Kenyan travel writer Harriet Akinyi shares the top 10 countries in Africa for game drives.
Source: Harriet Akinyi
In some African cultures, the combination of rain and sunshine means that a leopard and a lioness have given birth to a cub.
I was hoping this was true as I drove across Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve in a four-wheel-drive jeep in a sunny, pouring rain.
I’ve been working as a travel journalist in Africa for seven years, and game drive experiences have always been one of my favorites. Wildlife is Africa’s treasure, and tourists delight in observing animals, especially cats, in their natural habitat.
Travel journalist Harriet Akinyi observes a herd of elephants in Kenya’s Mgi Reserve.
Source: Harriet Akinyi
There are 10 countries in Africa that focus on wildlife. Kenya (my home country), Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, and Rwanda.
Here are some recommended highlights.
For over 25 years, professional safari guide Jeff Mays has been taking tourists to some of Africa’s best parks. He believes that many people choose Kenya, and especially the Masai Mara, for their first trip to Africa because it is safe and relatively accessible.
Masaai Mara, known as one of the Eight Wonders of the World due to its wildebeest migration, is one of Africa’s most famous parks, said travel journalist Harriet Akinyi.
Uldavis | E+ | Getty Images
“Getting on a plane to Kenya has become so easy that it’s high on people’s once-in-a-lifetime travel lists,” he says. “Also, game drive experiences in Kenya can meet the expectations of travelers in terms of catching the ‘Big 5’.”
Nairobi National Park is less than an hour’s flight from the capital Nairobi, where you are likely to see lions and rhinos.
“If you come to the Masai Mara, you’ll see elephants, leopards, and lions,” he explained as we drove by.
Kenya has a total of 25 national parks and 16 national game reserves, as well as numerous private reserves, which are small, privately owned wildlife reserves.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Amboseli National Park is known for its elephant herds and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Harriet Akinyi enjoys a bush breakfast with rhino views after a game drive in Kenya’s Sorio Reserve.
Source: Harriet Akinyi
Kenya’s largest park, Tsavo National Park, is one of the world’s largest game reserves. This was highlighted by President Barack Obama in a five-part Netflix documentary series.our great national parks. ”
Kenya is not the only country where I have gone on game drives.
South Africa is another, home to some of Africa’s oldest and most iconic national parks. Although it is a year-round safari destination, the best conditions for wildlife viewing are during the cool winter months from May to September.
Game drive in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Luis Davila | Photodisc | Getty Images
There are 20 national parks in the world, including–The famous Kruger National Park is home to Africa’s ‘big five’ game animals: lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo.
Kalahari Border Park is also located near the Botswana border. pilanesberg national park. The latter is approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Johannesburg. Although smaller than Kruger, it is rich in wildlife. And interestingly, it’s located inside the crater of an ancient volcano, thought to be around 1.2 billion years old.
Another highlight, Hluhluwe Mfolozi Park, There are the “Big 5” and there is also a thriving African wild dog population.
I have also been to Addo, the largest park in the Eastern Cape and the third largest in South Africa, famous for its elephants. According to Nsediso Hedman Nogaya, a game warden in Addo., The best season to visit is from October to April.
“Rain is likely from May to September and while this is a great time to feed wildlife, driving can be slippery and muddy,” he said. It pointed out.
Uganda is known for its diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes, with 10 national parks and 12 game reserves. Seven of the national parks are located in the savannah and three in the forest. In this he three you can track mountain gorillas in Mgahinga National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, there are currently about 1,000 mountain gorillas in existence, more than half of which live in Uganda.
Jason Edwards | Photodisc | Getty Images
My fondest memories of Queen Elizabeth National Park are tracking chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge, observing lions climbing trees and herds of elephants walking majestically on the plains, and cruising through the Kazinga Strait where I saw water buffalo, warthogs, and more. Observing hippos and Nile crocodiles.
Another park to consider is Kidepo Valley National Park, its vast plains and valleys are shaded by the brooding Mount Morngol. This mountain is sacred to the Iku people, one of Uganda’s smallest tribes. The park is also ranked as the best birding safari destination in the country.
Lake Mburo National Park is one of the smallest national parks in the country, but I loved the game drive experience in this national park.
It’s the only park where visitors can enjoy boat cruises, walking safaris and horseback riding, tour operator Dennis Kahungu told CNBC Travel.
A herd of bighorn Ankole cattle in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda.
Christopher Kidd | Photodisc | Getty Images
“This is also the only national park in Uganda where impalas live,” he says. “It’s also where the big horned Ankole cows are.”
Akagera National Park, located in eastern Rwanda, is a protected wetland and the last refuge of Rwanda’s remaining savannah-adapted species. Park visitors can enjoy wildlife and bird watching by taking boat safaris along Lake Ihema, his second largest lake in Rwanda.
A harrier and its nest in Lake Ihema, Rwanda.
Inti St. Clair | Photodisc | Getty Images
Travelers looking for mountain gorillas typically visit Volcanoes National Park in the north of the country. It is also home to golden monkeys and is a popular hiking and mountain climbing destination.
Nyungwe National Park, recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is another place to explore, located in southwestern Rwanda and known for its chimpanzees and colobus monkeys. A canopy walk on a suspension bridge approximately 70 meters (230 feet) above the forest floor is also popular.
Although the park can be visited all year round, it is best to avoid April, which is usually the time of heavy rain in Rwanda.
Botswana is rapidly emerging as an ecotourism destination, with visitors drawn to Chobe National Park’s vast elephant herds and canoe-based wildlife safaris in the Okavango Delta.
A herd of elephants in Chobe National Park, Botswana.
Willie Chegogo | Moments | Getty Images
The ‘Big Five’ can also be found in Moremi Nature Reserve, Nusaipan National Park, Makadigadipang National Park and Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
In Tanzania, we visited the iconic Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that rivals Kenya for one of Africa’s best wildlife experiences.
Tourists watch a herd of wildebeest from a Land Cruiser in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.
Patrick J. Endres | Corbis Documentary | Getty Images
I first visited there during calving season, when wildebeest and zebra give birth on their way to Kenya during the Great Migration.
Another wonder is Ngorongoro Crater, one of the largest calderas in the world.
Some people consider this to be one of the best places to go on safari in Africa.
Apart from the famous Hwange National Park, I also visited Matobo National Park which has a wide variety of fauna and lots of white rhinos. Around the Matobo Hills are ruins of early settlements and the tombs of historical figures such as Cecil Rhodes.
Strangely shaped rocks in Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa. There is Cecil Rhodes’ grave.
West End 61 | Getty Images
The best time to visit the park is during the dry season from June to October. At this time of year, the bushes are thinner, making it easier to spot wildlife.
Mr Mays said the best time to go on safari in Kenya and Tanzania is, of course, the migration season. However, he recommends visiting Zimbabwe and Zambia between July and October.
In other parts of the continent, months such as February, June and September can also be very rewarding.
“The wildlife is great and there aren’t many cars around,” he says. “And we often benefit from an off-season pricing structure, which of course is always nice.”