The thrill and possibilities of exploring a vast continent such as Africa are endless. There are lots of choices available to cater to your wildlife fantasies, and whichever destination you may choose, you are more than guaranteed to have the time of your life. Now there’s so many to choose from, but here are our top picks:
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
From hot air ballooning, romantic bush breakfast, to the Big Five game drives, your Tanzanian safari adventure begins that the Serengeti National Park. Derived from the Masai phrase “Siringet” which translates to “endless plain” or “the land that runs on forever”, the Serengeti National Park is a Tanzanian National Park in the Serengeti ecosystem in the Mara and Simiyu regions.
Known worldwide for its abundance of wildlife and high biodiversity, the Serengeti boasts over 1.5million wildebeest which constitute the largest population of big mammals that roam the planet. It is believed to have the largest population of lions in Africa plus a great ornithological interest boasting over 500 species of exotic bird species. Activities here include witnessing first hand the Great Migration, game drives, bush meals, hot air balloon safaris, private guided walks, visits to the nearby village to spend time with locals and lots more.
Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya
Dubbed as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya and Africa, the Masai Mara Game Reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grasslands. The Mara is the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas and just like its neighboring Serengeti, it hosts the annual Great Migration. There is a great chance of spotting the Big Five including the elephant, leopard, buffalo, lion, and rhino. Masai Mara Game Reserve boasts over 95 species of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles plus over 400 exotic bird species.
There are several activities in the Mara which range from luxury experiences such as Hot air balloon flights over the plains to less expensive bush meals, nature walks, or wildlife treks. Other activities include visits to the traditional Maasai villages where you witness firsthand the unique way of life of these nomadic people.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Widely known as the first national park in South Africa, Kruger National Park more recently became part of the Greater Limpopo Frontier Park. Animals now roam freely across borders as they would have thousands of years ago as a result of an international collaboration that joins the park with Limpopo National Park in Mozambique and Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe. An ideal habitat for an astounding variety of flora and fauna, Kruger National Park’s incredible size spans a number of different ecosystems including savannah, thornveld, and woodland. In addition to the countless fish, reptiles, and amphibians, the park boasts 147 mammal species and no fewer than 507 exotic avian species. Activities in the park include self-driving, guided game drives, guided walks, wilderness trails, mountain biking, and so much more.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari, Okavango Delta (formerly known as Okvongo) is a swampy inland delta. It was inscribed as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa and it is also listed as one of Unesco World Heritage Sites. In addition to the wide range of birdlife, fish, and plants, the Okavango Delta is home to a wide variety of wildlife including lechwe, African bush elephant, lion, blue wildebeest, springbok, impala, roan antelope, vervet monkey, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, Nile crocodile, and so much more.
Kafue National Park, Zambia
Spanning an area of about 22,400km sq, Kafue National Park is the largest National park in Zambia and the second-largest park in Africa. The Park was named after the Kafue River that stretches over three provinces. While most of the park lies with central Zambezian Miombo Woodlands, the Jewel in Kafue’s crown is the Zambezian flooded grasslands. Home to over 55 different animal species, Kafue National park boasts a superb range of antelopes, red lechwe, puku, kudus, bushbucks, elands, reedbucks, duikers, Defassa waterbuck, elephants, hippopotamus, crocodile, Cape wild dogs, and so much more.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Nestled in the western region of Uganda and spanning the districts of Kasese, Kamwengwe, Rubirizi, and Rukungiri, Queen Elizabeth National Park is approximately 400km by road southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The park was formerly known as Kaziranga National Park but was renamed to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth National Park is a combination of the Kyambura Game Reserve, the Maramagambo Forest, the Kibale National Park, and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to over 90 mammal species and 500 exotic bird species.
There you have it. Africa boasts the best safari destinations, so the only question now is which ones will you be visiting this year?