When it comes to wildlife, Africa is where it's at!
1. Game drives
We love a good game drive – it’s one of the best ways to see many of the wild animals that grace the African continent.
Best parks for game drives
Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania boasts the Big Five and unparalleled natural beauty. You get to see so much game in just one drive that you feel utterly spoilt. 😀 Liuwa Plains National Park in Zambia is a remote, quiet and pristine park full of large game. It also boasts the second largest wildebeest migration after the Serengeti! Kruger National Park in South Africa is a massive park that's home to the Big Five and is known for its rich concentration of a vast array of wildlife. Etosha National Park in Namibia is fantastic for seeing a great numbers of animals as the enormous salt pan (which is a sight in itself) leaves animals exposed to the eager eyes of safari-goers.
2. Walking safaris
A walking safari – which is always done in the presence of an armed ranger – gives you a different perspective of the wildlife and its habitat. And sometimes lets you get closer to the animals.
Examples of great walking safaris
South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is one of the ultimate destinations for walking safaris. There are excellent guides and rangers who can take you on short nature walks as well as multiday walking safaris. Kruger National Park in South Africa also offers absolutely phenomenal short and longer walking safaris. Home to the Big Five, a walking safari is a truly memorable and immersive experience. A chimpanzee trek in Kibale National Park in Uganda takes you through beautiful forest and lets you get close to chimps as well as 12 other primates, including red colobuses, Uganda mangabeys and l'Hoest's monkeys. In both Rwanda and Uganda you can hike through rugged, remote rainforest to see mountain gorillas up close in their natural habitat. This is a truly unique sort of walking safari that's on many a person's bucket list.
3. Cycling safaris
Some varied cycling safaris in Africa
Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania offers sublime cycling tracks on the edge of the Great Rift Escarpment. From here you enjoy expansive views over the lake and its many animals, which include enormous elephant herds and even bigger flamingo stands. Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya lets you cycle through its plains and wetlands among the likes of giraffes, elephants, Masai giraffes, hippos and various antelopes. And to top it all off, you have the glory of Mt Kilimanjaro as your backdrop! Mount Elgon National Park in eastern Uganda offers a fantastic cycling safari for hardier mountain bikers who want to ride through amazing scenery and see wonderful birds (like the great blue turaco) as well as some of the area's primates, which include red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white colobuses and De Brazza’s monkeys.
The parks and reserves where you can go on cycling safaris generally also offer walking safaris, so you can often enjoy the nature and wildlife of a place through more than one activity.
4. Horse-riding safaris
Horse-riding safaris can last just a few hours or be multiday affairs where you stay in fly camps.
Two great horse-riding safaris for beginners and pros
Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda is great for short horse-riding safaris. You can go on a two- to five-hour guided safari in hilly country. In fact, this park allows not only horse-riding safaris but also game drives, night-time safaris, walking safaris, guided bird walks, and boat safaris on the lake! Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is a truly fantastic place for a multiday horse-riding safari where you follow the herds of the Great Migration. Predators like lions also follow the herds, and so by following the migration you're likely to see a wide array of wildlife.
5. Boat safaris
A boat or canoe safari offers a quiet, relaxing and yet also exciting way to see a park's wildlife.
Fantastic boat safaris
A boat cruise during the wet season in the Okavango Delta is an absolutely epic experience. You travel along winding channels and into lagoons in search of wild animals like elephants, rhinos, crocs, baboons and waterbirds. The gorgeous iSimangaliso Wetland Park near St Lucia in South Africa offers boat cruises that allow you to spot many big animals like hippos, crocs, elephants, black and white rhinos, wild bush pig and buffaloes. A boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park lets you get up close to wallowing hippos and Nile crocs as well as waterbirds and the elephants and other game that come to the water for a drink and wallow. A canoe safari on the Zambezi River in Zambia is a once-in-a-lifetime treat that lets you see fantastic game like elephants, kudus, zebras and crocs. You can canoe on the river and its various channels both above and below the spectacular Victoria Falls.
6. Balloon safaris
A hot air balloon safari is the perfect add-on to a classic safari itinerary: drive and then head to the sky!
Two of the very best balloon safari spots
A hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti lets you truly appreciate the enormous quantity of animals that constitute the Great Migration – the largest land-based migration in the world. This can be done in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. At certain times of year, it can also be done in Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. A balloon safari over the Okavango Delta in Botswana is a must. When flooded, the delta is a hive of activity, and you can see the likes of elephants, cheetahs, rhinos, crocodiles and baboons making their way across the seasonally lush landscape.