Safaris

Walking Safaris

The African wilderness holds many wonderful and intriguing secrets that can only be experienced when you get off your safari vehicle, put on your walking boots and explore it on foot. Walking safaris are undoubtedly the ultimate way to experience the continent's wild places in its most raw and authentic form.

Game drives are at the core of most photographic safaris, but there is something extra special about exploring the same areas on foot that gives safari-goers a much deeper and more powerful connection to Africa’s soul. After all, walking safaris are the purest of all safaris.

Walking safaris as an experiential adventure
Exploring the bush on foot awakens your senses and for many is the ultimate detox from all the digital distractions in our busy lives. Savour the sound of the wind as it brushes through the trees, birds singing to one another, smell the crushed wild grass that you tread on as you soak up the scenery. You will notice the little things that you take for granted on a game drive; from tiny reptiles and insects to unique flora that are just waiting to be discovered.
 
 
In the company of your expert safari guide and armed game scout, learn the complexities of tracking – from identifying different animal tracks; analysing how fresh the tracks are; to interpreting the alarm calls of various birds and animals. Your guide will share nature’s stories with you; about fascinating plants and their medicinal uses, as well as impart some valuable bush survival skills. Every sound, scent or marking tells a tale.
 
 
From time to time, you will encounter some of Africa’s wild inhabitants such as elephants, giraffe, nyala from a more natural level – as a humble participant in their world and on their terms.
Tailoring our walks for you
Most of our destinations offer walking safaris, mostly in private concessions and game reserves outside national parks. Always starting off with a detailed safety briefing as the precise set-up and form of these walks vary considerably between countries, reserves and individual safari camps. Your walk can range from a leisurely half-day stroll to an immersive multi-day walk; either way, you will be buzzing with excitement with each step!
 
All in a day’s walk
The rising popularity of incorporating active experiences into holidays has helped walking safaris boom across Africa. Many camps and lodges now offer guided bush walks as an alternative to traditional game drives. These walks are typically conducted in small groups with no more than 6 guests and last up to four hours – covering relatively short distances around camp at a gentle pace, with plenty of stops to investigate interesting plants and animals along the way. Depending on the destination, you may be accompanied by a safari guide with an armed scout, or more guides and armed scouts in areas with possible big game encounters.
 
 
Multi-day walking safaris and fly-camping
Safari and nature enthusiasts yearning for a deeper connection with the African bush can embark on longer multi-day walking safaris. Head out for days with your safari guides and armed scouts; hopping from camp to camp or even camping out in dome tents under the star-studded African skies. The pace and distances travelled are relaxed and comfortable, with most camps within 3-5 hours’ reach. Some guests may even choose to walk part of the way, then finish with a game drive back to camp.
 
 
We work with some of the continent’s best walking safari guides who have honed this unique safari activity into an art form. The logistics are orchestrated seamlessly; with hot meals and cold drinks prepared in stunning locations, your luggage ready in your tent, or your fly-camp all set up prior to your arrival – complete with hot bucket shower, comfortable bedrolls and mosquito nets.
 
Customising walks according to your fitness levels
We understand that everyone has different fitness levels, which is why our walking safaris can be tailored to be as relaxing or as strenuous as you wish. These can even be tailored to cover specific areas that match your interests and comfort levels. Most destinations have a minimum age requirement of 12-16 years for walking safaris. Our Africa specialists will work closely with you to recommend the most suitable destinations and camps, as well as customise the walking safari experience according to your preferences.
Our favourite walking safari destinations
From the birthplace of the walking safari in Zambia to the wild north of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, there are plenty of wonderful walking safaris to try out across the continent. Here are some of our favourites:
 
South Luangwa, Zambia – home of the original walking safari
Zambia is renowned for running Africa’s finest guided walking safaris – the first of which were set up by Norman Carr in South Luangwa National Park in the 1960s. Guided bush walks and multi-day camp-to-camp walks are the cornerstone of the experience here, complemented by award-winning camps. Guests can venture out on foot and observe large elephant herds, countless bird species, abundant plains game and other smaller creatures of the bush safely with top guides and armed scouts. Nicknamed the ‘Valley of the Leopard’, South Luangwa also boasts prolific sightings of leopards and other predators such as wild dogs and lions.
 

 
Mana Pools, Zimbabwe – to explore its unspoilt biodiverse wonderland
Situated on the southern banks of the mighty Zambezi River, the remote UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mana Pools National Park is a paradise for walking safaris. Its sparse vegetation provides good visibility and walkers can often enjoy close encounters with relaxed wildlife in the company of experienced guides. Keen photographers will delight in capturing stunning wildlife moments in the same space where BBC Earth filmed the Painted Wolves episode of Sir David Attenborough’s Dynasties. It is also one of the rare places on Earth to see elephants stand on their hind legs to browse for irresistible seed pods in albida acacia trees.
 
 
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania – for an exclusive and wild safari experience
Roughly the size of Switzerland with just a handful of camps, the Selous Game Reserve offers some of the best walking safari experiences for adventurous travellers looking for a slice of East Africa that is still as wild as it was a century ago. Its rugged landscapes teem with hippos and crocodiles in its Rufiji River, along with all of Africa's large mammals including wild dogs and more than 400 bird species that roam its miombo woodlands, open plains and wetlands. Consider fly-camping and spending the night in a cosy tent by the riverbank, falling asleep to the grunts of hippos as your knowledgeable guides and armed scouts keep watch.
 
 
Pafuri, South Africa – to discover the Eden of Northern Kruger
Arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the Kruger National Park, Pafuri offers unrivalled walking safari experiences. Safari veterans will easily fall in love with its ancient and diverse landscapes like Crook’s Corner (where the Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers meet), the fever tree forest, Lanner Gorge and more. Your guides will reveal small miracles of the bush and you will most likely be able to encounter many species of big game on foot!
 
 
This list is by no means complete and there are many more destinations across Africa worth exploring by foot. So feel free to speak to our team and we will help you plan the perfect walking safari!

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Walking Safaris

Every safari we arrange is unique and customised to suit each client’s interests and budgets.

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We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.