A dream for wildlife lovers, the best African safaris bring you close to majestic animals and unforgettable landscapes. Africa is well-known for its vast national parks and wildlife reserves. If you’ve considered a wildlife tour or safari before, you’ll want to know what the best African safari destinations are. Here’s our pick of the top national parks where you can enjoy an unforgettable safari experience!
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
One of the top safari destinations in the world, the Maasai Mara is a 580 square mile natural reserve in southwest Kenya. Named after the Maasai people, this spectacular eco-system is home to every member of the legendary ‘Big 5’: lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos. Therefore, it’s considered the best destination for African safaris. Over 95 mammal species and 570 recorded bird species can be spotted on safari in the Maasai Mara.
Vast grasslands, interspersed by seasonal rivers, characterise the landscape of this reserve. The Maasai Mara is a great choice for a wildlife tour at any time of year, but if you visit in July or August you can witness one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World: the Great Migration! If you travel to the Maasai Mara at this time of year you’ll be able to watch the unfolding spectacle of the largest mammal migration on earth as millions of wildebeest, zebras and other herd animals arrive in Kenya from Tanzania in search of fresh grazing grounds.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
One of the largest game reserves in Africa, Kruger National Park encompasses an area of 7,576 square miles. Known for its large population of lions and elephants, Kruger offers one of the most exciting African safaris imaginable. In fact, it plays host to all members of the ‘Big 5’. Furthermore, this vast national park is home to many lodges and safari camps. Kruger offers comfortable accommodation in the midst of Africa’s most exciting ecosystem.
One of the unique experiences you can enjoy at Kruger National Park is taking a walking wildlife tour through the bush. Instead of heading out on a game drive, give a bush walk a try. Accompanied by a professional guide, a bush walk is an unmissable highlight if you travel to Kruger. Alternatively, night-time game drives give you the chance to witness nocturnal wildlife such as genets and owls.
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Named after the river that forms the park’s northern boundary, Chobe National Park is a paradise for wildlife lovers, Chobe is famed for its huge elephant herds and lion prides. Furthermore, it’s not unusual to witness lions hunting elephants in Chobe National Park. Thanks to the extensive waterways, the landscape is incredibly lush, with rich vegetation inviting a diverse mix of animal and birdlife. The Chobe Riverfront is an important watering hole and the most popular area of the park for game drives. As well as lions and elephants, there are also large populations of Cape buffalo, antelopes and giraffes.
Furthermore, Chobe National Park is situated close to the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe and the legendary Victoria Falls. Combining African safaris in Chobe with a sightseeing trip to Victoria Falls is a great idea!
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Although Bwindi Impenetrable National Park does not offer the usual safari experience, it is a must-visit for wildlife lovers. Nestled in the depths of these mist-covered primaeval forests are half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas! An endangered species, around 400 mountain gorillas live in Bwindi. Sandwiched between plains and mountains, this vast woodland is also a sanctuary for Colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and rare birdlife species.
Gorilla tracking excursions are the most popular way to experience this rich ecosystem. In order to preserve the environment and limit wildlife disruption, only a limited number of tracking permits are available. Typically, gorilla tracking excursions include a guided walk with a professional guide who is able to locate gorilla families within the park. Once the group are located, visitors are able to spend up to one hour observing the interactions and daily lives of these amazing, endangered animals. Surely, one of the most exciting wildlife tours on earth!
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Situated in northwest Namibia, Etosha stands out as a unique African safari destination. It is home to a huge salt pan, which supports a rich array of wildlife. The park covers an area of 8,600 square miles. Enchanting wildlife to spot in Etosha National Park include elephants, black and white rhino, cheetahs, leopards, lions and two species of zebra. Furthermore, the presence of the Etosha Salt Pan ensures an array of exotic birdlife, from great white pelicans to flamingos and blue cranes. Etosha offers plenty of accessible options for game viewing. Additionally, a number of luxury safari camps offer a good nights sleep after a long day of game viewing!
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The home of the Great Migration, the Serengeti offers the quintessential African safari experience. Covering an area of 5,700 square miles, the Serengeti is a vast land of open savannah and volcanic grasslands. Every year, the Great Migration begins here. From the Serengeti, millions of blue wildebeest and zebras begin their long journey towards the Maasai Mara in neighbouring Kenya. The ‘Big 5’ can be found within the park, along with a large population of Nile crocodiles and honey badgers.
An African wildlife safari is sure to be a trip of a lifetime. Whether you dream of tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda or like the idea of watching lion prides in South Africa, we’ve got you covered! Explore our latest safaris on our website.