Guided by experienced rangers, on a walking safari you discover the diverse wildlife covering scenic terrain and experiencing the various aspects of the wilderness, the bird life and indigenous vegetation.
On a Kruger Walking Safari you are out there with the African wildlife, sharing their paths and waterholes, the daily dramas of their lives, sharing their space. Follow their tracks, feel the tingle of your own senses and hear the beating of your heart as you edge closer to a herd of elephant resting in the shade. At night, sleep in an unfenced camp with only the canvas or wooden wall between you and the African bush. Breathe Africa!
The Kruger Walking Safaris operation is based in Kruger National Park - prime Big 5 territory! Transfers to and from Johannesburg are included in the rates. There are no fences between the Kruger National Park and Balule Reserve and the big advantage of this exclusive wilderness area is its privacy, no sharing sightings or the camp with other tourists.
Kruger Walking Safaris appeal to adventurous minds, keen on a learning experience. Every walk is a book on its own, with the emphasis on information relating to all the wonders of nature, big and small. Because of the dangerous aspects of a walking safari, the minimum age is 16. Although there is no maximum age, the walks can last up to 6 hours and tracking might lead the trail through thick bush, riverbeds and gullies. Therefore an average fitness level is required, especially in the hotter summer months (Nov - March). A maximum of 8 people makes up a trail, no minimum.
The scheduled safaris run every Saturday and Tuesday (5 day / 4 nights). We operate throughout the year and all departures are guaranteed but bookings need to be made in advance.
The combination of walks and drives in the open 4x4 safari vehicle are dependent on weather and animal movements and are conducted from camp in the early mornings, late afternoons and at night at the sole discretion of the Trail Ranger. Each safari is basic and designed to experience the bush the way one should - on foot. Although in Big Five areas, there are no guarantees on sightings – what you see is what you get. We do however guarantee a real bush experience!
Daily Itinerary 4 night - 5 day Walking Safari (subject to change)
You will be collected on the day of departure from Johannesburg and transferred to the Kruger National Park. The journey takes approximately 5.5 hours with 2 comfort stops along the way. This evening we spend the night at one of the camps in Kruger National Park.
You will get together with your rangers the next day and sign the indemnity forms. From here, you transfer to the bush camp in Kruger National Park, making sure that you spend the maximum time out in the bush! Lunch will be served on arrival, followed by an afternoon introductory walk/drive combination, a night drive and dinner.
In the mornings we set off at first light after a snack breakfast of rusks and coffee or tea. Enjoying the cool morning air we may walk directly from camp or else use a vehicle to get further out. Your ranger will decipher the tracks and signs left by the passing animals during the night. The thrill of walking, tracking and getting up close to one of the creatures of the bush is an unforgettable experience. On the walks there is a lot of emphasis on all the interesting things seen such as trees, plants, insects and birds. A big breakfast is prepared back in camp and then there is time to unwind and siesta during the heat of the day. After lunch is served it is time to head out again.
The afternoon activity is a walk/ drive combination, looking for tracks and activity in other areas. After the walk we drive to a beautiful spot in the Park, where we’ll have sundowners while waiting for a stunning African Sunset. As the diurnal animals and birds anxiously get ready for bed, the stage and sounds change and a whole new world awakens. Back in camp a hearty supper and a warm campfire will be waiting for you. After a long day in the bush there is nothing more rewarding then to sneak off to bed and listen to the sounds of the night under a blanket of the overwhelming African stars!
On the last day you will still go out for one last walk. Sniffing the typical scents of the bush you’ll realise how much you’ve learned already! After breakfast it’s time to pack up and pay any extra drinks you’ve consumed in our camp. Then we reluctantly say our goodbyes and transfer you back to JHB to meet your transfer which takes you back to OR Tambo International.
Transfer pick-up and drop-off information:
First Day: Pick-ups from OR Tambo International or from a small choice of hotels in the OR Tambo vicinity. Those collected from their airport hotel will be contacted the day before the departure to confirm the exact time.
If your pick-up hotel has not been confirmed, please contact us at the latest 2 days before travelling!
Last Day: Drop-off at OR Tambo International or at your hotel near the airport
What to bring:
Clothing should be comfortable and durable. Neutral colours such as khaki are preferable. Light or bright coloured garments should be avoided. T-shirts are not recommended as they provide little protection against the sun on the neck. Sunglasses are a good idea. A hat and an all-weather jacket should be taken along. A tracksuit, either woollen or lightweight depending on the season, is a useful garment.
Footwear should be worn in prior to the trail, have thick soles and provide good ankle support. Sandals can be worn in camp.
Cameras, binoculars, walking sticks, sunscreen lotion and reference books are optional.
