Who hasn't dreamed of going on a safari in Africa? This massive continent has inspired so many to want to see exotic animals in their natural habitat and to experience the cultural diversity Africa has to offer. However, did you know that Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa alone already have over 60 national parks, all with different terrain and wildlife species? With such a vast number of national parks it can be quite difficult to decide where to go. But don't worry, to help you plan your adventure, we have handpicked the most beautiful national parks and best safari destinations in Africa for you below.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. When talking about the top safari destinations in Africa, Maasai Mara is always at the top of the list. In southwest Kenya, near Tanzania, this premier national park offers everything you could want in a safari, as it's home to over 570 species of birds and 95 species of mammals. It's also one of the best places to visit in Africa if you want to see the Big Five (lion, Cape buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros, and elephant).
Chobe National Park, Botswana. Botswana's first and most biologically diverse national park sits in the northern part of the country near the Okavango Delta. Affectionately known as the "Land of the Giants", an estimated 120,000 elephants call it home, which is Africa's largest elephant population. Because of the Chobe River, there's also an unmatched amount of wildlife and birdlife - including hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, lions, leopards, and countless bird species. Instead of a typical 4×4 vehicle, the absolute best way to experience Chobe National Park is on a boat trip. It provides a unique perspective, amazing views, and stunning photographs. As you plan your trip, keep in mind that Chobe National Park also makes a perfect day trip from Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Zambia because of its close proximity to their borders.
Kruger National Park, South Africa. Not only is Kruger National Park renowned for having the best safaris in South Africa and gorgeous mountain, plain, and tropical forest scenery, it's also one of the continent's largest game reserves. Located in northeast South Africa near Mozambique, the diversity of species is unparalleled - 507 birds, 336 trees, 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 49 fish, and 34 amphibians all have their home in Kruger National Park. You can catch glimpses of the Big Five, but the wild dog, ground hornbill, and fish eagle should also be on your radar.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. When most people think of an African wildlife safari, they think of the Serengeti – and rightly so, as it has inspired many films and books. Between the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and its adjacent neighbor, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, they protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and one of the last great migratory systems still intact.
This migration also puts it at the top of the list of best safaris in Africa. Every October and November over one million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras come south for the rain before heading northwest about six months later. It’s also a great place to catch cheetahs and lions in action as they prey on the herbivores in the area. This crown jewel is the ultimate safari destination.
Okavango Delta, Botswana. Known as “Africa’s Last Eden”, this inland river delta is one of the best safari destinations in Africa. The best time to visit is between June and August. This is when the annual flood happens and animals are confined to the islands, making them easier to see. Typically, 200,000 large mammals have their seasonal home in the Okavango Delta, and it’s a regular home to many fish and plant species. It’s also one of the best African safaris to view from both land and water. Each of the top safari destinations in Africa provide amazing opportunities to learn more about wildlife, take photos, and admire the scenery that can only be captured in these unique parks.