Best Wildlife Safari Destinations for Spotting Untamed Safari Animals!
A jungle safari holiday should be on everyone’s wish list of life’s greatest adventures. There’s no denying there are few things cooler than observing wild animals in their natural habitat, which also means jungle safaris are one of the most expensive holidays.
The tag of ‘expensive holidays’ means you should get it right in the first go and hit the bull’s eye straightaway while planning your one of the most audacious and venturesome vacations.
But, wait! Where should you go for the real taste of Wildlife Safari?
If your best answer to this question is just ‘Africa’, then it’s a good idea to be on this page!
While your answer is correct, but African safari is so vast, and its horizons are so wide that some of its big-game strongholds are the size of many small countries in the world. It calls for a thorough understanding of the African Safari landscape.
African Wildlife can be split into two rational regions: Southern & Eastern Africa.
We’ll focus on the eastern region here to take you through the wilderness of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The southern region comprises of Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
So, here is a list of top wildlife safari parks in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda across Eastern Africa, which has slightly more densely populated wildlife than that of the Southern region.
Kenya is synonymous with wildlife. When people think of wildlife safari in Africa, most of them think of Kenya. It’s the lone acacia silhouetted on the Savannah – peppered with immense herds of wildlife – against a horizon stretching into eternity. It has snow-capped mountains almost on the equator and within the sight of harsh deserts. It’s a country of idiosyncratic land forms that drive us into the desire of coming to this continent.
Kenya is where the concept of a wildlife safari was born. Its central part is known for game viewing of rare species like African wild dogs and Grevy’s zebra. Seasonally, the already top wildlife viewing is augmented by a portion of the great migration pouring into Kenya.
You can also time your arrival for the exodus of a million wildebeest and zebra across the Mara River, dodging hungry crocodiles and vultures. Or enjoy the serene scenes at Amboseli, as elephants trek in the shadow of Mt Kilimanjaro. Also, you may witness both black and white rhinos here – some of the most endangered species in the world. The most popular wildlife safari destination in Kenya is Masai Mara.
Masai Mara – The Gem of Kenya Safari
Masai Mara is often referred to as “the greatest wildlife real estate on Earth” and a must-do for every wildlife enthusiast. Lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras and hippos can be spotted here as wildebeest pass through these lands for their annual migration. Night safaris can also be arranged at Masai Mara. There is also a day-long hot air balloon safari over the picturesque Savannah that offers stunning photographic opportunities.
Other Wildlife Safaris in Kenya:
Nairobi National Park
Samburu National Reserve
Best Time to Visit Kenya:
Kenya is widely regarded as a year-round safari destination except for the rainy months of April and May. Many visitors come for the Wildebeest Migration and the best time to visit Masai Mara for this famous spectacle is between July and October. However, if you want to avoid the peak season, you can plan during the warmer months of January and February.
Tanzania is an absolutely standout destination for wildlife. Safaris in Tanzania take advantage of this country’s huge parks, abundant fauna and accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Tanzania safari is much less developed than South Africa or Kenya, but has a far greater sense of wilderness, and hence offers safaris to suit all budgets.
In Tanzania, you can realize your dreams of staying under canvas and traversing wide open plains teeming with animals in overwhelming quantities. Tanzania safari tours offer the greatest wildlife population in all of Africa with an estimated 4 million wild animals, including the continent’s largest populations of many safari species, such as lions. The most popular wildlife safari destination in Tanzania is Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti National Park – Land of Wildebeest Migration
Serengeti is a pristine landscape of swaying savannah, dotted with flat-topped acacia and speckled with great roving herds. The best locations to be in Serengeti change throughout the year in accordance with the movement of the great migration and many of the best camps are also seasonal setups that move like the migration.
Serengeti is home to the legendary great migration of roughly 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle!
Serengeti ecosystem is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – an area that offers the same sort of phenomenal predator sightings that you’d expect from the neighbouring Masai Mara National Park in Kenya (part of the same ecosystem), but the lion and cheetah chases at Serengeti are often enjoyed without another vehicle in sight.
Other Wildlife Safaris in Tanzania:
Tarangire National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale National Parks
Best Time to Visit Tanzania:
The best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania are during the Dry season from June to October. For Wildebeest Migration from Serengeti to Masai Mara, it is best to visit in the months of June and July. The southern and western circuit parks are best visited during the dry season, unlike the more popular northern circuit parks that can be visited year-round.
Should you wish to avoid the crowds and visit Tanzania during the off-season, be aware that
many of the lodges close during March and April.
Uganda Safaris are real treat for travellers in Africa. Ten national parks protect world’s mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, over a 1,000 species of birds, and a classic safari checklist of leopards, lions, elephants and hippos. Culturally, it’s just as diverse, with over 40 languages. Comparatively, Uganda safari lodging and activities cost lower than most other safari countries, but the very high costs of logistics wipe out the savings on lodging. The most popular wildlife safari destination in Uganda is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Kingdom of Mountain Gorillas
Bwindi is located southwest on the edge of the legendary Rift Valley. The dense rain forest is home to nearly half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas – a critically endangered subspecies with just over 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild – making it the favourite African jungle for gorilla trekking. It is also home to chimpanzees, baboons and other mammals including elephant and antelope. In this bio-diverse region, more than 20 endemic species of birds can also be found.
Other Wildlife Safaris in Uganda:
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kibale Forest National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park
Best Time to Visit Uganda:
The best time to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking is during the country’s two dry seasons: from December to February and from June to September – when wildlife is concentrated around water sources.
March to May and October to November are wetter – which can be less pleasant for gorilla tracking.