Wondering about where to go on your next holiday? There are many safari destinations to be found within Africa. The most well known are located in East equatorial and Southern Africa. From snow capped mountains reaching to 17,000ft. to low lying coastal plains, tropical rain forest right through to desert, the variety of wilderness is unrivaled. This great variety of choice often poses the question of where to go on safari to Africa. One thing is for sure it is impossible to cover all the destinations effectively in one visit.
Would you like to go on safari in East Africa? The best countries to visit in East Africa include Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania (with Zanzibar or Seychelles), Rwanda
Within the Southern Africa, the top destinations include South Africa, Zambia and Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana or Namibia
Using the destination grouping approach means less international travel and local transfer time and more time for a safari and to relax. All of the above mentioned countries have great wilderness regions and providing a safari is conducted in a reputable and professional manner none will fail to impress.
Kenya is the renowned as the home of safaris owing to its versatile terrain and numerous tourist destinations. A Kenya Safari often starts in Nairobi, the capital of the country. Of special interest is that this metropolis has a national park at the edge of its commercial district. The Great Rift Valley, to the west of Nairobi, is bursting at the seams with national parks, spectacular rivers, and breathtaking terrain. The Rift Valley itself is a spectacle of magnificence in itself since it literally divides the continent as it cuts through the north down to Kenya then to the south in Mozambique. A visit to Mount Kenya, the second tallest peak is Africa is worthwhile since it falls right at the equator yet it has snow on its peaks. The Masai Mara at the north of Kenya is a must-visit park as it is famous for the recently added eighth wonder of the world, the great migration of wildebeest and zebras from Mara to Serengeti. Masai Mara is home to BBC’s Big Cat Diary documentaries. A trip to Kenya is not complete without visit the magical coastal area with areas such as Mombasa, Watamu, Diani and Malindi boasting of exquisite beaches, blue waters, and a diverse corals.
Tanzania partly shares an eco-system with Kenya at Serengeti National Park where the wildebeest and zebras migrate to from Masai Mara. A Tanzania safari entails visiting Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa with its fascinating snow peak surrounded by a halo of clouds. Tanzania boasts of having untamed parks that offer raw adventure to tourists. Among these parks is Selous Game Reserve whose perimeter is crossed with lakes, rivers, and a rich population of wildlife. Tanzania’s coastline is a spectacle of romance, especially Zanzibar Island. Ngorongoro Crater is also an enchanting sight.
Uganda is often referred to as the Banana Republic owing to its various species of bananas that grow freely in the country and make up its staple food. This landlocked country is famous for its giant mountain gorillas that live in the thick rain forest. Uganda is also home to several other species of primates. A trip to Lake Victoria and its beaches is a calming experience while the River Nile and its Murchison Falls are a remarkable sight where one can take part in fishing and water sports. Being landlocked is not a limitation for this country.
Rwanda is a small country in Eastern Africa whose land is impressively marked by several rolling hills that form the majority of its terrain. Rwanda is widely famous for the genocide that took place around 20years ago, but the country has since healed and moved on. The national museum is a must-visit spot that offers more information on the matter. Aside from that, Rwanda is home to an amazing population of mountain gorillas that are easily spotted on the accessible treks. Evidently, Rwanda’s wildlife and lush green vegetation cover overwhelms memories of the past.
Republic of Congo
The Republic of Congo is famous for being the home of diamonds. However, these are not the tourist attractions in the country. Congo has a dense rain forest cover, part of which is the original Congo rain forest. These forests are home to several primate species that roam the lands. This country hosts the largest population of lowland gorillas in the world. Congo’s parks bring a very raw sense of nature as one travels through its forests and swamps that are inhabited by several wildlife species including the elusive sitatunga and bongo.
Mozambique is well known for its spectacular beaches that fall on the impressively long coastline. The Quirimbas Archipelago stretches from the north at the edge of Tanzania to form a chain of 27 beautiful islands with excellent hotels for tourist. The Bazaruto Archipelago to the south has five islands whose waters are perfect for diving and snorkeling. Mozambique’s mainland is a somewhat combination of south and east Africa’s climate and terrain that offer a decent population of wildlife in its various parks.
