Custom African Safaris for 2015: Our New Brochure Now Available

If you are starting to make 2015 travel plans, our newly published African Safaris brochure is an excellent place to get started. It contains everything you need to know about planning custom African safaris around your desired dates, number of travelers and points of interest, including:
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Posted in: African Safaris, Best African Vacations, Safari Travel Tips

10 Camera Setup Tips for Your Photo Safari

Bushtracks specialist guide and guest blogger, David Bristow, shares his tips on setting up your digital camera to take stunning photos of African wildlife on your photo safari. Modern digital cameras are extremely complex machines. In the “olden days” of film cameras you had to think of only a few camera settings namely, film rating (ISO or the old ASA), shutter speed, depth of field and focus (often manual).
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Posted in: African Safaris, African Wildlife Photography, David Bristow, Photo Safari, Photo Safaris

Biking Safaris in Africa for a Cause

HOW MY CYCLING SAFARI BECAME CYCLING FOR A CAUSE When your father is David Tett, Bushtracks president and co-founder, Africa is in your blood, and biking is a way of life. Here, David’s 13 year old son Porter, shares his impressions on biking safaris in Africa with his dad, and how that experience inspired him to fundraise for World Bicycle Relief, an organization providing specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to entrepreneurs, students and healthcare workers across rural Africa.
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Posted in: African Safaris, trips to southern africa, Adventure Safaris, Mountain Biking, South African Safaris, African Charities and Causes, World Bicycle Relief

Celebrating Rhino Day

September 22 is World Rhino Day, an observance first introduced by WWF-South Africa in 2010. Today zoos, wildlife conservationists, businesses and concerned individuals honor both rhinos and efforts to protect all five rhino species: black, white, greater one horned, Sumatran and Javan. Of the five species of rhino, only the black and white rhinos are found in Africa. Ranging from 1 to 2 tons in weight, and capable of galloping up to 30 mph, adult rhinos have no predators except for humans.  Sadly, that one predator has been more than enough to decimate their numbers which, in the black rhino’s case, are down 97.6 percent since 1960. Of all of Africa’s endangered species, the black rhino is unique because almost 100% of its decline can be attributed not to habitat loss or human-wildlife conflict but to outright poaching.
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Posted in: African Safaris, African Wildlife Conservation, African Wildlife Safaris, Namibia, Botswana Safaris, Okavango Delta, Black Rhinos, Rhinos

What are the World's Best African Safaris?

Dear Traveler, In wildness is the preservation of the world,” wrote Henry David Thoreau over 150 years ago. For the past 24 years designing African safaris, we’ve heard this sentiment restated in countless ways by our returning travelers whose views of the world and its creatures are forever altered on safari in some of the world’s wildest places. In this issue, we’re excited to share two of these firsthand experiences: Bushtracks traveler and Stanford professor Susan McConnell writes about her connection to Africa’s lions in a moving photo-essay on page 16, while eight-time Bushtracks traveler and photographer Shirley Sanderson offers her tips for photographing gorillas, considered one of the most profound wildlife interactions, on page 40.
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Posted in: African Safaris, Planning an African Safari

Special Offer on Best of Botswana & Victoria Falls Safari

South Africa, Botswana and Zambia at Exceptional Savings 10 Days: Johanesburg, South Africa  I  Okavango, Botswana  I  Livingstone, Zambia Travel Now: $8,955 Per Person Travel Later: $19,677 Per Person TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOU CAN'T MISS THE BEST OF BOTSWANA & VICTORIA FALLS SAFARI Explore the unspoiled beauty of Okavango Delta – a newly named UNESCO World Heritage Site – with stays at two private concessions in the Delta, where crowds are few and the wildlife is plentiful. Experience Victoria Falls during this incredible time of year, and enjoy plentiful rainbows and the clear light precious to photographers. Get to know an elephant herd at Abu Camp, where researchers will facilitate your interaction with the elephants, and take you behind-the-scenes to observe elephant behaviors and conservation projects. Board mokoros (dug-out canoes) to see wildlife from water level, as you explore the deep channels and lush vegetation of the Okavango Delta’s island-dotted landscape. Stay at three premier safari camps where you’ll enjoy all of the comforts of home – hot showers, fine dining and spacious rooms -- and views from your deck that you’ll see nowhere else on earth.
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Posted in: victoria falls, African Safaris, Botswana Safaris, African Safari Specials

What are the Big 5 African Animals?

