The Best Places to See Wildlife in Africa in 2024

Top Safari Destinations for 2024

Africa boasts some of the most incredible wildlife viewing opportunities on earth.​ From the vast plains of the Serengeti to the lush Okavango Delta, here are a few of the top safari destinations to consider for 2024:


Tanzania is often hailed as the ultimate safari destination, and for good reason.​ This East African nation is home to an astounding diversity of landscapes and wildlife, making it a dream destination for anyone seeking an authentic African wilderness experience.​

The Serengeti & The Great Migration

No trip to Tanzania is complete without witnessing the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Great Migration.​ Over two million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle thunder across the Serengeti plains in an annual cycle of life and death, pursued by predators such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs.​ The Serengeti National Park offers unparalleled game viewing year-round, with the migration typically passing through between June and July.​

Ngorongoro Crater: A Wildlife Haven

Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for a truly unforgettable wildlife encounter. This collapsed volcanic caldera harbors a remarkable concentration of animals within its rim, including the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhino).​ The crater floor is a breathtaking sight, with its grasslands, forests, and soda lake teeming with life.​

Beyond the Serengeti and Ngorongoro

While the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are undoubtedly Tanzania’s most famous wildlife destinations, this diverse country has much more to offer.​ Explore the remote and pristine wilderness of Ruaha National Park, home to one of East Africa’s largest elephant populations.​ Discover the chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains National Park, or venture to the shores of Lake Tanganyika for a chance to see the unique and colorful cichlid fish.​

Why Choose Tanzania for Your Safari?​

  • Exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities, including the Great Migration
  • Diverse landscapes, from the Serengeti plains to the Ngorongoro Crater
  • A range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, from luxury lodges to mobile camps
  • Experienced safari guides who can provide insights into the local flora and fauna

Tanzania offers a safari experience unlike any other, immersing you in the heart of Africa’s untamed beauty and captivating wildlife.​


Kenya, often referred to as the “Cradle of Mankind,” is synonymous with classic safari adventures.​ From the iconic plains of the Maasai Mara to the flamingo-filled waters of Lake Nakuru, this East African nation offers a tapestry of wildlife encounters and breathtaking landscapes.

Maasai Mara: A Wildlife Wonderland

The Maasai Mara National Reserve needs little introduction. This iconic reserve shares its ecosystem with Tanzania’s Serengeti and hosts the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Great Migration, with millions of wildebeest and zebra thundering across its plains.​ Witnessing this natural wonder is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.​ Beyond the migration, the Mara is home to an abundance of wildlife year-round, including large prides of lions, elusive leopards, and endangered black rhinos.​

Diverse Ecosystems, Unique Encounters

Kenya’s wildlife offerings extend far beyond the Maasai Mara.​ Discover the pink hues of Lake Nakuru National Park, where thousands of flamingos congregate, creating a breathtaking spectacle; Explore the rolling hills of Amboseli National Park, dominated by Mount Kilimanjaro, and observe large herds of elephants against the majestic backdrop.​ For a chance to spot rare and endangered species, such as the Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe, venture to the arid landscapes of Samburu National Reserve.

A Safari Destination for Every Traveler

Kenya offers a safari experience for every traveler, from budget-conscious adventurers to those seeking unparalleled luxury.​ Choose from a range of accommodation options, including tented camps, lodges, and private villas.​ Experienced guides and trackers ensure unforgettable wildlife encounters, sharing their knowledge of the bush and its inhabitants.​

Why Choose Kenya for Your Safari?​

  • Witness the Great Migration in the iconic Maasai Mara National Reserve.​
  • Explore diverse ecosystems, from savanna grasslands to soda lakes.​
  • Encounter a wide range of wildlife, including the “Big Five” and numerous bird species.
  • Experience authentic Maasai culture and traditions.​

Kenya’s enduring appeal as a safari destination lies in its ability to transport travelers to the heart of Africa’s untamed beauty, where wildlife roams freely, and adventure awaits around every corner.


Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, stands apart as a beacon of exclusive and pristine wilderness experiences.​ Renowned for its commitment to low-impact tourism and high-quality safari offerings, Botswana offers a journey into the heart of untamed Africa.​

Okavango Delta: A Watery Wilderness

The Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a true natural wonder.​ This vast inland delta, fed by the Okavango River, transforms the arid Kalahari Desert into a lush oasis teeming with life.​ Explore its waterways by traditional mokoro (dugout canoe), encountering elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and a remarkable array of birdlife.​

Chobe National Park: Elephant Haven

Chobe National Park, in northern Botswana, boasts one of the highest concentrations of elephants in Africa.​ Witness massive herds congregating along the Chobe River, particularly during the dry season, creating a spectacle that will leave you in awe.​ The park is also home to an abundance of other wildlife, including lions, leopards, wild dogs, and buffalo.​

Luxury and Exclusivity in the Bush

Botswana is synonymous with luxury safari experiences.​ Its remote and exclusive camps and lodges offer unparalleled comfort and personalized service amidst pristine wilderness settings.​ Imagine waking up to the sounds of the African bush, embarking on game drives with expert guides, and enjoying gourmet meals under the stars.​

Why Choose Botswana for Your Safari?​

  • Experience the unique Okavango Delta, a watery wilderness teeming with life.
  • Witness massive elephant herds in Chobe National Park.
  • Enjoy exclusive and luxurious safari experiences in pristine wilderness settings.​
  • Support a country committed to conservation and sustainable tourism practices.​

Botswana offers a safari experience that is both luxurious and authentic, allowing you to connect with nature on a deeper level and create lasting memories of Africa’s untamed beauty.​

South Africa

South Africa offers a compelling blend of wildlife adventures, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture, making it an ideal destination for a multifaceted African experience.​ From the iconic Kruger National Park to the scenic Garden Route, South Africa caters to a wide range of interests.​

Kruger National Park: A Safari Icon

Kruger National Park, one of the world’s largest and most renowned game reserves, is a must-visit for any safari enthusiast.​ Its vast landscapes encompass a remarkable diversity of ecosystems, from savanna grasslands to riverine forests, supporting an incredible array of wildlife.​ Embark on thrilling game drives to spot the “Big Five,” encounter wild dogs on the hunt, and marvel at the park’s prolific birdlife.

Beyond the Kruger: Exploring Diverse Habitats

While Kruger is undoubtedly a highlight, South Africa’s wildlife offerings extend far beyond its borders. Venture to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, renowned for its rhino conservation efforts.​ Explore the rugged beauty of the Eastern Cape’s Addo Elephant National Park, home to a thriving elephant population.​ For a unique marine safari experience, head to the coastal waters of the Western Cape, where you can spot whales, dolphins, and even great white sharks.​

Combining Wildlife with Adventure and Culture

South Africa seamlessly blends its wildlife experiences with opportunities for adventure and cultural immersion.​ Hike or bike through scenic mountain passes, sample award-winning wines in the Cape Winelands, or delve into the nation’s complex history and vibrant culture in cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg.​

Why Choose South Africa for Your Safari?

  • Experience the iconic Kruger National Park, a wildlife haven with exceptional game viewing.
  • Explore a diversity of landscapes and ecosystems, from deserts to coastlines.​
  • Combine your safari with adventure activities, cultural experiences, and culinary delights.
  • Enjoy well-developed infrastructure and a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets.

South Africa offers a captivating blend of wildlife, adventure, and culture, creating a safari experience that is both enriching and unforgettable.​


Zambia, often referred to as “Africa’s undiscovered gem,” offers a raw and authentic safari experience, characterized by its unspoiled wilderness, abundant wildlife, and pioneering spirit. For those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Zambia offers a journey into the heart of wild Africa.​

South Luangwa National Park: Where Walking Safaris Began

South Luangwa National Park is a legendary safari destination, renowned for its exceptional leopard sightings and as the birthplace of the walking safari. Explore its diverse landscapes, from floodplains and woodlands to lagoons and rivers, on foot for an immersive wildlife experience.​ Encounter elephants, hippos, giraffes, and a variety of antelope species, all while guided by experienced rangers.

Kafue National Park: Untamed Wilderness

Kafue National Park, Zambia’s largest national park, is a vast and untamed wilderness teeming with wildlife. Its remote location and limited tourist infrastructure add to its allure, offering a true sense of adventure.​ Discover the Busanga Plains, a seasonal floodplain that attracts large herds of wildebeest and zebra, as well as predators such as lions and cheetahs.​

Victoria Falls: A Natural Wonder

No trip to Zambia is complete without witnessing the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders.​ Locally known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (the smoke that thunders), the falls cascade dramatically into the Zambezi River, creating a breathtaking spectacle of sound and spray.​

Why Choose Zambia for Your Safari?​

  • Experience the thrill of a walking safari in South Luangwa National Park, renowned for its leopard sightings.​
  • Explore the vast and untamed wilderness of Kafue National Park, a haven for wildlife.​
  • Witness the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders.​
  • Discover an off-the-beaten-path safari destination with a raw and authentic appeal.​

Zambia offers a safari experience that is both adventurous and rewarding, allowing you to connect with nature on a deeper level and discover the true essence of wild Africa.​

