LUXURY SAFARIS IN AFRICA
Africa - the very word conjures up images of mysterious places, exotic animals, and unique cultures. The Dark Continent has fascinated people for thousands of years.
Now it's stepping into the light as one of the top destinations for international travel. In recent years, more than 63 million tourists have made their way to Africa annually.
They arrive in search of gorgeous scenery, and exhilarating adventure activities. Yet, it's the safaris that draw the crowds.
Here's where to go if you want to experience the best safaris in Africa.
The small prosperous and peaceful country of Botswana is on the rise as a premier destination for safari tourism. It's packed with diverse landscapes offering amazing opportunities for explorers.
Here you can head off on water-based game-viewing excursions in a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe). You can embark on guided walks and drives to see incredible birds and animals in their natural habitat and lap up the luxury in plush lodges all over the country.
Botswana has an excellent tourism infrastructure offering high service levels. It's also relatively undiscovered by travelers, which means you'll get to enjoy the wilderness without the crowds.
The main attractions in Botswana include:
- The Okavango Delta
- Savute Channel
- Madgadikgadi Pans
- Tuli Block
- The Kalahari Desert
Here you'll get the chance to see magnificent black-maned lions, wallowing hippos, mighty elephants, and elusive leopards.
Thanks to movies like Out of Africa, Kenya is one of the world's most famous African safari locations - and rightly so.
This amazing country is awash with vast plains which bear witness to the Great Migration of wildebeest every year. It's the home of mobile tented camps that follow these huge herds and accompanying predators across the savannah.
The Masai Mara is the top destination for travelers, but there are plenty of other places to experience Kenya's wildlife. These include:
- Samburu National Park
Kenya is home to several unique specimens like the beisa oryx, long-necked gerenuk, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, and Grevy’s zebra.
Not only will you encounter a host of desirable species in Kenya but you'll also get to meet stately Masai warriors and learn more about their fascinating culture.
Another destination made famous by Hollywood, Madagascar is an island off the East Coast of Africa, and it has far more to offer than lemurs and fossa.
Madagascar is most famous for its glorious white beaches and scuba diving activities, but there are many safari opportunities here too. Some of the best ones are:
- Ranomafana National Park
- Masoala National Park
- Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Here you'll discover a wealth of birdlife fluttering among the rainforest canopy, thousands of different orchids, and unique primates. About 75 of the species in Madagascar occur nowhere else on Earth.
Along with South Africa, Namibia's known as Africa-lite by safari travelers. This is because these two neighboring countries offer a host of contemporary conveniences.
However, the Land of Sand still offers a multitude of wild experiences among the mod cons.
Etosha National Park's salt pan is so vast, you can see it from space and is home to all the most popular African species. You can explore the park on guided or self-drive safaris and spend the night in well-organized overnight venues.
While the luxury lodges on the outskirts of the park offer all the frills, Etosha's camps boast floodlit-waterholes for around-the-clock game viewing.
While Namibia is world-renowned for its rhino, lion, and cheetah conservation efforts, you'll also encounter a full house of plains game, smaller mammals, and a multitude of birds while on safari.
The coastal city of Swakopmund abounds with high-adrenalin activities as well as the chance to enjoy desert safaris in search of amazing desert-adapted creatures. You'll also find desert-adapted lions and elephants living on the fringes of the desert as well as a herd of wild horses roaming the plains.
The diversity of desert activities in Nambia, certainly give Egypt's Sahara a run for its money.
Namibia is a fascinating place with some of the world's oldest and most-celebrated landmarks within its borders. These include:
- Fish River Canyon
- The Namib Desert - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
With so many things to choose from, a guided tour is the only way to make the most of your trip to Namibia.
Rwanda is another top safari destination for endangered species. Along with Uganda, it's the best place to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitats.
It's not possible to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime experience on your own though. You need a license to see them and a professional guide to take you there.
