10 Good Reasons to Go on a Short Bush Walk

We’ve all been on game drives and heard our guide tell us to remain seated in the vehicle at all times. So why on earth would you consider a walk instead? There are a number of excellent reasons why you should step out of the vehicle once in a while ...

Travelling with children in South Africa

1. You can tailor the pace and distance. It’s a gentle informative stroll, not a forced march or long, tiring walking safari. You don’t have to be super fit – your guide can adjust the pace and distance to suit you. It can also be combined with another activity like spending time in a game viewing hide. Or it can be a quick excursion during a game drive to take a closer look at something that interests you.

2. You experience Africa from the ground. In the safe hands of your professional guide, you can get to feel the bush rather than simply observe it. You’re in the animal domain, experiencing the world on their terms. You’ll find it enthralling!

3. You notice small details. At a slower pace and lower viewing angle, the small details that you can easily overlook on a game drive become more apparent. You will appreciate, for instance, the amazing engineering skills and cooperative work involved in the creation of a termite mound. Bird calls, animal tracks, insects, plants, geology - everything takes on more significance. You gain a much deeper understanding of your environment.

4. You engage all five senses. Safari walks enhance your awareness and knowledge of what is going on around you as you are engaging your environment on a heightened level. For example, you will be able to:

  • Smell the temptation of wild sage
  • Feel the velvety seed pod of an acacia
  • Taste the fibrous root of mother-in-law’s tongue
  • Hear the wind-like sounds of an enormous flock of quelea
  • See big game at eye level

It’s all very exhilarating!

5. You can go to inaccessible places. Out of your vehicle, you are able to experience and interact with your surroundings in a balanced way. Whether it’s appreciating a wonder of a panorama, studying a gnarled baobab up close or spending time in an ancient cave dwelling, all these experiences are only possible on foot.

6. You will boost your bush knowledge. You’ll learn a plethora of fascinating facts on a safari walk – such as the medicinal use of plants, bush survival skills, tracking, geology, local folklore and interesting historical information. Bush walks can be tailored to your special interests. Tell your guide if you’re a keen gardener, amateur photographer or rock art viewer!

7. Walks can be lots of fun. On a bush walk, you can try to work out which animal might have made the tracks in the sand next to you. You can also try to match the different types of dung to the animals. A good guide will bring all this to life but it’s really satisfying to see what you can work out for yourself.

8. Walking reduces environmental impact. Spending time walking instead of always driving is more eco-friendly and reduces your impact on the local environment as well as your carbon footprint.

9. Walking burns off calories. At most lodges, the meals served up are delicious and plentiful. A bush walk is a great way to shed a few calories and make room for that extra slice of cake at afternoon tea.

10. Bush walks are good for the soul! Reconnecting with the wild has been proven to be essential for your wellbeing. So what are you waiting for?

Please share with us your own experience of walking in the bush. We can’t wait to hear all about it!