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Top Safaris Experiences

Witnessing the annual great migration on the Serengeti

Gorilla tracking in Uganda & Rwanda

Visiting Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

Incredible wildlife

Spotting the "Big 5" in Kruger National Park

Exploring Botswana’s Okavango Delta

 

 

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Top Safaris Attractions

Safari in Masai Mara National Park

Safari in Kruger National Park

Nature and Wildlife viewing

Birding on Safari

Safari in Chobe National Park

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Safaris Attractions And Landmarks Guide

“Safari” is one of the most inspiring words in adventurous travel. Seeing some of the planet’s greatest wildlife in their native habitats is an unforgettable experience. Whether by a guided sunrise just minutes from your lodge, or the exhilaration of a jeep ride deep into the savannah, no safari will be the same -- each will reveal entirely new memories.

When Africa was still colonized, big game hunters came on safari to shoot wild animals and return home with trophies to mount. They gathered in Nairobi to compare notes on bagging what they called the Big Five: elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and Cape buffalo.

Hunting bans and conservation-oriented TV shows have largely made the big game hunters a relic of the past (with the notable exception of poachers who kill animals for their tusks, horns or other saleable parts). An African safari -- “journey” in Swahili – is now typically populated by adventurous travelers shooting pictures and videos rather than rifles. With some magnificent African animals on the endangered lists, many travelers feel a sense of urgency to go on safari now before poachers devastate the dwindling populations of rhinos and other creatures.

Wide Variety of Safari Operators

But African countries are increasingly recognizing the economic benefits of conservation and safari travel, and a wide variety of safari operators are offering environmentally sensitive guided tours in search of big game. Seasoned guides manning four-wheel drive vehicles navigate dirt roads through vast parks in search of not just the Big Five but also giraffes, hippos, zebras, wildebeest, crocodiles and abundant bird life. And, depending on your chosen safari location, you may even encounter gorillas, chimpanzees, and monkeys.

While elements of wildlife viewing can be hot, bumpy, and dusty, lodging is a different story. Many African game parks now come complete with luxury lodging options, as well as more basic accommodations such as campgrounds for those on tighter budgets. But even campers can find luxury by “glamping” – glamorous camping – in tents outfitted with beds. On mobile safaris, you’ll move with your guides most evenings to new locations.

Think Regionally

Africa is a vast continent, so it’s good to think regionally. East Africa is the classic destination. Kenya and Tanzania are home to the Serengeti, site of the largest concentration of big game animals on earth, as well as wildlife-rich Masai Mara and Ngorongoro Crater. UgandaRwanda and the eastern borderlands of the Democratic Republic of Congo are best known for tracking primates – most notably gorillas -- in the wild. Central Africa’s game parks can be paired with a huge bonus: a side-trip to Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall by volume whose roaring waters spray mists hundreds of feet into the air. It straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

West Africa is less known for big game, but Ghana, Togo and other countries do offer some game viewing along with fascinating cultural exploration. Previously overshadowed by East Africa, Southern Africa is emerging as the hot new safari destination. South Africa’s Kruger National Park is one of the top wildlife parks in Africa; Namibia’s arid Kunene region attracts elephants, black rhinos, and lions; and Botswana’s Okavango Delta – a wetland that forms annually from flooding in the Kalahari Desert – beckons lions, leopards, cheetahs and both black and white rhinos.

With a multiplicity of safari operators seeking your business in almost every locale, the process of selecting the right one can be confusing. That’s where Stride comes in – we’ll help you compare game parks, operators, and prices, so that you can find the African safari will best fulfill your dreams.

Must See Safaris Attractions

1. The Great Migration

Great Migration wildebeest stampede

Witnessing this incredible movement of wildlife is truly one of the most breathtaking experiences on a safari in Africa. Thousands of species make their way seeking better grazing and water over hundreds of miles, creating a bend of color and dust and thundering noise. TIP: watch from the air in a hot air balloon!  

2. Masai Mara National Park

Masai Mara tribe and National Park in Tanzania

Masai Mara National Park, located in southwest Tanzania, on the border with Kenya, is a classic destination for Safari travel. Here you’ll see many of the classic Africa wildlife you’d hope to see on safari (including the Big 5). It is also a very popular travel destination for visiting traditional African communities and villages.

3. Chobe National Park

Two Elephants in Chobe National Park

Located in Botswana, this gorgeous national park is known for the incredibly biodiversity and ecosystems. The dry season is the best time to visit for observing herds of elephants -  approximately 120,000 elephants make their home in this protected area and they are a main draw for visitors to the park.

