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What are the best safari countries in Africa

Africa is listed among the best destinations in the world and the continent is home to a wide range of safari conservation parks, canyons, deserts and deltas, rivers and ravines creating an ideal canvas for a dream adventure.

Choosing the best destination to visit depends on what you are looking for, animals you want to see in the wild, the type of safari holiday you are interested and who you are traveling with.

Here are to the best safari countries to visit for the best safari holiday.

Overview

1. Botswana

2. Kenya

3. Namibia

4. Rwanda

5. South Africa

6. Tanzania

7. Uganda

8. Zambia

Explore the Best Countries in Africa on Safari

  1. Botswana

Botswana is one of the best safari countries in Africa offering some of the most incredible wildlife experience, several must see- wildlife destination and stunning landscapes.

The breathtaking natural beauty of Botswana presents scenes ranging from start desert beauty to thickets of acacia tree, and the winding waters of the Okavango Delta are one of the reasons to choose Botswana as your Africa safari destinations. With exclusive, adventurous exploration and unforgettable wildlife encounter, Botswana is the ideal destination for any safari seeker on the African continent.

 Whether you are looking for a safari for seniors or interested in a luxury African safari, in Botswana you can find the right place to fit your style of travel and more.

Here are the spectacular destinations in Botswana.

  • Okavango Delta

The famous Okavango Delta is a vast inland Delta in northwestern Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a 15,000 sq.kilometer  of pulsing wetland that is unlike any other on the planet. The Okavango (Kavango) River which flows from the Angolan highlands through Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and into the Kalahari Desert, created the iconic Okavango Delta.

The Delta offers water-and-land based safari experiences.

Highlights of the area:

  • Discover how the channel of the Okavango Delta provide a pathway through reeds and bushes to highlight some of the best birdlife as well as smaller wildlife in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Witness how the landscape shifts from desert-like sand to stony savannahs
  • Embrace unparalleled game experience looking for animals like elephants and lions, lively avifauna and foraging mongoose.

When to Visit: In the months of May to September, the Okavango Delta is at its best with cooler days, low grasses and game viewing is at its prime. These dryer, winter months of the Southern Hemisphere are simply perfect to explore on water or land.

  • Chobe Game Reserve

Situated in the North of Botswana not too far from the Zimbabwe border, Chobe Game Reserve is the third-largest game drives in the country and home to the largest population of elephants on earth – over 120,000.

Highlights of Chobe Game Reserve

  • Great herds of elephants – an incredible sight to witness from within the reserve and from a boat on the Chobe River
  • Proximity to the magnificent Victoria Falls to experience it as a day trip
  • Combines well with the Okavango Delta and Maun to create the overall Botswana Safari adventure

When to visit: The winter months in the Southern Hemisphere are the best time to visit Chobe Game Reserve, these months are drier, cooler months of June to the end of September. Combining Chobe Game Reserve with a visit to the fascinating and famous Victoria Falls works exceptionally well during the winter months as the falls are at their most magnificent from May to the end of July. 

  • Kalahari Desert

70% of Botswana is covered by the Kalahari Desert, this desert crosses several countries starting from the southern border with South Africa and expanding up into Botswana. Kalahari is a dominant ecosystem in Botswana, it is not a typical desert with the dunes often associated with this harsh environment. Instead it is an arid landscape that is mainly defined by areas of grass, bush scrub land and the lunar like Mkagadikgadi Salt Plains.

Kalahari offers some of the typical topography and features you would expect from a desert experience and more.

Highlights of Kalahari Desert

  • Diverse wildlife, flora and fauna during dramatic variations in temperature
  • Visit with the renowned bush men who have lived in the distinctive landscape and temporal conditions for millennia
  • Enjoy stargazing and nature walks to embrace the encompassing majesty of the Kalahari Desert

When to Visit – To enjoy all of the region’s offerings most noticeably the prolific birdlife, consider visiting during the wet season. The prolific birdlife can be seen from December through to March, also animals congregate around the pans so wildlife spotting is good. The cooler and drier months will make road travel easier, so one could say this is a year-round destination.

  • Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Linyanti is a swamp-like safari wonder situated in the northwestern corner of Chobe National Park, near the river border of Namibia. It is remote and rugged and offers exceptional off-the-beaten-track safaris.

This untouched wildlife sanctuary boasts splendid scenery of untouched grasslands, riverine forest and meandering lagoons. Due to its remote location, each corner has something mesmerizing to see for example thousands of exotic birds that migrate to this region during the green season. 

Highlights of Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

  • Amazing views of vast herds of elephants which are one of the main highlights of any safari in this reserve
  • Indulge in the stillness, remoteness and incredible birdlife associated with the serene corner of Botswana

When to Visit – September is a peak time to visit the reserve, the best birding months are January and February. The winder in the southern Africa falls from June through to the end of August making wildlife sightings easier during dry months when the grass is low. 

2. Kenya

      Kenya is a gateway to some of Africa’s key safari destinations sitting along Africa’s eastern coastline, this beautiful country comprises of vast savannahs, flourishing lakes and impressive mountains.

      Kenya offers opportunities to enjoy the world’s largest migration of land animals – The Kenya Great Migration Safari or honeymoon safari across the country’s intimate destinations, the country is well known for its alluring parks including Masai Mara National Reserve hosting the Great Migration, Amboseli National Park with large herds of elephants and views of Mount Kilimanjaro among others.

       A safari to Kenya offers fantastic times as you visit the following iconic destinations

      • Amboseli National Park

      Crowned “The Land of Giants”, Amboseli National Park is one of the popular safari destinations in Kenya offering a frontline view of one of the majestic sights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

      The name Amboseli comes from the Maasai word “empusel” meaning a salty, dusty place. Amboseli National Park is relatively a small national park at a size of 150 square miles located in southern Kenya, the park encompasses of wide- open areas of savannah grasslands, tangled acacia forests and the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli. 

      Highlights of Amboseli National Park

      • Enjoy the national park with one of the best panoramic views of Mount Kilimanjaro
      • Explore the wilderness in search for wildlife in the park including four of The Big Five
      • Indulge in the natural landscapes of Kenya as drive through one of Africa’s most scenic national parks

      When to Visit – The drier months of the Southern Hemisphere’s winter are prime time to experience this park of Kenya, the best time to visit Amboseli is from the end of May to the end of September and enjoy mild days and cool nights with quality game viewing guaranteed.

      • Maasai Mara National Reserve

      Masai Mara is the most famous Wildlife Safari Destination in Kenya located in the southwest of the country bordering Tanzania, this iconic reserve offers some of the best game viewing in Africa. Its wide-open plains provide a sanctuary for an abundance of animals like elephants, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, hyenas and Mara’s famous big cats – lion, leopard and cheetah.

      Masai Mara National Park is the quintessential safari destination and the place most first-time safari goers look to experience on Maasai Mara safaris.

      Highlights of Masai Mara National Reserve

      • Witness the Annual Great Migration – the greatest wildlife spectacle on Earth, the largest migration of land animals ever witness on earth
      • Explore the vast savannahs with exceptional safari guides, inviting lodges and premier camps
      • Take advantage to discover the wilderness of Masai Mara in search for the Big Five and herds of other game

       When to Visit – The Great Migration in Masai Mara Kenya usually occurs around July and again in reserve around the end of October to provide the best – game viewing opportunities. Birding in Masai Mara is wonderful in January and February, the Southern Hemisphere’s winter months of June to August are known as the peak safari period.

      Masai Mara is one of the few safari destinations that assures you of a great wildlife experience any time of the year. 

      • Laikipia

      Located in the central region of Kenya, Laikipia County runs across vast open plains, dense hilly areas and impressive mountain ranges. The county overlooks the Ewaso Nyiro River and is home to vast herds of elephants and buffaloes, it is also one of the few places where wild dog populations are on the rise and black rhinos are a huge success story with around half of the country’s population of these critically endangered animals found here.

      Highlights of Laikipia County

      • Find a refuge for large number of endangered black rhinos and other captivating wildlife such as giraffe, kudus, waterbucks, elands and leopards
      • Revel in the wilderness from a different perspective on walking and horseback – riding safaris
      • Discover the active colors, songs and hunting prowess of the impressive avifauna with distinctive bird watching opportunities

      When to Visit – for optimum game viewing, the drier months of June through to September are perfect, if you are an avid bird watcher, the best time to visit is in January and February.

