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Without a doubt, Africa is the continent where you can get the best wildlife experience possible. Drifting away from the vulgarity of zoos, travel in African safaris aims to bring travelers and wild animals together in a more natural environment.
The animals can roam around in their natural habitats, while the tourists, accompanied by experienced safari guides, can walk or drive around safely without safety. The national parks in East Africa and Southern Africa present excellent opportunities for animal encounters that will make your heart pound faster than it ever could when watching a documentary.
Africa is a massive continent with many options when it comes to wildlife viewing. In this article, we will break down the top safaris in Africa, country by country. We will explain how each country stands out and what their highlights are.
Best Tours of African Safaris by Country
Before planning your vacation of African safaris, you first need to book a flight ticket, which means you have to decide on the country. Here are the countries that offer the most pleasant wildlife experiences.
Why Safari In Kenya
In an African country where tourism is the second most important income, wildlife tourism is of particular significance. The dense savannah vegetation makes the country perfect for viewing a wide diversity of wild animals. As a result, Kenya has a high concentration of predators, such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs.
More importantly, it seasonally witnesses the phenomenal wildebeest migration, where thousands of these wild herbivores migrate from drylands to grasslands in the hope of finding food. This is a sight that you can only experience in two countries, and Kenya is one of them.
With 54 protected national parks, Kenya has some of the most well-maintained game reserves in the world. The best part is, you can experience them with the guidance of local Masai people.
Safari Destinations in Kenya: Top Five
- Masai Mara National Park
- Chyulu Hills National Park
- Tsavo East National Park
- Amboseli National Park
- Nairobi National Park
Why Safari In Tanzania
Among African safaris, Tanzania’s is one of the most amazing and unforgettable experiences. The abundance of lakes in the northern region and the unfenced borders with Kenya’s National Parks makes Tanzania an accomplice in the world-famous wildebeest migration.
The Northern Circuit sees the largest population of wild animals in the world, with millions of herbivores, thousands of big cats and other predators, and vast numbers of rare species.
Safari in Tanzania is not only popular in the north. The southwest of the country stands out for its chimpanzee population, which you can visit thanks to affordable safari tours. There are even safari parks next to the coast, which is extremely rare.
Another advantage of a Tanzanian safari is that you can combine it with a diving experience along the pristine Swahili coast.
Safari Destinations in Tanzania: Top Five
- Serengeti National Park
- Ngorongoro Crater National Park
- Tarangire National Park
- Ruaha National Park
- Gombe National Park
Why Safari In Botswana
Botswana has a reputation that transcends our planet when it comes to wildlife. This small landlocked country has surprisingly diverse climate zones and vegetation. The south and center are taken up by the Kalahari, which is one of the largest drylands in the world.
On the other hand, the north of Botswana is an oasis that stems from the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. There are several rivers that run across the country, especially in the north. Finally, the northeast of Botswana has a distinct collection of salt pans that seasonally flood and give rise to a lush and nutritious grassland.
The bottom line is, any type of animal can easily find a spot in Botswana and adapt to the climate. There is an incredible amount of antelopes and big cats that have adapted to the Kalahari’s dryness, while the Makgadikgadi and Nxai pans receive a mass migration of elephants, zebras, buffaloes, giraffes, followed by hundreds of predators every year.
The region around the Okavango, especially the Chobe National Park is best known for having the highest concentration of wildlife in a national park, including endangered species.
With 80% of the country allocated to conservation areas, finding African safaris in Botswana is like finding water in the sea. Speaking of water, Botswana is close to the Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world, which means it is easy to merge your African safari trip with a tour to the Victoria Falls.
Safari Destinations in Botswana: Top Five
- Chobe National Park
- Moremi Game Reserve
- Central Kalahari National Park
- Makgadikgadi Salt Pans National Park
- Nxai Pan Game Reserve
Why Safari in South Africa
Many African safari destinations are hard to reach because of the lack of good road networks. This is not true for South Africa, as it is one of the very few countries where you can drive to the national reserves, or even drive within them on well-maintained roads.
On top of that, South Africa is one of the most important players in wildlife tourism around the world. The Kruger National Park alone is enough to overshadow many of Africa’s safari parks. Not only does it have one of the largest mammal populations in the world, but it is also one of the best when it comes to viewing elusive nocturnal animals like cheetah, and leopards.
