November 14th, 2019

10 Things You Should Know About Walking Safaris

Written by:

James Handley

Category:

Safari 101

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If the opportunity arises, never pass up the chance to go on a walking safari (bush walk). 

It is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can ever have in the African bush, and one that leaves you with an immense respect for wildlife and nature. 

Heading out on foot allows you to experience the bush from a completely different perspective, and at a much slower pace. Your guide will point out all of the subtle signs of the wildlife that you will know so well from game drives - from animal tracks to droppings, broken twigs and even markings. Like a group of detectives you will attempt to deduce which animal was here, what they were doing and in which direction they left. 

Moving slowly through the bush, your guide will have time to explain simple things that you will have missed from the vehicle like: which animal burrows in this hole, which bird makes this nest, and what healing powers this tree has. They'll also answer the most important question: Why?

Here are our 10 Things to Know About Walking Safaris:

Walking safari from Zambezi Expeditions Camp

1 - Age Concerns?

There's usually a lower age limit of 14 - 16. There's no upper limit however - the guide leading the walk will simply assess your fitness before you depart.

2 - First Time Nerves

It's completely normal to be slightly nervous before or even during your walk. It'd be quite odd if you weren’t - you are walking through the wild African Bush! Your guide knows exactly what they are doing - listen to them, stay calm, and obey their instructions. Whatever you do, don’t run!

3 - Creature Comforts

You will encounter insects and bugs that you probably won’t have seen before. Don't poke at anything and if you are curious, ask your guide before taking any action.

4 - Take it Easy

Depending on which camp or lodge you start at, and the type of experience, you will walk for between 45 mins to 4 hours. The pace is generally slow with frequent stops to learn about the wildlife and habitat. You don't need to be particularly fit!

Walking safari from Zambezi Expeditions Camp

5 - Spending a Penny

There's no need to worry about needing the loo - there are plenty in the bush :). Your guide will find a secluded spot, check for unwelcome wildlife and leave you to it.

6 - Fashion Sense

Wear neutral colours like khaki to blend in with the bush, loosely fitted so you don't get too hot. Dark colours absorb the sun and attract tsetse flies which can have a nasty nip!

7 - Watch Your Step!

The bush has been moulded over generations by its wild residents. Keep an eye out for ankle-twisting footprints in dried mud. Wear comfortable closed shoes.

Walking safari from Gomoti Plains Camp

8 - Silence is Golden

Stay quiet and appreciate the sounds of the bush. More importantly, your guide is in tune with the sounds of the wildlife to keep you safe. A barking baboon may mean that predators are about.

9 - Hot Stuff

Depending on what time you leave camp, be prepared to get hot - especially during the summer months. Take a small bottle of water, a hat and layer your clothes so you can remove any if needed.

10 - Special Times!

Viewing wildlife on foot is a spectacular and spine-tingling moment. Relax and let your guide show you their world - immerse yourself in nature at its finest!

Walking safari from Sandibe, Okavango Delta

Not all camps and lodges offer walking safaris - if you are interested in going on one we can help find somewhere that does for the season during which you are planning to travel.

We hope you have found this information useful. If you have any walking safari experiences or memories that you'd like to share with us, please do get in touch.

Thanks for reading

The Bonamy Travel Team

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