Best Places to Go on an African Safari In 2024

For an ethical and sustainable safari experience in Africa, these are the best countries and outfitters to see wildlife, beautiful African landscapes and a peaceful experience from the wilderness.

Going on safari is the best way to travel in 2024, and Africa has plenty of excellent safari destinations that can provide travelers with incredible experiences. South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania are some of the most popular options for African safaris due to their abundant wildlife, majestic landscapes, luxurious accommodation options, and superior guiding services. But beyond these three countries, some outstanding safari destinations will also be fantastic for your safari journey in 2024.

From countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia where the vast open plains provide some of the most incredible views of spectacularly large herds of animals, to Kenya where the sheer diversity of species makes it a dream location for any committed nature enthusiast.

These locations represent exquisite safari settings rich in unforgettable moments for any traveler seeking adventure in 2024.

Let have a look at the best paces to visit for a true African safari experience.

What is a Safari?

A safari is an unforgettable journey into the wilds of Africa, to observe and appreciate the unique wildlife and nature that can be found. It is a chance to experience African culture, take part in activities such as game drives and bush walks, as well as learning more about conservation. A successful safari requires careful planning and research to select the right destination for your needs.

Why is Safari a Great Way to Travel?

Safari is an excellent way to travel for those who are looking for an experience that is full of adventure and surprises. Not only does it allow you to immerse yourself in the diverse cultures and landscapes of Africa, but also gives you a chance to witness some of the most unique wildlife in the world. There are plenty of activities available, such as game drives, bush walks, and guided tours, which offer a unique way to explore the African continent.

There are many incredible African safari destinations that will be ideal for any traveler looking for an unforgettable experience in 2024. From South Africa and Tanzania to Botswana and Namibia, each destination offers something special that you won’t find anywhere else. A safari in any of these places gives you a unique taste of the unique African cultures, style of safari, and a blend of wildlife and scenery.

When planning your African safari, take into consideration what activities you want to do, the type of accommodations that fit your budget, and what sort of wildlife you wish to observe. With careful preparation and research, you can make sure that your African safari is a memorable one.

When it comes to the best places to go on an African safari, there are many more destinations to explore. Below we look at some of these special destinations.

What are the Best Places to Visit for a Safari in Africa?

 Here are the best places to go on an African Safari:

1. The Maasai Mara/Serengeti ecosystem (Kenya/Tanzania)

An African safari over maasai Mara zebra and wildebeests

The Masai Mara National Reserve in southwest Kenya is renowned for its sublime savanna grasslands and the density of its wildlife population. Big cats such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards can be found throughout the region, while wildebeest herds migrate across the Mara River from July to October. There are numerous methods to explore this gorgeous site without getting lost in crowds.

The best way would be to hire a knowledgeable guide or amateur naturalist who knows how to avoid busier areas of the park. Alternatively, visitors may choose to stay in one of the various private community-run conservancies that dot the boundaries of the national park.

Cottar’s 1920s Camp is perhaps one of the more well-established camps within the Masai Mara and is situated within a private conservancy - perfect for an intimate wildlife experience free from unwanted disturbances.

With access to five-star round-the-clock hospitality and a division of their safaris into anthropology expeditions studying local culture, offers multiple options that make for an incredible escapade into natural wilderness with human comforts still at bay so guests may truly savor the environment.

2. Okavango Delta (Botswana)

The Okavango Delta Elephant and bok

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the most stunning and diverse destinations in all of Africa. It is a unique and untamed landscape located in northern Botswana, where wetlands mix with grassy plains and mopane forests.

It is home to some of the most impressive wildlife on the continent, including elephants, lions, zebras, hippos, giraffes, and the elusive leopard. This inland delta is fed by waters from Angola between May and October, transforming what was traditionally a desert into teeming wetlands brimming with plants, birds, animals, and fish.

The area is best explored by boat or mokoro (canoe), with the expert help of a guide who can point out the hidden wonders. There are numerous lodges that offer an excellent base from which to explore, with many offering boat safaris, game drives, bush walks, and more. There are luxury safaris and camps scattered throughout the entire area, making this ecosystem accessible to visitors of all levels.

One of the best base camps for exploring the Okavango Delta in Botswana is Vumbura Plains. It truly epitomizes luxury camping that you can expect from any high-end safari camp.

Alongside Astounding views and incredible sunsets, there are plenty of opportunities to see some of Africa's more impressive wildlife including elephants, buffaloes, lions, and cheetahs as they roam the vast plains in search of prey. 

3. Kruger National Park (South Africa)

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is the continent's most popular game reserve destination. Located in the far northeastern part of South Africa, this park offers a wide variety of outstanding wildlife viewing. It’s renowned for having large populations of leopards that appear largely undisturbed by the presence of vehicles and people in jeeps or cars traversing the park.

