Africa is a surreal wildlife holiday destination. It is home to the great wildebeest migration, all members of the big 5, white-sand beaches, and a lot more. The word safari is a Swahili word that means (to journey through), and it perfectly encapsulates the adventure that awaits you on your African holiday.
You will travel deep into the grassland savannas, stray off the modern roads into Africa’s remote settings, and come one-on-one with the culture and the natural wonders of the continent, some of the best places for wildlife watching. But which are the top 5 African wildlife safari destinations for a surreal family holiday? Africa is a land of variety, you can enjoy watching elephants or doing birding. From Masai Mara National Reserve to South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, these are 5 African Safari destinations
Things You Need to Know About an African Safari
One thing is for sure, you will get to see many wild animals living in their natural surroundings on an African safari. Wildlife sightings are a guarantee, but no one can guarantee exactly which species, because the wildlife moves freely through large concessions. Smaller, or more ‘boutique’ safari camps such as Thanda Safari can often guarantee the sightings visitors will encounter, a good reason many tourists decide these camps over larger camps.
Every tourist hopes that they will spot a rare animal, wild dog, a kill, or perhaps a birth because these are the ‘highlights’ of a safari trip. Remember that animals are active from early in the morning, which means your game drive is likely to start from around 5:30am – but the early wake-up is well worth it! And remember, no drive is ever the same even if it’s just hours after the first one, as the wild changes every minute. Visiting the same lodge more than once and taking many drives throughout your stay will promise unique experiences over and over again.
Rustic adventure but a luxurious experience
Being out in the bush may seem rustic, but you’ll be surprised by just how luxurious and comfortable safari trips are. In fact, they’re known to be the most luxurious adventure trip on earth. With comforts that are grand, and sights and encounters that are raw, natural, beautiful, and incredibly unique will leave you feeling humbled and appreciative of nature and life as a whole.
Going on a wildlife spotting adventure holiday can be a challenge as you are out in the wild and there’s no room for error. If you have forgotten something essential, you will have to accept there is no way of acquiring it. Most safari lodges are situated in desolate areas where nature reigns supreme and commercial living is non-existent. Be well-prepared for the surroundings you find yourself in.
Make sure you are aware of the elements and pack accordingly. Pack in clothing that’s simple and plain colored like gray, sands, beige, and stay away from any bright colors, especially on a walking tour or anything dangling from a garment as not to alert or frighten an animal. Make sure you have a camera that has a good zoom lens, binoculars, hats, sunscreen, and good comfortable shoes.
It’s a life-changing experience
Being out and about in nature, and experiencing wildlife up close and personal, can be a life-changing experience. Living the same day almost every day-which is our daily lives – there truly is nothing like spending time out in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
This can relax us and rebuild in us a positive new perspective and revive our energy. It can change our lives in so many ways that we will appreciate beauty, nature, wildlife, fresh air, and even be a little envious when we return to the bustle once again.
You will be safe
When going on a Safari, whether it be in Africa or any other part of the world, you will be safe as your guide is highly trained and experienced, and well-prepared for any situation. Basic safety rules include:
- Listening to the instructions given by your guide
- Respecting the wild – don’t make fast and loud noises or scare/alert them
- Stay in the vehicle unless otherwise instructed
- Make sure to do an eco friendly travel.
Best African Safari Destinations
There are so many wonderful options for an African Safari Vacation to choose from. Africa really does spoil the visitor with choices, beauty, and plenty of wildlife. That’s why it’s one of the most amazing wildlife destinations. A safari is often the highlight of any adventure, as it is one filled with surprises and personal ‘gifts’ that you take away from the experience.
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
The Masai Mara is a game reserve located in the southwest of Kenya, Narok County, approximately 6 hours by road from Nairobi City. The park measures 1510 square km, and it is in every aspect a land of breathtaking savannas, abundant wildlife, and immersive cultures. The game reserve was recently crowned Africa’s leading national park of 2019 by the World Travel Awards. The Mara was established in 1961 to protect wildlife from hunters, and it has since emerged as one of the best African safari destinations for families, camping enthusiasts, and group tours.
Running through the reserve is the Mara River, which is home to hundreds of hippos and crocodiles. The Mara River is also the international boundary between Kenya and Tanzania. It is the barrier that wildebeests have to cross in the race for survival that is the Great Wildebeest Migration. The event sees over 1.2 million wildebeests, zebras, and different species of antelopes migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania into Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. The actual Mara river crossing occurs between May and July, and it’s the climax of a safari to the Mara.
The best time to visit the Masai Mara Game Reserve is between July and October when there is a lot of wildebeest and zebra to provide food for leopards, cheetahs, and lions. You are almost guaranteed to see leopards, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, hyenas, wildebeests, impalas, buffaloes, and zebras.
Besides game drives, there is so much more to do during your Kenya tour in Masai Mara. The reserve’s clear skies are perfect for hot air balloon safaris. You can also enjoy bush dinners, walking safaris, or visiting a Masai village. Just to mention, the Masai are the most photographed people in the world, and they are known worldwide for their intriguing cultural practices.
If you are planning to book Kenya holiday packages to Masai Mara, visit AjKenyaSafaris.com. The agency has been in the Kenya safari industry for 2 decades, their guides are born and raised in Kenya, and they have Masai Mara safari packages of all budgets.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
No Tanzania safari is complete without a visit to the legendary Serengeti National Park. Those who have visited the Serengeti before only say great things about it, from its lovely atmosphere to the thousands of animals that you can’t seem to get enough of.
