Africa is a mysterious continent for sure. A landmass of diverse nations spanning thousands of square miles. Africa is the second largest continent on Earth and there is lots to see when looking to embark upon the best African safari adventures to be found.
Without digging in deep one of the first things that children learn about Africa in school will be the exciting and mysterious animals and the wildlife. A great deal of interest in the African continent stems from learning about lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, elephants and of course the legend of Tarzan.
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Most youngsters interested in Africa and its many nations will learn about experiencing the best safari in Africa for the very first time in school. Perhaps by virtue of a combination of well taught nature lessons, books, cartoons and wildlife films.
Discover the Best Safari in Africa
Viewing popular animal cartoons such as Madagascar and Jungle Book and holding a fascination with Tarzan is bound to generate intrigue. This will for some youngsters fire the imagination, spirit and natural desire to explore these distant lands. A passion for Africa and all its mysterious places, cultures and amazing treasures begins here.
African Safari Adventures: The Legend of Tarzan
Tarzan of course is a famous character created by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Indeed Tarzan has been brought to life in film and literature many times over. Most notably in Tarzan the Legend of Greystoke starring Christopher Lambert ( Highlander ) and more recently in 2016 with the release of ‘The Legend of Tarzan.’
Tarzan is the classic tale of the wild man of the jungle raised by apes after his aristocratic explorer parents are shipwrecked, marooned and then perish while he is still a very young baby.
A much older Tarzan is rediscovered by adventurers when he has grown to manhood. Consequently Tarzan is returned to the strange and unfamiliar world of the British aristocracy. Along the way he finds a romantic love interest in the form of Jane.
This next incarnation of Tarzan ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ brings a brand new action adventure to cinemas. This time Tarzan will be starring Alexander Skarsgård (‘Diary of a Teenage Girl, HBO’s ‘True Blood’) as the legendary jungle character first created by creator and author Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Choosing The Best Safari Adventures in Africa
For many children nurturing a desire to explore Africa begins from an early formative age. While it may not normally be possible to hunt lions and tigers for sport anymore. Nature lovers and travelers exploring the many sights of Africa may nevertheless satisfy the need of exploring this vast continent through embarking on some of the best safaris in Africa.
Those travelers passionate about Africa and its animal kingdom are even known to get married here. What could be more romantic than traveling to Africa to get married. Then to take an amazing honeymoon safari at one of the many luxury lodges for a trip of a lifetime. Or take time out to visit some of the most awe inspiring waterfalls on Earth .
Book African Safari Hunts
There is a darker side to the safari experience in some African nations. African safari hunts maybe a thing of the past (at least for reputable Safari tour companies.) Animal and wildlife conservation is a important and sensitive topic. Hunting animals in Africa for fun is not nearly as fashionable or socially acceptable as in the 20th century but sadly it happens.
In colonial times it was very much a bloodsport of the rich elite and gentry. An distasteful practice that for the most part is thankfully confined to history, Wilbur Smith novels ( and Tarzan. ) Not to say it still does not happen in certain quarters of Africa and poaching also is still a big problem.
The Sad Tale of Cecil the Lion
Travelers to Africa on safari might be forgiven for thinking that hunting lions and tigers is a banned historical practice. That hunting safaris have had their day in the hot sun. Yet only in 2015 an American dentist caused outrage by hunting and shooting Cecil the Lion.
Indeed it might seem that in certain parts of the world money still talks when it comes to hunting lions such as Cecil the lion while on safari in Zimbabwe. It was reported in the UK Guardian newspaper that Zimbabwe will not charge American dentist Walter Palmer for killing a prized lion ( Cecil ) in July 2015 because he had obtained legal authority to conduct the hunt, a cabinet minister of Zimbabwe has said.
While two other people were charged over the killing of Cecil the Lion this particular incident brought much negative and unwanted publicity to the business of organized African safari hunts.
Dentist Walter Palmer might have wished he had never embarked on his African wildlife safari. While he may have scored his trophy by taking the head of Cecil the Lion the negative publicity that his trip garnered was significant.
Social media ignited in flames over the tragic story of Cecil. With public outcry and ‘justice for Cecil’ campaigns common on social media. Walter Palmer for a time at least became a bit of a pariah.
