Walking safaris are a truly immersive way to experience the Maasai Mara and its magnificent wildlife. Unlike game drives, where you primarily observe from the safety of a vehicle, walking safaris allow you to become a part of the ecosystem, offering a unique perspective of the African bush.

It is a safari experience conducted on foot. You, together with a professional guide and often an armed ranger or Maasai warrior, will walk in the African bush, experiencing the wilderness from the ground level.

The Experience

Walking safaris are typically conducted in the cooler parts of the day, often early morning or late afternoon, to avoid the heat and also because animals tend to be more active during these periods. The walk’s pace is usually leisurely, allowing ample time to observe the surroundings and wildlife.

Walking safaris allow you to engage all your senses. You can touch the bark of trees, smell the wild herbs, listen to the sound of birds, and look out for animal tracks. It’s a comprehensive and holistic way to experience the bush.

The focus of a walking safari is not just the big game, but also the smaller creatures, birds, insects, and flora that you might miss during a game drive. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about the medicinal uses of plants, understand animal tracks, and appreciate the smaller aspects of the ecosystem.

Safety and Guides

Safety is of utmost importance during a walking safari. You’ll be accompanied by a trained, experienced guide who knows the area well, understands animal behavior, and carries a radio or satellite phone for emergencies. An armed ranger or Maasai warrior often accompanies the group for added security.

Guides are not just there for safety, but they’re also a wealth of knowledge about the bush. They’ll help you understand animal behavior, identify bird calls, track animals, and learn about the ecology of the area.


For a walking safari, wear comfortable walking shoes and neutral-colored clothing to blend in with the environment. Long trousers and a hat for sun protection are also advisable. Bring binoculars, a camera, sunscreen, and water. Some operators may provide a light backpack for carrying personal items.

Booking and Cost

The ability to conduct walking safaris can be dependent on the regulations of the specific conservancy within the Maasai Mara where you’re staying. Some areas only permit game drives, while others allow walking safaris. The cost of a walking safari can vary significantly based on factors such as the length of the walk or operator, and whether or not the cost of the walk is included in your overall safari package. As a general guideline, some walks might be included in your safari package, while others could range from $50 to $100 per person as an extra activity

Here are some of the lodges and camps that offer walking safaris:

  • Asilia Africa: Asilia Africa operates several camps in the Mara, including Encounter Mara, Naboisho Camp, and Rekero Camp. Guided walking safaris are one of the activities they offer.
  • Basecamp Explorer: This eco-friendly safari operator offers walking safaris in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. The walks are led by local Maasai guides, offering an opportunity to learn about the Maasai culture as well.
  • Kicheche Bush Camp: Located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, this camp offers escorted walking safaris for guests to experience the wildlife and the environment up close.
  • Porini Safari Camps: The Porini Camps, like the Porini Mara Camp and Porini Lion Camp, offer walking safaris in the conservancies where they operate. These conservancies have lower tourist numbers, ensuring a more intimate experience.
  • Saruni Mara: This small boutique lodge in the private Mara North Conservancy offers a variety of activities, including walking safaris led by experienced Maasai warriors.

Walking safaris offer a slower, more personal, and engaging way to experience the wilderness of the Maasai Mara. It’s a different kind of thrill to be on foot in these wild landscapes, and you’re sure to gain a deep appreciation for this remarkable ecosystem.