Countries & Parks
Top Rated Safari Countries
Botswana is the leader in low-impact, upmarket tourism in one of Africa’s last wilderness areas. The beauty of the Okavango Delta can be discovered on an unforgettable game drive or exploring by mokoro (wooden dugout canoe), while Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve combine stunning landscapes with exceptional wildlife.
- Rates $190 to $996 pp/day
- Best Time March to May (Dry parks), June to September (Okavango, Chobe)
- High Season July to October
Botswana Parks & ReservesAll 14 Parks & Reserves
Awash in cultural attractions and dramatic scenery, Ethiopia is far from ordinary. The wildlife here does not appear anywhere else on earth. Memories of being surrounded by hundreds of gelada monkeys with their swirling golden manes and bold red chests will last a lifetime. As will driving the continent’s highest road to see an Ethiopian wolf – Africa’s most endangered carnivore.
- Rates $124 to $363 pp/day
- Best Time October to December (Beautiful scenery, little rain)
- High Season October to January (Some parks get busy)
Ethiopia Parks & ReservesAll 9 Parks & Reserves
Kenya is a top wildlife destination, recommended especially for those booking a first-time safari. The Masai Mara National Reserve offers excellent big cat encounters and is the setting for the yearly wildebeest migration. Palm-lined beaches offer a perfect place to relax after an action-packed safari.
- Rates $127 to $665 pp/day
- Best Time June to October, January to February
- High Season July to November, January and February
Kenya Parks & ReservesAll 26 Parks & Reserves
A mountainous wonderland completely surrounded by South Africa, Lesotho offers an array of adventurous options. On horseback is the best way to discover the stunning landscapes, while hiking in just about any direction is rewarding. Getting here is half the fun if you choose the hairpin bends of Sani Pass, South Africa’s most famous 4x4 track.
- Rates $164 to $176 pp/day
- Best Time January to December
- High Season December to January and July to August
Lesotho Parks & ReservesAll 3 Parks & Reserves
While many visitors to Madagascar come for the beautiful beaches, the island with its 50 national parks and reserves is nothing short of a top ecotourism destination. If you like an active holiday, Madagascar won’t disappoint as all wildlife viewing is done on foot. For a true adventure, you can even go out at night, looking for animals by flashlight.
- Rates $73 to $1,981 pp/day
- Best Time August to November (Less rainfall)
- High Season July, August and December (Many parks get busy)
Madagascar Parks & ReservesAll 21 Parks & Reserves
Malawi’s main tourist attraction is enormous Lake Malawi, with its beaches and water-based activities. The country also offers a range of safari options. Lovely Liwonde National Park has a winding river ideal for boat trips and seeing lots of elephants. Majete Wildlife Reserve is Malawi’s top Big Five destination. The rolling green hills of Nyika National Park are ideal for walking.
- Rates $233 to $718 pp/day
- Best Time July to October (Dry bush and animals easier to find)
- High Season July to October (Some parks are busy, high-season rates)
Malawi Parks & ReservesAll 9 Parks & Reserves
Mauritius is one of the most beautiful islands on Earth. But that’s just the beginning of any visit here. Reefs and a crystal-clear lagoon surround an island encircled by near-perfect beaches. The interior, too, has plenty of appeal, with rugged mountains, forest-filled valleys and a handful of endangered species, as well as an intriguing cultural and culinary mix.
- Rates $377 to $1,295 pp/day
- Best Time May, June and September to November
- High Season November to April
Mozambique’s main attractions are its islands and its endless, largely undeveloped coastline. The Quirimbas and Bazaruto archipelagos are great to relax on the beach, and to see some amazing marine life. Maputo National Park is an excellent spot for ocean safaris, as well as for seeing elephants and other terrestrial wildlife in a coastal setting. Niassa National Reserve and Gorongosa National Park both have enormous potential to become top wildlife destinations with four of the Big Five present, though tourist facilities are limited at present.
- Rates $100 to $1,022 pp/day
- Best Time April to November (Lots of sunshine and little rain)
- High Season May to October (It never gets very busy)
Mozambique Parks & ReservesAll 8 Parks & Reserves
Namibia is characterized by its desert habitat. The harsh environment forms a magnificent backdrop for a different kind of safari. Animal populations are smaller, but sightings in this sparse setting tend to be rewarding. Not to be missed is Etosha Pan, the largest salt pan in Africa and a seasonal wildlife magnet.