      • Lake Nakuru National Park

      Located in west-central Kenya approximately three hours from Nairobi City, Lake Nakuru National Park hosts a captivating lake in the Great Rift Valley, visiting this destination will add a splash of color to your safari in Africa.

       Highlights of Lake Nakuru

      • See thousands of flamingoes that cover the shimmering waters of the lake as they forage, rest and cast a slightly pink hue across the water.
      • Search the landscape amongst the shrubs and along the shoreline to find vibrant wildlife such as crocodiles and baboons

      When to Visit – the best time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park is during the dry season between June and September. 

      3. Namibia

       Namibia is the soul of Africa characterized by vast open spaces, breathtaking scenery and great contrasts. The country to home iconic and richly rewarding safari destinations, Namibia continues to be safe, friendly and diverse country to visit.

      Namibia has so many incredible places to see and experience, from Red desert scenery, a breathtaking canyon and an eerie yet serene coastline summing up the fascinating country of Namibia.

      The town of Swakopmund has a strong German influences which is fascinating to experience and spending time with the Himba tribes as its people sharing their lifestyle and environment offers you unforgettable experience.

      The ghostly Kolmanskop is a captivating and spending time exploring the Bushmen painting at Twyfelfontein and marveling at the petrified rocks at Vingerklip round up a magnificent experience of the following places. 

      • Etosha National Park

      Situated in the North of Namibia, Etosha National Park is a perfect destination for safari goers who want to explore more than the famous dunes, san culture and quaint coastal towns of Namibia.  

      Highlights of Etosha National Park

      • Witness the Big Five roaming freely through the park during the dry winter months
      • Discover elephants and a variety of buck as they gather at waterholes amid – arid open savannahs

      When to visit: consider visiting during the drier winter months of the Southern Hemisphere between June and September for optimum game viewing. The days are cooler too, making the destination good to visit all year round. 

      • Namib Naukluft

      The Namin Naukluft is the largest game park in Africa covering part of the Namib Desert, the park is situated on the southwest coast of Namibia.

      Highlights of Namib Naukluft

      • Visit the key highlight at Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan surrounded by magnificent rusty-red sand dunes
      • Explore the Sesriem Canyon, an impressive gorge carved by the Tsauchab River

      When to visit – the best time to visit is during the cooler, South Hemisphere Winter months of May to September

      4. Rwanda

       Referred to as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda is one of the best safari countries in Africa thanks to its unique environment and kind, welcoming people providing one-of-a kind experience.

      Rwanda is characterized by its impressive biodiversity, volcanoes and highland rainforests that are home to the gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda combines well with other East African destinations such as Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania or Botswana and others.

      There is also Nyungwe Forest National Park – home to the primates where chimpanzees frolic and the skies are filled with a myriad of birds. In the low lying eastern Rwanda, Akagera National Park offers big game viewing in a diverse savannah setting with iconic safari animals including lions and elephants among others.

      • Volcanoes National Park

      Volcanoes National Park is one of the most iconic places in Rwanda to visit for African safari, the park is located in northwestern part of Rwanda and is part of the Virunga Conservation Area covering more than 48 square miles.

      Volcanoes National Park is home to five extinct volcanoes, the Muhabura, Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Karisimbi, and Bisoke.

      Highlights of Volcanoes National Park

      • Venture deep into the dense jungle of Rwanda to uncover the endangered mountain gorillas
      • Trek through the lush forests and trees to see the rare and rambunctious golden monkeys
      • Enjoy wilderness hikes that take you into the rainforest for unique views and experiences with prolific birdlife

      When to Visit – the best time is during the cooler, drier months of May to the end of August. A shorter dry season runs from Mid-December to early February, a perfect time for bird lovers.

      5. South Africa

        Definitely South Africa is one of the top safari destinations in Africa, and with its unparalleled natural reserves and breathtaking scenery, you can easily be immersed in the wonder of the Big Five and other majestic wildlife. 

