The Safari Experts

Hiking in Africa


... is an activity which we define as any walk of two hours to twelve hours in duration, which is primarily designed to cover terrain rather than stalk animals. It is usually strongest in areas of hilly and mountainous scenery.

This is in contrast to walking safari, which tends to be a much slower-paced activity with the primary purpose of observing flora and fauna and tracking larger animals. Hikes which are longer than one day in duration are covered in our section on trekking.

Hiking is a particularly good way to get off the beaten track and experience Africa in a more subtle and yet deeper sense. If you can physically manage it, then we strongly recommend trying to build at least one decent hike into your trip.

There are clearly loads of great places to go hiking in Africa, so in this section we will limit ourselves to mentioning a few of the hikes which we most commonly recommend for inclusion in trips ...

Tanzania, notably the Northern Parks region, is one of the strongest safari areas for hiking thanks largely to the presence of the volcanoes of Ngorongoro and the awesome scenery along the Rift Valley. Perhaps our single most popular hike is the one from Ilmisigiyo over the last of the volcanoes of Ngorongoro and down onto the plains of the Serengeti. But the most dramatic is surely the half day ascent of the active volcano Oldonyo Lengai in the Natron.

Kenya is also another country which offers some great hiking, especially in northcentral areas, notably out of Sarara Camp, Kitich Camp, Saruni Samburu Camp and Tassia Lodge.

Namibia contains some excellent desert hiking, notably in the Namibrand, Erongo, Damaraland North and Kaokaland West areas.

South Africa contains loads of great hiking, here's a few personal favourites ...

Cape Town is a particularly strong location, with a number of hiking trails through the mountains immediately surrounding the city itself, such as Lion's Head and Table Mountain, ranging from a couple of hours to a full day.

Drakensberg Mountains is perhaps the most famous location for hiking in Africa, with some extraordinary day hikes taking you high up onto the Lesotho Escarpment.

Panorama South, further northeast along the Drakensburg, also offers some interesting hiking routes, this time with views down over Kruger and the Lowveld.
Best Lodges for hiking
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Jay Hanson
Jay Hanson, Senior Safari Consultant
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