Going on a walking safari in South Africa offers a unique and intimate experience with nature that simply can’t be replicated on a traditional game drive. With the aid of an experienced guide walking through the bush, you’ll connect with the environment in a very different way.
Visitors can get up close to animals and appreciate the finer details of the landscape, all while learning about the flora and fauna from a knowledgeable guide, a truly unforgettable way to experience the South African wilderness.
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The best Cape Town Safari Tours
Why go on a walking safari in South Africa?
Walking safaris provide visitors with a unique opportunity to see the wonder and splendor of a South African safari from a new vantage point. Visitors are able to reach unique parts of the park that are not generally accessible to the general public when they are accompanied by certified park rangers and professional guides.
Walking safaris in South Africa also offer the opportunity to encounter some of the most iconic animals on foot, including elephants, lions, rhinos, and buffalos.
These safaris typically take place in private reserves or national parks that are dedicated to preserving wildlife and habitats. In addition, walking safaris provide a unique sense of adventure and excitement that cannot be replicated by any other activity.
What will I see on a South African walking safari?
Expect to see the most incredible animals up close and personal including elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and various antelope species. You may also see smaller animals like warthogs, hyenas, and various bird species.
Wildlife viewings will of course depend on the specific park you walk through but with the help of experienced guides, you’ll have the best chance of seeing as much as possible in the stunning surroundings of Kruger National Park – one of the largest game reserves in Africa and home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo), as well as many other animals like giraffes, zebras, and hippos.
Other great parks and reserves to walk include Sabi Sands Game Reserve – a private reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park known for its luxury lodges and excellent wildlife, a well as Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, known for its rhino conservation efforts and also offers sightings of elephants, buffalos, and other wildlife.
In addition, South Africa is known for its diverse and breathtaking natural landscapes, including grasslands and savannah, acacia trees, forests, wetlands, mountains peaks and valleys.
When to go on a walking safari in South Africa?
The best time to go on a walking safari in South Africa depends on several factors, including weather, wildlife activity, and personal preferences. Visitors may need to take into account the weather, with the dry season typically running from May to September, making it easy to walk and spot wildlife.
Also, during the dry season, animals are more active as they gather around water sources, making it easier to spot them. However, the wet season (October to April) can also be a good time to go on a walking safari, as there are fewer visitors and the landscape is lush and green.
Other visitors prefer to avoid the crowds and visit during the shoulder seasons (April/May and September/October), while some prefer to go during the peak season (June to August) when the weather is cooler and drier. However, any time of year can be a good time to visit depending on your personal preferences and priorities.
Cost of a walking safari in South Africa?
It is difficult to provide an accurate estimate for the cost of a walking safari package since expenses may vary significantly based on the time of year, the kind of lodging and how remote it is, the destinations traveled to, the activities done, and the add-ons purchased.
For a budget-friendly option, you can expect to pay around $150-200 per person per night for a basic camping or lodge-style accommodation, with a guided walking safari included. Mid-range options typically start at around $300-400 per person per night and offer more comfortable accommodations and additional activities such as game drives.
For those looking for a luxury experience, the cost can be much higher, starting at around $800-1000 per person per night and going up from there with the walking safari included. High-end lodges and camps offer exclusive accommodations, private guides, and a range of additional activities and amenities.
The above are of course estimates and prices can vary widely depending on the specific park or reserve, the time of year, and other factors.
Sample South Africa walking safari itineraries
A multi-day walk through a game-rich South Africa national park or reserve offers visitors a very different off-piste safari experience exploring the quieter areas of parks over many hours or indeed several days in specially designated wilderness zones where game-driving is not allowed.
Walking is always conducted by experienced and knowledgeable english-speaking armed guides.
Sample 4-day South Africa walking safari itinerary:
|Day 1||Arrive into Kruger National ParkMid afternoon walk||Safari camp, Kruger National Park|
|Day 2||Morning walking safari with experienced guide and tracker||Safari camp,Kruger National Park|
|Day 3||Morning walking safari & afternoon game drive safari||Luxury safari lodge, Sabi Sands Game Reserve|
|Day 4||Morning walking safari||Luxury safari lodge, Sabi Sands Game Reserve|
This itinerary offers the opportunity to experience two of South Africa’s most iconic wildlife destinations. Kruger National Park is known for its vast size and diverse array of wildlife, while Sabi Sands Game Reserve is renowned for its exclusive luxury lodges and high concentration of big cats.
By combining a walking safari in Kruger with a game drive-focused experience in Sabi Sands, you’ll get to experience the best of both worlds.
What will I see on a walking safari in South Africa?
On a walking safari in South Africa, you can expect to see a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, lions, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, and many other species in their natural habitats. This can include trips to the iconic Kruger National Park or Sabi Sands Reserve.
How much does a South Africa walking safari cost?
The cost of a walking safari in South Africa can vary widely depending on factors such as the park or reserve, duration, level of luxury, and time of year. Prices range from $150-200 for basic options to $800-1000+ for luxury experiences.
When to go on a walking safari in South Africa?
The best time for a walking safari in South Africa is during the dry winter months from May to September when vegetation is sparse, making it easier to spot wildlife. However, the summer months from November to February can also be a good option.