A good quality torch is essential for moving around camp at night. Lighting is provided in the form of kerosene lanterns, as there is no electricity.
Malaria prophylactics are essential. Consult your chemist. Insect repellents can also help to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes or other insects.
The trail provides simple but wholesome meals prepared by a cook on either an open fire or a gas stove. Trailists with special dietary requirements must please realize that although the trail can cater for some (e.g. vegetarians) it is very difficult to suit every individual’s special need. Prior arrangements in this regard are essential. We will help if it is in any way possible. Trailists provide their own liquid refreshments in the form of alcohol or any other cool drinks. Drinking water is provided as well as coffee and tea with a fruit juice as part of the bush breakfast. There are limited cooling facilities in each camp. Alcohol abuse will and cannot be tolerated
The trail camps are rustic and spartan. There are no electricity or power generators. Accommodation consists out of A-frame huts or tents, as is the case at Napi camp. There are four units that sleep two each. Ablution facilities are communal except the Napi tents where it is on suite. All linen and towels are provided.
Ablutions consist out of flush toilets and gas geyser showers. There is a communal social area (lapa) with thatched roof or open campfire area. Cooling facilities consists out of a fridge with limited space. The cook prepares all meals in a very basic kitchen with washing up basins and storing facilities. A fence surrounds the camp but it is basically only to tell animals and people where the camp boundary is. Water for washing gets pumped from boreholes close to camp. Water should not be wasted unnecessarily – especially in dry times.
Situated in the south western corner of KNP this wilderness area is characterized by deep quiet valleys and high rocky outcrops with spectacular views. These secluded valleys exclude trailists from the outside world. These high lying outcrops are accessed early in the morning to enjoy the vastness of the landscape as well as to search for game, with surprisingly good results. The broken terrain is ideal for unusual but safe close encounters with big game. The heavy presence of elephant and rhino has resulted in a well-marked network of natural game paths and allows for structured and comfortable walks.
Night sounds are unique. Guests can hear a great variety - specifically freckled night jars as well as spotted eagle owls.
White rhino are plentiful as well as other game species. Typical to the terrain are antelope species like kudu, klipspringer and mountain reedbuck.
Plantlife is very diverse especially in the higher lying areas – this area is also classified as a botanical reserve within KNP and unique trees only to this area occur. The high altitude of the area accounts for unusual bird sightings from time to time including redthroughted wryneck and jackal buzzard.
Bushman paintings are a big attraction as well as other cultural and historical sites. Trips to these sites are a regular feature of the trail routine, the aim of which to educate trailists on San (Bushman) culture and their art. The camp is uniquely hidden between a series of massive granite kopjes providing a very pleasant atmosphere.
This wilderness trail is situated in the eastern side of KNP along the Nwaswitsontso river near Tshokwane picnic site. The departure point is Skukuza Rest Camp.
The Lindanda plains with masses of game at certain times of the year offer hikers a chance to walk amongst high densities of plains game. Black rhino are well represented in this area as well as the more common white rhino. Predators such as cheetah and lion are also fairly common.
Away from the plains the Nwaswitsontso river can be accessed which provides for spectacular scenery. This river is very important in dry times and attracts game and birds in large concentrations. Birds unique to plains habitats such as ostrich, kori bustard, lappet faced vultures, secretary birds and black coucal can be seen.
Vegetation is homogeneous and knobthorn and marula trees dominate. The large open camp is situated on an atributary of the Metsi Metsi river at the foothill of the imposing Nwamuriwa mountain.
This wilderness area is situated on the undulating granitic landscape between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza restcamps. Both the Mbyamithi and Napi rivers flow through the area and offers scenic walks along the riverbanks with stunning large trees.
Vegetation consists mainly of broad leave woodland and tamboti thickets. Large open sodic patches are pleasant to the eye and host unique plants such as the summer impala lily.
Seasonal pans in these areas allows for lots of big game sightings. Both white and black rhino are regularly seen wallowing in these pans.
The camp is fantastic for night sounds and amongst others giant eagle and barred owl give the night character. The Mbiyamithi river is one of the best habitats to view thick billed cuckoo because of the prevalence of it’s parasitic host the redbilled helmet shrike.
The camp consists out of four safari tents with on suite ablutions and a large veranda from which to view the surrounding bush and the Mbiyamithi river below the tents.
The most remote and out of the way Wilderness Trail’s Camp is situated between Punda Maria camp and Pafuri with the spectacular Lanner and Levhuvhu gorges along the Levhuvhu River a big attraction. The camp is hidden in a secluded spot on the Madzaringwe River with towering cliffs of the Soutpansberg Mountains in the background. Punda Maria Rest Camp is the departure point for this trail and is only 540km or a 5 hour drive from Johannesburg.
