Zambia Walking Safaris
The birthplace of the exhilarating walking safari...
In the words of Norman Carr, the founder of walking safaris – “you do not know a place until you have walked it”. This is particularly true for Zambia.
Zambia is the birthplace of walking safaris and over the years, the strict guiding qualifications and thorough training from only the best, has meant that walking safaris across the country offer consistently high standards. On-foot experiences allow you to walk at the pace of nature and experience the bush naturally, cautiously and most of all, excitingly.
Where to go for a walking safari?
The South Luangwa National Park is the best place to head to for the ultimate walking safari in Zambia. Not only is the guiding exceptional, the game viewing is second-to-none as you will often see elephants, antelope, an array of bird life and big cats on foot. As well as that, the guides will give you a comprehensive insight into the landscape, history, ecosystem and fauna and flora of the park. Their amount of knowledge is incredible.
Almost all of the camps located in South Luangwa offer walking safaris inclusive of their game package, and in fact, some camps offer walking safaris and nothing else! The focus of these bush camps is to walk a couple of hours each day from one bush camp to the next, exploring footprints, tracks, smells and sights along the way.
Although the South Luangwa is the ultimate destination, there are camps in other national parks (such as the North Luangwa National Park, the Lower Zambezi National Park and Kafue National Park) that offer walking safaris. Walking on foot is a nice way to mix up the safari experience, alongside game drives, boat safaris or canoeing in selected destinations.
What to wear?
We often get asked the question of “what should I wear on a walking safari”, and it is a very sensible question to ask! Whilst you can usually get away with wearing whatever you like on game drives (within reason of course), it is important to wear neutral (beige and greens are always good) and breathable clothes whilst on a walking safari.
It is important to avoid bright, neon or light colours as these tend to stick out in the bush. It is also a necessity to wear sturdy walking shoes or trainers as you may be walking for a few hours. A sun hat, sunglasses, a water bottle (which is usually provided by the camp) and a good pair of binoculars are also highly recommended. The guide will definitely have their own pair of binoculars which they often lend to guests to see certain sightings, but a pair of your own is always a good idea.
First time for a walking safari?
The thought of walking on foot through the bush can often be very daunting to guests, especially to those who have never experienced it. At the beginning of each walking safari (whether it is a short walk in the morning, or a full day walk from camp to camp), the head guide will always outline the techniques and safety information of the walk, the logistics and timings, and run through any questions you have. What is guaranteed in Zambia is that the guides have been professionally trained so they are extremely experienced, professional and reassuring.
When to go?
The best time for walking safaris in the South Luangwa National Park is the period between June and October when the park is at its driest and the days are warm with plenty of sun. The majority of the camps close outside this period as the park becomes inaccessible. Another thing that combines well with walking safaris is a night spent fly camping. This term usually means a night spent under the stars with just a mosquito net separating you from the wilderness!