African safari parks

Kruger National Park

kruger national park

Get ready for a wild adventure in South Africa’s iconic Kruger National Park! Spanning nearly 2 million hectares, Kruger provides the ultimate African safari experience.

With over 500 bird species, 100 reptiles, and 145 mammal species, you’ll be wowed by the incredible biodiversity. Kruger’s animal residents include the Big 5 – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalo. The park has one of Africa’s highest densities of leopards, so spotting these elusive big cats is a top prize. And with over 10,000 elephants, you’re sure to see plenty of these giants!

Kruger also leads efforts protecting endangered rhinos from poaching. Thanks to anti-poaching units, the park now has the world’s largest population of white rhinos. How cool is that? As you explore Kruger’s landscapes, you might even glimpse wild dogs bounding by or a lumbering hippo emerging from lush grass.

From 4×4 game drives to guided walking safaris, Kruger offers awesome ways to search for animals big and small. At night, shine a spotlight to catch nocturnal action from prowling lions or reflective eyes shining in the darkness. However you choose to explore, Kruger promises close encounters with African wilderness to remember forever!

Serengeti National Park

serengeti national park

Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is arguably the best place on Earth to witness epic animal migrations! Every year, over a million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles migrate across the Serengeti Plains in search of fresh grasses. This is the world’s largest mammal migration – don’t miss it!

From December to July, follow the herds as they move northwest through the park. Watch huge river crossings where crocs pick off wildebeest! Then as the rain shifts, the migration turns southeast to give birth to over 8,000 calves a day – what a spectacle! Bring your binoculars to observe millions of animals on the march across stunning savanna scenery.

Even when the migration has passed through, the Serengeti impresses with high densities of lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and more iconic African wildlife. This National Park also has over 500 bird species for avid birdwatchers. With excellent odds of seeing predators hunting live game, the Serengeti really is a wildlife documentary come to life!

Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Park

For classic African scenery and plentiful predators, Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve can’t be beat! Part of the legendary Serengeti ecosystem, Masai Mara offers front row seats to the Great Migration from July to October when over a million wildebeest and zebras pour into the reserve. Seeing these massive herds on the move is next-level!

Even without the migration, Masai Mara delights with lions lounging about in the grass, playful cheetah cubs learning to hunt, and giant elephants lumbering by. Hippos submerge themselves in the Mara River where huge Nile crocodiles wait to snap at wildebeest making the crossing – talk about action! Rising hot air balloons give a unique perspective for spotting herds spreading across the plains.

With rich populations of grazers like impala and topi, plentiful predators thrive here too. Take in the iconic sunset silhouette of acacia trees with giraffes and zebras wandering by.

Ngorongoro Crater


For incredible wildlife density in a stunning setting, venture into Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater! The world’s largest intact caldera, Ngorongoro formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed 2.5 million years ago. Today, this 102-square-mile crater is a haven for African animals.

Descending 600 meters down to the crater floor, you’ll be amazed by the diversity of wildlife contained in this natural enclosure. Over 25,000 zebras, wildebeest and gazelles graze the grasslands. Amongst them stalk the Big 5 and African hunting dogs racing by! Ngorongoro has one of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino populations. Bird lovers will be in heaven spotting flamingos on Lake Magadi’s shores.

But the crater’s definite highlight? Over 70 lions lazing about enjoying prime real estate! Watch cubs learning to hunt as lionesses deliver fresh kills. Seeing these regal predators up close in Ngorongoro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With plentiful food and water sources, the wildlife densities here are among the highest in Africa!

Lake Manyara National Park

lake manyara national park

For dazzling bird diversity and up-close wildlife encounters, Lake Manyara National Park is a Tanzanian gem! Located at the base of the volcanic Rift Valley escarpment, Manyara features striking landscapes from marshy wetlands to acacia woodlands.

As a birding paradise, Manyara has over 400 species spotted within its small area. Look for flamingos lining the alkaline lake shores in the thousands! But Lake Manyara also hosts incredible mammals. Tree-climbing lions laze on branches, while hippos wallow in pools below. Journey through the forest for a chance to glimpse elusive leopards and buffalo.

With stunning scenery and plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities, Lake Manyara National Park promises amazing adventures. Listen for whooping hyraxes scurrying about ancient baobab trees rising from the earth like sculptures. Manyara offers an exceptional African safari experience in a compact area overflowing with biodiversity.

Tarangire National Park

tarangire national park

In northern Tanzania, Tarangire National Park will wow you with its epic elephant population during dry season game drives! Home to an astonishing 550 bird species and 7 mammal species, the star attraction is unquestionably the high density of elephants.

During the June to October dry season, over 2,000 elephants gather at the Tarangire River seeking precious water. Witness entire elephant families crowding together at the riverbanks to playfully spray each other while quenching their thirst. It’s a must-see spectacle! Beyond elephants, the park also hosts zebras, impalas, buffalo herds, Masai giraffes, and tree-climbing pythons.

The Tarangire River’s permanent, year-round water draws diverse wildlife through picturesque landscapes. Keep an eye out for leopards hidden high above in sausage trees along with 300 bird species. Whether you explore by safari vehicle or venture out on foot, Tarangire’s staggering elephant populations will leave you in awe!

Bwindi Forest National Park

bwindi impenetrable forest national park

For a once-in-a-lifetime face to face encounter with gentle giants, head to Uganda’s Bwindi Forest National Park! As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi protects one of the richest and oldest rainforests in Africa. But most excitingly, this park provides sanctuary for over half the world’s critically endangered mountain gorilla population.

Led by expert guides, tracking Bwindi’s mountain gorillas through dense jungle terrain is an unforgettable adventure! When you finally spot a family of gorillas peacefully munching leaves or grooming each other, it’s an incredible feeling. Weighing up to 500 pounds, these magnificent primates share over 98% of human DNA—and getting so close to them is truly humbling.

With gorilla trekking permit numbers limited, a day visiting Bwindi’s gorillas will be one of the most special wildlife experiences of your lifetime. The steep forested landscapes also shelter forest elephants, chimpanzees, vines, exotic birds, and towering trees—a perfect ecosystem.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

volcanoes national park rwanda

For phenomenal gorilla encounters, Volcanoes National Park in northwest Rwanda can’t be beat! Established in 1925 as Africa’s first national park, Volcanoes protects the steep slopes and mountain rainforests that are home to endangered mountain gorillas.

Around 480 mountain gorillas live in the park’s dense bamboo forests—and with trekking permits, you can hike out to spend a magical hour observing these gentle giants. Standing quietly as a curious young gorilla approaches is incredible beyond words! Led by expert guides and trackers, gorilla treks here are a moving chance to admire our nearest primate relatives up close.

Beyond the famous gorillas, Volcanoes National Park offers other exceptional hiking opportunities through beautiful montane landscapes rich with birds, monkeys, and more. Or observe golden monkeys feeding in the trees, and perhaps spot buffalo or elephants as well. Meeting Rwanda’s majestic gorillas is truly a once-in-a-lifetime wilderness experience.

Amboseli National Park

Against the stunning backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya’s Amboseli National Park provides prime views of elephants with the highest free-roaming density in Africa. Amboseli’s open plains allow excellent sightings of these impressive giants. A backdrop of snowcapped Kilimanjaro just makes it even more picture-perfect!

Home to over 1000 elephants, Amboseli gives you front row seats to observe family herds interacting. Watch mothers care for playful calves learning to use their trunks, or males battle with their huge tusks. Seeing elephants grazing with mighty Kilimanjaro behind them is what African safari dreams are made of.

Beyond elephants, Amboseli hosts the full set of African safari favorites like lions, buffalo, giraffes, zebras, antelope species, and 400 types of birds. With swamps and marshes watering the landscape, this park supports a flourishing ecosystem in an otherwise dry region. The wildlife viewing opportunities here are simply superb!

Chobe National Park, Botswana

For phenomenal elephant viewing, Chobe National Park in northern Botswana is the place to go! Home to over 120,000 elephants, Chobe has one of the largest concentrations of these gentle giants on the planet.

