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Updated by Vishal Subramanyan on Feb 28, 2016
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Best Safari Destinations in Africa

Few things are as awe-inspiring as going on a safari and seeing the iconic African wildlife. Here are the best places to go on your safari.

1

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Few sights are as breathtaking as the vast open plains of the Serengeti. Known for these plains and the wildebeest migration. Serengeti is definitely one of the best places to go on your African safari.

Cheetahs are one of the highlights of Serengeti Safari. In the Ndutu area from Jan-March, cheetahs are very abundant. he wildebeest come to calve in the area at the time, attracting a large population of predators, including cheetahs. People have reported cheetah sightings on every game drive including wildebeest and gazelle hunts. This area is rumored my many to be the best cheetah watching area on the planet.

Leopards are very abundant in the central area of Serengeti around Seronera. They have a high density of leopards that are habituated to vehicles. Leopards like to rest in trees here, and as there are very few of them, it is easy to spot them while looking at the few trees. Unfortunately sightings here are very crowded, and often the sightings are just yellow dots far away in a tree.

Lions are numerous in Serengeti and many say it is the best place to see lions on the planet. It has a large population of big prides that are habituated to people. They often follow the wildebeest migration, and it is not uncommon to see them bringing down several wildebeest at a time.

The other highlight of Serengeti is the wildebeest migration.. The wildebeest move all over the Serengeti and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The migration is an amazing spectacle. With over million wildebeest, if you catch the migration, you will see a sea of wildebeest. These wildebeest also attract predators, resulting in many views of hunts.

2

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park is South Africa's flagship park. It is very famous and gets tons of visitors every year. It is a very accessible park with cheap costs, making many visitors flock there every year. But even though it has easy accessibility, it does not mean game sightings are less.

Cheetah are unfortunately in low number n Kruger and though sightings occur daily, you should not expect to see one on your safari. Your best chances will occur on the H7 road in central Kruger and the S28 road in southern Kruger near Croc bridge and Lower Sabie

Leopards are very numerous in Kruger. The H12, H1-2, and H4-1 roads are called the leopard triangle because they have the largest density of leopards on the planet. If you stay 3 days, you have a very good chance of seeing leopards. Your best sightings will occur on the H4-1 from Skukuza to Lower Sabie. You can also have leopard sightings in the central area near Tamboti on the H7. Also try the S28 Nhlowa road between Croc Bridge and Lower Sabie.

Lions are present and in large numbers in Kruger. They form large prides, and people have daily sightings. If you stay two days, you will probably spot them. In the central region around Satara, the lions have been known to form prides of 30+ lions. The pride is called the S100 mega pride. As said in the pride's name, this monster pride can be found the S100 road near Satara. Lions are also numerous in the southern parts of Kruger around the H4-1 near Lower Sabie and Skukuza.

Wild dogs are present in Kruger but sightings are not too common. They are endangered everywhere and Kruger is one of their last strongholds. But since the numbers aren't sky-rocketing and the dogs do not den in accessible places, you cannot expect wild dog sightings. If you want to see some drive the roads near Skukuza, especially the S1. The H7 in central Kruger is also very good. Dog sightings are best from Let Sep to early May when they are travelling with their pups.

Kuger has a tremendous diversity of wildlife. It has thousands of species of mammals and birds, and is considered by pretty much everyone the most diverse park for wildlife in the entire Africa. Kruger has a large population of rhino and all the big 5, and sometimes all the big 5 are spotted on a single day. Kruger is also the cheapest and most accessible safari park in Africa, but because of this, it can become a crowded at predator sightings like leopard and lion.

3

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

South Luangwa National Park is Zambia's biggest and most famous national park. It is known for its remoteness and beauty. You will encounter almost no vehicles at your sightings, even predators. It is also known for its large population of big cats.

Leopards are very common in South Luangwa. South Luangwa is considered by many to be the best place in the world to see leopards. Leopards, are most frequently stooped here on the park's famous night drives. The night drives in South Luangwa often let you see tons of these nocturnal predators. You can have very relaxed leopard sightings around the Mfuwe gate, where the animals are very habituated to people. Nsefu Sector also has really great leopard sightings, as most of the cub sightings occur here. Chindeni Camp in the southern part of the park has really succesful leopard sightings on night drives, the record being seven spotted on one night drive there. South Luangwa has a shocking density of one leopard every square mile, double the density than the world-famous Kruger National Park. Leopards are definitely one of the highlights of the safari experience in South Luangwa National Park.

Cheetahs are not present in South Luangwa.

Wild dogs are fairly numerous in the park and sightings have been consistently increasing in the last few years. Sightings are common around Nsefu. The best time to see them is late Sep-early May when they are trevelling with their pups.