4. Kruger National Park

Lion on the savannah in Kruger National Park, South Africa

In the northeastern part of South Africa, Kruger remains one of the most popular destinations for safaris, in particular first time safari goers. The park is well known for its many bird species - birders should plan to visit between October and March when Kruger is home to several hundred more birds than usual due to migratory seasons. This park also features several different accommodation options making it perfect for families and couples.

5. Serengeti National Park

Leopard in Africa on the Serengeti

Ahh the Serengeti. Just the name conjures up images of classic Africa. This park in Tanzania definitely has one of the most quintessential landscapes in Africa, and it’s massive size makes it feel much more remote than some of the other parks in Africa. For watching the Great Migration, this is where you want to travel to.

6.  Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

The volcanic crater here is perhaps the main draw, secondary to the wildlife (which is also extraordinary). The crater serves as an incredible backdrop for the animals here, especially black rhino, making for great photographs. Ngorongoro crater is also great for hiking and nature walks. The other thing not to miss here is the paleoanthropological site at Olduvai Gorge. This area has been incredibly significant to the study of human evolution, providing many key findings.

7. Seeing the “Big 5”

Elephant family in Africa

The “Big 5” refers to five major species that people often hope to see when they travel to Africa on a safari. Originally a term used by hunters to describe the most prized kills (in terms of difficulty), it has been somewhat reclaimed by the travel industry. These animals include: African Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, African Buffalo, African Lion, and the African Leopard. The best safari destinations to see the Big 5 include: South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania.

8. Bush Walking

Two giraffe in the bush in Africa

Step away from the safari jeep and head into the bush for an unforgettable African safari experience. This brings you up even closer and more personal to the surrounding wildlife, following a knowledgeable guide who can educate on the many animals, plants, ecosystems and nature you encounter. These walks are typically easy, flat, well maintained and guided. You’ll also have the opportunity for amazing photographs when you don’t have to constantly use a long telephoto lens from far away.

9. Staying in a Luxury Safari Lodge

Luxury safari lodge in Tanzania

There are many ways to experience Africa on safari. Some may crave the camping under the stars experience, while others consider safaris more as a day trip from a hotel. But without a doubt one of the most unique ways is staying at luxury safari lodge. It’s a great way to relax after a long day in the sun watching amazing wildlife, they provide comfort, good food, good drink, and amazing customer service.

10. Okavango Delta

Hippo in Okavango Delta in Botswana

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a great safari travel experience. Perhaps not for the first time safari goer, but if you are traveling to Africa for a second, third, or fourth time this is highly recommended to check out. The gathering of animals at this beautiful delta include wildebeest, elephant, crocodiles, giraffes, and hyenas.

Safaris Tour Reviews - Summary

4.9 out of 5

99%

recommend

243 Reviews

Excellent 224 Great 15 Average 3 Disappointing 0 Terrible 1

Rating Details

Value
4.9 Guide
4.9 Activities
4.9 Lodging
4.9 Transportation
4.9 Meals
4.9

We really loved the tour

6 days Rwanda Primates Safari

5.0 August 2017 Kawira Safaris Recommend: Yes The sightseeing and activities were better than we even thought! I still can’t believe we did so much in such a short time, but we did not feel stressed. We really loved the tour and would do it all over again in a minute! Thanks. Read more

7-Day luxury 4 park safari

7-Day Romantic & Stylish Germ of Serengeti

5.0 August 2017 Galloping Safaris Recommend: Yes We had a wonderful 7-day, custom tailored safari through 4 parks (Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater) in northern Tanzania. We saw an incredible number of animals and birds, including the big 5. Our guide, Anderson, was so knowledgeable about the wildlife and the environment, and was great at pointing out animals that we would've missed. Anderson really listened to what we wanted to see and was attentive to our needs.

