Most people travel to Africa for the wildlife and natural environment, to trek in the mountains, experience the culture and relax on a beach. However this can often be combined with something more active – which many people welcome – partly as a way of inter-acting more closely with the natural environment or just as a way to stretch their legs and get some exercise.
This page gives you some ideas and how to combine them with your planning…
In wildlife areas this is nearly always led by a guide and often accompanied by an armed ranger. In some places there is scope to do short walks of a couple of hours as well as longer multi-day walking safaris.
In Tanzania, in the north of the country it is possible to take a break from your safari vehicle and have a cultural tour near Manyara National Park or even on the Ngorongoro Crater rim (excellent) without adding much to the expense or altering the itinerary much. Hunting and visiting the Habza tribe (like the click bushmen of Southern Africa) is also done on foot. A walk on the foothills of Mount Meru in Arusha National Park at the beginning of your trip makes a pleasant start. Conversely a full-on multi-day walking safari in the Serengeti can be the major focus of your trip.
In southern Tanzania walking is allowed in the Selous Game Reserve if you are doing a Southern Tanzanian Safari.
In South Africa there are lots of opportunities for walking in the private reserves including the Selati Reserve multi-day trips.
In Botswana many of the camps in the Okavango Delta organize excellent guided walks. Walking is also a big part of the attraction in the Kalahari desert.
Kenya’s Laikipia private reserves also offer good guided walks.
The main climbing attraction in Africa is its highest mountain – Kilimanjaro. This is a multi-day (6 to 9 day) climb with specialist group leaders, quality camping equipment and requires a medium amount of fitness and resolve.
Its smaller sister, Mount Meru is also popular, less crowded and arguably a prettier, more satisfying climb. It takes 4 days to go up and back.
Other trekking destinations are the Ruwenzori’s on the Uganda/Rwanda border – this is more of a high altitude forest hike than a mountain climb.
There are some specialist riding destinations in the Laikipia area of Central Kenya – riding through the savannah. Some place require a certain level of competence whilst others cater for less experienced riders.
There is some multi-day and single day riding in northern Tanzania which can fit quite well into an itinerary not specifically designed round horse riding (so non- riders don’t feel left out).
Botswana has guided riding trips at certain lodges in the Okavango and there are shorter rides at Victoria Falls in Zambia.
There is some guided sea-kayaking in Northern Tanzania – on the mainland coast and also in Zanzibar. We offer a few set departure coached sea-kayaking trips each year in these destinations.
There are guided canoe trips in the Zambezi and white-water kayaking at Jinja on the Nile in Uganda. Some lodges on Lake Malawi offer lake kayaking tours on both the Malawi side and the Mozambique side. There is also sea-kayaking at some of the lodges on the coast in Mozambique.
There is one company doing multi-day camel rides in Northern Tanzania. Some of the private ranches in the central Kenyan highlands also do them and there is a company doing half day rides at Victoria Falls.
HOT AIR BALLOONING
Kenya’s Masai Mara has ballooning at some of the lodges.
Tanzania’s Serengeti is the iconic place to do it – with its endless grass plains and huge herds.
There is Scuba at many of the large resorts in Kenya. In Tanzania there is a lot of good Scuba diving on Zanzibar. The best diving is on Zanizbar’s sister island of Pemba – with lots of islands and largely undamaged reefs, big drop-offs and clear water. Mafia (Zanzibar’s other sister island) also has good diving – with whale sharks frequently seen in the season.
Mozambique also has excellent diving in the Quirimba archipelago and in South Africa it is possible to cage dive with Great White Sharks at Gansbaai an hour or two from Cape Town.
Please contact us for further information regarding these activities and destinations.