Africa has some of the most amazing and diverse wildlife in the world. From mountain gorillas in misty forests to giant herds of wildebeest crossing the open Serengeti plains, Africa is home to legendary landscapes and iconic animals. Going on safari allows travelers to see incredible wildlife up close.

Many countries in Africa have created national parks and reserves to protect habitats and endangered animals. Places like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique provide important safe zones where wildlife can live and thrive without much human impact. Visiting these protected wild areas on safari lets people experience amazing nature while also supporting its conservation.

This article explores some of Africa’s best wildlife conservation countries and the unbelievable safari sights they offer.

Botswana Safaris

botswana safaris

Botswana has excellent safaris and animals. Let’s explore Botswana’s national parks and reserves to see amazing wildlife.

Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta in northern Botswana is a special ecosystem. The Okavango River spreads out and makes a huge inland delta in the Kalahari Desert. This forms a wetland with channels, floodplains and marshes. Many animals live here all year with the permanent water.

Giant elephant herds wade through the marshes. Over 200,000 elephants live here – more than anywhere on Earth! Loud hippos splash and grunt in the winding channels. Out on the grassy plains, lions, leopards and cheetahs stalk zebras, giraffes and antelopes. Many crocodiles also fill the swamps.

Birds like kingfishers and fish eagles nest along the shores. Hundreds of bird species are seen here. Large antelope and wildebeest groups feed on the plants. Hungry crocodiles sneakily wait to grab a meal. The delta has massive animal crowds.

Top Wildlife Reserves

Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta has protected wetland and grassland habitats packed with many animals. Different ecosystems allow huge populations of lions, wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, elephants, and over 400 bird species. Chief’s Island especially has high numbers of lions, cheetahs and cubs with lots of prey around.

Xakanaxa is surrounded by wildlife-filled areas. Nearby lodges have safari drives to see tall giraffes, big elephants, antelopes and more with beautiful views. Mokoro dug-out canoe rides allow drifting up to hippos, crocodiles and birds along the banks.

Chitabe has some of Botswana’s largest elephant herds and good leopard sightings. Game drives here offer great chances to see the solitary spotted leopards hiding in bushes. The diverse delta provides awesome animal viewing.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve covers over 50,000 square kilometers, making it one of the planet’s largest protected areas. This reserve has:

Red sand dunes and scrubby bushes that extend endlessly. Bone-dry rivers that may flow briefly during rainy months. Never ending open grasslands and forests.

The harsh climate still supports uniquely adapted wildlife like black-maned Kalahari lions that blend into the dunes when hunting. Rare brown hyenas, bat-eared foxes, ostriches and giraffes with special bodies and legs to go long distances without water also live here.

Chobe National Park

In northern Botswana, massive wildlife crowds gather along the Chobe River in Chobe National Park during dry months. Huge numbers of elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, lions and crocodiles come to drink and feed.

Game drives may show elephants or lions resting under trees. Boat cruises at sunset offer wonderful sightings of hippos, elephants swimming, and animals jostling for space at the water’s edge as the sun slowly sets. It’s a wildlife haven!

Kenya Safaris

kenya safari

Kenya is rightfully famous as one of Africa’s top safari destinations. It has excellent national parks and reserves packed with diverse wildlife just waiting to be explored. Let’s discuss some of Kenya’s best places for seeing amazing African animals.

Maasai Mara National Reserve

The Maasai Mara National Reserve in southern Kenya is world renowned. This protected grassland area consists of open rolling hills and lush green plains watered by the Mara River which flows through it.

Each year, the Great Migration sees over a million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles travel from Tanzania’s Serengeti to the Maasai Mara in search of new grazing land. Their dramatic river crossings where they are hunted by big cats like lions and cheetahs make for legendary safari sightings.

The Maasai Mara has the highest density lion population in Kenya, with impressive black-maned males, fierce huntress lionesses, and adorable young cubs. We have the chance to witness whole prides together out in the open.

In addition to big cats, the reserve is home to elephants, tall Masai giraffes, African buffalo, hippos, Nile crocodiles and several hundred species of native birds. Game drives may even spot the more elusive rhino or a leopard lounging in a tree with its fresh antelope kill. The Maasai Mara certainly delivers awesome wildlife encounters!

