Although ‘Walker’ really is Alex’s surname, being born to such an identity turns out to have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. Spending his childhood days out on foot with his father’s trackers, then turning this into a full-time career as soon as he possibly could, Alex’s passion is walking, and it is without a doubt his preferred method of accessing the bush.
Walking safaris epitomise the golden chance to get away from the trails and beaten tracks, and immerse in the environment in a way that the noise and speed of vehicles don’t permit. Once you slow down, there’s a whole world that you never noticed before. The beauty of walking is that it engenders an appreciation of an ecosystem’s sheer perfection: every tiny element has its place, and plays its role.
Stripping away the layers between you and an untamed setting beckons forth your primal instincts: your hearing, sight and smell all sharpen in response – and your appreciation of what you perceive is heightened as a result.
Each area that we have our camps in offers a different walking experience, each magical in its own way.
You could hardly find a better spot than Serian’s Serengeti South for extensive exploration on foot. The wide-open landscape and spectacular scenery, combined with the incredible perspective offered by your Hadzabe and Mangati guides, makes for a beautiful experience. You will likely be in the company of Mzee Nyuki, who will show you his bee-hives and teach you all about medicinal plants as you mosey along.
Serian’s Serengeti Mobile (Kusini) is nestled in a beautiful Tortilis woodland among fairly dense bush that plays host to not a few buffalo – so walking here is an intense experience, and not for the faint-hearted. This is the only spot that is not ideally suited to walking with children, and is better suited to smaller groups comprising hardcore adventurers only.
In Serian’s Serengeti North and Serian’s Serengeti Mobile (Lamai), the focus is on the Mara River – water is always a concentration of so many life forms, and with the wildebeest crossing back and forth over it at this time of year, their effects on the bush, the predators and scavengers makes for fascinating exploring along the banks. We tend to steer clear of the herds though, as the idea is to steer clear of the crowds and vehicles – but this meander offers a combination of big game encounters, and beautiful countryside.
In Serian (The Original) and Ngare Serian, we walk in our own private conservation area – a strictly no-vehicle zone that only we have access to. Here, you are likely to have close encounters with elephant, buffalo, hippo as well as more rare species like Chandler’s Mountain Reedbuck, klipspringer and oribi.
We employ scouts whose job it is to patrol the area and look out for snares, and walking in their company yields an insight into the land from the point of view of someone who roams it every day and knows it intimately.
Stop in at ‘The Nest’, our tree house, where your breakfast will be waiting for you. Apart from being a wonderfully unique spot for your morning meal, it offers a gorgeous view over the river, and the perfect vantage point to sip your coffee and watch the world go by.
HOW IT WORKS
Walking is best in the cool early mornings, while the day is still fresh and new and the sun hasn’t climbed too high in the sky. Set off just after dawn with some snacks to eat on the way – you’ll be back for a hearty brunch around 10.30 or 11.00. For those that really want to stretch their legs and work up a sweat, a more strenuous hike can be achieved – but generally, your morning will consist of gentle ambling, with plenty of stopping to look and discuss along the way. The objective is discovery and observation of the macro elements – plants, tracks, insects, birds, and the smaller creatures that often don’t get a mention. You may even see the Little Five.
Once you’re back, the choice is yours: relax and have a lazy lunch and siesta in camp, then head out late in the afternoon – or come back to your vehicle roaring to go and picnic on board, and game-drive the rest of the day away.