A group of Egyptian Gooses (Alopochen aegyptiacus) flying agains sun disk in a spectacular sunset over Amboseli National Park, Kenya.

The 15 Best Safaris in Africa

    Etosha National Park

          Hwange National Park

          Kruger National Park
          South Africa


          Madikwe Game Reserve
          South Africa

          Mala Mala Game Reserve
          South Africa

    Mana Pools National Park

          Masai Mara National Reserve

          Moremi Game Reserve

    Ngorongoro Crater

          Okavango Delta

          Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve)

    Serengeti National Park
          South Luangwa National Park
          Queen Elizabeth National Park

    Embarking on an African safari is an unforgettable adventure that allows travellers to immerse themselves in the majestic beauty of the continent's wildlife. From the iconic Big Five—lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos—to the breathtaking landscapes, Africa offers a wealth of safari experiences. In this article, we recommend some of the best safaris in Africa, so pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to immerse yourself on a spectacular journey through Africa's wildlife wonderlands.

    When is the Best Time to go on a Safari?

    To determine the best time to experience an African safari you should consider various factors including - business schedules, weather conditions, and flight prices. The ideal time may vary depending on the specific safari destination. For instance, in East Africa, including Kenya and Tanzania, the dry season between June and October offers excellent game-viewing opportunities. On the other hand, Southern Africa, encompassing South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, showcases its wildlife earlier in the year, during the dry winter months. By planning your safari adventure strategically, you can maximise your chances of witnessing thrilling wildlife encounters and capturing stunning photographs.

    Safari jeep vehicle filled with guide and tourists in background watching two cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in the Karoo desert, Western Cape, South Africa

    What vaccinations and medications are required?

    One of the concerns for first-time safari goers is ensuring they have the necessary vaccinations and medications. Many countries will only require the COVID vaccine for entry, whilst others might require a more comprehensive set of vaccinations. While you should consult your healthcare provider for personalised advice, it's generally recommended to take anti-malaria tablets before, during, and after your trip and whilst many game reserves will supply you with anti-mosquito sprays and nets, to ensure a comfortable and safe experience you should still bring mosquito bite relief.

    Elephants in a line at sunrise in front of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park, Kenya, East Africa

    What to pack?

    Preparing the right attire for your safari is crucial for comfort and practicality. The bush can be dusty, so it's best to leave any new or delicate clothing items at home. Instead, pack old clothes that you won't mind getting a little dirty. It's advisable to bring layers, as the days are warm while temperatures drop at night. This way, you can easily adjust your clothing to suit the changing weather conditions. Opt for neutral colours like greys, browns, and khaki to blend in with the natural surroundings of the bush and don’t forget to bring sturdy, closed-toe shoes for walking safaris and comfortable sandals for relaxing at camp.

    A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are essential for protection against the African sun. Ensure you pack a good camera with extra memory cards and batteries to capture the mesmerising wildlife moments. Binoculars will enhance your wildlife viewing experience, allowing you to observe animals from a distance. With these essentials in your bag, you'll be well-prepared to savour the wonders of the African safari.

    Young man traveler and photographer taking photo of Oryx, a type of wildlife animal in African safari. Wildlife photography concept

    How much should I budget for a safari?

    When budgeting for your safari adventure, it's important to consider the overall cost. The rates quoted per person are generally all-inclusive, covering essential aspects such as meals, transfers by jeep between camps, and various safari trips (including walking, jeep, and night drives). This means you can enjoy the experience without worrying about additional expenses for these services. However, it's advisable to bring cash for tips and any souvenirs you may wish to purchase along the way.

    Top Safaris to visit in Africa

    Etosha National Park, Namibia

    A landscape featuring salt pans and arid savannahs draws herds of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, and lions. As the sun sets, the floodlit waterholes reveal the nocturnal beauty of Etosha's wildlife, offering a unique perspective on the park's fauna.

    • Best Time: Dry season (May to October)
    • Tips: Explore floodlit waterholes at night for nocturnal wildlife.
    • Landmarks: Striking salt pan, diverse wildlife.
    • Recommended Time: 3-5 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Nighttime wildlife watching at waterholes.

    Petrified Forest, Deadvlei, Namibia, Africa

    Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

    Golden savannahs provide a backdrop for captivating wildlife interactions, including lions and giraffes. Step beyond the ordinary and immerse yourself in the magic of the African wilderness, where nocturnal walking safaris lead you closer to nature's heart, fostering an intimate connection with the land and its inhabitants under the enchanting canopy of stars.

