together we have travelled to all of the 7 continents, none of us has had a better time than this last expedition to Kenya. I have travelled to Africa many times, with my first visit in 1965 and my last several visits facilitated by Bushtracks Expeditions. I took this photo (above) of my son Paul, his wife and my grandchildren in Kenya."

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Paul William Playing Soccer with Samburu Warriors

"Paul (above) had said to me prior to this trip that since I had been to Africa many times, he wanted to at least go there once with me so I could share the experience with him and his family. This safari allowed us to share quality family time and learn and enjoy the values of other cultures that can only be encountered in the Serengeti.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture

A PLACE WHERE ELEPHANTS ARE IN CHARGE

3-week-old “Rukinga” feeds on milk at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi 10/4/2012 (Photo Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust)

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

 

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife

Kenya Safaris: Walking with Warriors

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There are really two kinds of safaris in Kenya. One is where every attempt is made to make you feel as though you have stepped back in time into a romantic Africa: lots of leather and brass furnishings, luxurious drapes and a cocktail offered every time you turn around. The other is where no attempt is made to re-create that romantic Euro-centric illusion. It’s where the Africa of old and new meet in a much more meaningful way.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Destinations

Tanzania Safaris: Singing Stones of the Serengeti in East Africa by David Bristow

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The Serengeti Game Reserve in Tanzania is home to ancient painted stones that sing when struck. Discover this sacred site on your East African safari.

In ancient times in Africa, there was an important kind of music that issued forth, virtually from the ground. In his book ‘The Lightning Bird’ paranormal scientific writer Lyall Watson alludes to special stones. The book is a biography of Adrian Boshier who was initiated into the way of the spirits, the ancient lore of Africa, by one tribe.

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Posted in: Destinations

Best African Safaris to See Leopards in Kenya

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Cheryl Lyn Dybas transports us to Leopard Gorge, with its rocky caves and outcroppings, in Kenya's Masai Mara. Here wildlife abounds along a road to a netherworld.

Road to a Netherworld

The gloaming, it’s called, this twilight between day and night. 

In myth, the gloaming is the place between the known and the unknown, the ordinary and the extraordinary that you might be witness to on safari in this area of Kenya.

It’s also the time when rarely seen creatures emerge from the shadows.

Here along the equator in Kenya’s Masai Mara, sunset comes early. Although it’s just after 4:00 p.m., the light turns gold…orange…indigo.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Destinations

Kenya's Top 5 Places to Visit on Your African Safari

From the Africa's wildlife in the Masai Mara to the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, take a virtual journey through our top 5 African safari destinations in Kenya, the gateway to East Africa.

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Posted in: Where to Stay, Destinations

Top Safari Trips to Kenya Africa: Kenya's Private Reserves Safari

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ONE COUNTRY. LIMITLESS ADVENTURE.

Why go to Kenya? As one of our top trips to Africa, this Kenya safari delivers the feeling of days of yore in an untrammeled setting by taking advantage of private wilderness reserves in bucolic places with access to top game-viewing. So many dream of visiting Africa as depicted by legendary explorers only to find themselves surrounded by crowds of fellow adventure-seekers, rather than in a pristine "Out of Africa" setting.

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Posted in: Destinations

If the World is Your Oyster...than in Uganda You’ll Find Many Pearls

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Whenever someone wants to do a PR job on Uganda they trot out the fact that Sir Winston Churchill called it the “pearl of Africa.” As with just about all things past and distant the truth turns out to be far more interesting than the myth. Way back in 1907 Churchill was the newly appointed under-secretary for colonial affairs (not a top job in the day). At age 33 he made the arduous journey – by ship, train, lake steamer, by canoe, on foot and even by bicycle. All the sir business and war accolades were still far in his future.

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife, Activities and Culture, Destinations

Top 3 Reasons to Go on an African Safari in Kenya

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For many of us, consciously or subconsciously, we think of a safari, and Kenya comes to mind.

In part, we can thank Hollywood for its unforgettable rendering of Karen Blixen’s Kenyan farm in “Out of Africa.” But, beyond the silver screen, the history of the traditional African safari has played out in Kenya on a world stage for over 100 years and has shaped our sense of what a safari is and who takes it. Our collective interest began with early twentieth century accounts by adventurers Theodore Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway, continued with the mid-century drama of a young Princess Elizabeth learning of her father’s death and her ascension to the throne while she was on safari in Kenya, and endures today with ongoing conservation stories like that of Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her late husband David Sheldrick, and their tireless work championing Kenya’s elephants.

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife, Destinations

Gorilla Trekking and Photography Safaris in the Congo Jungle in Africa

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After having photographed mountain gorillas in Rwanda and chimpanzees in both Uganda and Tanzania, I wanted to photograph lowland gorillas and bonobo monkeys. My research for an African safari ground operator who could provide us access to lowland gorillas led me once again to Bushtracks. Bushtracks was providing a trip to Doli Lodge in the Central African Republic where there were habituated families of lowland gorillas, forest elephants and forest buffalos. With the rampant bush meat trade ongoing in Central and Western Africa, locating primates that were available to photograph was very difficult. If they hadn’t been habituated to not fear humans, they were long gone before you could get a photo.

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife, Activities and Culture

Chelsea Handler's Uganda Be Kidding Me: A Bushtracks Book Review

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Uganda Be Kidding Me: A Bushtracks Book Review

uganda-be-kidding-me-chelsea-handlerBy Deborah Olsen

The title alone was irresistible, so when my colleague, Liz, mentioned E! personality and comedienne Chelsea Handler’s latest autobiographical book, she didn’t have to ask me twice to do a little primary research. First (spoiler alert!), Chelsea and her five friends went on safari in Southern Africa, so if you are looking for a book on Uganda, you should keep looking – there are no gorillas here. You may also want to know that her recap of Africa accounts for less than half of the book, from there she’s off to the Bahamas, Switzerland and beyond.

But her views on an African safari inject some much-needed levity into a topic generally treated with the gravitas reserved for a BBC production.  Fans of Chelsea Handler will not be surprised by her irreverent approach to the African safari, nor will they be deterred by her impressions viewed mainly through the lens of glasses made rosy by perpetual Bloody Marys. Never a traditionalist, her idea of safari adds a sixth conquest to Africa’s big five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino for the uninitiated) in the shape of her ruggedly handsome South African guide Rex – the one that got away.

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Posted in: Destinations

How Your Safari Protects Africa’s 900 Remaining Mountain Gorillas

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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.

 

African Wildlife Foundation's Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

uganda-clouds-mountain-gorilla-lodge-rwanda-outside-1Gorilla 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. 

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife, Activities and Culture

Celebrating Earth Day! Safaris Help Sustain Africa’s Wild Places

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It’s not a stretch to say that every day is Earth Day at Bushtracks. We know that our past and our future are inextricably linked to the conservation of Africa’s wild places, and that when we share Africa’s remarkable beauty with our guests, that we are inspiring them, too, to take part in protecting these precious parts of our planet. But, although raising the awareness of Africa’s lands in our guests’ minds is an important part of what we do, it’s not the only way we think responsible travel can make a meaningful difference in our world.

DAVID AND CAROLYN BECOME AWF COUNCIL MEMBERS

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Last year, Bushtracks owners David and Carolyn Tett strengthened their ongoing relationship with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) by becoming AWF Council Members. The AWF’s work spans entire countries, crossing borders to support critically important landscapes that harbor biodiversity and offer people economic opportunities. 

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Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife

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