Game drives along the Chobe River offer prime vistas of massive herds bathing, playing in the water, trumpeting calls back and forth, and just going about their daily routines. Seeing so many elephants interacting and caring for their young provides an incredible connection to these intelligent creatures. Beyond elephants, keep eyes peeled for the other famous African safari animals that prowl Chobe like lions, giraffes, hippos, hyenas and African wild dogs.

With extensive wetlands, floodplains and woodlands, this diverse ecosystem also provides sanctuary for buffalo, antelope, zebra and an abundance of bird species. For an unbeatable elephant experience, Chobe definitely tops the list of must-visit national parks. Just be prepared for wildlife jam-packed sightings!

Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest National Park contains Africa’s last mountain rainforest, spanning over 1,000 square kilometers! As one of Africa’s oldest rainforests, Nyungwe provides a sanctuary for chimpanzees, monkeys, 275 bird species, and more than 260 tree species.

Trekking through Nyungwe’s misty forest is an otherworldly experience. Follow trails over hanging bridges blanketed in vines, and listen for the calls of exotic birds and primates. With luck, you may spot lively troops of chimpanzees or colobus monkeys leaping from tree to tree. That’s an unforgettable wildlife encounter!

Ornithologists will be kept busy identifying Nyungwe’s many Albertine Rift endemic bird species. And the forest shelters numerous types of orchids, butterflies and even a leopard or two. For hikers, the park also features several challenging routes up to summit peaks with spectacular views over the rainforest canopy. The biodiversity awaits!

Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

At Murchison Falls National Park, prepare for incredible Nile River scenery and exciting wildlife observations! The park’s name comes from the mighty Murchison Falls, where the Nile is squeezed into a narrow gorge plunging 130 feet down with force. This is the world’s most powerful waterfall by volume, thundering out about 300,000 gallons per second!

Taking a river cruise is ideal for spotting hippos, Nile crocodiles, buffalo herds, elephants, giraffes and prolific birdlife along the shores. On land, the park has plentiful lions, hartebeest, kob, warthogs, hyenas and leopards to search for on game drives. For birders, Murchison Falls has over 450 feathered species. Seeing Africa’s iconic animals against the Nile’s stunning backdrop is sure to impress!

Etosha National Park, Namibia

For epic game viewing in Namibia, Etosha National Park is a must! Centered around the massive Etosha Pan, this salt pan desert flooded only after heavy rains. But despite the arid terrain, Etosha hosts abundant wildlife spottings year-round.

Etosha’s network of waterholes scattered around the pan draw incredibly dense concentrations of animals during the dry season. You’ll be amazed seeing hundreds of zebras, springbok, elephants and more jostling for space at waterholes! This makes for prime easy viewing of lions, leopards and hyenas coming to stalk the plentiful prey.

Game drives reveal Etosha’s diversity, from giraffes munching leaves to tiny Damara dik-dik antelopes. After dark, use spotlights to catch nocturnal activity like prowling jackals, galloping black rhinos and honey badgers on the hunt. Etosha provides an unparalleled game viewing adventure!

Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Encompassing coastal desert to barren mountains, Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park showcases some of the world’s most stunning scenery. With towering red sand dunes, rocky gorges, and surf pounding the Skeleton Coast, this park captures Namibia’s dramatic landscapes.

Namib-Naukluft provides a sanctuary for struggling desert-adapted species like the black rhino and Hartmann’s mountain zebra. Tracking these animals across the desert and watching them find water creates a deep respect for their resilience.

The park also protects an array of reptiles, unusual plants like welwitschia, and endemic birds attracted to ephemeral riverbeds after rare rains. Looking out from atop mountain peaks and seeing no signs of civilization in sight makes you feel like the last explorer on Earth! From adrenaline-pumping activities like sandboarding to relaxing desert vistas, Namib-Naukluft impresses.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

The magnificent Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of Africa’s most unique landscapes. Seasonal flooding transforms the dry Kalahari Desert into a lush watery paradise! The Okavango is world renowned for its incredible diversity of wildlife coexisting within the sensitive flood cycle.

Gliding through quiet channels by canoe or motorboat allows intimate experiences with everything from elephants wading to their trunks in water, to elegant red lechwe bounding through papyrus, to big cats swimming between islands. Around 200,000 large mammals thrive in the delta! Above hippos lazing about, fish eagles dive to snatch prey.

With its tranquil beauty and pristine ecosystem, Okavango provides unforgettable immersion into African wilderness. Spending nights under starry skies listening to the gentle rhythms of wildlife movement stirs your soul. There’s no better place to experience nature’s harmony and reconnect with the wonders of our world.

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

At nearly 4,700 square miles, South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia will wow you with exhilarating walking safaris and dense concentrations of wildlife. This sanctuary along the Luangwa River Valley has over 3,500 elephants and multiple buffalo herds over 1,000 strong!

Walking with professional guides provides heart-racing close encounters with animals. You may find yourself only 10 yards away from a massive bull elephant with tusks weighing over 100 pounds each! Tracking a pride of 10 lions across open plains is spine-tingling. Over 430 bird species flap and flutter about, like giant kingfishers diving for fish. With lucky sightings of leopards and honey badgers, South Luangwa delivers an adventurous safari!

Kafue National Park, Zambia

Spanning a colossal 8,000 square miles, Kafue is one of Africa’s largest national parks and Zambia’s oldest, established in 1924. Untamed wilderness awaits across its diverse landscapes. Though animal densities are lower than parks like South Luangwa, the payoff for patient observers is huge.

Kafue rewards safari-goers with rare sightings like the stately sable antelope, its regal horns curving to 5 feet wide! Under 100 cheetahs remain here, and dedicated safari-goers may observe these sleek hunters dashing up to 60 mph. Listen for wild dogs yipping as they rove across the landscape. With over 400 species of birds, Kafue provides an untouched slice of pristine Africa.

Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

Hugging the mighty Zambezi River with glorious views, Lower Zambezi allows walking safaris and canoe adventures with iconic African wildlife. Paddle just yards away from submerged 2,000-pound hippos, 15-foot crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks, and massive herds of elephant families crowding the waterside for refreshment.

On foot, venture through beautiful riverine forests and grasslands, catching glimpses of colorful turacos and troupes of lively baboons. This unspoiled park provides incredible sightings of lions, leopards, impalas, waterbucks, buffalos and over 300 bird species. Against a backdrop of the Zambezi Escarpment, Lower Zambezi offers a magical African experience.

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

At over 5,600 square miles, Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe provides vital habitat for the country’s largest population of elephants. Over 40,000 elephants roam this wilderness, along with gemsbok, buffalo herds, giraffes, leopards, 400 bird species and highly endangered African wild dogs racing about.

During dry season visits, head to any of Hwange’s 50 watering holes and witness massive gatherings of elephants crowding together at the edges. Listen to rumbling bellows echo between them as calves playfully run about flapping their tiny ears. It’s incredible to watch family group dynamics unfold before your eyes.

From the largest bulls over 10 feet tall trumpeting to small babies stumbling around learning to use their trunks, each elephant has its own personality. Try to spot tusks stained orange from digging in the red Kalahari sands. The herds jostle and communicate in ways that provide an unmatched connection to these intelligent giants.

With qualified guides, walking safaris in Hwange allow breathtaking encounters with elephant families or tracking lion pawprints through the sand. At night, enjoy stargazing under the clear southern skies. Look for the Small Magellanic Cloud and Southern Cross constellations. Hwange promises a memorable Zimbabwe safari experience!

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Bordered by the winding Zambezi River and escarpment views, UNESCO World Heritage Site Mana Pools National Park provides exceptional canoeing and walking safaris with abundant wildlife sightings. Paddling the Lower Zambezi channels just yards away from 2,000-pound hippos and Nile crocodiles sunning themselves on the sandy banks is an adrenaline thrill!

