Regardless of your interest in safari, the magnificent continent of Africa has something for you. You will come into contact with remarkable cultures and gorgeous scenery, and you will be able to observe nature everywhere you go.
Awestruck is an understatement when describing Africa. It is not surprising, given its size, that many tourists from over the world visit there to go on safari and view the country’s enormous plains, deserts, and grasslands.
African safaris provide you the chance to see wildlife in its native habitat. Safari-goers who visit Africa in search of the Big Five—leopard, lion, rhinoceros, African buffalo, and elephant—are in for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.
It might be challenging to make decisions when there are so many possibilities available. To help you with making the right call, we have compiled a shortlist of the best African safaris in different countries.
The Best African Safaris
1. Serengeti National Park
“Where the land flows forever” is a nickname given to Serengeti National Park. It is one of the most recognizable and well-known safari locations, particularly for first-timers. Famous for hosting the annual wildebeest and zebra birthing migration, the Serengeti is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
White-bearded wildebeest calves are born in February on the plains in the southern part of this park. The young calves that escape from predators start their two-country migration with a million other wildebeest.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone should make time for. Zebras trapped in the migration, as well as different antelope species, can be seen. There’s a good chance you’ll see a cheetah or a leopard, and you’ll definitely see a lion.
This protected area spans the majority of Tanzania’s northwest quadrant and is about 3.2 million hectares in size. Compared to the Maasai Mara, it is ten times larger.
2. Kruger National Park
If this is your first time going on a safari, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitat, which you can do at the Kruger National Park. This park spans an area larger than 7,500 square miles, which is equivalent to a tiny country.
The Kruger National Park offers a really one-of-a-kind experience and is regarded as one of the best places in the world to see wildlife.
The big five are well-represented in this national park, but there are also lots of other creatures to observe, including cheetahs, hippopotamuses, Nile crocodiles, and the rare black rhino. June through September are the ideal months to visit this park.
3. Etosha National Park
Most tourists may not consider Namibia to be one of the top destinations in Africa, but after visiting Etosha National Park, you’ll think differently.
In 1907, the area was designated as a national park. It is named from the Ovambo term for “the spot where no plants grow,” which is a tribute to the dried-up Etosha Pan. It is so enormous that it can be seen from space!
Staking out at a spring-fed waterhole and watching for wildlife to arrive is one of the best things safari visitors can do in this national park. The dolomite hills and dry savannas form a stunning panorama in the Etosha National Park.
The big five and the preservation of both the native black rhinoceros and the reintroduced white rhinos are further reasons this park is well-known. At Etosha National Park, you can also spot cheetahs, caracals, jackals, and hyenas.
4. Laikipia Plateau
The Laikipia Plateau is perfect for thrill-seekers. You can find wild animals like Grevy’s zebras, wild dogs, giraffes, and black rhinos in abundance on the Laikipia Plateau, a vast plain. Riding a camel is a great way to observe the huge plains and is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore this large area.
You can also go on horseback rides and guided walking safaris to see the park’s sights. Watering holes are filled to capacity with plenty of water during the dry season, attracting animals to them to drink.
This attraction makes this safari very appealing for photography aficionados who want to catch the animals in their natural habitat.
5. Mana Pools National Park
You may find one of the most beautiful safaris in Africa in Mana Pools National Park. There are a lot of elephants there, which has helped to gain the area its fame. If you’re an adventurous person looking to see lions, wild dogs, and leopards, this safari is a terrific place to go.
You can camp in open, unfenced areas in the center of the woods, which is one of the park’s biggest attractions.
If you want to have the best experience possible while staying in this kind of lodging, pick one close to the Zambezi river. Consider going on a canoeing safari if you want to experience something different.
The Mana Pools National Park is one of the few in Africa that visitors can explore independently, though beginners should stick with a guide.
This is an incredible safari if you enjoy going on game drives and going for walks in the bush. Due to its sparse foliage, this park is one of the ideal places to go on a walking safari because it provides exceptional visibility.
If you want to try your hand at self-driving tours, a 4×4 vehicle is your best bet. The best part about 4×4 tours is that even the journey there and back is thrilling!
6. Okavango Delta
Along with seasonally flooded plains, the Okavango Delta includes permanent marshland. The delta is a network of interconnected rivers and lakes inhabited by various animals, including cheetahs, crocodiles, lions, and black and white rhinoceroses. It is a powerful interior delta system with a nearly uninterrupted wetland system that does not flow into the ocean.
If you’re interested in seeing birds, the Okavango Delta is a great place to go. You might be fortunate and spot some unusual birds. This safari’s magnificence will take your breath away if you enjoy taking photos.
7. Mala Mala Game Reserve
Mala Mala Game Reserve, one of the top safari destinations in Africa, is a fantastic location to watch lions in their natural environment. The largest wildlife reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park, is bordered by Mala Mala.
