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Breakfast with cheetahs

For ten days I’ll be touring wildlife camps in Namibia and Botswana, accompanying researchers as they gather data on big cats, black rhinos, and elephants. Ecotourism – trips where travelers help preserve the communities they visit – is the fastest-growing segment of the tourism industry. A growing number of small U.S. travel firms have found their niche creating trips that combine some element of giving back with comfortable accommodations that don’t stress the environment.

One company is Classic Africa, which arranges small group trips to wildlife camps in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The firm was founded by Margaret and Pierre Faber, who provide custom trips for about 500 clients a year

I have twice gone on safaris in East Africa (photos from my Kenya safari). They have been absolutely wonderful experiences getting to see vast expanses of natural wildlife is like nothing else I have done. They are costly but if you can afford it they really are quite amazing. While the TV shows exploring these location don’t equal a visit they are pretty great also.

Related: Water Buffaloes, Lions and Crocodiles Oh My Photos of Rare Saharan Cheetah, Sand Cat and Other Wildlife Cheetahs Released into the Wild Leopard Bests Crocodile

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