Nor did the government of Zimbabwe gain much kudos and benefit from this unfortunate piece of bad publicity. Indeed for a nation that generates much revenue from African vacations and safari vacations in particular. The furore over Cecil the Lion was highly damaging and embarrassing to the pride and reputation of the nation.
While the media attention over the brutal slaying of Cecil the Lion by Walter Palmer will inevitably die down, the real losers here were Cecil obviously and those people still wishing to go on an African safari hunts discreetly.
Further to this a number of tourists to the many game reserves and lodges offering African safari vacation packages were far less inclined to go. We hope that Walter Palmer rues the day that he ever booked his safari trip to hunt big cats.
The Problem of Endangered Species and Poaching
Many of the species of wildlife in Africa are classified as endangered species so African safari hunts and wider issues such as illegal poaching really came under the spotlight. The unfortunate Cecil the Lion incident concentrated much media attention on African safari hunts and the illegal trade in banned wildlife products.
Everything from ivory to furs and animal skins threaten the very existence of these beautiful animals. Of course money talks and if there is a dip in tourists booking African safari vacation packages then the tour companies and the government will take notice and act.
Seeing the Safari Animals Close and Personal
So if seeing the animals up close and personal while pretending to be Tarzan is your kind of holiday, where can visitors to Zimbabwe, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and the other great nations find the very best african safari tour companies? Before embarking on a safari holiday in Africa consider some of these questions and issues in order to discover the best safari in Africa.
- What are the best African safari tours?
- How much does an African safari cost?
- How do I plan a trip to Africa?
- Are there any all inclusive African safari vacation packages?
- What to wear on an African safari?
- Where can I find a Cheap African safari?
- How do I meet Tarzan?
It is probably fair to say that there is no such thing as a really cheap African safari. Most visitors searching for the best safari in Africa will arrive from far off countries in Europe and the Americas. Travel on its own, even flying economy can be expensive. Bear in mind also that depending on the final destination it maybe necessary to take a domestic flight by a secondary airline.
Check your travel insurance cover as domestic airlines do not necessarily have the same reputation for safety as your regular airline. We have a great guide on sourcing cheap flights as well as obtaining the most suitable travel insurance and cover.
Booking and Designing African Safari Tours
Here we take a look at a few tour options that you might want to consider when looking for the best safari in Africa. Bear in mind there are different ways to see the animals and wildlife. Firstly as part of a wider trip and holiday. Meaning while on your trip you get to do different things from gaining a tan by the pool to following in the footsteps of David Livingstone and exploring the Victoria Falls.
Or if seeing the animals and traveling overland is the holiday when embarking on all inclusive african safari vacation packages. Here it is common to stay in a safari lodge or dedicated game reserve resort.
Exploring African Safari Wildlife Parks
There are many luxury safari lodges that cater for tourists hoping to explore the various game reserves. Spending time in the game reserves is big business. No single game reserve or national park is the same. The safari lodges allow tourists to see the animals without sacrificing the luxuries of being at home.
However there are an abundance of animals in the major animal and wildlife nations of Botswana, South Africa, Kenya and so forth. For example the Kruger Park lodges. Lets take a peek at some of the best safari destinations to discover in Africa.
African Safari Adventures: Kruger Park in South Africa
Kruger National Park, which is located in north eastern South Africa, is one of Africa’s largest animal game reserves. Kruger National Park is well known for it’s high density of superb wild animals which includes the so called ‘Big Five’. These big five animals being: wild lions, rhinos, leopards, elephants and buffalos.
Kruger National Park is home to literally hundreds of other exotic mammals and animals that make their home in Kruger Park. Visitors to this amazing park will also encounter diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks to name but a few.
In Kruger National Park mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the varied safari landscape. The stunning scenery alone in Kruger National Park presents some fantastic photography opportunities for amateur photographers and documentary makers.
Kruger National Park was established in 1898 so it is also Africa’s oldest established wildlife park and reserve. The game reserve easily offers one of the best safari experiences in Africa. Reaching the park is straightforward as it’s situated north of Johannesburg.
When driving by car it takes around 5 hours to get to by motor vehicle. The reserve offers tourists the highest variety of animals and wildlife in Africa. Kruger Park is also one of the best maintained and well looked after safari parks in the entire continent.
The Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya
The Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s premier wildlife park. It was established in 1961 to protect wildlife from dangerous hunters and poachers.
The Masai Mara is the primary reason that so many visitors from around the globe come to Kenya and its beauty and abundant wildlife won’t disappoint anyone who comes to stay.
The Masai Mara National Reserve is easily one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya. The game reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland and is a perfect location for safari and for experiencing the animals in their natural habitat.
The wildlife in the game reserve in Kenya tends to be most concentrated on the reserve’s western areas.
The Masai Mara is generally regarded as the crown jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing regions. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone in Kenya involves over 1.5 million individual animals arriving in July and then departing the region in November. Nevertheless the game reserve is not without its environmental problems as reported by the Guardian Newspaper.
In fact the Masai Mara habitat has been home to some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles alongside over 400 birds species observed living on the reserve. Certainly among the best safari in Africa.
Nowhere else in the vast continent of Africa is wildlife and the flow of the animals more abundant and diverse. It is for this reason a visitor spending time in Kenya on safari rarely misses experiencing one of the big five animals, namely the (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino).
Chobe National Park Botswana
Chobe National Park in the north west region of Botswana is renowned across the world for its high density of roaming elephants. On a recent visit to the Chobe National Park it was possible to witness hundreds of wild elephants in just three days of safari.
The elephants were swimming across the Chobe River at sunset as the sun dropped, prodding their little ones forward on a determined march through the dry, dusty landscape, and casually stripping bark from whatever trees they had not yet used up.
Whether arriving by air or road, the first glimpse of the river Chobe which is deep and dazzling set against the sandy terrain is a proper sight to behold. The river Chobe first appears as a swathe of striking, peacock blue ribbon especially when viewed from the air. The river can be seen tightly winding its way through the tiny town of Kasane, and the ensuing wilderness that is the Chobe National Park in Botswana.
The river Chobe is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers. In fact the Chobe supports a diversity and concentration of river wildlife that is unparalleled anywhere else in the continent.
The Chobe National Park was first setup and established back in 1968. The park itelf encompasses floodplains, swamps and dense woodland. The Chobe River forms its northern boundary. Visitors to the park will experience four unique geographical areas. These areas being: the Chobe Riverfront, the Ngwezumba pans and the Savuté and Linyanti regions.
Chobe is a remarkable national park at any time of year and not surprisingly, Botswana’s most visited safari park.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the most beautiful wilderness areas on earth. Upon visiting the region explorers to these lands will discover a part of Africa that is filled with more than 122 species of mammal (including the rare wild dog).
There are also over 440 individual species of birds to observe; 64 species of reptiles and 71 species of fish to discover in and around the Okavango Delta. This region of Africa is a paradise on Earth for anyone looking to go on a unique African safari. See why the Daily Telegraph describes a visit on safari to the Okavango Delta as the trip of a lifetime.
South Luangwa National Park in Zambia
South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is one of Africa’s best safari destinations. The concentration of wildlife that lives around the Luangwa River is one of the highest anywhere in Africa.
A safari experience in South Luangwa National Park enables tourists to appreciate pods of wild hippos that number in the many hundreds. Also present in the park are lions, leopards, elephants, and African wild dogs. Not only that, rare species of zebra and giraffe live here, alongside in excess of 400 species of wild birds.
The South Luangwa National Park is a wild and beautiful place and should not be missed when visiting southern Africa on safari vacation. Without a doubt, one of the best safari in Africa.
The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania
The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania was created in 1952. The Serengeti National Park is home to one of the most magnificent wildlife spectacles on planet Earth. This spectacle being the great migration of wildebeest and zebra across the plains.
Safari enthusiasts will discover that there’s a wide variety of accommodation available. Places to stay on safari in the Serengeti range from from luxury safari lodges to mobile base camps. The Serengeti National Park covers 5,700 sq miles, (14,763 sq km.)
The park is actually larger than the U.S state of Connecticut. However unlike a major population center there are at most a couple hundred vehicles driving around the park at any one time of day.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda
The isolated pocket of huge primeval forest in the Virunga Mountain range that is the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the most biologically diverse and amazing areas on earth.