Setting out on foot, Mana Pools reveals herds of impala, eland, and zebra grazing peacefully with the backdrop of distant blue mountains. Scan shady groves to spot lions lounging in the dappled light. Cape buffalo wallow in mud holes to cool off. And if you’re extremely lucky, listen for leopards calling in the darkness after an epic sunset over the Zambezi floodplains.

Birding opportunities are superb in the woodland habitats, with bee-eaters swooping overhead and rare glimpses of African skimmers skimming the water’s surface. Herons and egrets stalk the wetlands looking to spear fish. There’s a surprise around every bend of the meandering channels, and each day brings new adventures!

Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe

Straddling the mighty Zambezi River just upstream of thundering Victoria Falls, Zambezi National Park provides stunning scenery and plentiful wildlife viewing. Playful elephant families swim from the banks into the river’s deep channels to cool off. Fish eagles survey their realm from high perches, emitting their haunting cry that echoes down the valley.

Game drives reveal herds of cape buffalo, common eland, giraffes, and zebras grazing in the grasslands under sprawling acacia trees. Scan the undergrowth for signs of the resident lion pride or critically endangered African wild dog pack. You may spot hyenas skulking about or a serval cat out hunting.

The bird life impresses with over 300 species like the sacred ibis wading through wetlands. After full days of adventures in the park, visit nearby Victoria Falls just 10 minutes away. Local honeymoon tradition says that couples who hold hands on the footbridge will be blessed with good fortune! The landscapes and wildlife found here will inspire awe.

Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Resting on the shores of the Shire River, Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi provides premier game viewing and bird watching opportunities. Liwonde spans 584 square kilometers of lush floodplains, woodlands, and savannas.

Liwonde hosts over 400 species of birds within its diverse habitats. Search the riverbanks and wetlands for colorful kingfishers, graceful fish eagles, and darting bee-eaters. In the forests, spot the purple-crested turaco or endangered green-headed oriole. And grasslands teem with weavers building pendulous nests.

Mammals also abound, like herds of elephants and hippos crowding the Shire River. Drives reveal stately sable antelope and numerous bushbuck. And Liwonde has a healthy population of black rhinos – seeing these armored tanks up close is a privilege. After dark, embark on a boat safari to glimpse hippos jostling for space! With its abundance of wildlife, Liwonde promises fantastic encounters.

Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi

Hugging the shores of Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest lake, this aquatic national park protects diverse marine wildlife and tropical habitats. Snorkeling and diving reveal a colorful undersea ecosystem. Gaze at schools of mbuna cichlids in a rainbow of hues, along with batfish and electric yellow barracudas.

On land, hike through baobab trees and monkey bread forests. Rock hyraxes scurry over boulders by the water’s edge. And birds like trumpeter hornbills soar overhead through clear skies. The coastline has quiet beaches perfect for swimming and kayaking.

By night, stargaze the Milky Way shimmering over the rippled lake surface. The calls of nocturnal wildlife like spotted-necked otters echo in the darkness. Lake Malawi National Park provides both aquatic adventures and stunning scenery.

Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda

Tucked in Uganda’s distant north, remote Kidepo Valley National Park rewards visitors with phenomenal wildlife set against stunning landscapes. Dramatic mountain vistas and Sahelian plains host herds of zebra, giraffe, elephants, and Cape buffalo thriving in the dry valley.

Rare in Uganda, Kidepo is home to cheetahs that can be seen stealthily stalking prey across open grasslands. Lions survey their domain from shady Borassus palm groves, while leopards hide out in the mountains. Over 475 bird species fly across skies and forests.

Game drives reveal massive herds of buffalo and elephants kicking up dust bathing by muddy Kanangorok hot springs. As the sun sets over the peaks each evening, sip sun downers and toast to this hidden gem! Kidepo Valley National Park offers an immersive wilderness experience found nowhere else in Uganda.

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Famous for its epic flocks of pink flamingos, Lake Nakuru National Park delivers stunning beauty. Located in Kenya’s Rift Valley, shallow Lake Nakuru draws thousands of flamingos that appear like a dancing pink blanket seen from above. This soda lake also attracts massive congregations of pelicans and cormorants. Keep eyes peeled for leopards prowling the rocky shores looking for their next meal.

Beyond the lake, the park protects sweeping grasslands and woodlands that provide habitat for Rothschild’s giraffes, rhinos, waterbucks, lions, and buffalo. Lucky visitors may glimpse endangered wild dogs on the hunt for impalas or zebras. And with over 450 species of birds, avid birders will stay busy checking vibrant species off their lists. Lake Nakuru is a treasure of biodiversity!

Samburu Game Reserve, Kenya

In Kenya’s arid north, Samburu Game Reserve impresses with remarkable wildlife adapted to the dry, rugged landscape. The Uaso Nyiro River provides a lifeline that attracts herds of elephants, reticulated giraffes, Grevy’s zebras, Beisa oryx, and over 900 bird species to this oasis.

Red-robed Samburu tribespeople share the reserve’s landscape with their cattle, camels and goats. Take a game drive at dusk to watch elephants kick up dust bathing on the riverbanks. Listen for the yipping laughs of endangered hyenas and howls of black-maned lions after the sun sets. The reserve’s mix of wildlife and indigenous culture provides a memorable Kenyan safari.

Aberdare National Park, Kenya

Soaring high above central Kenya, Aberdare National Park features dramatic peaks, cascading waterfalls, and moorlands that hug the Aberdare Mountain Range. Through bamboo forests roam elephants, black rhinos, and rare mountain bongos. Around shimmering lakes fly over 250 bird species like vibrant green ibis and Tacazze sunbirds.

Outdoor lovers can hike scenic trails through the lush afro-alpine moorlands and ascend Aberdare’s tallest peaks for sweeping views. At night from cozy Treetops Lodge, watch endangered black rhinos emerge from the undergrowth. Closer to Nairobi than other parks, Aberdare makes an accessible mountain escape rich with biodiversity.

Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

Encompassing over 180,000 acres, Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa’s Eastern Cape protects the largest concentration of African elephants in the country. From just 11 elephants in the 1930s, Addo now safeguards over 600 jumbo residents! The park expanded in 2005 to provide more natural habitat for this thriving elephant population.

Addo also hosts lions, spotted hyenas, leopards, buffaloes, a variety of antelope species, and the flightless dung-rolling dung beetle. Birders rejoice over the over 400 feathered species, like the towering secretary bird stalking the plains. A unique feature of Addo is the coastal section protecting great white sharks and southern right whales. For awe-inspiring diversity, Addo Elephant National Park delivers!

Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

After extensive restoration, Gorongosa National Park has revived as the crown jewel of Mozambique’s parks, harboring over 10,000 animals across its ecosystems! Located at the southern end of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Gorongosa’s floodplains, savannas, and mountain rainforests host an incredible density of wildlife.

Reintroduction projects have returned lions, leopards, African wild dogs, rhinos, wildebeest, zebras, and over 400 bird species to this 3,000 square kilometer park. Take a 4×4 game drive to spot massive Nile crocodiles, 500-strong elephant herds, and hippos wallowing in wetlands. Hike Mount Gorongosa for stunning vistas over the park’s diversity. The wildlife rebirth here is an inspiring conservation success!

Virunga National Park, DRC

Spanning snow-capped Rwenzori mountains and steaming volcanoes, UNESCO World Heritage site Virunga National Park remarkably shelters some of Africa’s most endangered species. Home to approximately one-third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, Virunga provides a critical sanctuary for these primates.

Ranger patrols defend Virunga’s gorillas against threats like poaching and habitat loss. Trekkers can join monitored one-hour visits with gorilla families to support ongoing protection efforts. Beyond gorillas, Virunga also hosts endangered eastern chimpanzees, forest elephants, buffaloes, hyenas, and incredible birdlife. With incredible natural treasures, Virunga is well worth safeguarding.