    • Best Time: Dry season (May to October)
    • Tips: Engage in guided walking safaris for a deeper connection to nature.
    • Landmarks: Golden savannahs, captivating night safaris.
    • Recommended Time: 4-6 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Guided walking safaris.

    Kruger National Park, South Africa

    Venture into the crown jewel of South Africa's wildlife havens - known for its diverse flora and fauna, Kruger National Park offers game drives and guided bush walks. These activities allow visitors to engage closely with the wilderness and its inhabitants.

    • Best Time: May to September.
    • Tips: Opt for guided bush walks to immerse in the wilderness.
    • Landmarks: Diverse flora and fauna, legendary Big Five.
    • Recommended Time: 5-7 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Guided bush walks.

    Group of African women from Samburu tribe, central Kenya, Africa. Samburu tribe is one of the biggest tribes of north-central Kenya, and they are related to the Maasai.

    Laikipia, Kenya

    Escape to the untamed allure of Laikipia in Kenya, where boundless grasslands, lush forests, and rugged mountains set the stage for an exceptional safari experience. Roam free with elephants, lions, rhinos, and wild dogs on horseback safaris and camel treks, embracing the essence of this vast wilderness. Guided nature walks invite you to become one with nature, awakening your senses to the tranquil symphony of Kenya's natural wonders. We also recommend visiting the local villages to experience the Kenyan cultures, food and tribes such as the Samburu tribe.

    • Best Time: Dry seasons (July to September, January to February).
    • Tips: Experience horseback safaris and camel treks.
    • Landmarks: Vast grasslands, interaction with Samburu tribe.
    • Recommended Time: 4-6 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Horseback and camel safaris, village visits.

    Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

    Embark on a journey of conservation and enchantment in South Africa's hidden gem, Madikwe Game Reserve. Witness the successful return of the Big Five, including the elusive African wild dogs and endangered black rhinos. Game drives, bush walks, and birdwatching contribute to the preservation of the area's wildlife.

    • Best Time: May to September.
    • Tips: Participate in guided bush walks and birdwatching.
    • Landmarks: Return of Big Five, conservation focus.
    • Recommended Time: 3-4 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Guided bush walks, birdwatching.

    A line of seven Zebras in Tanzania enjoying the grass of the plains under a blue sky

    Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa

    Nestled in the iconic Kruger National Park, Mala Mala Game Reserve beckons with an exclusive safari experience. Capture extraordinary moments up close and personal through guided bush walks and photographic safaris, delving into the untamed beauty of South Africa's wildlife havens.

    • Best Time: May to September.
    • Tips: Engage in photographic safaris for exceptional shots.
    • Landmarks: Exclusive safari experience, leopard sightings.
    • Recommended Time: 3-5 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Photographic safaris for close encounters.

    Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

    Unleash your spirit of adventure in the remote wilderness of Mana Pools National Park, where untouched beauty reigns supreme. Wander amid the ancient baobabs and riverine forests, encountering elephants, lions, and buffalo on exhilarating walking safaris. Take to the Zambezi River in a canoe, where hippos and crocodiles gracefully share their aquatic domain.

    • Best Time: Dry season (April to October).
    • Tips: Embark on walking safaris and canoeing along the Zambezi River.
    • Landmarks: Remote wilderness, authentic safari experiences.
    • Recommended Time: 4-6 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Canoeing safaris for aquatic exploration.

    Masai warriors running on beautiful african beach, demonstrating their traditional hunting methods (zanzibar, Tanzania)

    Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

    Step into the iconic Masai Mara National Reserve, a sanctuary where the timeless dance of predator and prey unfolds under the vast African skies. Witness the legendary wildebeest migration, a spectacle of survival and perseverance. Engage with the legendary Maasai people, whose culture is deeply intertwined with this pristine land, and listen to tales of bravery and harmony with nature that have endured for generations.

    • Best Time: Wildebeest migration (July to October).
    • Tips: Interact with Maasai people for cultural insights.
    • Landmarks: Iconic wildebeest migration, Maasai traditions.
    • Recommended Time: 4-7 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Cultural interactions with Maasai people.

    Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

    Situated in the Okavango Delta, this reserve offers mokoro excursions and diverse wildlife encounters. Glide through winding waterways on mokoro excursions, surrounded by lush floodplains and serene lagoons. Explore a mosaic of habitats, teeming with elephants, lions, and cheetahs, as well as an avian symphony of colourful birdlife. Moremi's diversity unfolds in an array of safari adventures, promising a treasure trove of memories for wildlife enthusiasts.

