Our Top 10 Walking Safari Camps in Africa
Walking safaris are some of the most underrated ways of exploring the magnificent African continent. Unlike other, more traditional modes of transportation, walking through the bushveld allows you to get as close as possible to wildlife – the ideal way to get to know the land and the animals who call it home. In this blog post, we’ll share our Top 10 walking safari camps on the African continent.
1. Kutali Camp & Chula Island Camp, Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Zambia is well known amongst the safari loving community as the home of the walking safari. The South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks, where our selected walking safari camps are located, are both relatively flat, and so walking is not strenuous. Tusk and Mane’s Kutali and Chula Island camps are located on the eastern section of the stunning Lower Zambezi National Park.
Chula Camp is located on Discovery Island in the Lower Zambezi National Park. There are excellent wildlife sightings at this camp, including predators like leopards, lions and hyenas, as well as buffalo and elephant, to name a few. The camp is perfectly situated under the shade of Natal Mahogany trees.
Kutali Camp on Kulefu Island perfectly contrasts and compliments Chula. Located under enormous thorn trees, this is a classic Lower Zambezi camp, with amazing walking and canoeing opportunities.
If you’re planning your first walking safari, Kutali and Chula Camps are the perfect option. While still being fly camps with simple amenities unlike what you’d find at some of more luxurious lodges, guests have access to everything they need. The tents are comfortable and offer everything necessary for a comfortable stay. We’d definitely recommend a visit to Tusk and Mane’s walking safari camps.
2. Bushcamp Company Camps (Bilimungwe, Chamilandu, Chindeni, Kuyenda, Kapamba, Zungulila), South Luangwa, Zambia
Also in Zambia, Bushcamp Company’s camps throughout the South Luangwa National Park are also excellent walking safari locations. Located in the remote southern region of the park, this is the very place walking safaris first began. Each of Bushcamp Company’s camps holds a maximum of 8 guests, ensuring a stay that is peaceful and can be individually tailored to the personal needs of visitors.
Walking safaris are about noticing the small details in the wilderness, not missing anything, which is so easy to do when on a game drive. Walking safari guides are some of the best in the business, and at Bushcamp Company’s camps you can expect great knowledge of the area from your guides.
3. Return Africa, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Return Africa’s Pafuri Walking Safaris are an excellent option if you’re looking to experience this unique type of safari in South Africa. Located in the remote northern section of the Kruger National Park, guests get the opportunity to search for the Big 5 on foot – not missing any of the finer details of the bushveld.
The camp offers a comfortable base to enjoy a good night’s sleep and a hearty meal, but the real star in Pafuri is the incredible array of changing landscapes and the animals that call them home. Walk through bushveld and riverine forests, mountains and floodplains, beneath fever trees, baobabs and everything in between. A walking safari through this spectacular part of South Africa is a bucket list item for sure!
4. Tanda Tula Field Camp, Timbavati Game Reserve, South Africa
Found in the Timbavati Game Reserve, South Africa’s Tanda Tula Field Camp is another must visit walking safari destination. This exclusive use camp offers glamping at its finest, nestled in between the Mopono and Nhlaralumi rivers.
If you’re a family or group of friends looking for a private walking safari experience, Tanda Tula’s Field Camp is perfect option. Explore the bushveld on early morning and late afternoon walks, track animals on foot, enjoy picnic brunches and campfire dinners. Professional and highly skilled staff will look after you on every step of your journey at Tanda Tula.
5. Zambezi Expeditions, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Situated on the banks of the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe’s iconic Mana Pools National Park, you’ll find our favorite walking safari camp in this stunning country – African Bush Camp’s Zambezi Expeditions.
This camp blends classic safari style with luxurious comfort – creating an experience that is truly authentic while still enjoying the finer things in life. Zambezi Expeditions offers incredible walking safaris, as well as game drives, fishing in the Zambezi, canoeing and bird watching. This camp is full of incredible activities, designed to get you as close to the African continent as possible.
6. Linyanti Expeditions, Linyanti, Botswana
Moving east, the next property on our list is African Bush Camp’s Linyanti Expeditions in Botswana. This camp can be found in the private Linyanti Wilderness Reserve concession in the north of the country. The reserve boasts enormous herds of elephant, buffalo and zebra, which attract some of Africa’s iconic predators, including lions, wild dogs and leopards.
The landscape is vast and varied, with grasslands, forests and lagoons creating the perfect terrain to venture out on foot to uncover the finer points of an African safari. Along with sublime walking safaris, day and night game drives, and mokoro excursions are also available here.
