Walking safari in South Africa

“Get out of the jeep and into the thick of it as you hike your way across grasslands, rainforest and the awesome Drakensberg escarpment on this small group adventure.”


Johannesburg | Pilgrim's Rest | Panorama Route | Rainforest hike | Reptile Park | Kruger game drives | Swaziland | Malolotja | Boat cruise in St Lucia | Hiking in Drakensberg | Opportunity for extra game drive in private reserve

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25 Jan 2019
US $3405
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08 Feb 2019
US $3405
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22 Mar 2019
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12 Apr 2019
US $3255
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10 May 2019
US $3255
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05 Jul 2019
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26 Jul 2019
US $3255
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02 Aug 2019
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16 Aug 2019
US $3405
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13 Sep 2019
US $3405
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04 Oct 2019
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25 Oct 2019
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22 Nov 2019
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Our top tip:
A decent level of fitness will enable you to get the most out of the walks, leaving you energy to concentrate on the wildlife!
Trip type:
Small group, max 12. Min age 16.
Activity level:
9 nights comfortable cabin (2 in large dorm), 5 nights serviced camping with beds.
Solo travelers welcome, with a surcharge.
All accommodation, transport, listed activities.
All breakfasts, 14 lunches, 14 dinners.
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Walking safari in South Africa

Local Crafts and Culture:
We stop at a number of cottage industries along the route of this trip, where clients have a chance to buy locally made products directly from the vendors. These are found along the panoramic route in Mpumalanga and are endorsed by the regional council and have been provided with structures to sell their products from. We also stop at the local craft markets in Swaziland. We use locally trained site guides that have set up their own community based business to take us to the bushmen paintings situated in the Royal Natal National Park.

Accommodation & Meals:
You will spend nights most nights in log cabins or chalets and 5 nights full service camping. We predominantly use small businesses for accommodation in order to keep investment local and benefit the communities we visit directly e.g. 2 nights are spent in hiker’s cabins in the Magoebaskloof indigenous forests, managed by SAFCOL. The fees collected go towards the upkeep of forest trails and to local communities nearby. Campsites used are either locally owned, or a percentage of their income goes towards, schooling, or nature conservation & community projects. Almost all meals are provided and your local tour leader will endeavour to source fresh produce wherever possible. Meals might include cold meats and cheese, potjies (stew) or braais (barbecue).

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise on the wildlife, environment and culture that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit. By supporting and employing these people we are helping to ensure that their wildlife areas, scenic beauty and historical significance generate value for the community and are therefore appreciated and protected from development and exploitation. For example, we employ members of the Mkuzi village, which sits just outside the game reserve in KwaZulu Natal.

Our local suppliers support the Save Our Sausage Trees initiative in Botswana, which aims to address the issue of depleting forests in the area. The Mokoro is a boat used by the people of the Okavango Delta and it is crafted traditionally out of a single mature Kigelia Africana tree (or sausage tree). Although increased tourism has had some obvious benefits to the area, this has also brought a higher demand for Mokoro boats and therefore more trees are being cut down. As a wooden Mokoro only lasts about 5 years, there are hundreds of these trees being felled per year and not enough to sustain this. We have consulted with the Okovango community, and we have agreed to pay half the price of a fibreglass Mokoro if a poler wants to purchase the other half, in order to save the trees.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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