The Serengeti measures 14,763 (5,700 sq miles). It stretches from Northern Kenya and borders Lake Victoria to the West. It houses the largest population of lions in the world, currently standing at 2,500 lions. Over 518 bird species have been spotted in the park, and it’s equally popular for the great wildebeest migration.
On a Safari tour to the Serengeti, you will definitely spot a gazelle, lions, zebra, and wildebeests. To get the best out of the trip, visit the Serengeti Park between June and September, when the wildebeest are migrating from the Park into the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
Besides game drives, the Serengeti is also popular for its adventure-packed hot air balloon rides. The flight takes off at dawn over the Serengeti plains, allowing you to take in the breathtaking view of the herds of herbivores and predators below, while also admiring the stretches of the plains occasionally interrupted by kopjes.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
The Kruger National Park is located in South Africa. It covers over 7,332 sq miles, making it the largest national park in Africa. Kruger National Park is located between the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the northeast of South Africa. Mozambique lies on the eastern border, while Zimbabwe is right on the northern border.
The park is home to almost 500 different types of trees and a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and so much more. Love to see an elephant, leopard, rhino, cape buffalo or lion? Kruger National Park is the perfect place for your African Wildlife Safari.
There is so much to see here, so come with your camera. A significant factor to take note of when visiting this park is the weather. You would want to pick the time of the year where there are no rains. Summertime is the best season to see the animals as they gather a lot at watering holes. So, plan your visit to the Kruger National Park between May and August.
Okavango Delta Botswana
With its abundance of wildlife and beautiful wetlands, the Okavango Delta in Botswana is a year-round safari holiday destination. As an inland delta, it changes between 6,000 square kilometers to approximately 15,000 yearly. During the winter season, the delta hosts larger herds of elephants and buffaloes, which reaches as high as 30,000. On a safari trip in Okavango Delta, each day brings in new surprises.
The best areas for game drives in Okavango Delta include Eagle Island, Jao Island, Chitabe, and Duba plains, all favorite destinations for thousands of tourists.
You can visit Okavango Delta at any time of the year, but the best time to get a perfect view of the wildlife is between June and August when you can watch how the animals migrate to the delta. You can also be a part of canoe and boating safaris. If June to August is not a convenient time for you, then try visiting during the dry season in September and October. During this time, most of the animals gather around the fringes of the delta, and avid anglers can engage in the barbell run. This is every fisherman’s dream.
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
In a zoo, you get to see exotic wildlife. However, if you want to experience powerful animals in their natural habitat, then South Luangwa National Park is the place to be. Known as one of the most diverse wildlife sanctuaries in the world, there is no limit to the variety of animals you can see during a safari holiday in South Luangwa National Park. From crocodiles and giraffes to baboons and the impressive pride of lions, the South Luangwa National Park is breathtakingly beautiful.
Depending on your tolerance for heat, you can opt to visit this national park during the dry months of April to October. However, if you would prefer a more temperate climate, you can go on a wildlife safari to South Luangwa from May to August. A distinctive feature of this national park is the presence of rare animals. You may just see a Thornicraft giraffe.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is s a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in southwestern Uganda and is home to half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. It is thought that Bwindi’s gorilla population could exceed 1,000 individuals, including several hundred living in the Impenetrable Forest and 300-400 in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The forest has a wide variety of other mammals and birds, including 23 Albertine Rift Endemics. Bwindi is a hilly, densely forest
Bwindi is one of the most biodiverse areas in Africa, with more than 120 tree species and 400 types of birds. The forest was gazetted as a National Park in 1991.
Tips That Will Help You Choose the Right African Safari
Kind of Wildlife You Want to See
The first factor is the kind of wildlife you want to see.
Most people want to see the Big Five; leopards, buffalo, lions, elephants, and rhinos. These Big Five can be seen together in Africa. Moreover, the wildlife here is very diverse and there is a guarantee that you will see at least one of the five.
Some people want to see the tropical wildlife. Moreover, the rainforests are full of diverse species. Just think of the species such as colored birds, jaguars, pink river dolphins, and glass frogs.
There is also wildlife that lives in cold environments, such as arctic foxes and polar bears. These animals can only be found in a colder climate. If you are interested to spot them, then you must be ready for the cold.
In the end, comes the people who want to watch dolphins and whales. Because these two species are very famous in coastal regions. Observing the aquatic wildlife involves boating, so if you are seasick then you must not choose this.
The Perfect Safari Destination
After deciding the type of animal, you want to see, you need to decide the perfect destination for wildlife watching. But still, this decision is not easy to make. Africa is no doubt one of the popular and affordable safari destinations, but there are many places to do a safari in Africa, choose one from the list above and you sure will have a blast!.
This continent is rich in wildlife with destinations like Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana. The safaris also offer sample itineraries and fly camping.
These are the top 5 national parks for the best African Wildlife Safari. Regardless of the one you choose to explore with AjKenyasafaris.com or MasaiMarasafari.in, you won’t be disappointed. You will see lots of wildlife life, bird species, and if your budget allows, you will get to savor all the adventure aboard a hot air balloon safari. How about bush diners? Walking safaris? A visit to a Masai village? The adventure that awaits you on your African safari is unmatched.