Top African Safari Destinations
Are you dreaming of an Out of Africa experience or capturing the Big Five—buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino—on film? Every day of an African safari is truly unforgettable, from early-morning game drives to amazing stargazing. To inspire your own adventure, here are our top regions to explore.
Part of what's known as East Africa, you can expect golden lions, red-robed warriors, snowcapped mountains, pristine white beaches, orange sunsets, and coral-pink dawns. You'll also experience some of the world's most famous safari destinations—Masai Mara, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Rift Valley—and world-class beach destinations like Diani Beach and the tiny town of Lamu. See our Kenya destination guide»
Also part of East Africa, Tanzania attracts far fewer tourists than Kenya and South Africa, which is remarkable especially since it boasts some of Africa's greatest tourist attractions—the Serengeti, the Great Migration, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Crater, Selous Game Reserve, and Lake Victoria. See our Tanzania destination guide»
Africa's most developed country, at the very tip of the continent, is many worlds in one: modern bustling cities, ancient rock art, gorgeous beaches, fabulous game lodges, well-run national parks, mountain ranges, desert, and winelands. It's home to Kruger National Park and the Kwa-Zulu Natal reserves. See our South Africa destination guide»
The country itself is a natural wonder with terrains that vary from vast salt pans to the pristine waterways of the Okavango Delta. Expect lots of game, few tourists, and stars brighter than you'll ever see—the Kalahari Bushmen say that you can hear them sing. See our Botswana destination guide»
From the Namib Desert—the earth's oldest—to the fog-enshrouded Skeleton Coast, from the great game park of Etosha to Damaraland's stark beauty and desert elephants, to bustling small cities with a fascinating mix of colonial and modern, you've never visited anywhere quite like Namibia. See our Namibia destination guide»
Shared by Zambia and Zimbabwe, Vic Falls, as it’s fondly called, is one of the natural wonders of the world, unsurpassed by anything. Dr. Livingstone's description still holds good: "scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight." The adventure center of Africa, adrenaline junkies can try everything from bungee jumping and white-water rafting, to canoeing, rappelling, and jet skiing. See our Victoria Falls destination guide»
More Safari Planning
- What's Your Budget?
- Who's Who: Tour Operators and Travel Agents
- Special Considerations
- Types of Safaris
Photo Credit: Elephants and Mt. Kilimanjaro by oversnap/iStockPhoto
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I experiences my dream safari in 2008 with Abercrombie & Kent's Tanzania Under Canvas for 10 days. Since that time I have had opportunity to compare other experiences and found that mine was exceptionally fortunate insofar as opportunities to see every sort of game and birds, meet with various tribesmen and women, see a wide variety of places and landscapes from Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti to Ngorongoro Crater to Lake Eyasi. We had accomodations in permanent tent lodges, temporary tent camps, Plantation Lodge and Lobo Wildlife Lodge and back at the Arusha Hotel. We had a most knowledgable guide and excellent driver in our Land Rover that accomodated myself, my daughter another couple and another single woman. Tho the drives were sometimes very long, we always found some new wonder to observe about the time we began to tire. Our camp staffs were so accomodating with hot tea brought to our tent upon awaking, charging our batteries overnight, doing our laundry and serving excellent meals with lots of choices. My 70th birthday was celebrated with special songs and dances by the staffs of neighboring camps, and a gift of a Maasai dress.
Since that time, my daughter has moved to Johannesburg, So Africa. In 2009 travelliing independently, I spent 3 weeks there with the opportunity to stay at Tinga Lodge in Kruger Park where we had excellent accomodations, superior food, games drives morning and evening with great a driver and guide, during the summer when the bush is very dense and finding the animals is more difficult, but not impossible. It is a very different landscape from the dry Tanzanian deserts of the previous August.
We also went to Cape Town and saw all the recommended sights. It is almost indescribably beautiful and the wine country is unique.
Both Cape Town and Johannesburg are quite safe if you are careful and aware of your surroundings. The Apartheid Museum in Joburg was so emotionally wrenching, and Robbin Island off Cape Town was a truly profouond experience with a former inmate serving as our guide. We never had a bad meal in So Africa, whether in fine hotels or at seaside fish and chips shops. Everything is fresh and served beautifully.
I have travelled to all the continents except Austrailia, and I am in love with Africa. Egypt was interesting, but East and South Africa are still the travel experiences par excellence.
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