Few experiences in this world can match the sheer exhilaration of a walk through the African bush, to experience its natural wonders face to face. A walking safari offers an altogether more intimate view of Africa’s incredible wilderness and really enlivens your senses! Approaching big game on foot is exciting, extremely rewarding, and a truly unique experience, providing a chance to really ‘see’ and understand Africa in all its pure magnificence.
A walking safari might be a daunting prospect for some people. However, just try it once, and you will be hooked – guaranteed! Safety precautions are paramount – you will be accompanied by an experienced specialist safari guide and an armed game scout. Numbers are limited to a small group size, ensuring wildlife encounters that are second to none! The duration of your walking safari could be anything from a day’s walk from your lodge and back, to as much as several nights’ camping in mobile tents under the star-studded sky. The distances involved are short and the pace is relaxed – plenty of stops allow you to soak up the atmosphere, to really appreciate the wildlife, and to experience the buzz of being out with the big game! Your guide will identify animal tracks, talk about the varied ecosystems, and point out the birdlife and smaller wildlife that cannot easily be seen from a vehicle. Accommodation ranges from fairly basic to pretty luxurious, so you can decide what suits you best – and we will match your requirements.
Most countries offer opportunities for walking safaris, generally with half-day walks supplied as part of the safari package at numerous lodges and camps. However, there are several special places that we believe will provide you with a particularly authentic walking experience! Renowned for its excellent walking safaris, Zambia offers you Africa up close and personal. South Luangwa National Park, located at the southern end of the Great Rift Valley, is where the notion of walking safari originated and today the region remains one of the best walking safari destinations in the world! With its expansive plains, it is home to some of Africa’s richest concentrations of wildlife, including lion, leopard, and hyenas. We highly recommend Mwaleshi, Tena Tena, Luwi Bush, Chiawa, and Chikoko Tree camps, as well as Robin Pope’s spectacular 5-night mobile walking safari along the remote Mupamadzi River. All have excellent guides, comfortable well-equipped camps, and unparalleled wilderness experiences – all the prerequisites for an exceptional walking safari!
Zimbabwe is a truly diverse country, home to Victoria Falls, an ever-changing landscape, and excellent National Parks. Providing a rich variety of animal, plant, and bird life, this is a great all-round holiday destination. Zimbabwe’s walking guides undergo vigorous training, resulting in seemingly endless knowledge! Qualifying as a guide here also involves a very high awareness of safety – this allows the guides to walk wherever they want to, bringing an unprecedented degree of flexibility and spontaneity to your safari. Over the years guides have formed special relationships with the animals, so they can get extremely close, especially to several of the bull elephants! Hwange National Park, the biggest of its kind in Zimbabwe, boasts an especially large concentration of the grey guys. Mana Pools, one of Africa’s most spectacular parks, has amazingly diverse game viewing and good concentrations of wild dog, while Lake Kariba and Matusadona combine to provide a superb contrasting landscape! Our favourite properties offering excellent walking safaris are Vundu Camp, The Hide Safari Camp, and Goliath Safaris Tented Camp.
Botswana offers some brilliant walking safaris within the numerous private concessions that cover the majority of the Okavango Delta, the Linyanti and Selinda regions, and the Makgadikgadi Pans. These remote areas have minimal disruption and influence from humans, therefore allowing walking safaris to be extremely exciting!
In Tanzania, we recommend Kichaka Lodge. This property is located in the northern sector of Ruaha National Park and it is one of our favourite walking camps. Kichaka epitomises the essence of a park that is regarded within the industry as one of the wildest and best big game destinations anywhere on the continent. It offers one of the finest and most personal safari experiences around and is operated by one of Africa’s very best guides!