Walking in the African bush is quite unlike any other form of safari activity - with very distinct and exhilarating advantages. On foot you truly become part of your surroundings. For the first time, you will begin to truly notice the smaller things around you and be able to take the time to smell, listen and seek out the wealth animal and bird life of the African bush. On foot, you will lose that feeling of detachment that you get sitting in the back of a vehicle. Instead, you will feel a tingle of excitement in knowing that you have joined the food chain!
When we talk of walking safaris we are talking about the more traditional multi-day walking safari (as opposed to the two hour guided walk you can do from some safari camps and lodges - also recommended). True walking safaris are unique to only a few locations throughout Africa and are generally associated with some of the most remote and unspoiled wilderness areas in Africa.
......FROM A VEHICLE YOU SEE AFRICA
We have a number of different walking safari options in Botswana (see some examples below). In selecting a walking safari for you we will consider many options, depending on duration and your budget, before selecting the most appropriate. If you are looking for a walking riding safari in Botswana drop us a line today by completing our brief enquiry form.
Chitabe Trails Camp is set in one of Okavango's best areas for walking, and now offers a two night genuine walking trail experience for those who want to be closest to nature.
Guests are accompanied by an armed and licensed "accredited" walking guide who will take them on informative and adventurous walks through the different habitats of the Okavango Delta. The walking trail experience allows guests to get their feet on the ground and really feel, smell and touch Africa. We will walk for several hours a day, but it is done at a moderate pace and can be enjoyed by most guests, with plenty of time for quality game viewing and birding on foot. The Trail is completely tailor-made to each group of guests and the amount of walking can be increased or decreased to suit the group.
Nights are spent sleeping out at two of the hides located in the Chitabe Reserve area. Both hides accommodate guests on elevated platforms with each person sleeping in the hide under a mosquito net, with a brilliant view of the spectacular African night sky. Chemical toilets and hot bucket showers will provide the ablution facilities. Simple, but delicious, home cooked meals on the open camp fire are eaten, seated around an elegant dinning table set out under the stars - truly a wonderful way to end an active day.
The two hides at Chitabe are located in very different habitats. One hide is situated on the edge of a floodplain which often contains water and enables one to experience the wet side of the Okavango and listen to its distinctive night sounds. The other hide is set within the woodland on the edge of an extensive pan system, which often sees an abundance of elephant activity. Absolute silence, except for the nocturnal sounds of the Okavango's insects and wildlife, that one can experience by sleeping "out in the bush" is magical and one that all guests will mark as a highlight of their African safari.
Guests spend their last night back at Chitabe Trails Camp to end their stay before traveling onto their next destination.
The Chitabe Walking Trail operates between 1st May and 30th September only.
Footsteps Walking Camp, Okavango Delta
If you're keen to do some walking in Botswana, then Footsteps Walking Trails should be at the top of your wish list! The guides here are very experienced, and with them you'll usually head off for a walk in both the morning and another in the afternoon. Each lasts for three to four hours. These are not route marches, but opportunities to explore the environment and wildlife with an expert guide. Open April through November inclusive.
Footsteps is a very simple and rustic camp, currently located on the edge of a beautiful hippo-filled lagoon (the camp is fully portable and tends to be moved to a new location every couple of years). The tents are set-up in the shade of a lovely forested area and the camp takes a maximum of six visitors at once, who sleep on proper twin beds inside insect proof tents with sewn-in floors. Each tent has a private bucket shower and long-drop toilet, and wash-stand outside the front. Again, these are simple and functional rather than in any way stylish. There are just 3 safari tents (max 6 people).
Footsteps has a full bar and laundry service, and a dedicated chef, who prepares excellent fresh meals to a high standard.
A few nights' stay here will give you an authentic taste of the bush – the area is notable for the diversity of wildlife present, although walks tend to focus on learning about the small things, rather than getting too close to the big things! Both wild dog and lion are often seen in the area and also a variety of plains game including kudu, tsessebe, zebra, giraffe and impala. If you wish, you can also go on game drives, and mokoro, depending on water levels.
Note that family groups, with children as young as seven years old, can hire the whole Footsteps camp, including the services of a family-oriented guide. Activities will then be much more varied - from teaching the children to identify animals and their tracks, to learning bush skills like cooking on a fire, how to make bows and arrows, and fishing. The emphasis being on learning to understand and respect the natural environment.
Mashatu Walking Trails in Tuli (Land of the Giants)
Walking Safaris at Mashatu Game Reserve will take place from Monday to Friday each week - departing on Monday and returning five days later. The four nights out in the wild are spent in Walking Trails Camps. Camps will be moved daily to ensure a fulfilling experience. For those who are unable to spend the full period in the bush, the itinerary may be flexible to accommodate a minimum of 3-night stays. All camping equipment and food is provided, with your luggage being transported by vehicle...you will only need to carry a day pack.
The Land of the Giants offers the complete African experience as you walk with your experienced guide. Witness the walkabouts of the wild animals of Africa, learn about the hidden secrets of nature, the smaller creatures hidden in their bush homes, see how the eco-system involves the inter-relatedness of species, track down an animal after coming across its footprints and much more.
A word from Darran, the walking trails guide: Why so passionate about Walking Trails? Says Darran, "I love the fact that on a walking trail the focus is more holistic than purely big game. Although many opportunities arise to view big game, the focus is on the little, often overlooked aspects of the bush - tracks, plants, insects, etc. I feel that a walking safari is an awakening of all the senses. You as a trailist are a part of the environment - not merely a spectator as you are on a drive. As a trail guide, my passion is in sharing this, and in reconnecting with our primal selves and the environment around us".
We have a number of different walking safari options in Kenya (see some examples below). In selecting a walking safari for you we will consider many options, depending on duration and your budget, before selecting the most appropriate. If you are looking for a walking riding safari in Kenya drop us a line today by completing our brief enquiry form.
Take a walking safari with an experienced and qualified naturalist in the Masai Mara for the true thrill of the bush. Down on the same level as the animals you will experience the untamed beauty of the Mara. The walking safaris take place in a private concession area adjacent to the Masai Mara. The scenery here very much differs to the Masai Mara. Picturesque acacia trees characterise the hilly landscape you can enjoy walking through either in the morning or afternoon. The walk takes approx. 1½ to 2 hours. You will track game, unsure what waits round the next corner, giraffe, buffalo, hyena, zebra or even lion. You will catch the scents and sounds of the wild Africa. And at the end of it all waits a sumptuous bush barbecue breakfast complete with champagne. Your drive back to the camp again is a game drive through the Masai Mara. Afternoon walking safaris are finished with sun downer drinks and canapes.
Sosian is located in the vast Laikipia plateau in central Kenya; it supports a wide diversity of wildlife and birds, and is home to four of the ‘Big Five', as well as a host of other large mammals, including cheetah and the rare wild dog. Sosian is also a working ranch that raises a variety of livestock, including Boran cattle, Maasai Red sheep, and Galla goats.
Let your adventurous spirit express itself in the many activities available on Sosian. One of the best ways to experience the African bush is on a horse and Sosian provides horses for all levels of riders. Ride across the open plains among herds of zebra, gazelle and giraffe and stay at Sosian Lodge. Originally built in the 1940s by Italian artisans the newly renovated ranch house sits at the heart of the ranch, surrounded by seven double cottages that can accommodate up to fourteen people.
Walking Wild in Laikapia / Masai land (supported by camels)
Walking Wild in Laikapia / Masai-land is a walking safari experience through some of Kenya's best wildlife-viewing habitats, and some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa. A wide variety of game including the "Big Five", over 420 species of birds, Reticulated Giraffe, Cheetah, numerous different antelopes, and endangered species such as the Grevy's Zebra and Sitatunga, may be seen.
