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When you think of Africa, images of wildlife immediately come to mind. Whether they’re weird animals you’ve never heard of or those you traveled to see. And why not, after all, the vast continent is world famous for its wildlife safaris, and is known as the land of big five – the African elephant, African lion, Black rhinoceros, African leopard and Cape buffalo.

The big five are game animals, and the term refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Though gone is the day where game hunting is acceptable, and now we load our cameras instead of guns.

The best-known countries for African Safaris are Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Get ready for the best African safari experience at any one of the following national parks.

6 Top Wildlife Parks in Africa

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Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Head towards northern Tanzania for a classical safari destination. Serengeti National Park boasts one of the largest populations of mammals in the world.

The annual Wildebeest Migration is one of the prime attractions of the Park when vast numbers of hoofed animals are seen migrating from December to July.

The Big Five of Africa can be easily sighted here, and one can see lions in their glory and abundance. Serengeti National Park offers an unparalleled African safari experience.

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Chobe National Park is located in northern Botswana and is known for the largest concentrations of game and a diversity of ecosystems that supports a rich variety of flora and fauna. The huge elephant herds numbering well over 40000 are one of the main attractions here.

Cruise along the Chobe River and enjoy excellent game viewing. The Savuti Marsh towards the southwestern area of Chobe boasts of highest concentrations of wildlife the whole year-round.

The untamed Okavango Delta is a top safari destination in Africa.

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park is another top safari destination and famous as world’s finest game parks. It is home to the unrivaled diversity of wildlife found in the untamed bush.

There are more than 145 species of mammals and 500 bird species. Kruger is home to Africa’s Big Five, and you can also spot crocodiles, hippos, wild dogs, antelope species and giraffes. The easily accessible wildlife haven is well-maintained.

Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda

The rising mountains and sprawling savannah make the Kidepo National Park on of the most picturesque one in Africa. The park shares border with Kenya’s Northern Frontier District and Sudan.

It is considered to be the least-explored and the most remote park.Visit the haunting ruins of a lodge and enjoy experiencing the phenomenal wildlife sightings like never before.

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The Masai Mara National Reserve is looked upon as the greatest game park on the planet. Do not miss out on this quintessential safari destination where the vast savannah plains are teeming with wild animals.

The legendary wildlife reserve is home to The Great Migration annually where one can see millions of zebra, wildebeest and gazelle rushing across the plains looking for greener grass. The park also boasts of large predator populations such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, and jackals.

Another highlight of the Masai Mara Reserve are the local Maasai tribes seen in their bright red robes.

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Etosha Park is considered to be one of the best national parks in Africa. Its strikingly beautiful settings offer the best spotting of wildlife at watering holes and some of the best Namibia photography.

Here you can spot some rare and unusual wild animals as well as the Big Five of Africa. Find the tallest elephants on the continent in the thick woodlands, and lush grasslands of the Park. The ideal time to visit the park is from April to October.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

    36 Comments

  1. I’ve been to all of them except Kidepo and Etosha. The Serengeti was hands down my favorite though. I felt like I was living in “The Lion King”!

    • The Serengeti has been my favorite too … absolutely re the Lion King!!

  2. Have not been to a single one. I seem to put Africa last among continents to visit. And still have not been to South America.When we do, it will probably be Serengeti.

    • Hope you have the chance to visit Africa soon – it’s the most amazing continent, you’ll love it Carol!

    • You are welcome to Africa! if you will plan to see Tanzania country we offer variety of safaris and adventures trips here you can see the serengeti, ruaha national park, selous game reserve and zanzibar as few to mention. They call it Africa, we call it Home

  3. I’ve heard of a few of these before but never the one in Uganda. That one sounds amazing. Thanks for the great list!

    • Uganda is especially amazing if you’re looking for Chimpanzees 🙂 Hope you have the chance to visit soon!

  4. Planning on visiting Africa for the first time next summer, but not sure I’ll be able to fit in all of these. Any tips on a must-do order for these in case I can’t visit all?

    • You’ll have an amazing time! Depends what kind of wildlife/experience you’re after in terms of which to prioritize first – you could definitely get Tanzania and Kenya into the same trip – the Serengeti in Tanzania is an all round amazing African Safari, as is the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.

      The Namibia and South Africa border each other so you could put those into the same trip. Botswana is the only country in Africa where hunting is outright banned, so you should have a pretty good chance of spotting a rhino there, where-as it may be difficult in other countries as they are starting to die out.

      Hope that helps! Have an amazing trip!

    • Awesome, thanks! Always helpful to get tips from someone who’s been there, done that 🙂

  5. so where should you start? I haven’t been to any either – but I’d LOVE to have the chance

    • I would start with the Serengeti in Tanzania – it’s an amazing all round destination, and you’ll really get the most out of your trip.

