Walking safari in South Africa
Description of Walking safari in South Africa
This walking safari in South Africa is the chance to explore some of the region’s most beautiful landscapes on foot, and also view its diverse wildlife and historic sites. During nine days of walking, we’ll discover the famous Drakensberg – or Dragon Mountain – which towers over the veld and is one of South Africa’s most famous natural landmarks. We’ll explore the Royal Natal National Park and see the ‘Amphitheatre’ rock formation and trek through the rugged landscape of Swaziland.
There is plenty of time to discover the region’s amazing wildlife, too, including elephants, lions and giraffe. We’ll visit Kruger National Park, a private reserve, Malolotja Nature Reserve and St Lucia Lake, tracking the wildlife on foot, by boat and in 4WD. We’ll also visit the battlefields where the British and Zulus fought in 1879.
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Our local suppliers support the Save Our Sausage Trees initiative in Botswana, which aims to address the issue of depleting forests in the area. The Mokoro is a boat used by the people of the Okavango Delta and it is crafted traditionally out of a single mature Kigelia Africana tree (or sausage tree). Although increased tourism has had some obvious benefits to the area, this has also brought a higher demand for Mokoro boats and therefore more trees are being cut down. As a wooden Mokoro only lasts about 5 years, there are hundreds of these trees being felled per year and not enough to sustain this. We have consulted with the Okovango community, and we have agreed to pay half the price of a fibreglass Mokoro if a poler wants to purchase the other half, in order to save the trees.
Accommodation & Meals:
You will spend nights most nights in log cabins or chalets and 5 nights full service camping. We predominantly use small businesses for accommodation in order to keep investment local and benefit the communities we visit directly e.g. 2 nights are spent in hiker’s cabins in the Magoebaskloof indigenous forests, managed by SAFCOL. The fees collected go towards the upkeep of forest trails and to local communities nearby. Campsites used are either locally owned, or a percentage of their income goes towards, schooling, or nature conservation & community projects. Almost all meals are provided and your local tour leader will endeavour to source fresh produce wherever possible. Meals might include cold meats and cheese, potjies (stew) or braais (barbecue).
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
PeopleLocal Crafts and Culture:
We stop at a number of cottage industries along the route of this trip, where clients have a chance to buy locally made products directly from the vendors. These are found along the panoramic route in Mpumalanga and are endorsed by the regional council and have been provided with structures to sell their products from. We also stop at the local craft markets in Swaziland. We use locally trained site guides that have set up their own community based business to take us to the bushmen paintings situated in the Royal Natal National Park.
A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise on the wildlife, environment and culture that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit. By supporting and employing these people we are helping to ensure that their wildlife areas, scenic beauty and historical significance generate value for the community and are therefore appreciated and protected from development and exploitation. For example, we employ members of the Mkuzi village, which sits just outside the game reserve in KwaZulu Natal.
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