Spending time in nature with a private guide is an invitation to inside information. Your guide knows and understands the wilderness intimately – the bush his second home. With knowledge of wildlife corridors, etched in by African sun and years of experience, insight shared is held with an intimate wisdom.
A walking safari is a sensory explosion. Spending time amidst the elements will leave the trails and stories of each encounter inscribed in memory. Learning to read nature by sight, sound, touch and smell, we tune in to our roots, connecting to the earth in ways long forgotten. JENMAN African Safaris has put together a list of cross-continental walking safari destinations which should undoubtedly be on your bucket-list for your African adventure:
A walking safari through two of Zimbabwe’s iconic wildlife areas is not just a walk in the park. Vastly different in character, both Mana Pools and Hwange National Park unveil unique and distinct qualities necessary to explore.
Mana Pools National Park
Mana is the definition of untamed Africa. Your private guide will lead you through various sections of the park, guiding you down ancient migratory routes. Each outing is unique, through open plains or beneath the albida forest, teaching you the art of listening and reading the bush, its stories scribed in the trees and tracks found on foot.
Hwange National Park
The area calls for true safari lovers who want to escape the beaten track and discover abundant wildlife. The experience of touching the earth lightly by being on foot in the Hwange is the definition of immersion in the wilderness, as well as having the highest elephant population in the country. Adventuring into intimate wildlife areas for close up encounters one will confront all creatures great and small which make up the fragile ecosystem of the park.
The Namib desert is the oldest in the world. Sossusvlei is an area within the Namib desert similar to a painting. It contains the hauntingly beautiful ‘deadvlei’ – a graveyard of tree skeletons frozen in time in cracked white clay. Contrasting colours and bold landscape, desolate and remote – the space demands presence.
Terracotta sand dunes are filled with tracks of desert life, scatterings of tiny insects, spiders, chameleons, geckos and moles. A walking tour with a professional guide opens up a whole world of creatures missed by the untrained eye. Some of the larger animals you will see are ostrich, gemsbok, bat-eared fox, aardwolf and the oryx – the country’s national symbol.
Being on foot reveals a whole other dimension – beauty found in the small, coupled with the anticipation of larger game around each bush. Led by a professional guide, explaining how to read the world around you, the Botswana bush comes alive, as do your senses. Your guide will transport you to the past as well as alert you to the future by reading the signs of nature. A pile of fresh dung may indicate the recent presence of an elephant, the train tracks of a millipede upon the sand, and the scuff marks of a swallow as it collects mud to build its nest. Walking through the delta adds a whole other element to your walking safari, seasonal floodplains attracting different game throughout the year – an important lesson in expecting the unexpected.
Uganda boasts an incomparable ecological character. All creatures great and small are bold in colour and variance, captivating the safari seeker. Follow in the footsteps of pioneers who once travelled this land in the quest for adventure. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the best place in Uganda to track gorillas. A mountainous area in the south-west, the forest is home to roughly half the world’s remaining population of silverback mountain gorillas. Butterflies are also somewhat a speciality within the park, with a list of 220 species, bursts of colour between the trees.