        South Africa offers a wide range of malaria-free reserves and parks, and with safari options available options available around the country, a trip to South Africa is easily combined with visit to other parts of the country for a mind-blowing introduction to a South Africa safari for individuals, family or couples, or a safari with South Africa food and wine tour.

        The country has exception wildlife to see and here are some of the best places you can explore on your holiday /tour 

        • Kruger National Park

        This is one of the most famous safari parks in Africa, Kruger National Park lies on the northeastern border of South Africa and Mozambique covering an area of 2 million hectares of unrivaled diversity of life forms.

        Highlights of Kruger National Park

        • Explore the breadth of the Kruger National Park to find some of safari’s most notable wildlife including the Big Five (lion, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos) and so much more.
        • A day of game drives in Kruger National Park takes you deep into changing landscapes across the park’s distinctive ecosystems.
        • Enjoy discovering the Kruger with a specially trained guide as you travel in a private vehicle or an open 4x4

        When to Visit – the best time is during the cooler, drier months of May to September to get optimum game viewing. Avoid visiting the park during school holidays as many locals enjoy the park at this time.

        Generally, Kruger National Park is a year-round destination with fascinating wildlife viewing, regardless of the season. 

        • Sabi Sands National Park

        Lying adjacent to the World-renowned Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands offers a private safari experience with game drives conducted in a small, private area on a very popular safari circuit. 

        Highlights Sabi Sands National Park

        • Indulge in the comforts and attention provided by a private game reserve as you find game viewing on small sections of land
        • Delight in the opportunity to see more wildlife at your leisure and pace, while also seeing fewer vehicles while you traverse this prime safari region

        When to Visit – The best time is during the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere that is from May to September, with mild days, low grass and fantastic game viewing. 

        • Hluhluwe National Park

        Situated in the Kwazulu – Natal Province, inland of South Africa’s east coast, it is about four hours from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.

        Highlights of the Hluhluwe National Park

        • Have an opportunity to spot the rare rhinoceros, Hluhluwe is one of the best destinations for spotting wildlife in their natural habitat.
        • Enjoy the lushness of the hills and the picturesque scenery that creates an unforgettable safari experience in South Africa’s old national park

        When to visit: The best time is during the dry months of June, July and August, these months are best for game viewing. The rainy season from late December through to February hinders wildlife sightings. 

        • Madikwe Reserve

        This fascinating reserve is situated in North West Province of South Africa, near the Botswana Border and the Kalahari Desert. The reserve boasts malaria-free status.

        Highlights of Madikwe Reserve

        • Explore this fascinating reserve famous for wild dog sightings and strong conservation efforts focused on the preservation of wild dog packs
        • Discover the freedom of a safari experience in a malaria-free zone

        When to visit – the best time to enjoy safari is during the Southern Hemisphere winter months from June to September. Daytime temperatures are mild, with low grass offering incredible wildlife sightings.

        6. Tanzania

         Tanzania is one of the biggest safari experiences in Africa with must see destinations such as Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar Islands.

        The Tanzania’s northern circuit is a popular safari circuit and is where most safaris in Tanzania take place, the Serengeti Great Migration Safaris and luxury game adventures in Tanzania appeal to all safari goers, in local and style, with famous game parks fiving way to lesser-known reserves for visitors seeking something more or different.

         There are so much to explore and see in Tanzania during your African safari.

        • Ngorongoro Crater “Ngorongoro Conservation Area”

        The world’s famous intact and unfilled caldera and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro Crater is located in the highlands of Tanzania approximately 110 miles west of Africa and forms part of Tanzania’s northern safari circuit.

        Highlights of Ngorongoro Crater

        • Explore the crater, a key feature in the conservation area and your safari to Ngorongoro as you travel around one of the world’s largest inactive volcanic calderas.
        • Enjoy sightings of the Big Five in an incredible setting that provides a memorable combination

        When to Visit – the best time is during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter months from May through September to enjoy an incredible safari experience. If you want to witness the birthing season of the Wildebeest, visit in January or February and is witnessed in the Ndutu Plains. 