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

At over 5,600 square miles, Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe provides vital habitat for the country’s largest population of elephants. Over 40,000 jumbos roam this wilderness, along with gemsbok, buffalo herds, giraffes, leopards, 400 bird species and highly endangered African wild dogs.

During dry season visits, head to any of Hwange’s 50 watering holes and witness massive gatherings of elephants crowding together. Watch playful calves flap their tiny ears and listen to rumbling bellows echo between them. From the largest bulls to clumsy babies, each elephant has a unique personality.

With qualified guides, walking safaris in Hwange allow breathtaking encounters with elephant families or tracking lion pawprints through the sand. At night, stargaze under the clear southern skies. Hwange promises a memorable Zimbabwe safari experience!

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Bordered by the Zambezi River and escarpment views, UNESCO World Heritage Site Mana Pools provides exceptional canoeing and walking safaris with abundant wildlife sightings. Paddling near 2,000-pound hippos and Nile crocodiles is an adrenaline thrill!

On foot, Mana Pools reveals grazing herds of impala, eland, and zebra with a backdrop of distant blue mountains. Look for lounging lions, wallowing buffalo, and at night, listen for the calls of elusive leopards. With the magic of Mana, each day brings new adventures!

Tsavo National Park, Kenya

As Kenya’s largest protected area, Tsavo National Park is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West. Together these parks protect diverse ecosystems home to Kenya’s biggest elephant population, with over 12,000 giants residing here. The famous red elephants of Tsavo roll in the area’s red dust for skin protection.

This wilderness also provides habitat for African lions, Cape buffalo, leopards, hippos, hartebeest, gazelles, and over 500 bird species. Game drives may reveal less explored areas far from other jeeps. For true Tsavo wilderness, spend the night in a treetop lodge hearing lions roar into the darkness below.

Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Home to Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park hosts majestic Mount Kilimanjaro rising 19,341 feet. As an inactive stratovolcano capped with icefields, its stunning snowy summit inspires awe. Following scenic trails through lush rainforests and moorlands, climbers aim to summit before sunrise.

When not hiking, the park offers lovely wildlife viewing opportunities. ShootZ crisp photos of elephants with Mount Kilimanjaro’s peak looming behind. Seek out shy bushbucks and mongooses in shrublands, listen for chirping mounted green-winged pytilias, and watch black-and-white colobus monkeys play. Camp under starry skies.

Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania

Nestled along Lake Tanganyika, remote Mahale Mountains National Park is a rainforest oasis protecting the world’s largest known population of eastern chimpanzees. Around 1,000 of these critically endangered chimps find refuge in Mahale’s dense woodlands.

Trekking through Mahale’s trails, listen for chimp calls and search the canopy to observe them grooming, foraging, and playing. Seeing our genetic cousins thriving here is remarkable. Beyond chimps, Mahale also hosts a diversity of birds, monkeys, leopards, elephants, giraffes and hippos along the lakeshore. For a truly wild adventure, Mahale delivers.

Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Tanzania’s largest national park, sprawling Ruaha hosts staggering elephant populations, with over 15,000 elephants gathered around riverbanks in the dry season. Beyond elephants, Ruaha provides expansive wilderness habitat for lions, antelopes, giraffes, zebras, endangered wild dogs, and over 500 diverse bird species.

Following the Great Ruaha River, spot hippos bathing in pools next to submerged crocodiles waiting for the perfect ambush. Game drives across Ruaha’s plains reveal cheetahs hunting gazelles and impalas using their unrivaled speed. Stargazing excursions showcase the dazzling night skies. Largely unexplored, Ruaha promises exhilarating Tanzanian safari experiences.

Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania

Along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream’s lush forests provide critical habitat for endangered chimpanzees famously studied by Jane Goodall since 1960. About 100 chimps inhabit Gombe, allowing researchers to observe natural behaviors like tool use and group dynamics.

Trekking through Gombe, listen for pant-hoots echoing through the valleys as chimp families communicate. Watch them swing through branches, wrestle playfully, and embrace when reuniting. Seeing our closest genetic relatives in their forest home is incredibly moving. Beyond chimps, Gombe also hosts red colobus monkeys, leopards, bushpigs and over 200 bird species in this small but important park.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

The sprawling Central Kalahari Game Reserve covers over 52,000 sq km of protected Kalahari sandveld habitat. Despite the semi-arid conditions, this reserve supports an array of wildlife including wildebeest, giraffes, brown hyenas, leopards, and a significant population of African wild dogs hunting fleetly across the landscape.

The bushmen of the Kalahari have lived sustainably on these lands for millennia. Night drives may reveal nocturnal species like aardwolves, bat-eared foxes, and springhares emerging from burrows. Keep eyes peeled for meerkats standing alert by their dens. With its mosaic of salt pans and grasslands, Central Kalahari provides adventure.

Niassa Reserve, Mozambique

Remote Niassa Reserve in northern Mozambique spans pristine miombo woodlands, wetlands, and plateaus over an area nearly the size of Switzerland. Conservation efforts protect the reserve’s ecological integrity while allowing sustainable resource use by surrounding communities.

Herds of elephants forage through the woodlands, some weighing over 6 tons. Niassa also provides critical habitat for endangered African wild dogs and lion prides reliant on healthy prey populations of sable antelope, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, and other herbivores. With continued protection, Niassa’s wildlife remains abundant and undisturbed.

Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

In southeastern Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou National Park hosts iconic wildlife along the Runde River and vast plains. Thanks to successful elephant reintroductions, Gonarezhou now has over 11,000 elephants – the country’s second largest jumbo population after Hwange National Park.

Massive baobab trees dot the landscape, native to this region. Besides elephants, Gonarezhou harbors herds of buffalo, zebras, hippos, hyenas, crocodiles, and 300 different bird species. One of Zimbabwe’s finest but lesser known parks, Gonarezhou promises exceptional game viewing in a remote setting.

Limpopo National Park, Mozambique

Bordering South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park, Limpopo National Park in Mozambique protects a key lion stronghold. Prides up to 30 lions secure territory in Limpopo, thriving on buffalo and antelope prey. Seeing these apex predators reign over the savanna is thrilling.

Night drives reveal nocturnal species like civets, genets and honey badgers roaming in the darkness. Birders delight over vultures, fish eagles, and lilac-breasted rollers across Limpopo’s habitats. And the park hosts the world’s largest sand dune, Polo Serena reaching 1,730 feet tall! With diverse ecosystems, Limpopo is well worth exploring.

Chizarira National Park, Zimbabwe

Chizarira National Park encompasses a rugged landscape in northwest Zimbabwe with escarpment mountains, miombo woodlands, and Zambezi River frontage. This remote park provides critical refuge for endangered species like black rhinos and African wild dogs.

Walking trails lead hikers past cascading waterfalls and geological formations like the balancing rocks. The diverse habitat shelters elephants, buffalos, leopards, hyenas, sable and roan antelope. Night drives may reveal the nocturnal bushbaby with its huge eyes. For true wilderness immersion, adventurous travelers will love Chizarira.

Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia

Remote Liuwa Plain National Park encompasses 3,660 square kilometers of grassland floodplains in western Zambia. As Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration location after the Serengeti, Liuwa draws thousands of wildebeest, zebra, red lechwe, and tsessebe.

From November to May, follow their circular migrations across the vast Liuwa Plains. Lions, spotted hyenas, jackals, and wild dogs trail the herds, providing exceptional predator sightings. Against the backdrop of the Angolan frontier, Liuwa feels like the edge of the earth.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

Straddling South Africa and Botswana, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park protects over 38,000 sq km of breathtaking Kalahari Desert. The red dunes, scrublands and dry riverbeds create a stark landscape home to diverse wildlife.

Watch black-maned Kalahari lions expertly hunting springbok and gemsbok. Seek out meerkats standing alert by their burrows. Game drives pass oryx, eland, jackals, and sociable weaver nests stretching over 4 meters wide! After dark, spot nocturnal aardvark, bat-eared foxes, and prowling leopards. An awe-inspiring desert park.

Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Jagged volcanic peaks and plunging gorges characterize the steep Simien Mountains in northern Ethiopia. At higher elevations, gelada baboons feed on grasslands, and sure-footed Walia ibex graze near cliff edges. Rarities like the Ethiopian wolf prowl the Sanetti Plateau.

Avid hikers ascend Ras Dashen, Ethiopia’s tallest peak at 15,157 feet. Views are spectacular if the morning fog clears. Keep watch overhead for the iconic thick-billed raven and lammergeier vulture on the wing. With its unique Afroalpine habitats, Simien Mountains awe.

Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Reaching over 4,300 meters, the Bale Mountains in southern Ethiopia protect the largest area of Afromontane habitats on the continent. Moorlands, forest, and alpine areas provide sanctuary for many endemic species found nowhere else.

See the world’s largest population of the rare Ethiopian wolf roaming the Sanetti Plateau. Listen for the cry of the bronze-naped pigeon. Hike through the lush Harenna Forest, home to mountain nyala antelopes and mysterious Bale monkeys. Hiding in the heather are the Abyssinian cat and starck’s hare. The biodiversity of the Bale Mountains is truly special.

Awash National Park, Ethiopia

Spanning the Awash River, this national park protects dry savanna, acacia forests, and wetlands that sustain a great diversity of birdlife. Over 460 species have been recorded here, including buff-crested bustards, Abyssinian ground hornbills, pink-backed pelicans, and silver-cheeked hornbills.

Herds of Beisa oryx, Soemmering’s gazelles, and lesser kudu graze the savanna. Lucky visitors may spot the endangered African wild dog hunting these agile antelopes. After dark, spot nocturnal white-tailed mongooses. For superb birding and wildlife, Awash National Park delivers.

Omo National Park, Ethiopia

Located along the Omo River, this remote park contains untouched savanna and rugged mountains ideal for wildlife viewing. Herds of giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, gerenuk, and buffalo roam Omo’s grasslands, while leopards and lions follow the bounty.

Along the Omo River, Nile crocodiles sun themselves just yards from grazing hippos. Ostriches scurry by with newly hatched chicks in tow. After the rains, the park explodes in greenery and migratory birds. For an off-the-beaten-path experience, Omo National Park rewards.

Mago National Park, Ethiopia

Protecting a section of the Mago River, this 2,162 square km park in southern Ethiopia contains acacia-commiphora woodlands, savanna grasslands, and the most northerly extension of East African tropical rainforest. This biodiversity provides refuge for many species.

Groups of endangered Grevy’s zebra graze the grasslands. Lucky visitors may spot a gerenuk antelope standing tall to browse treetops. Elephants lumber through the woodlands, while lions, leopards, and hyenas follow the bounty. Primates include vervet monkeys, baboons, and colobus monkeys. Over 400 bird species also inhabit Mago National Park.

Gambella National Park, Ethiopia

Located where the Baro River flows into the Nile, this remote park protects vital riverine habitats. Groups of Nile lechwe antelope bound through swamps where Nile crocodiles wait to ambush. Grasslands host herds of tiang antelope and groups of baboons.

The park provides sanctuary for endangered birds like the shoebill stork and wattled crane. Seasonal floods draw pelicans, storks, and migrating waterfowl. The combination of savanna and wetlands allows superb wildlife viewing opportunities in this little-visited gem.

Boma National Park, South Sudan

One of South Sudan’s premier parks, Boma National Park spans 22,800 square kilometers of woodlands, savanna and floodplains. Large populations of tiang, topi, buffalo, giraffes, lions, leopards and over 300 bird species inhabit this massive protected area.

But Boma’s biggest draw is its spectacular antelope migration, when hundreds of thousands of white-eared kob and Mongalla gazelle migrate through the park, trailing an array of predators. These endless ungulate herds on the move create an unforgettable sight. Boma promises incredible safari adventures.

Nimule National Park, South Sudan

Located where the Nile River flows out of Uganda, Nimule National Park contains riverine forests and savannas juxtaposed with the dramatic rapids of the Nile. Groups of hippos wallow in calmer pools near crocodiles, while elephants come to drink and bathe.

Antelope species like the defassa waterbuck inhabit the woodlands. The grasslands host buffalos, hartebeests and Uganda kobs. Towering Borassus palm trees punctuate the landscape, home to roosting pelicans. For scenery and wildlife along this section of the Nile, Nimule is ideal.
Bandingilo National Park, South Sudan

One of South Sudan’s least-explored parks, Bandingilo National Park hosts significant wildlife populations on its rolling savannas and woodlands. This biodiversity refuge is home to giraffes, oryx, reedbucks, buffalos, elephants, lions, leopards, endangered African wild dogs, and migratory herds.

The park spans an ecologically important corridor between South Sudan and neighboring Congo. Conservation efforts help protect birds like the shoebill stork and saddle-billed stork seen along the Nile. For an off-the-beaten-track safari adventure, discover Bandingilo National Park.

Garamba National Park, DRC

Sprawling across savannas and gallery forests in northeast DRC, Garamba National Park provides vital protection for endangered wildlife like northern white rhinos, elephants, and antelopes. Only a few northern white rhinos remain, guarded heavily against poachers seeking their rare horns.

In addition to savanna elephants, Garamba also hosts the smaller forest elephant. Additional wildlife includes buffalos, giant eland, hippos, lions, and over 350 bird species. Garamba contains some of the most important and fragile ecosystems in Africa, with dedicated rangers defending its critcally endangered species.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park, DRC

Kahuzi-Biega National Park spans dense forests and mountainous terrain rich in biodiversity. In the lowland tropical forests live the rare Grauer’s gorilla, along with monkeys like colobus and l’Hoest’s. Trekking permits allow hikers to observe these primates up close.

At higher elevations, the mountains shelter unique species found only here, like the colorful Kahuzi climbing mouse and Rwenzori turaco. Birds endemic to these highlands include the striking red-crested alethe and Rwenzori batis. With both mountain and lowland tropical forests, Kahuzi-Biega protects incredible Congolese wildlife.

Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda

Home to the greatest density and diversity of primates in Africa, Kibale National Park hosts 13 species like chimpanzees, red colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys. Guided hikes bring you close to chimp families in the rainforest.

Beyond primates, Kibale contains one of Uganda’s last tracts of pristine tropical forest, sheltering forest elephants, bushbucks, sloths, squirrels, and rare forest birds. The park lies in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains too. From tiny pygmy mice to families of chimps, this forest ecosystem impresses.

Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda

Just two hours from Kampala, Lake Mburo National Park is Uganda’s smallest savanna park nestled between forests, rivers, and wetlands. Peaceful walking trails and boat cruises are prime for viewing the prolific wildlife that call this oasis home.

Look for zebra, waterbuck, topi, eland, and impala coming to the lake’s edge to drink. At 230 species, Lake Mburo has exceptional bird diversity, including saddle-billed storks and marsh harriers. And lucky visitors might spot the reclusive bushbuck or hear hippos grunting. An idyllic park with easy access!

Katavi National Park, Tanzania

Far from the more popular northern safari circuit, remote Katavi National Park rewards visitors with outstanding game viewing and quiet isolation. During the dry season, hippos and crocodiles crowd the shrinking Katuma River. Elephants gather at these waters while cape buffalo, zebras, giraffes, and antelopes graze the floodplains.

The park really comes alive in the rainy season, when wild dogs and lions thrive on bountiful food sources. Serious birders will appreciate rare species like Pel’s fishing owl, paradise whydah, and lesser jacana. Katavi provides a peaceful safari experience in untamed Tanzanian wilderness.

Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Tanzania

Tucked between steep mountain valleys filled with rainforest, waterfalls and bamboo groves, Udzungwa Mountains National Park protects incredibly biodiverse tropical forest. From tiny neon-colored frogs to shy primates, over 400 animal species inhabit this lush park.

