5 Top Walking Safari Experiences
There’s no other way to truly connect with the African wilderness.
Let’s not beat around the “bush”… a walking safari isn’t for everyone. So let’s give you just a taste of Africa on foot, with a selection of some of the very best walking safari experiences. These are not your traditional multi-day, multi-camp walking safaris – but experiences of between 2 hours to a full day – making it easier than ever before.
A hot new phrase of late is “connecting with nature” and it’s true. When the world has become so unconnected to what is indeed natural and real, it’s essential now more than ever that we all take some time to re-discover what it is that makes up our world… and what can often make us up as people.
Baring your foot upon Africa’s cherished earth
Feeling the tall grass glide through your fingers
Hearing the signs, the calls, the roars
To experience this is something special, when you can often be walking in the paw-prints of Lions or suddenly find yourself peering at eye level upon a heard of Elephant. To experience those minuscule sights, from the often overlooked but intriguing Dung Beetle, the extent of a guides knowledge as they explain an Elephant dung or an insect you may never see again in your life… which of course could be a good thing!!
Rather than continuously be mounted on a game vehicle, step off and experience a more primitive experience. With walking safaris now so readily available and with a range on offer including short walks of 2-3 hours to full day trails. Safari-goers no longer need to be experienced, fully fit walkers – walks can be and are done as part of your itinerary in-camp along with general vehicle game drives.
The following list is just a small selection of the exclusive camps that offer walking, either as part of their activities, or as dedicated & focussed walking itineraries.
Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but photos.
NABOISHO CAMP, NABOISHO CONSERVANCY
Set in the 210km² private Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Naboisho Camp offers spectacular game viewing, from the herds of antelope that dot the plains of this wilderness corridor throughout the year to the high concentrations of predators, including lion and cheetah.
Discover the smaller ecosystems that tend to pass unnoticed from a vehicle: explore the bush by foot, accompanied by an expert armed guide and Maasai tracker.
Exclusive game viewing on a private conservancy away from the crowds. Naboisho Conservancy recently won Overall Winner at the 2016 African Responsible Tourism Awards.
Stay: Year-round (closed April)
LITTLE RUCKOMECHI, MANAPOOLS
Little Ruckomechi’s scenic location epitomises Mana Pools National Park in all its abundance. The camp is all about the intimacy of being close to nature and amongst the iconic Albida trees that characterise the area.
Why Little Ruckomechi?
This new camp’s location within the private Ruckomechi Concession ensures an exclusive safari experience complete with a diverse range of activities through which to explore Mana, one of the great wildlife areas of Africa.
Stay: April – November
VIRUNGA LODGE, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Virunga Lodge is perched high on a ridge and has stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the twin lakes Bulera and Ruhonda. The premier luxury destination for Rwanda gorilla safari tours and tracking the endangered mountain gorillas.
Why Virunga Lodge?
An opportunity to trek to see the endangered Mountain Gorilla is top of many people’s bucket lists, as well as being a leading eco-tourism destination which gives back to wildlife & neighbouring communities. Other crater, nature and wildlife trails are also available in the ‘land of a thousand hills’.
NSEFU, SOUTH LUANGWA
Located in the exclusive Nsefu sector of the South Luangwa National park, this area boasts one of the more exclusive game areas of the National Park.
Some refer to this area as “the home to the walking safari”, with walks led by Robin Pope’s knowledgeable guides, and escorted by an armed National Park scout.
On top of the spectacular and exclusive game viewing, safari-goers are led on walks by some of the most experienced guides and original walking safari provider, Robin Rope Safaris.
Stay: May – October
MARATABA TRAILS LODGE, MARAKELE
Marataba Trails Lodge is located in Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains. The lodge is perched on the side of the mountain, with 180degree views into Waterfall Valley. It is utterly remote, in a wilderness world of its own – surrounded by mountain streams.
A variety of am & pm departure trails options are available, differing in respect of degree of difficulty and fitness required. Trails range from trekking over the top of the Kransberg range, to traversing through gorges. Regardless of the route, the one thing that remains consistent is the likelihood encountering wildlife along the way.
Why Marataba Trails Lodge?
Location. Location. Location… is what sets this specialised walking trails lodge aside from all others, with majestic mountains as both your backdrop and footing, as you discover and connect with nature. Combining Marataba Trails lodge with nearby Marataba Safari Lodge is perfect to experience the best of both worlds.