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8 of the Best Safari Destinations in Africa

8 of the Best Safari Destinations in Africa

As an outdoor activity, safaris may seem surprisingly sedate; especially with time spent driving around and relaxing at riverside lodges. Therefore, packages that combine wildlife sightings with guided walking safaris or wilderness trails should be considered for optimal enjoyment.

8 of the Best Safari Destinations in Africa

Kruger National Park stands out as an all-inclusive safari experience, catering to visitors of all levels – from newcomers to high-end lodges – in terms of amenities and accessibility. Not to mention being home to all five Big Five animals as well as an astounding diversity of fauna.

1. Kenya

Kenya offers wildlife and adventure enthusiasts a vast variety of natural attractions ranging from savannahs and lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highland terrains. Renowned for big-game spotting opportunities such as its famed Masai Mara National Reserve is world renowned for hosting annual wildebeest migrations as well as boasting some of the highest concentrations of lion, leopard and cheetah populations in Africa.

Tsavo East’s expansive grasslands offer an oasis for safari animals, with herds of wildebeest and zebra roaming across vast stretches of dusty plains and small riverine forests. Additionally, this dry country region is famed for its rare species like Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe; both highly sought-after species.

8 of the Best Safari Destinations in Africa

Laikipia may be off the beaten path, but that doesn’t stop safari enthusiasts from visiting this region of private reserves and community conservancies for game drives, bush walks, horseback excursions and camelback safaris. Laikipia also serves as home for rare African wild dogs as well as Grevy’s zebras with narrower stripes than their more commonly found cousins and the Grevy’s zebra which boasts narrower stripes compared to more commonly found counterparts and the Grevy’s zebra which boast narrower stripes compared to their more common counterparts and community conservancies are also strongholds for these types of excursions and safari enthusiasts who flock here for the rides, bush walks, horseback excursions or camelback safaris.

2. Tanzania

Kenya may get more attention as an African safari destination, but Tanzania boasts some truly magnificent wildlife parks – particularly around Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Tarangire in its Northern Circuit – that offer unforgettable wildlife encounters. Furthermore, Mt Kilimanjaro makes for an inspiring backdrop to any Tanzania safari vacation.

With more time on their hands, those looking for wildlife may wish to consider visiting Selous and Ruaha parks in southern Africa, which boast incredible biodiversity while fewer crowds. Meanwhile, Mahale Mountains and Katavi parks in western Tanzania also provide stunning beauty off the beaten track.

 

Tanzania stands out as an oasis in Southern Africa’s dusty parks; its wildlife is preserved and not overexposed to tourism yet. Plus, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s chimpanzees will leave you in awe at what this remarkable land can offer!

3. Zambia

Zambia’s popularity as a safari destination continues to increase for good reason. Zambia boasts abundant wildlife in a network of national parks and reserves, boasts some of Africa’s best guides, and offers ample opportunity for encountering different predators.

Victoria Falls (locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya) is perhaps Zambia’s premier attraction and UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its thundering roar and vast spray. An ideal spot to observe elephant herds as well as other forms of wildlife.

Lusaka is Zambia’s capital city and offers an eclectic variety of restaurants, markets and cultural experiences including microlight flights, white water rafting, museum tours and up close animal encounters. Meanwhile the wilderness features vast lakes, rivers, waterfalls and various waterfalls, while savannah, woodland and swampland habitats host numerous wildlife and bird species. Zambia pioneered walking safaris; where guests leave their vehicle behind and traverse the bush in ancient fashion.

4. Botswana

Botswana can satisfy all your African adventure dreams, whether they are first timers or experienced safari veterans alike. Botswana’s vast wilderness areas – like Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park – provide breathtaking wildlife-viewing, cinematic landscapes and unrivaled safari experiences. You can choose between luxury lodges and tented camps or self drive around at affordable rates.

