African Safari Guide: Top Destinations and Travel Safety Tips

Africa is home to many national parks consisting of incredible wildlife and bird species, picturesque views and super-fun adventures. But, choosing the best out of so many is a task.
So this guide right here is the solution you are looking for. Below are some of the best safari spots you should definitely visit when you plan a trip to Africa. We have also listed some travel safety tips.

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1- Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is the ultimate safari destination for wildlife lovers. A safari trip here is surely going to be one of the highlights if you are visiting Kenya. Located in the southwest of Kenya, the park is particularly famous for the great wildebeest migration from July to October when thousands of wildebeests, zebras and Thomson’s gazelles travel from Masai Mara to the Serengeti plains. The view during this period is truly splendid.

Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve

Wildlife

The park protects the magnificent ‘Big Five’, which includes the king of the jungle, the African lion, the leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and the largest & most formidable Cape buffalo. You can also spot the Masai ostrich, giraffes, zebras, hippos, cheetahs, and Nile crocodiles thriving in the river.


Best time to visit Masai Mara

  • Though Masai Mara is a year-round safari destination; from late June to early October is the best time to visit here. During this time, you’ll be able to see the ‘great migration’ in full flow.
  • November to March aren’t the peak months, but it is still a good time as the prices of lodges are low.
  • The rainy season starts in March, and it’s pretty wet until the end of May due to heavy rainfall. In general, it is best to avoid planning safari trips during this period.
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2- Amboseli National Park

Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain peak, stands tall over this diverse park, which is famous for its herds of elephants. It is the second most popular national park after the Masai Mara National Reserve. Five different habitats lie within its borders, and thanks to these contrasting ecosystems, the wildlife is varied and in abundance.

Amboseli National Park
Viator

Wildlife

The park is home to the most celebrated and longest studied elephant population. It also consists of spotted hyenas, impalas, lions, cheetahs, leopards, buffaloes, jackals, and a variety of over 420 species of birds.

Best time to visit Amboseli National Park

  • The dry season from June to October is the best time to witness the wonderful wildlife in the park.
  • June to September and January to February offer the best weather condition for tourists to visit with little rainfall and a pleasant atmosphere. However, this park experiences heavy rains in April.

3- Okavango Delta

When it comes to quality African safaris, Botswana is a hub for all things good. Have you ever thought of how does a place looks when a desert meets a river? Okavango Delta is the apt answer to it. The Okavango River reaches the semi-arid sands of Kalahari Desert after coursing its way through Namibia & Botswana from Angola, giving life through its flat floodplains. It is an ecological hotspot listed under the World Heritage Sites consisting of unique flora and fauna.

Okavango Delta
The Conversation

Wildlife

Many large animals such as elephants, hippos, wildebeests, brown and spotted hyenas,
African endangered wild dogs, giraffes, and zebras can be seen here. Most of them are easy to spot during the winter months. Okavango is also known as the hippo highway. One of the biggest reasons to visit the Okavango Delta is because of the 400+ species of birds that can be found here. This destination transforms into a bird watcher’s paradise in the rainy months.

Best time to visit Okavango Delta

  • During Botswana’s dry winter months – between June to August – the water level of
    Okavango swells to more than three times that of normal. This ultimately attracts
    wildlife from far and wide, making it the best time for a safari.
  • The wet season from December to March is generally a mix of hot and humid climates with short but intense bursts of rain which is ideal for bird watching.
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4- Kruger National Park

Located in South Africa, the Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in
Africa. The park offers amazing game viewing opportunities. Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests make the view more scenic. It also shares several unfenced borders with many private game reserves on its western border. The park offers many activities for its visitors, including wilderness trails, golf, game drives, guided walks, 4×4, eco-trails, backpacking trails, and mountain biking. These activities allow visitors to get close to nature and experience various thrills of a safari adventure like never before.

Kruger National Park
Tripsavvy

Wildlife

All of Africa’s iconic wildlife; from the Big Five to giraffes, hippos, zebras, majestic fish
eagles and other nocturnal animals are found here.

Best time to visit Kruger National Park

  • The location is perfect for year-round travel. Hot lush summers are perfect for watching baby animals and birds.
  • Winters are apt for all-around game viewing. However, the best time is between April and September.

5- Serengeti National Reserve

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tanzania, this park holds the largest land mammal
migration and is one of the most popular African safari destinations. The reserve offers
several activities for the visitors, such as game drives, hot-air balloon safaris, a visitor’s
centre for those eager to learn & discover new things related to the wildlife. Guided nature walks, meals in the bush and experiencing wildlife at night can also be experienced here.

Serengeti National Reserve
Serengeti Park

Wildlife

Serengeti holds the largest lion population in Africa. The Retina Hippo Pool is a sight to
behold, and crocodiles can also be seen here. African leopards, cheetahs, elephants,
gazelles, jackals and spotted hyenas are the other wildlife in this park.

Best time to visit Serengeti National Reserve

January to February and June to September are the best time to visit this national reserve.

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African Safari Safety Tips

When planning a safari trip in Africa, it is essential to keep in mind certain safety tips to make your trip better and safer. Below are 7 best African Safari Safety Tips:

  • Avoid ostentatious displays of wealth and do not carry too many digital gadgets.
  • Always carry a copy of your travel documents. They can be helpful in times of
    emergency/theft.
  • Carry only a limited amount of money (cash).
  • Always listen to the advice from your safari guide.
  • Drink bottled water and don’t forget to carry a first aid kit.
  • Carry a hat, sunglasses, and keep sunscreen handy.
  • Don’t wander around at night, especially in an unfamiliar region.

What It Was Like Going on a Safari Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic?

  • No crowds: The safari camps and lodges are designed in a very intimate manner, so you won’t come in contact with large crowds.
  • Wide-open spaces: Vast grasslands and plains with fresh air and pleasant weather provide the healthiest habitat.

To Sum Up

Experiencing a thrilling safari depends on the safari options you pick and the time you
choose to travel. This guide is a brief on the best safari destinations and provides you with some helpful tips. So make the best of this guide and book a safari to Africa today.

Robin Cormack
Robin Cormack

Robin has a long history in Africa, and safaris in general, from running lodges to marketing. SafariDeal is the culmination of a bunch of ideas to bring together the best safaris, best operators, and best locations in the wildlife and adventure travel world. He is always on the lookout for new ideas and products from around the safari world.

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