Walking safaris: why you should go and what to bring

When you think about safari holidays, it’s understandable to conjure up images of cruising around the plains in a 4X4 looking out into the distance with your binoculars and listening out for news of incredible spotting opportunities coming through the radio. Game drives are nothing short of spectacular but they’re not the only way to enjoy animal encounters out in the wild. If you’re planning a personalised South Africa holiday, have you thought about mixing things up and trying a walking safari? If you’re looking for once in a lifetime adventures, you won’t regret the decision to scale the savannah on foot.

 

Why you should go on a walking safari

Walking safaris offer a fantastic alterative or addition to traditional game drives. If you have the opportunity to try both, this will give you different perspectives of the park and enable you to see a wider range of species. Game drives are magnificent because they provide excellent views, you can cover a lot of ground and you can use insider information from other guides to find the best spots to view the animas, but there’s a lot to be said for walking safaris too. On foot, you get a much more intimate experience and you can really get a feel for the environment. You’ll hear every single movement, you’ll see things you would miss from a vehicle and you’ll be up close and personal with some of the planet’s most spectacular creatures. When you go on a walking safari, you’re guaranteed a unique sensory experience. You’ll hear the animals as they plod, glide or run and you can get a better insight into the scale of the park and the intricacies of the relationships between its residents.

What to bring

If you’re heading out on a walking safari, you’ll need to take some essentials with you. The first place to start is your feet. You may cover a lot of ground on your hike and the terrain is likely to be rough, so it’s really important to make sure that you have comfortable shoes that are capable of going the distance. Sturdy walking shoes are the best option. It’s a good idea to wear breathable socks and to bring some light layers with you. Temperatures can drop significantly, so if you’re walking in the evenings, you’ll need a jacket. If there’s a risk of rain, take a waterproof coat with you. It can get very hot in the parks in the height of summer, so always wear sun cream and keep a bottle of water with you.