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park near the Tanzania border is known for its beautiful views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. It contains open plains set against the picturesque backdrops of Mount Kilimanjaro’s snowy peak and rolling hills.

Over 1,000 elephants call Amboseli home. We can see large family herds with playful calves dust bathing and drinking from the swamps. The park provides great sightings of enormous bull elephants with impressive tusks up close.

In addition to elephants, wildebeest, Cape buffalo, plains zebras, several antelope species like Grant’s gazelle, Masai giraffes, big cats including lions and cheetahs all inhabit Amboseli’s habitats. The park also contains marshy wetlands for hippos and many native bird species like pink flamingos.

Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks

Together Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks make up the largest protected wildlife area in Kenya. Tsavo consists primarily of semi-arid scrublands and open savannah grasslands interspersed with woodlands and bushy vegetation.

This massive park is home to over 11,000 elephants as well as other wildlife like Cape buffalo herds, prides of lions, stealthy leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes, gazelles, zebras, and more. Tsavo has one of the largest populations of endangered black rhinos in Kenya, along with 300 bird species. The park’s crocodile-filled Galana River also attracts hippos and wildlife coming to drink. We may even spot the unique “red elephants” of Tsavo that cover themselves in the local iron-rich mud!

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is conveniently located just outside of Kenya’s capital city. Despite its proximity to urban Nairobi, this small park harbors abundant wildlife on its grassy plains. Lucky visitors can spot lions, rhinos, buffalos, Burchell’s zebras, Rothschild giraffes, bushbucks, elands, and over 400 species of birds. It offers a nice safari experience close to the modern amenities of Nairobi.

Tanzania Safaris

Tanzania safaris

Tanzania is a great safari destination in Africa. It has excellent national parks and reserves to see many animals. Let us discuss some top places in Tanzania for safaris.

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania is very well-known. It has open grassy plains and granite outcrops called kopjes that are great for wildlife viewing.

During the annual Great Migration, over a million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles travel through the Serengeti coming from Kenya. Their river crossings and journeys across the plains are amazing to see.

There are big predator populations here, including leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and over 3,000 lions. Large prides lounge on top of kopjes. We can see hunts and cute cubs learning survival skills.

Serengeti also has elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, rare wild dogs, and over 500 bird species. Game drives may reveal a leopard up a tree with an impala kill. It’s a wildlife paradise!

Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area contains the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact ancient caldera in the world. The crater floor has a lake and open grasslands great for viewing wildlife.

In Ngorongoro Crater we’ll see lions, elephants, buffaloes, zebras, wildebeest, antelopes, hyenas, hippos, flamingos, and many bird species. Game drives down on the crater floor allow close encounters! We may also spot black rhinos, leopards or servals hiding in the brush.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park has rolling grassy hills with swamps, woodlands and floodplains. It is known for its dense elephant population and beautiful baobab trees.

Many elephants gather at the swamps and river during dry season. Herds of wildebeest, zebras and buffaloes also come. We can see giraffes, big cats, monkeys, hartebeest, and over 550 bird species. The park has lions, leopards and waterbucks. Tarangire offers amazing safari wildlife!

Tanzania’s parks are fantastic for safaris. The Serengeti plains, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire’s floodplains allow us to see diverse African wildlife.

Uganda Safaris

uganda safaris

Uganda is another excellent safari destination in Africa. It contains beautiful protected habitats and many national parks to see amazing animals. Let’s explore top places to safari in Uganda.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a rainforest located in southwest Uganda. It is most famous as the home of endangered mountain gorillas! Groups of gorillas live and forage within the forest.

Tracking mountain gorillas on foot is an incredible bucket list experience. We can see these intelligent, human-like primates up close in their natural home. What an unforgettable adventure!

Bwindi also has chimpanzees, monkeys like baboons, and over 350 bird species including colorful turacos. Forest elephants, antelopes, bushbucks, and small carnivores also inhabit the park.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park in northern Uganda sits on the Victoria Nile River. The park has savannas, woodlands, wetlands and the majestic Murchison Falls where the river plunges powerfully through a narrow gorge.

