African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Bushtracks Expeditions have signed a three-year partnership that will offer one-of-a-kind African safari experiences.
The partnership will also help raise visibility and resources for wildlife and wild lands conservation across the continent.
One per cent of the safari cost paid by each guest traveling with Bushtracks will be invested in AWF’s conservation projects protecting critically endangered species and conserving vital ecosystems — all in partnership with and for the benefit of local communities as well.
“Since first meeting AWF and its extraordinary team over 15 years ago, we shared a common vision where human development in Africa goes hand in hand with thriving wildlife and wild lands,” said Bushtracks co-founder and president, David Tett.
“That is why we are so excited about this new, innovative partnership where we can join forces and grow our Bushtracks-AWF safari programme, and in doing so directly support valuable wildlife economies. We know our funds will be effectively deployed.”
The Bushtracks-AWF safaris are specially designed to open the continent up to travellers — whether first-timers to Africa or seasoned safari-goers — keen on custom-designed experiences that provide the absolute best opportunities for wildlife viewing combined with visits to conservation projects to learn from frontline field experts.
Safaris will be led by seasoned conservationists from AWF and Bushtracks, who bring years of experience leading safaris.
The portfolio of safaris offered annually through this partnership will be diverse in terms of location and cost but similar in that they will offer small, intimate group experiences to people, who share a desire to experience the wonders of Africa but care about traveling responsibly and giving back.
Itineraries will feature the famous wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara in Kenya; the ancient ruins, singular wildlife and extraordinary vistas of Ethiopia; the breathtaking River Nile and Murchison Falls, chimpanzee and mountain gorilla trekking, and wildlife-rich Kidepo Valley in Uganda.
Visitors can also choose to explore Zimbabwe and Zambia, experiencing the powerful Zambezi River and its abundance of wildlife, or Namibia with its harsh but stunning desert landscapes, unparalleled national parks, and unique UNESCO-protected geological site.
Rounding out these trips, groups will meet AWF’s Canine for Conservation dogs and wildlife authority handlers as well as rangers, who work tirelessly to stop poaching and wildlife trafficking.
They will visit local communities to see first-hand interventions to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
Groups will visit conservation schools and have the opportunity to talk with students and teachers, who live with wildlife in their backyards and school yards, learning about their wildlife clubs and conservation projects.
And they will stay in lodges that work with and give back to — and in some cases are owned by — local communities.
“We are pleased to be entering into an exciting new chapter with Bushtracks as our exclusive safari outfitter,” said AWF chief executive officer Kaddu Sebunya.
“This partnership blends the experience and knowledge of the African continent of two organizations — private sector and not for profit — and increases the depth and scope of our conservation impact.”
Mr Sebunya emphasised that the partnership will not only provide travellers to Africa a chance to be inspired by the continent’s beauty and to understand the threats to its wildlife, it will also offer the visitors a way to be part of the conservation solution.
“Tourism and conservation must unite to form a symbiotic relationship that charts a way forward to ensure that wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa,” he said.
The partnership will be launched in an official ceremony on September 24, 2019 at the Presidio Golden Gate Club in San Francisco.