Safaris are lovely for the family – kids like seeing the lions, rhino, wildebeest and all the other animals. And most safaris are gentle experiences where you are driven out in jeeps from lodges or tented camps so you might fill your camera memory card, but you won’t tire yourself out. But some people want more of an active experience, something a bit more rough and ready where you feel you have left civilisation behind and all that’s left is nature. For them, a walking safari is the perfect choice.
Walking safaris mean that you walk between camps, spotting the animals as you go. The camps range from the luxurious permanent type with soft beds and hot showers, to ‘fly camps’ which mean a pop-up tent and a bucket of warm water to wash in (but usually with staff who will cook for you on an open fire.
Our favourites are based at Luangwa River camp in Zambia and Sand Rivers camp in Selous, Tanzania.
In Luangwa, you will spend a night in a lodge, then be driven to a remote part of the Lungwa national park. From there, it’s five days of walking along the river and spotting wildlife on the land and water as you go. You will cover about 10km per day, so it’s not taxing. You will be sleeping in tents with bedding and eating under a starry sky.
At Sand Rivers, the landscape is filled with elephant, buffalo, giraffe – to say nothing of the big cats; while the backdrop includes majestic baobab trees set against blue-tinged hills. Two or three days walking through the plains will give you a taste of Africa to make you fall in love with it. Finally, back at the camp, you will relax beside the river’s gentle waters, recuperating with delicious food and cool sunset drinks.