Most tourists and safari lovers do not have a clue about which is the best safari country in Africa. Some of them don’t even know if Africa is a continent as they think Africa is a small, poor country. If you are one of them, this guide contains the best and more useful information for you.
Africa is a continent with more than 54 countries. Some of the countries such as Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, and Liberia are all in Africa, the countries you might have already heard about.
Africa is widely known as the top wildlife safari destination to most tourists who have had visited it and even those who are on the stage of planning their trip to this incredible continent. There are also wildlife safaris undertaken in India but India does not boast such a plethora of wildlife like in Africa and most of their safaris are more tiger-centric. There are of course other significant differences in the manner safaris are done between these two continents as they all come from different backgrounds.
The term “safari” came into use in tourism in the second half of the 19th century and it is a derivative from the Arabic word “safar” to mean travel or journey or expedition. Swahili language adopted this Arabic word and formed a new word which is “safari” to mean the same. The new word became more popular in the hunting expeditions to Africa and later it was used to imply photographic expeditions to the same continent to date. Around 1920, the gears that were recommended for a trip to Africa started to be called collectively as “safari gears”. So whenever people talk about safari or hear of the word itself, the reflection of it is majorly encircled on African wildlife and the associated adventures.
African countries are like other countries in the continents of Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. They have beautiful cities with good infrastructure as well as other rural areas. African countries have most of their land reserved for farming and these are rural areas of Africa. Some countries have their natural and undisturbed land that favors life for wildlife in large numbers – This has made these countries improve their wildlife areas as tourist hotspots for vacationers.
If you are planning for a wildlife safari, expect to visit countries in the east and southern parts of Africa. Below is our Top 6 List of the Best Safari Countries in Africa that you should consider in your bucket list.
Without doubt, Tanzania is a world-class premier safari destination for all types of travelers. Tanzania is located in the eastern part of Africa, bordered by countries like Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. It is also bordered by the Indian Ocean on its eastern front.
One of the reasons why Tanzania is on top of our list is the richness of wildlife across the whole country. To date, Tanzania has 22 national parks and more than 16 game reserves, amongst other conservation areas. Almost 40% of its land is allotted for wildlife conservation in one form or the other, far beyond any country in Africa. This is an equivalence of an area of 378’035sq.km (145’960sq.mi) into conservation. Tanzania contains a total area of approximately 945’087sq.km (364’900sq.mi).
Divided into four tourism circuits, Tanzania Safari is once in a lifetime experience that anyone who wants to visit Africa should include. Northern Tanzania is a more famous and most visited place as it embraces the world’s classic safari destinations like Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, and Mount Kilimanjaro. Some travel agencies recommend the Tanzania Northern circuit to those tourists who visit Tanzania for the first time.
If you like to isolate yourself from the crowd, Western and Southern Circuits of Tanzania are more recommendable as they are less visited. Tanzania Western Circuit is best known for Chimpanzee Tracking on Mahale and Gombe Stream National Parks. Katavi National Park is another hidden jewel to enjoy African Wildlife.
The Southern Circuit of Tourism includes Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi, and Ruaha National Parks. These parks are the largest national parks in Africa and they are famous for having the highest number of elephants and Lions than any parks in Africa.
If you want to experience the tropical beach life on the coast of the Indian Ocean, you should consider visiting Tanzania Eastern Circuit. Eastern Circuit includes the largest city in East Africa, Dar es Salaam, and the most beautiful spice island of Zanzibar as well as Saadani National Park
There are a number of factors that make Tanzania the best safari destination, to learn more, you can visit Why Tanzania the Top Safari Destination in Africa
Botswana is another country located in Southern Africa. Although Botswana doesn’t have diversified wildlife areas like Tanzania, it has emerged as one of the top safari destinations in Africa due to government investment in the tourism sector. The anti-poaching policy in Botswana is one of the strictest in Africa thus helping her parks and reserves to have a relatively decent amount of wildlife.
Some of the world-renowned tourist attractions include Chobe National Park and the amazing canoe-based wildlife safari in the Okavango Delta. Chobe National Park has one of the largest populations of elephants in the world.
Moremi National Reserve, the first protected area in Botswana offers traditional Big 5 Safaris among other things. Other places to explore in Botswana are Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Nxai Pan National Park, and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
Kenya is one of the world’s most resplendent wildlife destinations and it has set aside about 10% of its land for wildlife conservation in the parks, game reserves, and privately owned sanctuaries. Kenya spans a total area of approximately 580’367sq. km (224’081sq.mi) and so 58’037sq.km (22’408sq.mi) is a designated area for wildlife conservation. Bordering Tanzania on its southern end, Kenya has a number of national parks and game reserves for safari lovers.
The most famous places include Masai Mara Game Reserve and Amboseli National Park. Amboseli is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its fame of harboring another mega elephant population in Africa. Approximately 1’600 elephants roam between the wetland, grassland, and woodland habitats of Amboseli Park.
Masai Mara offers incredible wildlife viewing throughout the year with resident populations of Wildebeests, Zebras, Topis, Hartebeests, the big cats, et cetera. This park is at its peak for safaris from the mid of August to the end of October when the migratory Wildebeests and Zebras from Serengeti in Tanzania arrive up in their northern dispersal areas.
There are also a lot of private wildlife sanctuaries that make a journey to Kenya unique and worthwhile. For Bird watchers, Lake Nakuru has been home to different species of birds, including Flamingoes.
As the Nation’s economy and infrastructure improving quickly, Zambia also emerges as one of the leading Safari Countries in Africa. Although it is not a popular safari destination in Africa, it has some of the best safari parks inhabited by African Elephants, Angolan Giraffes, Zebras, African Cape Buffaloes, Crocodiles, Impalas, Sable antelopes, and much more! Like in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Zambia also offers a chance to experience safaris by canoes on Lower Zambezi National Park.
Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park is the most famous park in Zambia and it is bordered by the Zambezi River. This park can also be mirrored from the other side of Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls National Park. Other places to go for safari include South Luangwa National Park and Kasanka National Park, the best places for bird watchers.
Known as a home to the famous Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe also provides a unique vacation experience. Victoria Falls is one of the favorite destinations for most travelers who visit Botswana and South Africa. It is in the “to do” and “best places to go” lists of most travelers who wish to visit the southern parts of Africa.
A safari in Zimbabwe is unique as the wildlife experience focuses on finding animals on foot with a very experienced and qualified guide. This is mostly done at Mana Pools National Park. Hwange National Park is another option especially if you are interested in seeing large species of animals like Elephants and Buffalos. Boating and canoe safaris can be done in these parks which would be an add-on to the unique experience.
Zimbabwe provides an alternative destination to Botswana and Zambia as tourists can get a similar quality experience.
South Africa is possibly one of the most known countries in Southern Africa. South Africa has a little of everything and it is the most developed country in Southern Africa. Being in big cities of South Africa like Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg makes one feels no different from being in developed countries.
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s biggest national park covering an area of about 19’485 sq km (7’523sq. mi). It is another premier game-watching destinations in the world with all the classical big game of Africa such as the African Elephants, Rhinoceros, African Cape Buffalos, Hippopotamus, Giraffes, Zebras, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, et cetera. The park is very unique as safari lovers are allowed to experience their safari by self-drive as well as walking on wilderness trails.
We hope this guide provides you with a glimpse of which African country you should consider for your next safari vacation. If you are interested in vising East African countries, Maasai Magic Safaris will get you covered. Just contact us and tell us your interests so that we can prepare the best and customizable itinerary for you.