You will feel the excitement when you traverse the African bush on foot.
You are on par with wildlife and your senses will be stretched to the limit. Walking on safari has become more and more popular over the years
due to two reasons: First of all people were getting tired of sitting in a vehicle all the time,
and secondly, walking is eco friendly. A game walk is, just like a game drive, an activity that will last part of a day (unlike a walking safari that can last over several days) and should not last much longer than 2-2,5 hours.
The big advantage of a game walk is that you will have a chance to experience nature up close.
Your walking guide will be able to show you all sorts of things that are difficult to see from a vehicle. You will have the chance to look at hyena and lion tracks, feel the texture of elephant dung
also taste some of the fruits of the bush. This will bring about – together with the information of your game drives – a bigger picture of the African wilderness.
Although some people see amazing stuff while being on foot, a game walk is normally not intended to bring you close to the dangerous game and you never know what you might run into.
It is therefore extremely important that your guide is well equipped for your walk. You will also see that animals react completely different to people walking in the bush than them being in a
In some respect, you are more of a threat to wildlife walking than driving,
therefore wildlife will disappear earlier when you are on foot. I know it sounds weird!
Fortunately it is not allowed to just walk anywhere and in most national parks and game
reserves walking is prohibited (although the wildlife laws differ greatly from country to country). In general, it is always possible to walk in private wildlife concessions,
and in wildlife areas outside the reserves and parks. So check out your possibilities
if you book your safari and you are keen to stretch your legs and see Africa in macro!
Your responsibility on a walk
Wear closed, rugged shoes,Wear neutral-colored clothing and long pants (thorns!)
Speak softly Make sure your guide knows how far you would like to go
Don’t go on a walk if you are not fit,ALWAYS listen to the guide
NEVER leave the group
The guide’s responsibility on a walk: Have a small first aid kit at hand
Have a radio for communication with base
Be armed with a heavy caliber rifle Be organized and carry water
Go as fast as the slowest in the group (the chain is as strong as the weakest link!)
Is a game walk dangerous?
Most game walks are conducted in areas that are rather open as it is important to see as far ahead as possible. A knowledgeable guide who can also handle a rifle is a must on your walk.
This does not mean that accidents don’t occur (and I like to stress this),
Sitting in a vehicle is always safer than strolling through the African bush. However, if you get the chance to go on a walk
you are reasonably fit, do take the opportunity, even if it is only to experience how an impala must feel.
Rewinding the Travel Clock: Africa Walking Safaris
The origin of African safaris can be traced back to the walking tours that the early explorers,
missionaries and trophy hunters did in the toughest conditions known to man. While these pioneers of safari had a whole life devoted to traversing the African continent on foot,
you can enjoy a quality walking safari even with a limited number of safari days
What makes walking safaris such a superior travel experience?
Simply put it is the magic of outdoors: a game in open grasslands, the shimmering colors of a bird in flight, and the sheer joy of
being away from mass tourism.
Though the type of game you are likely to see will depend on the location of your walking safari,
a well-thought-out safari should give you sightings of giraffes, zebras, and various antelopes.
There are places where you may walk without an armed ranger but where there is a dangerous game an armed ranger is essential for safety.
Overall safety should be the determining factor and ideally, you should not get in close proximity with dangerous games such as lions, buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, or hippos
Are there places that can be ranked as the best for walking safaris?
Private game conservancies and small national parks give more value to your guided walking tour, as they are not visited by mass tourism.
A walking safari requires better logistics than lodge-to-lodge package tours, and it is,
therefore, important to do a thorough background check on the experience of the walking safaris outfitter and his guides before booking the tour. There is a clear difference between a trail guide who you follow blindly and a naturalist safari guide who brings life into your safari by explaining and interpreting animal’s behavior, identifying various birds, and who genuinely enjoys being outdoors
To get maximum value from your walking safari, it is important to have back-up vehicles or animals for carrying luggage. The vehicle comes in handy in that you can hop in and do a game drive instead of walking.
Your accommodation during the walking safari should be close to the walking sites to reduce the amount of time taken for transfers.
Walking safaris in East Africa can be done all year round.
Even in the rainy season as long as one is not camping out in the bush, it is possible to go out for walks. Yes, life never stops in Africa!
It is more likely to rain in the afternoon, so you can still enjoy your early morning walks The distances walked vary, but look at 10-12 km with frequent stops for game viewing.
Ideally, it should be possible for the walking group to split up to accommodate not only different abilities
but also different interests such as bird watching and nature photography.