15 Of The Best Safari Experiences In Africa

serengeti safari experience

Africa safaris always have something for you; the rugged terrains, the rustic savannahs, the indigenous cultures, and cuisine, or the immersive wildlife experience. For an avid traveler, Africa is a place for reinvention, exploration, happiness, and stress relief. 

In English ‘safari’ means ‘journey’. There are game reserves for every tourist category from beginners to connoisseurs who want the bumpy road and the ‘rugged’ experience. Unsure of where to start your safari experience? We assembled the very best for you to explore.

1. Maasai Mara, Kenya

Maasai Mara is the epitome of safari experience in Africa. It is the wildlife hub where beasts clash, unite, and survive in an ever-thrilling cycle. The wildebeests, zebras, buffalos, and other grazers that migrate here from July to October, offer visitors the crème de la crème of jungle survival.

It’s the place to see fast-paced cheetahs, attack-minded lionesses, the limb-tearing wrench of crocodiles in the Mara River, the swarming vultures and hyenas, graceful elephants, and much more. If you are planning a safari experience in Africa, this location should make your bucket list.

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2. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania – Ultimate Safari Experience

serengeti safari experience Serengeti National Park is the southern extension of the Maasai Mara but is ten times bigger. Every spectacular predator versus prey display that happens in the Mara occurs here. The great wildebeest migration has been drawing travelers from all over the world since the first foreigner saw this marvel. Coincidentally it is one of the greatest wonders of the world.

Within the park, you can also visit the Ngorongoro Crater to the east. Verdant forests, savannah plains, lakes, and wildlife like black rhinos, lions, antelopes, gazelles, etc. are a sight to behold here. This location offers the best safari experience in Africa for travel bloggers and photojournalists. You are a hundred times certain of getting captivating shots here.

3. Kruger National Park, South Africa

kruger safari experience Bigger than Serengeti, the Kruger National Park (22,000 sq. km) is just as intriguing. It is also blissful to travelers who want a smoother trip devoid of the typical jungle ruggedness. Nevertheless, there is still enough for those with a strong quest for adventure to quench their thirst.

Watch as the hunted—springboks, gazelles, zebras, and sometimes giraffes—outsmart the hunter lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, and more. Kruger National Park offers the best safari experience in Africa for the brave.

4. Etosha National Park, Namibia

Etosha Like Kruger, Etosha National Park has tarmacked roads. The sturdy, semi-desert terrain and big shining salt pan may not be everyone’s delight. The salt pan is so large that it is visible from space. This is the most accessible national park in southern Africa. The regular sedan is allowed and the camp is froth with accommodation and restaurants,

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For the best safari experience and guaranteed game sighting, visit the oases where all animals scramble for water, from oryx, zebras, and giraffes to the mighty elephants and rhinos. It will also interest you to know that the park is free from malaria.

5. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

south lungwa safari experience

South Luangwa National Park holds the reputation of having unspoiled vegetation and abundant wildlife. Visitors looking for an exclusive African safari experience can either walk through or drive around. Regardless of the mode of exploration you choose, the beauty will not be lost on you. The park covers 9050 square kilometers of the Luangwa valley floor.

This is a safari meant for the affluent with its various lodges and well-thought drive against a lush backdrop. All kind of wildlife thrives in this park all year round. However, during the dry season, you should visit the river where water brings prey and predator together.

6. Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana  

moremi and chobe safari experience

Botswana is predominantly dry. Ironically, the best wildlife views come from a boat cruise. During the dry season, animals move to the northern parts of Chobe National Park, and this is where the action is. The lush vegetation visible around the part is due to its numerous waterways.

South of Chobe, you have the Moremi Game Reserve, which is equally magnificent. The two sometimes come as a package, and there is plenty of wildlife like wild dogs, lions, hyenas, and elephants. If you are looking for a unique African safari experience, this is where you will get it.

7. Okavango Private Reserves, Botswana

Okavango Okavango is an elite extension of the Moremi Reserve. The park was taken over in 1979 by the Department of Wildlife and National Park following the rise in hunting activities around the area. Surrounding Okavango are private concessions that each offer a unique safari experience.

Each of the private safari outfitters that leased the area must abide by strict rules including strict visitor numbers. The terrain of the Okavango Delta is different and some will have more water bodies than others. It features some of Africa’s prolific hunters like the wild dogs and spectacular lion vs buffalo showdowns.

8. Mana Pools and Lower Zambezi Park, Zimbabwe & Zambia

mana pools safari experience

The Zambezi river in itself is a marvel with its falls, oxbow lakes, and river terraces. The dry season offers visitors the spectacular opportunity of meeting the famous Big Five. Visit the Lower Zambezi in Zambia or the Mana Pools World Heritage location in Zimbabwe, for canoeing, rustic sceneries, fantastic accommodation, and more.