Along with cheetahs, giraffes, and wild dogs, the big five thrive in this exclusive private game reserve. This is the best place to watch a variety of species during the dry season, particularly in May, including Wildebeests, Hippos, Hyenas, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Zebras, and Cape wild dogs.
Additionally, photographers are known to flock to this park in droves. Unlike the Kruger, the landscape here is flat, making game drives a suitable option.
The lions can be seen during the day as they nap in their dens or in the evening when they visit the watering holes. The fact that bushwalking is an option makes Mala Mala Game Reserve one of the most incredible safari destinations in Africa. You may have up-close encounters with wild dogs and cheetahs here. At this world-class park, night safaris are equally.
8. Masai Mara National Reserve
Africa’s most well-liked safari locations include the Masai forest. This vast wilderness, which is a part of the Great Rift Valley, is home to the Big 5, as well as a sizable community of cheetahs and wild dogs.
As a result of the great concentration of wildlife in the region, game drives here are very spectacular. This national reserve has many safari lodges, and people frequently make reservations months or even years ahead.
The Masai Mara national reserve is a good option if you want to view a few of the big five in their native environment. In addition to the animals, you’ll adore its gorgeous rolling hills, acacia woods, and grasslands.
If you want to see the wildebeest migration from Tanzania to Kenya, make sure to travel between August and October.
9. Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Near the southern Kruger National Park is a group of private reserves called Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Going on game drives and nature hikes is very popular in this vast savannah.
The big five are among the most often encountered creatures in the reserve. Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a top destination for those who wish to get up close and personal with White rhinos, Lions, and Cheetahs.
Additionally, this reserve is well-known for its outstanding nighttime wildlife viewing opportunities, including the chance to witness nocturnal creatures like civets, aardvarks, and bushbabies.
In addition to its wildlife, the game reserve is well-known for its incredible variety of birds. If you enjoy viewing birds at this location, you’re in for a treat. It is advised to travel to this location between May and
10. Moremi Game Reserve
The Moremi Game Reserve is the ideal place to visit in all of Botswana if you’re seeking for a fantastic game reserve.
This safari is a portion of the Okavango Delta, which is the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world. Four of the big five are well-known inhabitants of this game reserve, and you’ll probably encounter a lot of them while on safari.
Additionally, it is home to 400 different bird species. Game-watching is also very common here. The dry season, which lasts from June to September, is the ideal time to explore this game reserve.
Mokoro canoe safaris and walking safaris are other options for exploring the wilderness. You’ll be struck by the magnificence of nature as you look at the floodplains and baobab trees.
11. South Luangwa National Park
If you want to see wildlife, including endemic species like the Thornicroft’s giraffe and Crawshay’s zebra, South Luangwa National Park is one of the best places to go in Zambia.
You can find animals like lions, leopards, and elephants here as well. In the park, you can stay in one of the many luxurious lodges, tents, or other types of lodging. However, it can get crowded during the high season.
Make sure to prepare ahead and make reservations if you wish to visit this park. Tours of this park on foot with knowledgeable guides are a popular attraction.
During the dry season, from July through October, is the ideal time to travel. Animals venture out of the hotter parts of the jungle during this time to search for water in the rivers.
12. Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park is another excellent option for a park in Zambia. Even though its rhino population was wiped out by poaching, it is currently one of the top safari destinations in Africa.
The big five and a number of additional species can be found in the Lower Zambezi, along with numerous animals and birds. You can also find a wide variety of bird species here, such as African jacanas, Southern ground hornbills, and Blacksmith Lapwings. Keep in mind that the area is completely devoid of campgrounds, offering only moderate to high-end resorts and tented camps instead.
13. Hluhluwe Game Reserve
One of the region’s oldest reserves is the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, which is situated in South Africa. Safari travelers should visit the Hluhluwe Game Reserve to appreciate the flora and fauna’s natural splendor.
The fantastic vegetation and wildlife of the game reserve are its most notable features. The “Big Five” live there, along with several other mammals, reptiles, and bird species. The Hluhluwe River, a famous area for wildlife viewing, is a highlight of this safari.
In addition to visiting the nearby Mkhuze Game Reserve, this 96,000-hectare reserve is home to a variety of wildlife. Riding 4x4s along its dry roads is recommended for adventurers. Additionally, boat safaris are available at the park.
14. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Uganda is home to the Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is one of the most diversified parks in the nation and is close to the well-known Murchison Falls.
The park is renowned for embracing numerous landscapes that are all home to different wildlife species. These landscapes include mountains, swamps, crater lakes, tropical forests, open savannahs, and wetlands.
The African skimmer, a rare bird with a large wingspan, as well as elephants, buffalos, enormous forest hogs, and other animals, also call this park home.
The park offers boat trips for visitors who want to witness crocodiles and hippos. Take a trek into the jungle of the park if you wish to see chimpanzees.
15. Rhuana National Park
In 1964, the government of Tanzania declared this park a national park. The Hehe term meaning “river” is the inspiration for the name of this off-the-beaten-path location.
