Sometimes the best way to see Africa’s raw beauty is to get as close as you can to it. Our look at the top walking safaris in Africa highlights some of the wildest places to march on foot.
South Africa for Walking Safaris
Firstly, begin your walking safari with a trek through five ecosystems that cover a beautiful variety of eye-catching landscapes. Walk along the sand on the Oystercatcher Trail, following the green coastline of the Western Cape’s Garden Route. Walking means you can stop to pluck wild oysters from briny rock pools and take refreshing dips in the bays. Pack binoculars to bring rare birds into view, and unwind by a crackling fire after a long day of trekking.
Next, discover ancient paintings of animals and people in the Cederberg Mountains. It’s a reminder that even though it feels incredibly remote, others have been to this striking place too. Indiana Jones-style adventure seekers will enjoy archaeologist-led walking excursions in search of the 2,000 to 10,000 year-old rock paintings. Finally, descend into mountain gorges and waterholes in Marakele National Park, where baboons splash and play in the shallow pools.
It’s easy to imagine the awe that explorers of days gone by must have felt as you experience your walking safari along the thriving rivers and swamps of the Okavango Delta. Floating white lilies part ways as a giant hippo emerges from the depths, mouth gaping open. The wildlife here is undoubtedly plentiful. Warthogs dart about, elephants wade, and lions shelter from the heat under leafy trees, gathering strength for their next hunt. During the day, try to keep track of the chirpy birds on the grassy shores (it’s nearly impossible). Later, doze off counting the sparkling stars glistening in the dark night sky.
This might be the birthplace of the walking safari, but the South Luangwa and Liuwa Plain National Parks are still sparsely traveled. The black and white stripes of graceful zebras flash against the greenery. Meanwhile, leopards perch on tree limbs, their muscles lithe from a speedy chase, and elephants parade through waterholes. A wildebeest migration looks like it could have only been orchestrated by Mother Nature herself. Spend the night under the inky sky in your fly camp, falling asleep to the song of the nocturnal creatures.
Explore the Laikipia region of northern Kenya to meet its colorful cast of characters. There are too many to mention, but black rhinos, elephants, lions, and giraffes are some of the most popular. Ditch the car and go on a walking safari to get closer to these fantastic creatures. See (and hear) traveling herds of wildebeests during a walk in the Masai Mara. Kenya is never a bad idea for a walking safari adventure, and the properties here are top notch. Kenya makes for one of the top walking safari experiences worldwide.
Ker & Downey partners with camps and lodges with the best trained guides so that you can fully immerse yourself and have a top walking safari experience. Singita Explore guides track animals on foot and point out plants in the 340,000 private acres of the Singita Grumeti concession. An expert guide by your side helps awaken your senses to the sights and sounds of the African wilderness on your walking safari.
Top Walking Safaris with Ker & Downey
*Main Image from Marataba Mountain Lodge