There’s nothing quite like the thrill of an African safari. Dreams of flame-hued sunsets become a reality, accompanied with the raucous tunes of the wild; an experience that promises to be forever tattooed in your memory. Continuing with the wrap-up of world travel guide series, we bring you the best destinations to take a step into the wild.
Safari. If there was one word to describe Botswana, the 123RF World Travel Guide affirms you can safely place your money on this. The splendid Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and the Kalahari Desert offers everyone the opportunity to witness Africa’s epic wildlife, be it living off canned tuna in a tight squeeze tent, or slicing into a rib eye on a rooftop that overlooks the savanna.
Between June and August, the delta is at its best. As the river swells, some 200,000 diverse animals make their way to Okavango in the hunt for a drink and a meal. For a unique experience, be sure to sit in the mokoro and explore the safari with this traditional canoe. With your eyes at water level, you are guaranteed to feel a part of this rich ecosystem.
Similarly, Chobe is on one of the continent’s best safaris. The abundance of lagoons, rivers, savanna and floodplains of this park make it a perfect spot to see Africa’s fauna live in action. The park’s northeast is home to big boys of the renowned Big Five, meanwhile, the southwestern grounds are the playgrounds of the fearsome big cats.
Additionally, check out Kalahari for a glimpse into what it would be like to live if all hell breaks loose. To its credit, the ‘Land of Thirst’ does hold substantial wildlife. Zebras, meerkats, hyenas call this home. However, the Kalahari Lions are the ones who run the show in these areas.
For our world travel guide, Congo is on the verge of becoming one of the best ecotourism destinations in Africa. The Odzala-Kokoua National Park offers travelers to comfortably explore the life in Congo’s basin. Crystal-clear streams, lush rainforests, and vast savanna make up the park. The southern part of the park is mainly a savanna and forest mosaic ecosystem. The center is filled with the marantaceae forest, while further north, the park is dominated by a mature rainforest
Odzala’s biodiversity is nothing less than phenomenal. The park homes more than 400 bird species and has been recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International. Additionally, Congo’s jewel is also home to 114 mammal species. However, the pick of the bunch here are the gorilla and chimpanzee populations, in particular, the western lowland species.
Kenya is a step into the wild. And the Masai Mara perfectly embodies this. This sprawling patch of land is nothing short of incredible. The Masai Mara is one of the most spectacular locations on Earth. Golden sunsets drown the quintessential-African landscape of endless savanna grasslands in a breathtaking tangerine-hued glow. A sight that promises to be tattooed in your heart, long after you’ve left.
However, for the best safari experience, be sure to catch the incredible wildebeest migration. Millions of other animals also follow these beasts as they make their way across the area, from July onward. This results in one of the most abundant concentrations of wildlife in Africa, and a memory of a lifetime for travelers to take home. What are you waiting for?
South Africa has evolved to become one of the world’s hottest travel destinations. And for our world travel guide, the epic Kruger National Park is at the heart of this. Often ranked as one of Africa’s and the world’s best game reserves, this Nat Geo approved park promises a stunning safari experience like no other. For those of you keen to wake up to the roar of a lion, South Africa’s worst kept secret is tailor made just for you.
This massive park is situated four hours from Joburg, and a whopping 18 hours from the ever popular Cape Town. Upon arriving, the park may seem like any other game reserve. However, don’t be fooled. Kruger’s sprawling land makes it bigger than the likes of Wales and Israel!
What sets Kruger in a league of its own is the accessibility. The combination of grasslands and openings allows for visitors to rent a 4×4 and uncover the home of Africa’s exclusive Big 5. Coupled with the chance of spotting a kudu at your porch, Kruger promises a huge bang for your buck.
Uganda is a step into the wild. Undeniably, the main allure here are the gorillas. The thrill of seeing these great beasts in action is not something you’d see everyday. And the best place to witness this is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park lies in southwestern Uganda, on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-kissed hills are enclosed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests. The area also dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants.
However, our world travel guide is in this impenetrable forest for the estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population. The several habituated groups can be tracked with the help of an experienced guide. Trekking to see these gorillas can take anywhere between an hour to a couple more. Once you’ve spotted a family, you’ll then have an hour to observe these giants; a magical experience indeed.
Tanzania is the home of adventure. At the heart of this blessed country, is the world-renowned Serengeti National Park. One of the world’s best wildlife-watching places is home to endless grasslands and hundreds of thousands of animals, with the annual wildebeest migration being a once in a lifetime opportunity. The latest reports of the park sees the wildebeest out of Masai Marra and arriving to the southern end of the Serengeti, where they are giving birth to an estimated 500,000 calves.
The park can be divided into 3 sections. The popular southern/central part is also known as the land of endless plains. Its classic savanna, dotted with acacias and packed with wildlife. The western corridor begins with the Grumeti River, and has more forests and dense bush. Meanwhile, the north area meets up with Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve.
Serengeti also has the highest concentration of large mammals on this planet and its famous known for its 2,500 Lions the largest concentration found anywhere. Additionally, Tanzania’s wild side does not stop there. The Selous Game Reserve and Ngorongoro Crater are fantastic additions for your safari expedition and out world travel guide collection.
Our world travel guide picks South Luangwa as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River is among the most intense in Africa. The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of this massive park.
The park hosts a variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The pick of the bunch here is the now famous ‘walking safari’, which originated right here. This method is still one of the finest ways to experience Africa’s epic wilderness first-hand. The changing seasons also add to the Park’s richness, going from; dry and bare bushveld in the winter, to a lush, green wonderland in the warmer months.
Zambia also almost guarantees sightings of antelopes, giraffes, crocodiles, lions and elephants. Additionally, the Luangwa river has the highest concentration of hippos in Africa. The area also boasts a large natural population of leopards, packs of endangered African wild dogs and an abundance of birdlife, with over 400 species at certain times of year.
Want more travel inspiration? Watch this space as we continue to slice and dice our extensive world travel guide series!