    • Best Time: Dry season (July to October).
    • Tips: Explore waterways on mokoro excursions for a serene experience.
    • Landmarks: Okavango Delta, diverse habitats.
    • Recommended Time: 5-7 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Mokoro excursions for tranquil exploration.

    A group of Egyptian Gooses (Alopochen aegyptiacus) flying agains sun disk in a spectacular sunset over Amboseli National Park, Kenya.

    Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

    Embark on an otherworldly safari adventure in the Ngorongoro Crater, hailed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." Set within a sunken volcano caldera, this natural amphitheatre brims with an astonishing concentration of wildlife, including the revered Big Five. Beyond the crater's rim, delve into the cultural tapestry of Maasai communities, enriching your safari journey with unique insights.

    • Best Time: Dry season (June to September).
    • Tips: Discover the Maasai communities beyond the crater's rim.
    • Landmarks: Sunken volcano caldera, exceptional wildlife concentration.
    • Recommended Time: 2-3 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Interact with Maasai communities for cultural immersion.

    Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Meandering water channels and diverse habitats define this region. The Okavango Delta is one of the most significant freshwater inland drainage systems in Africa. Defined as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are various opportunities to see the wildlife and natural splendour that Botswana has to offer, including a variety of bush walks, sunset safaris, and river cruises along the Mokoro.

    • Best Time: Dry season (May to October).
    • Tips: Enjoy mokoro excursions for a unique perspective.
    • Landmarks: Meandering water channels, untouched wilderness.
    • Recommended Time: 5-7 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Mokoro excursions for water-based exploration.

    Elephant spraying zebras with water to keep them away from waterhole

    Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve), Tanzania

    Step into the grandeur of Nyerere National Park, formerly known as Selous Game Reserve, Africa's largest protected wildlife haven. Traverse through woodlands and wetlands, where a kaleidoscope of wildlife roams free, from mighty elephants to tiny birds. Experience the magic of the Rufiji River on a boat safari, embark on thrilling walking safaris, and indulge in the age-old art of fishing, embracing the essence of a comprehensive safari expedition.

    • Best Time: Dry season (June to October).
    • Tips: Engage in fishing and boat safaris along the Rufiji River.
    • Landmarks: Vast woodlands and wetlands, diverse wildlife.
    • Recommended Time: 5-7 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Fishing and boat safaris for aquatic adventures.

    Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    Enter the timeless realm of Serengeti National Park, where the spectacular wildebeest migration unfolds as nature's grand spectacle. Witness millions of hoofed nomads traverse the vast plains, pursued by the predators of the savannah. The annual wildebeest migration is a highlight, while the park's diverse landscapes host various other wildlife species. One unique way to see these species is by rising above the plains on a thrilling hot air balloon safari.

    • Best Time: Wildebeest migration (June to October).
    • Best Time: Wildebeest migration (June to October).
    • Landmarks: Iconic wildebeest migration, timeless landscapes.
    • Recommended Time: 4-7 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Hot air balloon safari for an aerial view.

    Three giraffe on Kilimanjaro mount background in National park of Kenya, Africa

    South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

    Walking safaris are often associated with South Luangwa; in fact, this enormous national park in Zambia's west is where one of the most exciting ways to see big game in the wild originated. You head out on foot with your guide and an armed park officer after leaving the 4x4 game-drive vehicle in camp to wander amid elephants, antelope, zebra, and even the occasional predator.

    • Best Time: Dry season (April to October).
    • Tips: Engage in walking safaris for an intimate bush experience.
    • Landmarks: Untamed wilderness, captivating walking safaris.
    • Recommended Time: 4-6 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Walking safaris for close wildlife encounters.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

    This park offers diverse activities, landscapes and wildlife, including boat safaris along the Kazinga Channel and encounters with primates in Kyambura Gorge. The thrilling water safari offers glimpses of hippos, crocodiles, and an orchestra of vibrant birdlife; or for a touch of adventure, venture into the Kyambura Gorge to meet playful chimpanzees and other fascinating primates.

    • Best Time: Dry seasons (December to February, June to July).
    • Tips: Explore the Kazinga Channel on a thrilling boat safari.
    • Landmarks: Diverse wildlife, boat safari on Kazinga Channel.
    • Recommended Time: 4-6 days.
    • Recommended Activity: Boat safari along Kazinga Channel.

    A herd of African Elephants with the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro - Kenya and Tanzanian border