Planning Your African Wildlife Adventure

Embarking on an African safari is a dream for many, and with careful planning, you can ensure an unforgettable and rewarding experience.​ Here’s a guide to help you navigate the key aspects of planning your African wildlife adventure:

Destination and Time of Year

Africa’s vastness offers a wealth of safari destinations, each with its own unique landscapes, wildlife, and seasonal variations.​ Consider your interests, whether it’s witnessing the Great Migration, tracking gorillas in the rainforest, or exploring the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta.​ Research the best time to visit your chosen destination, taking into account factors such as wildlife movements, weather patterns, and peak seasons.​

Tour Operator Selection

Choosing the right tour operator can make or break your safari experience. Look for reputable operators with a strong track record of responsible tourism practices, experienced guides, and positive customer reviews.​ Consider factors such as group size, budget, and the operator’s expertise in your chosen destination and activities.

Safari Style and Accommodation

Safaris come in various styles, from classic game drives in 4×4 vehicles to walking safaris, horseback safaris, and even hot air balloon rides.​ Consider your preferred level of activity and comfort.​ Accommodation options range from luxury lodges with all the amenities to more rustic tented camps that offer an immersive wilderness experience.

Health and Safety

Consult your doctor about necessary vaccinations and health precautions well in advance of your trip. Pack appropriate clothing and gear, including sturdy walking shoes, neutral-colored clothing for game drives, and insect repellent.​ Follow your guide’s instructions at all times, particularly in wildlife areas.​

Responsible Travel

Choose tour operators and lodges that prioritize sustainable tourism practices, such as wildlife conservation, community engagement, and minimizing their environmental impact.​ Respect the local culture and customs, and be mindful of your interactions with wildlife.​

By carefully considering these aspects of planning, you can embark on an African wildlife adventure that is both unforgettable and responsible, leaving you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the continent’s natural wonders.​

Best Time to Go

Timing is everything when planning an African safari, as each season brings unique wildlife viewing opportunities and weather patterns.​ Here’s a general guide to help you determine the best time to embark on your African wildlife adventure:

Dry Season (May/June ⎻ October/November)

Generally considered the best time for wildlife viewing across much of sub-Saharan Africa, the dry season offers optimal conditions for spotting animals.​ With limited water sources, wildlife congregates around rivers and waterholes, making them easier to observe.​ The vegetation is also less dense, providing clearer visibility for game drives.​

  • Pros: Excellent wildlife viewing, less rainfall, comfortable temperatures.​
  • Cons: Peak tourist season, higher prices, potential for dust.

Shoulder Seasons (April/May & September/October)

The shoulder seasons, bridging the dry and wet seasons, offer a balance of favorable conditions and fewer crowds.​ You’ll experience pleasant weather, lush landscapes, and the possibility of witnessing newborn animals.​

  • Pros: Good wildlife viewing, pleasant weather, fewer crowds than peak season.​
  • Cons: Some unpredictability in weather patterns.​

Wet Season (November/December ⎻ March/April)

While the wet season brings lush vegetation and dramatic thunderstorms, it can make wildlife viewing more challenging. However, it’s an excellent time for birdwatching, as migratory species arrive, and for experiencing the landscape in all its verdant glory.​

  • Pros: Lush landscapes, fewer crowds, lower prices, excellent birdwatching.
  • Cons: More rainfall, higher humidity, wildlife can be harder to spot.​

Tailoring Your Trip to Specific Events

Consider aligning your safari with specific wildlife events, such as the Great Migration in East Africa (typically June-July in Tanzania’s Serengeti and July-October in Kenya’s Maasai Mara), or the wildebeest calving season in Southern Africa (generally January-February).​

Remember that weather patterns can vary significantly within Africa’s diverse regions.​ It’s essential to research your chosen destination and consult with a reputable tour operator to determine the optimal time for your specific safari goals.​

Choosing a Tour Operator

Selecting the right tour operator is paramount to a successful and rewarding African safari experience.​ With numerous companies offering a wide array of itineraries and price points, it’s essential to do your research and choose an operator that aligns with your values, interests, and budget.​

Key Considerations:

