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The Magic of Safari: Scouting in Rwanda, Kenya, Madagascar and Beyond

Our founder Melissa Biggs Bradley went on her first African safari at the age of 12. Since then, she has ventured all over the continent, multiple times each year, and has been recognized as one of the safari industry’s foremost travel experts, paving the way with recent scouting trips to Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Kenya and beyond. Our team has followed in Melissa’s footsteps, and we are sending more of our staff members to Africa than ever before, to test out new lodges and partners on the ground that share our commitment to protecting its landscapes for future generations. Below, they share intel and insight from their recent safari adventures.

Experiencing the magic of Africa has changed our lives and the lives of the thousands of travelers we have sent there. We consider it a privilege to have been able to form relationships with a network of the continent’s premier partners and guides, so you can travel as part of the Indagare extended family. Contact our team to start planning your first—or next—safari.

Rwanda

“Earlier this month, I visited Magashi, Rwanda’s first luxury safari property on a private concession in Akagera National Park. It is an edenic, dream-like lodge, due in part to its sustainable ethos and emphasis on conservation. I was struck by the staff’s desire to protect and preserve, to marry the experience of tourism with sustainability. When you’re out on a game drive, it’s not about ticking off a list of lions, elephants, giraffes; it’s about the slow and steady process of habituation—making animals feel comfortable existing alongside man. It’s about serving Mother Nature, rather than exploiting it. Anyone who loves safari—anyone who loves animals, anyone who loves the Earth—will love the experience created by the team at Magashi.” — Avery Carmichael

“My time in Rwanda allowed me to connect with nature in a way I had never connected before. Seeing the silverback gorillas will forever be one of my favorite memories—not only because of the magic of these beautiful animals, but also because I was able to experience a country that is so conservation-centered and witness how their efforts are making a true difference. The work that is being done in Rwanda to educate communities locally and globally is inspiring. I am so thankful that Indagare works with such like-minded partners, so that future generations will be able to experience the same magic that I did when they trek to see the silverback gorillas for themselves.” — Mary Elizabeth Moore

Read our Rwanda Destination Guide.

Kenya

“Since Kenya is considered the ‘birthplace’ of safari, it has had the most time to become overdeveloped and commercialized by the negative effects of tourism. On my recent trip, however, I was struck by the efforts being made by the properties that I visited to protect and preserve Kenya’s heritage, tradition and land, from the 4Cs program at Segera and Cottar’swhich focuses on Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce—to community land partnerships, education outreach and species preservation projects like the incredible rhino conservation program, vet clinic and rescue center at Ol Jogi.” — Lizzie McGirr

Read our Kenya Destination Guide.

Madagascar

“On the ground, Madagascar is so beautiful and wild. But from the air, flying over all the exposed red earth, you can’t help but wonder how much more it could offer if it developed in harmony with its own environment. It’s all a numbers game: 90 percent of the wildlife on Madagascar is found nowhere else in the world; only 12 percent of its original forests remain; 100 percent of its species are at risk of extinction. I have hope that the country is going to last as Africa’s true final frontier, but it’s going to take a concerted effort both from within the country and from international supporters to protect it.” — Colin Heinrich

“One of the highlights of my time in Madagascar was a day trip to Ankarana National Park. We explored caves and the park’s tsingy—jagged limestone formations—and were lucky enough to see lemurs, which are endemic to Madagascar. Many of Madagascar’s lemur species are critically endangered, and it is essential that people living in other parts of the world become educated—through travel or otherwise—about the threats facing this one-of-a-kind ecosystem.” — Emma Pierce

Read our Madagascar Destination Guide.

Botswana

“I wasn’t sure what to expect from Abu Camp, but I am able to confirm that interacting with the Abu herd of eight (both rehabilitated and young) elephants is authentic, special, safe and truly unforgettable. Meeting the herd actually took our breath away, and we had a hard time even getting out of the vehicle because we were unable to focus on anything other than the beautiful elephants that approached us. Walking with the herd was unforgettable, feeding them so much fun and, later, I was so humbled just to stand right next to one of the elephants and get to pet her face and her trunk, feel her ear and look right into her eye. To say that I feel fortunate for the experience is an understatement; the fact that this elephant trusted me to stand alongside her…I have never felt so grateful. It is an absolute must for animal lovers—especially elephant lovers—and anyone who appreciates the magic of Africa.” — Rose Allen

Read our Botswana Destination Guide.

South Africa

“On a recent scouting trip to South Africa, I discovered Jabulani, a lodge that offers a soulful safari experience focused on elephant conservation and sustainable tourism. The camp’s founder, Lente Roode, first established the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center (HESC), which has evolved into a wildlife conservation center that operates just minutes away from the camp in the Kapama Game Reserve. The reserve is home to the Big 5 (lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and Cape buffaloes), so guests of Jabulani are able to enjoy the traditional game drive experience—plus visit HESC and interacting with the camp’s own herd of elephants, who were orphaned in the wild. Possible interactions include walking safaris with the elephants, a sunset and stable walk, seeing them swim and one-on-one meetings with an elephant or two from the herd, all of which are done respectfully and thoughtfully, enabling guests to connect on a deeper level with the species and understand the importance of their conservation.” — Gabrielle DuCharme

Read our South Africa Destination Guide.

Experiencing the magic of Africa has changed our lives and the lives of the thousands of travelers we have sent there. We consider it a privilege to have been able to form relationships with a network of the continent’s premier partners and guides, so you can travel as part of the Indagare extended family. Contact our team to start planning your first—or next—safari.

Click here to explore our Africa microsite.

 

– Indagare on May 14, 2019

Author

Quotable

While scouting, I was struck by the desire to protect and preserve—to marry the experience of tourism with sustainability.
~ Trip Designer Avery Carmichael, on scouting in Rwanda

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