While Africa has historically been a commodity-driven economy, it’s now increasingly reliant on tourism to drive its GDP growth. In fact, more than 30 million people book a trip to Africa every single year, with safari adventures proving particularly popular in for tourists.
Owing to the rise of a plethora of companies that offer Africa safari holidays and tours, there’s plenty of safari options to choose so you’ll almost be guaranteed to find appropriate accommodation, transport and activities that’s suitable for you.
Whatever budget you’ve allocated for your trip, walking safaris offer particularly impressive value for money, and a surprising splash of luxury too, even though they’re still largely underrated by travellers from across the globe.
Here are some of the benefits of walking safaris in Africa.
Gain a New Perspective on Wildlife
Let’s start with a basic assertion; viewing animals on foot enables you to view them from a fresh and completely unique perspective.
While game drives are also great fun, they do not allow to interact particularly closely with particular species, while it’s easy to miss some of the more stealth-like creatures when aboard a vehicle.
You may have previously dismissed impalas as boring when you see them in herds during game drives, for example, only to marvel at their beauty and graceful movement when walking amongst them.
By sharing the terrain with such creatures and engaging with them close-up, you can also gain an insight into how vulnerable prey animals are even in their natural habitat. At any moment, they could be hunted, stalked and killed, and this will certainly afford you a new-found respect for such creatures.
- You can Learn More About the Bush
On a similar note, it’s fair to say that walking safaris serve as a significant educational experience, which enables you to learn far more than by sitting in a truck.
This should not detract from the quality of game drives, of course, but the combination of a walking safari and an experienced guide can impart a far greater understanding of the terrain and the surrounding wildlife.
After all, traversing the terrain on foot makes it far easier to explore Africa’s bewildering and often complex ecosystems in significant detail. Take the region’s huge diversity of trees and their incredible evolutionary adaptations, for example, which can only really be appreciated while on foot and at close proximity.
- Learn the Art of Tracking
For most people, the purpose of going on safari is to see as much wildlife as possible, but this is not guaranteed and it often depends on your chosen location and the time that you choose to travel.
On a walking safari, however, you and your guide will be accompanied by a tracker, who can teach the basic art of reading tracks in the sand, ensuring you see some of the most amazing animals the continent has to offer as they make their way through the bush.
There’s a great more deal to this master skill, however, and over time you can even learn to identify the smell of rhino urine and accurately calculate the ablution time by poking through middens.
Make no mistake; tracking is a fun, unique and masterful skill to learn, while it also adds a fascinating dimension to your safari experience and makes it easier to see more species of animal whilst on foot.