Seek out nature using all your senses – scan the plains for sight of larger animals or vultures overhead, they may lead you to a kill and tracking lions on foot certainly may lead to an increase of adrenalin!; touch the grasses and feel the paper bark trees; listen for the cackle of guinea fowl or the sharp chattering of tree squirrels as they warn the world that danger is around; smell the pure earthy scent of fresh elephant dung or wild jasmine and gardenia – it is intoxicating; and taste the sour coating covering baobab seeds.
On a walking safari a whole new experience is unravelled that simply cannot be experienced when travelling across the plains in a noisy 4x4 vehicle.
What makes Zimbabwe special is that one can walk in national parks such as Hwange, Mana Pools, Victoria Falls, Matobo, Matusadona and Gonarezhou, some of them on your own in the more open spaces whilst in others it is best to be accompanied and led by a professional walking guide.
Zimbabwean guides are some of the best in Africa and they will introduce you to a whole new perspective of nature and open your eyes to really looking into the environment. Learning about the smaller wildlife as well as the plant life will lead onto a better understanding of a bigger picture – why certain birds feed in flocks, or the symbiotic relationship between certain species.
Walking safaris can be taken in the early mornings when you can hope to catch sight of the last nocturnal animals before they retire to bed for the day, or in the afternoons perhaps walk a while to a river such as the Zambezi in Mana Pools or along the shoreline in Matusadona and then stop to watch the buffalo or elephant herds coming down to drink and then finally walk back into camp at last light as the sun sets, just in time for a well earned drink.
Walking does not have to be a route march- it is about stopping and listening to nature. Some walking safaris can even be done by journeying between tented camps, where a crew move ahead setting up a different camp each night.
Camping (and walking) safaris are becoming more and more popular, as visitors realise that they can walk off the delicious meals that are served on safari. Of course it would be rude not to eat the decadent chocolate cake served for tea and finish that last stray piece of flaky pastry – how do they produce this over a camp fire is the eternal question? Ah well - I’ll walk it off tomorrow.
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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