        • Serengeti National Park

        The word famous Serengeti National Park is located in the northern part of Tanzania sharing a border with Kenya, Serengeti is also the most famous safari destination in Tanzania renowned for the Wildebeest Migration and the Big Five. 

        Highlights of Serengeti National Park

        • Embark on game drives in search of an incredible amount of wildlife, open savannahs, rocky outcrops and five famous rivers
        • Wander the exciting stage of the Great Migration as you witness one of the ultimate safari experiences

        When to Visit – to catch the Great Migration, visit in October or November to watch thousands of wildebeest cross from Serengeti to Masai Mara.

        • Tarangire National Park

        The iconic Tarangire National Park known for its spectacular landscape dotted with baobab trees and large herds of elephants is located in the northern part of Tanzania in the Manyara region. The park is named after the Tarangire River that runs through it. 

        Highlights of Tarangire National Park

        • Enjoy game drives with sightings of large herds of elephants and other animals along the Tarangire River
        • Search for the iconic baobab trees doted around the landscape

        When to Visit – the best time is during the dry season from June to October.

        7. Uganda

        Uganda – The Pearl of Africa is one of the top Africa safari countries with a fantastic diversity of landscape, flora and fauna, birdlife, culture and hospitable people.

        Fascinating wildlife encounters in Uganda include gorilla, chimpanzee trekking and game viewing which are a highlight of an Africa Safari to Uganda.

        Uganda is a gem and offers a unique safari and scenery experience at the following must see destinations.  

        • Queen Elizabeth National Park

        Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular wildlife destination in Uganda located in the western Uganda, between the Kazinga Channel and Lake George and Lake Albert.

        Highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park

        • Enjoy the prolific birdlife and sightings of wildlife along the Kazinga Channel on a boat cruise
        • Spot the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector, southern region of Queen Elizabeth National Park

        When to Visit - Queen Elizabeth National Park can be visited any time of the year. However, the dry and cooler months of June and July are the best time for wildlife sightings. For birders, the best time is January and February. 

        • Murchison Falls National Park

        Named after Murchison Falls – the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls National Park is in the northern part of Uganda, just northwest of Kampala – the capital of Uganda. 

        Highlights of the Murchison Falls National Park

        • Experience the alluring thunder of Murchison Falls – the most powerful waterfalls in the world
        • Explore the diverse wildlife habitat

        When to visit – June and July or January and February are the best time for wildlife viewing, the wet months of April and May and August to October are the best for bird watching.

        • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

        Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the best place in the world to see the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, the misty forested park covers around 120 square miles and lies in Southwestern Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

        Highlights of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

        Spend either one hour or four hours in the presence of the endangered mountain gorillas

        8. Zambia

        Zambia – the land of legendary walking safari is a southern Africa gem blessed with awe-inspiring natural wonders, a plethora of wildlife, huge water bodies and vast open spaces.

        The wide-open spaces and an abundance of wildlife are the two of the country’s major attractions, with walking safaris being a distinct highlight when exploring the best places to visit Zambia.

        Zambia’s incredible safari circuit is accompanied by the majestic Victoria Falls, which shares its glory with neighboring Zimbabwe. The country has many more excellent destinations to discover during your trip. 

        • Lower Zambezi National Park

          The lower Zambezi National Park is located in southwestern Zambia, along the north bank of the Zambezi River. 

          Highlights of Lower Zambezi National Park

          • Travel beneath big skies that offer incredible stargazing opportunities
          • Discover camps and lodges that are unfenced offering a vast exploration experience
          • Enjoy the pristine wilderness of the park and have quality experiences

          When to Visit – the best time is from June to September when it is drier and cooler

          • South Luangwa National Park

          This fascinating park is in the southwestern Zambia, in the valley of the Luangwa River and is referred to by the locals as “the South Park”.

          Highlights of South Luangwa National Park

          • Embark on game drives through grasslands, savannahs, riverine and woodlands discovering the splendor of South Luangwa National Park – one of the most beautiful parks in Uganda
          • For phenomena wildlife sightings, travel near the Luangwa River to find many animals gathering

          When to visit – the ideal time to visit is during the drier months of June through to September. Reach out to our team of knowledgeable safari consultants and let us plan your African safari.

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