Professional guides lead the 3 to 6-day Walking Wild safaris starting on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, recognised as one of Africa's top safari destinations. Walking Wild routes across Lewa to Il Ngwesi and Lekurruki depending on the number of days, with all nights spent camping out under the stars.
The focus of the safari is learning about the ecosystems as well as the local Masai culture. Guests will be shown tracking techniques and other vital bush skills, as well as how to identify and understand the behaviour of the insects, plants, and animals they come across. Laikipiak Masai will join the guests to give insight into Masai customs.
The 6 day Itinerary :
- Day 1: Arrive at Lewa Airstrip, walk through Lewa, camp in central Lewa.
- Day 2: Walk through Lewa, camp on northwestern edge of Lewa.
- Day 3: Walk to Il Ngwesi, camp by Ngare Ndare River.
- Day 4: Meet local Laikipiak Masai and explore the surrounding rea, camp by Ngare Ndare River.
- Day 5: Walk from Il Ngwesi to Lekurruki, camp in the hills.
- Day 6: Depart from Lekurruki airstrip to next destination.
We have a number of different walking safari options in South Africa (see some examples below). In selecting a walking safari for you we will consider many options, depending on duration and your budget, before selecting the most appropriate. If you are looking for a walking riding safari in South Africa drop us a line today by completing our brief enquiry form.
Kruger Walking Safaris, Skukuza (private concession area in the south of the Park)
Specialising in luxury walking safaris, the most rewarding way to discover and experience the secrets of the wilderness. These 3, 4 and 5 night walking trails are limited to 8 guests guided by two armed rangers. Our guides will share their wealth of ‘bush culture’; the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects, birds, the medicinal uses of plants, local folk lore and basic tracking & survival skills. With exclusive traversing rights within 12 000 hectares of pristine bushveld you will stay in 3 distinct lodges/camps within this wilderness concession. Approximately 10km North East (as the hornbill flies) of Skukuza Rest Camp, the concession shares a 15km boundary with Mala Mala in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, with game moving freely between the two reserves. The concession comprises of environmentally sensitive areas previously unexplored, with huge diversity of both fauna and flora – an ideal setting for wilderness walking safaris in an internationally renowned big five area.
Kruger Walking Safaris, Timbavati & Klaserie Private Game Reserves
These walking safaris are designed for the keen adventurer and there is little that compares with the thrill of meeting the Big 5 on foot. Our luxury tented safari camps are situated in the Timbavati and Klaserie, part of the Greater Kruger Park. These scheduled wildlife walking safaris give you the rare opportunity to get out into the bush on foot and to really feel the pulse of the Africa. The tented camps are the real thing, complete with open air showers and dining tent and a camp fire to gather around at night and share the adventures of the day. The specialised guides open up a new world to guests by sharing their tracking skills, knowledge of the African bush and extraordinary bush expertise.
The attentive camp staff prepare customary bush fare including a traditional "Braai" and a venison dish. Afternoon walks are combined with an open vehicle drive that develops into a night drive by spotlight after a pause for sundowners. The tents are equipped with full sized beds and linen and solar lighting and the camps accommodate a maximum of 12 guests.
The safaris run every Mon-Fri (5 day / 4 night) and every Fri-Mon (4 day / 3 night). We operate throughout the year and all departures are guaranteed but bookings need to be made in advance. The unfenced camps are private and secluded and not open to day visitors. Each camp can sleep up to 12 people in large walk-in twin-bedded tents (linen is provided, so sleeping bags are not needed) with sown-in mosquito screens. Ablutions are separate but close with hot showers and flush toilets.
Although there is no electricity, there is solar lighting, candles, lanterns and a campfire to guide you around the camp at night. Meals are prepared in the kitchen tent and served in the dining tent. Each safari is accompanied by one or two experienced and armed rangers and each camp is serviced by a Shangaan chef. The combination of walks and drives in the open 4x4 Landrover are dependent on weather and animal movements and are conducted from camp in the early mornings, late afternoons and at night.
