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Which African National Parks Are Best For you?

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If you were to take Africa and cover the surface of the moon with it, around 80% of the moon’s surface area would be covered. With this much land, it’s no wonder there is so much variety on offer at each of the African national parks and reserves. But such diversity can make it hard to select precisely which safari destination is right for you.

Whether you’re a safari newbie or a veteran of the plains, each park can offer something unique to pique your interests:

Bwindi National Park, Uganda

A UNESCO World Heritage site, this awe-inspiring landscape combines volcanoes, jagged valleys, waterfalls, lakes and dramatic mountain ranges. The area is home to over 200 species of butterflies, 350 species of birds, as well as chimpanzees, various monkeys, antelope and elephants. The Bwindi National Park’s main attraction, however, is the mysterious mountain gorilla.

Best for: Gorillas, birdwatching

Stay: Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

 African National Parks Bwindi National Park Uganda Sanctuary Retreats

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Home to the largest population of elephants, Chobe National Park also has one of the greatest concentrations of game found anywhere in Africa. Taking a boat safari along the Chobe River is the best way to see the area and enjoy incredible, year round sightings.

Best for: Elephants, boat safaris

Stay: Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero

 African National Parks Chobe National Park Botswana Sanctuary Retreats

Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

One of South Africa’s premier game-viewing destinations, the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve is home to the Big Five, wild dog, cheetah, giraffe, and hyena, to name a few. The widely varying terrain includes rocky peaks, open grasslands, and verdant valleys, providing visitors with an unforgettable safari experience.

Best for: Wild dogs, Big Five, private reserve

Stay: Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge

 African National Parks Madikwe Game Reserve South Africa Sanctuary Retreats

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Ever changing and diverse, the lush green plains and rolling savannah of ‘the Mara’ support an immense variety of wildlife. From big game, big cats, and the great wildebeest migration, to sweeping horizons, beautiful landscapes and a rich cultural heritage – the Mara offers an African safari that has no match.

Best for: Big cats, wildebeest migration, traditional masai culture

Stay: Sanctuary Olonana

 African National Parks Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya Sanctuary Retreats

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia

The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is well-known for its exciting array of birds and numerous antelope, zebra, buffalo, giraffe, warthog, hippo and crocodile. With few predators, the park offers a relaxed atmosphere for the impressive array of wildlife. This is in stark contrast to the constant roar of the mighty Victoria Falls, making the two the perfect bed-fellows.

Best for: Victoria Falls, walking safaris, Big Five

Stay: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma

 African National Parks Mosi Oa Tunya National Park Zambia Sanctuary Retreats

Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Tanzania

A breath-taking natural wonder, this volcanic crater is home to large herds of zebra, wildebeest, elephant, hippo, gazelle, eland and waterbuck, as well as many leopard, lion and cheetah. For safari adventurers, the Ngorongoro Crater – known as “Africa’s Garden of Eden” – is one of the most interesting wildlife preserves in the world.

Best for: Classic safaris, abundant wildlife, Big Five

Stay: Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp

 African National Parks Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area Tanzania Sanctuary Retreats

Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta is one of the world's most diverse wildlife habitats with over 200,000 large mammals, 400 bird species and 70 species of fish. It's not surprising then that the Delta is widely regarded as one of the premium destinations for a dynamic safari experience. Within the Delta, the world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve is known as the 'predator capital of Africa' and offers a peaceful haven where animals have been protected for decades.

Best for: Big Five, crocodiles, hippo, water based activities

Stay: Sanctuary Baines’ Camp, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp and Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp

 African National Parks Okavango Delta Botswana Sanctuary Retreats

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Meaning ‘the endless plains’ in Masai, the Serengeti National Park is one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries. It is home to a remarkable range of wildlife and also plays host to the great wildebeest migration each year. The Southern Serengeti is also the last remaining stronghold for the iconic cheetah, making it a very special place indeed.

Best for: Big cats, wildebeest migration

Stay: Sanctuary Kusini and Sanctuary Serengeti Migration Camp

 African National Parks Serengeti National Park Sanctuary Retreats

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Dubbed by experts – including the great Sir David Attenborough – as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, the South Luangwa really is a sight to behold. It is best known for sightings of the elusive leopard, but is also home to over 60 mammal species, including three sub-species endemic to the valley, as well as 400 bird species, making the area an animal-lover’s paradise.

Best for: Walking safaris, giraffe, leopard, abundant wildlife

Stay: Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge and Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp

 African National Parks South Luangwa National Park Zambia Sanctuary Retreats

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

The Tarangire National Park is well known for its varied habitats and constant supply of water – making it the perfect place to host a diversity of wildlife. The area is famous for its large population of elephants where herds of up to 600 can be seen at a time. The park is also home to lion, leopard, wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, hartebeest, giraffe, kudu and oryx with their fantastic lengthy horns.

Best for: Elephants, classic safari

Stay: Sanctuary Swala Camp

 African National Parks Tarangire National Park Tanzania Sanctuary Retreats

Each of Africa’s national parks, reserves and conservancies have their own unique charm, and we know that the way to get the most from your safari experience is to combine two or three different destinations. To find out more about booking your perfect safari, please contact our reservations teams.