Africa is arguably among the least known and least explored places in the whole world. Many people’s perception of Africa has been informed by either tragic news or movies. But besides the tragic news and famine fundraising campaigns, Africa is gifted with some of the best safari parks in the whole world.
The natural beauty in Africa is unraveled. In an attempt to bring to light some of the best Africa has to offer; we have come up with a mixture of savannah game parks, Semi desert game parks, desert game parks and tropical rain forest games parks. The following national park stand out of the many offer has to offer because of their uniqueness.
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
Founded in 1898, Kruger National Park is by far South Africa’s premier safari destination. It is the best national park for wildlife watching in Africa and probably in the world.
It is a famous big five safari destination in Africa and a visit to this protected area lets you to explore large herds of buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos and several other wildlife species including diverse bird species.
South Africa is one of the countries with the best road network in Africa. Unless you wish to have a wrestle and tangle journey on a rough road, Kruger national park stands out as one of the top ten safari destinations in Africa. It is also the most accessible of all national parks in Africa.
Other incredible parks in South Africa include Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Table Mountain National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
- Masai Mara National Reserve; Kenya
The Masai Mara National reserve is Kenyan’s icon destination perched in the southwestern parts of Kenya, in the Narok County. Do you want to see wonders? Do want remarkable wildlife safaris in Africa? Are you a cultural enthusiast? Masai Mara is then the best destination to procure all those; the remarkable wildlife safaris, wonders and amazing culture.
The Park is a northern extension of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. The most popular attraction (wonder) in both Parks is the annual wildebeest migration which involves a very large number of wildebeests, Zebras, and many antelope species migrating from Serengeti national park to Masai Mara national reserve for greener pastures.
Besides the Park’s great annual migration of wildebeests, tourists also view all the Africa’s big five which include; African lions, Cape buffaloes, African leopards, African elephants and Rhinos. The other wildlife species to see in the Park are; cheetahs (all big 3 cats present), Nile crocodiles, Hippos, hyenas, jackals, nocturnal bat-eared foxes, Topis, impalas, duikers, large roan antelopes, Grant’s gazelles, Coke’s hartebeests, Masai giraffes, elands, and almost 500 bird species.
Other parks worth mentioning in Kenya are Amboseli National Park, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park.
- Serengeti National Park; Tanzania
This is the most popular national park in Tanzania and among the most known national parks on the African continent. Like Masai mara in Kenya, the park is mainly known for its great annual migration of wildebeests and the Africa’s big five. Every species in Serengeti exists in a very large number, hence getting a fantastic safari.
The great annual wildebeest migration is among the new 7 World Natural Wonders and it is also referred to as the ‘’world cup of wildlife’’ due to a very large number of animals seen during the course. It is only in Serengeti and Masai Mara that you will ever watch this spectacular event which happens twice every year.
Besides the Africa’s big five; Serengeti prides in several other animals species including but limited to cheetahs, Nile crocodiles, hippos, zebras, topis, gazelles, impalas, Grant’s gazelles, serval, caracals, bat-eared foxes, elands, hartebeests, hrax, genets, hares, Masai giraffes, porcupine, mongooses, aardwolves, monitor lizards, and various primate species like baboons and others, plus over 500 bird species.
Other parks worth mentioning in Tanzania include the Ngorongoro Crater home to the Cradle of Mankind and Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania.
- Kidepo Valley National Park; Uganda
Uganda is among the rising safari destinations on the African continent. Unfortunately, even though the country is gifted with ten national parks. Gorilla trekking has overshadowed all the savannah parks in this country located in Eastern Africa.
The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the less known remote national parks that has surprised many of its visitors. Located in the remote north Eastern park of Uganda, the park protects a variety of wildlife species. These include; Lions Rothschild’s giraffe, buffaloes, leopards, hyenas, elephants, hippos, Nile Crocodiles, zebras, bat-eared foxes, oribis, Jackson’s hartebeests, jackals, caracals, pangolin, civets, and many others, plus over 500 bird species.
Besides all that, the Park is another great spot for a cultural trail especially to those who would like to experience the amazing cultures of the Karamojongs, Acholis, IK tribe among several other great tribes.
- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
This is the largest national park in Zimbabwe with an area of about 14600sq.kms. It is located in Southwestern Zimbabwe just between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. This park prides itself with diverse wildlife species including over 108 mammal species (elands, giraffes, zebras, lions, cheetahs, waterbucks, buffaloes, elephants, impalas), over 400 bird species (martial eagle, Southern ground hornbill, pearl spotted owlet, African hobby, yellow billed kite).
Given its location, it makes it very possible to spice your safari to Hwange national park with a visit to Africa’s most spectacular waterfalls; the Victoria falls.
- Etosha National Park, Namibia
On safari in Namibia, a visit to Etosha National Park should be a must if you are looking for great game viewing safari. It is an outstanding safari destination with diversity for you to see and explore. The park has a mixture of desert, semi desert and savannahs.
Etosha National Park is a unique park in Africa offering amazing game viewing experience. Unlike other parks, Etosha National Park features among a few most accessible protected areas in Namibia and Southern Africa.
The Park was established in 1967 and it sits on an area of about 22,270 sq.kms. This park is home to African bush elephants, South-western black rhinos, buffaloes, Angolan giraffes, caracals, cape fox, wild dogs, mongoose, hyenas, duikers; birds including the eagles, vultures, hornbills, sandgrouse, kites, falcons, owls, herons to mention but a few.
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa & Botswana
The Kgalagadi Trans-frontier Park is among the few Trans frontier national parks in Africa. Boasting of a good number of animal species, this large wildlife reserve and conservation area offers the ultimate game viewing opportunities to travelers visiting southern Africa.
The little visited park straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana and comprises two adjoining national parks: Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and Gemsbok National Park in Botswana.
The word Kgalagadi translates as “the place of thirst”! It is located largely within the desert area of Kalahari and most of its terrain consists of red sand dunes with sparse vegetation, occasional trees, and dry riverbeds.
The magnificent park hosts incredible wildlife that includes large mammals; Big cats such as; black-mane lions, cheetahs and leopards; hyenas among several other indigenous African wildlife species.
The Okavango delta in northwestern Botswana is in the ranks of Etosha national park in when comes to landscapes and scenery. The delta is differentiated by it interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean. The park’s iconic attraction is the wetland system that is almost intact.
The delta is affected by seasonal flooding with flood water from Angola reaching the Delta between March and June, peaking in July. This peak coincides with Botswana’s dry season resulting into great migrations of game from the dry hinterland.
Okavango delta is one of the many UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in Africa having acquired this UNESCO heritage status 2014. The delta is an oasis in an otherwise dry environment of the Okavango Delta. Protected by the Moremi Game Reserve on its eastern edge, the delta is known for its superb wildlife sightings and also houses some of Africa’s most exclusive lodges.
Other parks worthy mentioning are Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
- Volcanoes National Park; Rwanda
The Volcanoes National Park is the only gorilla trekking destination in Rwanda. To many travelers, tracking the wild gorillas is on top of the bucket list experiences not to miss while on Rwanda safaris. If you have ever watched the emotional gorillas in the Mist movie, just pack your shoes and get to learn the Story of Dian Fossey from the park where she conducted her studies into the gorilla land.
The park hosts almost a third of the mountain gorillas left in the whole world. You will meet the majestic, and sadly, rare great apes in the wild with no boundaries separating you! The remaining population of these magnificent creatures’ lives in the Virunga area shared between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Another separate population of about 459 mountain gorillas lives in Bwindi impenetrable National Park of Uganda. All treks in these forests are guided and a hike to meet these gorilla stakes anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, depending on how far the gorillas moved into the highlands!
- South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Experts have dubbed South Luangwa to be one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world; the park offers uncrowded wilderness combined with a spectacular concentration of wildlife. With its western and northwestern edge bounded by the Muchinga Escarpment, and the southern border lined by the meandering Luangwa River, there is no shortage of dramatic topography in this stunning park.
Concentrations of game along the river and on the wide-open plains are amongst the most intense in Africa. The park is especially known for its sightings of the elusive leopard and packs of wild dogs.