Rwanda may be one of the less well-known destinations in Africa but it's well-equipped for luxury tourism. Most of the lodges are state-of-the-art eco-friendly establishments offering stylish architecture and plush amenities.
Apart from gorilla trekking Rwanda also offers exciting hiking opportunities among volcanic mountains, tranquil lakes, and dense forests.
The darling of travelers to Africa, South Africa is one of the best African destinations for all kinds of safaris. You can go after sightings of the Big Five on foot, by boat, and on guided or self-drive safaris.
South Africa features a wealth of fauna and flora of all shapes and sizes. The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the most diverse showcases of plants on Earth. From coast to coast, you'll find no shortage of safari and other activities to enjoy in this beautiful country.
Some of South Africa's most visited safari-destinations are:
- Kruger National Park
- Table Mountain National Park
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
- Addo Elephant National Park
- Pilanesberg National Park
Apart from these well-known destinations, you'll also find a host of private game reserves offering unique safari experiences. Expect horseback safaris, hot air balloon safaris, and conservation-based activities wherever you go in South Africa.
In the minds of safari travelers, Kenya and Tanzania often go hand in hand. They're both excellent places to watch the Great Migration unfold from luxury fully-inclusive camps.
Other prime Tanzanian safari destinations include:
- Tarangire National Park
- Ngorongoro Crater
- Lake Manyara National Park
- Olduvai Gorge
Mt Kilimanjaro is a big attraction for those wanting to hike to the roof of Africa, while the offshore islands are perfect for scuba divers and sun-lovers.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park is the top safari activity in Uganda. Monkey safaris in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are another top choice and birdwatchers will delight in unique to pique their interest throughout the country.
Some of Uganda's prime wildlife and birding spots include:
- Sipi Falls
- Murchison Falls National Park
- Kibale Forest National Park
- Lake Mburo National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to the famous tree-climbing lions, one of only two populations in the world known to do this.
The home of the walking safari is a top choice for African safaris with vast tracts of land dedicated to wildlife tourism.
Zambia's best-known park is South Luangwa National Park with its great numbers of elephants, lions, leopards, and Cape buffaloes. Here, some of the world's best game guides will escort you on walks among these creatures.
Many of the lodgings in Zambia are remote, which adds to the overall experience. Other places to put on your bucket list are:
- Kafue National Park
- Victoria Falls
- Chobe National Park
- Kuzuma Forest Reserve
Some of Zambia's most unique inhabitants include the millions of fruit bats that descend on Kasanke National Park annually. Crawshay's zebra and Thornicrofts giraffe are also endemic to the area.
Zimbabwe has emerged from the shadows of its past even better than before, offering some of the top safaris in Africa. Both walking and hiking safaris are on offer here, taking in some of Africa's best landscapes.
Some of Zimbabwe's safari hotspots include:
- Lake Kariba
- Hwange National Park
- Mana Pools
- Gonarezhou National Park
- Linyanti Concessions
- Matobo Hills
No trip to Zimbabwe is complete without stopping off at Victoria Falls where a host of adrenalin-inducing activities are up for grabs.
What to Expect While Indulging in the Best Safaris in Africa
Apart from the game viewing activities that are unique to each country, you'll enjoy a host of other safari-related experiences wherever you go in Africa.
Picnics out in the bush are a treat while on safari. Sundowners overlooking a scenic spot are commonplace, and you'll love the chance to enjoy a relaxing massage in the great outdoors.
Fireside dining under the stars is an unforgettable experience and delicious local foods will linger long in your memory.
The thing you'll miss most about Africa though is the sense of timelessness and slow pace of life on a safari. It's the ultimate way to unwind, far from the stresses of city life.
Start Planning Your African Safari
The prospect of designing the best safaris in Africa on your own is a daunting one. With so many amazing African safari destinations to choose from, where do you start?
Get in touch to discuss your options. Our African safari tour experts will soon have you on the right track.