Top 10 Safari Parks in Africa

Can’t decide where do you want to start your next (or first) safari in africa? We collected the top 10 safari parks in africa places to see wild african animals in their natural habitat.

A safari (Swahili: journey) in one of Africa’s national parks is an exciting thing: many people can observe a larger number of wild animals in their natural environment for the first time ever. 

The focus is on the savannah and bush landscapes, where savannah elephants, lions, buffalos and other well-known wild animals feel at home. 

Whether it’s Africa for the first time or safari connoisseurs, there should be something for everyone. And it attracts attention: There is no best destination in Africa, but there are the best destinations. 

So, where should the next safari lead?

10th place: Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Kenya Elephants
Elephants in Amboseli National Park in Kenya

Where else can wild animals be observed in front of one of the most famous mountains on earth? The Amboseli National Park at the foot of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania serves both as a postcard motif for Africa and as a photographic object. Giraffes, elephants and all sorts of other wild animals strut in front of the snow-covered summit of the “Kili” and give great photo motives.

Very old elephants still live in the park. This gives visitors the opportunity to observe the almost intact social behaviour of the pachyderms in their herds.

The Kilimanjaro usually wraps itself in thick clouds during the day. The chances of seeing it are best in the morning and evening.

9th place: Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

Addo National Park
Elephants in Addo Elephant National Park

Number 9 on the top 10 safari parks in africa is Addo. Known for, as the name suggests, its elephants, the Addo is more than a convenient destination near South Africa’s Garden Route. The park is home to lions again after a resettlement programme; black rhinos and leopards are also found here. Due to the extension to the south, the coast with its sharks and whales is also part of the park, which now advertises with the “Big 7”.

In conclusion, the park is ideal for exploring with your own (rental) car. Please make sure to ask in advance what you have to consider for the self-drive safari.

The landscape is very bushy and visitors often only see the animals when they are standing directly in front of or next to the car. Slow driving is therefore all the more important.

In addition, holidaymakers in their own cars should make sure that they do not run over pill turners (African dung beetles), hundreds of which run across the roads depending on the weather.

8th place: Etosha National Park, Namibia

Zebras in Etosha National Park
Zebras at a waterhole in Etosha National Park

Namibia’s most important park is home to countless wildlife, including white and black rhino, several predatory cat species and many antelopes. The name “Etosha” means “big white square”, which describes the landscape well. The vegetation is extremely sparse and in the dry season many animals gather at the artificial waterholes.

In the dry season, many animals can easily be observed at the water holes in the park and at the camps. 114 different species of mammals live in the park.

Each medal has two sides: The park is completely fenced in and cuts the animals off their original routes in search of water in the Kuene region. The waterholes are certainly not comparable to the original environment and natural migration behaviour for true lovers.

7th place: Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Giraffe in Tarangire National Park
Africa Safari, Giraffe in Tarangire National Park

The Tarangire National Park is one of the most underestimated parks of the continent. Many visitors only make a short stop on their way to the Serengeti or do not even include the national park in their travel plans. But the park is home to large herds of elephants and many other species in a remarkable landscape full of boabab trees.

The park is known for its elephant herds, which run through a prehistoric landscape along the Tarangire River.

The park is home to the tsetse fly, which transmits sleeping sickness. Visitors should urgently pay attention to consistent protection.

6th place: Chobe National Park, Botswana

Chobe National Park Zebra Tours
Animal safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana

“Land of the Giants” is written on the sign at the entrance of the park and already announces the main attraction of the park: Elephants. It is estimated that between 80,000 and 100,000 pachyderms live in the park and adjacent areas, where they migrate depending on the season.

Botswana pursues an exemplary animal and species conservation policy and no longer kills elephants if they become too numerous for the ecosystem. Instead, fences were dismantled to create more space for the animals. Kaffir buffalos and warthogs are also common. As a result, be aware to always check the weather forecast before you go.

A safari with the boat on the Chobe river belongs to the experiences, which holiday-makers surely do not forget so fast.

During the high season the Chobe River can be very narrow.

5th place: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Lions in Zambia
Lions in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia

On the Luangwa River, the wilderness awaits: no fences, no radios to communicate with the rangers. Those who travel to the South Luangwa National Park will experience the bush unadorned, without much traffic and wild. It is not uncommon for your own jeep to be the only one at a spectacular sighting, giving visitors more time and peace to enjoy the encounter with the animals. Night safaris and bushwalks, i.e. safaris on foot, are allowed in the national park.

Pure wilderness. The park is known for its hippos and leopards. Many camps are not fenced and often wild animals run through the lodges. The park is also home to numerous endemic species and subspecies, i.e. animals that can only be found here. These include the Cookson gnu, the Crawshay zebra and the Thorneycroft giraffe.

