Mention the African walking safari to anyone in the know and your first port of call will be Zambia, where in the latter half of the twentieth century the likes of Norman Carr and Robin Pope helped (re)pioneer a method of wild travel usurped by the motor car, particularly the 4X4.
Their philosophy, and one that rings true for walkers the world round, was and remains a simple and brilliant one: walking the wilderness, at a pace much more suited to the process of discovery, has the effect of reducing almost entirely the gap between the watcher and the watched, so much so that oppositional categories of this nature are wonderfully complicated by the thrill of being out in the wild, an animal among animals.
While almost every lodge not compromised by park status regulations will offer guided walks as one of many an activity, the luxury walking safari we are promoting here is the kind that takes as read that seeing the wild on foot is the traveller’s primary focus. To this end, there are two types of walking safari: one that operates from a single base; the other that travels from A to B, with stops in between. Zambia’s South Luangwa is home to both, as is Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where programmes designed to capture the walking safari’s spirit and its knowhow are intelligent, exciting and genuinely life changing. Similar opportunities exist in all the countries on our portfolio – Tanzania’s the Selous is something else, as are the breathtaking vistas explored by the walking tours in either the Lalibela area or the Tigray mountains, while creative and beautifully thought through fly camping expeditions are beginning to spring up almost everywhere.
Please note that such is the wealth of opportunity in the walking safari department, programmes such as Kerr and Downey Young Explorers successfully cater for the wants and needs of young people – the potential good of this type of walking safari knows no bounds.