Top 10 Safari Vacations in Africa and the Middle East
Does it get any better than Africa for wildlife viewing? This is the ultimate safari location. From the wildebeest migrations on the Serengeti to mountain gorillas in Uganda be prepared to meet and greet with rhinos, tigers, hippos and elephants. The only problem here is that there’s not enough time to see and do it all.
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
This is the place to see the Big Five – elephant, white rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. It is one of the most spectacular and diverse conservation areas on the planet with over 147 different species of mammals, 500 species of birds, 100 species of reptiles, 49 species of African indigenous fish, 34 types of amphibians and 300 different species of trees. Now that’s wildlife.
- Mountain gorillas, Uganda
There are only about 650 wild mountain gorillas left in the world and the place to see and do your Dian Fossey best is in Uganda. You can actually go gorilla tracking in two national parks on the border of Rwanda at Virunga Range or in Bwindi, a thick rainforest.
- Wildebeest migration, Serengeti
You simply can’t miss this if you’re coming to Africa. This annual wildlife migration of over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators, is a photographers and naturalists dream.
- Ngorongoro Crater Safari, Tanzania.
Animals in this 9.3 mile wild caldera are less shy to safari vehicles making it one of the best safari destinations in the world. Herds of zebra, wildebeest and antelope roam the permanent grasslands and flamingos are frequent visitors to Lake Magadi at the crater’s base. It is also known as the "Garden of Eden" thanks to the rich pasture land frequently used by local Masai tribes and their cattle.
- Elephant back safari, Kapama Game Reserve, South Africa
This game reserve has combined the wilderness of the bush with the comforts of five-star hospitality and facilities. The unique elephant back safari allows guests to sit in canvas saddles on the elephants as they move silently through the bus. An ideal way of interacting with the giants and seeing wildlife. The reserve supports all the big game and large populations of giraffe, impala, blue wildebeest and kudu.
- Balloon Safari, Hoedspruit
Take a balloon safari over Greater Kruger National Park and spot herds of giraffes, zebras, impalas, monkeys, warthogs and buffalos from the air. It’s magical to watch them run from this unique view.
- Masai Mara, Kenya
This is one of Africa’s most well known national parks. It’s rolling grasslands are movie set huge and it pulses with energy as the array of wild animals go about their lives. It particularly pulses when the annual Great Wildebeest Migration takes place between July and October.
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
Eyeball a snorting hippopotamus, glide past aquatic antelope and watch lions drinking – all from the safety of your canoe in the labyrinth of waterways in this delta. This is the largest freshwater wetland in Africa and a marvelous change for the land bound safari visitor.
- Kalahari, Botswana
Another massive game reserve right in the center of Botswana and characterized by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds. The main wildlife concentrations are giraffe, brown hyena, warthog, cheetah, wild dog, leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, eland and springbok.
- Djoudj Bird Sanctuary, Senegal
This enormous wetland in the Senegal River delta is famous amongst twitchers. Some 1.5 million birds live in the lake and surrounding streams, ponds and backwaters. They include the white pelican, purple heron, African spoonbill, great egret and cormorant.