The safari is basic and designed to experience the bush the way one should: on foot. After the first walk you'll realize you've gone back in time – one with your ancestors who roamed these African trails. Although in Big Five areas, there are no guarantees on sightings – what you see is what you get. We do however guarantee a real bush experience!
Kruger Walking Safaris, Pafuri (private concession area in the far north of the Park)
This three-night, four-day walking trail takes place in the spectacular Makuleke concession in the northern Kruger National Park . At 24 000 hectares, this area which is also known as Pafuri, is the largest private concession in the park. Pafuri is not only blessed with abundant game, but offers spectacular scenery, a sense of history and a true feeling of wilderness and remoteness as well as an authentic community partnership. There is no better way to explore this magnificent area than on foot.
The diversity of habitat, scenery and associated wildlife is what makes the area unique: the life-giving arteries of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers , well-developed floodplains and a series of vitally important pans, rugged baobab-covered kopjes, dramatic mopane woodland, endless vistas across palm-studded floodplains, acacia woodland and ethereal riverine forest.
This trail is led by an experienced armed guide and tracker. Accommodation is in walk-in dome tents ensuring that guests are intimately connected with the surrounding wilderness and feel, rather than just hear the sounds of the African night – from lions roaring, to porcupines rustling in the undergrowth. The site of the camp is different each night, with trailists walking from one location to the next and having the freedom to explore or to adjust routes dependent on local conditions. This allows guests the opportunity to experience first-hand, the astounding diversity of Pafuri.
Day 1: Arrive at Pafuri Camp to check in and meet your guide and tracker. Proceed partly by vehicle and partly on foot to the first night's camp.
Days 2 and 3: After a light breakfast, head off on foot to explore the surrounding area. The course of the day unfolds dependent on local conditions and sightings, but typically guests will spend the heat of the day in a shady location with a vantage point and continue in the afternoon to the site of their next overnight camp. Guests need only carry a comfortable day pack with them. Trails support staff shift the camp and guest luggage each day in time for the guests' arrival at the new site.
Day 4: After an early breakfast, you depart on foot and return to Pafuri Camp.Please note: Pafuri Walking Trails has scheduled departures every Monday and Friday between 1 April and 31 October each year.
The Makuleke concession (also known as Pafuri) in the Kruger National Park is one of the few true wilderness areas left in South Africa . Large herds of elephant occupy the area during the dry season while several herds of buffalo are resident. There are resident lion prides and the Luvuvhu riparian system supports a healthy number of leopard. A small white rhino population also exists. The area is best known for its strong nyala and eland populations. Pafuri is also home to other regional specials such as four-toed elephant shrew, Sharpe's grysbok and Yellow-spotted Rock-hyrax. On the easternmost boundary at “Crook's Corner” the Luvuvhu supports resident pods of hippo and crocodile. The concession is also widely regarded as a birding hotspot with specialities such as Pel's Fishing Owl, Three-banded Courser, Racket-Tailed Roller and Dickinson 's Kestrel seen regularly.
We have a number of different walking safari options in Tanzania (see some examples below). In selecting a walking safari for you we will consider many options, depending on duration and your budget, before selecting the most appropriate. If you are looking for a walking riding safari in Tanzania drop us a line today by completing our brief enquiry form.
Selous Walking Safaris
The Selous Game Reserve is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Africa. Relatively unknown and still remarkably undeveloped it is the perfect location for intimate walking safaris.
Your accomodation is in a fully serviced exclusive fly-camp, with an experienced support crew. Mosquito nets under the stars, bedrolls with sheets & blankets, dome tent for changing / storing luggage or use in bad weather, shared use of private shower & toilet tent at rear of fly-camp. Limited bar, limited laundry facilities.
Itineraries: vary according to conditions, but will cover a variety of terrain including the banks of the Rufiji River , riverine & miombo woodlands, Lake Tagallala, a network of sand rivers, open plains and access to the Hot Springs.
Walking season: 01 June to 31 October only. We are no longer operating set departures. Each Selous Walking safari can be booked to start on any day, subject to availability. Minimum of 2 guests, maximum 6. All Selous Walks are operated on an exclusive basis and are for a minimum of 4 nights..
Activities: walking (minimum 4-5 hours a day), game viewing on foot, birding, fishing - depending on precise itinerary.
All walking safaris are led by an experienced, armed walking guide.
Serengeti Walking Safaris
Walking within the Serengeti National Park itself has only recently begun, but outside the park itself, in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Loliondo and Lobo areas a number of seasonal tented camps, and at least one lodge, have been offering guided walks as an optional safari activity. For walking safaris (or trails) as per Selous (as described above) take a look at the itineraries below - either as complete trips or as segments that can be joined together with your vehicle based safari:
3 Day Serengeti Walking “Taster” : This is an ideal trip for those that want to add just a sample of walking onto their regular vehicle based safari. We have great wilderness areas to visit any time of the year. You will escape the safari “crowds” and have the unique opportunity to stalk some game.
5 Day Serengeti Walking Adventure: This trip can stand alone as a short safari, or be added to a vehicle safari to round out your Serengeti experience.
7 day Serengeti Wilderness Walking: For the more adventurous this is a seven day trip hiking through the Serengeti. On this trip we will cover more distance and have less structure of exactly where we go. We will move with the game and let our experiences determine where we set up camp. It is a trip for adventuresome spirits and flexible minds.
5 Day "Angata Kiti", (Wet Season Dec-June): This is a fantastic walk through the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti Ecosystem. Mix with the Maasai and enjoy massive herds of migrating Wildebeest.
5 day "Highlands to Plains", (Dry Season June-Dec): This Ngorongoro Highland walk starts by climbing up over 10,000 feet then you drop down onto the plains of the Serengeti enjoying fantastic views. A good trip for those who enjoy hill hikes and stunning vistas.
8 Day “Donkeys to Lake Eyasi": (Dry/wet Season) This unique trip is supported with Maasai donkeys rather than vehicles. Although the trip is a bit rougher, it gets you into remote Africa and you visit three very different cultural groups. Walking is mixed with vehicle game viewing on this trip
11 Day Intigrated Walking and Driving Safari : This trip is a nice mix of getting close to wildlife in vehicles and stretching your legs on the ground. It is for people who want something more than just the ‘standard safari'. Entirely camp based you will get a great visit to the famous Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti Plains as well as go walking in the Serengeti National Park
14 Day "Integrated Walking and Game Viewing": (Dry Season June-Dec) This trip is more like a standard game viewing safari but there is walking scattered throughout so you can stretch your legs in many different environments. This trip visits the remote and unique Embakai Crater as well as famous National Parks.
Tarangire Walking Safaris
Walking safaris are available from only one safari camp on Tarangire's eastern side; its wild side. Opened in 1992 and re-sited to the Park's semi-wilderness area in 2001, this camp is ideally placed to follow migrations of wildlife, and to view the concentrations at waterholes for a nine to ten month season each year. The variety of habitats include open plains, acacia woodlands, tree lined sand rivers, and challenging hill climbs. Longer walking safaris are also available inside Tarangire National Park, along the Rift Valley or onto the Maasai Steppe.
The longer walking safaris, usually for 2 to 3 nights out, are based in wilderness parts of the Tarangire National Park, often starting froma base camp. We vary these walks by season, depending on conditions, so as to maximise the experience. To the south of our base camp is the wilderness area of the Tarangire National Park; wild and rugged land with no roads; to the east the Maasai herders mix with wildlife on vast open savannahs, and to the north is the Great Rift Valley and Lake Natron. These are wonderful areas to explore on foot and covering 8-12 miles each day we move free of porters as a private group. The equipment is carried by Landrovers, cross country, to meet up with us later in the day. Each night a new and exciting campsite is found.
We have a number of different walking safari options in Zambia (see an example below). In selecting a walking safari for you we will consider many options, depending on duration and your budget, before selecting the most appropriate. If you are looking for a walking riding safari in Zambia drop us a line today by completing our brief enquiry form.
