Trekking & Walking Safaris
Trekking & Walking Safaris offer something different for the discerning traveller. The original safari in Africa walking offers the chance to meet animals on their terms and must be done with an experienced guide who will both respect the animals and bring a great awareness of the natural world to you, the guests.
Walking safaris can either be based out of a mobile safari camp or from a fixed lodge. The fixed lodge experience allows luxury for those that need it and the mobile safari camps generally offer more adventure for those that are there for the rustic experience.
Walking safaris give you the chance to be in closer contact with the land and to learn more about it- there is no better connection, as you leave the comfort of a lodge or safari vehicle your senses awaken, you pay attention to the minutiae and you are literally grounded. I find they offer the rare chance to feel completely ‘in the moment’ and that in today’s hectic world it is this that is worth more than any other aspect.
Of course a walking or hiking trip also offers the opportunity to stay active whilst on your holiday. Safaris are notorious for their gourmet delights with twice daily teas and sundowner snacks the norm and many find that they miss their daily movement after a week of daily game drives. Whether you do a full walking safari or visit a camp that offers walking amongst other activities it can be a pleasant change and a great advantage for the health conscious.
From specialist walking guides who conduct multiday walks between camps to walking ‘light’ with camps that offer walking as an optional activity, there is a plethora on offer. Although we couldn’t possibly cover all of it we can showcase some highlights. Zimbabwe is known as a walking destination, mainly because of the high standard of the guides there but Botswana is slowly beginning to offer more walking experiences.
We only recommend operators we know offer great guides and the very best safety standards, this is an area where it is worth ensuring you go with a great guide and our expertise will help you find the guide and correct level of camp for your preference.
BEST REGIONS FOR WALKING
EASTERN HIGHLANDS TREKKING- The Eastern Highlands is a region of rugged mountains and scenic beauty. This natural holiday destination offers peace of mind and in a quiet peaceful environment with excellent walking and hiking trails.
MANA POOLS WALKING- Remote and beautiful, Mana Pools is famous for its walking safaris. The area’s sparse undergrowth and canopy of large trees allow for good visibility coupled with incredible beauty.
HWANGE WALKING- Known as ‘Zimbabwe’s Kruger’, the visitor is likely to be rewarded with comparable wildlife viewing opportunities and far less human presence.
OKAVANGO DELTA- Exploring this water wilderness on foot is exhilarating, walking safaris in the delta often also utilise some form of watercraft such as a dugout canoe given the nature of the terrain.
SPECIALIST WALKING GUIDES
ZIMBABWE AND BOTSWANA
BENSON SIYAWAREVA- A fully licensed guide in both countries, Siyawareva has run some of the region’s most significant camps (Little Makololo in Hwange, Savuti in Botswana), in addition to helming his own guiding operation for ten years. He reads the bush brilliantly and is thus an expert tracker.
LEON VARLEY- Leon Varley has been leading walking safaris in Zimbabwe’s finest National Parks since the early 1980s and is one of Zimbabwe’s most experienced guides. His experienced Ndebele trackers and support team have been with him almost as long.
STRETCH FERRIERA- Stretch has nearly 30 years’ experience in the area and over this time, has gained a wealth of knowledge of the bush and its residents in particular in Mana Pools.
DAVID FOOT- David has worked in the Kafue and Luangwa in Zambia, the Matusadona and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe the Nyika National Park in Malawi. He is now based in Botswana. With 32 years of experience under his belt, and his passion for the wilderness, its wildlife and birdlife he will bring the bush alive.