Mammals, Birds or ReptilesThe first thing you need to do is decide which animals you want to see.
- Big 5-- Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant: If you want to see all of these animals in one trip, the Masai Mara in Kenya, Kruger National Park, in South Africa and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania are good bets.
- Gorillas: If you're interested in gorillas you would want to head to Rwanda, Uganda or Gabon. See my complete guide to gorilla safaris for more information.
- Chimpanzees: If you're inspired by Jane Goodall's work, your destination would be the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.
Okavango Delta in Botswana is probably your best destination.
- Lions: To see the king of the beasts, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in East Africa are the best parks to view lions. In Southern Africa, South Luangwa National Park deserves a mention for its abundance of lions in a less touristy setting.
- Black Rhino: To see the black rhino is quite rare, but you still have a chance to catch a glimpse in Etosha National Park, Kruger National Park and Chobe National Park.
- Hippos and Crocodiles: Plentiful in lakes and rivers throughout East and Southern Africa. The most I've ever seen were on a Canoeing Safari in the Zambezi River, which runs between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania and Liwonde National Park in Malawi also offer fine viewing opportunities, but be cautious, crocs and hippos can be extremely dangerous.
- Birding: If ornithology is your passion then you will be very happy to know there are many birding safaris available in East and Southern Africa.
Adventure SafarisNext you need to decide just how close you want to get. If you're not satisfied viewing wildlife from a 4x4 vehicle, there are plenty of alternative options available.
- Elephant Safari
The best offer I can find for an elephant back safari is at Abu Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. There are some elephant rides available in Zimbabwe but not an entire safari. Since elephants generally crash through the bush you may not see a lot of game, but the experience of sitting high up on this great beast would be worth it.
- Walking Safari
If you are fit and appreciate an adrenalin rush, then go on a walking safari. The Guides are extremely knowledgeable and being on foot will enable you to get truly close to experiencing the sights, smells and sounds of the African bush.
- Mountain Bike Safari
An excellent option for cycling enthusiasts, the bike safari offers excitement, flexibility and exercise!
- Canoeing Safari
Floating along the Zambezi River among the hippos and crocodiles; camping under the stars and listening to lions roar deep in to the night; seeing elephants cross the river trunks held high - that in a nutshell was my canoeing safari experience. Magical.
- Balloon Safari
Not for the budget-conscious, but a balloon safari is a once in a lifetime experience and several large National Parks offer this popular option. The best place for it has to be the Serengeti Plains watching the annual migration of Wildebeest. You will be pleased to note that all balloon flights include champagne.
- Camel Safari
The good thing about a camel safari is that your guides are likely to be local tribesmen. Less gainly than a horse, a camel is nevertheless a fun and relaxing animal to ride and there is something romantic about camping next to your steed at night. You can enjoy camel safaris in many African countries including: Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, Tunisia, and Namibia.
- Horse Riding Safari
You can race zebras and antelope on horseback - what fun! A great way to experience the African bush but you have to be quite fit and an experienced rider to enjoy these safaris.
- Hunting Safari
If you wish to travel to Africa and shoot with a gun rather than a camera, there are lots of options available. For the right price you are guaranteed a trophy of your choice for your living room wall.