From elephant spotting in Botswana to gorilla spotting in Uganda, Africa is all about big wild safaris. Here are the top five.
Masai Mara, Kenya
The Masai Mara National Reserve is the ultimate African safari destination. Home to just about every animal you could possibly hope to encounter, Masai Mara is one of the most visited nature reserves in all of Africa.
With its endless skies and open savannahs, Masai Mara is a magnificent big game reserve, where travellers can expect to see lions, giraffes, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, rhinos, ostriches… you name it, Masai Mara is likely to have it.
There are a number of visitor camps throughout the reserve, and safari itineraries across the park can last up to eight days. The Masai Mara hot air balloon tour is a fantastic way to experience how truly vast this epic landscape is, from up high.
Located in the southern reaches of Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve hides a magical and mysterious secret, discovered only by the most daring explorers.
This ancient forest, wrapped around the volcanic mountains of Virunga, is home to half the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas. These shy creatures live within the deep recesses of the jungle; tracking them is a unique and unforgettable privilege.
Protection of the gorillas is a big priority for the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. Visitors must first purchase a permit before exploring the forest.
Chobe National Park is elephantastic. Although many diverse creatures roam these plains, the region is best known for its huge elephant population – the biggest on the continent.
The park boasts four different ecosystems; the landscape varies from thick forests in the north east, swamps in the north west, marshland in the west and hot, dry grassland elsewhere. The Chobe Safari Lodge is the perfect base from which to explore the region in all its majesty.
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Hidden at the remote western edge of the country, this wild shoreline is described by Namibian bushmen as ‘The Land God Made in Anger’. Littered with ghostly offshore shipwrecks and the leftover bones of hunted whales and seals, this desolate landscape is a safari destination with a difference.
In the midst of this extensive coastline is Cape Cross, home to one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. As far as the eye can see, these magnificent creatures crowd the beaches and fill the air with the ear-splitting noise of their honking.
Kruger, South Africa
Kruger National Park is a huge game reserve, where visitors stand an excellent chance of spotting the so-called Big Five of African safaris; lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinos.
Although southern Kruger is slightly more upmarket, this is an exciting low-cost option for people travelling on a budget. In north Kruger, around campsites such as Pafuri, there are a number of self-drive safari options. These expeditions cost a lot less than pre-arranged itineraries – you only need to stump up the cost of renting a car and you’re good to go. Self-drive safari allows you to travel when you want at your own pace.
Are you planning on going on one of these top safaris in Africa? Let us know in the comments.