To say that Africa is beautiful is an understatement. With its diverse plant and animal wildlife, coupled with its vast landscape made up of grasslands, deserts, and expansive plains, it comes as no surprise that people travel from all across the globe to this beautiful continent for an African safari expedition.
Safaris in Africa allow you to view wildlife in their natural environment. Many of the safaris in Africa offer travelers the chance to come up close and personal with the “Big Five,” namely the Rhino, Leopard, Lion, African Buffalo, and Elephant.
With the sheer number of options to choose from, you might not know where to begin, or which safari best suits you. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 Safaris in Africa that we believe to be the BEST!
Serengeti National Park - Tanzania
The Serengeti National Park kicks off our list as we believe this National Park makes for the perfect destination for those who plan to have their first Safari experience.
Dubbed the “place where the land runs forever, ” the Serengeti is one of the most iconic and famous Safari destinations in all of Africa. The area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the area is known for its annual migration of wildebeest and zebras, which travel to the Serengeti each year to give birth.
In February, travelers will find that the southern section of the park becomes the birthplace for white-bearded wildebeest. Although many of the calves fall prey to the predators of the region, the ones that survive begin their journey that spans two countries and a million other wildebeest.
Kruger National Park - South Africa
Kruger National Park is a South African National Park and one of the largest game reserves in all of Africa.
When you think of an African Safari adventure, I’m sure that beautiful landscapes and seeing the wildlife in their natural habitat is what you’d imagine. Kruger National Park offers a truly unique experience, as the area covers a staggering 7,500 square miles, and is home to the famous Big Five namely; The Lion, Rhinoceros, Leopard, African Buffalo and Elephant.
But those aren’t the only animals that call the Kruger home, travelers may also encounter Cheetahs, Hippos, Nile Crocodiles and Black Rhinos. So make sure to bring enough film for your camera, or make sure you have enough memory on your phone. The pictures are going to be epic!
Etosha National Park - Namibia
Namibia may not be the first name you mention when speaking of an ideal destination for an African Safari. However, once you visit Etosha National Park, the conversation might go a little different next time.
Proclaimed as a national park in 1907, the national park is named after the Ovambo word that means “the place where no plants grow,” and ode to the Etosha Pan, which is part of a lake that dried out in 2019, and was so large that it could be seen from space! Today however, the area is looking more green and watery.
One of the most popular activities to take part in when visiting Etosha, is for safari-goers to stake out in a spring-fed waterhole and wait for animals to arrive. The Etosha Park boasts a beautiful panorama of the Dolomite hills and the arid savannas.
Okavango Delta - Botswana
The Okavango Delta is a gem among African Safaris, as most Safaris happen by land, Safaris in the Okavango Delta happen by water.
The Okavango Delta covers permanent marshlands, as well as seasonally flooded plains. The delta is made up of a series of connected rivers and lakes, and home to a diverse wildlife, including:
- Black and white Rhinoceros
The delta system does not flow into the ocean, and its wetland system is almost unbroken. Okavango is a great location for bird sightings, with travelers even being able to catch a glimpse of rare ones!
Central Kalahari Game Reserve - Botswana
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is said to be the most popular game reserve in Botswana. The game reserve was originally established in 1961, as a home for the Bushman tribes.
The game reserve covers an area of 52,800 square kilometers, which makes up roughly 10% of the country’s area. This expansive space of land makes it the second-largest game reserve in the entire world!
The game reserve is great for those who want to see the Big Five. Wild dogs also roam the area, and the reserve is also home to a wide range of different bird species.
Enjoy what you’re reading? Great! Why not check out our top picks for the 15 Most Beautiful Islands Around the World.
Mana Pools National Park - Zimbabwe
Mana Pools National Park is considered to be one of the most picturesque safaris in Africa.
The location is home to leopards, wild dogs, lions and its large population of elephants, which the Mana Pools National Park is most commonly known for.
One of the highlights of the National Park is that visitors get to stay in unfenced campsites located in the middle of the wilderness. If you plan to stay in this type of accommodation, we recommend choosing a spot near the Zambezi River for the ultimate experience.
Travel Tip : For an unbelievably unique type of Safari, Mana Pools offer Safaris in a canoe!
Mana Pools is one of the few parks in Africa where you can explore without a guide, although this isn’t recommended for beginners. The area is ideal for game drives and bush walks, as the location only has a thin layer of vegetation, meaning, the visibility is incredible!
Mala Mala Game Reserve - South Africa
Mala Mala Game Reserve is one of the best places to see lions in their natural habitat, and not only that, but the Mala Mala Game Reserve also borders the Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa.
Travelers can find the big five thriving in this private luxury reserve, together with cheetahs, giraffes, and wild dogs.
During the dry season, particularly in the month of May, it is said that this game reserve is the ultimate spot to see a variety of different animals, namely;
- Cape wild dogs
The park is a beloved location for photographers, as the area is more flat, and makes for better game drives. Photographers can spot lions during the day while they rest in their dens or at night when they go to watering holes.
Masai Mara National Reserve - Kenya
The Masai forest is one of the most popular safari destinations in Africa. Situated in the Great Rift Valley, this beautiful, expansive wilderness is home to the Big Five, as well as a large population of cheetahs and wild dogs.
The game drives are stunning as the area is known for its high density of animal population. There are plenty of safari lodges in this national reserve, and people are known to book months and even years in advance.
We suggest visiting the Masai Mara national reserve for an up close experience with the Big Five. The area is filled with picturesque views of majestic rolling hills, acacia woodlands, and grasslands.
Travel Tip : The best time to visit is between August and October, as you get the chance to witness the wildebeest migration as they cross from Kenya all the way to Tanzania.
Lower Zambezi National Park - Zambia
Lower Zambezi should be on every safari lover’s bucket list as it is regarded as one of the best that Africa has to offer.
Fun Fact : Although the national park’s rhino population was completely erased, the area has recovered significantly from poaching that took place in the past.
Lower Zambezi is home to various animals and birds, including the Big Five and several other animals. Are you an avid lover of birds? You can find many species in the area, including;
- Blacksmith Lapwings
- Southern ground hornbills
- African jacanas
Note : You won’t find any campsites in the area, although there are mid-range and luxury lodges, as well as tented camps.
Hluhluwe Game Reserve - South Africa
Located in South Africa, the Hluhluwe Game Reserve is one of the oldest reserves in the area, and is known to be absolutely stunning.
The Hluhluwe reserve is a great destination for those who are interested in taking in the beautiful flora and fauna.
Did you know?
- Fauna – Fauna is all of the animal life present in a particular region or time
- Flora – Flora is all of the plant life present in a particular region or time
A highlight of the reserve is the amazing wildlife and plant life of the region. The reserve is home to the Big Five, as well as other mammals, reptiles and birds. Head to the Hluhluwe River which is said to be the highlight of the reserve. It’s the perfect spot for game viewing!
An African Safari is truly a magical experience, and an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family, while getting to explore some of the most stunning landscapes that Africa has to offer. Feeling inspired? Start designing your very own Exclusive African Safari Journey alongside Art in Voyage’s team of travel experts.