Experiencing the exotic wildlife of Africa on safari in the wild is an unforgettable experience! Prides of lions, elephant families and the largest herds of ungulates in the world - sightings are guaranteed in these national parks!
For wildlife observation and photography, there is probably no better place than Africa! Through the open savannahs and endless grasslands, but also in the lush green jungle, the unforgettable expeditions lead every visitor closer to the majestic - and often endangered - wildlife of Africa.
Game drives by safari car, hikes through the bush, night safaris to hunt predatory cats or sundowner trips under the red sun - in Africa's numerous national parks, travelers have the chance to see elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo up close. But besides the famous Big 5, the Black Continent has other highlights in store, including the world's largest dry volcanic crater or an encounter with the last mountain gorillas on our planet.
Tip: To make the safari a success, you should be clear in advance about the best time to travel, necessary equipment and prescribed rules of conduct. Which animals can be seen in which national parks can also be helpful for planning. And those who want to book exclusive safari tours may be best off in South Africa's private game reserves.
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Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous national parks in the world. It is home to one of Africa's most pristine ecosystems and an incredible wealth of African wildlife, including the world's largest herds of ungulates, thousands of carnivores and close to 500 species of birds.
The Serengeti attracts thousands of safari tourists to the African savannah, especially during the Great Migration. From June to October, trains of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and antelope up to 40km long move from Tanzania to southern Kenya before turning back in December to give birth to their young in the southeast of the Serengeti from January to March.
Masai Mara Game Reserve
The Masai Mara in Kenya's south is not a national park, but it must be mentioned here. The huge savannah is the destination of the kilometer-long hoofed animal migrations from the Serengeti. The largest herds of wildebeest, antelope and zebra in the world guarantee unforgettable safari adventures from July to October.
But let's stay in Tanzania for a moment: The Ngorongoro Crater is located just southeast of the Serengeti National Park and is also part of the wildebeest migration. Apart from that, the gigantic caldera is the largest dry volcanic crater in the world with the largest concentration of predators in Africa and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Meanwhile, grassy steppes, forests, bogs and gorges thrive in the midst of the cauldron, home to nearly every species of wildlife in East Africa, with some 25,000 animals. Accordingly, Africa's Big 5 live here, of course, as well as hyenas, jackals, servals, cheetahs, gazelles, wildebeests, antelopes, monkeys and thousands of flamingos.
Apart from the wildlife, the Olduvai Gorge in the Ngorongoro area is where the oldest finds of early man have been made. Since then, it is also known as the "Cradle of Humankind".
Amboseli National Park in Kenya
Back in Kenya, Amboseli National Park is definitely worth a visit. In the mixture of dry savannah and swamp landscape a great diversity of species could develop, which has never been affected by poachers. With a view of the proud Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, the animals can be observed excellently in the hardly tree-covered plains.
There are herds of elephants to be seen, whose family ties go back generations, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs, black rhinos, gazelles, zebras, wildebeests and impalas in great numbers. The Maasai are also at home here, always welcoming visitors in their traditional villages.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
The Okavango Delta also has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in all of Africa. Located in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, the world's largest inland delta encloses one of Africa's longest rivers. This provides the life-giving water for the "largest natural paradise in the world" over an area almost as large as Belgium.
From May to October, the Okavango Delta can be explored by jeep or helicopter. You can see elephants, big cats, buffalos, hyenas and countless water birds. In the Moremi Game Serve, accommodation can be found for every safari budget, from simple camps to luxury lodges.
Chobe National Park in Botswana
The Chobe National Park in northeastern Botswana, which covers some 10,600 square kilometers, borders directly on the Okavango Delta. Founded in 1967, the nature reserve is particularly famous for its elephants. 50,000 of the gray giants roam the bush and tree savannah here!
At the numerous waterholes, however, lions, leopards, buffalos, antelopes, zebras and monkeys also quench their thirst - always on guard that they are not surprised by the crocodiles lurking in the water.
Kruger National Park in South Africa
The Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa and is also one of the largest and most famous national parks in Africa. The biodiversity of South Africa can be experienced here in a few days, because in the Kruger National Park live over 200 mammals and about 800 different bird species. Africa's "Big 5" are of course also represented.
Kruger National Park is best visited during the "cooler" dry season from June to August, when wildlife congregates at the remaining waterholes.
Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is the most famous national park in Namibia. It offers a protected habitat for hundreds of different animal species, which guarantee unforgettable safari experiences. Around the gigantic Etosha salt pan live over 100 different species of mammals and reptiles as well as about 350 species of birds.
All of Africa's "Big Five" are represented in Etosha National Park except for the buffalo. On guided tours and at illuminated waterholes of Etosha National Park you can also discover the nocturnal inhabitants of the African steppe.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is the world's premier destination for gorilla trekking, as half of the world's mountain gorilla population has found a protected haven here. By the way, almost all the remaining of the highly endangered apes live in the nearby Mgahinga Gorilla Park. However, these are only a few families left. Also in the Volcano National Park in neighboring Rwanda there are still some groups of mountain gorillas.
Bwindi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can be reached by car from Kampala in 6-8 hours and is best visited during the two dry seasons in January and from June to August. Knowledgeable guides lead visitors into the dense Ugandan jungle where they encounter (often after several hours of walking) the fascinating primates. They have accepted humans in their territories and willingly allow themselves to be observed in the wild - an absolutely unforgettable experience!
Scenic highlights in Africa's national parks
Apart from African wildlife, the Black Continent also beckons with incredible landscapes, some records and fascinating greetings from the past:
- 2km wide and 140m high, Victoria Falls in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia are the largest waterfalls in Africa.
- At Murchison Falls National Park, the largest national park in Uganda, the longest river in the world plunges almost 50m into the depths.
- Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania spreads around the highest mountain in Africa.
- At Sossusvlei of the Namib-Naukluft National Park are the highest sand dunes in the world.
- In Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa, you can marvel at the remains of a kingdom that is over 1000 years old.