top of page

Africa's Finest by David Bristow and Colin Bell

Fans of our blog may recognize the name of Bushtracks Expeditions Guest Blogger and Specialist Guide David Bristow who is based in Cape Town, South Africa. What they may not know is that David Bristow is a book author, who cowrote ‘Africa’s Finest’ with Colin Bell. Read on to learn more!

Africa’s Finest (Hardcover) by David Bristow and Colin Bell was published in December 15, 2013 – A stunning perspective of the most sustainable and responsible safari destinations in sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. Africa’s Finest is the game-changing book that celebrates the lodges and camps in Africa that are making a difference: those practicing environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism methods while providing world class safari and nature experiences.


Photo of David Bristow

“Still so many mountains to climb, still so many books to write,” says nature and environmental writer David Bristow.

Stints on Johannesburg’s two biggest circulating dailies – The Star and The Sowetan – following a double honors degree in Journalism and Speech and Drama at Rhodes University – made him realize a desk job would not be the life for him.

Soon after returning from an expedition to Nepal he set off on an 18-month mountaineering odyssey that culminated in the best-selling coffee table book Mountains of Southern Africa (Struik, Cape Town, 1984). Since then he has authored some 20 books and written hundreds of travel articles – mainly on Africa but as far flung as Antarctica and Alaska. Some time in mid career David decided he needed a firmer grounding in the earth sciences. There followed a masters degree in Environmental Sciences at Cape Town University.

He met partner in this project Colin Bell when they were students, rock climbing on weekends and helping to collect data on endangered Cape vultures on cliff faces around South Africa. In the late 1980s, when Colin’s Wilderness Safaris was establishing itself as southern Africa’s foremost specialist safari operator, David found himself managing and guiding at Moremi Safaris’s camp at Xakanaxa in the Okavango Delta. Now living in Cape Town, David co-ordinated the Green Safari Africa project and wrote the text for Africa’s Finest, using primarily the research gathered by the various members of the team who over a two-year period conducted environmental assessments of around 170 hand-picked safari destinations.


Photo of Colin Bell

Colin Bell is one of the best known people in the African safari business, having co-founded both Wilderness Safaris and Great Plains.

He now lives in Cape Town and is semi-retired, independent and out of all tourism businesses. He devotes much time to greening the safari industry. However, the community of Mkamabati has asked him to come out of retirement to head up a project which will keep him busy for a number of years.

Here is a brief look into Africa’s Finest:

Foreward to Africa’s Finest by David Bristow & Colin Bell

Giraffes in Tanzania, Eastern Africa

Walking with the Cape Buffalo, Zambia in Southern Africa

Explore this book here on Also available on Amazon.

The first version of this article was posted on 17 Apr 2014 at 2:27 PM.


bottom of page