It would be a great shame to leave South Africa without having experienced a walking safari. Whether a gentle forty five minute amble around the vicinity of your safari lodge or a deeper, more full-on trek between locations over a few days.
There is no better way to awaken the senses and connect with the most primitive version of yourself. It is one of those experiences that brings about the emotion of feeling grateful to be alive and where you feel more engaged within the present moment than you ever thought possible.
The guides and trackers that we use to lead our guests on walking safaris will always be of local descent, are experts in their field and will have lived in a particular wildlife area since birth, together with many generations of their family.
It often feels as if they can navigate their way confidently, through the most challenging terrain and situations and with their eyes closed at that. These wild open spaces are what they know best and where their knowledge and passion meet to form an enriching and informative experience for guests who are keen to understand more about our natural word.
Their heightened sense of awareness allows them to lead you on a magnificent walking trail through the African wilderness, tracking animal prints and identifying fresh faeces. You will learn to recognise the different warning systems that animals use to communicate with one another as well as the melodies of different bird species.
The trackers and guides are of course armed as a precautionary measure and are extremely sensible about approaching situations and keeping a respectful and safe distance from any animal.
It is truly fascinating and an immense privilege to gain insight into the remarkable ways in which their forefathers hunted and lived off the land. Learning about the myriad of medicinal and nutritional properties of plants and their surprising uses is something that you cannot access by ordering a book on Amazon.
Of course the other huge appeal of a walking safari is the chance to cross paths on foot and in the flesh, with animals - both large and small! It may be a porcupine or it may very well be a pride of lion!
You just never know and that is all part of the thrill! It is therefore almost impossible to lose focus while you weave your way through the wilderness following closely behind your tracker as you are suddenly cautioned to remain still and be very very quiet, something has been spotted ahead!
All that can be heard is the last crack of a branch under your body as you freeze to a halt and your heart thudding in anticipation of what is about to be seen.
The thrill is unforgettable!
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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