Lions are one of the highlights of the south Luangwa safari experience as they are in very high numbers and depending on where you stay, you can spot them on every game drive. The best area to spot them is in the northern part of the park around Kaingo and the aptly name Lion camp. This is where the famous Hollywood Pride was filmed. There lots of prides around which have a large number of lions, sometimes up to 20 in a pride. You can also see the lions crossing the Luangwa River from this area. People have reported lion sightings on every game drive in the area. They have reported lions taking down puku and seeing lions taking down multiple buffalo at a single time. The Mfuwe area is also pretty good for lions, the south of the park near Chindeni less so. Many say South Luangwa is the best place to see lions in the wild.

South Luangwa is also known for its remote location and little crowds. Also has beautiful scenery, the world's largest population of hippos, and large herds of buffalo.

4

Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

The Ruaha National Park lies in the remote southern part of Tanzania. It has a great amount of lion sightings. It contains 10% of the worlds remaining lion population, making sightings very easy. There are lion prides here of up to 30+ lions, some of the largest prides on the planet. Many people in Ruaha spot lions on every game drive, and one person saw 52 different lions on one game drive.

Other highlights of Ruaha include its remoteness and diversity of predators. Ruaha lies in the remote Southern Circuit of Tanzania, meaning there are not very many visitors there. This means you often get many predator sightings all to yourself or with very little vehicles around you.

Ruaha also contains a rich diversity of predators other than lions. One of the main highlights of the area is the chance to see wild dogs. Ruaha contains one of the most viable dog populations in the world. Sightings are most common from late Sep to early May, when dogs are done denning. Ruaha has one of the highest if not highest leopard population in east Africa. People have reported 6 sightings in 3 days and 11 in 6. Sightings are very relaked and close-up. Ruaha also has a good population of cheetah. People have reported daily sightings including up-close views of hunts.

5

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta is a large delta located in the heart of the vast Kalahari Desert. Many consider it Botswana's premier safari destiantion. It has an abundance of predator and prey. Another attraction of this area is the remoteness. You will have almost all the sightings to yourself and if there are other vehicles, they will be the ones from your camp. The area is also very scenic with lots of small sandy islands. There are also activities like taking a boat ride in a mokoro.

Cheetahs are in very high numbers in the Kwara Camp in the northern Okavango Delta. The area is perfect terrain for cheetah as there is lots of there favorite prey animals and there are not too much lions, allowing cheetahs and their cubs to thrive. In Kwara Camp cheetah are considered plains game because they are so common. It is considered by many to be the best camp in Botswana to see cheetah and some even consider it the best in the world to see cheetah. Recent reports have said that cheetahs were spotted on every game drive. Other people have reported seven cheetah sightings in this fantastic camp in just four days. It is definitely Okavango's and Botswana's cheeetah camp.

The Okavango has lots of great leopard sightings.. But the best sightings of these enchanting felines are in the Tubu Tree Camp. It is located on the remote Hunda Island in the heart of the vast delta. The area has benn long known to have very great leopard cub sightings. There are very little lions in the area, allowing leopards to grow in population without much obstacles. Tubu Tree also has several leopard cub sightings because of the low lion population. There are few lions to kill the cubs. People have reported at least 1 leopard sighting on every game drive, and one person has had 8 leopard sightings in 3 days. Tubu tree is considered by most to be the best camp in Botswana to spot leopards, some even consider it best in the world to spot this enchanting feline.

Though lions are not common everywhere in the Okavango Delta, they are more than common in the Duba Plains Camp. It is a camp on an island in the heart of the delta, and there are tons of lion prides in the area. The lions have been accustomed to hunting buffalo here, and even better, they hunt it during the day. People have seen several buffalo hunts on a single game drive. There are several large prides with cubs in the area along with coalitions of magnificent males. There us virtually no competition for the lions, so the population keeps on growing. The animals are very habituated to the vehicles, meaning you can watch the prides, cubs, and hunts from a distance of a few meters. You will spend pretty much all your time in this camp watching lions, and you are pretty much confirmed to spot lions on every game drive. This camp is considered by most to be the best camp in Botswana to spot lions. It is also considered by many to be the best place in the world to spot lions on safari.

Wild dogs are very common in the Okavango Delta, one of the last strongholds for these endangered canids. The best camp to spot them is the Kwara Camp in the northern part of the delta. Like cheetahs, the low population of lions allows wild dogs and their pups to thrive. There are tons of their favorite prey and the terrain is perfect for them. One reason for the abundance of wild dog sightings is the accessibility of the dens. They den close to the camps so when the dogs are denning they will stay close to the den, so whenever you go to the den you can see the dogs and their beautiful pups. You can also spot several dog hunts, some have spotted them taking down several impala at a time. People have reported sightings of the dogs and their pups on every game drive and also reported viewing hunts every day.

One downside of the Okavango Delta is the expensive price of the camps. In high season they can get more than $1,500 a night.