It is almost impossible to talk about top tourist destinations in Africa without mentioning safaris. The number of safari destination spots in Africa is so much that it’s easy to lose count. However, I have listed some of the best Safaris in Africa that are worth your time and money.
Have not planned a trip before? Check out my post on how to plan the best trip on a budget. Worried about how safe Africa is? Who doesn’t? with the rising insecurity, here are the safety tips you to know while exploring Africa, and yes it’s safe.
There was a time when I never used to pay attention to safari destinations in Africa. However, I began to realize that visiting a safari is one of the best ways to connect with nature in its true form.
Nowadays, I’m always on the lookout for safari spots to visit whenever I’m in any African country. I used to think Safaris in Africa are in East or South Africa, boy was I so wrong? The Northern part of the Republic of Benin also has a Safari. This is the top of my bucket list of places to visit in Africa.
I’ve also noticed that it can be difficult making a choice from the numerous options of safari destinations to visit in Africa. It is also best to keep in mind that many of these places are not free to visit. Therefore, you would need to pay an entrance fee.
This article would highlight some of the best safari destinations to visit in Africa when you’re on a budget. But first, let’s look at those things you need to have when going to a Safari.
Essential items to have when visiting a Safari
It could be that it’s your first time going to a Safari, or you may even be a regular. One thing about me is that I always like to be prepared when going anywhere. I’ve seen many of my friends complain about being uncomfortable when they visit a safari, and it is because they do not carry some essential items.
Thus, some travel essential items to bring when visiting a safari in Africa are:
Let’s be realistic, most of these safaris require a gate fee before you can enter. Therefore, if you go there without money, it would be a waste of your time. Interestingly, the prices for non-locals are usually way higher. After all, the residents view the safari as one of their top tourist spots.
It is always best to check and know the gate fee before going to any safari destination.
2. Comfortable Clothing
As much as I love to be fashionable, I know that the safari isn’t a runaway. It isn’t a place to show off your latest clothing!
Instead, you should wear comfortable travel clothes that let you move around freely. I would also advise that you wear clothes that cover your skin as the safari is a habitat for insects. It is also good to keep in mind that the atmosphere on a safari can be hot. So, you need to wear cool and neutral clothes. In addition, your shoes should also be comfortable and breathable.
These may seem like little factors but they go a long way in ensuring you enjoy your safari visit.
3. Water bottle
A safari walk isn’t always the easiest, especially if you do not have a water bottle. Trust me, you would easily get dehydrated and it would weaken your energy level. If you want to get the best out of your safari trip, you must ensure that you never run out of water. Therefore, it is important to take along your water bottle.
I don’t know about you, but I always love to protect my skin! The fact that I’m visiting a safari does not mean that I should suffer sunburn.
It is why you would almost never see me go out without my sunscreen. It always wonders about the intensity of the sun on a safari. So, you need to have sunscreen to protect your skin!
5. Binoculars and Camera
I would often say that you’re not a true tourist if you do not have a camera or binoculars! These things are part of the tourist starter pack!
A camera would help you capture images that you would hold dear for years to come. It could be pictures of the beautiful landscape or animals that you have never seen before.
I remember seeing pictures my friend took when she visited a safari. These pictures prompted my decision to make my first safari trip.
You also need to have binoculars as it helps you get a closer and better view of certain things. For example, you can get an upfront view of an animal that is far away. Sometimes, the tour guide might point out an animal in the distance, and it could be that it isn’t the right time to get close to that animal. In such a case, your binoculars would come in handy.
You can get budget-friendly binoculars on Ali-express for a safari trip. I have linked it below.
Best Safaris in Africa
In no particular order, here are the 10 best safari destinations in Africa:
- Chobe National Park (Botswana)
There are many features about this park that makes it stand out as one of the best safari destinations in Africa. One of its unique features is the fact that there are campsites and lodges in the park. Therefore, you do not need to worry about rushing your activities whenever you visit this place as you can stay there as long as you wish. The best part about it is that these accommodation facilities are budget-friendly!
I also love the fact that you do not necessarily need to book a tour guide at this place as it is possible to do a self-drive. Hence, it saves you costs. Everything about this place is poised at making you enjoy your visit even if you’re on a budget.
- Maasai Mara (Kenya)
If you wake me up from sleep and ask me about countries in Africa for a safari visit, Kenya would surely be at the tip of my tongue to mention. Kenya has one of the best Safaris in Africa you need to visit. Visiting this country lets you appreciate nature in its true form, and I also love how the locals are passionate about sustaining nature; this safari destination is a statement of this fact.
This place is home to many animals, including cheetahs. You cannot imagine how excited I was to see a cheetah in real life when I first visited this place. I also loved that their accommodation facilities catered to all budgets.
- Etosha National Park (Namibia)
From research, I’ve noticed that booking a tour guide is one thing that takes a lot of money when visiting a safari destination. So, it is exciting to find a self-drive safari destination as you would be cutting costs and enjoying yourself even while sticking to your budget. Thankfully, this is one of the self-drive safaris in Africa.
Yes, you can find different species of wildlife in this place.
- Kruger National Park (South Africa)
South Africa also has a good reputation when it concerns the best safaris in Africa. This place is the largest national park in South Africa and one of the oldest in Africa. It is home to a good variety of wildlife including the ‘Big Five.’
No matter the size of your pocket, there is an accommodation facility for you if you desire. Also, read my post on other exciting things to do in South Africa on a budget.
- Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
The locals of this place would say that the best time to visit is between June and September when there is the wildest migration. It is home to several animals, and you shouldn’t forget to take your camera when visiting this place as there is a lot to capture.
Yes, they have budget-friendly accommodation options.
- Tarangire National Park (Tanzania)
This place is popular for its large elephant population and baobab trees. The atmosphere is so calm and peaceful that you may not feel like leaving.
If you wish to stay for some time, you would see budget-friendly accommodation options.
- Lake Manyara National Park (Tanzania)
Have you ever seen a flamingo before? I’m sure you would be as giddy and excited as I was when you see one. So, make sure you have this park on your list of safari destinations to visit in Africa.
The campsites and lodges at this place are also super affordable.
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)
This place is on my bucket list of places to visit as it is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas. I’ve never seen one before, and can’t wait to have such an experience.
There are no accommodation options within the forest. However, you can find budget-friendly places to stay in the town.
- South Luangwa National Park (Zambia)
From the gate fee to the accommodation options, everything about this place is fair. You do not need to worry about breaking the bank to visit this safari destination.
One of the top highlights of this place is that it is home to many leopards.
- Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)
If you’re ever in Zimbabwe and looking to visit a safari destination, this is your best bet as it is the largest game reserve in the region. It also has a large variety of wildlife and affordable accommodation options.
I hope you find this roundup list of the best safaris in Africa to visit. Feel free to comment on which of the best Safaris in Africa is on your bucket list and those you’ve already visited. ciao
Travel resources for your trip to Africa
1. Book your hotel stay on Trivago for the best deals
2. Opt for hotel alternatives by booking your stay in a hostel using hostel world
3. Don’t be stranded in a new city without internet, sign up for Airalo
4. You need insurance for your travel, book it on EKTA
5. Traveling solo? don’t worry, book fun activities in Africa with GetYourGuide.
6. Book a flight on a budget on trip.com