Choose a Safari - Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Travelling
A walking safari is not as uncommon as you might think and is good if you are fit as you get to walk in the bush with a guide and armed ranger. There is nothing quite like feeling the savannah beneath your feet and spotting wildlife when there’s nothing between you and it. Walks provide a more active alternative to jeep safaris, although the distances covered are generally short and the pace gentle.
So if you decide this is a good option what’s the best place to go? Zambia’s South Luangwa NP is considered the home of the walking safari; as well as short treks you can do lodge to lodge bush walks with expert guides. There are strict rules governing walking safaris in Tanzania’s national parks such as no more than six guests in one group. However, there are other good options, both in NPs and Game Reserves, where rules differ. Zimbabwe offers top-class walking safaris with on-foot trips allowed in all areas. As only the very best manage to pass the mandatory walking guide exams this is a safe option. Walks aren’t allowed in most of Kenya’s parks so avoid this area if this is something on your bucket list.
The advantage of this type of trip is it’s the most natural form of safari, allowing maximum contact with the bush. A trek allows appreciation of smaller creatures, not easily seen from a vehicle and a chance to track large animals on foot. The disadvantages are you won’t get so close to wildlife and will likely see fewer big animals as you can’t cover as much ground. A walking safari is very guide dependent so check out who will be taking you. Walking safaris usually last two to four hours and are perfectly safe as long as you follow the guide’s instructions.
Who knew this was an option? I certainly didn’t until I started to research what was available short safari trips.
You get to buzz above the plains in a small, lightweight, two-person aircraft, well actually more of camping chair with wings. These microlights can take off from bush airstrips and reach speeds of around 55km/h as they skim low over the landscape. Piloted flights last around 15 minutes and can get close to piles of hippos and crocs, large herds, sleeping lions and other wildlife, which are fairly unperturbed by the thing flying above.
So if this sounds like something you want then two places came up in my search. Tafika Camp in Zambia offers microlight trips over the Luangwa Valley. Kwa Madwala in South Africa also offers low altitude flights over its rocky, wildlife-rich private reserve.
Advantages are you fly low, close to the action and with unobstructed aerial views. You get the chance to fly with flocks of birds and over the prolific wildlife. You also cover a lot of ground, giving a wide overview of the area. There however limited opportunities as few camps offer microlight flights. It is a little noisy even with headphones to block the worst. They’re also weather dependent. The good thing is the flights are very safe and if the engine fails, the pilot should be able to glide the microlight to a landing spot, hopefully not near any hungry lions.
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