Where is the best safari in Africa?
In Africa, the most renowned safari destinations are in East and Southern Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Each country offers a very different experience in terms of its landscape, animal species, guiding, activities and overall experience.
Kenya and Tanzania are great countries to head to if you want to combine some time on the beach with your safari. These countries are also home to the great wildebeest migration which is an incredible pilgrimage of around 2 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras. This is an amazing spectacle, especially as the predator interaction surrounding the wildebeest is so good. East African safaris are probably one of the most authentic as most of the camps are tented suites with basic but comfortable furnishings and ensuite bathrooms.
Zambia and Zimbabwe are more specialist destinations in terms of a safari experience. Of course, it is possible for people to go to these countries for a first time safari, but the guiding and activities are somewhat focused on more experienced travellers. For example, South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is the founding destination for a walking safari. Although a walking safari is exhilarating (as you are on foot and therefore much more vulnerable), the experience is more focused on the smaller features of a safari such as the footprints, the smells and the plants etc. For your first safari, a game drive is the best way to see the bigger game as you can speed through the park.
Botswana is a wonderful destination for a safari but it is one of the most expensive. For those looking for a ‘wow factor’ and don’t mind paying the price, then Botswana is a must-do destination for your first-time safari. The most famed destination is the Okavango Delta and righly so –geologically formed by the depression between two lateral plate rifts, this ecosystem was formed millions of years ago and once allowed the floodwaters from the Angolan Highlands to flow to what was Africa’s largest internal lake, Lake Makgadikgadi (the pre-cursor to the now-present salt pans).