KAMPALA – Africa is known for its magical national parks and game reserves, which offer absolutely a lifetime African safari experience. A visit to any one of the pristine parks in Africa lets you to immerse yourself into Africa’s wilderness paradise with a chance to explore iconic tourist attractions. According to the Africa Safari Blog, here are 10 best national parks to visit in Africa.
Below are the best national parks to visit in Africa
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular national reserves in Africa. If your plan is to witness the wildebeest migration then a visit to Masai Mara National Reserve on a safari in Kenya is worth it.
Masai Mara is Kenya’s premier safari destination and it is set in the Southwest on the Great Rift Valley Area, Norok County of Kenya. It adopts its name from the Maasai People, a local tribe that lives in the area where the park is located as well as the River Mara which flows through the same reserve.
It was founded in 1961 and sits in an area of about 520sq.kms. It is a magically protected area to explore with a chance for you to see not only the wildebeest migration but also the lions, leopards, variety of birds, Nile crocodiles, buffaloes, rhinos etc.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Serengeti National Park needs no introduction. This Tanzanian park is one of the best wilderness areas to visit in Africa. This park is popular for its exceptional landscape comprising of vast savanna grassland and diverse wildlife species. It is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts of its diverse wildlife species. This park sits in an area of about 14763 square kilometers largely consisting of endless rolling plains.
Serengeti National Park is best to visit for you to witness the great wildebeest migration which occurs from June to July and January to February. Besides, this park is also popular for game viewing with opportunity for you to spot out diverse wildlife including Klipspringer, impalas, zebras, elands, oribis, grey bush duikers, hyenas, lions, cheetahs, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, hippos, vervet monkeys, patas monkeys, baboons to mention but a few. There are also over 500 bird species to identify including among others the martial eagles, fish eagles, ostriches, flamingoes, vultures, storks.
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
This is the largest national park in Zimbabwe with an area of about 14600sq.kms. It is located in Southwestern Zimbabwe just between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. This park prides itself with diverse wildlife species including over 108 mammal species (elands, giraffes, zebras, lions, cheetahs, waterbucks, buffaloes, elephants, impalas), over 400 bird species (martial eagle, Southern ground hornbill, pearl spotted owlet, African hobby, yellow-billed kite).
Etosha National Park, Namibia
On safari in Namibia, a visit to Etosha National Park should be a must if you are looking to great game viewing safari. It is an outstanding safari destination with diversity for you to see and explore.
Etosha National Park is a unique park in Africa offering amazing game viewing experience. Unlike other parks, Etosha National Park features among a few most accessible protected areas in Namibia and Southern Africa.
Etosha National Park was established in 1967 and it sits in an area of about 22,270 sq.kms. This park is home to African bush elephants, South-western black rhinos, buffaloes, Angolan giraffes, caracals, cape fox, wild dogs, mongoose, hyenas, duikers; birds including the eagles, vultures, hornbills, sandgrouse, kites, falcons, owls, herons to mention but a few.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Founded in 1898, Kruger National Park is by far South Africa’s premier safari destination. It is a famous big five safari destination in Africa and a visit to this protected area lets you explore buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos and several other wildlife species including diverse bird species.
Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
According to the African Safari Guide, Murchison Falls National Park is one of the underrated but interesting destinations when it comes to African safaris! It lies in Northwestern Uganda, about5-6 hours’ drive from Kampala. It was established in 1952 and it sits in an area of 3893 square kilometers.
Murchison Falls National Park is popular for its magical and powerful Murchison Falls- one of the most roaring and scenic waterfalls in the world that flows through a narrow gorge of about 7 meters before plunging 43 meters down.
A visit to Murchison Falls National Park on African safari also lets you explore four of the big five; Buffaloes, African savannah elephants, lions, leopards; waterbucks, the Rothschild giraffes, warthogs, hippos, oribis, Uganda Kobs, Hartebeests, chimpanzees in Budongo Forest, crocodiles, over 451 bird species including goliath herons, white thighed hornbills, great blue turacos, dwarf kingfishers; shoebill storks and many others.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa & Botswana
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the few transfrontier national parks. Boasting of a good number of animals, this large wildlife reserve and conservation area offers the ultimate game viewing opportunities to travelers visiting southern Africa.
The little-visited park straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana and comprises two adjoining national parks: Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and Gemsbok National Park in Botswana.
The word Kgalagadi translates as “the place of thirst”! It is located largely within the desert area of Kalahari and most of its terrain consists of red sand dunes with sparse vegetation, occasional trees, and dry riverbeds. The magnificent park hosts incredible wildlife that includes large mammals. Big cats that can be seen in the park include cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, and huge black-mane lions.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
The Okavango delta in north-western Botswana is one of the very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean. The park’s iconic attraction is the wetland system that is almost intact.
The delta is affected by seasonal flooding with floodwater from Angola reaching the Delta between March and June, peaking in July. This peak coincides with Botswana’s dry season resulting in great migrations of the game from the dry hinterland. A UNESCO’s World Heritage Site since 2014, the delta is an oasis in an otherwise dry environment the Okavango Delta. Protected by the Moremi Game Reserve on its eastern edge, the delta is known for its superb wildlife sightings and also houses some of Africa’s most exclusive lodges.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
The Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda is the favorite destination for those looking to encountering the great apes in Africa. To many Africa travelers, tracking the wild gorillas is on top of the bucket list experiences not to miss while on safari. If you have ever watched the emotional Gorillas in the Mist movie, just pack your shoes and get to learn the Story of Dian Fossey from the park where she conducted her studies into the gorilla land. The park hosts almost a third of the mountain gorillas left in the whole world. You will meet the majestic, and sadly, rare great apes in the wild with no boundaries separating you! The remaining population of these magnificent creatures lives in the Virunga area shared between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Another separate population of about 459 mountain gorillas lives in Bwindi National Park. All treks in these forests are guided and a hike to meet these gorilla stakes anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, depending on how far the gorillas moved into the highlands!
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Experts have dubbed South Luangwa to be one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason as the park offers uncrowded wilderness combined with a spectacular concentration of wildlife. With its western and northwestern edge bounded by the Muchinga Escarpment and the southern border lined by the meandering Luangwa River, there is no shortage of dramatic topography in this stunning park. Concentrations of the game along the river and on the wide-open plains are amongst the most intense in Africa. The park is especially known for its sightings of the elusive leopard and packs of wild dogs.