Zafaris Most Remote Walking Trails - Part 2......
For the second part of our walking trails, we move into the more untamed parts of Southern Africa, namely Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. In our opinions these are some of the more untouched wildlife destinations with fauna and flora so diverse. Your local guides based at the various camps have exceptional knowledge and skills so, there is absolutely no need to feel nervous about walking through some of these wild and remote parts of Africa. If anything, we should all feel incredibly privileged not only to be able to experience these last known wilderness areas but as South Africans, these trails are on our doorstep to explore. None of these trails require a huge amount of fitness, but we do recommend you are reasonably fit or active to enjoy the trails to their fullest.
4. Footsteps across the Delta, Okavango Delta, Botswana
As much as we are absolutely obsessed with the likes of Zambia and Zimbabwe, for both of us, Botswana seems to be very close to our hearts. Maybe its because both Sian and myself worked in Botswana and it was one of our very first tastes of "wild Africa". I remember crying on my first flight over the Okavango Delta, I just could not believe a place could be this beautiful.
Walking in the Okavango Delta’s wilderness is the highlight of a ‘true safari’ experience. These safaris maintain the elegance and authenticity of the original ‘under canvas African safari’
On a Footsteps Across The Delta walking safari you will cross many different habitats, riverine forests, palm islands, permanent swamps and dry sandveld and you can only image the diversity enjoyed. We were fortunate enough to partake in both water and land activities on this particular walk. If water levels do not permit, please do not think that your experience will be compromised in any way, it certainly wont. If you would like to guarantee some sort of water experience, then combine Footsteps with another camp in Botswana for the ultimate land and water combination. As we have all seen these last few weeks, the water levels in Botswana have been excellent allowing for both water and land based activities.
As you can see from the tent pictures above, your accommodation is incredibly comfortable with all the bells and whistles on hand for you. Remember to arrive hungry, we felt this was more like an eating safari than a walking one!
5. African Safari Walks, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
There are very few places on Earth where you can get truly close to spectacular African wildlife. African Safari Walks offer the perfect combination by combining walking and daily game drives. There is something special about being on foot and in areas where vehicles do not have any access. The main advantage is that you have unique sightings and of course capture spectacular photos. We were fortunate to have Kaz Dube at the helm, owner and expert guide of African Safari Walks, he really brings Hwange to life. We know it is always top of everyone's mind how safe walking safaris are, here is was Kas had to say.....
There is one fundamental practice when watching wildlife on foot which is – give personal space to the mammal being watched, there is a survival distance that wildlife being watched instinctively requires to remain calm and continue to behave undisturbed and undeterred. This distance (personal space) varies on every species and circumstance. Fear of people leads to escape more often than confrontation when people break or reduce that personal space distance.
We enjoyed 6 nights in Hwange, 3 nights at each of the mini explorers camps between the North and South of the park, both offering very different experiences with a lot of elephant and lion activity and the scenery was incredible. The mini explorers camps are VERY intimate, only hosting 6 guests making this the perfect exclusive use option for a group of friends or family.
We ended with 2 nights in Victoria Falls allowing us to enjoy some adventure activities as well as cutting down any potential delays in getting back to the airport.
6. Mwinilunga Safari Camp, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Located in the heart of the Zambezi River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will find Mwinilunga Safaris – one of the most friendly and comfortable safari camps in the country. Notorious too for its delicious cuisine! Providing a warm family atmosphere of home away from home. The camp is now under the Machaba Safaris umbrella also home to Ingwe Pan Camp in Mana Pools. The camp will soon be having a refurbishment which is why we have not included too many of our pictures from a few years ago. There are of course many activities at this particular camp ranging from fishing, game drives, birding, photographic safaris, and of course, our main attraction was the walking safaris.
Like the South Luangwa most of the camps are seasonal and this great little camp is broken down between the months of November and May due to the rising water levels.
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit
There are four large pools that lie in the abandoned river channels, just inland of the mighty, meandering Zambezi River. These pools are home to large concentrations of wildlife, especially in the dry season. The 4 pools are Green Pool, Chine Pool, Chisiseku and Long Pool offering fantastic game viewing on foot or during game drives.
7. Robin Pope Mobile Safari – South Luangwa, Zambia
Last and certainly not least, the South Luangwa is again one of our top destinations here at Zafaris. It really does feel like you are stepping into one of Sir David Attenboroughs wildlife documentaries. South Luangwa is another seasonal destination and most of Zambia generally closes from the end of October until the start of May, so getting in there during the peak season and part of the Green season (rainy season) is a must.
The Robin Pope Safaris’ Mobile Walking Safaris have long been known as the best wilderness experience of the South Luangwa.
This particular walking safari has the best of all worlds. Starting at the great Nkwali camp before heading into the park for your 5 day walking safari. These areas are so remote and wild, the terrain and habitats like Botswana are so varied but the game is shy and unused to man. This made me happy, there were times I felt like a walking piece of meat......
These mobile camps are fully serviced and extremely comfortable - outdoor showers which have to be our absolute best, toilets are proper bush loos with an actual wooden seat, I was thrilled!!!
Food again was so delicious and I marveled at how skilled these chefs were to create insane meals in the middle of nowhere with NO ovens or any electricity. Eating those meals under the African sky certainly felt like 5 star dining to us.
It is so great to share our travel experiences with you and please feel free to comment below and ask any questions about the walking trails that we have mentioned across this 2 part series. We look forward to bringing you some more fun adventures soon.
Stay healthy everyone x