Slow Travel, Walking Safari – Kenya

Whilst all things safari, wildlife and wilderness come in many guises, if you want to embrace one of the most charming, low-key, slow-travel experiences, look no further than a walking and camping safari in the heart of the equatorial Eastern Laikipia, Kenya.

The slow pace of a Tumaren walking safari, supported by camels in the shadow of Mt Kenya, under the supervision of local Ndorobo trackers, is as mesmeric as it is magical.

In addition to being the perfect introduction to life in the wild, the region offers remote expansive landscapes and an enormous diversity of wildlife: elephants, big cats, and other large predators, as well as impressive numbers of endangered Grevy’s Zebra and birdlife.

Furthermore, with the pace of your daily walking experiences setting a calm and gentle metronome to the surrounding landscapes, you soon delight in the sensory overload of the out-bush sights, sounds and smells. You will quickly learn how to read animal tracks, listen for specific bird songs and gauge the complexity of the local flora and fauna.

Whether travelling in silence, or by hushed soft tracker instructions, the unfolding landscape never ceases to surprise. As tall giraffe heads appear around nearby treetops, elephants nosily bush-bash, and the never-ending chorus of birdsong escorts you through an amazingly diverse landscape. You can walk or ride the camels depending on your energy levels and desire for a slightly higher view.

Staying in remote mobile camps is a perfect experience for those looking to get away from the busier regions whilst experiencing sub-Saharan Africa bush firsthand. You won’t see or hear a vehicle.

Sleeping out in simple yet welcoming mobile-tended camps brings you closer to your natural surroundings, which becomes even more pleasurable when accompanied by sundowners and freshly cooked meals.

Equally, although emersed in the surrounding wilderness and wildlife ecosystem, the feeling is always of being safe; when a leopard scampered across our path, or the distant roar of nearby lions became more audible as dawn approached, it felt tranquil rather than chilling.

Walking from one region to another, you soon understand how impressive the varying landscapes are. This is especially so when camping across from high baboon-clad rocks, open-country vantage points with cliff-high views.

With the calm local guiding, reassuringly backed up by rifle protection, your whole sense of presence syncs with the surrounding bush. The daily explosion of noise and activity during the twilight hours gives way to a calm midday heat of serenity. At night, the sounds of activity are both equally enthralling.

I highly recommend a walking safari experience over as many days and nights as you wish. The whole experience is utterly thrilling and a must-do if you have a slow-travel disposition and solid set of legs.

3 replies
  1. Sherrie says:

    Oh WOW! You have just taken me right back there. You have captured the magic of it all so completely – thank you.

  2. Yvonne Foster says:

    Wow Jono! Wow wow wow, what an incredible experience! And your photos are just stunning as always.

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