Chobe National Park boasts the world’s highest population of elephants. You can witness them up close with an Elephant Mokoro Safari ride through its wide floodplains and surrounding riparian forest, where they bathe, drink and hunt along its shorelines.

Botswana’s north is famed for its vast population of lions and relaxed leopards; Moremi Game Reserve boasts wild dogs – it’s one of the only places on Earth where packs can hunt together as packs converge on packs of endangered predators in relay. Tours to Kazungula Bridge which links Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia should not be missed either – geography enthusiasts as well as architecture appreciators should make time to experience its grandeur!

5. Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has long been known for safari travel, yet in recent decades its popularity had faded rapidly due to internal political unrest and challenges posed by Robert Mugabe’s rule. Today however, post-Mugabe Zimbabwe offers outstanding wildlife viewing experiences as well as stunning scenic splendour.

Hwangwe National Park, famously home to Cecil the Lion’s death in 2015, is one of Africa’s premier safari destinations. Boasting an array of habitats ranging from grassy savannahs and towering escarpment walls to river terraces and grasslands – home to elephants, hippos, buffalo, giraffe and gemsbok; gemsboks and wild dogs among them!

Mana Pools lies between Zambia and Zimbabwe, offering a stunning landscape of islands, oxbows, flood plains and majestic cliffs. A haven for game drives with herds of elephant and zebra roaming teeming plains while lazing predators stalk prey from riverbanks; Mana Pools also provides an unparalleled opportunity for walking safaris that provide an immersive way of experiencing Africa’s wildlife from an entirely new angle!

6. Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park was the birthplace of walking safaris and remains one of Africa’s premier spots to experience this once-in-a-lifetime journey. You’ll explore savannah and woodland habitats with an expert guide, spying wildlife and birds from ground level.

South Luangwa Valley is famous for boasting one of the highest leopard densities on earth, drawing safari enthusiasts back time after time. Additionally, this remote wilderness hosts an abundance of big game including legendary wild dogs, elephants, lions, buffalos and hippos.

Ideally, September and October are ideal times to visit Victoria Falls when temperatures are warm but water levels are low and animals come flocking to rivers and lakes for sustenance. But you’re likely to see wildlife year-round if you keep an eye out! April or May offers another spectacular option as that is when Victoria Falls’ water levels reach their lowest, offering expansive panoramic views and giving more time in the park itself.

7. Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park provides attractions for travelers of all types. From reconnecting with nature in a remote safari destination to enjoying an incredible range of activities along its northern border – Mana Pools National Park has something to please all types of travelers.

The park is best-known for its walking safaris, which allow guests to engage with wildlife at close range and experience their world up-close and personal. Thanks to low human populations in surrounding areas and relaxed wildlife populations around humans on foot, visitors are reliably seeing elephants, lions, and wild dogs from reasonable distances.

Mana Pools is best visited between April and November during its dry season when wildlife gathers near its few inland pans and springs that retain water throughout the year. At Chitake Springs you might even spot lions laying in wait for thirsty prey!

8. The Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is an invaluable destination for safari enthusiasts and nature lovers. Due to ongoing conservation efforts, its complex ecosystem remains intact, offering visitors a spectacular glimpse of wild Africa.

Botswana safari tours primarily revolve around game drives; however, the Okavango Delta also offers many other activities to add variety to any tour experience. Motorboat and mokoro excursions, walking safaris and helicopter safaris provide unique perspectives into this remarkable region.

Dombo Hippo Pools offer visitors an unforgettable experience when water levels are at their highest. A boat trip will bring them directly into a dense concentration of hippos grazing in shallow waters. For those wanting something a little different on their safari adventure, walking tours offer more freedom; providing guests with the chance to observe both large wildlife as well as more subtle details that would otherwise go overlooked.

The Okavango Delta may seem like an exclusive safari destination, but overland tours offer travellers an affordable way to see it without breaking their travel budget. By providing reasonable airfare prices and budget accommodation options, overland adventures allow tourists to see this breathtaking location without going beyond their travel budget.

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