Africa boasts as the best continent for game viewing safaris due to its variety of game species which can only be found in the continent’s vast and stunning savannah parks. The major highlight of Africa’s game-viewing safaris is the famous “Africa big five” that include lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino which are commonly found together in Africa’s top savannah reserves.
Here is the list of Africa’s leading savannah parks which offer travellers the best game-viewing experiences on the continent;
Serengeti National Park – Tanzania
Arguably the best safari park in Africa, Serengeti is popularly known among travellers as the origin of the great migration which features the annual mass movement of millions of wildlife species across the border of Tanzania and Kenya. The species include millions of wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes which cross from Serengeti to Maasai Mara national Park in Kenya each year in search for fresh grazing territories and water.
Serengeti is a pristine landscape of swaying savannah with flat-topped acacia dotting its plains which are speckled with great roving herds. It is a UNSESCO World Heritage Site where travellers enjoy predator sightings which feature lions and cheetahs chasing the migrating prey.
A safari to Serengeti is usually started with a trip to the Ngorongoro Crater where travellers have a big chance to see all the big five during a breathtaking morning game drive.
Kidepo Valley National Park – Uganda
Considered by many as the most beautiful park Africa, Kidepo Valley National Park is located in northeastern Uganda in the sweeping plains of Kidepo and Narus valleys. The park lies in the shadow of the brooding mountainscape of Mount Morungole whose sacred peak is settled by the mysterious tribe of the IK people.
Kidepo has one of the highest population of buffaloes in Africa of about 13,000 individuals which roam the park in roving herds of about 4,000 individuals while being preyed on by the Kidepo lions. Herds of elephants moving along the valley are often seen during game drives while other commonly seen species include the Rothschild’s giraffe, zebra, warthog, bushbuck, waterbeest, and antelopes.
Kidepo is Uganda’s most remote park with a 12-hour road trip from the capital Kampala while luxury travellers can access the park via 1 and half hour chartered flight from Entebbe International Airport. Kidepo’s remoteness makes it a perfect game-viewing spot with travellers enjoying the whole experience without inconveniences of congestion since very few beat the odds to access the park.
Kruger National Park – South Africa
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s largest game reserve and boasts one of the most diverse wildlife including the big five which include an estimated population of 1,500 lions and the threatened rhinos. The Park stretches 350km (220 miles) from north to south and 60km (40 miles) in width.
Kruger’s excellent road network makes most of its areas easily accessible even with a two-wheel drive vehicle. The park allows self game drives by independent travellers which makes one of the cheapest and most accessible game parks.
Maasai Mara National Reserve – Kenya
Masai Mara is a large preserved savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya along the border with Tanzania with a huge diversity of wildlife roaming its plans. Common species in the park include lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, and hippos which are joined by millions of wildebeest to traverse through the park during their annual migration from Tanzania’s Serengeti.
The grassy plains and rolling hills of Masai Mara which are crossed by the Mara and Talek rivers make the park one of the most beautiful and attractive to visit in addition to its abundance of wildlife.
Hwange National Park – Zimbabwe
Hwange is Zimbabwe’s biggest national park with a great diversity of mammals of about 108 species more than any other park in the world. The park protects the largest concentration of big land animals in the world with its huge elephant population of 46,000 outnumbering its tourists by almost 200 to 1.
Hwange is also a huge predator territory with its super prides including over 20 powerful lions which usually hunt young elephants. Others include leopards, hyenas, cheetahs and the enchanting painted dogs.
Etosha National Park – Namibia
Namibia offers wonderful sightings of desert species which compensate for its less wildlife density compared to its neighbours. Etosha National Park presents Namibia’s best wildlife line-up and the best game-viewing experience in the park is achieved during the dry months of July to September when animals gather around waterholes to drink. Common species to be watched here include lion, hyena and black rhinos at night.
The park has well-maintained roads and affordable camps which makes it one of the best options for self-drive safaris.
Kalahari Desert – Botswana
Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve in the Kalahari offers Africa’s best desert wildlife safari and this is where you experience the continent at its most brutally wild. It is a real challenge to access this 52,800-square-kilometer-long reserve where wildlife tends to be more spread out compared to other reserves due to aridity.
Despite the wide expanse of wildlife in the reserve, it is a land of pure adventure. The shimmering mirages of Deception Valley offer travellers a chance to encounter herds of majestic gemsbok while camping is also done in the reserve amid the roaring pride of lions near the Tau Pan.