The varied habitats provide home to elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos, crocodiles, hartebeest, oribis, chimps, and rare shoebill storks. Game drives may spot elephants, buffaloes or big cats! Nile boat cruises take us near hippos and the beautiful falls.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is uniquely situated between Lakes Edward and Lake George in southwest Uganda. The park includes savanna, wetlands and crater lakes.

We can see healthy numbers of lions, hippos, elephants, buffaloes, chimps, and over 600 bird species in ecosystems like the Kazinga Channel. Game drives will hopefully reveal tree-climbing lions, buffaloes, antelopes, and the elusive giant forest hog.

Rwanda Safaris

rwanda safaris

Though small, Rwanda is another excellent safari destination in Africa. It contains beautiful national parks and reserves to see incredible wildlife. Let’s explore top places to safari in Rwanda.

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park in northwest Rwanda protects the steep, bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains. It is most famous as the home of endangered mountain gorillas! Groups of these magnificent primates live and forage on the forested mountainsides.

Tracking mountain gorillas on foot here is a thrilling, bucket-list wildlife encounter. We can get within meters of gorilla families, observing them closely going about their daily activities like feeding, playing, and resting. What an amazing experience!

Volcanoes National Park also has golden monkeys, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, bushbucks, over 170 bird species including ostriches, and great scenery with its tall volcanoes.

Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda contains a range of habitats including savanna grassland plains, swamps, lakes, and woodlands.

Reintroduced lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, antelope species like elands, buffaloes, hippos and crocodiles inhabit Akagera’s diverse ecosystems. Game drives may reveal grazing herds, spotted predators, or even baboons and monkeys.

We can boat on Lake Ihema amid hippos, see rare shoebill storks, and enjoy the panoramic views of Akagera’s landscapes. It’s a wonderful safari experience.

Nyungwe National Park – Primates and Hiking

Nyungwe National Park in southwestern Rwanda contains lush mountain rainforest with waterfalls, streams and hiking trails.

Several types of monkeys including chimpanzees and Angela’s colobus monkeys inhabit the park’s forests. Nyungwe also has Ruwenzori turacos, forest elephants, buffaloes, mongooses, over 300 bird species, and colorful amphibians along its hiking trails.

Rwanda’s national parks protect amazing mountain gorillas and other wildlife. Volcanic Virungas treks, Akagera game drives, and Nyungwe forest hikes make Rwanda a great safari destination.

Zambia Safaris

zambia safari

Zambia is a top safari destination, with excellent national parks and reserves to see amazing animals. Let’s explore some highlights for going on safari in Zambia.

South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia is known for its high concentrations of wildlife drawn to the Luangwa River and oxbow lagoons.

Large herds of elephants and buffaloes live in South Luangwa, along with many hippos in the river. Prides of lions, leopards, endangered wild dogs, hyenas, giraffes, zebras, antelope and over 400 bird species also inhabit the area.

Walking safaris are a great way to spot wildlife and experience the bush up close. We may see herds of impalas or elephants crossing right in front of us on foot! Night drives also reveal nocturnal species like civets, genets and bushbabies.

Lower Zambezi National Park

Lower Zambezi National Park lies along Zambia’s Lower Zambezi River with woodlands and plains. Huge elephant herds are a highlight here.

We can see elephants swimming across channels and grazing on islands along with buffaloes. The park has good numbers of lions, leopards, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles and antelope. Canoe safaris offer riverfront wildlife viewing!

Kafue National Park

Massive Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest park, spanning over 22,000 sq km. It has diverse landscapes from floodplains, swamps and rivers to woodlands, plains and forest.

Kafue has cheetahs, lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, hippos and varied antelope species. The lush Busanga Plains attract large herds in green season. The Kafue River supports many animals.

Zambia’s national parks allow amazing walking, driving and canoeing safaris. Abundant elephants, big cats, hippos, antelopes and scenic landscapes make Zambia a wildlife haven.

