Wildlife Conservation, Not Wildlife Trophies

Once upon a time, the epitome of wealth and leisure class activity was the Big Game Hunt on African safaris. However, the concept of luxury safaris has undergone a transformative shift. Today’s most sought-after safaris are about wildlife conservation, not wildlife trophies. They offer a unique opportunity to engage in impactful, hands-on wildlife experiences that are not about taking from the continent but adding to it, reflecting a new era of indulgence and conservation.

David Tett, a native-born Zimbabwean, operates Bushtracks Expeditions from Healdsburg, California. He collaborates with his co-founders and brothers, Christopher and Nicholas, who manage Bushtracks Africa. Their offering is truly unique: a profound personal understanding of their home country and the stability of a 30-plus-year family business. This business was nurtured from their family tent-camping trips to places like the Okavango Delta in Botswana and Chizarira National Parks in Zimbabwe, long before the era of safari lodges.

The Tett Family’s unique African heritage, seamless cross-continental operation, and sustainable, positive-impact approach set Bushtracks and Tett apart in the African safari world. “Conservation has always been at the heart of our mission since the inception of Bushtracks,” Tett emphasized. “We aim to evoke and inspire the conservation of Africa’s wildlife, wild lands, and communities.”

In line with its conservation focus, Bushtracks introduced Into the WildLIFE, a specialized expedition series that empowers adventurous travelers to actively participate in conservation in action. Guests experience the usual safari activities like game drives, sundowners, and boma dinners and engage in pinpointed interactive eco-experiences. They witness and contribute to conservation efforts like geo-tagging endangered species and assisting with medical care. These safaris, which are focused more intently on fewer destinations, allow safari-goers to travel less—better for the environment—and connect more.

Make no mistake; these are not only conservation-based excursions but extremely luxurious experiences, flying between destinations in a private aircraft, dining on catered gourmet meals in the bush and sleeping in accommodations tailored to the type of traveler who values style, comfort, and service.  One example is Tanda Tula Safari Camp on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. It is a private, five-star oasis of comfort with nine canvas and glass suites with indoor and outdoor showers, a freestanding indoor bathtub, and a private plunge pool overlooking the riverbed.

Bushtracks partners with groups like Kwandwe Rhino Conservation Trust, which protects critically endangered black rhinos from illegal poaching. The Trust uses environmental education, full-time monitors, and specialized counter-poaching units with trained rangers, dogs, and advanced technology assets to prevent and detect threats. With Into the WildLIFE, travelers can accompany members of the Trust on rhino interventions.

Tett sees the Into the WildLIFE series as a new way to support his beloved home continent. In addition to contributing to the local African economy, communities, and wildlife, the eco-expeditions benefit the traveler by instilling a sense of contribution.

“People want to know they’re not exploiting an area,” explained Tett. “With these immersive trips, guests get to know and have a genuine connection in each place but also leave a lasting positive impact on Africa and its wildlife.”

For more information about Into the WildLIFE, contact Bushtracks.

Photo Credits: Bushtracks unless otherwise indicated.