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Destination guide to walking safaris in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana

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  • Why do we place so much emphasis on walking safaris in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana? 

  • Our safari recommendations for each country

 

Why do we concentrate on Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana alone for walking safaris?

Quite simply: superior guiding standards and a focus on a more traditional safari style 

  • One of Africa's great conservationists, Norman Carr, having spent over 50 years of his life devoted to the Luangwa Valley's wildlife is considered to be the father of the modern day walking safari. Mr. Carr's approach to safaris was always on foot. 

    • The adoption of this style in training and practice nowadays is probably the greatest single differentiator between good and excellent Professional Guides anywhere in Africa. 

    • Mr. Carr has left an indelible mark on the way in which Zambian operators conduct their safaris. 

    • Traditional walking safaris are alive and well in Zambia!

  • Zimbabwe's Professional Guides are widely recognised as being the most qualified safari guides in Africa. The training is extensive, qualification is stringent. The pool of older mentors and younger professionals who have concentrated on walking safaris in Zimbabwe has had a significant influence on general safari standards and resulted in Zimbabwe's high acclaim as a safari destination as a whole. 

  • Botswana has a long-standing reputation for high guiding standards. As is the case in Zimbabwe, many of Botswana's guides earned their early stripes as apprentices in the formal conservation and hunting sector. Botswana's great diversity and sensitive habitats has allowed a few true specialist safari guides to flourish.

  • Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana are home to over 90% of Africa's top Professional Safari Guides. 

There are some excellent walking safari options in South Africa, Namibia, Malawi and elsewhere in East Africa - as a rule, the best options are in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana - as simple as that.

 

Walking Safaris in Zimbabwe

The prime spots are Matusadona (an area renowned for its lion, black rhino, elephant and buffalo), Mana Pools (the World Heritage Site on the lower Zambezi River) and Hwange (one of Africa's finest game reserves). There are a few select spots in the lowveld and Matopos. 

  • Graeme Lemon Safaris - Graeme is a Matusadona specialist - the best option for a wilderness or backed-up safari experience. "Lemon and Carey Safaris" also operate Elephant Point Camp (a tented lodge on the west of Matusadona) and Manyuli Springs (a private and exclusive concession up the Ume River).
  • Maronga Tented Camp, Matusadona - Gus and Sandy Alexander's traditional tented camp on the Maronga River - a small, exclusive satellite camp supported and owned by Steve Edwards of Musango Safari Camp
  • Sengwa Safaris, Matusadona - Craig Mac Rae's traditional tented camp in Sanyati West
  • Classic Africa Safaris Mana Tented Camp - Patrick and Elaine Brakspear's traditional tented camp in Mana Pools.
  • Mukuyu Canoe and Walking Trail - Patrick's and Elaine's "backed up" safari camp covering the full Mana shoreline
  • Malindi Station Lodge, Hwange - "reliving the nostalgic delights of the age of steam"
  • Camp Amalinda, Matopos - tucked away in an ancient bushman's shelter, also home to orphaned elephants

[Zimbabwe destination guide]
[
Full listing for Zimbabwe | Zimbabwe's combinations]

 

Walking Safaris in Zambia

In Zambia, the prime walking safari spots are in the South Luangwa and Kafue National Parks respectively. These safaris are exceptional� 

  • The Mupamadzi and Nsefu Walking safaris, South Luangwa - run by Robin Pope Safaris.  Both of these "backed-up" safaris combine Nkwali and Nsefu camps. Tena Tena, Nkwali and Nsefu are Robin and Jo Pope's three lodges offering a truly comfortable bush experience - ideal fixed bases for walking safaris. 
  • The Bushcamp Company, South Luangwa - affiliated to Chinzombo and Mfuwe lodges - Andy Hogg and Phil Berry's circuit of seasonal bushcamps including Kuyenda and Chamilandu. Every season is different - many years of combined experience in the valley have enabled these consistently good safaris. Grand Portered Walking Safaris are available on request (June to October only). 
  • Tafika Camp, South Luangwa - John and Carol Coppinger's permanent home north of the Nsefu sector - a real option for "wet season" safaris in the Luangwa, an ideal dry season base for accessing the North Luangwa (a reasonably well kept secret...an even better kept secret has to be Mwaleshi in the North Luangwa - speak to Chris, Trish or John
  • Lunga River Lodge and the two seasonal Busanga camps, Kafue - Ed Smythe is the Kafue specialist offering several options and combinations that allow the best means of exploring the Kafue region.

[Zambia destination guide]
[
Full listing for Zambia | Zambian combination safaris]

 

Walking Safaris in Botswana

Botswana is one of Africa's most popular safari destinations. 

  • Like Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls however, popularity in itself sometimes spoils the actual safari experience - e.g. the Chobe river stretch becomes overcrowded at peak season. 
  • Botswana's diversity and logistical needs between the highlighted areas has resulted in an emphasis on mobile safaris, which often means that you spend more time in vehicles than on foot.  
  • One small niggle is the relatively large size of some of the camps in Botswana

Botswana, nonetheless offers some particularly good walking safaris - we strongly recommend the following:Brown hyaena, Botswana (courtesy Catherine Raphaely)

  • The Linyanti camps, west of Chobe - Brian Graham's walking safaris in the Selinda Reserve. The combinations between Motswiri, Zibalianja and Selinda provide an excellent opportunity to combine backed-up and fixed base walking safari options. 
  • Jack's Camp, Kalahari Desert - The only desert camp in the Kalahari, renowned for its luxury and a wilderness experience "par excellence"

[Botswana destination guide]
[
Full listing for Botswana | Botswana's combinations]

 

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Last update 11 July 2000

UK Head Office
Shilston Barton, Modbury, Devon, PL21 OTW
Tel/Fax: +44 1548 830059
e-mail:info@zambezi.co.uk

Zimbabwe Head Office
The Heights, PO Box 158, Kariba, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 61 2532  Fax: +263 61 2291
e-mail: info@zambezi.com

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