Top 5 Walking Safaris in Africa
Are you ready to take a WALK on Africa’s wild side?
If you’re eager to experience something slightly more wild, daring, and down-right thrilling going on an extraordinary, exhilarating, and adventure-filled walking safari through the untamed African bushveld should be right at the top of your African safari travel bucket-list. Exploring the African bushveld on foot encourages you to fully immerse yourself in the vast and untamed wilderness as well as gives you the unbelievable opportunity of witnessing magnificent up-close wildlife sightings and encounters you only tend to read about in books and travel magazines.
That’s not all! Walking safaris in Africa allow you to discover, explore, and experience Africa’s unapologetic natural beauty, diverse wilderness landscapes, and all of its incredible inhabitants from a whole new perspective as you witness and encounter a vast and wonderful array of wildlife, birdlife, and so much more you may not otherwise have been able to spot by going on a traditional 4×4 safari vehicle / game drive. To kick it up another notch on the thrill and adventure scale, you can even embark on a night-time guided walking safari / bush walk – Talk about an adrenalin rush like no other!
Go ahead and ditch the safari vehicle and embark on an unforgettable walking safari in Africa instead! Here are the top 5 walking safaris in Africa.
#1 Zambia: South Luangwa National Park – The Home of the Walking Safari
Loudly and proudly claiming the title as ‘The Home of the Walking Safari’ – How could we not put Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park as our top destination to go on a walking safari in Africa. Considered the birthplace of walking safaris, going on an exhilarating walking safari in the renowned South Luangwa National Park promises to exceed all your expectations – Because a walking safari in South Luangwa National Park is not only regarded as a thrilling wilderness experience / adventure / activity, but rather a way of life.
If you decide / have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of going on a walking safari adventure on your visit to this iconic National Park you’ll have the additional privilege of traversing the untamed landscapes of South Luangwa National Park on foot while being guided by an exceptional, highly experienced, and incredibly knowledgeable wildlife guide or ranger.
Beyond its prestigious title as ‘The Home of the Walking Safari’, South Luangwa National Park is arguably one of the greatest wildlife-viewing destinations in Africa. Boasting among the highest concentration of wildlife in all of Africa, this sought-after Zambian National Park is regarded as one of the very best places to see large herds of buffalo, elephants, giraffes, African wild dogs, leopards, lions, and hippos in their natural habitat, to mention merely a few. South Luangwa is also home to a number of rare and endemic species including the Thornicroft’s giraffe, Cookson’s wildebeest, and Crawshay’s zebra. Another one of South Luangwa National Park’s wildlife highlights takes place in late October, just before the start of the rain, when thousands of hippos gather in the Luangwa River’s deeper pools – It truly is a remarkable spectacle to witness as they jostle and fight for space. Boasting such a vast diversity and incredible abundance of wildlife your South Luangwa walking safari will undoubtedly be filled with the most magnificent up-close wildlife sightings and encounters.
#2 Botswana: Okavango Delta – An unforgettable land & water safari adventure
A UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, the remarkable Okavango Delta is certainly in a league of its own. Located in Botswana, the Okavango Delta is not only one of Africa’s most fascinating and captivating regions to discover and explore, it also boasts one of the most unique ecosystems, as well as one of the world’s premier wilderness areas. This vast and virtually untouched freshwater wetland area is also deemed the largest inland deltas in the world – as we said, the unbelievable Okavango Delta is indeed in a league of its own!
Due to its inimitable ecosystem, vast floodplains, and amazing labyrinthine channels, going on a walking safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a unique and harmonious blend of water and land exploration as you traverse your way through its pristine wilderness on foot, all while being guided by expert trackers and exceptional wildlife and wilderness guides and experts.
Going on a walking safari in the glorious Okavango Delta is not only a unique experience, but definitely a bucket-list worthy one too as you will have the extraordinary opportunity of witnessing the vast diversity of wildlife that congregate around the delta (approximately 260,000 mammals) up-close and first-hand during its dry winter season (April – October). From large herds of elephants wading through the waterways, graceful antelope grazing on the banks, and hundreds of hippos soaking up the delta sun, to some of Africa’s top predators and big cats (lions, leopards, and cheetahs) lurking along the delta edges waiting for the perfect moment to strike – Undoubtedly resulting in exceptional predator and Big5 sightings and thrilling encounters.
That’s not all! Home to some of the world’s most remarkable wildlife species, the Okavango Delta supports an amazing abundance and prolific diversity of wildlife within a setting of dazzling natural beauty. In fact, the Delta is widely known as one of the most wildlife-rich areas in Africa as well as one of the world’s most premier wilderness destinations. This means you are all but guaranteed to enjoy spectacular wildlife sightings and exciting encounters on your adventure-filled walking safari.
If you’re an avid birder you’re definitely in luck too! As you navigate this watery wonderland on your walking safari, you’re bound to discover and spot a myriad of excellent birdlife and, if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive predators that call this delta home.
#3 Kenya: An unforgettable Maasai Mara walking safari
Located in south west Kenya, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is not only regarded as one of Africa’s and the world’s foremost National Reserves, but one of the most prestigious and unique wildlife conservation havens and exceptional year-round safari and wildlife destinations, showcasing spectacular game viewing 365 days of the year. This undoubtedly makes the magnificent Maasai Mara one of the top reserves in Africa to enjoy an exciting and unforgettable walking safari.
