Wilderness Leadership School trails  are the ultimate in responsible tourism. Your trail experience directly funds community trails, training bursaries and community based projects. As a globally acclaimed non profit organisation that has been around for over 60 years, you can be assured that your experience will leave a direct positive impact on Africa’s wilderness areas and her people. It’s so much more than another “safari” – it’s a journey, a journey into Africa and a journey of self-discovery. 

With exclusive access to the renowned iMfolozi Wilderness Area and other Wilderness Areas with no roads, no other tourists, no cell phones, you can be assured of a once in a lifetime experience that few people get to enjoy.

Your guides are some of the most experienced in Africa, specially trained not just for your own safety but to also facilitate your wilderness experience and give you deep, meaningful insight into Africa and the wilderness area. For many, this experience inevitably also opens up a deep insight into yourself. Reconnecting with nature at such a profound level changes the way you see the world, changes the way you see yourself and your experiences in the modern world. Your guides are also trained to ensure your safety during encounters with wildlife such as Rhino, Lions, Elephants, Buffalo and other when on foot, something few people ever forget and fewer ever experience. This is Africa way beyond any commercial “Safari”

The experience is more than seeing wildlife; it’s about being embedded in Africa, about leaving the craziness of the modern world behind and for a few days living like many generations before you did. For some, it’s a life changing, deeply spiritual experience, for others it’s about reconnecting with nature and themselves, whatever the outcome, it’s an experience few get to have and fewer ever forget.

But this time will undoubtedly be special, memorable and etched into your psyche forever. Explaining the wilderness trail experience is actually rather futile. It’s something you simply have to do.

I did the Umfolozi and St Lucia trails beginning 1980's with Jim Feeley and Bruce Dell. Although long ago it is still a highlight in my life! Becoming part of nature, keeping watch at night and having amazing conversations around the fire! ...I went again last year and it remains awesome!

Our Wilderness Trails Our Wilderness Trails are undertaken in some of Southern Africa’s wildest areas. These include locations such as:

iMfolozi Game Reserve 
iSimangaliso World Heritage Site
Drakensberg World Heritage Site
Wild Coast (Eastern Cape)
Pilanesberg National Park
Okavango Delta World Heritage Site

No two trails are ever the same, everything is unique to your trail. In the case of iMfolozi (our most popular trail location, Wilderness Leadership School is the sole concession holder to this incredible wilderness area, no roads, no cars, no other tourists.

“The experience is more than seeing wildlife; it’s about being embedded in Africa, about leaving the craziness of the modern world behind and for a few days living like many generations before you did. For some, it’s a life changing, deeply spiritual experience, for others it’s about reconnecting with nature and themselves, whatever the outcome, it’s an experience few get to have and fewer ever forget.”

Wilderness Leadership School wilderness trails were pioneered by Dr. Ian Player well over half a century ago, after all this time, the principles, the experience and the purpose of these trails remains the same. Unlike 50 years ago, today, there are many options for and companies offering “a wilderness experience,” but as with most things in life, copies seldom match the original – so why choose a Wilderness Trail with Wilderness Leadership School?

Gain a deeper experience of nature and self: 

Being in the wilderness on trail is an opportunity to gain a profound understanding of nature and self. Our trails are focused around ensuring a deeper, almost spiritual experience, the experience is specifically designed and facilitated to be inspiring, transformative and far more insightful than you would experience on a normal “walk through the bush” 

Arguably, some of the best wilderness guides in the country: 

Wilderness Leadership School guides are not “any old guides” they have years of experience and go through rigorous and specialist training to not just fulfill the hard skill technique of being guides and ensure your safety, but to also act as facilitators and gently lead your experience of nature, of self discovery and help you gain the deeper understanding of our place on the planet and discover the awe of the natural world in such a way that you start to recognize the necessity for conservation and responsible environmental behaviours  

We provide everything,

Our trails not only include travel from the nearest major centre in KZN and Botswana, making your travel arrangements simple and affordable, but also includes all your meals as well as equipment such as sleeping bags and backpacks. You just need to arrive.  Fees include food, overnight fees, gate fees and community levies 

Impeccable track record: 

Our safety record speaks for itself. Over the years the Wilderness Leadership School has taken over 60 000 people on trail without incident. 

Your trail supports conservation 

Your trail doesn't generate a profit for shareholders; your trail directly supports our conservation work and allows for us to run trails with important community groups and decision makers as well as fund our work promoting wilderness preservation. In short, by going on a trail, you’re making a difference. 

People keep coming back. 

Major corporations, global leaders and some of the best schools from around the world come back year after year to experience our Wilderness Trails. And have done for the past 60 years. There is a good reason for that. The Wilderness Leadership School experience is unique, it is an affirmation of years of commitment to an ethos that is bred into generations of guides and simply cannot be experienced elsewhere.

Q: How many people can go on a trail?

A: Each trail accommodates between six and eight trailists. If there are only one or two of you, we will try join you with another group OR you can also enquire about an exclusive trail for just your group of friends, family or colleagues.

Q: Are the trails guided and safe?

A: Two experienced, armed guides lead each trail. These guides are highly trained and in over 60 years we have never had an incident on trail involving dangerous animals.

Q: Where do we sleep?

A: You set up camp in an area chosen by your guide and sleep under the stars, a once in a lifetime experience in its own right. Each trailist is expected to also stand night-watch and guard the fire while others sleep.

Q: How fit do I need to be to do a trail?

A: You do not need to be especially fit, provided you are over 15, healthy and can carry a rucksack and manage a few kilometers walking each day you should be fine. The duration of the daily walks are customized for your comfort

Q: Is there cell phone reception on trail?

A: No sophistication (including cellphone, watches, music or liquor) is allowed on trail. Trust us, you’ll love the experience of being away from that for a few days anyway. 

Q: What does the cost include?

A: Our Wilderness Journey’s are all fully inclusive and include meals, pre and post wilderness trail activities, lodge accommodation, trail equipment, transport to and from King Shaka International Airport.

Q: Is this a malaria area?

A: Although we do recommend mosquito repellent, this is NOT a malaria risk area

Useful Downloads (Click to download in PDF format)

Trails Info Brochure

Safety On Trail Info Brochure

“The wilderness has reawakened something in me – something the city has repressed.  I feel more alive here than anywhere else.  I feel at home in this land.  I drink in every sound, every sight, every scent on the breeze.  I am at ease in this wilderness which seems to have tapped into my unconsciousness”


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