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Bushtracks Bucket List 2017

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” 
― Brad Paisley

If your thoughts align with those of Brad Paisley, then right now your pen is poised and your fingers twitch. As we stand on the threshold of 2017, Bushtracks is ready to help you make this year’s book a number one best seller. Before your journey begins we want to hand you a map of must-see spectacles, must-taste treats, and must- memorise moments.

Chapter 1: Lifestyle

Little Ruckomechi A new camp and a natural utopia nestled in the iconic albida woodlands that emerge from old river terraces. Little Ruckomechi encompasses the picturesque landscape with smooth wooden decks, luxury en-suite tents and an open design that invites the breeze, sunlight and tranquillity inside to greet awaited guests. This safari experience gives a nod to a by-gone era of safari romance, with a glimpse of the intimacy of an unscathed Africa. The exclusivity of the private Ruckomechi Concession offers an unrivalled game viewing experience as they help you explore Mana Pools and her family of diverse wildlife. The tangle of tress offer a moment of relaxation, reflection or even meditation. The Zambezi River and Zambian foothills spill before the dining room, lounge and plunge pool creating the sensation of standing between two worlds, each as serene and breath-taking as each other. The scheduled adventures transport you into the depths of the wilderness, opening your eyes to the natural wonders of the world. Escape to new beginnings with us in the heart of Africa.

Sanctuary Chiefs Camp in the Delta The phrase “New year, new me” filters through the air at the stroke of midnight every New Year’s Eve, and this year, Sanctuary Chiefs Camp sang a similar song. The camp is part of Condé Nast Traveller exclusive "Platinum Circle" in recognition of its inclusion in the prestigious Gold List for the last five consecutive years and, like a pinotage that has grown more heavenly with age, so has the former royal hunting reserve of Chief Moremi. The newly designed bar and library area, the extension of the dining room and the addition of a pizza deck with pizza oven embraces a ‘safari chic’ style amidst a rough and wild beauty that captivates and exhilarates. Recline on the river in a Mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe), drink in the scenery from your private plunge pool, and watch the sun set on a blissful day spent in an exquisite place.

Chapter 2: Exercise

Every new year calls for a renewed (or brand new) gym membership card. Even when the tree has been disrobed and the tinsel is tucked away, the memory of the Christmas festivities manages to stay, usually by clinging to our hips. This year, let the sun be your relentless trainer, the African plains be your treadmill, and the Victoria Falls be your swimming pool. Here’s how:

A walking safari South Luangwa (Bilimungwe Camp) "From a vehicle, you see Africa. On foot, you feel, hear and smell Africa…” As the sun warms the back of your neck, the dust from your steps rises to meet you, and the stray leaves crunch underfoot, you become fully immersed in your safari experience. Nothing separates you from the dusty trail other than the soles of your shoes, and you are gradually swallowed whole by the wilderness of the South Luangwa National Park. Lead by an expert local guide, the path snakes through the home of leopard, elephant, hippo, lion, wild dog and countless other prolific game. Mother Nature’s expert hand has evidently lingered over these verdant floodplains, mopane woodlands and indigenous hardwood forests. The free-flowing river beckons over 60 different species of mammals and 400 species of birds to her side, creating an awe-inspiring and humbling viewing opportunity.

A swim under the waterfall The best travel resolution one can make is to experience every aspect of the places they visit and the sights they see. The bottom of the gorge boasts an incredible perspective of the Victoria Falls. The black basalt rock stretches one hundred meters upwards, blanketed by the river that plunges over it. As you watch, tucked between the lips of the gorge, the sky seems to melt into the waterfall, creating the illusion that the river is cascading from the heavens. During the ‘low water’ season when the water doesn’t churn too boisterously, still pools invite visitors to dive beneath their surface to round off this unforgettable adventure.

Chapter 3: Food

Bushtracks Express dinner train Treat your taste buds abroad a luxury steam train “Build a bridge across the Zambezi where the trains, as they pass, will catch the spray of the Falls” -Cecil John Rhodes. This year, the crew on our luxury steam train are bringing a whole lot more to the table. The unique venue, stunning views and mouth-watering menu designed by the prestigious Victoria Falls hotel create the ultimate fine dining experience for all passengers. The journey is a tribute to the glorious age of the steam train, and makes its way over the iconic bridge to Jafuta Siding, where guests indulge in a divine three course meal that celebrates our rich local produce and flavours. It is the perfect pairing between modern technique, cultural cuisine, and pleasures of the past.

The Elephant Café As we welcome the possibilities that come with the new year, we bid farewell to past experiences. This year will see the gradual phasing out of the elephant back safaris at the Elephant Café. The decision was made with the wellbeing of the herd at the forefront of the manager’s minds. Guests will still have the opportunity to interact with these magnificent mammals, as observation and education are key tools in conservation endeavours, and the resident herd will continue to roam the landscape that the restaurant is nestled within. The innovative menu, designed and executed by chef Annabel Hughes, promises to be an experience within itself, as she continues to produce culinary masterpieces that emphasise the unique flavours that burst from local soil.

Chapter 4: Picture perfect

Bushtracks River Photography Workshop Every nature lover knows that when you go on safari, you take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints. Magnificent sights are sure to surface on a day spent exploring the Zambezi River, and to ensure that you capture the memories you make is a professional guide and photographer. Led by their expert eye, you can focus your adventure through the lens of a camera so that you have a hard copy of your memories to share with friends and family back home. Africa is not just a place, it is an experience. At first, you are drawn in by the stories you hear about her. You will your internet research, pouring over beautiful pictures and captions, but convinced that there must be filters and photoshop at play. It is only once you have stepped into her world that your breath is truly taken away. She forms a place in your heart, coloured by laughter and love. You may travel to other places and create more memories, but you will make quiet comparisons and ache with longing to return to her.

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