Walking safaris are not new in Africa. Almost 200 years ago, researchers such as David Livingstone, Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke traveled across Africa. This is fine if you have a year or two in reserve and carry many porters, but most of us do not. So we climb into 4 × 4 to go on a safari and watch the game safely and comfortably.
But how many sounds, smells and textures of your safari are lost under the superimposition of rumbling vehicle fumes? Do you hear the grass of the savanna moving in the breeze?
To really feel the nuances of Africa and give your safari a special touch, take a walk in the bush.
After living in Africa for years, we use every opportunity to walk, as a walking safari awakens your senses to all living beings in your environment – plants, animals, insects and birds.
In Kenya you can do a safari on foot
Although the famous Maasai Mara in Kenya is not allowed to walk, it is possible to go on a walking safari in the private reserves of the region. When booking your Kenya Safari, ask if the lodge or camp offers bush walks or, better yet, a larger hiking safari.
Make sure their guides are registered with the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) as a standard Silver or Gold guide and have a firearms license.
Is a hiking safari difficult?
If you just want to try the bush, the advantage of rougher walks in the wilderness or in the bush from 2 to 3 hours is that you do not have to be very athletic to enjoy it.
You leave your box with your guide and come back in time for lunch. However, some private reserves offer guided afternoon walks to a night camp. This night option gives guests a real piece of African bush to digest and enjoy as a Fly Camp is a totally different experience than a luxurious safari tent.
OK, you got me. What is flycamping?
If you have the vision of a swarm of flies sweeping your tent, relax! Fly Camping is a bush sleeping under a sheet in a makeshift camp installed at the end of your walk. No annoying insects involved at all.
Well, it’s Africa. There will be crawlies, but not more than usual. On the way to the air camp, your group and group relax by the campfire under the watchful eye of the armed leader and the camp staff, without you and the flaming stars in the air. Sky with black ink.
What if we want to go on a longer safari?
Pole Pol (slow, as they say in Kenya), longer safaris are in progress, and if you want to trek for several days in the experienced hands of a Maasai guide through the hills of Loita, walking trails of 2 to 7 nights, tailored to your needs , Do not worry about heavy loads: packed donkeys carry all the equipment and bell tents are prepared each afternoon for your arrival.
What will we see during a walk in the bush?
Hiking safaris tend to focus on flora, birds, animal tracks and scenery rather than on the hunt for the Big Five. However, they should always be undertaken with the assistance of a qualified and armed leader. They roam the territory of wild animals that are not used to people walking in their fields. A walking safari should be considered as a special opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of nature.
The Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association (KPSGA) guides take pride in their knowledge of the bush and welcome guests with challenging questions.
During your walk, your khaki guide will show you the flowers, leaves and barks used by locals to feed or heal, and show you the footsteps of creatures large and small, sharing fascinating facts and figures. Stories on the way. Short information: Did you know that dung beetles navigate through the Milky Way or that bats are pollinated by bats?
Safari equipment on foot
Wearing clothes in neutral colors is a good idea because no one wants to stand out from the crowd when a white and grumpy rhino escapes from the bush. There is an old joke that the locals say by making sure their shoelaces are tightly knotted and less a member of your group!