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INSIDERS AFRICATM

Exploring Africa's Wildlife And Wild Places

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

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

Gorilla Trekking Safaris for Teens

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Gorilla Forest Camp in Uganda

Gorilla Trekking Safaris for Teens

 

On safari you can expect to spend many hours in your four-by-four vehicle – and front-row seats to the most amazing wildlife show on earth is nothing to complain about. However, when we’re planning a safari for families with teens or young adults, we strongly encourage our guests to also incorporate activities – ranging from high adrenaline like shark cage dives in South Africa or bungee-jumping in Victoria Falls to the more subdued like a canoe-paddle through the Okavango Delta.

WHERE TO GO GORILLA TREKKING WITH TEENS 

Gorilla trekking is a perfect example of a higher level activity safari for teens and young adults aged 15 and older. And Uganda is a great destination for blending vehicle-based game-viewing with an activity that will stretch your teen’s legs, and change their thinking about the natural world for years to come. The world’s remaining mountain gorillas are fewer in number than 900 and can’t be seen in zoos – you must go to high altitude forests in Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo and seek them out. Your adventure begins with an early wake-up, after which your group of 6 to 8 guests will set out in search of one of the habituated family groups of mountain gorillas with experienced trackers. While the duration of the hike can vary based on the gorillas’ location, expect to walk for 2 to 6 hours in terrain that can be steep, slippery and thick with foliage. Your interesting surroundings, the occasional black and white faced  L’Hoest monkey jumping overhead, and your guide’s interpretation of the gorilla’s traces combine with your anticipation to make the hike more than worthwhile.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Destinations

Best Places to Stay in Uganda: Bwindi Safari Lodge

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The Bwindi Safari Lodge is among the best places to stay in Uganda and is a Bushtracks favorite. The Bwindi Safari Lodge in Uganda overlooks the primeval Bwindi Forest, home to gorillas, monkeys, chimpanzees and birds. Tracking gorillas in the so-called ‘impenetrable' forest is a magical experience. At this stunning eco-lodge with eight bandas, clients can spend the day on the terrace, which juts out into the forest, mesmerized by its exotic sounds, watching primates and birds in the canopy. 
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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Planning, Tips, and Tools, Destinations

Rwanda Remembers

Rwanda Remembers

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Photo Credit: borneobulletin.brunei-online.com

 On April 7th every year Rwanda holds a Kwibuka ceremony, honoring the million lives lost through genocide 20 years ago. Kwibuka is the Kinyarwanda word for ‘remember’ and describes the global commemoration framework. Kwibuka20 calls on the world to stand against genocide in three key ways:

- To remember: Honoring the memory of those who died. Offering support to those who survived.

- To unite: Rwanda shows that reconciliation through shared human values is possible. We ask the world to do the same.

- To renew: As we build Rwanda anew, we are humbled to share our experiences and learn from others. Let’s create a better world together.

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Posted in: Destinations

Top 3 Reasons to Go on an African Safari in Uganda

 

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Best single-country combined big game viewing and primate experience 

As we think about Jane Goodall’s achievements on her 80th birthday, we are reminded that primate encounters capture the imagination and the heart in a way that few other wildlife viewing experiences can do. “No one who looks into a gorilla’s eyes – intelligent, gentle, vulnerable – can remain unchanged, for the gap between ape and human vanishes…” said American biologist George Schaller, and we agree. We’ve found that only Uganda allows you to enjoy gorilla and chimpanzee trekking plus Big Five game viewing in a single-country safari experience. Progressing from north to south, you can experience the chimpanzees of Kibale, head on to big game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and conclude with mountain gorillas trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in a straightforward program that requires no back-tracking.

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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Destinations

Jane Goodall Celebrates Her 80th Birthday Today

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Posted in: Activities and Culture, Destinations

Insiders Cape Town in South Africa

Bokaap-South-Africa-1Colorful Old Cape Quarter in Cape Town

From the time European settlers put their soft, stockinged feet on the beach at Table Bay around 350 years ago, things have gone steadily downhill. For one property prices have rocketed. And finding parking on the Foreshore is a pain. On the other hand the quality of the wine has improved greatly from that first agricultural vintage back in 1659, which records show was more medicinal than delightful.

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Posted in: Destinations

How to Spot a Leopard in South Africa

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How to Spot a Leopard in South Africa

When you are ready to begin planning your trip to Africa, the first safari you will take is often of the online, bewildering type: researching camps and parks with not a lot to go on. If you haven’t explored it already, www.bushtracks.com offers one-stop-shop planning tools to help design your dream safari. We’ve applied over 20 years of fielding traveler questions into filters that anticipate many of the desires that spark a safari adventure. Sometimes the trip-of-a-lifetime starts with a childhood dream you could never get out of your head:  like seeing a leopard in its habitat.

So, if you are interested in a Cape Town visit for your family, but can’t imagine going all the way to Africa without seeing a leopard – and you want to make sure that your 12 year old twins have access to a swimming pool – by using our filters, you’ll find 19 safari camps that fit the bill.

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Posted in: Destinations

Cape Town Family Safari Escape in South Africa - Bushmans Kloof Resort

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Bushman's Kloof Reserve & Wellness Retreat

You can’t beat Cape Town for a perfect mix of stunning landscapes, culture, history and a world-class food and wine scene – but, what’s in it for your kids, really?

There’s more than enough in Cape Town to fill two or three action packed days for your family. But adding a few days of outdoor discoveries (for them) and an opportunity to relax (for you) is a great way to round out your Cape Town family vacation.

 Start Your Adventure with 3 Days in Cape Town

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Two or three days in Cape Town will allow you to ride the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain, take a ferry to historic Robben Island,  check out the memorabilia of District 6 Museum, and enjoy the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront’s Two Oceans Aquarium and Springbok Experience Rugby Museum, just to name a few.

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Posted in: Planning, Tips, and Tools, Destinations

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