Africa remains the best tourist destination in the world especially when it comes to wildlife safaris. The continent is richly endowed with a variety of amazing species including endemics like mountain gorillas as well as unique wild experiences that don’t exist anywhere else in the world.
Trekking mountain gorillas – Rwanda & Uganda
Gorilla trekking continues to be the leading tourist attraction in both Rwanda and Uganda bringing thousands of travelers to the two East African nations throughout the year. travelers have described the experience of meeting gorillas in their natural habitat as one of the best in the world. Gorillas are one of man’s closest relatives with whom we share about 98% of our DNA. Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda) and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda) are the major gorilla trekking destinations with both protecting over 85% of the global population of mountain gorillas which is about 1,063 individuals. There are at least 10 habituated gorilla families in each park with each family visited by a group of 8 trekker per day for one hour according to the gorilla conservation regulations. Drier months of June to September and December to February is the best time for gorilla trekking in both Rwanda and Uganda. Rwanda’s gorilla permit which is a gorilla-trekking prerequisite, is sold at $1,500 per person while Uganda sells the same at $700 per person. Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is another mountain gorilla trekking destination though it ranks below the other two in attracting tourists due to regular civil conflicts in the surrounding area. Rare golden monkeys and a variety of endemic bird species also reside alongside gorillas in these high-altitude rainforests
The Great Migration – Tanzania & Kenya
This annual mass movement of wildlife features the migration of millions of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and other species from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park and vice-vasa. The migration takes place between July and October starting in Serengeti moving northwards following the rain and crossing the border into Kenya’s Masai Mara before making the return journey. Watching the great migration is such a magnificent experience as millions of animals take on the most difficult encounters including crossing through crock-filled river waters enroute their journey and climbing steep slopes.
Big Five viewing – Botswana
Botswana is one of the few countries in Africa where travelers can spot the famous Africa’s “big five” in one place which include lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. These can be seen in the two nearby wildlife homes of Moremi Game Reserve which is located on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and Khwai Private Reserve located just across Moremi Game Reserve. Although Moremi game reserve boosts an abundance of wildlife Khwai on the other hand tends to be less crowded with a large network of lagoons and grasslands.
Marine wildlife safari – South Africa
Cape Town is the only African spot to see the “marine big five” which include the African penguins, great white sharks, cape fur seals, southern right whales and dolphins. Victoria and Waterfront is the best spot to see the Cape fur seals the African penguins always spotted at Boulder’s Beach in False Bay. Dolphins, wales and sharks can always be spotted via the numerous boat tours at the Cape.
Chimpanzee tracking & canopy walk – Rwanda
Nyungwe Forest National Park in southern Rwanda boasts as the best-preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa. The park is popularly known for its impressive primate presence of up to 13 species which account for 25% of Africa’s total. The most popular of these are the chimpanzees which attract thousands of visitors to the park. In addition to primate tracking, the breathtaking canopy walks along the suspension bridge gives visitors a magnificent aerial view of the forest and its surroundings. Other wildlife varieties in Nyungwe Forest National Park include 275 bird species, 85 mammals, 38 reptile species, 32 amphibian and 1068 plant species.