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Walking Safari: Malawi
Posted on: Friday, October 23, 2015
Blog Category: 'Wildlife & Reserves'


Marc Crouch of Tongole Wilderness Lodge, discusses the exciting prospect of exploring the African bush on foot.

Safaris are undeniably one of, if not the, most popular reason tourists travel to the African continent. The sense of adventure coupled with the large and exotic species draw millions of people year after year and can often be found on the bucket list of any would-be adventurer. Most commonly, safari trips include large 4x4s that bump you across miles of rough terrain in search of wildlife. While this type of safari may well be an exhilarating experience, sometimes you want to feel the earth beneath your feet and that rush of adrenaline and excitement that comes from being out in the wild, which is where walking safaris have an edge.

Malawi Walking Safari

To the north of Lilongwe and roughly 10km from the western edge of Lake Malawi, you’ll find Nkhotakota one of Africa’s lesser known game reserves. With fewer roadways cut through it and less noise to disturb its resident wildlife, and walkers, visitors who decide to explore this destination on foot do so by going into pure, unaltered African bush; the perfect place for a walk on the wildside.

Nkhotakota’s relatively low visitor numbers, however, are by no means a reflection on what it has to offer; in fact it adds to this tranquil wilderness experience. It’s home to much of Africa’s famous wildlife; visitors enjoying regular elephant sightings, as well as antelope, monkeys and great birding. Although much more shy and elusive and so very rarely seen, predators, such as leopard, lion and hyena are also found here and knowing they are around while on a walking safari adds an extra buzz of excitement.

What You Should Know

Before you even think about going on a walking safari, it is important to find guides who know where they are going, where to look for animals and most importantly, know how to keep you and the animals safe. Professional guides know how to avoid dangerous situations with animals while still getting the best chance to see them with the naked eye. Your guide will also talk you through the safety precautions of walking safaris, however, it’s always a good idea to do your own research to make sure you have as enjoyable and safe a trip as possible.

What You’ll Experience

Consider a traditional driving safari and walking safari a bit like whale watching as opposed to diving; the experience is totally different. On a wilderness walk, you have nothing between you and your surroundings. It’s an unmatched and unique way to explore Africa. Stepping out of your lodge and into the bush, you are immersed in the heart of nature. As you wander through the rugged landscape of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve you feel more connected to the experience. You will spot smaller, special things that you would otherwise have rushed by, and become attuned to the sights and sounds of the African bush, which are often missed in a vehicle, or drowned out by the noise of an engine. As you sit at a viewpoint that can only be reached on foot, looking out over the wilderness that you have explored, you will truly appreciate the beauty of the area you are in and the experience you have been lucky enough to enjoy.

Visit www.tongole.com for more information on Walking Safaris in Nkhotakota.

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