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south-western Uganda. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and runs along the Democratic Republic of the Congo border.
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda possesses a remarkable and unique eco-system that defines the very essence of the African continent and Bwindi has therefore been designated as a World Heritage Site. A trip to Bwindi is more of a specialist safari, one that is sometimes termed a gorilla safari since most tourists come here for the gorilla tours.
Travelers to the thick, dark forest will experience a forest floor that is damp and laden with slippery leaf mould, matted vegetation and fallen vines from overhead trees. All of which serve to trip you up as you attempt to climb and clamber up and down the slippery, wet slopes in search of a glimpse of the elusive gorillas.
The mountain gorillas in Uganda can be dangerous but they are mostly quiet, gentle and peaceful animals that that live here in the Virunga Mountain range and forest. One of the best safari in Africa and a unique type of holiday experience that has no easy equal.
African Safari Adventures: Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park is one of Southern Africa’s finest and most important Game Reserves. Etosha Game park was declared a National Park in the year 1907.
Image Credit: Sanjeev Arora
The Etosha National Park which is to be found in Namibia covers a land area of 22 270 square km. Etosha provides safari holidaymakers with a broad variety of wildlife. The park is home to 115 mammal species, 330 bird species, 111 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and, believe it or not, one species of fish.
The Etosha Park is one of the first places on any safari itinerary when spending time in the African nation of Namibia and it is certainly one of the best safari in Africa.
Etosha, when translated has a meaning of ‘Great White Place.’ The park is a part of Namibia that is completely dominated by a massive mineral pan. This mineral pan is actually a part of the Kalahari Basin. The floor of the basin was formed by colossal titanic forces around 1000 million years ago.
In fact the Etosha Pan covers around 25% of the land found within the Etosha National Park. The basin was originally a full lake of water that was fuelled by the Kunene River. Over history and much time the flow of the river changed many thousands of years ago and the once deep lake dried up completely.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Conservation area that is found in Tanzania contains the world’s largest volcanic crater which acts as a natural enclosure for almost every species and variety of wildlife found in East Africa. The Maasai people still live within the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Also found within the zone is Olduvai where some of man’s earliest historical remains and relics have been discovered.
The conservation area is actually named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area. A caldera is sometime also known as a super volcano on account of its destructive potential. There are only a few such super volcanos in the world today and they tend to erupt very rarely which is just as well.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a fully fledged conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania.
Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe
Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is a stand out favorite of mine when on watching the animals on safari because of its huge abundance of giraffes, elephants, and lions as well as in excess of 105 other amazing mammal species. Hwange National Park also has one of the largest populations of wild dogs left anywhere on the African continent.
Hwange National Park is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. The park lies in the west of the country, situated on the main road near Bulawayo.
Travelers to Zimbabe on safari may enjoy the hospitality of several comfortable luxury safari lodges. All of these lodges are offering tourists accommodation in the park at very reasonable prices.
Hwange National Park is also very close to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders of the world, these being the majestic Victoria Falls. This makes this part of Africa a good choice for tourists looking to engage in several different activities such as safari and sightseeing.
Amazing Places: African Safari Adventures
Embarking on an African safari adventure is very much an activity holiday. It maybe considered relaxing but not in the normal sense. Spending time in anyone of the many African safari wildlife parks is undeniably a once in a lifetime opportunity to see many rare and endangered wild animals up close and in their natural habitat.
There are still far too many people in the world that have overdosed on too much Wilbur Smith and Tarzan and still think its ok to go on a big game hunt. Really though there is no place for Cecil the Lion killers in the modern age. Big game hunters belong in the nineteenth century and hunting rifles have no business being aimed at endangered species.
These animals are a miraculous design of nature and deserve freedom and protection for future generations to experience and enjoy. Keep the marvellous animals, national parks and wildlife of Africa safe and secure for future visitors to this great continent to appreciate.
Do this by only participating on reputable, genuine African safari tours. Choose one of the best safaris in Africa and check with your travel agent for conformity prior to booking a African safari vacation.
Remember there are some great all inclusive african safari vacation packages that will deliver the full holiday package and safari experience deep among the wild animals, jungles and majestic scenery. Just don’t ask to see Tarzan.