This post was most recently updated on May 11th, 2018
A safari in Africa’s wild savanna is the experience of a lifetime. It is not only a vacation but also an adventure. Some of the most incredible creatures on earth are in Africa. When you observe these animals in their natural habitat, you get to understand them more intimately than you would looking at them in a zoo. Some times of the year are better for seeing certain animals.
Around July and August, visitors to Kenya witness one of the greatest spectacles in nature. A large herd of wildebeest charges across the Mara river from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya’s Maasai Mara.
Holidaymakers can view the action on land in a tour van, or on air in a balloon. The wildebeest migration is amazing, but there is a lot more. Here are the top Wildlife Destinations in Africa.
- Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve sits in Kenya’s Narok County. Maasai Mara is one of the best places to view big cats. Lions, leopards, and cheetah’s all roam the Mara in search of prey. The cats rule the expansive park, where they hunt big and small game. The Maasai Mara is one of the most popular locations for photographers and documentary film makers. the best place to visit if you love big cats.
The Mara-Serengeti ecosystem straddles the border of Kenya and Tanzania. River Mara hosts a large population of hippos and crocodiles. It also marks the border between Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara. The Southern end of the Maasai Mara is a vantage point from which you can look at the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania. There are plenty of zebras, impalas, giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, and warthogs. These are just the best known animals. Many lesser known, but equally fascinating creatures live there too.
Time your visit to the Mara between July and October. Animals are not the only inhabitants of the Mara. The Maasai tribe continue to graze their livestock in and around the park, just as they have for thousands of years. Maasai Mara National Park is named after the Maasai people.
Suggested Tour: Kenya Tours and Safaris
- Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Kruger National park is one of the largest and oldest wildlife parks in Africa. It is a perfect destination for a wildlife safari in Africa. Kruger is self contained. Practically all of the famous ‘big five’ are available in Kruger National Park. Rhinos, lions, buffalos, elephants, and leopards.
Kruger runs along the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The Crocodile river is full of crocodiles, as the name suggests. One of the things you will notice about Kruger National Park is that it is well kept and well maintained. It is an ideal location compared to many other parks in Africa.
Suggested Tour: Southern Africa Tours and Activities
- Chobe National Park, Botswana.
Botswana’s Chobe National park is the third biggest park in Africa. The park is located on the banks of river Chobe in Botswana and is the most biologically diverse park in the region. There is so much to see in the park, and tourists usually include this as one of the top destinations for wildlife in Africa along with Okavango Delta and Victoria Waterfalls.
In the dry season, many animals such as the zebra and elephant can be seen in the park. Any traveler who likes bird watching cannot afford to skip Chobe.
There is a large hippopotamus population in Chobe’s Linyanti River. Visitors can listen to the noise of the hippos by the river. One of the unique things about this park is that it has a variety of eco systems. Within Chobe you can find marshes, plains, swamps, forward, and dry, hot hinterland. Visitors can choose a luxury safari with comfortable accommodation or a camping safari which involves sleeping in simpler accommodations. The lodges are build along river Zambezi.
Suggested Tour: Botswana Tours and Activities
- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Any fan of Disney’s Lion King has heard of the Serengeti. Serengeti is the other side of the Mara Serengeti ecosystem. While Maasai Mara is in Kenya, Serengeti is in Tanzania. The park is located in Tanzania, and it offers one of the best experiences of wildlife in Africa. The park is home to a large population of wildlife.
Serengeti is full of grazers. Large herds of gazelles, zebras, and wildebeest graze in the abundant grasslands of the Serengeti. There they are hunted by big cats and wild dogs.
Serengeti National Park is divided into three areas. The National Park is the place where the great wildebeest migration begins. The wildebeest make their migration in response to changing weather patterns. As the rains begin to fall on the Kenyan side, they trigger an almost overnight emergence if grasses. Grazers will in turn move to the Mara to take advantage of abundant food.
Suggested Tour: Tanzania Tours and Activities
- Zambezi Valley, Zambia.
The Zambezi valley is an excellent destination for the more adventurous tourist to view wildlife in Africa. The valley is unspoiled and vast, and hippos and crocodiles lurk in the waters of the Zambezi River which cuts through the valley. Only a few camps have been built, and not many tour guides operate here.
People go there to fish, to enjoy birdlife or to do both. Visitors can also choose canoeing safaris or walking safaris in the Zambezi Valley. These experience are ideal for people who are looking for a more hands-on adventure.
There are also canoeing wildlife destinations or walking safaris available in the Zambezi Valley. The highlight of the Zambezi river is the Victoria Falls. It does not get more magnificent than the imposing Victoria Falls. Around the Victoria falls, people take part in water sports like white water rafting, surfing, and fishing. There is also a lot of bungee jumping going on.
Suggested Tour: Zambia Tours and Activities
- Etosha National Park, Namibia.
The Park in Namibia is the biggest and oldest conservative of wildlife. It is a paradise for wildlife photographers. The Park is home to the endangered black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, cheetah, and permanent springs that attract the big cats. It conserves some of the rarest wildlife, and hence it is a must see when you are on Namibia safari.
Apart from the fantastic scenery and the beautiful nature on display in Etosha the park also has an outstanding infrastructure that makes a day trip so much more exciting. The park has three rest camps, Namutoni, Okaukuejo, and Halali, which are connected by well-maintained gravel roads and have stores, swimming pools, restaurants, as well as chalets, hotels and camping sites available.
Suggested Tour: Namibia Tours and Activities
- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
This is the North Western Africa’s biggest national park, and it is famous for it’s diversity of flora and fauna. The park is situated in the Kalahari Desert; which is the biggest game reserve in Zimbabwe.
Hwange National Park has different animals such as giraffe, elephants, wild dogs, lions, and other mammals, and is home to more than 400 birds spices and 100 mammal species.
The powerful Zambezi River flows down from Victoria Falls, and supplies water to the desert waterholes that thirsty wildlife rely on. Hwange is unique because it has no rivers flowing through it. Hence the animals have to rely on natural water holes which are supplemented by man-made pumps during the dry season.
Suggested Tour: Zimbabwe Tours and Activities
No matter where in Africa you choose to spend your time, you will find wildlife there, living in their natural habitat. It is an adventure worth sharing with family and friends. After your first African wildlife adventure, you will already be longing for a second visit, just to see more of the beautiful scenery. You may even end up visiting all the Top African wildlife Destinations!