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  • Writer's pictureBushtracks

Safari Stories from One of Our Own: Siobhan Love

It is always exciting when one of our colleagues returns from Africa and to hear “Safari Stories from One of Our Own”.

Meet Siobhan Love, Bushtracks’ new Director of Sales in the USA and Canada, who was born and raised in Zimbabwe. Siobhan offers a unique traveler’s perspective as someone who was not only born and raised in Africa, but also has traveled back many times since moving to the states.

This is not your first time to Africa, but your first time to Africa in your new role with Bushtracks. What stand-out Bushtracks service or experience most impressed you?

Every service was impeccable from start to finish. The staff at Bushtracks are very loyal and have been there for a long time. There are driver guides that have been with the company for 25 years. Tourism shutting down during COVID-19 was extremely difficult for all the employees, but to see them all come back to Bushtracks was incredible and encouraging.

The fluidity of border crossings was a big stand-out to me. A traveler from the states is looking for efficiency and punctuality. The Bushtracks staff made every transfer a flawless, seamless process.

What was it like meeting the Bushtracks team in Victoria Falls?

Seeing the ground handling operations in motion instilled an enormous amount of pride. We have everything from driver guides to boat captains to the train staff. Everyone comes to work every day and puts their all into their work. I now have a great deal of confidence when I present our product to consumers. I know who these people are now. It was also great to see they are very proud of their uniforms and logoed vehicles. My Bushtracks guide was very informative and able to tell me new information, even though I have been to Victoria Falls many times.

What was your favorite moment or experience from your trip?

Of course, animals are always a highlight. We saw a lion kill after it had happened. It was two lionesses with two cubs, and they had taken down a kudu bull earlier that morning. By the time we got to it, their bellies were so full they were lying around, relaxing. The one lioness was tracking us with her eyes, but she was too full to be bothered.

There were also a couple of Zen moments. I was on Bushtracks’ Zambezi River Cruise boat The Victoria and the sun was setting on the Zambezi. It’s so familiar and awesome in every sense of the word. There’s nothing that beats the sunsets in Africa.

You’re from Zimbabwe, so are you used to African wildlife sightings?

I don’t think you ever lose your wonder seeing wild animals. I live in Arizona, and I still get excited seeing wildlife here. It’s exciting, but it’s also very calming and therapeutic being in the bush. Sometimes you’re looking at these African animals and you think to yourself, “how would this look to me if I were coming from a different planet?”. You see a zebra’s stripes and they’re so striking. You see the neck of a giraffe or the trunk of an elephant and it’s so bizarre the way they’re created.

What are your top 5 recommendations or words of advice for someone who has never been to Africa?

1. Pack efficiently – there’s nothing worse than losing your luggage. You can really plan your outfits. Most lodges will do laundry for you.

2. Go with a very open mind. In the US, we are very time driven. You must try to take a step back and accept their different philosophy on time. Slow down and observe.

3. Respect the cultures you’re going to experience. Listen, slow down, absorb, be flexible, and go along with the journey.

4. Be open-minded about food and give it a try!

5. Listen to the guides – ask questions, they have so much information to share.


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