As a young boy growing up in Africa, Eddie Frank spent his childhood immersed in the African bush. He dreamed of wild animals and the sounds of nature, and yearned for the thrill of adventure.
And His Dad
Mike, his father, spun tales of fearless explorers conquering wild frontiers. At the age of six, a gift from his grandfather, a world atlas, set his heart ablaze with the thrilling promise of adventure and discovery.
And a Dream
At the age of 23, in Los Angeles Eddie was a budding photographer. One day, at a bar with friends, they talked about Africa. Eddie told them he dreamed of driving a Land Rover across the continent. His friends made a bet, doubting he’d do it. Determined, he returned home, found his grandfather’s atlas, and began planning his audacious adventure.
Tusker is Born
He spent months researching the journals of adventurers from a century before. In February 1977, he joined a friend and embarked on the first of many expeditions through Africa, driving two Land Rovers with a dozen adventurers across the continent. The thrill of discovery was invigorating – it hit a nerve and Tusker Trail was born. Today, decades later, Eddie has been inducted as a member of the prestigious Explorers Club in New York City, an honor bestowed upon only 3500 worldwide, a true testament to his spirit of adventure.
Adventure – a wild and reckless pursuit of the unknown, was what lured Eddie Frank into the wilderness. The excitement, the uncertainty, the euphoria of new discovery- these were the things that set his blood on fire.
But how does one convey such a passion to those who have never known it? In 1993, Eddie snatched up an old video camera and ventured into the heart of Africa. He captured the sights, the sounds, the music, and the soul of the land.
He amassed a volume of footage and one of the finest collections of African music around. Join us as we journey back to 1993, to Tusker Trail’s very first expedition video.
Enjoy the ride!
A Faraway Place
Eddie Frank’s adventures across Africa were legendary, a wild and untamed odyssey that took him to the most remote and untrammeled corners of the continent. He dined with Emperor Bokassa in the Central African Empire, floated trucks down the Congo, led safaris in the wilds of Zambia, and uncovered ancient astronomical sites in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Once, he spent three weeks in the Sahara sitting out a coup by the Nigerian army.
On the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro Eddie first discovered his true calling. Back then, the idea of climbing Kilimanjaro was a novel one, and the mountain was not yet the well-hiked destination it is today. But Eddie saw something special in the mountain – an accessible challenge for adventurous travelers, and a feeling of accomplishment at the summit that was second to none.
It was a different time, when the dangers of altitude were less of a concern than the threat of a military coup. But Eddie persevered, and his approach changed the nature of the climb forever. He introduced world-class training to the local guides, and built Tusker Trail into one of the most respected companies on the mountain.
In 2004, on his 23rd climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, Eddie Frank met Amy, a seasoned outdoor guide and mountaineer who had dedicated much of her life to leading adventurers through the Canada’s wilderness. It was a meeting of like-minded souls, and soon their shared passion for the wild and the unknown brought them together.
They formed a formidable team, with their sights set on new continents and new adventures. They scouted and hand-crafted new treks that pushed the boundaries of personal discovery. They understood that true adventure is about new discoveries and the camaraderie comes from challenging oneself in foreign lands. This spirit of self-discovery is the axis on which Tusker Trail spins.
A Guide Supreme
For 38 years, Amy has roamed the wilderness, scaling mountains with the rugged grace of a true wildcat. Long before she crossed paths with Eddie, she had already made a name for herself as a seasoned climber. And beyond the Kilimanjaro, she’s guided treks through the Himalayas, in Bhutan, Nepal and across the vast steppes of Mongolia. She was also a vital co-creator of Tusker Trail’s High Altitude First Responder course for Tusker’s Kilimanjaro guides.
But Amy’s talents don’t stop at the summit. As an authority on nutrition, she collaborated with the Culinary Institute of America, crafting our famed Kilimanjaro recipes in Tusker’s Adventure Kitchen.
The Legacy of Adventure
Step back in time and scroll through Tusker’s Legacy Timeline. Learn about a young Eddie Frank in 1977 as he embarked on his first audacious expedition across Africa. Over the years he and Amy have forged new adventures around the world, raising millions for charity on Kilimanjaro climbs and chasing solar eclipses across the globe. Adventure runs deep in Tusker’s DNA. Eddie and Amy have infused this spirit of exploration into every one of Tusker’s journeys.
Welcome to Adventure TV, where Tusker Trail’s passion for adventure is captured in every frame. Here you’ll discover the gritty, raw footage of our hard-driving expeditions across the African wilderness, dating back to the mid-1970s.These films document the evolution of Tusker’s adventure craft over the decades, culminating in the present-day thrill of our international trekking expeditions. Follow us as we reveal the rugged, sandy, and muddy world of overland adventure, and witness how we’ve crafted our adventure reputation.
Tusker Trail’s origins are deeply ingrained in Eddie’s wild and adventurous childhood spent in the African wilderness. It was during his first breathtaking expedition to Africa in 1977 that Tusker Trail truly came to life. Since then, we have been leading intrepid travelers on journeys that ignite the soul and awaken the spirit. Our worldwide treks are the culmination of Eddie and Amy’s lifetime pursuits.
They have meticulously crafted every detail of our expeditions to ensure that you too can experience the life-changing thrill that has driven them for so long. Eddie began Tusker Trail on a whim, and it consumed him. So we dare you to step out of your comfort zone and join us on a Tusker Trail trek, where the exhilaration and passion will take your breath away.