Guests on an African walking safari in a lush setting.

African Walking Safaris: A More Immersive Wildlife Experience

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written by
Sue van Winsen
Sue van Winsen

Walking among nature's most breath taking wildlife.

Think of holidays to Africa and its highly likely safaris also spring to mind. The two are synonymous with each other, and no holiday to this expansive continent would be complete without setting out into the bush to spot the impressive array of wildlife that calls it home. In the spirit of doing things differently, here at Niarra Travel we advocate for opting for an African walking safari over the more commonly known game drives operated by vehicle.

Tourists exploring the Linyanti bush on an African walking safari

Gain a new perspective on an African walking safari

The oldest form of safari, exploring the bush on your own two feet takes you from being a mere observer in the confines of a vehicle, to being an active participant. With just the sounds of the wildlife surrounding you, and your heart beating faster in those more adrenaline-fuelled moments, you will be fully immersed in the experience - and in the moment.

There are plenty of well-known reasons to embark on an African safari, there is nothing that quite compares to seeing these great animals in their natural habitats, but what are the benefits of an African walking safari?

Taking the slow route

The concept of slow travel is widely known, and the desire among travellers to take a more considered and mindful approach to holidays is only becoming stronger, with an emphasis on sustainable and purposeful travel at the core. By embarking on an African walking safari you can feel more deeply connected to the place, slowing down to appreciate the smaller details you may have otherwise missed.

Group trekking through South Luangwa, a key spot for African walking safaris

As the old adage goes, take only memories, leave only footprints, and this couldn’t be more true than on a walking safari. Leaving the car behind makes areas inaccessible by vehicles open up, taking you off the usual trail and into the very heart of the wilderness. This low impact approach is not only more environmentally friendly, but benefits local conservation efforts, keeping an eye out for signs of poaching in more hidden spots - being the eyes and ears on the ground.

Connect with nature

This back to basics experience helps you gain a new understanding and appreciation of your surroundings, through connecting with your innate senses. With the feel of the ground beneath your feet, the sound of every rustle in the trees magnified, birds calling to their mates, the distant grumble of a rhinoceros - you are totally immersed, experiencing everything that the wildlife around you also does.

Together with your expert guide, you can get closer to your surroundings, spot the smaller animals and insects, and appreciate the flora and fauna more deeply. A massive benefit of an African walking safari is the ability to track larger animals on foot. Your local guide can use all their expertise and experience to spot tracks and give more insight into the behaviour of specific species as you follow in their footsteps.

Guide leading a walking safari near Thorntree River Lodge, Zambia.

Are walking safaris safe?

Many people would look at this type of experience and ask, are walking safaris safe? Our answer is simple, yes of course! Safety is our top priority on our luxury Africa holidays, and when conducted by experienced guides with sound knowledge of the environment, walking safaris are no exception.

Close encounter with elephants during a walking safari.

You will receive a comprehensive safety briefing ahead of your walking safari and our guides are fully trained to plan routes and assess situations as they arise, utilising their years of experience. They take into consideration any seasonal factors and animal behaviour, and by keeping group sizes small, we can provide safe and immersive experiences for all.

Best walking safaris in Africa

Our trips are driven by purpose. To bring you unforgettable experiences that benefit the local communities, leave a positive impact and support conservation efforts throughout the destinations we offer. We are proud to offer some of the best walking safaris in Africa, covering many parts of this colossal continent. And each walking safari experience offers something different to the rest.

Among our favourite trips is navigating through the ‘Valley of the Leopard’ in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, where you’ll spend the days on exhilarating walking safaris and the nights sleeping in a luxury lodge and rustic bushcamp.

Explorers on foot in the Okavango Delta, emphasizing African walking safari.

For something far off the usual tourist trail, discover the little-visited parks in our Unseen Tanzania trip, where the no-frills camps offer an authentic experience. You’ll be rewarded with jungle treks to spot chimpanzees and greeted by herds of elephants when you exit your tent in the morning. Visits here bring much needed community and conservation support to these remote areas.

For the more intrepid traveller, follow the Great Migration’s wildebeest across the Serengeti for a week-long walk through savannah and Maasai villages, camping en route and spending evenings unwinding by the fire.

We believe that connecting with nature in this unique way leaves you with an unmatched experience of the habitats and animals living symbiotically in these extraordinary environments. Our aim is to bring purpose to your holiday, whilst leaving a positive impact - so lace up your boots and get ready for a wildlife adventure like no other! If you are interested in booking a walking safari trip to Africa with luxury and conservation at its heart, get in touch with our team on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK), +1 (833) 215 9353 (US), or at and begin crafting your dream African adventure today.

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