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Walking, anyone?

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The question of comfort on safari (air-conditioned tents, that sort of thing) has been raised in another thread. Coincidentally, a friend has just told me of the latest walking safari that a guide we know has conducted in Zimbabwe...averaging 20 kilometres a day in temperatures of 40 celsius. There were a couple of scares with a lion and a charging elephant. The guide had to aim his rifle just in case.

I'm a little surprised not to have seen many references to walking safaris here, and wonder whether there's much interest in them or anybody has any experiences to share...anything to give me my daily hit when I'm not in Africa :) . I'm keenly waiting to get more details from my friend.

Walking is not something I would do again, as I'm a few too many years older. However, it was an experience I'll never forget even though my friend declared it was the dullest one he's ever experienced. The animals kept running away and we didn't have close encounters with lions as he had done on one or two occasions. (Can you imagine going around a bush and coming face-to-face with a snarling, crouching lioness? I can't).

We estimated we covered about 170 kilometres in 11 days, in the thankfully mild days of early July. The nicest experiences were of sitting on rocky ledges above waterholes and waiting for animals to come to drink. We couldn't wait long because of the need to keep moving, but they were delightful pauses.

Our guide, who is based in Vic Falls, has been doing two safaris a month for 20 years, walks in sandals and is as tough as nails. I'd be glad to give more details to anybody interested.

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