There is something truly special about leaving your 4×4 behind and setting out on foot to explore the bush and discover all its inhabitants. Without the hum of the engine and the roar of the exhaust, your ears sharpened, your eyes refined – and your heart rate probably a little bit faster! In Kenya, walking safaris are prohibited in many of the national parks and reserves, but dig a little bit deeper and you’ll find some of the best treks on the continent, with a range of encyclopaedic guides. Here, we’ve got the lowdown on the only Kenya walking safaris you’ll ever need to know about (in our humble opinion).
Greater Masai Mara
Naboisho Camp is the kind of place that you arrive at and everything instantly feels better. There are big smiles all round, the kind of food you’d expect your (very well trained) Grandma to cook, and enormous bedroom tents, decked out in a variety of peaceful colours and soothing fabrics to relax in. Then, once you’ve settled, try one of their famous walking safaris. The camp is in the pristine Naboisho Conservancy, an area free from the rules and regulations of the neighbouring Masai Mara, and the walking safaris are wild, fun and, sometimes, a little bit adventurous. Led by Roelof Schutte and Lucas Ramah, you’ll get up close and personal with giraffe, descend gorges of varying heights and learn everything there is to know about tracks, trails and turds. This is the real deal when it comes to Kenya walking safaris– and it’s truly excellent.
Three or four nights at Naboisho Camp would work perfectly in our Classic Kenya bush and beach trip – and do exactly as it says on the tin by enjoying some time at the beach too.
If you’re quick off the mark, you may well be able to secure yourself a spot in one of the three bandas at the exclusive Saruni Rhino Camp in Kenya’s northern frontier. The boutique camp is located in a private conservancy, Sera, a pioneering, community-owned sanctuary that’s home to a lovely little group of black rhino who were introduced to bolster Kenya’s rhino population and encourage visitors to make the trip up north. And that’s where the walking safaris come in – but did we mention these aren’t any old Kenya walking safaris? To set out on foot here is to embark on an exhilarating journey after the black rhino themselves. Accompanied by rangers using traditional tracking methods and with an intimate knowledge of each rhino on the conservancy, you’ll track them on foot and (perhaps) get close enough to see every ear flick and feel every tail swish.
Combine tracking black rhino on foot at Saruni Rhino with a few nights at sister camp Saruni Samburu for a walking safari to remember. Try using our trip, The road less travelled, as a starting point.
Some of the best Kenya walking safaris actually involve no walking at all. Sounds weird? Well, you’ll have to visit Laikipia Wilderness to find out what we’re talking about! Here, the guides have perfected the art of simply being. Of course, you’ll spend a good few hours putting your walking boots to the test but in these hills and valleys, it’s not about racing around or dashing here and there; instead, you’ll find quiet spots to settle down in and absorb what’s going on around you. Listen to the flutter of wings by the river, feel the vibrations from the grazing ellies ahead and allow nature to unfold around you. Now, that’s what you get from a team with 25 years-experience in walking safaris behind them….
Conservation, cats and walking safaris incorporates a little bit of everything Kenya has to offer. It’s one of our most-loved Kenya adventures and the perfect trip to add a stay at Laikipia Wilderness.
Kicheche Valley Camp and Kicheche Bush Camp
Greater Masai Mara
If you fancy a real stretch of the legs, then how about joining one of our favourite Kenya walking safaris – Kicheche’s magnificent, multi-day trekking adventure. Starting at the beautiful Valley Camp in the Naboisho Conservancy, you’ll wind your way on foot through thick acacia woodland and rolling plains, keeping your eyes peeled for game big and small. As darkness falls, you’ll arrive at a fly camp on the western side of the conservancy, where it’s drinks around the fire, home-cooked fare and an extraordinary night under the stars. In the morning, wake bright and early and head to the Bush Camp in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. You’ll walk along the spectacular escarpment of Seketa Valley – with a few stops along the way to take in the small things that you can only see on foot, of course.
To take advantage of this fly-camping adventure, you’ll need to book at least four or five nights at Kicheche Valley Camp and Kicheche Bush Camp – simply add it to any of our Kenya trips and start planning!
Last but not least on our list of Kenya walking safaris, it’s the beautiful Borana Lodge. Located in the heart of Borana Conservancy, staying here is as sustainable as it is exciting with all earnings going straight back into conservation. What better excuse, then, to get stuck into one of the excellent walking safaris?! And as ever, you’re spoiled for choice if you fancy an on-foot exploration. Start your morning with a tranquil stroll through the conservancy and take advantage of the guides’ extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna and the birds and the bees or, if you’re feeling spritely, how about a morning run with the armed guards? In the afternoon, spend a few hours tracking the black rhino and reporting back to HQ, or take part in a darting or collaring exercise. Perhaps not a classic Kenya walking safari, but arguably an even better way to get your teeth into the bush and all it has to offer.
Add a stay at Borana Lodge to our Conservation and Culture trip and combine two of Kenya’s most celebrated conservation areas that both happen to be home to some rather fabulous walking safaris.