Walking on the Wild Side

Face to face with nature

Walking on the Wild Side

All of us at Knighton Reeve have experienced the thrill of walking in the bush. Some experiences have been more memorable than others...


A few years ago, I was staying on the Ongava reserve in Namibia, and during the night had been listening to lions roar – they sounded so close, they could have been in my tented room! The following morning, we went on a walk with our guide around the camp. We paused at a patch of flattened grass where the guide told us that overnight, until just recently a lion had been sleeping. Less than 100 meters away was my tent! I didn’t see the lion, but I really felt his presence! More recently, I came close to two white rhino on a game walk in KwaZulu-Natal – absolutely thrilling.


Spending 5 nights on a wilderness trail in KwaZulu-Natal. This involved fly camping, sleeping under the stars, walking through rivers, bathing in rivers, one loo roll for 8 people, walking into lion, buffalo and rhino. We carried all our own gear, food and water. We were rewarded with a few nights at Phinda Forest Lodge afterwards to wash away the dirt and soothe away the sore feet.

David S

“Don’t run” whispered the guide. I had no idea what I wasn’t supposed to be running from! But we all crouched down in the bush and waited for further instruction. I tried to listen for the tell-tale sounds of a hyena or lion, but I could barely hear anything over the sound of my own heart, beating like a kettle drum in my ears. I could see nothing. Must be a jackal or something small in the long grass, I thought… was two elephants! How could I have missed them? One seemed quite curious and came to within about 20 metres of us. Now, elephants are no slouches when it comes to running and can cover 11 metres in one second. As I quickly did the maths in my head, I realised that I may as well just wait and admire a spectacle that you just don’t get from your 4x4 game vehicles. The elephant got bored of us a lot quicker than we of him, and was soon on his way, leaving us with a story to dine out on for years to come.


Just recently I was lucky enough to stay at Ulusaba, during which time we had the most amazing 30 minute walk. It was so interesting looking at animal tracks, smelling flora and being stared at by plains game. After a hot and sweaty, but very interesting walk, we turned the corner into a dried up river bed to be greeted with a champagne breakfast! Just what the doctor ordered.  

David H

While staying at the Four Seasons Serengeti we took a late afternoon bushwalk led by the ranger and guide, which was made all the more enjoyable by the smaller things that can often be missed when in a vehicle. The plants, tracks, insects and smaller mammals. In this case the highlight was a family of bat-eared foxes playing in the scrub with the low sun highlighting their huge ears. We watched them for 10 minutes before they were disturbed by some zebra strolling by. A memorable and unusual encounter – especially when followed by a sundowner!


While staying at Belmond Eagle Island Lodge in Botswana, the guide insisted on walking two of us back to our rooms after lunch, we protested, it was broad daylight, we were strong independent women, we were fine. But he was very insistent. So off we paddled after him, busy chatting as we went. Half way through the camp he signalled us to stop and be quiet, we were shocked as we had been so busy chatting that we hadn't even noticed the huge elephant in our path, how we could have missed him I just don’t know and thank god the guide insisted on coming with us. The elephant stood there, mildly protesting, but thankfully the guide knew what to do and off it soon went into the bushes. We didn’t really chat after that!!!!

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