Our accommodations were top notch and the food at each lodge or tent camp was very good. We were pleasantly surprised by the individual attention we were given by the staff at each place we stayed. During the day we traveled in our safari vehicle, just the two of us with our guide, and still the cost was very reasonable. We can't say enough great things about Walter, the owner, Galloping Safaris, and our guide. We have recommended this company to many of our friends in hopes that they will have the special experience we enjoyed. It was the trip of a lifetime for us!
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Cycling Namibia

Cycle Namibia

4.0 July 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes We were a small but 'elite' group - 'holy moly' - we were the beautiful
family who enjoyed every aspect of this trip
The challenge of the cycling conditions, in excessive heat, but in the most
inspirational landscape, did not defeat us
I chose this trip because of the physical challenge, however, my first
glimpse of a lion at close quarters was almost overwhelming


Shane & Enrico shared the lead - always smiling - they ensured this trip was
full of fun & laughter


The heat is excessive most days - you must keep well covered & well hydrated


This trip suited a small group - the maximum number would quite possibly make
for uncomfortable vehicle transfers


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Cycling Namibia

Cycle Namibia

4.0 July 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes Overall a great trip. You'll see a lot of wildlife, on the road side while
cycling and then even more on the safari.
And I hadn't appreciated the vastness of Namibia before I went - cycling all
morning without a single car passing us really made you appreciate how
sparsely populated a country it is. And neither had I appreciated the
different forms the desert before... sand, rock, salt etc.
Watching wildlife while sipping on red wine at the floodlit waterhole in
Etosha.
Sandboarding in Swakopmund.
Climbing up the sand dune at dawn.


Sven was great leader. Very good local knowledge both in terms of culture and
wildlife. And his sidekicks Rocky and Jonas were brilliant too in keeping us
well fed during the rides and while camping.
A special thanks from my partner, who is on a restricted diet (gluten & dairy
allergy). He was very well catered for during the whole trip.


I'm a coffee addict and thanks to reading a previous review I took my own
fresh coffee with me (with a travel cafetiere mug). It made all the
difference on early morning breakfasts on campsites.
Most of the cycling is on bumpy gravel roads so take your own saddle or
saddle cover unless you're a seasoned mountain biker used to it.


It's not the most relaxing trip though as early mornings and long transfers
in the heat can make it a bit tiring. And cycling on long dead straight roads
did get a bit boring towards the end of week two...

But a trip well worth doing though - came back with memories that will stay
with me forever.


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An amazing experience thanks to Ker and Downey

7 Day Victoria Falls & Chobe Classic Safari

5.0 April 2017 Ker & Downey Africa Recommend: Yes My Husband and I usually book our own holidays but not knowing enough about travelling in Africa we thought we could use some help organizing our tour. We asked Ker and Downey to put together a tour, giving them an outline of what we wanted to see and do in a tight time frame. What they suggested and came up with was fantastic and just what we asked for. The accommodation was lovely, the transfers on time, the game watching terrific and everything was just perfect. With good email communication from Razaan, our personal concierge, they held our hands all they way, and we were so pleased we booked with them. Read more
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Things To Know Before You Go

Before You Go

Visas & Documents

For travelers from the USA and Canada, Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, and South Africa do not require visas if you’re trip is under 90 days. Your passport should be valid a full six months prior to your trip, and make sure you have at least two blank pages per country you’ll visit.

Important note for travel to South Africa: If you’re traveling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa, you will be required to present a full birth certificate (child and parent details). If only one parent is traveling with the child, or a legal guardian, additional documentation is required that details legal consent for the child to be traveling.

Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all require visas which can be obtained through the embassies in Washington DC (Ottawa for Canadians), with the exception of Kenya - where visas can be purchased through the Kenya Tourism Website.

Mozambique is the only safari destination where you cannot obtain visas upon landing in country. For all the other countries listed visas are available in the airport.

If you’re going on a gorilla trek, you will need a permit for this activity purchased prior to entering Africa. This is generally arranged through your tour company.

Vaccines & Medication

Anti-malaria prophylactics are not required for every African country, but it’s a good idea to bring them regardless, especially if your tour covers multiple countries. Different countries may require different malarial medication so show your doctor where you’ll be traveling so he or she will know the correct pills to provide.

You’ll also want to get a Yellow Fever vaccine. Bring the proof of vaccination form with you as you may be required to present it at customs and border crossings.

Safety

If you are traveling with a reputable safari tour operator, you can have a reasonable expectation of safety. Travel insurance should be required and in most cases offered by your tour operator, and if not, it is advisable to look elsewhere.

For tours that include a day or two in large cities, such as Cape Town or Johannesburg, note that walking alone is ill advised, especially at night. Organized crime, petty theft, and scams are, unfortunately, prevalent here so be on your guard, and ask your tour guide what to watch for if you will be on your own. Never carry large sums of cash or valuables such as watches or jewelry, and keep purses and wallets concealed.

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