The Kruger National Park also boasts good road networks throughout, which support self-driving safaris, as well as camps with a range of budget options, from basic self-catering facilities to super luxury lodges inside their private reserves. Furthermore, if traveling in the shoulder season or venturing to the less visited northern end of the park, one can find walking trails, big beautiful baobabs, and fever tree forests.

The park lodge they suggest as a base camp for this park is Singita Lebombo. This sleek luxury lodge has fifteen suites that offer views over both bush and river settings. You’ll be able to dine on exquisite food and drink offerings during your stay too. Whether you’re looking for something more basic or are seeking out more premium accommodation options while exploring Kruger National Park – there will be something for you.

4. South Luangwa National Park (Zambia)

An African safari South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park is an unmissable destination for wildlife viewing in Africa. Located in Zambia, this park offers visitors the chance to observe big cats and elephants as well as rare Thornicroft's giraffes. South Luangwa is particularly renowned for its walking safaris so if you're eager to explore the African bush on foot, this park can provide the perfect adventure.

The Luangwa River attracts large numbers of animals during the dry season between April and November which makes it the most popular time to visit. Here you can find a vast array of wildlife from lions, leopards, buffalos, baboons, crocodiles, and more alongside some of the continent's most stunning birdlife.

Be aware that many lodges close during Zambia's wettest months between December and March so if you plan on visiting then make sure to do your research and book in advance. Overall, South Luangwa National Park is an exceptional place to experience all that Africa has to offer when it comes to wildlife viewing.

5. Etosha National Park (Namibia)

Etosha National Park in Namibia is an absolute must-visit destination for any wildlife enthusiast, particularly during the dry months. During this time, vast numbers of mammals including African elephants, giraffes, and lions congregate around the water sources within the park. It isn’t only large animals that can be seen here; visitors on a guided safari may also spot elusive black rhinos and diverse bird life, including the striking flamingo species.

In addition to its impressive array of animals, Etosha National Park is famous for its spectacular 1,760 square-mile salt pan. As it holds so much significance for the wildlife in the area, many passionate conservationists have developed bases around its edge, such as Ongava Tented Camp.

You can get to this camp by either road or air – with stunning aerial views offering an amazing introduction to the wide desert landscapes of Namibia. Once there, you can enjoy game drives or bush walks (during nighttime too!) allowing you closer visibility of some of Africa’s most beautiful creatures.

6. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongo Crater

The picturesque Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is a must-see for any wildlife enthusiast or anyone looking for an unforgettable experience.

This inactive, ancient caldera is—at 2,000 feet deep and 100 square miles in area—one of the world's most dramatic landscapes and serves as home to a variety of species including African elephants, critically endangered black rhinos, lions, and even flocks of flamingos. You can explore the beauty of this breathtaking environment through safaris, hikes, and visits to nearby Masai villages.

No matter when you decide to make your visit to the Ngorongoro Crater, you will not be disappointed. Peak times typically occur from June to September during the dry season when crowds are bigger and conditions ideal but prices are higher.

If you want to enjoy fascinating landscapes without the massive influx of people and high costs that come at this time then come during the low season when wetter weather allows for small crowds and better rates. If you need lodging adjustments Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge near the entrance gate of the Conservation Area offers comfortable cottages with pool access and spa services.

7. Chobe National Park, Botswana

Chobe National Park herd of Elephants

Chobe National Park in Botswana offers the wildlife enthusiast a thrilling and unforgettable experience. As Botswana’s first national park, it is a diverse ecosystem home to a vast array of animals ranging from antelopes galloping across the plains to huge herds of elephants and Cape buffalo congregating along the Chobe riverfront. Additionally, hippos can be found seeking cool respite in the lagoons of Linyanti Marsh.

For those looking for an unforgettable adventure, Chobe National Park presents visitors with different ways to immerse themselves in its pristine wilderness. This may range from a safari through the park on four-wheel drive vehicles, complete with an experienced guide, to camping under the stars. No matter how you choose to explore this remarkable setting, you will be sure to leave with incredible memories that will last for years to come.

8. Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

The Samburu National Reserve is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts in search of marvelous African animals and birds. Located on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River, this scenic habitat is home to a special group of five, known as the ‘Samburu Special 5’ - including the Reticulated giraffe, the Grevy's Zebra, the Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and gerenuk. While these rare creatures are undoubtedly incredible to view throughout your stay, there’s even more to explore in this vibrant world full of nature!

Organize a guided nature walk with an expert ‘naturalist’ and get up close and personal with over 300 species of birds and 100 mammal species that inhabit here in addition to its famous star attractions.

Get adventurous and explore some of its remote bushland regions where colourful landscapes are often contrasted by many gently roaming prowess wildlife such as eland, cheetahs, elephants, and Grant’s gazelle. Capturing priceless moments is all part of this magical experience at Samburu National Reserve, Kenya.

