Looking for a family holiday that is both thrilling and educational? Look no further than Africa for the ultimate safari adventure!
A holiday is an unforgettable journey that will ignite your children’s sense of wonder and curiosity. They’ll have the chance to learn about animals and their behaviors first-hand, away from the screens and noise of city life. They can follow animal tracks on a map, identify different creatures, and tick off sightings as they go. Imagine the thrill of seeing a lion or a leopard in the wild, or witnessing the industriousness of a dung beetle in action.
But a safari holiday is more than just spotting wildlife. It’s an opportunity for your family to connect with other tourists from around the world and share experiences. With so many incredible safari destinations to choose from, it can be challenging to decide. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 10 places in the world to go on safari. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the best safari destinations in the world!
1. Serengeti National Park
It is Tanzania’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its wildlife and stunning landscape. Visitors can see many animals throughout the year, including four of the Big 5, such as cheetahs, hyenas, and foxes. The wildebeest migration is a particularly impressive sight from late January to September. The park has different landscapes, including grassland plains, rocky hills, valleys, rivers, and forests. The best time to visit is during the Dry season from June to October, with June and July being the best time to see the migration. Late January and February are good for predator sightings. However, the Seronera area can be crowded during peak season. A hot air balloon safari is a special way to experience the park’s stunning beauty.
2. Mana Pools National Park
This Park which is located in Zimbabwe is a fantastic destination for adventurous travelers who want to experience the beauty of pristine wilderness on the Zambezi River. The park is a World Heritage Site and home to an array of wildlife, including four of the Big Five. The four of the Big Five present are elephant, buffalo, leopard, and lion. The fifth animal, the rhinoceros, has unfortunately become locally extinct in the park due to poaching. Visitors can explore the park on foot or by canoe, with guided or unguided options available. It is also a great place for river fishing and bird watching. Accessing the park requires a vehicle with a four-wheel drive, but the optimal time to enjoy the best wildlife viewing and weather is during the Dry season from April to October.
3. Mala Mala Game Reserve
Mala Mala is a private reserve in South Africa. It is next to Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The reserve is famous for seeing the Big Five animals and leopards. It has different types of plants, including forests, grasslands, and rocky areas. A river called the Sand River goes through the reserve, and lots of animals come to drink there from May to September. It can be harder to see animals in the Wet season, from October to April, because of the thicker plants and storms in the afternoon. Only people who visit Mala Mala can see the animals there because no one else is allowed on their land. You can go on drives during the day or at night, and you can also go on walking safaris. There are usually only six people in each vehicle.
4. Okavango Delta
This is a famous place to visit in Botswana and covers a big area of 22,000km² where you can experience real wilderness, see amazing wildlife, and enjoy beautiful scenery. The animals you see in the Delta depend on where you are, but Moremi Game Reserve is the best place to see them. You can easily see four of the Big Five there, wild dogs, red lechwe as well as waterbuck from a mokoro. The best time to go is during the Dry season from April to October when you can see lots of wildlife and go on mokoro trips. The Delta is an expensive place to visit, but you can choose from many small, exclusive camps.
5. Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park is a beautiful sanctuary in Zambia that’s home to a lot of wildlife, including four of the Big Five (rhino is not present). Visitors can enjoy a peaceful sunset cruise or a thrilling canoe safari on the Zambezi River and see many animals like elephants, hippos, and crocodiles. The park has a wet season from November to April and a dry season from May to October, with the best time for wildlife viewing between July and October, although it can be hot and humid in October. The park has a beautiful setting, with sandy plains, trees, and bushes around the water, and a forested Muchinga escarpment forming its northern border. Accommodation is located outside the park, and the best wildlife viewing is deep within the park and only accessible to a few lodges.
6. Moremi Game Reserve
The Reserve is one of the best places in Botswana for wildlife viewing. The reserve offers both wetland and dryland safari experiences. Dryland for safari drives and spotting the Big Five. Wetlands for exploring by traditional dugout canoe called a mokoro. Moremi has rhinos and is a major home for wild dogs. You’ll also find animals like red lechwe, impala, and zebra there. The reserve has different landscapes, with different environments and pleasant weather in the dry season (April to October). You can see more birds in the wet season (November to March). Prices are higher during the dry season, and lodges can be expensive, but visitors can choose from a variety of small, exclusive camps, and mobile camping safaris are possible in some areas.
7. South Luangwa National Park
This Park is a popular wildlife destination in Zambia. You can easily see four of the Big Five animals (rhinos are not there), and it’s a great place to see leopards, buffalos, and elephants. This park is also famous for walking safaris, where you can experience wildlife encounters on foot. The scenery is lovely, with the winding Luangwa River and a mix of floodplains, pools, and oxbow lagoons. The park is hot throughout the year but cooler at night from May to October. The best time to visit for wildlife spotting is during the sunny dry season from July to October, and the wet season from November to April is known for lush scenery and clear skies.
8. Ngorongoro Crater
This is an amazing place to see in Tanzania where many kinds of animals, including the Big Five. Black rhinos which are rare in the country can also be easily spotted. Lake Magadi is also great for watching flamingos. The area has beautiful scenery with craters and forests to explore. The best time to go is during the dry season from June to October when it’s easier to see wildlife. However, the wet season from November to May is a good time to go if you want to avoid crowds and save on accommodation. It’s cold at night on the crater rim but stays warm down in the conservation area. The crater can get very crowded, and the entrance fee is expensive. However, you can find fantastic medium-priced and high-end accommodations on the edge of the crater with magnificent sights.
9. Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
Discover Sabi Sands, the stunning South African wildlife reserve, where you can witness the Big Five in their natural habitat. Luxurious accommodations, impeccable service, and exquisite cuisine await you and your family in its private game reserves. The lush vegetation, including woodland savannah and two rivers, is home to a variety of wildlife, including highly habituated leopards. Each private reserve offers a lavish experience tailored to your preferences. From cozy properties to wilderness access and river views, Sabi Sands has it all. Top-rated lodges include Dulini, Inyati, Kirkman’s Kamp, Leopard Hills, Lion Sands, and Londolozi. Visit between May and September for the best wildlife viewing.
10. Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara is a famous park in Kenya where you can see incredible wildlife all year round. The grassy plains and regular rain support a lot of plant-eating animals, which attract predators. The park is well-known for its big cats and the yearly wildebeest migration in September and October, which is amazing to see. There are many places to stay in the park, and you can even take a hot air balloon safari. However, it can get crowded during peak season, and the road to get there is not great. The park’s scenery is mostly grassy plains with some trees and rocky areas. The best times to go are from January to February or from June to October, especially for the migration.
Embarking on a family safari adventure is an incredible way to connect with nature and create unforgettable memories. With so many budget-friendly options to choose from, families can experience the thrill of a classic safari or explore unique landscapes by canoe or on foot. These top 10 safari destinations in Africa offer something for everyone and are sure to leave you feeling invigorated and inspired. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Africa.