The Luangwa Valley in Zambia (both North and South Luangwa National Parks) are considered the home of the African walking safari. In combination with comfortable, yet rustic, bush camps this is one of the most exciting safari experiences around.
We work with a number of safari operators throughout South (and North) Luangwa utilising purpose-built walking camps (mostly seasonal) in seldom frequented areas of the Park. These remote camps provide an unmatched wilderness experience with trails from 3 to 10 days in duration.
Experience the thrill of the traditional walking safari in one of the last unspoilt wilderness areas in Africa. Ideal for small groups seeking a personalized, remote bush experience, great hospitality and spectacular opportunities to explore this magnificent wildlife sanctuary on foot. Activities are tailored to individual tastes and include day and night game drives. Numbers at each camp are generally limited to 6 although groups of up to 8 can be accommodated. Age restriction of 15 years applies.
Whilst walking safari options in Malawi are limited (and do change) there are a number of options available (see the example below). In selecting a walking safari for you we will consider many options, depending on duration and your budget, before selecting the most appropriate. If you are looking for a walking riding safari in Malawi drop us a line today by completing our brief enquiry form.
The Livingstonia Trail is an incredible hiking trail now offered on Nyika Plateau for more active, adventurous guests (minimum 2), and a nice complement to any stay at Chelinda Lodge or Camp.
The Trail is a two-night/three-day hike with about six hours walking per day. The first day traverses the high plateau grasslands as far as the Phata Stream where camp is made. The second day is a steep descent through the Mwenembwe Forest to the boundary of the Nyika National Park at Chakaka Village. The third day is along the steep-sided North Rumphi Valley through Malawian villages, with the third day's final ascent to Livingstonia and accommodation either at the Stone House (built in 1903 by Robert Laws, the founder of the mission) or at Lukwe Camp overlooking the Manchewe Falls, the highest waterfalls in Malawi.
This is a real 'wild' camping experience staying in spectacular campsite settings - in trails camps situated near rivers. Each site has sturdy small tents and eco-friendly latrine (long drop) and bucket showers provided with water heated over the fire. Three meals a day are included and drinking water is available throughout the trip from the clear mountain streams; otherwise will be provided.
Whilst walking safari options in Namibia are limited (and do change) there are a number of options available (see the example below). In selecting a walking safari for you we will consider many options, depending on duration and your budget, before selecting the most appropriate. If you are looking for a walking riding safari in Namibia drop us a line today by completing our brief enquiry form.
Exclusive Guided Desert Walking Trail in NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia
Tok Tokkie Trails takes you close to the desert’s stunning beauty. Is there a
better way to immerse in nature than on foot? Whilst walking, you will discover
many secrets of the Namib that cannot be experienced when driving and you will
get to feel different aspects of the desert – from mountainous terrain to sandy
dunes. Let your experienced guide explain all this to you, relax with a sun
downer and enjoy a three-course dinner before falling asleep under the stars...
Character of the trail:
- 2 nights/ 3 days, accompanied by an experienced nature guide
- walking is easy, only carry your daypack (basic fitness recommended)
- the pace is set to suit the guests
- small groups of 2-8 guests. Lager groups on request.
- closely experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the desert and discover the amazingly adapted diversity of life in the desert
- unwind by walking in the vast calmness of the desert
- a service team cares for you and transports your luggage
- highly eco-friendly and responsible set-up
Enjoy Tok Tokkie Trails desert luxury & unique open air accommodation.
Accommodation & Facilities:
- spend unforgettable nights under the starry Namibian sky in your private stretch of dunes in a cosy camp bed equipped with mattress, duvet, cushion
- hot bucket shower & open air toilet with splendid vista
- breakfast, lunch, sun downers and three-course romantic dinners enjoyed out in the dunes.
- bring only "worn in" light hiking boots and your personal water bottles - all other equipment supplied