When it comes to wildlife, Africa is the first thing that pops into our mind. This is because Africa truly is rich in fauna. And when it comes to animals, Africa’s Big Five takes the lead: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and the African buffalo. These five are so named as they are the five most difficult animals to hunt, especially when on foot. Whether you’re traveling alone or taking small group tours be sure to put seeing these five on your bucket list. And to help you find them, visit one or more of the 6 best national parks for experiencing wildlife:
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Kenya’s Masai (also spelled as Maasai) Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular game parks in the world and is named after the Maasai people. It is Kenya’s jewel as it is one of the most “African” places you could ever go to thanks to its animal-filled savannah plains that seems to be without end.
Masai Mara is very much regarded as the Great Migration – the annual migration of over one and a half million gazelles, wildebeests, and zebras that is truly a magnificent sight to see. This happens from July to October. Tourists would also find lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, and other animals, plus more than 450 avian species.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is also famous for the Great Migration. The magnificent movement of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles actually starts from the Ngorongoro Conservation area in Southern Serengeti. The animals will then go in a clockwise direction, crossing Serengeti National Park, and then to the north to the direction of Masai Mara National Reserve.
Serengeti National Park is home to a population of Nile crocodiles and honey badgers. Visitors would also be able to find giraffes, waterbucks, impalas, warthogs, and hippopotamuses in the area. Rare species of Antelopes can also be seen in Serengeti National Park.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s first national park and spans through the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Biodiversity in Kruger National park is considered to be unrivaled as it is home to at least 145 species of mammals that include wild dogs, antelopes, giraffes, hippos; and nearly 500 known species of birds. Africa’s Big Five also thrive in Kruger national park. Crocodiles can also be seen in the waters of Kruger National Park. Conservation in Kruger National Park is top-notch, and well-regarded, helping to keep it as a top safari destination.
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Namibia boasts of what once was an inland sea that has turned into a haven to hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, and mammals, including the Big Five. Etosha National Park is regarded as home to some of the tallest elephants in all of Africa, as well as for the endangered Black Rhinoceros.
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Botswana’s first National Park, Chobe National Park, is also considered as its most biodiverse, and a host to some of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. Chobe National Park is home to a variety of ecosystems, with watery swamps, fertile grasslands, dry channels, and arid plains. It is well regarded for its large population of elephants. Tourists would adore the boat cruises along Chobe River.
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Three national parks can be found in the valley od Luangwa River, but arguably the best of them is the southernmost one, South Luangwa National Park. It is a world-renowned haven for wildlife, and boasts the greatest concentrations of game, especially near the river which swarms of crocodiles and hippopotamuses.
Tourist would love to go on a walking safari in South Luangwa National Park, where you can go for a day-tour or spend a whole week out in the wild. You can also opt for mobile camps as you traverse one of Africa’s best wildlife havens.