15 Best Safari Destinations in Africa
Africa is a continent booming with a rich culture and a well-storied past. These days Africa is even more popular among travellers thanks to its various safaris and tourist attractions. In fact, most of the world’s best safari destinations are in Africa.
In fact, between Zambia, Kenya and South Africa alone, there are over 60 national parks. You are spoilt for choice when choosing your next safari destination.
Also, between the Big Five and the Wildebeest migration, we have two of the most sought-after wildlife attractions in the world.
We understand how confusing choosing your next safari holiday can be, this is why we’ve handpicked some of the best national parks and safari destinations in Africa for you.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is one of the best safari destinations in Africa. Located in the southwest region of Kenya, it has about 95 mammal species and over 570 birds calling it home.
A lot of tourists and wildlife enthusiasts have sighting the big five at the top of their bucket lists, this park is one of the top places to see them. The Big Five include Lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant.
Seeing the wildebeest migration is another item on travellers’ bucket lists that can be ticked off in Maasai Mara National Reserve. This phenomenon happens between July and October.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It is popular for its sightworthy safaris, beautiful mountain views, picturesque landscape and lush tropical forest.
It is located in the northeast region of South Africa very close to Mozambique. The Park is home to about 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 507 birds, 336 trees, 49 species of fish and 34 amphibians.
You can also see The Big Five here. Wild dogs, ground hornbills and fish eagles are also popular sights for tourists.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Serengeti National Park is one of the most popular wildlife safari destinations in Africa. The Park has inspired several books and films.
It is home to over 4000 lions, 500 birds, 550 cheetahs, 1000 leopards, and 2 million ungulates. The Park is one of the best places to see cheetahs and lions prey on various herbivores.
The Serengeti along with Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Maasai Mara National Reserve are protectors of the most diverse wildlife on earth.
The three Parks are the only places left in Africa with the migratory systems still intact. Between October and November, the Park sees about 200,000 zebras and one million wildebeest migrate to it for the rain, where they stay for about 6 months.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located on the edge of the Albertine Rift in the southwest region of Uganda.
The Park is home to half of the endangered mountain gorilla population in the world. You can also spot monkeys and chimpanzees here.
One of the exciting adventures here is to go gorilla trekking. The trekking trails are rough but beautiful as you will see several birds, butterflies and floral species. You come face-to-face with gorillas during this tour.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa & Botswana
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is located between South Africa and Botswana within the southern Kalahari Desert. Due to this, red sand dunes, sparse trees and vegetation as well as dry riverbeds characterize this area.
The Park was formed in 2002 when both governments agreed to merge the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and Gemsbok National Park in Botswana. Both Parks used to exist independently and the merger was done to protect the migratory animal population of both countries.
Gemsbok, gnu, springbok, red hartebeest, lions, caracals, servals, wild dogs, black-backed jackals, ostriches and many other birds call this Park home.
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Hwange National Park is the largest game park in Zimbabwe. The Park is bordered by Botswana.
It is home to a large population of elephants and over 100 mammal species including leopards, rhinos and lions.
The safari camps at the park offer walking safaris as well as day and night game drives.
Between August and October (dry season), you can catch the wildlife coming together around shrunken water holes.
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Located in the northwest region of Namibia, Etosha National Park is one of the largest national parks in Africa.
The park is home to hundreds of reptiles, mammals and bird species. One of the most popular animals here is the endangered black rhinoceros.
At the park, you can camp and even go on self-guided safaris.
Another cool feature of the camp is the floodlit waterholes, giving you a great view of nocturnal wildlife at night.
Ngorongoro Crater National Park, Tanzania
Ngorongoro Crater National Park is one of the best national parks in Africa. The breathtaking volcanic crater on which the area is named is the largest inactive and undamaged volcanic caldera in the whole world.
The crater is about 20 kilometres wide, 300 square kilometres in area and 600 meters deep.
The Conservation Area is home to over 25,000 large animals. Adding to this are the over two million animals that pass through during the great migration.
You can find wildebeests, gazelles, eland and zebras within the crater. In the rainforest, you will find animals like reedbucks, jackals, and elephants.
You will also find ostriches, flamingos and pelicans in the lake located within the crater.
The Park is a World Heritage Site. The historic Oldupai Gorge is also located within this area.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
The Okavango Delta is a very special location in Africa and is popularly called Africa’s Last Eden.
It is renowned for its delta systems which is one of the few vast inland river deltas with no sea outlet. This is also called an endorheic delta and is the largest in Africa. The water instead drains into the desert sands of the Kalahari basin.
The Okavango Delta is the third largest alluvial fan in Africa.
The Okavango Delta safari is one of the top safari destinations in Africa. It can be viewed from land or water.
June-August represents the best time to visit as the annual flood occurs during this time. The animals move to the islands as a result and so are easier to see.
The delta is home to over 200,000 large mammals every season and several species of fish and plants.
The Moremi Game Reserve can be found in the east and central areas of the region.
Kidepo National Park, Uganda
Kidepo National Park was created in 1962 and lies between Uganda’s borders with Kenya and Sudan.
Even though the park is the most isolated national park in Uganda, it is still one of the finest wilderness in Africa.
Savanna landscapes and mountain ranges are some of the geographical features of the area.
It is not an uncommon site here to see the voracious Kidepo lions prey on herbivore herds of Buffalo. Along the valley, you can also sight herds of Elephants roaming majestically.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in the southwest region of Uganda. Its main geographical features are savanna, lakes and forests. The Park is very close to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
It is home to various wildlife like elephants, lions and chimpanzees. The lions are famous for their tree-climbing abilities.
If you want further adventure, you can go on boat trips and birding.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park is located in the northwest region of Rwanda and is home to five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains. The volcanoes are Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo.
The Park is the go-to gorilla safari in Rwanda as it has the highest number of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area. Its location also makes it one of the most accessible gorilla national parks in the world.
Only 1000 mountain gorillas are remaining in the world and all can be found in the border area between Rwanda and DR Congo.
The park is also home to the rare and endangered golden monkeys that can only be found in the Virunga region.
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Chobe National Park is located in the northern region of Botswana and is very close to the Okavango Delta. The park is also close to the Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Zambia borders.
It is the first and most biologically diverse national park in the country.
The Park is popularly called the “land of the Giants” due to its elephant population. Over 120,000 elephants call the park home and it is Africa’s largest elephant population.
Thanks to the Chobe River, there is also an abundance of other wildlife and birdlife like crocodiles, lions, buffaloes, lions and various bird species in the park.
The best way to enjoy Chobe Park is not in a 4×4 but on a boat trip.
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Even though Victoria Falls is the top tourist destination in Zambia, Lower Zambezi National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Africa.
The park is located in a very remote part of eastern Zambia and was founded in 1983.
The Lower Zambezi which gives life to the park gets its source from the Zambezi River. When the River falls into the Batoka Gorge, it flows eastward, slows and widens further east to become the Lower Zambezi.
Lower Zambezi National Park is one of the unspoilt parks in Africa. The safari camps are unfenced and you can see far into the horizon.
The park is also best seen on a boat because most of the wildlife drifts towards the Lower Zambezi River and Valley.
The park is home to elephants, lions, hippos, leopards, buffaloes and hundreds of bird species.
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