Gazelles, Waterbucks, and Impalas reside in this park. Even lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and jackals may be seen scavenging for food. Because it is home to 10% of Africa’s lions, this safari provides an excellent opportunity to encounter these enormous predators.
Numerous bird species call it home, including the racket-tailed roller, the Dickinson’s kestrel, the crested Barbet, and the pale-billed Hornbill. This park should be included in any traveler’s bucket list because of all of its amazing sights.
16. Central Kalahari Game Reserve
One of the most well-known wildlife reserves in Botswana is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. It was created in 1961 to serve as a home for the Bushman tribes.
It occupies 52,800 square kilometers or more than 10 percent of the country’s total area. It ranks as the world’s second-largest game reserve due to its huge landmass. This game reserve is a fantastic choice for those who wish to see the big five.
Wild dogs are another thing you’ll probably witness. Wild dogs are another something you’ll probably witness. You can find a staggering number of different bird species in the reserve.
17. Nyerere National Park
Tanzania is home to Nyerere National Park, formerly known as Selous Game Reserve. Its varied biodiversity, which includes the black rhino, hippopotamus, east African wild dog, African bush elephant, and African lion, led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.
The Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism’s wildlife division regulates all human access to the park since no permanent human presence exists in this park.
Crocodiles and hippos are just two of the animals you can witness on your boat safari in this park. Bring your binoculars if you’re an avid birdwatcher because there are several bird species here!
18. Katavi National Park
The Katavi National Park should be on your travel itinerary if viewing vast herds of buffalo is high on your priority list. This enormous park is situated in northern Tanzania and is well-known for the abundance of buffalo there.
Despite being a safari paradise for those looking to see wildlife, Katavi National Park is one of Tanzania’s largest national parks and experiences less traffic than other safaris.
As a result, the park’s administrators provide visitors freedom, particularly those who are seeking adventure. In addition to self-drive trips, you can also participate in a walking safari with an armed ranger.
19. Northern Damaraland
Almost no humans live in this distant region of Africa. Black rhinos, Hartmann’s mountain zebras, lions, and rare, majestic elephants that have adapted to the desert can all be found in northern Damaraland.
It is one of the best safari destinations in Africa for those seeking an unforgettable experience due to the variety of animals present.
You may still locate safari lodges that meet your demands and are ideal for seasoned visitors despite northern Damaraland’s remoteness.
The well-known rock art at Twyfelfontein, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, should not be missed if you go on this safari.
Things to Think About
It would be best if you kept these few things in mind when planning a safari to make sure your time on the best safari in Africa is top-notch. In particular, if you want to view the renowned “Big Five,” you must first think about the creatures you wish to see.
The season of the year you wish to travel should also be taken into account. You should consider traveling in the off-season if you like a leisurely safari and don’t enjoy crowds. Remember that those seasons of the year could not have as favorable weather.
A professional tour guide can help you make the most of your safari, so hiring one is also an excellent option.
Safaris typically provide professional guides. However, confirming this before making a reservation is a good idea. Bring binoculars and a camera with you so you can take fantastic photos and view wildlife up close.
The most important thing to remember is to pack lots of water, snacks, and comfortable clothing. Not to be overlooked when packing are the following items: duffel bags, Hat, Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Insect Repellent, Extra Batteries for Your Camera, camera bag, Prescription Medicines, and Comfortable Closed Shoes. You should pack a windbreaker in your suitcase if you’re traveling in the winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions that tourists who want to go on the best safaris in Africa most frequently ask:
Which African country has the most remarkable safari?
In Africa, there are numerous safaris that provide an exceptional experience. It mainly depends on the animal you want to see when choosing the ideal African safari. According to many, the best safaris on the continent are found in South Africa, Zambia, and Botswana.
For families, which safari is best?
Although most safaris are reasonably family-friendly, many families enjoy visiting the Kruger National Park. Safaris offer a wide range of activities for everyone, whether you’re looking for a romantic trip or a family vacation.
Which month is ideal for an African safari?
It depends on what you hope to find throughout your vacation. Different safaris could provide various experiences. Usually, it is advised to go during the dry season. If you want to witness animals searching for water sources, the dry season, which runs from June to October, is ideal.
What is the typical price for a safari in Africa?
Your financial situation is a factor. Many safaris have daily rates ranging from $150 to $1,500 per person. Mid-priced safaris often cost between $250 and $350.
Is Kenya or Tanzania better for safari?
While both nations provide a fantastic safari experience, Kenya is more well-known and more reasonably priced. However, if you’d rather have a trip that seems more lavish, Tanzania has a ton of glamorous safaris.
So, where are Africa’s top safari destinations?
The most excellent safari in Africa depends entirely on your personal tastes, as there are so many options. You can find a safari that suits your needs, whether you want to observe wild animals up close, go birdwatching, or simply take in the natural beauty of Africa.