Zimbabwe Safaris

zimbabwe safaris

Zimbabwe is a top safari destination, with excellent national parks and reserves packed with diverse African wildlife. Let’s explore some highlights for going on safari in Zimbabwe.

Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe is one of the country’s best and largest parks for seeing wildlife. Hwange has grassy plains, woodlands, and watering holes that attract many animals.

Massive herds of elephants frequently visit the water holes and we may see them spraying dirt on themselves. Hwange has great numbers of buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, endangered African wild dogs, lions, and 400+ bird species.

Walking and driving safaris let us discover wildlife day and night. Look for elephant and buffalo herds at the water holes! We may spot the rare sable antelope or a leopard lounging in a tree.

Matobo National Park

Matobo National Park contains a beautiful landscape of massive granite rock formations, wooded valleys, and cave paintings.

This habitat provides home to leopards, white rhinos, elephants, giraffes, hippos, antelopes and monkeys. We can track rhinos on foot and see ancient rock art depicting African wildlife. What a unique safari experience!

Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park sits along the Zambezi River and floodplain. Insane densities of wildlife concentrate around the river and pools during the dry season.

Elephants, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, elands, lions and over 350 bird species inhabit Mana Pools. Big herds come to drink from the river. We may even see elephants swimming across!

Walking safaris provide a thrilling way to spot lions, wild dogs, hyenas and other wildlife at close range. Mana Pools offers amazing game viewing.

Zimbabwe is a top safari destination, with walking, driving, canoeing and photography opportunities. Abundant elephants, big cats, hippos, birds and stunning scenery make its national parks a must visit!

South Africa Safaris

kruger national park

South Africa is revered for its excellent national parks showcasing unique wildlife and diverse ecosystems. Let’s explore some highlights for going on safari in South Africa.

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park in northeast South Africa is one of Africa’s largest and most famous game reserves. Kruger provides incredible wildlife diversity with its grasslands, woodlands, rivers and mountains.

Massive herds of buffalo, elephants, zebras, giraffes and antelope species roam Kruger’s habitats. Predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and African wild dogs thrive by hunting these animals. The park also has hippos, rhinos, over 500 bird species and more!

Game drives may reveal “The Big Five” – lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and rhinos. Walking and night safaris also provide amazing wildlife encounters. Look for leopards hunting at night!

Addo Elephant National Park

Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth protects the large density of elephants living in Addo’s bushy valleys and plains. Around 600 elephants as well as lions, leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, zebras, giraffes and hyenas inhabit Addo.

We can approach elephants closely in our vehicles and also see them drinking from waterholes. Addo has great sightings of the Big Five game animals. Also look for southern right whales off the coast!

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site in eastern South Africa stretches over 200 km of subtropical coastline and includes wetlands, woodlands, reefs and marine life.

Walk coastal trails and ride boats to see hippos, crocodiles, humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles and over 500 bird species within iSimangaliso. The diversity here is amazing!

Namibia Safaris

namibia safari

Namibia offers epic safari experiences, with stunning national parks and reserves housing animals adapted to desert environments. Let’s explore some top places to see Namibia’s remarkable wildlife.

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park in northern Namibia provides excellent game viewing. The park consists of a massive salt pan surrounded by grasslands and savannas.

At the watering holes, we may see sizable herds of elephants, gemsbok, springbok, zebras, giraffes and more coming to drink. Lucky sightings could include lions, leopards, cheetahs, black rhinos and endangered black-faced impalas. Etosha has abundant birdlife like flamingos and eagles too.

Game drives offer front-row views of 114 mammal and 340 bird species! Etosha is one of Africa’s best places to safari.

Skeleton Coast National Park

Skeleton Coast National Park in western Namibia spans a remote, rugged Atlantic coastline through the Namib Desert. Though arid, the park sustains unique wildlife.

Desert-adapted elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, hyenas and antelopes roam the gravel plains and dunes. We may even spot the rare desert rhino here! The icy Atlantic also has whales, seals, dolphins and marine birds. What a contrast!

Fish River Canyon National Park

Fish River Canyon National Park contains southern Africa’s largest canyon, which is over 160 km long and up to 27 km wide. The steep, rocky canyon has scenic hiking trails along its rim.

