Go on a Wild Animal Safari and experience the beauty of wildlife in their natural environment: this is a priceless adventure!
Where to go to see wild animals?
The destination you’ll choose will depend obviously on which animals you would love to see in the wild.
You might hear the saying “we saw the big five” when friends come back from an African safari.
So, what are those “Big Five”?
The big five are African animals that are considered a “must see”: lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros.
If you want to see the big five, your top destinations are: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe (other countries having the big five: Ethiopia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Malawi).
See more on tips and favourite places in African Animal Safari...
Wild lion in Kruger National Park, South Africa, credits: Wikicommons, Chris vd Merwe
The Masai Mara Reserve including Paradise Plain - where the long-running BBC TV series “Big Cat Diaries” was shot.
Serengeti National Park
Lake Manyara, Tarangire National Park or Ngorongoro Conservation Area – there, lions are often sighted in trees.
Okavango Delta – in particular Duba Plains, where you can see lions that have specialised in buffalo hunting and hunt during the day. Usually lions hunt at night and sleep during the day, so here's your chance to get action-packed shots!
Dereck and Beverly Joubert, filmmakers and National Geographic explorers-in-residence, have filmed lions here for their documentary "Relentless Enemies".
Chobe National Park
Mana Pools National Park – here you can experience one of the only walking safaris, and get to see a lion at eye levels, not from a car.
Skeleton Coast National Park -where lions have adapted to desert conditions
Etosha National Park
South Luangwa National Park
Obviously, Kruger National Park - home to approximately 2500 lions, and where you can sometimes spot the rare white lions.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, on Laikipia Plateau – a great up-market place to see rhinos, with a total of about 40 (black and white).
Ol Pejeta Conservancy - the place harbours four of only seven northern white rhinos known to survive in the world, plus black and white rhinos.
Lake Nakuru National Park - an easily accessible destination to see rhinos on a daytrip.
Tsavo National Park
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park – stay 3 days to be certain to see white rhino and a good chance of seing a black rhino too.
Kruger National Park - an excellent chance of seeing both rhinos with the park boasting 10,000 individuals, white rhino are spotted pretty much every day and as usual black rhinos need more effort / time.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve – easily accessible white rhinos for people with little time.
uMkhuze Game Park – the park has both black and white rhinos and a hide that allows excellent viewing of a water hole highly frequented in dry months.
Hlane Royal National Park – a rare opportunity to get very close to white rhinos on foot.
Desert Rhino Camp, Damaraland – black rhinos adapted to desert live here, although they are harder to spot, they make for an amazing experience. This place is run by Wilderness Safaris and Save the Rhino Trust, a NGO dedicated to these black rhinos.
Etosha National Park – the relax alternative: stay during the dry months at Okaukuejo and Halali camps, and spot both white and black rhinos at the waterholes with a cold drink in your hand.
Ngorongoro Crater is a great place to see rhinos and is known for the unusual spectacle of grazing black rhinos (black rhinos usually browse).
Matopos National Park – viewing on foot is allowed in this park.
Hwange National Park
Hippos are found in most National Parks with water bodies in Africa (they are present in 29 African countries…). But there’s on place where you can apparently see surfing hippos: Loango National Park in of Gabon!
In Mzima Springs (Kenya) you can spy on hippos in a water-level hide for a very personal observation of their family life.
Serengeti National Park - tracking cheetah for conservation is a potential activity at the Sanctuary Kusini camp
Phinda Private Game Reserve
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Chitabe area of the Okavango Delta
Kenya : Masai Mara
Zambia: Kafue National Park
Namibia: Etosha National Park
South Africa: Sabi Sands Game Reserve – the highest Leopard density in the world
Botswana: Tuli Enclave
Kenya: Samburu National Park
Lemurs are very ancient primates and only located in the island of Madagascar.
Some of the most famous lemurs are:
Highly recognisable lemur with - you guessed it – rings on its tail! Matched to a very fluffy coat and attitude. They spend lots of time on the ground with family members, giving great opportunities for interesting observations.
Found in: Isalo National Park, Andringitra National Park, Andohahela National Park, Berenty Reserve
Well known for the way they move on the ground, throwing arms in the air and jumping, that reminds of a crazy dance,
Found in: Andohahela National Park, Ankarafantsika National Park
Include the tiniest species of primates on Earth, at about 30 grams and 10cm long,
Found in: Ranomafana National Park, Andasibe National Park, Berenty Reser
A very strange looking creatures that inspires a lot of myths and superstitions in the local, because of one extremely long fingers they use to find their favourite food – grubs.
Found in: Aye-Aye Island
Mountain gorillas are very rare (they are endangered) and some groups are very used to be followed by humans every day of the year (we call them habituated). So if you want to see a wild Mountain gorilla from close, get yourself to:
Lowland gorilla family in Odzala National Park
They are more lowland gorillas than they are mountain gorillas, despite this to see them is even more an adventure. You will need to make your way to:
Chances are you will be one of very few tourists. This is adventure at its best – but maybe not for you if you are after one of these “luxury safari”.
Lowland gorilla infant in Odzala National Park
Danum Valley Conservation Area – high chances of seing orang-utans, and in a pristine area.
Batang Ai National Park – more remote and need to stay several days to be sure to see orang-utans.
Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary – see orang-utans from the comfort of a boat, a more touristic and less adventurous option but here you are certain to spot one of 700 orang-utans!
Kutai National Park – excellent chance of spotting orang-utans and very few tourists.
Gunung Palung National Park – very rich in wildlife, this park contains habituated orang-utans that researchers study, so you are sure to see them.
Gunung Leuser National Park – this is the only park with a wild population of Sumatran orang-utans. Gurah is the best option, with few tourists and good self-guided walking tracks.
Bengal tiger in India, credits: Wikicommon, Karunakar Rayker
The best destination to spot tigers is India, home to the Bengal tiger:
Bandhavgarh National Park - best chance in all of India of seeing a wild tiger (100% chances if you stay 2 days).
Kanha National Park - still very good chances of seeing tigers. Other wildlife includes sloth bear, leopard, striped hyena, spotted dear, wild boar, jungle cat, jackal and monkeys.
Sunderbans National Park - this is mangrove central and the tigers here have adapted to a more aquatic life. They are quite plentiful in the park but they are quite hard to spot. Bird watchers heaven, too.
Other places: Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Corbett National Park or Pench National Park.
Of interest, at the Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, you won’t find tigers but the last remaining wild Asian lions in the world. This would make for quite an exceptional sighting!
The Siberian tiger inhabit China and Russia, but are very rare and hard to spot.
In Indonesia, the Sumatran tigers are also dwindling and hard to see. Rare sightings come from Way Kambas National Park and Gunung Leuser National Park.
Hope you found a few ideas for your next holidays!
Enjoy your perfect wild animal safaris, punctuated by unforgettable moments shared with beautiful wildlife.