If you are looking for a bit of adventure on your next getaway, consider a safari holiday in Africa. These aren't just for holidaying Hollywood elite any more. Safaris are now accessible than ever, and some are relatively cheap. Here are the best locations to consider for your next safari holiday:
Home to Africa's tallest elephants, the endangered black rhino and the majestic cheetah, Etosha National park offers views of the rugged coastline and evolving landscape. The perennial springs lure many types of big cats (though cheetahs are the most-sighted cat). There are several safari options at Etosha, including self-drive safaris.
SmarTraveller recommends travellers exercise normal safety precautions in Namibia.
A peacock-blue river draws Africa's densest game concentrations, making Chobe national Park a prime game destination. Inside the grounds, Savute marsh is filled with wonderful wildlife all year and is easily accessible to people of all budgets. This National Park offers views of many endangered species, such as wild dogs, cheetahs and brown hyenas. If you get the chance, take a water safari and meet the original inhabitants of the area, the San Bushmen.
SmarTraveller recommends travellers exercise normal safety precautions in Botswana.
A truly wild wildlife park, Zambezi Valley offers unparalleled views of untouched nature. This park is a haven for hippos, elephants and several species of birds. Though they are less frequented than other wildlife parks in Africa, Zambia's national parks are no less beautiful.
SmarTraveller recommends travellers exercise normal safety precautions in Zambia.
Known as Africa's most popular safari destination, Masi Mara National Reserve offers great views of dramatic animals. The best months to visit here are July through October, when the annual migration offers views of a stampeed of millions of wildebeests and makes the ground vibrate.
SmarTraveller recommends travellers exercise a high degree of caution in Kenya.
With some of the best guides in Africa, Hwange National Park sits amidst a low-lying semi-desert and lush highlands and offers views of Victoria Falls. The elephants of this park are magnificent and the falls create a watering hole for all types of wildlife. Though the area was unstable for several years, tourists are flocking since the Zimbabwean government increased safety precautions.
SmarTraveller recommends travellers exercise a high degree of caution in Zimbabwe.
This classic, quintessential safari park is one of Africa's oldest and best-maintained parks. It offers a variety of wildlife and wonderful views of African nature. It holds all of the big five game animals – lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinoceroses – plus a variety of other animals. Though you can find many beautiful wildlife parks in South Africa, this is by far the most popular.
SmarTraveller recommends travellers exercise a high degree of caution in South Africa.
Arguably the most magnificent park in Africa, the Serengeti has a lot of game in its massive ground. Annually, more than 1.5 million wildebeests and 250,000 zebras migrate through the area. Prides of lions are common sights and the Grumeti River is home to some of the largest Nile crocodiles in the world.
SmarTraveller recommends travellers exercise a high degree of caution in Tanzania.
Offering breathtaking views of the mountain gorillas indigenous to the region, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve is home to roughly half the world's mountain gorillas. Though the guides ask you not to stare at these beautiful creatures, it's tough. This location offers a wonderful landscape, complete with volcanoes interspersed between jagged valleys and waterfalls. If you get the chance, visit the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where gorillas often enter.
SmarTraveller recommends travellers exercise a high degree of caution in Uganda.
No matter where you choose to visit, it is important to remember that safariing can be a dangerous activity, and some parts of Africa can be a dangerous place. Check SmarTraveller regularly for updates on country safety guidelines and consider travel insurance for your next holiday.
Image courtesy of Flickr user David Berkowitz; cropped from original