      That said, Botswana is the only country in Africa where hunting is outright banned, and has become a sanctuary for endangered wildlife recently, so you should have a pretty good chance of spotting a rhino there, where-as it may be difficult in other countries as they are starting to die out.

      Hope that helps!

  6. I’ve been wanting to visit Serengeti National Park for so long–hope we can make it there someday soon! All of these spots would be wonderful though. It would be so great to see the Big 5 and all the other wildlife throughout Aftica! Kidepo National Park would be super cool to visit too–I would love to make it to Uganda soon, as well! Great list of spots!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Jenna – I hope you have the chance to visit Africa soon! You guys would absolutely love it 🙂

  7. I’m a big fan of African parks so I’m definitely bookmarking this! Observing animals in the wild is one of my most favourite things to do. They have a liveliness in them that is often absent when they are kept in enclosures, completely different and so much more beautiful!

    • Totally agree with you that a wild experience far surpasses anything you’ll ever witness in a zoo. Our time on safari in Africa was one of the most magical and surreal experiences. There really was something incredible about being able to observe wildlife in their natural environment.

  8. Meg this is a great post as I would never know where to start about an Africa trip! Serengeti sounds like a winner to me though! But I’d also want to go on a gorilla trek. Either way, this baby is going to get bookmarked!

    • Serengeti is definitely a winner if you’re looking for somewhere to start. It’s a great all round destination – and then you can always incorporate a trip to Uganda into your itinerary after Tanzania for a gorilla trek 🙂 Happy travels! You’ll love heading out on safari!

  9. I would love to go to any one of these parks! I spent some time in Cape Town, so Kruger was a bit far and I wasn’t able to go. But next time I’m in Africa, I will definitely be looking into going on a safari. Thanks for the great info!

    • We’re heading to Cape Town in August and can’t wait! Looking forward to exchanging my safari hat for a wetsuit and swimming with some great white sharks 😀

  10. I had such wrong thoughts when I saw a childs photo in a series of animals-in-the-zoo pictures… I bet I’m not the only one, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to put it in there, even though the tribal clothes worth the attention )

    • Hi Solaris … I don’t quite understand the point you’re trying to make. The child pictured is from the local Masai Mara tribe in Kenya after we listed a visit to the tribe as a highlight of our time in the Masai Mara Reserve. This is a chance to engage in a cultural exchange while in Africa, so I think it’s very reasonable to expect we would put a picture there.

      And the animals are not in zoos – this is a post about African safari – all animals are wild. The tribes live among them.

  11. Perfect list! The Masai Mara and Serengeti have been on my list since I first read of the wonderful wildlife that calls them home in National Geographic magazines as a child. They are my dream destinations and hope to someday soon explore these epic parks!

    • Thanks Stephanie! Nice thing is you can combine the Masai Mara and Serengeti into one trip – and it’s one of those rare travel experiences which actually live up to the hype! Hope you have the chance to visit soon 🙂

  12. Nice use of space grey in this shot.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  13. WOW!Some great options here… Would love to see the Thomson’s gazelle in Serengeti National Park!

    • Hope you have a chance to travel soon! 🙂

  14. You forgot the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. It has the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa, about 25 000 animals, signs of human life from 4 million years ago. It’s often called the 8th wonder of the world and it’s the best place to see all of the big 5 in one day. If you go to Serengeti, you should also visit Ngorongoro…

    • Great tip Pia – Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania should definitely be on the list! I believe I visited the crater during my trip to the Serengeti, so definitely agree that combining them into one trip is the way to go 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  15. I would add South Luangwa in Zambia. Lovely little park with a large concentration of animals. We saw plenty of variety from elephants, cheetah, baboons etc I highly recommend it.

    • Thanks for the tip on South Luangwa Jayne – we haven’t yet made it to Zambia, but would love to get there soon. Hopefully on our next Africa trip!

  16. We visited the Etosha National Park in Namibia last year and it really was amazing. Would love to go back to Africa for a new safari, that time to a new country. Tanzania, Uganda, and Botswana are all countries high up on my wish list. 🙂

    • Etosha National Park really is incredible isn’t it! So glad to hear you enjoyed your trip 🙂

      Hope you have the chance to explore new safari destinations soon too! Happy travels 🙂

  17. Great list. I’d definitely add Okavango Delta in Botswana into the must-do. Probably either South Luangwa in Zambia or Mana Pools in Zimbabwe too, just because of how rugged and untouched they are it basically brings you to the early days of safaris before all the glitz.

    • Will add them to my list, thanks for the recommendation Andrew!

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