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: African Safaris, Elephants, Leopards, African Wildlife Safaris, The Big 5, Buffaloes, Lions, Rhinos

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

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: African Safaris, what to pack for african safari

Mountain Gorillas and the African Wildlife Foundation

Mountain Gorillas and the African Wildlife Foundation   By Craig Sholley Vice President for Philanthropy and Marketing, African Wildlife Foundation     Craig’s experiences with wildlife and conservation began in 1973 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire. As an L.S.B. Leakey grant researcher in the late 1970’s, Craig studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey and, in 1987, became director of Rwanda’s Mountain Gorilla Project, of which African Wildlife Foundation was a sponsor. He became a full-time employee of AWF in 2001 and now serves as Vice President for Philanthropy and Marketing. The world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in three countries spanning four national parks – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park. Infant Moutain Gorillia at Bwindi, Uganda in Eastern Africa A 2011 census recorded fewer than 900 mountain gorillas left in the wild. The gorillas’ biggest threats come from deforestation and the region’s growing population. The forests where mountain gorillas live are fertile and rich in biodiversity, making this one of the most populated regions in Africa, with 85% of the population making its living by growing food on the land. As people move closer to where gorillas live, they also bring the risk of spreading human diseases to gorillas such as the flu, pneumonia, and even ebola. War in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has resulted in more than four million lives lost over the past 14 years.
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Posted in: Gorillas in Africa, African Safaris, Craig Sholley Wildlife Photographer, African Wildlife Foundation, African Wildlife Conservation

Best African Safari Trips of 2014

Best African Safaris of 2014 David Tett's Top Six Safari Ideas Ideas from The Presentation Given at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA    On February 4, 2014, Bushtracks President David Tett offered his best African Safari Trips with top six safari ideas for 2014 and 2015 to an audience of over 100 interested travelers at the Morrison Planetarium in the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Here is a summary of his recommendations based on 23 years of operating African safaris for individual travelers and institutions like National Geographic Expeditions, Smithsonian Journeys, Lindblad Expeditions and the African Wildlife Foundation. 1. The Serengeti Migration with A Private Guide We recommend a Tanzania safari that includes Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater, and 2 stops in the Serengeti – one in the South and one in the North to showcase two different habitats and the experience of big migration herds and excellent predator viewing in a single safari. To create a private experience, in spite of the large number of visitors to the Serengeti, we use a seasonal tented camp that follows the migration, is very private compared to the large lodges at Ndutu and Seronera, and gives the feeling of being in the wild. We also build in a charter flight over the Serengeti to get you from the South to the North, and save you a day of travel. For two or more guests, we arrange a private guide and driver from the local tribes like the Masaai or the Chagga, so you can learn from people who grew up in the bushveld, and have a natural knowledge of the wildlife and ecosystems that has been enhanced by formal training. 2. Botswana's Green Season Safari From January through April, this safari combines the Central Kalahari Game reserve in the south at its prime, with the Okavango Delta in the north.The Kalahari is at its peak for optimal game viewing, with migrating herds of zebra and wildebeest and springbok calving, and lots of predator interaction from lions and cheetahs. We link these two with a strategic charter, so you will get some superb aerial views as you fly from the desert into the Okavango. It might surprise you to learn that the way the waters flow from the Okavango River through the Kalahari causes the Delta’s water to recede during the African summer, or green season.  The islands in the delta actually get bigger, which means more territory for predators to hunt, and more area to go game driving in a wild, beautiful part of Africa which is inaccessible for most of the year.
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Posted in: African Safaris, Top Travel Destinations, African Safari Tours

Bushtracks' African Safari Traveler Jessica Antola on the Colorful Tribes of Ethiopia

  The colorful tribes of Ethiopia   Bushtracks' African Safari traveler photographer Jessica Antola traveled to Ethopia with her famly in February 2013 on their tour of Africa. Jessica Antola is an American photographer based in New York. Follow her on Instagram and Tumblr.   As a child, Jessica Antola traveled the world with her family to places like Tibet, Antarctica and India. She always kept a camera handy to record her adventures, inspiring her later in life to find places off the beaten path. Jump forward a few decades, and the photographer from Brooklyn took her curiosity and her camera to the African country of Ethiopia. The country’s history and diversity were big attractions for her.
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Posted in: Family Safaris, Best Trips to Africa, Travel Photography, Trips to Ethopia, Photographs of African Children, African Safaris, Jessica Antola Photography, Ethopia Africa, Children in Ethopia

Victoria Falls - Video Tour

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Posted in: victoria falls, videos Victoria Falls,, Vic Falls South Africa, African Safaris

Best Films About Africa

  With recent release of the new Nelson Mandela movie "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," we wanted to share our top twelve favorite Africa movies. Gorillas in the Mist The Last Lions Out of Africa
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Posted in: movies about Africa, Africa Travel Guides and Tips, nelson mandela movies, Out of Africa movie, Best Trips to Africa, best Africa movies, Gorillas in Africa, African Safaris

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