African Animal Safari

African Animal Safari shows you why Africa is renowned for having the best animal safaris in the world: find tips and top destinations and get your chance to see the famous “Big Five”!


You are finally getting the holidays of your life: a safari in Africa to see spectacular wildlife you always dreamed of: lions, rhinoceros, giraffes, cheetahs! But where to go?

There are lots of options out there. Narrow down the list of countries if you want to see specific wildlife, go to Wild Animal Safaris for lists of best places to see charismatic wildlife.

For tips and all time favourite, scroll below…

Famous Countries for African Animal Safaris

Sure you heard the names Kruger, Victoria Falls and Serengeti… But which is where already? A quick recap of the highlights of Africa…

South Africa

See the big five whatever your budget, from high-end lodges to cheap self-drive and camping…

Highlights:

  • Kruger National Park
  • Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

Botswana

From water ecosystems to desert…

Highlights:

  • Okavango Delta
  • Kalahari Desert
  • Chobe National Park and its elephant herds

Namibia

The red desert country…

Highlights:

  • Namib-Naukluft National Park - Africa’s largest reserve
  • Etosha National Park
  • Damaraland for fossilized trees and desert elephants
  • Skeleton Coast National Park

Zambia

An adventure destination, with canoe and walking safaris…

Highlights:

  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Victoria Falls
  • Lower Zambezi National Park

Tanzania

Wildlife haven, with a quarter of the country set aside for conservation purposes…

Highlights:

  • Serengeti, site of the Great Migration
  • Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak
  • Ngorongoro Crater basin with its volcanic landscape
  • Gombe Stream National Park – where Jane Goodall started studies of Chimpanzes in the 1960s
  • Zanzibar Island, with stunning beaches and reefs

Kenya

Most famous safari destination, said to harbour the largest concentration of wildlife in Africa…

Highlights:

  • Masai Mara National Reserve, home to the Great Migration
  • Samburu Game Reserves
  • Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Lake Naivasha National Park

Rwanda & Uganda

The primate haven…

Highlights:

  • Mountain-gorilla: Virunga Mountains, encompassing Parc des Volcans, in Rwanda, and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest;
  • Chimpanzes: Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park, both in Uganda

Top Tips for Budget African Animal Safaris

African safaris can be expensive, so here are a few tips to decrease the cost of your safari:

  • Sometimes it’s worth travelling off season – example: May-July winter months in South Africa.

But there are reasons for certain high seasons, such as the timing of the great migrations! Make sure you won’t miss out if you are here to see certain events…

  • Choose small business family owned lodge and tour.
  • Discover lesser known parks and reserves – they can be as beautiful, less full of tourists and cheaper destinations.
  • Go for a self drive tour when possible (see more below): in Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa for example – you rent and drive your own 4WD without paying for a guide.
  • You can split the cost by travelling with friends.
  • Stay in government lodges and campsites instead of luxurious lodges.

Top self drive African Animal Safaris

Countries and places that are suitable for self drive tour have these characteristics: many public and self catering camps and camping options, well maintained roads, excellent facilities.

You can usually use local agencies that provide you with 4WD, camping gear and itinerary.

Below are parks and itineraries you can safely visit on your own, without particular 4WD experience or local knowledge:

  • South Africa: Kruger National Park
  • Namibia: Etosha, Damaraland, Sossusvlei, Skeleton coast

Namibia is ideal for people who find Africa a little scary.

At Sossusvlei, you will find that it’s impossible to take a bad photo. The sweeping red sand dunes will blow you away.

You can have great wildlife experiences in Etosha, in relative comfort, for a very reasonable price.

  • Botswana: Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Kalahari Desert, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Chobe National Park, Savuti
  • Malawi: Lilongwe, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Mount Mulanje, Zomba Plateau, Liwonde National Park, Cape Maclear (on Lake Malawi)
  • Tanzania: Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
  • Kenya: Maasai Mara, Kisite Marine Reserve, Lake Nakuru, Lake Elementaita
  • Zambia (for more experienced self drivers): South Luangwa National Park

African Animal Safaris and Accommodations in the Spotlight

South Africa

Thula Thula Game Reserve, Zululand

This reserve is family owned and operated, and very involved in wildlife conservation. The owner was conservationist Lawrence Anthony and he was involved in several welfare and wildlife projects. Wife Françoise Malby-Anthony is the professional chef behind the great cuisine that is served at the lodge, with a zulu-inspired French menu.

Recently they created the Thula Thula Rhino Fund to protect rhinos.

But of course, it’s the wildlife that makes the Thula Thula Game Reserve a great choice for an African safari.

Wildlife highlights at Thula Thula Game Reserve include:

  • two rescued rhinos, Thabo and Ntombi,  that are now under 24/7 surveillance against poachers,
  • a re-introduced family of seven elephants - now 24 -  in an area where elephants had disappeared 100 years ago,
  • Phoenix, the rescued serval, and his wild friends,
  • diner with a tamed (yet free) rescued bushbaby, George,
  • and all other wonderful African wild animals such as: buffalo, warthog, leopard, giraffe, zebra, nyala, hyenas, crocodile, kudu, wildebeest and a large variety of birds…

Every day you can enjoy two game drives, bush walks and night drives.

Check the Thula Thula Game Reserve site for more on this great African Animal Safari.

Zambia

Mfuwe Lodge, South Luangwa National Park

The Mfuwe Lodge is part of a serie of beautiful camps owned by the Bushcamp Company. It’s run by Andy Hogg who previously worked for Save the Rhino Trust. The Bushcamp Company supports conservation organisations such as The South Luangwa Conservation Society, the Zambian Carnivore Programme and the Zambia Wildlife Authority.

Wildlife highlights at the Mfuwe Lodge:

  • This has to come an absolute first: elephants are known to walk across the reception! It’s a group that’s really well known and the matriarch Wonky Tusk takes her family through the Lodge to her favourite mango tree, each year when the fruits are ripe (November)!
  • The lodge is on the edge of lagoons, so from the terrace and restaurant area you can spot wildlife, including regular visitors such as giraffe, buffalo, antelope and crocodile, coming for a drink.
  • The Lodge is inside the Luangwa National Park, which has one of the highest densities of wildlife in Africa. The park also offers a renowned walking safari.

The Mfuwe Lodge is the start of game drives at dusk and dawn, walking safaris, birdwatching and spotlighting tours at night.

Go to the the Mfuwe Lodge site to check out more details on this great location for African Animal Safari.

Namibia

Desert Rhino Camp, Damaraland

This camp is operated as a collaboration between Wilderness Safaris and Save the Rhino Trust, the NGO which has helped preserve Damaraland’s desert-adapted black rhinos

Wildlife highlights at Desert Rhino Camp:

  • As you would have guessed by the name: rhinos! This place boasts the largest free-ranging population of black rhinos in Africa
  • The wildlife you see here is special: it has adapted to the desert conditions.
  • Meet the and Save the Rhino Trust team and hear rhino conservation stories first hand,
  • Encounter species that can be found nowhere else: the Hartmann’s mountain zebra, the bat-eared fox and suricates for examples.

At the camp, you’ll be able to observe wildlife on full-day 4WD trips, take guided nature walk, track black rhinos on foot.

More on this great African Animal Safari destination.


Experiencing wildlife first hand in Africa is a life changing experience. And for anyone that loves wildlife, a definite bucket list item!

Find your top African Animal Safari now and book your ticket!