Africa is an enormous continent with a mind-boggling level of diversity. With a land mass large enough to fit China, India, the U.S., Japan and most of Europe inside, you can imagine that the differences from one coast to the other are profound. Snowy mountains, verdant forests, lush swamplands, captivating savannahs, endless deserts, sprawling lakes and thundering waterfalls can all be found within a few hours’ flight of one another. In these ecosystems exist a staggering array of flora and fauna, the likes of which would be impossible to find anywhere else on the planet.
Join us as we explore some of Africa’s more notable locales and species and as you envision your perfect wild and wonderful African safari.
Kruger National Park
South Africa’s Kruger National Park is the perfect locale for first-time safari goers. Large areas of the park are accessible via well-traveled roads that crisscross through some of the more notable habitats. An abundance of facilities is also available, ensuring that a bathroom break or a souvenir trip are not out of the question even while you observe a family of warthogs scurrying past.
With countless choices of game drives available, there is also always something new to see and do in Kruger. You will be able to see all “big five” animals here, luck permitting: lions, leopards, Cape buffalo, elephants and rhinos.
Unlike most rivers, the Okavango empties out into the heart of the mainland. A huge geophysical trough causes all of the annual flood waters to drain out into a massive wetlands area teeming with native wildlife. Bird lovers will be particularly captivated by the Okavango Delta since thousands of exotic species migrate through here every year.
Sitting along the borders of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, Lake Malawi has a huge presence in Eastern Africa. It occupies around 11.4 thousand square miles and has enough water volume to fill Lake Tahoe 56 times over.
Aside from the typical African majesty, two things make Lake Malawi remarkable: the beautiful green hills that flank the rocky banks and the thousands of different, rainbow-colored cichlid species that can be observed when snorkeling.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
Maasai Mara offers the ultimate “untouched” experience for those who want to enjoy a more private sensation on walking safaris or game drives. This large park in Kenya has a more intimate feel and can completely immerse you in nature. Observe zebras, giraffes, herds of wildebeest, African elephants, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs and more while lodging at luxurious private camps.
The nearby Mara River also provides spectacular photographic opportunities when wildebeest migrations cross through from July to early November.
The Ngorongoro Crater is what happens when a volcano the size of a small country erupts and then collapses upon itself millions of years ago. Now, the breathtaking vista presents one of the most unique African landscapes available. The entirety of the crater can be observed from its rim along with all of its unique species. Blue wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, Cape buffalo, hippopotamus and more call the crater home. The rare Maasai lion also has one of the densest populations here.
See These Places and More on African Safari!
Africa’s aforementioned sheer size means that these remarkable treasures are just a taste of what lies in the rest of the continent. Take a look at our African safari vacation packages to learn more about what you can experience when you come to Africa.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa