Why go on a walking safari?
In a safari vehicle, you are looking at wilderness. On a walking safari you are really in the wilderness. Exploring on foot is the way to discover the African bushveld just as our ancestors did, in the tracks of wild animals. Meeting these animals is a thrilling part of a walking safari but it’s more than that: a genuinely immersive experience, a chance to gain a deeper appreciation for the entire bushveld ecosystem.
Walkers encounter fascinating smaller creatures, seed pods and flowers, fungi and feathers, bones and burrows, middens and nests. They learn the art of tracking, discover fossils, rock art and prehistoric tools. Bush skills, geology, folklore, bushveld cooking, astronomy, stories of lives lived in the wilds – all of these can be part of the walking safari experience.
Above all, taking part in a walking safari is an opportunity to disconnect from the modern world for a while and simply enjoy the unspoiled African wilderness and all its sights, scents and sounds.
What sort of walking safaris are available in South Africa?
South Africa has the widest range of walking safaris in Africa. Guided walks range from easy one hour strolls to intensive multi-day backpacking expeditions. In reserves where walking safaris are offered, visitors to a lodge or rest camp can choose to take a guided walk in place of drive. To make walking the focus of a visit, specialist trails camps are the best option, generally referred to as Wilderness Trails. For the more adventurous, it’s possible to backpack and camp, or even sleep under the stars.
When is the best time of year to go on a walking safari?
In the Lowveld, the area with the most walking options, the prime walking season is April to October. In the Western Cape, the summer months from November to March are best.
What should I wear for walking in bushveld?
Clothing should be in earth shades of green, brown or khaki. Avoid bright colours, and black or white.
What should I carry on a walking safari?
Bring a small backpack with room for a fleece, water, snacks and personal items. Binoculars are nice to have.
How fit to I need to be for a walking safari?
Typical day walks are accessible to all that do not have impaired mobility, with distances modest and many stops to investigate nature. Multi-day wilderness trails are more enjoyable if you are a regular walker, while backpacking demands a higher ability and preparation.
For full answers to these and every other possible question about walking safaris in South Africa, get the book.