Africa, the second-largest continent in the world, is known for having a staggering number of diverse wild creatures across its fifty-four countries. For many wildlife photographers, Africa is among their favourites to visit and gather unique and fascinating experiences. As the home of countless iconic, exotic and endangered animals, this is the best destination for the ultimate adventure of a lifetime. You can witness the migration of many wild animals, watch predatory animals hunt their prey, and watch them nurture their offspring. But among the 157 safari parks on this continent, which ones should you add to your itinerary? If you are passionate about exploring and interacting with wildlife animals, then here are some top-notch African safari parks for the most genuine and purest animal encounters.
Serengeti National Park – Tanzania
Serengeti National Park practically guarantees an authentic wildlife experience. Stretching over 14,763 sq. km of staggering plain lands, it is the largest, oldest, and most popular national park in Tanzania. With a stunning landscape of savannah undulating in the subtle yet soothing breeze, outlined by the flat-topped acacia and great roving herds during the migration season. This is regarded as the greatest wildlife spectacle you can witness on earth when more than 2 million zebras, gazelles, and other wildlife animals travel 1800 miles chasing the rain as part of the world’s largest migration.
It is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage where you can catch glimpses of phenomenal predators like lions, cheetahs and leopards chasing after zebras, impalas, gazelles, and elands. If you want to see the Big Five, that is lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and leopards, then head on to a morning drive of Ngorongoro Crater or you can also go to the lesser visited spots like near Namiri Plains and around the Grumeti River and be blessed with a sight of lion and wild dogs. Serengeti national park offers some of the best wildlife encounters in the world, which is why it earned its spot as one of the best African Safari Parks.
Masai Mara National Reserve – Kenya
More than 2 million wild animals that migrate from Serengeti national park move to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. It is one of the most famous African safari parks, with sightings of large herds of elephants buffaloes, lions, and hippos between the months of July and October. The green land and regular rainfall make it the perfect place for millions of herbivores. However, that also unintentionally invites a lot of predators as well.
If you like big cats, Masai Mara is the best place to visit. Here you can easily observe the behaviours of leopards and cheetahs scouting for their next prey. You can also spot elephants and buffalos here quite easily, although black rhinos might be harder to come by. The temperature here can vary depending on the altitude you are in, that is the higher you climb the cooler the air will get. Masai Mara experiences a Wet Season with short and long rains from November to May with an interlude during January and February and Dry Season from June to October. These are the best times to pay a visit to this African Safari Park a visit.
Hwange National Park – Zimbabwe
Hwange National Park in west Zimbabwe is the largest national park in the country, covering 14,600 sq. km of land. It is popular for being one of the largest elephant sanctuaries in the continent of Africa. It is also home to thousands of cape buffalo, giraffes, kudu, zebras, lions, leopards, wildebeests, and several species of antelope. If you are interested in observing the inhabitants of this park in their natural habitat, then you can book guided bush walks, or sunset and night drives, which are available for everyone.
Though this African Safari Park has so much to be seen, it is still among the most underrated national park on the continent. It has one of the densest wildlife concentrations, with close to 108 different species of mammals. It is also a prime predator territory, with some super pride consisting of over 20 lions, so they can easily hunt for young elephants. The best time to visit this park is probably between July and October when the dry season kicks in and drives the wild animals to the nearest watering holes, and they can be observed from platforms overlooking these water holes.
South Luangwa National Park – Zambia
If you are looking for the most popular park in Zambia and the pioneer of walking safari, then your search results will lead you to South Luangwa National Park. Since this park has the highest density of leopards in Africa, this park is also known as the ‘Valley of the Leopard’. You will definitely be able to spot one of these fast climbers resting on top of a tree branch during the daytime. Or you will catch a herd of buffalos roaming across the savannah or a pack of elephants bathing in the river.
The aesthetic of South Luangwa National Park is enhanced by the curvy path of the Luangwa River. This river provides the wild animal of this park with sufficient water to keep on going throughout the year, especially during the dry season. It is hot in this region all year round but the nights are cooler from May to August, making it the best time to take a trip there.
Kruger National Park – South Africa
Kruger National Park is at the top of the list of African Safari Parks to have the best wildlife experience of a lifetime. A destination of this ginormous size, the same size as Israel or Wales, encompasses something to enjoy for everyone. The wildlife diversity in this park is also quite large which can be accessed with an excellent road network. On any good day, you can easily spot the Big Five along with hippos, crocs, giraffes, and much more.
With 145 different mammal species to observe, you will find yourself entranced by the sight of a new animal every few minutes. Even bird watchers can rejoice at the collection of eagles, colourful hornbills, and parrots. The well-maintained web of tarred paths makes it easy for travellers to explore this park.
Planning to have the best wildlife experience in Africa? Then don’t wait around and book your flight today from NCL Tours.