When you think of safaris, chances are you think of Africa: the romance and adventure of the bush, the awe-inspiring Big Five and the classic game drive. But the increasingly popular walking safari was pioneered in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, and heading into the bush on foot for a few hours is now a regular feature on African safari vacations
from Kenya to South Africa. Usually, a walking safari is only a short part of an itinerary, perhaps a brief alternative to the traditional 4x4 jeep excursions or river boat trips and combined with other activities, but there are vacations, especially in Zambia
, where you will spend the majority of your time following the wildlife on foot, and in South Africa
you can spend half your time on game drives and half your time walking through prestigious reserves.
Wildlife tracking on foot in Africa is less about the Big Five and more about discovering the smaller creatures, plants and ecosystems that are no-less fascinating, and that people tend to miss when in a jeep. It’s rare that you’ll be able to get very close to the larger animals as while they’re generally accustomed to vehicles, they will keep plenty of distance from walkers – probably for the best! Another important aspect is that you will very often be accompanied by local tribespeople, so that as well as providing income and employment for nearby communities, you also have a fantastic opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of a region as well as its biodiversity from a friendly and knowledgeable guide.