The endemic Iringa red colobus monkey swings acrobatically through the canopy overhead. Search for the little-known Udzungwa elephant shrew, or visit caves populated by roosting bats. With 250-plus bird species like the dappled mountain robin, Udzungwa is a naturalist’s wonderland.

Mikumi National Park, Tanzania

Easily accessible from Dar es Salaam, Mikumi National Park hosts epic game drives through grasslands and acacia woodlands. This area provides refuge for buffalo herds up to 1,000 strong along with giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, elephants and lions thriving on abundant prey.

Watch hippos jostle for space in muddy pools just off the highway running through the park. Birders will thrill over 400 species ranging from palm-nut vulture to lilac-breasted roller. With chances to observe iconic wildlife up close from your vehicle, Mikumi makes an ideal safari introduction.

Saadani National Park, Tanzania

Unique in Tanzania, Saadani National Park contains a mix of Indian Ocean coastal habitat, open grassland, and acacia woodlands. Game drives may reveal lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and an abundance of buffalo and hippos.

Along Saadani’s pristine beach, sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs while whale sharks and humpback whales pass by offshore. Birders will delight spotting pink flamingos on coastal flats, while kayaking allows silent paddling past wading wildebeest. For diversity, Saadani National Park delivers.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, Kenya

This large coastal forest reserve in Kenya protects one of the world’s last remaining stretches of indigenous coastal forest. Forming part of the East African Coastal Forest ecoregion, Arabuko Sokoke’s mix of forest and woodland habitats shelters an incredible diversity of birdlife.

Over 200 bird species are found here, including the endangered Clarke’s weaver, Sokoke pipit, and Sokoke scops owl. Colorful turacos and hornbills flourish in the canopy, while the rare Ader’s duiker antelope inhabits the understory. Quiet walks through Arabuko Sokoke allow you to immerse in pristine forestcalm.

Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kenya

Just an hour from Mombasa, the Shimba Hills National Reserve protects an isolated patch of coastal rainforest surrounded by woodlands and grassland. Forest elephant and sable antelope inhabit the reserve alongside rich birdlife.

Climb to the top of Sheldrick Falls for stunning views over the mosaic landscape. Hike through indigenous trees dripping with epiphytes and listen for the calls of the Taita apalis endemic to the region. At night, hope to glimpse the giant galago, a holdover from when forests were more connected. Shimba Hills showcase the beauty of Kenyan biodiversity.

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Located along the Lower Zambezi River and escarpment views, this UNESCO World Heritage Site provides exceptional canoeing and walking safaris with abundant wildlife. Paddling near hippos and crocodiles provides thrills!

On foot, Mana Pools reveals grazing herds against distant mountains. Look for lounging lions, wallowing buffalos, and at night, listen for leopards. With over 350 bird species like African skimmers and great egrets, Mana Pools promises a new adventure every day.

Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

Home to Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park hosts the majestic 19,341-foot Kilimanjaro. As an inactive stratovolcano capped with icefields, its stunning snowy summit inspires awe. Follow scenic trails through lush forests and heathlands, aiming to summit by sunrise.

When not hiking, enjoy lovely wildlife viewing. Photograph elephants with Kilimanjaro looming behind. Seek out bushbucks and mongooses in shrublands, and hear chirping green-winged pytilias. Camp under starry dark skies in this iconic national park.

Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

In southeastern Zimbabwe, Gonarezhou National Park hosts iconic wildlife along the Runde River and vast plains. Thanks to successful elephant reintroductions, Gonarezhou now has over 11,000 elephants – the country’s second largest jumbo population after Hwange National Park.

Massive baobab trees dot the landscape, native to this region. Besides elephants, Gonarezhou harbors buffalo, zebra, hippo, hyena, crocodile, and 300 bird species herds. One of Zimbabwe’s finest yet lesser known parks, Gonarezhou promises exceptional game viewing in a remote setting.

Chizarira National Park, Zimbabwe

Chizarira National Park encompasses rugged landscape in northwest Zimbabwe with escarpment mountains, miombo woodlands, and Zambezi River frontage. This remote park provides critical refuge for endangered black rhinos and African wild dogs.

Walking trails lead past cascading waterfalls and amazing rock formations like the balancing rocks. Diverse habitat shelters elephants, buffalos, leopards, hyenas, sable and roan antelope. Night drives may reveal the nocturnal bushbaby. For true wilderness immersion, adventurers will love Chizarira.

Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia

Remote Liuwa Plain encompasses 3,660 square kilometers of grassland floodplains in western Zambia. As Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration after the Serengeti, Liuwa draws thousands of wildebeest, zebra, red lechwe, and tsessebe annually.

From November to May, follow their circular migrations across the expansive plains, with lions, spotted hyenas, jackals, and wild dogs trailing the herds. Against the backdrop of the Angolan frontier, Liuwa feels like the edge of the earth.

Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania

Nestled along Lake Tanganyika, remote Mahale Mountains National Park protects the world’s largest known population of eastern chimpanzees. Around 1,000 of these critically endangered chimps find refuge in Mahale’s dense woodlands.

Trekking through Mahale’s trails, listen for chimp calls and observe them grooming and playing. Seeing our closest genetic cousins thriving is remarkable. Beyond chimps, Mahale also hosts red colobus monkeys, leopards, elephants and hippos along the lakeshore. For a truly wild adventure, Mahale delivers.

Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

With jagged volcanic peaks, plunging gorges and stunning landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage Site Simien Mountains National Park protects unique Afroalpine ecology. Gelada baboons feed on grasslands, while sure-footed Walia ibex graze near cliff edges. The Ethiopian wolf prowls the Sanetti Plateau.

Hikers ascend Ras Dashen, Ethiopia’s tallest peak at 15,157 feet. Views are spectacular if the morning fog clears. Watch overhead for the thick-billed raven and lammergeier vulture on the wing. The Simiens offer trekking at its best!

Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Reaching over 4,300 meters, the Bale Mountains protect the largest area of Afromontane habitat on the continent. Moorlands, forest, and alpine areas provide sanctuary for many endemic species found only here.

See the world’s largest population of the rare Ethiopian wolf on the Sanetti Plateau. Listen for the cry of the bronze-naped pigeon. Hike through the lush Harenna Forest, home to mountain nyala antelopes and Bale monkeys. The biodiversity of the Bale Mountains is truly special.


Luvushi Manda National Park, Zambia

Remote and pristine, Zambia’s Luvushi Manda National Park spans over 1,500 square kilometers of miombo woodlands, mopane forest, grassy floodplains, and wetlands. This diversity supports a flourishing ecosystem, with over 56 mammal species and 400 bird species recorded here.

Herds of puku, impala, kudu, and sable antelope graze alongside zebra families. Listen for lion roars echoing across the plains by night. Bushwalks may reveal the elusive serval cat or side-striped jackal. And birders will be pleased spotting African skimmers, African finfoot, and Pel’s fishing owl along the Luvushi River’s tranquil banks. For untouched wilderness, Luvushi Manda promises adventure.

Gemsbok National Park, Botswana

Covering over 28,000 square kilometers, Gemsbok National Park contains serene grasslands, Kalahari woodlands, and the impressive Nossob River valley. Herds of oryx after which the park is named inhabit the arid landscape, along with springbok, blue wildebeest, eland, and red hartebeest.

The riverbank trees offer shade for lounging lions and leopards waiting to ambush prey. Brown hyenas prowl at night, and black-maned Kalahari lions are a highlight for visitors. Desert-adapted elephant herds trek through the park in search of water. With its solitude and wildlife, Gemsbok National Park delivers unique Kalahari experiences.

Uwanda Game Reserve, Tanzania

Tucked between Ruaha National Park and Katavi National Park, remote Uwanda Game Reserve protects important wetland habitat. Herds of buffalo and bushbuck come to graze these grassy plains and papyrus swamps, making Uwanda excellent for birding.

Spot colorful carmine and Heuglin’s bee-eaters, hammerkops, and fish eagles scanning for a meal. Crocodiles swim through channels while hippos wallow in muddy pools. Take a boat safari through the wetlands to witness elephants bathing with spectacular Ruaha River sunsets in the background. For off-the-beaten-path adventures in untrammeled wilderness, Uwanda awaits.