In addition to its top safari, wildlife, and walking safari status, the Maasai Mara is renowned for its vast scenic expanse of gently rolling African savannah plains and sweeping grasslands, measuring approximately 1510 square kilometers in area. These spectacular sprawling wide-open plains, which stretch far beyond what the eye can see, not only provides a sanctuary for its abundant wildlife to freely roam the vast Maasai Mara wilderness and beyond but allows for a truly immersive and authentic walking safari experience.
Accompanied by experienced Maasai guides, you’ll traverse the reserve’s vast savannahs and plains, encountering magnificent wildlife species on your journey. As the glorious Maasai Mara National Reserve’s champagne-colored savannahs are home to all of Africa’s wildlife heavyweights like lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino – making up the acclaimed African Big5 – as well as an incredible diversity of other wildlife species such as giraffes, zebras, an abundance of antelope, the rare and endangered African wild dog, and large herds of wildebeests (to mention merely a few), you can expect unbelievable wildlife sightings on your bucket-list worthy Maasai Mara walking safari adventure. That’s not all! Cheetahs are particularly well adapted to the region’s flat plains, which makes the Masai Mara one of the best places to see these agile and extraordinary predators. They often seek vantage points on fallen trees, termite mounds, and even game drive vehicles. It is one of the greatest highlights of any Masai Mara safari to watch the world’s fastest land mammal chase down its prey – there is absolutely nothing quite like it!
If you happen to be in the Maasai Mara at the right time you’ll have the added bonus and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of witnessing the iconic Great Wildebeest Migration. Regarded as the ‘Seventh New Wonder of the World’, as well as one of the most remarkable wildlife spectacles & natural phenomenon to ever exist in the natural world, the Great Wildebeest Migration is a never-ending movement which includes millions of wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, and smaller numbers of Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle, eland, and impala circling and venturing across the vast Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in Tanzania and Kenya, chasing the rains in a constant search for food, moving from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park into the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya by crossing the great Mara River.
**Extra Insight: Best Time: While the entire dry season is regarded as the best time to go to the Masai Mara and witness spectacular up-close game viewing, and unbelievable wildlife spectacles, September and October are deemed the top months to experience the renowned Masai Mara Great Wildebeest Migration in full force together with the highly-acclaimed Great Migration river crossings – A truly remarkable and unforgettable wildlife spectacle and experience in every way.
#4 South Africa: Greater Kruger National Park and Beyond
“South Africa is the most beautiful place on earth. Admittedly, I am biased but when you combine the natural beauty, and the fact that the region is a haven for Africa’s most splendid wildlife, then I think we have been blessed with a truly wonderful land.” – Nelson Mandela
A South African safari ticks all the right boxes if you are looking to venture off the beaten track, explore the great outdoors and experience the many thrills that only safari life can deliver. South Africa is one of world’s finest Big 5 and wildlife safari destinations. It is one of the very few places in the world where you are able to see every member of the African Big 5, elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard, in one place, in their natural habitat. South Africa’s pristine Big 5 safari status is largely owed to its outstanding conservation areas and National Parks.
Located in the north-eastern corner of South Africa, the Kruger National Park and the Greater Kruger are considered two of the country’s greatest wilderness areas and most sought-after wildlife and safari destinations for avid local and international travelers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Combined, the Greater Kruger and Kruger National Park boasts one of the finest and most diverse biospheres and wildlife and birdlife populations and destinations in Africa. One of the best ways to explore and experience everything it has to offer is by going on an exciting walking safari of course!
Offering a wealth of walking safari opportunities, you’ll have the chance to explore the vast and untamed wilderness of the Greater Kruger on foot with highly experienced and knowledgeable guides as well as encounter some of the most sensational bucket-list worthy wildlife – especially of the African Big 5 – sighting you’ll undoubtedly never forget.
What are you waiting for – Traverse the ancient paths of the Big 5 and encounter other remarkable wildlife and birdlife species, all while soaking in the breathtaking vistas and unapologetic natural beauty of the African bush.
#5 Namibia: Damaraland – An Enchanting Desert Safari
Welcome to Namibia’s Damaraland, a place where magic unfolds amidst breathtaking vistas! Picture yourself embarking on incredible and thrilling walking safaris that unlock the secrets of this magnificent desert. Led by knowledgeable local guides, you’ll wander through ancient valleys, stumble upon hidden rock art treasures, and marvel at the otherworldly rock formations of Brandberg Mountain.
While strolling across the arid plains, stay alert and be amazed by the extraordinary desert-adapted wildlife that has triumphed over the harsh conditions. Look out for the elusive desert experts as they gracefully traverse these stark landscapes. Behold the awe-inspiring desert-adapted elephants, their majestic presence and incredible resilience a testament to their ability to thrive in this challenging environment.
So, pack your sense of wonder and embark on an unforgettable adventure, where every step reveals the wonders of Damaraland’s dazzling landscapes. Let the desert’s warm embrace and its incredible inhabitants leave an indelible imprint on your heart. Get ready for an experience that will make your spirits soar and create cherished memories for a lifetime!