Lonely Planet Writer

Walking safaris recognised as a way to see wildlife responsibly in South Africa

South Africa is famous as a safari destination, with crowds of people heading to the country to hop in a 4×4 in search of the amazing wildlife that live there. But a different kind of experience – a walking safari – is now available, and Rhino Walking Safaris has just been certified by Fair Trade Tourism.

A baby rhino with its mother.
A female rhinoceros protecting her calf in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Image by ©Jonathan Pledger/500px

Fair Trade Tourism is an organisation that recognises travel experiences for their sustainability, and supports groups that use fair and responsible business practices, provide fair working conditions, and show respect for human rights, culture, and the environment.

Rhino Walking Safaris is located on a 12,000-hectare private wilderness concession in the south-west of Kruger National Park. A wilderness concession means that there is no road network or off-road driving on the site, according to the company, which means that the grazing area is a good place to see black rhino, sable antelope, pangolin, and more. It shares a boundary with the Mala Mala and Sabi Sand game reserves, which means a lot of wildlife passes through the area.

The sun sets over Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park at sunset. Image by ©Pal Teravagimov Photography/Getty Images

The walking safaris allow guests to travel through the bush on foot, following trails with trained guides and seeing some of Africa’s most incredible animals up close. Guests are even able to spend a night sleeping under the stars on a special sleeping deck.

Nikki Meyer, general manager at Plains Camp, the home of Rhino Walking Safaris, said in a Facebook post from Fair Trade Tourism that “our passion for conservation means that our environmental practices are strictly implemented and sustainable. We simply wouldn’t have it any other way. While right now our Fair Trade Tourism certification sets us apart, we hope that in the near future, it will become an industry standard.” Find out more about Rhino Walking Safaris here.