Walking Safaris in Kenya
START PLANNING YOUR KENYA WALKING SAFARI
There are wonderful possibilities for a walking safari in Kenya, from gentle nature walks to tracking big game on foot or simply escaping for a few days into remote wilderness areas. All our walking safari holidays are individually tailored to suit personal requirements, and it is easily possible to combine a walking safari with other Kenya experiences, such as a traditional big game safari, a Mount Kenya climb or some beach relaxation. For more general information on walking safaris holidays and what to expect, please see our Walking Safaris page.
Walking safaris in Kenya can really vary in terms of focus and duration. Gentle nature walks from permanent camps and lodges allow you to stretch your legs and see a different side of the bush, with an educational focus on plants, birds, insects, tracks and dung. These walks may often only last a couple of hours.
WHERE TO STAY FOR THE BEST KENYA WALKING SAFARIS
In big game areas, it is possible to focus more on tracking the larger mammals, which tends to mean slightly longer, more strenuous walks with potentially some really ‘wow’ wildlife moments as a reward. Encountering elephants, rhino, lion, wild dog or buffalo on foot in the wild is always an exhilarating experience!
Kenya also offers several opportunities to really escape into the wilderness on more remote and adventurous walking expeditions, usually for several days camping out in the wilderness at night. If you enjoy exploring new landscapes on foot, and like the idea of an exclusive adventure not knowing what experiences tomorrow brings, then a multi-day walking trail is a wonderful escape into nature.
LAIKIPIA WALKING SAFARIS
The Laikipia region and the Mathews Range of central and northern Kenya are particularly fantastic for walking safaris. The extensive Laikipia region includes a number of big game conservancies where walks can focus on tracking big game, whilst other areas can offer genuine wilderness walking adventures.
For walking in big game country it is hard to beat Walking Wild – a fantastic Maasai led walking safari on the game-rich Lewa Conservancy. Here you can track and stalk rhino, elephant and lion as well as enjoy a multitude of other sightings.
Also in the Laikipia region, Karisia Walking Safaris offer a wide range of walking options through wild and beautiful scenery. The Laikipia region varies in terms of how game-rich the land is, and safaris can be designed to offer a variety of experiences and to suit individual interests. The magic with Karisia is the exploratory feel and exclusivity of the safari. You can walk for days on end with your superb Samburu guides, exploring open plains, rocky hills, montane forests and winding river valleys, visiting local villages and camping each night in the heart of the wilderness.
If you would prefer to be based at a permanent camp and mix up some walking safaris with traditional game drives, then one of the best options would be Laikipia Wilderness, whilst in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy an excellent overnight walking and fly-camping experience is available from Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages.
THE MATHEWS RANGE WALKING SAFARIS
To the north-east of the Laikipia region, beyond Samburu National Park, the Mathews Range is a wild and beautiful ridge of forested hills protruding from the arid surrounding landscapes. These forested hills are home to good populations of elephant, leopard and bushbuck, as well as a variety of smaller game and wonderful birdlife, and where the forests thin out at the foot of the hills and merge into the plains beyond, a wider variety of wildlife exists, including gerenuk, giraffe, lesser kudu, impala, buffalo and Grevy’s zebra.
The wildlife co-exists with the local Samburu people, who tend their goats and cattle across this arid land, and bring them to drink during the dry season at the famous ‘singing wells’ – where they dig down many metres and sing as they pass up buckets of water for their livestock.
There are two wonderful permanent camps on the southern edge of the Mathews Range, both of which offer unlimited walking opportunities. The original Sarara Camp overlooks an active water hole and has beautiful views out across the plains. Their sister camp Sarara Treehouses is located a little further into the hills, built on raised walkways with a magical forest feel. Walking from either camp is likely to focus initially on the beautiful scenery, wonderful birdlife and smaller game, whilst learning about the bush environment and the local Samburu culture. However, you never know when big game experiences can occur, especially elephants.
MASAI MARA WALKING SAFARIS
The Masai Mara is predominantly a game drive destination and it is not possible to walk when staying at camps inside the National Reserve. However, it is possible to include walking safaris from many of the camps located in the private conservancies that border the National Reserve. Shorter nature walks are usually undertaken out on the open plains, where you benefit from incredible views and can stretch your legs and learn about the environment.
If you are looking for a more dedicated Masai Mara walking safari, then Serian The Original and Ngare Serian in the Mara North Conservancy offer the widest range of walking options, including multi-day fly-camping safaris. Led by expert Maasai guides and trackers, this is a chance to really immerse yourself in the Mara ecosystem, and whilst the focus is unlikely to be specifically tracking big game, you will always come across a wide range of animals on these safaris, often including lion and cheetah.
Another good option for a more relaxed walking experience including an overnight fly-camping adventure is available when combining Kicheche Bush Camp and Kicheche Valley. After a two night stay at one of the permanent camps, you enjoy an afternoon walk across the plains to your overnight fly-camp, where you are hosted by your experienced guide. The next morning you continue your walk through to the second permanent camp, where you spend 2 nights exploring a different conservancy.
Hiking and Trekking in Kenya
Whilst many walking safaris in Kenya will be through spectacular scenery, there are several opportunities for more dedicated hiking and trekking, including the chance to climb the spectacular Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa. An expedition on Mount Kenya will usually require 4 nights on the mountain, with a night either side at the base. Please see our Trekking and Kilimanjaro page for more information.
Trekking through rural countryside, rocky landscapes, forested hills and remote valleys is all possible on longer trekking safaris with Karisia Safaris. Trips of any duration can be arranged, with camp and supplies in remote areas being transported by camel. Whilst wildlife is often encountered on these walks, the routes can be designed to focus on genuine ‘trekking’, including rock climbing if required.
Whatever your requirements for a walking safari or trekking adventure in Kenya, we can help with expert advice and tailor-made suggestions. Please Contact Us to discuss your requirements.