The season plays an important role in the South Luangwa National Park. While in the dry season many large wild animals gather at the water and are so easy to discover, during the rainy season bird lovers get their money’s worth.

4th place: Kruger National Park, South Africa

Cheetahs in Kruger National Park
Cheetahs in Kruger National Park

For most vacationers the Kruger National Park is the first safari experience in the African bush. It is one of the largest national parks on the continent and is home to a wide variety of wildlife. In contrast to the open savannahs in East Africa, the landscape is bushy and the animals are harder to spot.

In the Kruger National Park live some very rare animal species like wild dogs.

The good infrastructure, the developed roads and the fences around the national park make it clear that the park is used and marketed commercially.

This partly causes a lot of traffic in the park and has at some corners only little to do with the real wilderness feeling.

3rd place: Ngorongoro Nature Reserve, Tanzania

Lions in Tanzania

Lioness in Ngorongoro Reserve, Tanzania

While driving over the edge of the burglary crater into the nature reserve, visitors can rarely suppress the “wow” that involuntarily comes over their lips. The view can take your breath away. The safari through the crater, which has the highest predator density in Africa, becomes the photographic highlight of many Africa journeys.

The wildlife hike through Masai Mara and Serengeti also touches on the protection of the wildlife.

Overall, the high density of animals naturally attracts many visitors and some have the feeling of driving through an open-air zoo.

Some of the jeeps obstruct the way of the animals or hinder cats of prey during the hunt. Tell your driver that you don’t approve of such behaviour.

2nd place: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti
White beard gnus in Serengeti National Park

Hardly any other national park in Africa is as famous as the Serengeti. This is of course due to the diverse fauna and one of the largest animal migrations in the world.

On the other hand, the Serengeti is almost always threatened: Many people have an interest in the place and in the fertile savannah, on which millions of wild animals cavort and planned large-scale projects would probably mean the end of the national park. The battle for the Serengeti has been fought for decades and culminated in the documentary “Serengeti must not die” by Michael Grzimek and his father Bernhard in the 1950s.

The migration of wild animals, where millions of wildebeests, zebras and antelopes travel in a large circle through the Serengeti and the adjoining Masai Mara in Kenya during the course of the year.

The Serengeti is exposed to constant threats. The plans to build a highway through the area are not over yet. There are also frequent conflicts between wildlife and humans.

In addition, organizations are now warning that too many tourists are coming to the park. It is best to drive in the low season and avoid facilities that require a lot of water (swimming pools etc.).

Place 1: Masai Mara Nature reserve, Kenya

Masai Mara in Kenya
A car in the Masai Mara, Kenya

Number one on the top 10 safari parks in africa list! When tears shoot into the eyes of the viewers of a lion documentary because the pictures are so overwhelming, the reportage is mostly shot in the Masai Mara (or Maasai Mara).

Wide landscape with green hills as far as the eye can see. The view is interrupted only by gnus, zebras, giraffes, elephants, antelopes, lions, hyenas… The Masai Mara could pass for an African cliché if it were not real.

Word has got around of course that the Masai Mara is a paradise on earth. It is therefore frequently overcrowded and the many cars already have influence on the behavior of the wild animals. Some cars leave the tracks in search of the best view. If this happens to you, it’s best to tell the driver that you don’t want them to.

The park also serves as a rhino sanctuary and is home to some 60 white and black rhinos, who are guarded around the clock by armed rangers. An absolute must for rhino fans, who are almost guaranteed to meet some of the animals here.

The impressive Murchison waterfall, where the Victoria Nile plunges over 43 metres into the depths, is also a must see. The park is home to the endangered Rothschild giraffes (also Uganda giraffe or Nubian giraffe). To the south of the park is the Budongo chimpanzee forest.

The park is in some places tsetse fly high area. Be sure to take care to protect yourself against insects.

Summary

How did you like the article on the top 10 safari parks in africa? In conclusion, we hope to give you some ideas and inspirations on the best african safari tours, animal encounters and holiday trips. Be advised that those are subjective ideas and of course every safari park, whether big or small can be beautiful and present you with awesome wildlife.

Do you like the article?

If you also like to read more about Big Cats in Africa, we have posts on the best places to see Leopards in Africa, Walking with Lions or seeing the European Lynx.

Are you an animal enthusiast? Check out our posts about Whale Shark Diving or Blue Blue Shark Diving.

For Trekking have a look on trekking tour to the Mountain Gorillas in Central Africa or The best places to see Elephants on our blog. 

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