Botswana prides itself in offering luxury in the midst of adventure with its facilities and services. One of the most common tourist destinations in this country is the Okavango delta. Okavango is the only inland delta in the world. The majestic beauty of this delta includes its palm-fingered islands and flood plains covered with lilies. Okavango attracts a large migrant wildlife population of wildlife from the Kalahari desert during the dry season. Other inland attractions include Chobe and Linyati parks that offer camping experiences and boat rides on Chobe River.
Zambia is among the places in an African safari that are perfect for, but not limited to, avid wildlife watchers. This is because the ultimate wildlife spotting experience in Zambia entails hikes and walks through the rugged terrain. In Zambia, the South and North Luangwa Parks only offer walking safaris since they seek to maintain the untamed beauty of the land. While here, why not visit Kafue, the third largest national park in Africa whose vast lands are quite unexplored. The Lower Zambezi is the most relaxing destination whose diversity in wildlife and activities range from canoeing, boat rides, and fishing. For the ultimate breathtaking experience, visit the Zambezi River at the border and get lost in its raging magnificence. The river and the famous Victoria Falls are a remarkable sight. In addition, one can take a dip in the Devil’s Pool that is at the top of a waterfall’s drop.
Zimbabwe boasts of being home to the famous Zambezi River that is shared among a couple of southern countries. Of higher interest are the Victoria Falls whose jaw dropping waterfalls can be heard from miles away, and viewed from strategic points. Zimbabwe is a hub of spectacular game viewing opportunities in its parks such as Hwange, the seasonal Mana Pools, and Lake Kariba. Unlike Zambia, these parks offer both walking safaris and game drives for the ultimate safari experience.
A safari in Malawi offers the exceptional comfort of blue waters and excitement of richly populated terrain. Lake Malawi is the heart of the country in tourism and domestic terms. It is the third largest lake in Africa with an awe-inspiring beauty. One of the best ways to enjoy the lake is by staying at a lodge by the lake and taking in magical mornings and sunsets painted by fish swimming in the lake. The lake also offers several water sports such as snorkeling, diving, and canoeing. The rest of the country offers a few parks that are perfect for a closely set game watching experience with a myriad of animals including the Big Five.
Mandela made South Africa famous but the country’s tourism industry has extended its fame. One of the top and most famous tourist destinations in South Africa is Kruger Park. The park is properly maintained to ensure guests can partake self-drives and view several wildlife species including the big five. The most exciting thing about South Africa is that it offers untamed experiences in the remote parks such as Manyeleti, and somewhat developed experiences near the city such as the Cape Wine lands and Dutch settlements. The long coastline offers a myriad of beaches for the ultimate coastal experience. With that, an amazing sunset painted with the backdrop of the table mountains marks an exciting visit to South Africa.
An African safari in Namibia provides an added twist aside from the usual wildlife and lush green lands. Namibia has an extensive region of dry land including the Kalahari desert whose landscape is extremely intoxicating to tourists. This does not compromise its wildlife population that has amazingly adapted to the harsh conditions. Namibia’s parks have interesting animals such as desert elephant and desert rhino. The amazing waterholes that attract animals in Etosha are a remarkable sight. The must visit spot in Namibia is the Skeleton Coast whose shores, where several seals gather, are washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The extremely tall sand dunes are the crowning glory of this spectacle.
Recommendations for First Time Travelers
For first time travelers to Africa we recommend East Africa. Visit Tanzania (and or Zanzibar/Pemba), Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.
Kenya has much to offer those looking for wildlife safari while Uganda and Rwanda offer unique opportunities for gorilla trekking, an adventure that you you not easily find elsewhere in the world.
Apart from wildlife travel, East Africa also offers the best bird watching destinations in Africa, in addition to white water rafting, kayaking and bungee jumping, not forgetting mountain climbing adventures (Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya).