To walk or to drive: this is a divisive question in most recreational situations. Sure, you may prefer a walk to the beach over the five-minute drive, but what about while on safari? Walking safaris are dramatically different from driving safaris for a host of reasons; trip variables, such as safety, comfort, and convenience, are dialed up or toned down. With the hope of easing your decision, we have provided a few important details for each type of safari.
Driving—Most commercial safaris are extended stretches of driving on either paved, gravel, or dirt roads. You will likely be seated in a Land Rover-looking vehicle with a canvas top, which may or may not be rolled open. Vehicles allow guests to get close to the animals in a safe and controlled environment; should any danger present itself, the guides are able to leave the scene quickly and efficiently. This type of safari is often conducted in the presence of larger, more dangerous animals, such as the big five—lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and buffalo. Though you be safe and, likely, more comfortable, this type of safari may lack the intimacy of a walking expedition. These aren’t just guided driving tours, either. You can go on a self-driving safari too.
Walking—Walking safari participants are often instructed to walk single-file through the wilderness. There will likely be a guide in front and a guide in back, each equipped with some sort of weapon. Though this may sound menacing, it is necessary to anticipate the presence of danger; the presence of weapons does not guarantee their use. A walking safari will allow visitors to get very close to wildlife—both flora and fauna. In addition to seeing the actual animals, you will be able to observe tracks, nests, and smaller animals, such as rodents and insects.