The Madikwe Game Reserve is home to the Big Five, plus cheetah, wild dogs and a whole host of other big game, but have you ever wanted to experience the smaller things – flowers, tracks, insects, arachnids, reptiles and more?
Walking safaris are not like your typical game drives, as you are away from the game viewer, on foot in the middle of the Madikwe bushveld. A well-known field guide has been known to say: “Taking a game drive is like watching a movie, while walking in the bush is like reading a book.” This is a totally different way of experiencing the bush – your senses are heightened, you hear and respond to each snap of a twig, and you pick up smells from the various herbs that are in the bush.
Recent guests, Suelle and Bart Harts, went on a walking safari with Jaci’s field guide, Armand, and had this to say about it:
“The walking tour was extremely remarkable in all aspects. Feeling part of the wildlife is a total different experience as we got to follow the wild animals’ tracks and listen to all kinds of sounds coming from the bushes. Sometimes it was just a beautiful bird singing, but surprisingly sometimes it was sounds from zebras, elephants or even the unmistakable roar of a lion. It was indescribable! Along the trails, we discovered an unimaginable quantity of exotic plants and all different kinds of small animals, all miraculously living together, bringing alive this wonderful circle of beauty and life.”
What to expect on walking safaris
A walking safari is all about the smaller things the bush has to offer; things you would normally miss while out on a game drive. The focus is on smaller mammals, birds and insects, along with the surrounding trees and grasses, with a spotlight on animal spoor and dung, small flowers and plants, bird calls and the aromatic smells of herbs and shrubs.
If you are really lucky, you might encounter some of the larger mammals while on foot, but normally you can get closer to them when in a vehicle. You also need to be reasonably fit as walks can vary between 5km and 10km over three to four hours.
What you need for a walking safari
– Wear comfortable walking shoes
– Wear neutral-coloured clothing (and preferably long pants)
– Bring sunscreen and a hat
Jaci’s Lodges is able to offer walking safaris to their guests! Under the guidance of their trained and qualified walking guides, you will head out for either a morning walk, a walk after brunch, or an afternoon walk, heading back by sunset. Your guide will stop to show you where an elephant scratched itself, or where a male lion was resting, as well as chat about the medicinal value of trees, bushes and flowers. The smaller things take preference on walks like these, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter a large mammal!
Should you wish to book a walking safari at Jaci’s Lodges, please chat to the manager or guide the day beforehand, or alternatively mention it in your booking so they can plan accordingly.
They look forward to you joining them for a walk on the wild side soon!