November 25

5 Things You Should Know About Walking Safaris

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By Louis Hecq on
November 25, 2021

Walking safaris, also known as bushwalks, is a more adventurous way of experiencing wildlife and landscapes. Exploring Africa on foot gives you a different perspective and makes you appreciate the smaller details, such as insects or plants you might’ve overlooked otherwise. Most notably, it instils a deep respect for Mother Nature and her nuances.

However, when it comes to a unique experience like walking safaris, it’s natural to have some questions. We break down five of the most frequently asked questions we get about walking safaris in Africa, answered by our Travel Experts.

walking safari with giraffe
Get up-close and personal with giraffes. Photo credit: Mfuwe Lodge

Burning Questions About Walking Safaris in Africa 

Here is an overview of some of the most popular questions about walking safaris in Africa.

  • What can I expect on a walking safari?
  • Are walking safaris safe?
  • How long are walking safaris?
  • What should I wear on a walking safari?
  • Are children allowed on walking safaris?
African wild dogs playing while guests on a walking safari watch
Watching African wild dogs going about their business. Photo credit: Puku Ridge

What Can I Expect On a Walking Safari?

When you go on a walking safari, you get a different perspective at a slower pace. You also get to try and solve the bush’s mysteries. Which animal broke those twigs, left that footprint, or just made that sound? With your guide at the helm, you map out the wildlife’s activities and follow on their heels to track them down.

And then there’s the silence. There’s no rattling safari vehicle engine, just the sound of the ground crunching under your hiking boots.

It’s an all-encompassing experience, where you focus only on your next step and enjoy Africa’s natural beauty surrounding you. In a world where we’re constantly multitasking and distracted, it’s a truly incredible experience that makes you feel alive. It also unlocks a deeper understanding of Mother Nature’s delicate balance and rhythm.

Taking in the smaller details on a walking safari at Silvan Safari
Moments of wonder and joy on a walking safari. Photo credit: Silvan Safari

Are Walking Safaris Safe?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked about walking safaris. And, yes, walking safaris are safe. As long as you follow your guide’s instructions, you have no reason to be concerned. 

These guides and trackers can react quickly to ensure that you and the animals remain safe. Knowing the bush like an elephant knows its trunk is their job!

Some safety tips

  • While on a walking safari, you should always walk in single file, following your armed guide and tracker. 
  • You will have to remain completely silent. This is to savour the experience, to allow the guides to be as alert as possible, and to avoid chasing away skittish wildlife. 
  • Whatever you do, don’t panic and run! Your guides know best and will teach you some hand signals and exactly what to do in each scenario.
Elephant walking past a group on a walking safari
Watching an elephant shuffle past is a humbling experience. Photo credit: Namiri Plains Camp

How Long Are Walking Safaris?

You get different types of walking safaris. Depending on your group’s fitness levels and the specific lodge offering the activity, you will walk from camp to camp, or you’ll drive to a location, walk, and a vehicle will collect you from where you finish.

Regardless of the duration, they’re generally slow with sufficient breaks and suitable for most fitness levels.

What Should I Wear on a Walking Safari?

On any safari, neutral and khaki colours such as beige, browns and greens are best. Leave the bright colours at home! Also, remember that dark colours like black will absorb the sun, which will leave you feeling hot and bothered!

Since you’ll walk in the sun without any cover, sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and hiking boots help protect you against the elements. Comfort is key, so try to pack lightweight, flowy materials.

londolozi private game reserve activities bush walk
Open landscapes await you on a walking safari in the bush. Photo credit: Londolozi Private Game Reserve

Are Children Allowed on Walking Safaris? 

This also depends on the park and lodge you visit. However, generally, children older than 14-16 years old are welcome to go on walking safaris. Younger children are not allowed to participate as they are less likely to abide by rules and remain quiet when it’s necessary. Always check with your Rhino Africa Expert or the lodge when you book to avoid disappointment.

People walking during a walking safari at Marataba Mountain Lodge
Walking in silence adds to the experience. Photo credit: Marataba Mountain Lodge

Are you Interested in Booking a Walking Safari in Africa? 

If you’ve read up to this point, we can only guess that you’re itching to start planning your own walking safari experience in Africa! 

Lucky for you, we’ve been there, done that, and will give you all the information you need to make it the best possible experience! We also know the best lodges for walking safaris, so let our Travel Experts plan the ultimate African walking safari adventure for you!

Contact our Travel Experts


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About the author 

Louis Hecq

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