5 Great African Safaris

An African safari is on most travellers’ bucket lists. It is one of those once in a lifetime trips to someplace so very different from home. You want to plan it right by choosing the perfect safari for you.

I have always wanted to go on an African safari. My parents went several years ago and absolutely loved it. They’ve travelled all over the world and Africa remains my father’s favourite place they’ve gone. My mother still favors Australia over Africa. I would gladly visit either one without complaint.

If you live in North America, getting to Africa can be very expensive. So, you want to go for at least a few weeks since it isn’t a trip you are likely to get many opportunities to make.

Africa has 54 countries in it and is home to the world’s longest river (Nile) and the world’s largest desert (Sahara). It is also the birthplace of mankind. Needless to say, there’s a lot to see.

Given the sheer amount of history to see in Egypt, I would leave it for a trip by itself, maybe accompanied by a Nile cruise. There are parts of Africa that are very fascinating but also not very safe to visit.

Choose your destinations wisely and always work with reputable tour operators. Many tours work hand in hand with local communities to ensure that tourist dollars go back into helping support the people and local wildlife conservation efforts.

One of the key things that people, myself included, tend to want to see in Africa is the wildlife. An African safari can be an ideal way to do that. Trips range from a few nights to 40 days depending on how much you want to see and where you want to go.

You can do it with a basic camping style package or go all out and stay at luxury lodges. There is enough variety to fill even the most fickle of tastes. Here are five great African safaris I would gladly try. They are all offered by African Safari Home.

1. Romance Kenya


Kenya is probably one of the best known countries in Africa for safaris and wildlife viewing. This ten day safari visits various parts of the Masai Mara National Reserve, Chyulu Hills National Park, and Samburu. You start with an overnight in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.

Activities include game drives, night drives, horseback safaris, guided walks with Maasai naturalists, cultural activities and visits, and sundowners. The wildlife is plentiful in Kenya including elephants, leopards, rhino, lions, cheetah, wildebeest, antelope, buffalo, zebra, and of course the Great Migration of over two million wildebeest and antelope.

Chyulu Hills is home to some unique volcanic peaks, cinder cones, craters and tubes, including the world’s longest volcanic tube.

2. Magnificent Chimps

This is a shorter, four night safari that focuses on the many African primates although you will certainly see other wildlife species as well. The trip begins in Arusha, Tanzania with an overnight stay at the Arusha Coffee Lodge.

You then choose between the Mahale Mountains National Park, home to many species of primate and originally created to protect chimpanzees, or the Katavi National Park which is home to the more traditional safari viewing animals.

Mahale Mountains offers chimpanzee tracking, kayaking, snorkelling, boat cruises, fishing and sunsets over Lake Tanganyika. Katavi is a lesser known park that is home to herds of elephant and buffalo as well as rare species of antelope.

3. The Great Apes


You begin your seven day journey at the Primate Lodge in the Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda.

The forest has the world`s highest concentration of primates and you are likely to see chimpanzees and red Colobus monkeys in the canopy overhead. The forest is also home to more than 352 species of bird.

The next stop is Queen Elizabeth Park which is home to large herds of elephant, buffalo, Uganda Kob, Topi, and hippos. Your trip finishes off with a few days at the Gorilla Forest Camp in Bwindi.

Here the mountain gorillas have been carefully habituated to human presence over many years. You will track the gorillas and be allowed to spend some time with these rare great apes.

4. The Big Five Summer Safari

African safaris often talk about the “big five” – elephant, zebra, lion, leopard, and rhino. At one point these were the big goals for visiting hunters. Now, they are often the big sighting goals of wildlife tourists.

This is an eleven day tour that begins in Johannesburg and immediately flies you to Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana. The game reserve is home to many species including wildebeest, zebra and springbok as well as their predators, including lions, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, and jackals.

Other commonly sighted animals include honey badgers, meerkat, flocks of ostrich, and many bird species. You then move on to Nxai Pan camp in Nxai, Botswana. The Pan is a fossilized lakebed and activities there include fossil pans interpretation as well as game drives and a visit to Baines’ Baobabs.

Next it is on to another part of Nxai, with a different type of landscape. At Jack’s Camp you will continue game drives as well as explore geological, archaeological, and anthropological activities. At the Okavango delta in the Kalahari Desert, Botswana, you will stay at the island camp of Little Kwara.

Here you can take a boat cruise, mokoro (traditional boat) trips, visit the nesting grounds at Godikwe Lagoon and take in more wildlife viewing. Your voyage concludes in Livingstone, Zambia. You spend a few nights in a luxury tree house that is built into the ebony tree canopy along the Zambezi River.

From here you can explore the many unique things Livingstone has to offer including Victoria Falls.

5. The Big Five Feast


This seven night trip begins in Botswana at the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Stay in a completely solar-powered campsite for two nights while viewing game on traditional drives during the day.

You will then move on to the Okavango Delta where you can explore the waterways using traditional mokoros or motorized boats. This trip focuses offers many eco-tourism options such as boats powered by electricity. This is a great area to see hippos, diverse bird and reptile species and a huge array of uniquely coloured frogs.

Then, you will move to a different area of the delta where you can view leopard, elephants, lions, hyena, wild dogs, buffalo, giraffes, blue wildebeest, and Burchell`s zebra, along with many more species. The trip ends at Victoria Falls in Zambia. Your hotel is right on the water and entrance to the famous falls is included.

I’m not sure any African safari could be disappointing unless of course you didn`t see the animals but that doesn’t seem a likely occurrence. The best way to decide on a safari is to start by deciding what you want to see.

For some it will be the big five, for others it’s the big cats, and for birders, it is the many avian species that call Africa home. Many safaris cover multiple countries and offer chances to do more than just see animals. Consider exploring Olduvai Gorge, birthplace of humanity, in Tanzania.

Or perhaps you would like to explore the many wineries of South Africa? There’s so much to do and see on this continent that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one activity or just one week.

Cover photo: africanubuntusafaris.com.au


About the author

Heather B

Heather is an avid traveller, lover of dogs, and baker supreme. She lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada where she raises German Shorthaired Pointers with her family. An explorer at heart, she travels whenever she can, wherever she can.

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