Fish River Canyon Park, Namibia

Winding through southern Namibia, Fish River has carved out a dramatic canyon over 500 meters deep. Hiking trails through Fish River Canyon Park descend steep switchbacks to the canyon floor beside towering red rock walls. Views from the rim over stony plains are phenomenal at sunset.

Hardy mountain zebras and nimble klipspringers inhabit the park’s stony slopes. Quiet paddle excursions on the Fish River bring sightings of colorful lizards and rock hyraxes. At night the park is ideal for stargazing in pristine desert skies. For geology and scenery, Fish River Canyon Park impresses.

Kaudom Game Reserve, Namibia

Remote Kaudom Game Reserve contains over 4,000 square kilometers of protected Kalahari habitat in north-central Namibia. Though arid, these scrublands and woodlands support diverse wildlife. Herds of oryx and red hartebeest traverse dune fields, while lions, leopards, and cheetahs follow the bounty.

An estimated 6,000 elephants roam Kaudom, adapted to the harsh conditions. Lucky visitors may spot the rare aardwolf, bat-eared fox, or aardvark at night. Kaudom’s isolation and lack of development provide a true wilderness ambience. Make your way here to enjoy the beauty of the Kalahari.

Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia

Covering 3,660 square kilometers in western Zambia, Liuwa Plain encompasses Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration. From November to May, follow thousands of wildebeest, zebra, red lechwe and tsessebe tracing a circular route across Liuwa’s expansive grasslands.

Lions, spotted hyenas, jackals, and African wild dogs trail the herds, providing exceptional predator sightings. Against the Angolan frontier, Liuwa feels like the edge of the earth. Experiencing the timeless rhythms of the migration here is an unforgettable privilege.

Mkomazi National Park, Tanzania

Spanning savanna, woodlands, and the Pare and Usambara mountains, Mkomazi National Park covers over 3,200 square kilometers in northeast Tanzania. Herds of elephants, buffalos, elands, and hartebeest roam Mkomazi’s wilderness, while the Umba River provides a lifeline for unique dry country species.

Endangered African wild dogs thrive here on bountiful dik-dik populations. Lucky hikers may spot the rare Abbott’s duiker or tiny blue duiker in forested areas. Birding is superb, with endangered raptors like the Taita falcon and martial eagle hunting small prey. For remote game viewing, Mkomazi National Park delivers.

Mweru Wantipa National Park, Zambia

Centered around Lake Mweru Wantipa, this park spans over 3,000 square kilometers of tranquil waters, marshland, and woodland. The shallow lake draws tens of thousands of birds, including great white pelicans, wattled cranes, and migrating flamingos turning the water pink.

Beyond birds, Mweru Wantipa’s grassy floodplains host red lechwe, puku, reedbuck, and tsessebe. Game drives may reveal the semi-aquatic sitatunga with its long splayed hooves. Canoeing allows silent paddling past hippos and elephants wading through channels. For birding and serenity, visit this Zambian lake.

Nyika National Park, Malawi

Covering 800 square kilometers of high rolling grasslands, Nyika National Park contains a unique high elevation plateau ecosystem. Herds of zebra, warthog, and endangered roan antelope inhabit montane grasslands interspersed with bogs and lakelets.

Hikers may spot the mobbed and endangered wattled crane feeding by wetlands. Forested hillsides shelter bushbucks, elands, and leopards patrolling the landscape. By night, listen for the churring call of the bushbaby. With scenic vistas, Nyika showcases Malawi’s natural heritage.

Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Far from civilization in Botswana’s Okavango Delta lies the Moremi Game Reserve, spanning nearly 5,000 square kilometers of protected wetlands and dry woodlands. This diverse habitat provides sanctuary for an abundance of wildlife living in harmony with the seasonal floods.

Game drives may reveal packs of African wild dog on the hunt, huge hippo pods drifting through channels, fish eagles diving for prey, and leopards prowling along waterways lined with papyrus and palms. As the waters shift, new opportunities arise to observe ever-changing ecosystems in Moremi’s sublime wilderness.

Lusuzi National Park, Zambia

Nestled between Kafue and Luangwa National Parks, little-explored Lusuzi National Park shelters mammals like sable, roan, elephants, and lions in miombo forests. The rhythms of nature unfold undisturbed in this remote 275 square kilometer Zambian haven.

The scenic Munyamadzi River winds through Lukusuzi, providing essential water. Take a boat trip to spot grazing red lechwe or hippos wallowing. Shorebirds and kingfishers flit by, while fish eagles survey their realm. Lukusuzi’s isolation makes it perfect for hearing lions roar and hyenas whoop in the night. Discover wild Zambia here!

Semiliki National Park, Uganda

Protecting part of the Semiliki Valley along the Congo border, Semiliki National Park safeguards primeval Congo Basin forest. Hot springs heat scenic pools throughout Semiliki’s wooded hills and grassy lowlands. This remote park provides sanctuary for numerous Central African mammals and birds.

Forest elephants emerge at night to feast on fruiting trees. Shadowy Bongos creep through dense undergrowth. And rare creatures found nowhere else in East Africa inhabit Semiliki, like Zenker’s flying mouse gliding through the air. Over 400 bird species also reside in the park. With its isolation, Semiliki promises rugged adventure.

Khutse Game Reserve, Botswana

Encompassing over 2,500 square kilometers of protected Kalahari habitat, Botswana’s Khutse Game Reserve provides a crucial wildlife refuge. Though arid, these grasslands and salt pans sustain springbok, wildebeest, gemsbok, and the largest remaining population of Botswana’s sable antelope.

Lions, brown hyenas, and bat-eared foxes have adapted to thrive in Khutse’s desert ecosystem. The pans draw migratory birds like pelicans and flamingos seasonally. With established waterholes, Khutse also sustains the Kalahari’s nomadic wildlife during droughts. For a true taste of the Kalahari, come to Khutse.

Nsumbu National Park, Zambia

Situated on spectacular Lake Tanganyika, Nsumbu National Park protects some of Zambia’s finest wilderness. Rocky hills and valleys covered in evergreen forest flank the deep blue waters of the lake. The abundant fish draws predators like Nile crocodiles and giant monitor lizards.

Boat trips may reveal Sitatunga antelope swimming between the reeds. Anglers can hook the enormous Nile perch found only in Tanganyika. And lucky visitors might spot families of chimpanzees feeding in the forest. With its pristine mix of lake, forest, and hilly grasslands, Nsumbu National Park promises serene beauty.

Kasungu National Park, Malawi

Established to preserve the miombo woodland ecosystem, Kasungu National Park in central Malawi covers over 1,800 square kilometers. Elephant and sable antelope herds graze and browse through the park’s wilderness, which once supported a significant black rhino population.

While rhinos have sadly been poached out, Kasungu still offers excellent game viewing of zebra, warthog, buffalo, eland, and kudu. Lewnard’s babblers flit through the understory, while lion prides patrol the woodlands. Night drives may reveal the giant forest genet. For untouched miombo forest, visit Kasungu.

Nkhorakota Game Reserve, Zambia

Protecting over 250 square kilometers of Kafue River frontage, Nkhorakota Game Reserve provides important habitat for wetland species. Buffalo and lechwe graze the floodplains, while hippos and crocodiles crowd the riverbanks.

Game drives may reveal Thornicroft giraffes, zebra, bushbuck and kudu coming down to drink. Raptors like fish eagles and yellow-billed kites survey the waters for a meal. And lucky visitors might spot the elusive sitatunga antelope hiding among the reeds. For its easy access from Lusaka, Nkhorakota offers superb wildlife.

Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe

Hugging Lake Kariba’s shores, Matusadona National Park spans 1,400 square kilometers and offers fantastic game viewing and fishing. Iconic African animals come to drink at the lake, like massive elephant bulls, families of zebra, graceful impalas, and stealthy lions.