9. Laikipia, Kenya

Laikipia Kenya

Laikipia, located in central Kenya, is an often overlooked destination within the African savanna –breathtaking mountain vistas, rolling hills, and ungulate speckled grasslands abound.

Laikipia’s varied habitats are home to some of the most wildlife-rich areas in all Kenya. It is not a surprise then that this region hosts all five of Africa’s ‘Big 5’ species: rhinos (including a few black rhinos), elephants, lions, leopards, and buffalo. The region is also home to endangered subspecies such as reticulated giraffes and Grevy's zebras that cannot be found anywhere else.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy, located within Laikipia’s domain is particularly noteworthy for housing two remaining northern white rhinos—a population on its way towards extinction. For those looking for an unforgettable safari experience while still being able to stay grounded in luxurious accommodation mid-way through their journey— which includes wild dog tracking away from the crowds—Sweetwaters Serena Camp might be your best bet.

This particular camp provides comfortable living quarters with world-renowned service. Whatever experiences you seek out in Laik ipia, you are sure to leave with incredible memories that will last for years to come.

10. Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Image source: Robin Pope Safaris

Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe is a unique wildlife sanctuary that consists of four major pools on the banks of the Zambezi River. This setting provides a wilder, quieter landscape than most other safari destinations in Southern Africa and is home to all sorts of exotic wildlife, including lions, wild dogs, and elephants that have adapted in unique ways to their environment.

For those looking to explore this special area, there are lots of activities visitors can partake in such as canoeing down the river or taking bush walks during the dry season when parts of the park are accessible.

Visitors should also consider staying at Ruckomechi Camp for an exclusive experience with ten tented suites — complete with optional star-gazing overnight experiences. Whatever option you choose for your visit to Mana Pools National Park, you’ll be sure to return with adventure-filled memories and a newfound appreciation for wild African life.

11. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa is a stunning natural backdrop of rolling hills and rust-orange sand, providing scenic views for visiting visitors. It's the perfect spot to observe Africa’s Big Five - lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, and elephant - along with many other charismatic animals such as wild dogs.

Of all the game reserves, Madikwe offers some of the most accessible options for families. The reserve is malaria-free and many of its properties have activities geared towards hosting children. Driving from Johannesburg to Madikwe cuts down on the expense of light aircraft flights, making it easier on the wallet too.

The ideal accommodation option for visitors looking to explore this vast nature reserve is Madikwe Safari Lodge – a luxury retreat with 20 rooms available, including family suites with bunk beds and special turndowns for kids so they can feel like little royalty during their stay. Enjoy gourmet meals prepared by an intimate team of chefs, as well as spa treatments and exciting jeep tours to get you even closer to wildlife at Madikwe Game Reserve.

12. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Hwange National Park is an incredible tourist destination in Zimbabwe and a favorite for safari-goers. This vast park is home to many different species of wildlife, including lions, wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, and the park’s famous population of elephants.

Not only are game drives available here, but in private concessions you can also enjoy walking safaris with experienced guides who have all completed a rigorous qualification programme. For those wanting to combine Hwange with Victoria Falls, it is only about three hours away by road.

For an enjoyable stay within Hwange National Park, you could choose Davison’s Camp– a simple yet cozy camp made up of 9 tents located near a waterhole frequented by the elephants.

It provides guests with amazing sights and experiences that they won't soon forget! Here at Davison’s Camp, you can observe these majestic creatures as they come to drink from the nearby waterhole firsthand– an opportunity not to be missed while visiting Hwange National Park.

13. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda is a scenic wildlife sanctuary and a great destination for safari-goers. Just southwest of the center of Uganda, this park is composed of savanna, forests, and lakes that offer visitors a diverse range of wildlife to see.

Elephants, chimpanzees, lions with an unusual talent for climbing trees– it’s all here! The spectacular views and boat trips on the river are popular activities, as is birding. Plus, Queen Elizabeth is conveniently located near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, making it an ideal pick for those looking to combine a gorilla trekking outing with their safari.

When visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park, one prime option for where to stay is Buffalo Safari Lodge. Not only is it situated right next door to the entrance of the park with beautiful views all around but it’s also just minutes away from all of the action.

14. Selous Game Reserve (Tanzania)

The Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania is Africa’s largest protected wildlife area, covering an impressive 5% of the country's total land mass. This vast area of savannah, woodlands, and wetlands is home to large populations of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and many more animals.

The Selous Game Reserve offers a fantastic canvas for a couple of days or more of game viewing, whether it’s on foot or from the back of an open-top jeep. Visitors can expect to experience some of the best wildlife in Africa with rarely-seen creatures like the wild dog and sable antelope making appearances.

If you’re looking for a top-rated safari camp in the area, the Selous Safari Camp is one of the best. The camp offers breathtaking views of Lake Siwandu and its islands, home to hippos and Nile crocodiles. Guests can take part in various activities such as game drives, boat trips, bush walks, and more. This is an excellent place to stay while exploring Selous Game Reserve.