The Victoria Fall National Park alongside the Zambezi National Park covers 56,000 hectares of land. At the northern border of the park, you will find the Zambezi River which is also the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Searching for an African safari experience that will end in fascination? Try this location.

9. Laikipia Plateau, Kenya 

Laikipia safari experience

This is the rhinos’ hub in Kenya and Africa. Almost half the population of rhinos in Kenya call this place home. Animals like zebras, elephants, and lions, among others also live here. It is also among the top sites that advocate for the conservancy of wildlife.

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Laikipia Plateau stretches from the rim of the Great Rift Valley to the slopes of Mount Kenya. Conservationists have been working hard to create a conducive environment for the communities and wildlife to coexist in this area. Some of the stunning safari experiences of the Laikipia Plateau are the cattle ranches and mosaic of farms.

10. Makasutu Culture Forest, Gambia

makasatu culture forest

This is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Every year thousands of bird enthusiasts and ornithologists visit the Makasutu Culture Forest to see the array of birds here—and a variety of small wildlife and excellent sceneries. It is just a short distance from Banjul. However, you can stay at Mandina River Lodge to experience the nightlife and morning tweets of birds.

Makasutu Culture Forest sits on 405 hectares of land. Within the conservation area, you will find breathtaking accommodations including the prestigious Mandina Lodges, a reputable luxury eco-lodge. No tree was felled during the construction of the lodges. Rather, the structures were designed to fit between available spaces.

11. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

queen elizabeth safari experience

Most tourists may overlook Uganda as a safari destination, but it offers the best gorilla trekking. For a small park, the array of flora and fauna of Queen Elizabeth Park is impressive. They have the hippos at Kazinga Channel, the climbing lions of Ishasha, elephants, kob, waterbucks, buffaloes, and other grazers.

You also get boat cruises and accommodation beneath the beautiful Mt. Ruwenzori. Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most famous savanna park in Uganda. For an African safari experience involving lionesses climbing trees, you stand the best chance of capturing that moment here.

12. Pendjari National Park, Benin

pendjari national park Pendjari National Park is often called the last definitive wilderness in West Africa. West African parks may not be as famous as their East and South African counterparts, but they are equally impressive. At Park National de la Pendjari, big games such as cheetahs, elephants, baboons, and lions roam free.

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The park also offers stylish accommodations and the environs display an amazing culture. It spans 4,800 square kilometers making it one of the biggest on the continent. If you happen to find yourself in West Africa and yearning for a life-changing safari experience, this should be your starting point.

13. Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

selous reserve Selous Reserve is worth mentioning because it combines with Ruaha Park to make the ‘southern circuit’. The characteristic savannah look of the Serengeti may not be seen here, but it is equally enchanting with the verdant forests, mountains, and Rufiji river.

The game reserve is the largest protected area on the African continent, covering 54,600 square kilometers. The vast wilderness houses grassy plains, open woodlands, and mountains. Wildlife here includes lions, elephants, hippos, and other smaller mammals. For an extensive African safari experience, Selous Reserve is a must-visit.

14. Northern Damaraland, Namibia

damaraland safari experience When you’ve visited all major African safari spots, places like Northern Damaraland offer a remoter experience. Being a semi-arid area like the aforementioned Etosha Park, this destination provides you with desert-adapted wildlife like elephants, giraffes, oryx, and black rhinos.

Once the land begins to rise, know that you are approaching Northern Damaraland. It is an area with unique terrain, desert vegetation, and prehistoric rock art, giving visitors a hub for trekking and camping. Damaraland is divided into north and south and both offer contrasting experience for African safari experience seekers.

15. Mole National Park, Ghana


Mole National Park is Ghana’s largest park. It is also among the most affordable parks. The entry fee is just $10 and public transport from Tamale is equally inexpensive. If you like a good trek, the park is mostly accessed on foot, but you can hire a vehicle if you wish.

The massive park covers 4,840 square kilometers (this measurement varies depending on your source of information). Elephants, baboons, antelopes, warthogs, and birds thrive at Mole. The park is believed to be home to 90 mammal species and 742 vascular plant species.

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Quick Recap

Africa is rich in wildlife diversity. Since governments began conservation efforts and the war against poaching, Africa has seen a revival of endangered species. A trip to any park or reserve is thrilling, educative, and a contribution towards conservancy.

Regardless of the type of safari experience you yearn, one of the parks on this list should satiate your quest for adventure. By the way, what will your top three safari experience be from our list if you had a choice? Let us know in the comments section below.

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