- Rates $171 to $625 pp/day
- Best Time June to October (All parks)
- High Season July to October (Etosha gets crowded)
Namibia Parks & ReservesAll 13 Parks & Reserves
Rising abruptly from the sea like an ocean-going mirage, Réunion is the most dramatic of all Indian Ocean islands. The hiking here is extraordinary with views to match, and so many other activities are possible – from whale watching to white-water rafting. A visit here also means fascinating village life, enticing food and fun festivals.
- Rates $0 to $0 pp/day
- Best Time May to November (Less rain)
- High Season July, August, Christmas, Easter (Busy)
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is the perfect choice for an unforgettable wildlife encounter. It’s challenging, thrilling and emotional, all in one package. This small but scenic country, referred to as the Land of a Thousand Hills, has a lot more to offer though. Thirteen other primates, including chimpanzees, inhabit the lush rainforest of Nyungwe National Park, while the Big Five traipse around the savannah plains of Akagera National Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can head out on foot, bicycle or boat to explore the beautiful Lake Kivu region, or even conquer one of the Virunga volcano peaks.
- Rates $307 to $1,166 pp/day
- Best Time June to September (Dry season)
- High Season June to September (Gorilla permits are scarce)
Rwanda Parks & ReservesAll 4 Parks & Reserves
The island archipelago nation of Seychelles combines some of the world’s most beautiful beaches with astonishing biodiversity. Island and marine wildlife, found nowhere else on the planet, bring to life this superb chain of islands, with their volcanic interiors and blissful sense of Indian Ocean isolation. Exclusive resorts, trails through montane (mountain) forest, and aromatic spice gardens are among the many highlights.
- Rates $263 to $1,050 pp/day
- Best Time March, April, October and November (Shoulder months)
- High Season December to February
South Africa is one of Africa’s great wildlife destinations. Vast Kruger National Park has an abundance of animals and is one of the continent's iconic attractions. For outdoor adventure, the Blyde River Canyon is the third largest on the planet, and jagged peaks of the Drakensberg mountains punch into the sky. Cape Town hums with an urban beat, and is fringed by white sandy beaches.
- Rates $146 to $621 pp/day
- Best Time All parks: May to September, Cape Town: November to March
- High Season October to March (Crowded during school holidays)
South Africa Parks & ReservesAll 42 Parks & Reserves
Swaziland (recently renamed Eswatini) is easily incorporated in a South African holiday. It offers some outstanding wildlife viewing in low-key parks, stunning scenery and traditional cultures. Mkhaya Game Reserve and Hlane Royal National Park are excellent places to see many flagship animals.
- Rates $100 to $372 pp/day
- Best Time May to September (Dry season)
- High Season December to January and July to August (It never gets very busy)
Swaziland Parks & ReservesAll 6 Parks & Reserves
Tanzania has three safari circuits and each one of them, in its own right, would make Tanzania a top wildlife destination. The popular Northern circuit with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offers one of the best classical safaris in Africa, especially if timed with the annual wildebeest migration.
- Rates $195 to $569 pp/day
- Best Time June to October (Migration from June to July and January to February)
- High Season July to March (Northern circuit parks get crowded)
Tanzania Parks & ReservesAll 13 Parks & Reserves
Uganda is a great destination to view wildlife in both forest and savannah. Not to be missed is gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable or Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, while chimps can easily be spotted in Kibale National Park and several other locations. Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks offer wonderful savannah safaris with good wildlife viewing, as does the more remote Kidepo Valley National Park.
- Rates $240 to $629 pp/day
- Best Time June to August and December to February
- High Season June to September (It's rarely crowded)
Uganda Parks & ReservesAll 10 Parks & Reserves
In Zambia, you’ll be looked after on safari by some of the best guides in Africa. They’ll happily share everything they know about the local wildlife and landscape, while safely leading you on game drives, walking safaris and even canoeing safaris along the Zambezi River.
- Rates $222 to $994 pp/day
- Best Time May to September (Most parks)
- High Season July to October (Victoria Falls and South Luangwa get busy)
Zambia Parks & ReservesAll 14 Parks & Reserves
In Zimbabwe, tourists are few and prices are competitive. Years of political instability has paid its toll on the country, but the main parks are still cared for and well worth visiting. Hwange National Park is not to be missed, and Mana Pools National Park offers great canoeing safaris on the Zambezi River. Victoria Falls, Africa’s largest waterfall, is a must-go-to destination; standing in the spray of this powerful curtain of flowing water is both moving and majestic.
- Rates $201 to $994 pp/day
- Best Time May to September (All parks)
- High Season July to October (Only Victoria Falls gets busy)