Another feature of South Africa is that it is the leader of Inrhino conservation in Africa. From the Kruger to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, there are many parks that contain both the black and the white rhinoceros.
Have we mentioned that the majority of South Africa is malaria-free? While the Kruger National Park is in a low-risk malaria zone, there are many award-winning places for game viewing that are far away from malaria and other diseases. It is not only the diversity of animals but also the high-quality of service provided by the best African safari companies that make the country stand out.
Safari Destinations in South Africa: Top Five
- Kruger National Park (especially Sabi Sands)
- Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park
- Madikwe Game Reserve
- Shamwari Game Reserve
- Pilanesberg National Park
Why Safari In Namibia
You might find yourself asking how an animal can survive in a country, where most of the land is desolate and arid. However, this doesn’t change the fact that Namibia is home to the largest safari in Africa. Covering almost twenty-two thousand kilometers in the north, the famous Etosha Pan is one of the most popular safari destinations in Africa.
What makes the Etosha Pan so special is the water holes that attract animals. Because the vegetation is thin and the water sources are limited, the animals are exposed as they congregate around the waterholes. That’s why Etosha Pan is one of the easiest places in Africa for tracking and viewing animals.
The wildlife in Namibia has many distinct features, such as the tallest elephants in the world, as well as a considerable number of endangered black rhinos.
Safari Destinations in Namibia: Top Five
- Etosha Pan National Park
- Skeleton Coast National Park
- Bwabwata National Park
Why Safari in Zambia
Tourism in Zambia remained underdeveloped for many years due to the threat of yellow fever and ebola. As soon as the country was cleared of these diseases, tourism took an exponential turn. Yet, Zambia’s wildlife potential remains extremely underrated.
Zambia’s charmingly diverse vegetation stems from significant climate change throughout the year, which causes fluctuations in the water level of the rivers. Through several floods, the soil in Zambia is rich in minerals and this helps the growth of diverse vegetation. From the big five to thousands of herbivores, all types of animals migrate in and out throughout the year.
The national parks in Zambia are exceptional in walking safaris, which is somehow limited in many other African safari destinations.
Safari Destinations in Zambia: Top Five
- South Luangwa National Park
- Lower Zambezi National Park
- Kafue National Park
- Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
- North Luangwa National Park
Why Safari in Uganda
The last country on our list offers a safari experience that no other country can offer. Besides the abundance of carnivores, herbivores, and birds, Uganda is heaven for primates. The main reason for this is the abundance of water sources throughout the lake region in the south and the Nile basin. As a result, the country boasts vast territories of rainforests suitable for primates.
The highlight of Uganda is the giant mountain gorilla that is becoming closer to extinction every day, but there are also large populations of chimpanzees and rare monkey species such as colobus.
Tour operators organize guided trekking tours through the rain forests, so you can take a closer look at these unique mammals.
Uganda is also special because of the rare and unusual tree-climbing lion species.
Safari Destinations in Uganda: Top Five
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Kibale National Park
- Murchison Falls National Park
- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
African Safaris: FAQs
It really depends on where you are visiting, but there are options for every budget. A budget-friendly safari in tented camps can be as cheap as 120 USD per night. On the other hand, you can expect to pay up to 2000 USD per night at a luxury safari lodge.
According to user reviews;
Masai Mara National Park, Kenya
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Chobe National Park, Botswana
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
In general, the dry season is often the best time because the vegetation is thin and animals are forced to gather around water sources. These factors make game viewing much easier.
African safari tours are conducted by experienced guides. The tours don’t dive into the wildlife territory directly, so the animals are mostly calm as long as you follow your guide’s instructions.
African Safaris: Conclusion
Africa is a mystical continent, where nature carries on in perfect harmony. The best way for you to witness the phenomenal wilderness is by joining one of many African safari tours.
To capture your precious memories, consider purchasing the best camera for safari.
The safari destinations are not just limited to the countries listed here; there are endless options in many destinations in Africa. Consider reading our posts on the best countries to visit in Africa and tourist attractions in Africa.
Let us know what your favorite country for the African safari is below.