  1. Reputation and Experience: Look for operators with a solid track record, positive client reviews, and a commitment to ethical and sustainable tourism practices.​ Consider their experience operating in your chosen destination and their knowledge of local wildlife and ecosystems.​
  2. Guides and Staff: The expertise and enthusiasm of your guide can significantly enhance your safari experience; Inquire about the operator’s guide training programs, their knowledge of wildlife tracking and identification, and their ability to provide insightful interpretations of the natural world.​
  3. Group Size and Safari Style: Determine your preferred group size and safari style.​ Some operators specialize in small-group, intimate experiences, while others cater to larger groups.​ Consider whether you prefer classic game drives, walking safaris, cultural interactions, or a combination of activities.​
  4. Accommodation and Logistics: Inquire about the quality and location of accommodations, from luxury lodges to more rustic camps.​ Understand the logistics of your itinerary, including transportation, meals, and any included activities.
  5. Responsible Tourism Practices: Choose an operator that prioritizes sustainable and ethical tourism.​ Look for certifications or affiliations with organizations such as the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) or the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).​

Research and Recommendations:

Utilize online resources, travel forums, and recommendations from trusted sources to gather information about different tour operators.​ Don’t hesitate to contact operators directly to discuss your specific interests and requirements.​

By investing time and effort in selecting a reputable and experienced tour operator, you’ll be well on your way to an unforgettable African safari adventure.

Types of Safaris

Gone are the days when a safari meant simply piling into a jeep and driving through the bush.​ Today’s safaris offer a diverse range of experiences tailored to different interests, budgets, and comfort levels.​ Here’s a look at some popular types of safaris to consider for your African wildlife adventure:

Classic Game Drives

The quintessential safari experience, classic game drives involve traversing national parks and reserves in open-sided 4×4 vehicles, allowing for optimal wildlife viewing.​ Experienced guides use their tracking skills and knowledge of animal behavior to provide unforgettable encounters with elephants, lions, giraffes, and a plethora of other species.

Walking Safaris

For a more immersive and intimate experience, consider a walking safari.​ Led by expert guides and trackers, you’ll explore the bush on foot, learning about animal tracks, bird calls, and the intricate details of the ecosystem.​ Walking safaris offer a unique perspective and the thrill of encountering wildlife on their terms.​

Fly-in Safaris

Ideal for covering vast distances or accessing remote and exclusive destinations, fly-in safaris utilize small aircraft to transport guests between different camps and reserves. This option minimizes travel time and maximizes time spent on game drives or other activities.​

Mobile Safaris

For a true sense of adventure, embark on a mobile safari.​ These expeditions involve traveling and camping in remote areas, often following wildlife migration patterns.​ Mobile safaris offer a more rustic and intimate experience, with the added thrill of camping under the stars.​

Cultural Safaris

Go beyond wildlife encounters and immerse yourself in the rich cultures of Africa’s indigenous communities.​ Cultural safaris offer opportunities to interact with local tribes, learn about their traditions, customs, and ways of life, and gain a deeper understanding of the human connection to the natural world.

These are just a few examples of the diverse safari experiences available.​ Many operators offer customizable itineraries that combine different types of safaris, allowing you to create a journey that aligns perfectly with your interests and preferences.​

Accommodation Options

From luxurious lodges with breathtaking views to intimate tented camps nestled in the heart of the wilderness, African safari accommodations offer a range of options to suit every taste and budget. Here’s a glimpse into the diverse world of safari lodgings:

Safari Lodges

Safari lodges represent the pinnacle of luxury and comfort in the bush.​ Often situated in prime wildlife viewing areas, lodges typically feature spacious rooms or suites with en-suite bathrooms, private balconies, and stunning views. Guests enjoy gourmet meals, refreshing swimming pools, and attentive service, all while immersed in the sights and sounds of the African wilderness.​

Tented Camps

For a more intimate and immersive experience, consider a tented camp.​ Don’t let the word “tent” mislead you—these accommodations range from comfortable and well-appointed canvas tents with beds and private bathrooms to more luxurious options with plunge pools and outdoor showers. Tented camps offer a closer connection to nature, with the sounds of the bush lulling you to sleep each night.​

Mobile Camps

For the adventurous traveler seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience, mobile camps offer a unique and authentic safari style.​ These camps move periodically, following wildlife migration patterns or exploring different areas within a reserve.​ Accommodation is typically in spacious tents, with communal dining and campfire areas providing a sense of camaraderie among guests.​

Bush Homes and Villas

For larger groups or families seeking privacy and exclusivity, bush homes and villas offer a home-away-from-home experience in the wilderness.​ These stand-alone properties often feature multiple bedrooms, living areas, fully equipped kitchens, and private decks or plunge pools.​ Some even come with dedicated staff, including chefs and guides, to cater to your every need.​

When choosing your safari accommodation, consider factors such as your budget, desired comfort level, proximity to wildlife viewing areas, and overall safari experience.​ Whether you opt for a luxurious lodge or a rustic tented camp, your accommodations will play a vital role in creating lasting memories of your African adventure.​

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