Return to the comfort of your camp, comfortably lived in, but with an old world luxury and charm, to enjoy incredible meals designed to keep you nourished for your walking safaris. In the evenings, retreat to your spacious suite. Each of the six suites is designed with a gazebo extension where your bed can be placed, to give you the impression of sleeping under the stars!
This camp has an age restriction of 16, ideal for families with older children looking to experience and intimate African safari.
7. Footsteps Across the Delta, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Also in Botswana, Ker & Downey’s Footsteps across the Delta camp is a once in a lifetime safari experience. This private camp offers just three tents, elegantly designed to allow you to be in tune with your surrounding while still enjoy your creature comforts.
Expert guides will lead you through the delta on foot, picking up tracks to trace the events of the previous evening. These guided walks give visitors an excellent opportunity to learn our to track the animals and understand their patterns and behavior. Walks can also be paired with game drives, and mokoro and fishing trips when the delta’s water levels allow.
8. Karisia Walking Safaris, Laikipia, Kenya
Moving north now, the next walking safari camp on our list is found in Kenya’s Laikipia. Karisia Walking Safaris are specialists in this unique experience. The part of Laikipia in which they operate is rich in every way, with a varied and beautiful terrain that tells a turbulent history; a wide variety of animal life, and many archaeological artifacts with much cultural significance.
During the walks, visitors can hope to see the wildlife in Laikipia is so well known for. There’s incredible elephant herds, big cats, and a variety of endangered animals like Grevy’s Zebra, wild dogs and highland Hartebeest, to name just a few.
A Karisia walking safari is unique and special experience. Visitors can expect an action packed adventure but done in a way that is sensitive to, and in tune with the land, animals and people you’ll encounter along the way. This is a bucket list activity, and whether you’ve done walking safaris before, or its your first time, you’ll return home with a new perspective and appreciation for Kenya and Africa as a whole.
9, Kichaka Expeditions, Ruaha, Tanzania
Located in Ruaha National Park, Kichaka Expeditions knows how to do a walking safari right. Ruaha National Park is a perfect location for a walking safari. It’s about 50% bigger than the Serengeti, but only receives a 10th of the tourists. The wide open spaces attract huge herds of buffalo along with enormous prides of lions.
With a range of itinerary and accommodation options, there is something for all preferences with Kichaka Expeditions. Should you prefer to do an exclusive safari with just your family and close friends, booking out the camp for private use can also be arranged.
All the bush camps are designed in an eco-friendly way with a focus on comfort and the expedition itself. Kichaka aims to create lasting memories in some of Africa’s most pristine locations. There’s walking safaris, star gazing, game drives and so much more to choose from. During your stay you’ll come to appreciate the local culture as well as the incredible wildlife that calls this part of Tanzania home.
10. Wayo Walking Safaris, Serengeti, Tanzania
Wayo Walking Safaris are a truly unique and beautiful way to experience the Serengeti in Tanzania. Wayo has access to wilderness and rhino protection zones that few others do, meaning you’ll encounter very few other travelers during your trip. Camps change depending on season, but wherever you are in the Serengeti, you’re sure to see an abundance of wildlife up close and personal. For a safari experience that will have you feeling closer to the earth and nature than ever before, Wayo Walking Camps are the place to be.
Walking safaris are designed in a way that you enjoy the best parts of the day out on the plains and then retreat to your camp when walking becomes unpleasant. You’ll be up early in the morning to get the best of the fresh morning before the day gets too hot. A breakfast will be prepared to enjoy on a rock or by a stream along the walk. You’ll be back at the next camp by midday to enjoy a sumptuous meal before relaxing in comfort over the hot part of the day. Once things have cooled down, you’ll typically head out again to enjoy a magnificent African sunset before going back to camp for dinner.
Specially designed tents were designed for the Wayo Walking Camps and offer very comfortable beds, a mozzie net roof to give the impression of sleeping under the stars and an ensuite bathroom with camp toilet and bucket shower. For the adventurous traveler, there’s a star tent, made completely out of gauze so as to really sleep under the stars. A splash sheet can easily be put up if it rains.
Meal preparation is mostly done in Arusha, but a team is there to complete the final preparations before eating. Meals are served under the stars unless it rains, in which case there’s a mess tent perfect for enjoying cozy bite to eat while the rains fall.
A Wayo Walking safari is a perfect way to experience the Serengeti on foot getting away from the roads and crowds and getting the chance to experience the great migration on your own and on foot – what more could you ask for.
Whether you’re planning your first walking safari or you’re a seasoned traveler, we hope this list gave you some inspiration for your next safari. This is one of our favorite ways to explore Africa, and we know that given the opportunity, you’ll fall in love with walking Africa as much as we have.