Get in touch with nature and yourself

Wilderness Trails

Public Trails

A trail is not a hike. It is not a safari. It is not a personal endurance test. A Wilderness Trail is a deeply profound experience that is very difficult to articulate. It is a chance to return to your natural habitat. A digital detox. A deep experience of our own connection to the natural world. A chance to re-wild yourself and get inspired by the rhythm of nature. Your experience is carefully facilitated by guides who are arguably some of the best in Africa. Our meals are beyond what you could imagine is possible in the Wilderness. An authentic  Wilderness Trail with the Wilderness Leadership School is unlike any other "trail" experience. Those who have been on trail return again and again. You simply have to experience it to fully understand the power of a Wilderness Leadership School Trail. 

I have done six or seven Wilderness trails during my life. These trails stand out as amongst the most significant experiences in my life. For me they were not just an opportunity to view game and other species on foot, but also and more importantly to experience the wilds of Africa without the encumbrances or comforts of my normal daily life. This made going into the wilderness area more than a holiday or adventure. These trails became spiritual journeys for me and have remained so in my memory.

The trail came at a time when I had just been cleared after treatment for cancer. It reinvigorated my soul. I have never felt so connected to the earth

A Trail in this wilderness area was one of the most profound and life changing experiences of my life. Being away from human development and in pristine nature is a healing spiritual experience.

What makes our trails unique?

There are many "trail" options out there, so what makes our trails unique?

  • We have some of the best guides in Africa
  • We have over sixty years experience and incident free track record
  • Incredible food, you won't be eating baked beans and bully beef, our trail food is world renowned
  • High quality equipment
  • Fully inclusive rates including transport, all gate fees, overnight fees, no hidden costs
  • This is not a "walk" or a "hike" ....this is a carefully facilitated experience of nature and wilderness
  • Highest level of professionalism and service .....we get things right!
  • Our trails are THE original Wilderness Trail experience, the Wilderness Leadership School pioneered the concept over 60 years ago. Few other trails match our ethics and outcomes.
  • As a non profit organisation, your trail fees directly contribute to conservation.
What to expect

Some aspects of our trails include:

  • Sleeping under the stars, simplicity is key on trail, no cell phones, no watches, no deadlines, everything happens to the rhythm of nature.
  • Each trailsist is required to do 1-2 hours “night watch” a period of keeping the fire going and looking out for potentially dangerous animals whilst the rest of the group sleeps.
  • The trail group becomes a “clan,” teamwork, cooperation and looking out for each other is critical. The trail operates under a principle of Hlonipa (respect in Zulu) …respect for each other, respect for wildlife and respect for  the wilderness
  • Two armed wilderness guides accompany the group, these guides spend 2000+ hours per year in the wilderness area and widely considered some of the best in Africa. We have a 60 year incident free safety record!
  • Days are spent walking between camping sites, distances walked vary from day to day and done in accordance with group dynamics, fitness and needs. Some groups prefer to sit and watch the river go by, others prefer to trek deeper and deeper into the Wilderness.
  • Meals are prepared by the guides, this is NOT your average “trail food” of baked beans and peanuts - our guides are masters at preparing fresh wholesome meals in the Wilderness and even been featured in several cooking networks.
Logistics & FAQ

The Wilderness Leadership School Trails are all inclusive, meaning you do not need to worry about anything! Our trails include transport from Durban (or the nearest airport) and all your trail equipment. You just have to get yourself here.

For individuals staying at lodges or nearby hotels, we can arrange a pick up and drop off. If you require assistance with pre and post trail accommodation and other logistics, we're more than happy to arrange this for you! We also have basic accommodation and catering available for groups wishing to stay at our beautiful historic headquarters in Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve in Durban.

Q: Special Dietary Requirements & Allergies?

A: Our guides are master cooks and we have catered for all sorts of allergies and special dietary requirements. Just let us know prior to trail if you have any special requirements and we will get it arranged for you.

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 a trailist hurt by an animal.

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. A trail is NOT an endurance test, in fact, it's rather relaxing!

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: Is this a malaria area?

A: Although we do recommend mosquito repellent, our trail venues are not malaria risk areas, with the exception of Okavango Trails in Botswana

Dates & Trail Length

Trails vary from three to five days with some groups opting for extra days for their programs. However, we usually recommend a five day option as being optimal. The real magic starts happening on day three!

Dates can be scheduled for specialist groups at anytime throughout the year, each season has its own special feel in the Wilderness. As we limit the number of trails running at any one time, School Holiday periods can get booked up very quickly, so we advise scheduling your trail dates as early as possible.

Click here for details of our Dec / Jan Holiday Season Specials 

What Is Included


  • Experienced guides to guide you and ensure your safety.
  • Personal attention: trails limited to eight people
  • All camping equipment including ground sheets, foam mattress, sleeping bags and rucksacks, cooking utensils, eating utensils, toilet-paper, spade, water containers.
  • Food - three meals a day. Seriously good food!
  • Transport from a designated meeting place to the wilderness area. (Except for Pilanesberg Trails)
  • trail fees cover all gate fees, overnight fees etc... so no hidden costs

You just need to bring your clothes and items of a personal nature, we will provide you with a detailed suggested packing list prior to your trail departure.

Guides & Facilitators

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.

Our guides have a vast amount of experience, they spend over 2000 hours a year in the Wilderness .....they are arguably some of the best in Africa.

Your guides are also highly 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.

For specialist groups, we also have a range of facilitators such a business leadership experts, clinical psychologists, personal development gurus and wilderness survival skills experts.

Trail Locations

Our trails locations include:

  • iMfolozi Game Reserve
  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park (World Heritage Site)
  • Drakensberg Mountains (World Heritage Site)
  • Pilanesberg National Park
  • Wild Coast
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana

Our Trailists Include

  • Gordon Institute of Business Science
  • Foundation For Natural Leadership
  • Nelson Mandela University Business School
  • University of Stellenbosch Business School
  • RCI Foods
  • Avis Car Hire
  • Woolworths

Wilderness Leadership School Trust

Wilderness Leadership School Trust

c/o Ewing Trust Company (Pty) Ltd,

Mafavuke House, 28 Old Main Road,

Hillcrest, 3610

+27 82 335 2687

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