‘There are many ways to travel, but only walking gives you the opportunity to move at the pace of nature. A walking safari demands that you throw out the clatter of urban life and tune into the bush, to its sounds and smells, the textures, temperature and colours: it is how animals survive…’ – David Bristow
Not only does walking in the bush force you to tune out the clutter in your head to be able to focus on the world and movements around you, but the requirement of silence between fellow walkers is essential for the safety and success of the walk itself. Not many places or activities today require you to be silent!
Botswana is currently not well known for its walking safaris; however, we are working hard to change that! On an international level for walking safaris it is recommended that your trails or walking guide be armed in case of any unfortunate events and here in Botswana it is not easy to gain qualifications to carry a rifle. Therefore, not all guides are able to in fact take walking safaris or any walk with guests in a wildlife area.
Walking safaris are an active and far more intense style of safari. At the same time, it offers a feeling of freedom that you may never experience again, freedom in one of the wildest places in the world. It is considered the purest form of safari you can experience in today’s world and allows you to relive some of the first explorers of Africa’s day to day experiences.
Our walking here at Walk Botswana Safaris is not considered a ‘stroll’ in the park, as our walks often include tracking wildlife, crossing difficult terrain and reaching our set goals for the day, which may mean reaching our next camp for the night. Our aim is to utilise wilderness not used by other people, not a footprint to be seen or a car track to be walked over. Each walking safari itinerary that we compose is tailor made according to your walking ability and additional safari requests and with that in mind we have provided three categories for our walkers in which to set themselves:
Stroller: Interested in leisurely walks of up to 1 – 2 hours per day, with game drives and other activities during the rest of the time. The walks will include a stroll along a water way or to a waterhole returning to camp or stopping at a designated pick up site.
Hikers: Dedicated walkers, able to do 3 – 4 hours of walking at a time at least once per day, with game drives and other activities during the rest of the time. This allows out walkers to get some tracking of game under their belts and put some distance under their feet as they explore the wilderness around camp. Unless a designated pick up spot is previously arranged walkers will return to camp typically for lunch and continue their safari activities for the rest of the day.
Explorers: Avid and fit walkers, able to do up to 6-7 hour of walking per day if needed. Breaks will on certain days be taken out in the bush only returning to camp at the end of the day. For walking itineraries that include walking from one camp location to another we will require explorer walkers. All helicopter walking itineraries are also composed specifically for explorer style walkers. Minimal to no game drives are included in this style of walking unless specifically arranged. Night drive can be arranged depending on the area that we are in.
We use the above categories to set itineraries for our guests, as each area will be more suitable to a specific type of walker and safari goer. Additional activities such as boating, game drives and canoeing will also determine the areas that we select. All our tailor-made walking safaris use our mobile safari camp as the basis for accommodation with the addition of a night or two in a selected lodge that fits in with the walking trail. Our set walking specific itineraries include set lodges and sleep out nights under the stars.