The best African safari destinations
There is something incredibly magical about an African safari and it's an experience high on most people's ultimate bucket list. Here we look at 6 of the best safari destinations - just don’t get too close to the wildlife!
1. Kruger National Park, South Africa
One of the most famous national parks in Africa, this 2 million hectare reserve is home to a wonderfully diverse range of animals, birds and plants. People travel the world over to see the famous 'Big Five' - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. With a plethora of safari camps to choose from and bespoke trips on offer you won't be disappointed.
2. Duba Plains, Botswana
This private reserve is in the beautiful Okavango Delta of Botswana, a remote area home to some of the biggest lions in Africa - the Skimmer and Tsaro prides. These lions are unusual as they are not night hunters but can be seen on the prowl during the day, which gives visitors fantastic viewing opportunities. It is also a well-known place to see the herd of Cape Buffalo. The film made by National Geographic called Relentless Enemies, famously captured the incredible interplay between the lions and buffalo here.
3. Massai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
An extremely popular destination for safaris, this national reserve has previously been the subject of the BBC’s Big Cat Diary television series. It is easy to see why with the amazing numbers of leopards and cheetahs here, who have made Massai Mara their home. Plan your trip in July when the migration of the wildebeest begins. It's an awe-inspiring spectacle and one that the cats never miss, so neither should you!
4. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Bordering Botswana, this is the largest park in Zimbabwe, with an impressive and diverse range of wildlife, including over 105 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds. Located next to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Victoria Falls, Hwange is home to the largest population of wild dogs left in Africa. Head here in the winter time, when the waterholes are full and the animals are out in force.
5. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana
As the second largest game reserve in the world at 52,800 sq km, the vastness of this remote wilderness is the real pull for visitors. There is also a fascinating range of animals here including the Brown Hyena, the Kalahari black maned Lion, leopard, wildebeest, zebra and springbok. With strict visitor numbers, it feels like a real privilege to come to this beautiful and inspiring place. From May to September is the best time to see the animals.
6. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Coming to this special place is a dream for many people as it is home to half of the world's population of mountain gorillas. This ancient rainforest is recognised for its immense bio-diversity and is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. It is not only a sanctuary for the gorillas but many other species including monkeys and chimpanzees.