Cruising near shore reveals crocodiles waiting to ambush, while hippos bellow territorial calls. High above, fish eagles circle their domain. Anglers can chase after monster tigerfish and bream in Matusadona’s deep blue waters. With scenic wilderness and lake adventures, Matusadona entices.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Adjoining massive Kruger National Park, Sabi Sand Game Reserve protects over 65,000 acres of exclusive safari concessions, guaranteeing phenomenal big game sightings. During guided drives and bush walks, expert ranger teams help locate everything from leopards on the hunt to playful rhinos wallowing in mud.

With no fences separating it from Kruger, Sabi Sand hosts immense biodiversity, from hundreds of elephant roaming through to fleeting glimpses of cheetahs on the chase. Each property within Sabi Sand offers top-notch accommodations with outstanding service and cuisine. For luxury ecotourism at its best, Sabi Sand is unbeatable.

Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa

Bordering Kruger National Park, exclusive Mala Mala Game Reserve provides a luxurious safari experience on over 300 square kilometers of protected land. Expert safari guides help locate everything from leopards stalking prey to elephants protecting their young.

Morning and evening drives encounter “Big Five” sightings of lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalo. The Sand River cuts through Mala Mala, promising close views of hippos, crocs and thirsty antelope herds crowding the banks. Mala Mala pioneered photographic safaris and continues to offer exquisite accommodation, service, comfort and wildlife viewing.

Pian Upe Game Reserve, Uganda

Located in Uganda’s remote northeast, Pian Upe Game Reserve protects over 1,500 square kilometers of savanna grasslands and acacia woodlands. This reserve provides a crucial refuge for endemic wildlife species found only in the Karamoja region. Rare mammals like the striped hyena and aardwolf roam here.

Pian Upe also hosts elephants, Cape buffalo, waterbucks, lions, leopards, and over 300 bird species. Given its isolation near the Kenyan border, wildlife sightings promise to be fantastic. A visit to seldom-explored Pian Upe offers a special glimpse into Uganda’s fragile savannas and the dedicated rangers safeguarding them.

Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana

Part of the larger Makgadikgadi ecosystem, Nxai Pan National Park encompasses 2,500 square kilometers of protected Kalahari scrublands. Though arid, these grasslands dotted with salt pans sustain springbok, wildebeest, giraffes, elephants and prides of lions specially adapted to the harsh conditions.

In rainy years when the pans flood, flamingos arrive by the thousands, making for spectacular scenes. Lucky visitors might also spot meerkats popping up from their burrows or brown hyenas prowling by night. One of Botswana’s lesser-known parks, Nxai Pan rewards those seeking the magic of the Kalahari.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda

At just 34 square kilometers, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park covers Uganda’s share of the mighty Virunga Volcanoes, including peaks like Mgahinga and Sabyinyo. Along with Rwanda and DRC’s adjacent parks, Mgahinga protects endangered mountain gorilla families ranging across these borders.

With special permits, spending an hour observing gorillas in their forest habitat makes for a poignant, unforgettable adventure. Golden monkeys, elephants, buffalo, and over 180 bird species also inhabit the park. Though small, Mgahinga plays a crucial role securing the mountain gorillas’ future.

Arusha National Park, Tanzania

Though easily accessible from Arusha, this small park feels worlds away, with diverse landscapes from crater lakes to the forested Ngurdoto Crater. Follow hiking trails to tumbling waterfalls and climb high within the crater for stunning vistas.

Buffalo and zebra graze open grasslands while colobus monkeys swing from high canopy trees near Momella Lake. The endangered black-and-white colobus is unique to these forests. Archer’s larks and mountain buzzards soar over scenic terrain harboring a fascinating mix of ecology. For great day hiking amid Tanzanian nature, Arusha National Park offers variety.

Meru National Park, Kenya

Centered on the Rojewero River, arid Meru National Park hosts impressive biodiversity including the “Big Five.” Grazers like giraffes, oryx, zebras and buffalo congregate near the river banks. Seeking this bounty are lions, leopards, and cheetahs prowling through scrublands dotted with doum palms for shade. Elephants make long migrations here from wet to dry seasons.

While wildlife sightings are fantastic year-round, the river draws amazing concentrations in the dry months. Meru is also one of the last parks where rangers monitor rhinos on foot daily, an exhilarating conservation experience. For authentic safari adventure, Meru National Park satisfies.

Hell’s Gate National Park, Kenya

Named after a narrow break in imposing cliffs, Hell’s Gate National Park protects a rugged landscape etched by ancient volcanic activity. Hiking trails wind past geothermal features, hot springs, and the towering rust-colored Fischer’s Tower columns.

Early morning bike rides offer scenic wildlife viewing across grassy plains where zebra, warthog, gazelle and buffalo graze. Cliffsides provide nesting sites for augur buzzards, lammergeiers, and verreaux’s eagles scanning for hyrax prey. Walk through the stone columns of Hell’s Gate Gorge or take a drive for striking scenery and plentiful game.

Lake Bogoria National Reserve, Kenya

Famous for flamingo flocks, Lake Bogoria National Reserve also impresses with hot springs, geysers, and varied wildlife around its highly alkaline lake waters. Although flamingo numbers vary seasonally, the pink birds often gather here in the hundreds of thousands! It’s a photographer’s delight.

With over 200 species recorded, Lake Bogoria provides superb birdwatching beyond the flamingos too. Look for African fish eagles, Goliath herons, and marsh terrapins in the lake’s blue waters. Rocky hillsides create shelter for klipspringers, hyraxes and leopards, while zebra and buffalo graze grassy areas. For birders and geology enthusiasts, Lake Bogoria enthralls.

Mount Kenya National Park, Kenya

Protecting the mountain after which it is named, Mount Kenya National Park allows hikers to ascend Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana peaks with incredible views of glaciers and rugged terrain. Rock hyraxes and elephants inhabit lower slopes within the park.

Hiking through Mount Kenya’s moorlands showcases unique plants like giant groundsel and senecio trees. Lucky trekkers might glimpse the shy tree hyrax high in the canopy. And over 130 bird species flutter about the forests. Climbing to altitude affords phenomenal sightings of twin glacial valleys and rugged cliffs amid Afro-alpine scenery.

Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda

Home to the fourth highest peak in East Africa, Mount Elgon National Park encompasses a massive caldera with rich montane forest and heathlands. Elephants inhabit the lower slopes while small duiker antelopes hide in the brush. Close to 200 bird species also reside here.

Following scenic hiking trails through bamboo zones brings chances to spot the bushbuck or rare forest elephants. Elgon is also one of the oldest intact landscapes in East Africa, with important ecosystems protecting endemic species found nowhere else on earth. With rugged scenery and quiet trails, Mount Elgon offers memorable hiking.

Sibiloi National Park, Kenya

On the eastern shores of Lake Turkana, remote Sibiloi National Park safeguards important fossil sites containing prehistoric human remains. Beyond archeology, Sibiloi’s desert wilderness also supports unique northern Kenyan biodiversity.

Herds of dik-dik, oryx, zebra and ostriches roam Sibiloi’s savannas. Lions specially adapted to the harsh terrain follow their prey. Birders will be delighted spotting Caspian plovers, golden-breasted starlings, and other dry country species. For off-the-beaten-path adventure in untamed wilderness, Sibiloi’s isolation amazes.

Marsabit National Reserve, Kenya

Surrounded by desert, the Marsabit Plateau rises like an oasis within northern Kenya’s Marsabit National Reserve. Massive herds of elephants seek refuge on these highlands for water and forage. Buffaloes, greater kudu, lions, leopards and hundreds of bird species also inhabit the area.

The reserve’s varied terrain spans from mountains and craters to savanna and lush forest. One of Marsabit’s greatest assets is Lake Paradise at the edge of an extinct volcano – aptly named for its tranquility and scenic beauty as herds come to drink. For remote Kenyan wilderness, Marsabit intrigues.