The Ultimate Guide to African Walking Safaris

The beginning of African safaris can be recorded back to the walking tours the early explorers, tribes, and trophy hunters did in the most challenging conditions known to humanity. While these scouts of safari had a whole life dedicated to crossing the African continent on foot, you can enjoy a fantastic walking tour in Africa even with a limited number of days.

Why should you attempt ‘walking vacations’ next time you are in Africa?

It is the magic of the outdoors, the muse of leaves grinding under your boots, the sparkling colors of a bird in motion, and the smell of fresh wildflowers. Walking is one of the best hobbies for your health as there are numerous benefits associated with walking and being outdoors.

A guided walking tour to Africa is an adventure that lets you get in the African wildlife well away from mass tourism. The type of wildlife you are likely to explore will obviously depend on your safari location. A well-thought-out walk should give you sightings of zebras, giraffes, and antelopes. There are places where you may walk without an armed ranger, but an armed ranger is necessary for safety where there is a dangerous animal like a lion or hyenas.

Overall safety should be the deciding factor, and ideally, you should not get near dangerous game such as lions, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, and rhinos.

Is an African walking tour all about wildlife watching? Certainly not. There is a wide variety of vivid birds, many kinds of plants, and ever-changing and captivating scenery.

Where in Africa should I start my journey?

Most tourists have historically preferred Southern African countries in walking safaris, but the Eastern African nations are quickly catching up.

  1. South Africa: Walking safari in South Africa will take you to the southern region’s most stunning landscapes on foot and view its historic sites and diverse wildlife. The walking safaris usually include exploring Dragon mountain (Drakensberg)- which towers over the veld and is Southern Africa’s beloved natural landmark. On foot, you can explore the Royal Natal National park and watch the mysterious Amphitheatre rock formation and trek through the natural landscape of Eswatini. The walking tour guides also offer exclusive walking options in Kruger National Park, St. Lucia Lake, and Malolotja Nature reserve, where you can track wildlife by boat and on foot.  
  2. Botswana: Botswana might seem like an odd choice for a safari – after all, Tanzania, Zambia, and Kenya have had long taken away the spotlight. But experiment beyond these well-trodden wildlife-viewing packages, and you might find that the quieter, more private pace of a walking safari is a whole new way to encounter the Big Five – not to mention the many other plants, animals and birds of the Kalahari. Was that a kudu cough? A baboon bark? You get answers to these questions while walking and exploring mammals in Botswana. On the Moremi Game Reserve edges, home to the epic wilds of Chief’s Island, you can start the journey. Sadly, guides cannot carry guns. However, don’t worry, they are profoundly trained to read animals and dodge confrontation, so you’re in trustworthy hands.
  3. Kenya: Greater Masai Mara on foot. Oh, you should sign up already. Kenya Walking Tour Guides are extremely friendly, very well trained, and you can expect delicious meals while you are seeking wild adventures away from worldly worries. The walking safaris in Kenya are crazy, fun, and, yes, adventurous. Here, you’ll get up close and personal with giraffe, cross gorges of varying heights, and learn everything there is to know about trails, tracks, and turds. 

Things to know before Walking in African Forests

  1. Remember, there is a clear difference between a trail guide you follow blindly and a naturalist safari guide who brings life into your tour by interpreting and explaining animal behavior, shows you plants with ancient medicinal values, and teaches you about bush survival skills.
  2. Note that a walking holiday needs better preparation than a lodge-to-lodge package safari. Therefore, it is crucial to do a thorough check on the background of the walking holiday’s supplier and his guides before booking the tour. Take essential medicines, and carry ample water. In Africa, dehydration and mosquitoes kill faster than you think.
  3. To enjoy your African walking safari, it helps that your tour is entirely supported with back-up animals or vehicles for carrying your luggage. In many walking places, the cars come in handy in that you can hop in and relax on the back seat instead of walking. 
  4. During the walking safari, your room accommodation should be near to the walking sites to subdue the amount of time taken for transport. 

Now that you know the basics of an African walking tour pack your bags, and hit the wild.

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