The Kruger National Park offers three kinds of guided walks:
Morning walks, afternoon walks and the river walk at Olifants Camp. Two armed guides accompany you on a walk through the bush, discussing the area's fauna and flora or bush signs as you go along. The guides also carry a few snacks in a backpack, but remember to take a water bottle.
Guided walks can be booked in advance or in camp. Please note that the river walk is only available at Olifants and Balule camps. For more information on guided walks, please visit the SANParks website.
All guided walks starts with a game drive from camp, departing before sunrise. A morning walk is usually cooler than an afternoon one and gives you an opportunity to experience the African sunrise like never before! Being on foot at dawn is one of those unforgettable African experiences… Morning walks last about three hours.
Afternoon walks also start with a short game drive to a specific spot from where you'll depart. Afternoon walks can be very hot, especially in summer, but at certain times of the year (May-September) they may offer you a great opportunity to see animals coming down to drink at rivers and waterholes. Afternoon walks last about two to three hours.
The river walk is only done from Olifants and Balule camps and starts around mid-morning. A guide takes you on a path along to the Olifants River, giving you an excellent chance of seeing hippos and crocodiles, as well as a great variety of birds – including the rare Pel's fishing owl. The river walk lasts about two hours.
I would definitely recommend a guided walk in winter, because temperatures can get uncomfortably high in mid-summer (November-February). And flies can also become a nuisance in summer. If you do decide to walk in summer, remember to take enough water!
Don't expect to see the Big 5 on every guided walk! In most cases, these are the animals you want to avoid, since they can be very dangerous when encountered on foot. For this reason the two guides always carry rifles.
Guided walks focus more on smaller things that you might miss when you are in a vehicle, like animal tracks, dung, birds, insects, spider webs, plants and their uses… Guided walks present the opportunity to use all five senses: seeing birds and animals and hearing their calls; smelling fresh dung or a particular plant; tasting an edible berry or a bitter leaf; and feeling the bark of a tree or the shell of a tortoise…
Each camp will have a totally different walking experience since the habitats differ so much. Some areas, like Berg-en-Dal, are mountainous and provide spectacular views from hilltops. This area, for instance, is great for tracking white rhinos. An area like Satara is very flat and open, allowing you to see for great distances. Mopani is situated in dense mopaneveld and is great for elephants.
Each guide also conducts the walk differently – some love birds while others know a lot about the medicinal uses of plants. Go with an open mind, don't expect to see too many large animals, and enjoy being out on foot in the African bush.
Remember to take:
A water bottle
Sunscreen and a hat
Trousers (the grasses and other plants can irritate your legs)
Hay fever medication (if you need it)
Binoculars and/or a camera
If you register you can: