It is not often one gets to wander through the untamed wilderness, weaving between the foliage and the beasts that live among it. Nothing but the trod of your footsteps, and occasional scurrying away of the smaller mammals as they dash out of sight, to be heard.
To experience the African bush from a vantage point, equal to the animals is something awe-inspiring. One truly appreciates their magnificence and beauty when they stand, silently, a few meters away. It also gives ample opportunity for you to learn about the flora and fauna around you and the much, much smaller creatures among it.
I recently got the privilege of wandering through the bush near Changa Safari Camp in Kariba with a very knowledgeable guide to school me on all things wild. The walk started off early in the morning to avoid us trudging along once the sun had started its daily assault on the Kariba soil. We took a slow careful stroll along the magnificent shoreline of Lake Kariba, following tracks of elephant, zebra and even a set of tracks left by two lionesses and their cubs, which we luckily did not bump into.
We spent some time crouched quietly in the bushes watching herds of zebra and impala feeding on the grasslands, with shadows of grey elephants lumbering along in the backdrop. We stopped often on our walk, to learn about the numerous spoors and the dung to go along with them, as well as the foliage that we were brushing past, and various medicinal uses of the plants, great if we were ever in a pickle! Our guide, Nicholas, was extremely clued up on the different uses for various plants and eagerly showed us some survival techniques, useful if we were ever to find ourselves stuck in the bush!
After about two hours of bush survival 101 we arrived back at the vehicle; thirsty, dusty and definitely more educated than when we disembarked in the early morning light. After a short drive back to camp, we hungry adventurers were greeted by a hearty breakfast and a welcome cup of tea, ending the morning on a tasty note.
The walk through the wild offered us a unique perspective, completely different to one on a game drive. I would never have learnt half the things I did from my seat on a vehicle and I would highly recommend this to all visitors!
Written by Kiara Cravetti