In the vast wilderness of the African continent, there is no shortage of outstanding safari destinations. Safaris are a booming business and vitally important to the economy of many African countries, as well as being influential in the preservation of the native wildlife. High season runs from July to October and is the prime time to see the lions, giraffes and other familiar native species. If you go during the low season, the weather is likely to be less favorable, but you will get to see some migratory species that you wouldn’t see in the summer.
Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta in the north-west corner of Botswana are home to an astoundingly diverse variety of species, with Savuti Marsh boasting the highest numbers of wildlife in the entire continent. Chobe has around 120,000 elephants, which are best seen during the summer when they congregate to drink from the river. You can observe the wildlife from a boat on the Okavango river, which passes through the middle of the Kalahari Desert.
One of the best-known safari destinations is the Masai Mara in Kenya. Recognised as one of the prime locations for observing wildlife, the reserve runs from the Tanzanian border where the Serengeti crosses into Kenya. The Mara River flows amongst the expansive plains below the spectacular Oloololo Escarpment, providing perfect views of vast herds of zebra and wildebeest.
Etosha National Park is made up of several different types of habitat positioned around a salt pan that is visible from space. The park, which is in the Northern region, has vast areas of desert, so, unfortunately, you won’t see buffalos or hippos. What you could see is the black rhino, one of the rarest creatures in Africa, which comes to the watering holes at night to drink.
Kruger National Park is situated in the northeast of South Africa near the border with Mozambique. It has a good reputation as being ideal for newcomers, and in addition to the wildlife, the park has campsites, luxury lodges, and a good road system. Over winter there is an abundance of migrating birds visiting the park.
Transport and accommodation
When you are on safari, you will most likely be driven around in an open top Land Rover or similar vehicle. If you want to explore the area by yourself or drive to the city, you would need to hire a car or even buy a handy Used Polo Vivo. Public transport links are reasonable in the cities but having access to a car is the only practical way to travel independently when you are based out in the country. Camps and lodges are often luxurious, and the catering is likely to be surprisingly refined, with buffets and snack platters on offer in addition to a three-course dinner. If the camp is reasonably close to suppliers – who will be local wherever possible – then the menu will be more sophisticated, whereas camps located greater distances from civilization may provide simpler meals.
To make the most of your trip, do some research and decide what you want to see and how you want to live during the experience. Then, simply find and book your perfect safari and go on an adventure!