South African safaris are very popular holiday adventure activities, especially with so many ways to go game-watching. You have the option of travelling in one of the safari vehicles provided the game reserve or in your own trusty little hatchback, but there is nothing on earth quite like walking through big game country on your own size eights. Or size sevens or whatever.
There are a few game reserves in South Africa where you can walk around unescorted but, not surprisingly, these usually do not have any dangerous game. It is far more exciting, though, to walk up close to rhinos and elephants or even lions, but it’s not something you want to try on your own. You’ll be pleased to hear, however, that there are a variety of good, escorted trails in many different parts of the country.
In almost all national and provincial parks and private game reserves, you can walk for a couple of minutes or even a couple of hours with an game adventure guide. But the ultimate foot safari is a long, multi-day walking trail in the wilderness, where you are surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of the bush and you don’t see roads or buildings or telephone lines for days on end. It is truly pure bliss.
The first multi-day wilderness trails in South Africa were run in the Umfolozi Game Reserve (now part of the consolidated Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Reserve) in KwaZulu-Natal. This reserve still offers these foot safaris, which are a firm favourite, and have now been augmented with a range of trails in the Kruger National Park and a few others. On some of these walking trails you are expected to carry absolutely everything you need en route, but there are other trails that allow for your luggage to be magically spirited from one overnight spot to the next. For most people this will involve some serious stepping out of comfort zones - but isn’t that what adventure is all about?
It is not only a chance to get out into the wilderness and take in the fresh air; these foot safaris also give you a much better glimpse of the savannah plains that you walk through, and of the creatures and plants that are found in these areas. For a new take on an old favourite - the safari tour - participate in a foot safari and get up close and personal with wild beasts of Africa.