A sharp noise makes me jump. I turn around quickly, to discover to my relieve that it’s just the guest behind me: he stepped on a branch. Dried by the African sun – the branch that is, not the man – it made a loud and crispy sound. Our field guide, armed with a rifle, gestures: be quiet. Although it’s easy to forget, we are in Big 5 country. And we are on foot.
Is it dangerous?
Walking safaris are offered in more and more places in South Africa, like in Jaci’s Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve in the ultimate north of South Africa. Even though it sounds dangerous, there are hardly any records of incidents: most wild animals choose to go around the proverbal block when they smell humans, given the opportunity. That’s why there are strict rules during a walking safari: stay in one line, between the two field guides and always follow the instructions.
What to see?
If you honour not only the big, but also the small, a safari on foot is for you. Because even if you can never rule out an encounter with bigger wildlife (hence the strict safety procedures), it’s all about taking time for the small things in the bush: the tracks animals have left, the butterflies, the flowers, the birds and the smaller insects that play (often a big) role in the eco-system.
What to wear?
The dress code for a safari on foot is very similar to a normal safari:
- Neutral colours
- Walking boots
- A hat or cap
Click on the photos for the full picture!
At the end of the walk
You will have learned a lot about the environment, the wildlife and the ecosystem. Time for a sundowner around the camp fire and good ‘braai’ (barbecue) at the lodge.
Read more about our personal experiences with Jaci’s Safari Lodge
Words by Linda van de Pavoordt. Photography by Jaci’s Safari Lodge and Linda van de Pavoordt.
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