Hardy mountain animals like baboons, klipspringers, leopards, and over 200 bird species inhabit the extreme landscape. The vista of layered canyon rock formations dotted with dwarf shrubs is phenomenal too.

Namibia’s national parks offer epic scenery and amazingly resilient desert-dwelling wildlife.

Malawi Safaris

Malawi tours

Though small, Malawi provides excellent safari experiences to see diverse African wildlife. Let’s explore some top national parks and reserves for game viewing in Malawi.

Liwonde National Park

Liwonde National Park contains lush floodplains, woodlands and the Shire River in southeastern Malawi. The river’s hippos and crocodiles attract dense wildlife concentrations in the dry season.

Liwonde has over 600 elephants and large herds of buffaloes and antelope species like sable, kudu and bushbuck. Safaris may reveal vervet monkeys, baboons, zebras, warthogs and massive Nile crocodiles along the riverbanks.

The park also contains high densities of predators like lions, leopards and hyenas. Guided walking safaris allow thrilling encounters viewing animals up close on foot. Boat cruises offer relaxed wildlife sightings.

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve lies along Lake Malawi with miombo woodlands, forests and grassland areas. Because of its remoteness, we may have the park all to ourselves!

Nkhotakota has bushbucks, warthogs, baboons, vervet monkeys and over 350 bird species. The rare Cookson’s wildebeest also inhabits the reserve. Walking and driving safaris let you spot wildlife while soaking in beautiful panoramas.

Nyika National Park

Nyika National Park sits high on the Nyika Plateau, a scenic area with rolling grasslands, evergreen forests and lush wetlands.

Roan antelope, zebras, bushbucks, warthogs, leopards and over 400 bird species including breeding cranes inhabit Nyika’s diverse landscape. The park offers walking trails to observe wildlife and flowers like wild orchids.

Mozambique Safaris

mozambique primates

Though less visited, Mozambique provides memorable safari experiences in its protected areas. Let’s discover some top national parks and reserves to see amazing wildlife in Mozambique.

Gorongosa National Park

Gorongosa National Park contains diverse habitats of grassy floodplains, Acacia woodlands, palm forests and limestone gorges. The park sits at the southern end of the Great Rift Valley.

Gorongosa is renowned for its density of predators like lions, leopards and hyenas who hunt zebra, waterbuck, impala and other prey. Large herds of buffalo and elephants also inhabit the area. Birding is excellent too!

The park has a successful wildlife restoration project that brought back many animal populations after the civil war. Safari drives may reveal mating lions, swimming elephants, many antelope species, and storks.

Banhine National Park

Remote Banhine National Park consists of tropical savannas, palm forests and wetlands. The Banhine River and wetlands provide permanent water for wildlife even in the dry season.

Antelopes like kudu and oribi, zebras, African wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, crocodiles and over 300 bird species live in Banhine. Game drives offer sightings of unique creatures like antbears. Walking safaris are available too!

Limpopo National Park

Limpopo National Park extends along the untamed Limpopo River with sand forests, wetlands and grasslands. The park forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park with South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

Limpopo contains elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles and other wildlife in a remote setting. We may spot rare sand lizards and painted wolves. Boat cruises provide relaxing wildlife viewing on the Limpopo River.

From mountain gorillas in green forests to elephants crossing dry grasslands, Africa’s national parks allow up close encounters with one-of-a-kind wildlife. Safaris through these protected lands let people observe natural animal behaviors in undisturbed settings. Supporting conservation helps ensure these species exist for future generations.

Visiting Africa’s wild places provides unforgettable experiences and also promotes habitat protection by funding conservation efforts. As eco-tourism grows responsibly with minimal impact on wildlife, local communities benefit too, encouraging stewardship of nature. By exploring national parks and reserves, we can help sustain Africa’s amazing biodiversity.

With careful management, eco-tourism and anti-poaching efforts, Africa’s iconic wildlife can continue to survive and thrive for years to come. We hope this article inspires you to join sustainable safaris in Africa’s conservation countries. Let’s appreciate and protect the Earth’s remaining wild places together.