Zambia offers the very finest walking safaris in Africa! The country is known for having some of the finest walking guides in Africa and walking is without doubt both a thrilling and exceptional safari experience, bringing one much closer to nature and allowing one to be in touch with the surrounding environment.
One learns so much more on foot, such as the medicinal properties of trees and plants, to learning about the fragile eco system and the function of many species, such as the dung beetle and the termites and the vital roles they play. Walk downwind from a herd of elephant, keeping pace with them and observing their behaviour. This is what a walking safari is all about – and one feels so alive doing it!
Walking safaris can be done just for a single morning or afternoon walk, alternatively an all day affair, or spanning several days walking between mobile tented camps that are set up for you in remote wilderness areas. All walks are led by an experienced naturalist and accompanied by an armed game scout.
The Luangwa Valley is host to some of the finest traditional rustic bush camps accepting visitors as part of their quest to protect the park and its wild inhabitants. Walking safaris in Zambia are run by extremely knowledgeable conservationists and guides, with a focus firmly on the wildlife and environment. Walking safaris are also offered in Kafue National Park, North Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi National Park.
After spending time in a vehicle, it is so refreshing to be on foot using ones senses and learning from professional guides with intimate knowledge of flora and fauna in Zambia’s wilderness areas. Many of the permanent camps also offer daily walks as a major part of you safari stay.
One of the best safaris in South Luangwa spans eight days with the first night spent in a permanent camp in the Mfuwe area. This allows you to be introduced to the park and its terrain. The following day you are driven way out into the park to a secluded and isolated wilderness near the Mupamadzi River to start your walking safari for five nights, walking around 7-10 kilometres each day, depending upon what you see and are undertaken between three tented camps.
You carry nothing except a pair of binoculars or your camera bag and arrive in time to be handed a well earned iced drink. The walks are at a slow pace, taking in interesting facets of the landscape. The last couple of nights are spent in a permanent camp or lodge. A mobile camp with very comfortable essentials will be set up for you each night and staff cook delicious meals for you.
Spend the night under a starry sky whilst nocturnal animals such as leopard, porcupine and genet pass by the camp leaving pug marks in the sand. After a wake up coffee and muffin, head out at first light following these prints, perhaps the porcupine came across a lion and managed with a rattle of spines to get rid of him. The guide unfolds the stories of the night before, reading the signs of the bush as one would read a book!
The walks in this park which is famous for its leopard can be along the Luangwa River, stopping for a while to see what animals come down to drink- how they behave in the area- always wary of predators. Walk through beautiful ebony woodland and open grass plains.
Relax through the heat of the day. The game viewing in the area is excellent – and includes many family herds of elephants and the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe.
Where else can one experience one of Africa's finest walking safaris?
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
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