What is a walking or trekking safari?
Walking safaris are the purest form of safari. Walking in Tanzania is completely different to game driving. On foot you are a participant in the world of wildlife rather than a spectator, a thrilling and unbeatable safari experience.
Walking is only available in certain areas and can be short day walks back to the same camp or can be mobile where the crew pack up your camp and move it for you – greeting you at the end of your day’s walking journey with sundowners.
Trekking is the next level of wild where you backpack through the wilderness and camp in a new location each night. Tents are lightweight, the team is very few so the focus is on immersion, getting stuck-in and wilderness rather than luxury.
Feel, hear and smell Tanzania
Imagine, you walk on the same path as the elephants and other wildlife, you feel the wind through you hair, hear a lion roar in the distance and smell the bush and wildlife. Your senses awaken, as you become part of your environment and the wilderness becomes more real.
Wildlife up close and personal
While animals will generally ignore you in a vehicle, they see you as another type of animal when you are on foot. Getting up close and personal with wildlife is definitely a rush of excitement. Walking is also a great way to appreciate the smaller wildlife, which can’t be so easily seen from a vehicle.
Access remote areas on foot
On foot you can walk into remote areas and reach places that a safari car can’t. Once on foot, you are not constrained by roads and can go almost anywhere you like. Away from the crowds, off the beaten track. It offers you a freedom incomparable to any game drive safari.
Pioneers in walking safaris
Sopai Safaris Africa is a pioneer in setting up walking safaris, particularly in Serengeti National Park. Only a handful of companies have been granted permission to enter this park on foot. The regulations stipulate that an armed and qualified walking guide from the operating company must accompany all walks. An armed ranger from the National Park will also join every walk.
As well as being able to provide walking from our Green Camps and our partnering camps, we also have walking camps which are more light-weight which sit in walking zones and move with the Migration. These positions offer us the option for longer walks into more remote areas – away from game-drive tracks. NB: Walking is not permitted in Southern Serengeti.
Serengeti, Tarangire, Ngorongoro
We offer a wide range of walking safari options, so you can tailor your walking safari to be exactly what you want and nothing you don’t. These walks are absolutely one of the best and most memorable African experiences on earth!
Trekking in the Serengeti
Trekking is a new concept Sopai Africa introduced into the Serengeti. While trekking you have the opportunity to encounter wildlife up close and personal and to learn tracks and signs from expert walking guides. Our trekking safaris are suited for physically fit and adventurous travelers who love to camp in the bush.
Trained walking guide
You trek into remote areas of the Serengeti with an extremely well trained walking guide, a ranger, a chef and porters who will carry the bulk of the equipment. You are only required to carry a light backpack (maximum 15-20 kg) and to set up your own lightweight tent. To sleep in a tent under the trees with only the canvas between you and the bush is an experience not easily forgotten.
Camp in the bush
You will sleep in lightweight tents with comfortable mattresses and mosquito mesh sides/tops so you can gaze at the stars at night. We try to make it as comfortable as possible, still these trekking safaris are more about being out in the bush, exploring remote areas rather than luxury.
Tasty meals and fresh water
Together with the crew you will follow a watercourse for the entire journey to ensure a constant supply of fresh water. All water is filtered and treated before consumption. The delicious meals are prepared by the camp crew. To ensure we always carry fresh and top quality meals we will link up with a resupply every 3 to 4 days. Walking safaris are usually quoted on an all inclusive basis with alcaholic drinks included.
Trekking Safari programme
A general trekking day looks as follows:
- Around 5am: we wake up and pack up our camp. The chef will have a fresh pot of coffee brewing as well as some muesli to kick-start the day.
- Around 6am: we start our morning walk (12-15km) on easy terrain. You will carry a high protein breakfast snack with you as well as lunch. These will both be enjoyed on the trail. As part of our equipment we have ultra-lightweight camp chairs that fold up small and assemble in seconds. They allow guests to have a comfortable sit down meal and break.
- Between 11-12am: we start looking for a campsite, set up our camp and pretty much relax in our camp for the heat of the day. This might involve a siesta, some reading, sitting in the river etc. We set off on a shorter more local walk around camp with no backpacks in the later afternoon. This walk generally is around 5km. The porters and chef stay back in camp and prepare dinner.
- Between 7-8 pm: dinner will be served and its pretty much bedtime after that.
Note. We advise travellers that this trekking experience should not be less than 2-nights out but advisably more than three nights. Our trekking safaris can be inserted as part of a vehicle based game viewing safari or they can stand alone.