Best National Parks & Wildlife Destinations in Africa
Africa is the ultimate destination for wildlife enthusiasts. This vast continent has endless diversity of fauna and flora and is a paradise for any one with a passion for animals. Get ready for a wildlife adventure like never before and enjoy the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime experience.
With so many spectacular nature parks and most beautiful game reserves to pick from, it can be an overwhelming task as to how to plan your holidays in Africa. We recommend booking with a company like Naturetrek Wildlife Holidays who are a specialist tour operator best known for wildlife and safari holidays.
Now you can look forward to a well-planned tour to some of the most popular and wildlife expeditions to the most remote corners of the continent.
Here is our list of the best national parks and places to see wildlife in Africa.
1. Masi Mara National Reserve, Kenya
The Masi Mara National Reserve is one of the best destinations to see wildlife in Africa because of the remarkable population of predators located here.
This reserve is also home to the Great Wildebeest Migration which happens every year and is an incredible sight. If you plan a trip during this period you will get to watch the annual pilgrimage of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle on their annual migration from the Serengeti.
If you have a passion for photography or just want to see stunning African animals in their natural habitat then the Maasai Mara will not disappoint.
2. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Tanzania is a beautiful country and the Serengeti National Park is one of the main highlights.This National Park offers a vast pristine landscape dotted with flat-topped acacia and filled with exotic animals.
The landscape of swaying savannah is spectacular and this is one of the best places to see animals in eastern Africa. It is a good idea to start your wildlife safari trip from the Ngorongoro Crater that is famous for the Big five- elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard. It is easy to see them all on a dream safari holiday.
3. Chobe National Park, Botswana
Chobe National Park is located along the northwest corner of Botswana and boasts of a diverse ecosystem that is filled with a diverse animal and bird life. Savuti Marsh is famous for the higher concentrations of wildlife, especially the elephants. Thousands of elephants live within the park borders, and those enormous herds of elephants gather along the Chobe River along with other animals to drink water. You are in for a unique and rewarding game-viewing experience.
4. Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda
The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the lesser known parks in all Africa. There is a real beauty about the park which is made of the vast plains of Kidepo and Narus Valleys that are overshadowed by Mount Morungole. By booking a trip here you can look forward to seeing some rare animals and also herds of elephants moving along the valleys. Often the Kidepo lions can be seen as well as roving herds of buffaloes. Although the park is a bit isolated, it is one of the best hidden gems of the African continent.
5. The Kalahari Desert, Botswana
Botswana is well famous for its sand dunes, rust-colored valleys and also wildlife. The Kalahari is home to elephants, white rhinos, giraffes, buffalos, yellow mongooses, hyenas, honey badgers, and a lot more. Enjoy the scenery around and keep your camera ready as you spot the wild life with the golden grasses and scrub bushes as the backdrop.
6. Kruger National Park, South Africa
The Kruger National Park is the most famous of the game reserves in South Africa and is highly recommended for the first time visitors. Apart from the Big Five, one can get the chance to spot endangered wild dogs and vulnerable cheetahs here. The park also boasts several elusive small cat species.
The Kruger makes for that perfect safari destination as it is well-maintained and carries a good network of roads. Those who love to watch birds must visit the park between October and March when it is home to hundreds of migrant birds. Check out this guide to the best binoculars for bird watching if you are looking to really enhance your trip.
The Kruger Park is often referred to as the tamed wilderness because of the good infrastructure within the park. There are lots of tour packages, we recommend Exploring the Kruger Park with G Adventures or if you would like to visit independently check out some top tips for self driving the Kruger Park.
7. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Hwange National Park is the biggest national park of Zimbabwe and also one of the most underrated wildlife parks. It boasts of a much higher diversity of mammals when compared to any other wildlife park in Africa. Despite having the highest concentration of wild animals, fewer visitors arrive here. There are super prides of lions in the prime predator territory of Hwange, and often there are more than 20 lions in one pride. Apart from those, there are other wildlife species like hyenas, leopards, and elephants.
8. Etosha National Park, Namibia
The Etosha National Park is one of the most beloved wildlife sanctuaries of Africa that is sure to leave you with some incredible memories. Home to a large number of wild animals and bird species, you will get plenty of chances to spot the wildlife as well as capture them in your camera. Enjoy sightings of wildebeest, rhino, antelope, zebra and elephant across the varied vegetation.
9. South Luangwa National Park , Zambia
South Luangwa National Park is located in eastern Zambia and boasts of incredible wildlife as several large lion prides as well as antelope and elephants. Take advantage of great value safaris to get close to the wildlife and enjoy some amazing wildlife sighting as well as hippos and Nile crocodiles in the rivers.
South Luangwa is really underrated compared to some of the other places on oru list but you won't regret going here. This park is also famous for being one of the best places to spot the wild leopards.
10. Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Kenya is a spectacular country and the Samburu National Reserve is one of the top safari destinations in the country. What adds to the cultural appeal are the Samburu people, but do not confuse them with their southern cousins, the Maasai. It is hard to ignore the legendary hospitality of this tribe.
The Samburu National Reserve is home to the impressive Special Five - reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich, Grevy's zebra, and gerenuk antelope. The wildlife reserve is one of the most magnificent places in Africa, and is a must visit destination for for any wildlife enthusiast.
11. The Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is located at the site where the Okavango River enters the Kalahari Desert basin. The unique inland water system supports a vast variety of wildlife. The best way to explore the Okavango Delta is on a traditional canoe and during the annual flood, these trips can be arrange locally or online.
The wet season is the time you should plan a trip here as it is when the Delta's animals are forced into the open, and thus it becomes easier to spot them. The highlight of visiting the Okavango Delta is getting the chance to see crocodiles, lions, antelope, hippos and cheetahs. There are also lots of different species of birds that can be spotted here.
Have you ever been to any of the places featured on our list? Or do you have any recommendations for somewhere we have missed? Leave feedback in the comments section below.