Explore the African Wilderness on Foot
Walking safaris in Africa represent the chance for you to experience what few others ever will: being on foot in big game country. Compared to the drama of game drives & their emphasis on big animals, a walking safari is an opportunity to focus on the smaller details of the environment; birds and insects, medicinal plants & the traditional legends behind grand old trees.
And you’ll see plenty of animals too. Giraffe and antelope watch you warily from a distance and it’s not unusual to encounter elephants and buffalo herds. You’ll be in the safe hands of some of the best guides in the business however, and have the assurance of armed rangers and skilled trackers.
The walking experience varies according to where you go and what you want. Safari lodges across Southern and East Africa are often set in private concessions and offer short guided walks, usually after the morning game drive. Longer walks and multiday hikes are the preserve of specialist walking destinations – Zambia’s South Luangwa Valley and South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
Browse our range of walking destinations & pre-packaged walking tours below; if you’d like a personalised walking safari itinerary, simply contact us with your requirements.
BEST WALKING SAFARIS IN AFRICA
South Luangwa – The Real Deal
Zambia’s flagship conservation area is where the concept of luxury walking safaris was bought into life by legendary figures such as Robin Pope and Norman Carr. Today, the South Luangwa lays claim to some of the best walking safaris in Africa, led by excellent guides and armed rangers.
Most South Luangwa lodges offer short nature walks to complement game drives but other accommodations specialise in multiday walking safaris. You’ll walk from camp to camp, occasionally mixing it up with a game drive or two. These safaris are a magical blend of experiences and the accommodation ranges from luxurious timber & thatch lodges to tented bush camps.
Kruger & Sabi – Big 5 Walking Safaris
Renowned for Big 5 sightings, both the Kruger and its adjoining private reserve – the Sabi Sands – offer their visitors a range of walking experiences. All lodges in the Sabi Sands sit in exclusive-use reserves and encourage guests to head out on foot with their guide for a nature walk after brunch.
In the Kruger Park itself, bigger walking experiences are available. Accompanied by armed guides and sharp-eyed trackers, you’ll spend several days traversing some of the wildest and most remote parts of the park, home to all the members of the Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Accommodation is provided in permanent tented camps along the way.
Okavango Delta - Explore on Foot
Made famous by its sparkling waterways and floodplains, much of Botswana’s Okavango Delta is dry land – islands of various size, and home to anything from birds & butterflies to elephants & giraffe. Water-based camps do more walking than land-based ones which focus on 4X4 drives; walks range from a couple of hours around camp to multi-day adventures across the delta.
The open nature of the landscape and the guide’s knowledge means that encounters with big animals are rare in the Okavango. It’s more an opportunity to enjoy excellent birding and to pick up all the fascinating details – animal tracks, unusual plants and useful trees.
Tanzania – East Africa’s Best Walking Destination
The open savannah landscape of the Serengeti makes for easy and rewarding walking. It’s an activity offered as part of the daily activities, usually following the morning game drive and breakfast/brunch. Your guide will accompany you with a Maasai warrior escort so you can learn about the human side to the environment.
Walking safaris in Tanzania is also available in its other reserves – our favourites for a walking safari experience are Tarangire and the Selous Reserve, both classic big game destinations. Walks of a different kind are on offer in the Mahale Mountain rainforests: trekking for wild chimpanzees, a unique activity in this East African country.
Zimbabwe, Namibia & Masai Mara
Zimbabwe has always had a great reputation for walking safaris: our choices of accommodation reflect lodges that offer guided walks as part of their activity offering. The Hwange lodges offer short walks but there are longer walking safaris on offer at Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, one of the most off-the-beaten-track destinations in the region.
Accommodation in private concessions in Namibia and Kenya’s Masai Mara also offer guided nature walks. Particularly recommended are the private Onguma and Ongava Reserves of Namibia’s Etosha National Park as walking is not permitted in Etosha itself. In the Masai Mara, Maasai warriors will accompany you and your guide on walks, a great chance to interact with people who spend their whole lives walking in big game country.
BEST WALKING SAFARIS AFRICA