The area is one of the best in the country for bird watching and various localised species such as Verreauxs’ eagle, Pel’s fishing owl, grey-headed parrot, mottled spinetail and a lot more can be seen. The spine tails roost inside a giant baobab tree in the trails camp and can be watched at leisure. If you are trying to add new birds to your bird list, Nyalaland is a good place to be.
Nyalaland trail is set in an area which is botanically very rich with scarce sandveld and dry land vegetation communities. The real draw card to this spectacular wilderness area is the large concentration of giant baobabs. This is one of the most spectacular trails within the KNP.
There is a large concentration of big animals such as elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino which can be seen mostly in wet seasons. As well as these large animals, you may also come across unique species such as nyala, Sharps grysbok, eland, roan antelope, yellow spotted rock hyrax, elephant shrews and red rock rabbits. The name Nyalaland was given to the trail and camp as there are many nyala antelope and nyala trees in the area.
Important cultural sites in the Kruger National Park occur only on the Nyalaland trail, representing Zimbabwe stone culture and San rock art. One of these sites is situated on a hill, high above the Levhuvhu River, seven kilometres from the camp. This is easily accessible and worth the walk to see the spectacular view of the Levhuvhu gorge. Fossilized remains of two types of dinosaur can be seen, making this area unique. Only guests who visit the Nyalaland trail will have the privilege of seeing these fossils.
The Levhuvhu River, one of the big rivers in the Kruger National Park, is used to cool our guests down when it is hot. There is a beautiful walk to the baobab forests, hyena caves where you eat your breakfast on top of the rocks, surrounded by the baobabs and overlooking Lanner gorge. A walk to Lanner and Levhuvhu gorges is also part of the itinerary, which is a place that looks like God had enough time to make it.
We have a magic wheelbarrow which has served guests their food for a long time. If any of the above appeals to you, then book a place on the next Nyalaland Trail.
The departure point is from Letaba Rest Camp.
Situated on the banks of the Olifants river this wilderness area is very popular as it offers remote valleys and gorges where the river flows through the Lebombo mountains as well as flat open plains with good game viewing potential.
The river is a big attraction especially as both the Olifants and Letaba rivers join before flowing into Mozambique. These rivers are the focal point of the trail experience as it has a lot to offer. Large concentrations of hippo and crocodiles are dominant features.
The day is incomplete without the call of fish eagles, ever present on the rivers. Birding as well as a divers plantlife are a big plus for this popular wilderness trail.
Satara Rest Camp is the departure point for this trail.
The biggest attraction on this wilderness trail is the Sweni river surrounded by open flat thorntree savannah where large herds of game concentrates at certain times of the year. This in turn attracts large concentrations of predators and the biggest drawcard of the trail experience is to be part of this predator/prey relationship. Hearing lions roar at night occurs frequently as sound travels far in this open landscape.
Birds typical of plains landscapes occur. The Sweni river accounts for frequent sightings of the shy nocturnal white backed night heron. Mozambique night jar and scops owl are dominant night calls from camp.
The flatness and remoteness of the area offers excellent star gazing opportunities.
The camp is situated on the Sweni river and is surrounded by open plains. A covered lapa allows one to view the surrounding plains and associated game throughout the day.
The first of all the wilderness trails is situated roughly between Berg-en-dal, Ship mountain and Afsaal picnic site. It was named after one of the first rangers that were appointed in the establishment of the Sabie Game Reserve in those days - 1902. Harry Wolhuter later in his career killed a lion single handedly with his hunting knife while out on patrol on horseback.
It is a spectacularly scenic wilderness area characterized by high granite outcrops with deep valleys as well as a flatter undulating landscape. Wilderness qualities are high as the trail area is far removed from the boundaries of the Kruger National Park.
Culturally, Wolhuter Trail was a very active area in days gone by and a lot of relics of the past can be seen everywhere. Evidence of Bushmen and stone and iron age people can be found on the higher lying areas and rocky outcrops.
The famous Jock of the Bushveld and his master Sir Percy Fitzpatrick were also criss-crossing this area on their adventurous hunting trips and transport driving routes.
Plantlife is very diverse especially in the higher lying areas – this area is also classified as a botanical reserve within the KNP.
Birdlife is good with a lot more species to be seen in summertime when all the summer migrants return.
White and black rhino can be found in the Wolhuter Wilderness area with the former very concentrated. Elephant and buffalo are also regularly seen as well as sable, mountain- and common reedbuck can be seen. Other more common species include zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck, blue wildebeest and warthog.
Wolhuter Wilderness Trail’s biggest plus point however is to sit on a granite outcrop and to stare into the distance and experience a wild feeling in a wild land amongst wild creatures.