Walking through the bush in Africa adds so much to your overall safari experience that you really should jump at any opportunity to be able to do it.
And South Africa has some wonderful wilderness areas to walk in such as the Kruger National Park, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi, Pilanesberg, Madikwe and Kgalagadi to name just a few.
Not to mention the fact that the country has some tremendous walking safari guides, the one below being one of the finest. It really pays to go with a top guide because they will enrich your adventure remarkably with their encyclopedic knowledge and experience, something to remember for the rest of your life...
1989 TO PRESENT: Guiding in several African countries including South Africa.
2005 TO PRESENT: Guide training. Most recently training skills development and walking in high-profile game areas in Tanzania.
WHY AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A GUIDE?
I have an inquiring mind and wished to place all natural science aspects in a fashion that I could understand and make sense of for myself. In that manner I wanted to be able to interpret it to others.
This set off a journey for me of immense discovery and explorations in knowledge and theory combined with practical outings and excursions. I spent a lot of time with local trackers and gleaned information from their cultural insights and interpretations.
It all started with a spider in a hole in the ground. Whilst on a youth camp overseeing others I was introduced to this wonder of spiders and so the bug bit. It was a question of what, who, where, when and what does it eat, how long do they live for and much more. It still has not ended as I still ask questions all the time.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD SOUTH AFRICA WALKING SAFARI GUIDE?
A person who is not egotistical and absolutely loves and likes people. A phenomenal orator and speaker in person and public. Good founded knowledge of the subject they are speaking about and complimented with practical experience in various fields and all this intricately combined with great humility and respect for cultures and nature itself.
The African elephant. They are always busy even when they rest. These animals are the most remarkable mammals with social intricacies and anatomy.
MOST MEMORABLE SIGHTING?
Many, but one that stands out is a leopard sighting, well more so a first hand experience. A wild leopard walked up to me whilst I was out of the safari vehicle.
I was seated on the ground and was aware of the animal’s presence. It took some time but it then walked up to me and I extended my hand to it. It sniffed my hand, looked into my eyes and then licked my hand to test the texture, I’m sure.
After that it opened its mouth and gently bit my hand on the side to check the density of it. At that, I slowly moved my hand away and it retreated to the bush. Totally out of nowhere experience but enthralling.
FAVOURITE SOUTH AFRICA WALKING SAFARI CAMPFIRE STORY?
Too many to mention but time with the Maasai and the San are favourites.