Have you ever yearned to visit the best safari parks in Africa and wondered which are the best? Did you know that Serengeti National Park in Tanzania topped the list of the most popular destinations? If this news comes as a surprise to you, then you’re not alone.
In determining the top 30 list of Africa’s best safari destinations, 140 parks in 10 countries were considered. These countries offer top-notch safari experiences for visitors in Africa. Based on 1500 park reviews on popular safari websites, the study included 1200 reviews contributed by safari tourists from 80 countries around the world. Distinguished safari experts wrote the remaining 300 reviews.
All were unanimous that the best experience is derived by an actual visit to a national park. And they give the destinations listed below as the best places to visit in 2019.
Embark on a Pilanesberg safari in South Africa without having to travel far from Johannesburg. The tour package includes two ranger-led game excursions to Pilanesberg National Park where you’ll be rewarded with an encounter of all the Big Five including Lions, Elephants, Hippos, Buffalos, and Leopards. Other animal species that appear in abundance are giraffes, cheetahs, warthogs, gazelles, and zebra. A visit to Pilanesberg is a must-have visit.
Maasai Mara is one of Africa’s largest game reserves and is located in southeast Kenya and Northeast Tanzania. The reserves straddle the two countries border and it’s challenging to know whether you’re in Kenya or Tanzania.
At your booking, ensure to mention the Great Wildebeest Migration as this is the highlight of any trip to Maasai Mara. This is an incredible phenomenon that over 2 million wildebeest take centre stage as they migrate from Tanzania to Kenya annually in search of pasture.
The Mara lies 280 km from the capital Nairobi and takes about 5 hours by road and 40 minutes by air. Eighty percent of the road is in excellent condition. But there is a section between Narok and the Sekenani Gate that is still under construction.
Pundits have dubbed South Luangwa in Zambia as one of the most fabulous game reserves in the world, and with good reason. The concentration of game along Luangwa River is among the most popular in Africa.
The Luangwa River acts as the lifeblood of the 10,000 sq km national park and provides drinking water and nourishment to the large variety of game animals and birds.
One of the biggest attractions in Luangwa is a “Walking Safari”, but for those looking for more tailor-made safaris, there are plenty on offer. The changing seasons fluctuate to add variety to the vegetation and terrain.
With about 400 of Zambia’s 800 species of birds appearing in the park, including 30 birds of prey, and 40 migrant species, there is plenty for birdwatchers, whatever the season.
Kalahari desert is home to the majestic black-maned lion, the wild dog, and the secretive leopard. If you’re searching for the elusive cheetah, add Kalahari to your bucket list. From the rolling red dunes of the Kgalagadi conservation area to the sparse grasslands of Botswana’s Central Kalahari, this is a patched piece of land rich in desert-adapted wildlife and stunning beauty.
With its abundant springbok and scattering steenbok, the Kalahari wide open landscapes offer a perfect hunting ground for Africa’s fastest mammal.
If you’re lucky enough to spot the Kalahari Cheetah, you stand an excellent chance of watching it aggressively chasing prey with its fantastic speed, making any fitness routine you’ve been trying to keep up feel very inadequate.
It has to be your lucky day if you spot a cheetah in Okavango Delta in Botswana. And to see a cheetah chasing prey is an extra-ordinary encounter you’re not likely to forget for the rest of your life.
It’s a beautiful sight to see a relaxed motionless cheetah lying after feasting on a large meal of antelope or zebra. He appears confident, healthy, and unwilling to pounce on even the closest human.