African Bush Camps founder Beks Ndlovu is redefining what luxury in the bush looks like.
By Haley Beham
“Dream big, work hard, stay humble” isn’t just a catchy motto for Beks Ndlovu. It’s a way of life.
As a young boy growing up on the edge of Hwange National Park, Beks frequently chased intruding elephants from his home by banging pots and pans together. It was this ritual that sparked an interest in the wildlife surrounding his home, leading to many days of exploration with friends.
His amateur explorer days launched him onto a career path in the safari world. He started at the bottom as a camp staffer and worked his way up. Eventually, he became a guide for a top safari company. Later, he branched out to form his own private guiding company, accumulating a number of guiding awards along the way. Then in 2006, he founded African Bush Camps with his property Somalisa Camp, a six-tent property shaded by acacia trees in Hwange National Park near his childhood home.
“It was a passion of mine to start something that redefines what the world today knows as luxury. Luxury on safari is being out in a very remote, truly authentic wilderness area with a team of guides who are really passionate about their environment.”
The African Bush Camps Portfolio
The African Bush Camps portfolio now encompasses properties in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana. Its most recent venture, Linyanti Expeditions, is a seasonal camp with just six tents in the northern reaches of Botswana in the Linyanti Wilderness Reserve. The 275,000-acre private concession enjoys an abundance of wildlife in the vast untouched grasslands, forests, and lagoons. Large herds of elephant, buffalo, and zebra roam the savannas. Meanwhile, predators like lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog are in close proximity.
Located on the southern banks of the Linyanti River, Linyanti Expeditions is a return to the simplicity of expedition-style camping. There’s an emphasis on an authentic, unhurried safari experience. As dawn is breaking, enjoy a warm cup of coffee. Then set off on foot into the bush following ancient game trails, or on a game vehicle in search of wildlife. Another option would be to spend the day gliding silently on a mokoro through the lagoons. While each interaction with wildlife is thrilling, the real highlight of a Linyanti Expeditions safari, however, are the guides, which is unsurprising, since they were each rigorously trained by Beks. Their love for Africa is infectious and it doesn’t stop at the wildlife and environment.
The African Bush Camps Foundation
Cooperation and giving back to the communities surrounding the African Bush Camps has been a top priority since day one. That’s why Beks to created the African Bush Camps Foundation. The foundation utilizes profits to provide scholarships to local school children. It also provides business and skills training for at-risk women and young girls. For each person that stays in an African Bush Camp property, USD $20 per night is given to the foundation to cover overhead costs, ensuring donations are focused on the projects that need funding most.
Beks has come a long way from his boyhood days of chasing elephants from his home. However, his focus for African Bush Camps remains unchanged: to create a business that supports conservation and directly impacts the lives of the people surrounding his camps, and to deliver the very best personalized safari experience to his guests. His efforts have skyrocketed him to the top of the safari industry. His passion keeps him there.