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11 bucket-list safaris in Africa

An African safari is on so many travelers bucket lists, and rightly so. There are so many fantastic destinations to do a safari in Africa – with Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia to name a few. Each destination offers a unique experience and our safari specialists can advise and organize a trip that suits you perfectly.

Whether it’s vast open savannahs or dense forests, sightings of a wildebeest migration or a family of endangered mountain gorillas whilst gorilla trekking, Africa offers something for everyone. For some inspiration, we’ve put together our top 10 bucket-list safaris in Africa.

Serengeti Dunia Camp

1. Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

East Africa is home to some fantastic national reserves and parks – the Serengeti being one of the most iconic. Game drives in the Serengeti give you the opportunity to see the abundance of resident wildlife – elephants, hippos, antelope, lions, and leopards aplenty. On top of this resident wildlife, the Serengeti is home to the wildebeest migration. Over 1.5 million wildebeest journey across the plains of the Serengeti and into the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Serengeti wildebeest migration is a moving experience (no pun intended), particularly the river crossings and the calving season. Image: Serengeti from Dunia Camp, central Serengeti

Chobe Princess Botswana

2. River boat on the Chobe River, Botswana

Botswana is renowned as the most pristine safari destination in the world. The Chobe National Park is home to the densest elephant population in the world, approximately 120,000 elephants. The wildlife in Botswana is like no other. In the dry season, the animals congregate on the Chobe River and the result is spectacular game viewing. Staying on a river boat offers guests a chance to watch the wildlife from a unique perspective. Water is the focus for the animals, and they come to the river to drink, bath, and play. At night when the park has closed, you are still there on the boat, with what feels like the whole reserve to yourself. Image: Chobe Princess, Botswana

Lions South Africa

3. See the Big Five in private game reserves, South Africa

South Africa is home to around 20 national parks, with a host of other private game reserves. Destinations like the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands, Thanda and Madikwe Game Reserve are some of the most known across the country, and all offer the Big Five safari experience (sightings of the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino). The great thing about a South Africa safari is that you can combine other experiences and destinations, making it a diverse trip. For example, you can easily add in a few days in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, or a trip to see the mighty Victoria Falls for a fantastic southern Africa itinerary.

See our guide to a South Africa Safari here, including what to expect, the weather in South Africa and what to pack for a South Africa Safari.

Gorillas Uganda 1

4. Come face-to-face with a mountain gorillas, Rwanda

There are around 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the wild today. You can see them in only three countries – Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For those who would like to combine a gorilla trekking experience with a safari, the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is a good option. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a humbling experience. There are 12 habituated gorilla families in Rwanda, and after trekking through the forest, you will get the opportunity to be with the gorillas for one hour. We often get asked ‘is gorilla trekking safe?’ – see more on what to expect when Gorilla Trekking.

Chimpanzee KIbale

5. Watch the interaction of the habituated chimpanzees, Uganda

Uganda is regarded as one of the best places for primate experiences in Africa. The mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park are featured on most Uganda itineraries, and while Uganda gorilla trekking is unmissable, the habituated chimpanzees in Kibale Forest are definitely worth visiting too. Like the mountain gorilla experience, you trek through Kibale Forest in small groups of no more than 6, with your professional guide and ranger. Once you find the chimpanzee family, you will have one hour with them, watching their interesting behavior and connection between one another.

Loldia House

6. Experience the birdlife in the Kenyan Lakes

Kenya is regarded as one of the best places for bird enthusiasts, with over 1,100 bird species seen in the country. While bird sightings are good throughout the country, some of the best destinations in Kenya are the Rift Valley lakes – Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru. Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake which lies north west of Nairobi. Lake Nakuru is famously known for its quantity of flamingos lined on its shores.

Walking safari Zambia

7. Do a walking safari in the South Luangwa, Zambia

Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park is one of the most impressive parks for a safari. Home to the largest number of leopards in Africa, and an abundance of wild dogs, elephants, hippo, and giraffes aplenty, it’s no surprise that the South Luangwa is almost always included in a Zambia safari. The South Luangwa is also the birthplace of the walking safari. On foot, you also get the opportunity to see the smaller things that are often overlooked on a game drive, such as the flora and fauna.


Kanga Camp African Bush Camps

8. Canoe safari in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Mana Pools is a national park in the northern region of Zimbabwe, famous for the wildlife and activities that are focused on the Zambezi River. Mana Pools is remarkably beautiful, and offers a variety of safari activities to enjoy – game drives, boat safaris, and walking safaris to name a few. One of the most incredible safari experiences is a canoe safari. This is an exhilarating way to get out on the water, seeing hippo, crocodiles, and elephants from the water.

Entamanu Camp Ngorongoro Crater

9. Descent the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest caldera in the world. Formed over 2 million years ago, the Ngorongoro Crater today is a caldera home to an abundance of resident wildlife – elephant, lion, zebra, and antelope to name a few. This is also one of the best places to see rhinos in Tanzania. While the safari experience is great inside the crater, one of the best things about the area is driving down the crater walls.

Okavango Delta

10. Safaris in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta is a swampy inland delta in Botswana. With areas of flooding, the Delta is home to both dry and ‘wet’ safari lodges, which essentially a variety of activities. Heading out on game drives, bush walks, boat safaris, or even on local traditional mokoros is a great way to enjoy the wildlife from different perspectives.

Hot Air Balloon Kenya 780

11. Great Migration Kenya

The Kenya wildebeest migration is one of the most awe-inspiring natural phenomena. Every year, over a million wildebeest, along with zebras and other herbivores, embark on a perilous journey across the vast plains of Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti in search of greener pastures.

Witnessing the Kenya wildebeest migration is an opportunity to observe resilience and adaptability of wildlife. Not to mention a unforgettable experience for any nature enthusiast or wildlife photographer.


Ready to start planning your African safari?

To find out more about an African safari, please get in touch with our Africa safari specialists to discuss and organize your incredible safari!

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