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Cultural & Conservation

Africa offers remarkable cultural experiences, connecting travelers to the local indigenous people who have carved and shaped the African landscapes for centuries.

Blending cultural experiences and unique activities to understand the customs of the people with traditional wildlife activities can enrich your safari and create an even more memorable journey, while wholly immersive itineraries are also an option.

Becoming an active contributor in defending Africa’s critically endangered wildlife opens your eyes to the impact your journey can have on the lives of the animals and people of your preferred destination.

Join specialists on the ground to understand the bigger picture of wildlife conservation and gain insight into how lodges and local communities work together behind the scenes to protect the continent’s unique wildlife.

History & Culture

Africa is the oldest inhabited continent on Earth.  It is also one of the largest, home to 54 separate and unique countries, and over 3,000 indigenous tribes. Tribal influences are a dominant force, and traditional customs and beliefs are still practiced in most regions.


Whether it is visiting local artisans and learning their craft, delving into customs through dance or cooking, volunteering at a local school or hearing stories firsthand from area residents…our travelers are exposed to sights, sounds, smells and scenes very different from home.

Such experiences are frequently woven throughout a traditional wildlife safari, creating an even more rewarding journey.   And for clients seeking a more immersive experience, we also plan in-depth itineraries tailored to specific interests, from South Africa’s Battlefields, where British, Boer and Zulu armies clashed in brutal encounters, to visiting Ethiopia’s southern tribes such as the Mursi, known for their distinctive clay lip plates, or the fascinating Hadzabe people of Tanzania – one of the last tribes in Africa still practicing a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle.  Not to mention encounters with the tall, red-robed Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania, perhaps the most familiar of the African tribes people.


East Africa: The Maasai & Samburu

The red-clad Maasai are renowned East African warriors and pastoralists, synonymous with the great plains of Kenya and Tanzania. Their most famous traditions include the wearing of the colorful shuka, and the Adamu – a jumping dance for men performed as part of an initiation right to show prowess and fitness.

We love experiences like visiting the Olpalagilagi Primary School near the Masai Mara in Kenya – to see how the Maasai children study,  listen to the school choir and engage.  or exploring the rich cultural heritage at a warrior school where skills are passed from one generation to another, and a Maasai village, involving a trip to their Manyattas (mud huts), village setup (security, healthcare, education and management of resources ex. meals, water firewood), and the local market.

The Samburu are pastoralists, hailing from the northern arid region of Kenya, closely related to the Maasai. They too are known for their colorful cloth attire, and the women apply ochre to their bodies, similar to the Himba of Namibia. The warriors, or Moran, have long braids in their hair, while the women keep their heads shaven.

South Africa: The Zulu & Ndebele

The Zulu people are the largest ethnic group in South Africa. Traditional dress for men consists of animal skins and feathers, indicating the status of the person wearing them. They are warm-hearted and hospitable and it is to them that we owe the concept of Ubuntu which refers to the human virtues of compassion and humanity.

The Southern Ndebele people are found in the north-eastern provinces of South Africa. While they share some language with the Zulu, they have their own unique culture and beliefs. What really sets them apart is their striking traditional geometric designs and patterns that adorn their bodies and their homes.

Southern Africa: The San

The Khoisan or San or are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, having lived in the region of over 20,000 years. They are renowned for their nomadic lifestyle, deep connection to nature, language of clicking sounds, and their extraordinary rock art – found in caves and rocks throughout the region, dating back thousands of years.

Namibia: The Himba

The Himba are a nomadic tribe who call the northwest region of Namibia home. They are hunter-gatherers and pastoralists who are identified by their distinctive red ochre body paint and elaborate hairstyles which signify status, age, and social standing.


Beyond the local people, there is also the wine, the art, the food and so much more to learn and experience in Africa from a cultural perspective, it’s virtually impossible to list all the options here.  But rest assured, no matter what your interests – from rich programs featuring on-sight guides and local experts, to private tours and behind-the-scenes presentations unavailable to most travelers – Anastasia’s Africa is sure to meet your very high standards.



Depending on which experience you are interested in, you can enter the world of the planet’s most endangered species from elephants to lowland mountain gorillas, rhinos, lions, giraffe, cheetah and more.  Learn to track game on foot.  Build your photographic skills. Get hands-on with ecological conservation; simply observing or get involved with assisting researchers with work such as rhino notching,  predator management, collecting DNA samples for an afternoon or for many multiple days.  We have arranged for clients to volunteer for a month or more. The options are many. Dedicated to conscientious travel, your safari specialist will design a wildlife conservation safari that places you in the heart of the action.




Rhino Conservation

Get up close and personal with the endangered rhino at while assisting in vital conservation tasks alongside guides or an expert veterinary team. Depending on which research activity is available at your time of travel, you will have the opportunity to either trek and count rhino, assist in rhino notching or rhino dehorning – all integral tasks to ensure the longevity of this rare species.




Protecting Lions, Pangolin, Cheetah, Elephant & Beyond...

