Did you know?
South African grasslands have 30 species per square kilometre, greater than the biodiversity of rainforests.
If you go on a bush walking or wildlife trail, you'll get to experience wildlife at first hand. You'll learn about the ecology, the birds, the game, the plants and insects, and also how to interpret the signs of the wild, including animal spoor. When you come face-to-face with that elephant, or watch that dung beetle labouring with his ball of dung, you'll realise just how impressive and interconnected African wildlife really is.
A walking safari is your opportunity to experience the wild in a way that most humans have not for hundreds of years. You'll be accompanied by a personal armed ranger, with a back-up guide or tracker, who'll make sure that you're kept safe at all times. These professionals will guide you along trails and tracks to watering holes and rivers, showing you the secrets of the bush up close and personal.
This is your chance to witness the real details of the bush, from the Big Five right down to the insects that are such an important part of the ecosystem. You'll also get a feel for the plant life and trees of the bush, their uses and natures.
Typically, before you set out, you'll be briefed on how to behave when encountering animals in the wild. Your guides are trained experts who know how to handle the situation you are in. The best tip is to listen carefully to what they say and to follow their directions quickly, quietly and carefully.
Safaris vary, but sometimes even the most luxurious involve tents, a lack of electricity and the timeless schedule of nature as opposed to man-made rhythms. Walking safaris are an ideal way to really experience the African bush.
You get the opportunity to do more than just view animals, you'll also be part of the environment where you'll experience every aspect of it, the insects, the plants, the heat and the pure adrenalin rush of being on foot among wild animals in Africa.
Travel tips & Planning info
How to get here
Most bush walks are done in the national parks, so surf the web for more details
Best time to visit
If you are heat sensitive, plan your walk to take place during the cooler months, from March through to September.
Once within a game reserve, you'll go on your bush walk with a professional guide. You don't need to be super-fit, just walking fit. Before you begin your walk be sure to discuss distances, pace and special interests with your ranger and fellow walkers
What will it cost
The cost of a walking safari varies according to the length of the walk and the luxury level of the destination of your choice.
Length of stay
A good bush walk can be as short as one day but many are three-night breakaways.
What to pack
You'll need good sturdy walking shoes or boots, suitable clothing as well as lightweight binoculars and a camera. A hat, water bottle, sunscreen and insect repellant are essential.
Where to stay
Your accommodation will be taken care of as part of your walking safari.
What to eat
Catering is provided at most bush walk destinations. Don't expect cordon bleu, but rather good hearty comfort food