Many of us dream of taking an African safari. Seeing animals in the wild is one of the greatest experiences on earth, but if you’re a first-time safari-goer, you might be unsure of the best destinations in Africa to spot wildlife. From the mighty ‘Big Five‘ to the Great Migration, an African safari is sure to be a trip of a lifetime. So, if you’re ready for a wildlife-spotting adventure, consider these as the best African safari destinations to make your travel dreams a reality!
Undoubtedly, Kenya is home to the world’s most famous safari destinations. If you’re in search of the ultimate African safari, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Kenya. Situated in wildlife-rich East Africa, Kenya’s most famous safari destination is the Maasai Mara. Connected to the neighbouring Serengeti in Tanzania, the Maasai Mara bears witness to the incredible Great Migration between July and October every year. Of course, this legendary migration of wildebeest attracts all kinds of predators, making for truly spectacular game viewing. Lions and cheetahs are widely spotted, as well as rare black rhinos and majestic elephants. Therefore, ticking the ‘Big Five’ off of your bucket list is surprisingly easy in the Maasai Mara, one of the best African safari destinations.
Other highlights of a safari to Kenya include Amboseli National Park, known for its huge elephant herds, and the enchanting birdlife of Lake Nakuru. Furthermore, as one of the most established safari destinations in Africa, you’ll find safari options to suit all budgets, itineraries and tastes. A classic for a reason, Kenya is one of the best places for an African safari!
Cross the border and you’ll find yourself in yet another of the best African safari destinations! Home of the legendary Serengeti, Tanzania’s safari offerings are not so different to Kenya’s, except perhaps on a larger scale. For example, the Serengeti is up to 10 times larger than the Maasai Mara. Therefore, you’ll truly feel the freedom of the wild on these endless plains. Every year over one million wildebeests migrate through the Serengeti, so depending on the month and area of the park you visit you’ll likely witness this wonder of the natural world!
But, besides the Great Migration, the Serengeti is also home to the Ngorongoro Crater. A top safari destination, Ngorongoro is world-renowned for its incredible concentration of wildlife. Home to lakes, forests and open plains, this naturally sheltered area nurtures some of the most-coveted wildlife: lions, black rhinos, elephants, hippos, leopards and much more. So, if you’re planning your first safari trip, Tanzania is surely one of the best choices.
Looking for something a little different? Situated in the southwest of the continent, Namibia is a land of harsh and rugged landscapes. You won’t get the typical savannah experience here, but you will sight some incredible wildlife! The main safari destination in Namibia, Etosha National Park is ideal for both organized and self-drive safaris. Home to hundreds of bird, reptile and mammal species, Etosha is best known for its rare white rhinos and big cats, including lions and cheetahs. Furthermore, the unique appeal of Etosha is its dry, barren landscape. This means it’s very easy to spot wildlife at watering holes, especially in the dry season. Furthermore, a number of these wildlife-rich watering holes are floodlit, so you can even watch the wildlife action after dark!
Home to the highest population of elephants in Africa, Botswana is one of the best African safari destinations. Landlocked between Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, Botswana has varied terrain including the plains of the arid Kalahari Desert and the lush wetlands of the Okavango Delta. Of course, the main safari attraction here is Chobe National Park, famed for its wandering lions and huge elephant herds. Yes, the ‘Big Five’ can be found here, but there’s so much more to this lesser-known safari destination. Divided into four unique ecosystems, exploring Chobe National Park is endlessly rewarding. From lush marshes to dense woodland and arid hinterland, Chobe offers a world of game-viewing within one, well-established park.
Another safari destination to consider if you travel to Botswana is the Okavango Delta. The seasonal floods of this wetland attract a whole host of wildlife. Best explored by boat, Okavango offers a unique and unforgettable wildlife-spotting experience.
Not your average safari destination, Uganda is famed for one inhabitant in particular. The endangered mountain gorilla lives in the dense forests of Uganda’s Bwindi National Park. Therefore, many wildlife-lovers travel to Uganda to go gorilla trekking in search of these legendary primates. On the other hand, Uganda offers a more traditional safari experience at its Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here, you’ll spot the usual big game, but also relish the chance to see chimpanzees in the wild or spot more than 600 bird species! Despite its ‘off-the-beaten-track’ reputation, Uganda is surely one of the most unique African safari destinations to consider for 2022!
One of the best African safari destinations for first-timers, South Africa offers great game viewing alongside captivating sightseeing and cultural attractions. Of course, the jewel in South Africa’s safari crown is Kruger National Park. Situated in the northeast of the country, Kruger is one of the largest game reserves on the continent. Lions are the main attraction here, but you’ll also see the other four members of the ‘Big Five’. Bush plains, forests and mountains offer a variety of landscapes to explore and the well-established safari infrastructure means you can spend your evenings relaxing in luxurious lodges or tented camps.
So, will 2022 be the year you finally take a safari? Discover our abundant offering of wildlife-inspired trips on our official website: