No two game drives are ever alike; the sheer delight of being up-close-and-personal with Africa’s wildlife, both great and small, of being immersed in the wilderness of the African bush, of seeing ‘the Big Five’, is to many, the ultimate wild animal experience.
That is at least, until you have experienced a walking safari in Africa. Nothing, absolutely nothing, gets guests closer to the real African bush – the sounds, smells, tastes, and textures, the insects, birds, and reptiles, the trees, the dung, the soil, the spoor, the very essence of nature – than walking on foot. In Swahili the word ‘safari’ literally means a journey, or to travel. Nowhere is this more authentic than on a walking safari.
Walking Safaris in Zambia
In Zambia guests can experience this ‘real safari’ by walking through the African wilderness from camp to camp. The Luangwa Valley of Zambia, in particular, the South Luangwa National Park, is considered the birthplace of African walking safaris, and it is in this Park that you will find some of the continent’s best on-foot experiences.
Stand in awe-struck silence as you view a herd of elephant dominating a watering hole at dawn; hold your breath and see the flick of a lion’s tail before he slips soundlessly away to blend into the ochre undergrowth; watch quietly as a new-born zebra foal nuzzles into its mother. Here visitors can wholly submerge themselves in the bush, become part of the wilderness and experience the pioneering sense of adventure and closeness to the African environment, as they hike from one luxury camp to another.
Walking Safaris in Tanzania
Whilst Zambia may hold the origins of the walking safari, there are other opportunities for safari walks and tours in Southern Africa. Far from the madding crowds, surrounded by nothing but nature, wandering through one of the largest faunal sanctuaries in the world and being on foot in the remote region of the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, is nothing short of a truly overwhelming, and altogether exclusive, experience.
Walking Safaris in Namibia and South Africa
In Namibia, in the harsh and remote regions of the northern Namib desert, in the dried-up riverbeds of Kaololand and Damaraland, there are specialised tours which take guests on foot to see the inimitable and exceptional desert elephants.
In South Africa, the very pinnacle of all walking safaris is doubtlessly tracking the critically endangered rhino into the depths of the famed and unrivalled Kruger National Park. Oh, to stand and marvel in awe just a few metres from these shy, short-sighted, and heart-wrenchingly beautiful beasts.
Family Walking Safaris
For family vacations, selected game lodges and reserves offer especially personalised family nature walks; although on a smaller scale than full-blown safari hiking (to accommodate shorter little legs). These prove to be incredibly educational and exciting for all, particularly the younger ones.
Your Tailor-Made Safari
Safari walks and tours are tailor-made; guests are lavishly accommodated in luxury lodges, and venture out to hike on trails in the pristine African bush. Accompanied by an expert wildlife ranger and an expert safari guide respectively, hikers are escorted, frequently through Big Five territory, on a thrilling and often life-changing adventure.
Highly qualified guides share their wealth of bush expertise with visitors – identifying animals, trees, grasses, and the medicinal uses of plants, pointing out insects and birds, and sharing with guests ancient folklore, and basic tracking and survival skills, which is the way of life in the wild. It is difficult not to be humbled by these warm and kindhearted people, hugely knowledgeable, born, raised and weaned, on their native lands.
Whilst game vehicles may cover more distance, game-viewing on foot is infinitely more intimate. Take your African safari holiday to a whole other level – surrender to the bush, allow the mysteries of the wild to reveal themselves and appreciate the very essence of Africa. Browse our walking safaris for ideas and contact us to arrange your tailor-made luxury walking safari in Southern Africa.