Feel the grass brush lightly against your calves and hear it rustle as you pick your way along well-trodden game paths, cicadas singing Mother Nature's praises. Stop to marvel at the splendid scenes before you; the dappled shade of cathedral hardwood groves, vast savanna stretches home to Africa's rare creatures and crystal clear babbling brooks glittering in the sunshine. More often, you will meet only animal spoor on interpretive nature walks in our big sky country. Don't feel disappointed; this is exciting too. Spoor tracking is an age-old activity crucial to our ancestors' survival in the wild. You are, quite literally, walking in the footsteps of the ancients.
Your experienced walking guide will unpack these signs of life and connect the dots for you with such detail it may astound you; what direction the animal was travelling in, how old the spoor is, and what they were doing there. While it is possible to encounter Africa's most dangerous animals on foot (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, buffalo), even predators will usually avoid confrontation unless they are surprised. Our highly trained guides know the area well and, with years of experience, are adept at anticipating the behaviour of the wild animals of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. They take every possible precaution to ensure this in-the-wild activity is as safe as possible.
Q: How long have you led walking safaris? A: I have been leading walking safaris for over ten years and co-led as a backup for two years before that.
Q: How would you define a walking safari? A: A walking safari is a walk through the bush where the animals roam freely. One gets to experience the bush without the noise of the vehicle and use all your senses as you are close to nature. On a walking safari, we generally focus on the smaller things like tracks, insects, birds, trees, flowers, rocks etc. We do, however, get the chance now and then to experience the adrenalin rush of encountering one of the dangerous animals by chance or by tracking (for the brave).
Q: Who should embark on a walking safari? A: Anyone who is physically fit to do so and is not terrified of encountering the iconic five on foot.
Q: Any tips for enjoying the safest (yet most thrilling!) walking safari? A: Use all your senses, and let the bush entertain you.
Q: What is the best quality about a walking safari? A: You get to experience the silence of the bush without any other noise besides the ones you as a group make. Seeing the utterly different reaction of the animals on foot as opposed to being in a vehicle. And, of course, the rush when you encounter any big game.
Here is some vital information to be aware of when considering a walking safari.
- Pre-booking for walking safaris is essential to ensure that we have a suitably trained walking guide available during your stay. Due to the nature of the activity, no under sixteens are allowed on a walking safari.
- Guests over sixty years need to present a medical certificate from a certified doctor stating that they are fit and able to do a walk over the dates that they are staying with us.
- Winter is the best time to do walks because the bush is less thick, and the temperatures are more comfortable.
- Summertime walks are very restrictive and sometimes impossible for safety and weather reasons. The grass can be too high, and the rainfall can make the area impassable on foot.
- We recommend wearing natural tones, long trousers and a light, collared long sleeve shirt, sunscreen and a sun hat even on overcast days.
- Pay attention to your guide's safety briefing and stay hydrated.