The times they are a changing and thank goodness they are. An African safari need no longer consist of game drive after game drive, charging about the savannah, to the accompaniment of a chattering radio. Packed onto a land cruiser and ticking off boxes as you queue up for your sightings of ‘the big five’. Just writing this leaves a bad taste in the mouth, I’m so pleased this is so far from what we do.
In The Wild has always been about getting you out of the 4×4 vehicle and away from the radio guiding. To create an adventure with impact we need to immerse ourselves in an ecosystem, to put ourselves back at the ground level and to engage all of our senses while stepping through our journey.
What is so exciting is there are now so many fantastic opportunities to roam in the wild, through Eastern and Southern Africa, that one can stitch in truly tremendous walking in a great variety of tailor made safari adventures.
Here is why you should:
1. Immersive – Game drive is like watching the movie. A walking safari is like becoming a character in the book.
2. Meditative – For the most part we walk in silence, engaging our eyes, ears and noses to read the environment around us and keep ourselves safe. It is a wonderful way to focus the mind and reflect in a natural environment.
3. Active – More and more we hear from people that have been put off the idea of travel in Africa, from it being too sedate just sitting in a vehicle for days on end. Our longer walks will help keep the safari paunch under control, we feed and water you very well in the bush!
4. Exhilarating – Encountering Africa’s iconic wildlife on foot holds a resonance that can never be matched by a sighting from the top of a land rover. That journey of giraffe in the distance, those elephants coming down to drink the impala scattering at your intrusion all become magic, memorable moments on the adventure.
5. Inspiring – Walking guides are highly trained to keep you safe in a range of habitats that play host to potentially dangerous animals. By nature walking guides are adorned with fine eyes for detail, encyclopaedic knowledge and inexhaustible passion for nature. You have the opportunity to learn from them every step of the way, it’s an enormous privilege.
Here are five of our favourite jaunts through the wilderness:
· Our friends Noelle and Moli founded Kichaka Expeditions out of their great love for Ruaha National Park and all its rugged wilderness charm. They created something truly authentic, it’s beautiful.
· We love the five night ‘trail blazer’ itinerary mixing their pioneer style base camp with their untamed wild camping,
· Noelle’s eye for detail makes the whole operation; accommodation, food, drinks and service way beyond comfortable in locations as wild as one can get in Tanzania.
· Moli is one of the most fantastic guides we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. It’s truly a treat to spend time with him out in the sticks.
· Kerry, Jamie, Gabriel and the Karisia Team traverse some of the East Africas most breath-taking landscapes on foot with camel supported mobile camping.
· We love the seven night expeditions through the Mathews Mountain Range or the Karisia Hills. Extraordinary landscapes, step back in time into roadless Kenya at its most beautiful.
· Three levels of accommodation; Luxury, Classic and AirBnC (air bed and camel!) to suite all budgets and comfort zones make this a really accessible experience for people of all walks of life.
· A family run outfit they specialize in tailoring trips to suite all age groups, this is an amazing opportunity to introduce younger children to walking In The Wild.
· South Luangwa is often titled the birthplace of walking safari in Africa, even here the Remote Africa experience stands out as truly authentic. This is praise indeed.
· We love the opportunity to explore the vast North Luangwa ecosystem with expert guides. With almost no roads in the area one can really call this a puritan walking destination.
· Camps in superb locations with all the comforts you need and none of the nonsense you don’t. Combine South Luangwa and. North Luangwa for a truly in-depth valley itinerary.
· For decades, John and Carol Coppinger have been devoted to the Luangwa Valley and its wilderness. Through their camps they celebrate the places one can only reach and explore on foot.
· With Tusk and Mane, Kyle Branch and Luke Evans have created a classic ‘fly camping’ experience in the extraordinary Lower Zambezi National Park.
· Three camping sites offer a chance to see the full range of habitats the Lower Zambezi boasts so beautifully.
· A fantastic wilderness area, teeming with wildlife and especially productive with elephants. Life on the mighty Zambezi is a thing to behold and experience.
· The chance to combine proper walking with canoeing safaris makes for a wonderful, active variety.
· With a family or group of five people they will give you the camp exclusively. This makes for fantastic value in a National Park that tends to cater mostly to the high end.
· Ake and the summits team have been together for almost two decades. They bring vast expertise and unshakable ethics to the table when outfitting all kinds of trekking expeditions in Tanzania, Kenya and Beyond.
· The Great Rift Valley Trek and Footsteps of Mankind Trek offer a chance to walk the Nomadic Pastoralist pathways, guided by Maasai on journeys through East Africa’s epic landscapes. Private and outstanding.
· There are set departure dates (to join groups) as well as private expeditions up Africa’s Iconic mountains, Kilimanjaro, (alt 5985m), Mt Kenya (alt 5199m), Mt Meru (alt 4562m), and Mt Lengai (alt 3118m). A bucket list challenge awaits.
· We love summits impact in the communities surrounding the mountain, they are the perfect partners to engage with when it comes to giving back while on your trekking adventure.