Forget about ticking off a checklist of the Big Five or simply passing the time. Instead, there is a seriousness about these experiences, a contribution to science, a cataloging of experiences, and a deep involvement missed in many safaris today,

Join in on collecting wildlife data on a hands-on expedition in Botswana where travelers will not only have the chance to truly connect with nature and lose themselves in the essence of what Africa truly offers explorers, but they will also be involved in meaningful conservation work and data collection. In this scientific element of the expedition, guests will support the team to count elephants, hippos, log GPS coordinates of dens, pangolin sightings, nests of large raptors and note elephant carcasses. In addition, by using DNA collection kits, pattern analysis tools and software to identify leopard and painted dogs, guests will be collecting important data that will contribute to the understanding of future conservation efforts.

From Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater to join the KopeLion team to discover how they are working to connect two lion sub-populations to ensure their long-term survival to learning to track and protect some of South Africa’s most unique wildlife including pangolin and cheetahs alongside researchers, students and experts in the Greater Kruger, the Eastern Cape at Shamwari or Samara, Tswalu  and Marataba for experiences such as joining the camp’s monitoring team and tracking collared cheetah using the telemetry kit, walking into the sighting, assessing the animal’s behavior and reporting back to the reserve’s conservation team.

Visit South Africa’s  Jabulani which has paved the way for caring for orphaned elephants and gives guests unique insight into the herd and their carers by tracking elephants on foot and actively partaking in research and observation tasks.  Join the teams of Kenya’s Lewa Conservancy, Namunyak,  Saruni among others in their ground-breaking work and in Tsavo, Kenya where hand-reared orphaned elephants are reintroduced into the wild. Or head to northern Kenya at Reteti where the elephant warriors there are guarding the herds.


Gorilla Trekking

Wild mountain gorillas live on the slopes of the volcanic mountain range that crisscrosses between Uganda and Rwanda. Their lesser-known cousins, the western lowland gorillas, live closer to ground in the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Trekking gorillas requires a permit in all three countries, with Rwanda being the most expensive ($1500 per person, per trek in 2021). Uganda permits are $750 per person, per trek, and DRC permits are $355 per person, per trek.


On the day of your trek, after an early morning meeting with your ranger, you and a maximum of seven other trekkers will set off on your journey to find the family to whom you have been assigned. Fun fact: Because the animals are so closely monitored by rangers (due to their endangered status), there is a 98% chance you will see gorillas on your trek.


The trek can take from two to four hours each way, depending on the location of the gorilla family. Because the activity can be strenuous, rangers will assess trekkers’ fitness level in advance and assign those with lower stamina to gorillas who have made their nests closer to the starting point.


Note: As the name implies, lowland gorillas are typically found on flatter ground, thus they are more easily located and the trek is typically shorter and less rigorous than the hike required to see mountain gorillas.


Once you have reached the family, you and your fellow trekkers will have one magical hour with these magnificent primates. Often, you will see the head of the family (the silverback) along with several female adults as well as younger males and juveniles; if you’re especially lucky, baby gorillas will also be in the mix.


Chimp Trekking

East Africa is considered the birthplace of the classic safari. With a distinctly “Out of Africa” sensibility (referencing the 1985 classic film starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford), safaris in Kenya and Tanzania are often planned around the Great Migration. Beyond the Migration, the resident game in both countries, inclusive of the fabled “Big Five”, is spectacular year-round.

Wild chimps can be found in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. It is worth noting, Jane Goodall conducted her groundbreaking research on these fascinating creatures at Gombe in Tanzania, where her center is still in operation and can be visited today.


Unlike the peaceful mountain gorilla, who typically stays in one spot with his family for the day, the wild chimpanzee is always on the move. Boisterous, active and loud, the chimps swing between trees and often shimmy down to the forest floor to run and tumble, sometimes right past your feet.


As with the gorillas, the chimps you will observe are habituated to humans over the course of many months and years, though trekking group sizes remain very limited to ensure minimal disruption to the animals. You are allowed one hour with the chimps once they have been located.


Note: For those who may wish to spend more time with the chimps, a “Habituation Experience” can be arranged. You will accompany primate behaviorists who are in the process of familiarizing a new group of chimps to humans. Instead of spending an hour with these wild primates you will spend half a day or longer, observing the scientists at work.


Uganda, also known as the “Pearl of Africa” is one of the original safari destinations on the continent, offering a traditional safari experience along with the opportunity to track rare mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking is often called one of the “Top Ten Wildlife Experiences” one can have in a lifetime and with good reason: spending time with these gentle creatures is both magical and awe inspiring. Rwanda, too, offers gorilla trekking and a traditional safari experience, though the latter is slightly less robust; combining Rwanda with another East African safari country is often recommended for those seeking a classic safari.


Sample Journeys for Cultural & Conservation Enthusiasts:

Think of them as Inspirations... Starting Points... Then We Tweak & Customize to Your Preference