According to World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals have more than doubled compared to last year and Africa has registered a growth of 51% in 2022 compared to 2021, though numbers are still way below pre-pandemic levels of 2019.
An African Safari is not just one of the most thrilling experiences on earth for a tourist, but also a huge revenue source for the countries involved. Some African safaris provide you with an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the world’s rarest wildlife, encounter majestic mountains and wide skies, and completely immerse in another world. And the best part is that you can do all these without sacrificing your comfort.
If you are looking to escape the grim realities of our troubled planet, here are the top seven best African safaris to consider:
7) Segera Luxury Retreat, Kenya
Segera Retreat is a 50,000-acre luxury wildlife safari that lies on the grasslands of the Laikipia Plateau. Its accommodations are well known for their striking and elegant design. Its six timber and thatch villas are raised above a profusion of botanical life looking out to Mount Kenya. Segera is home to the Zeitz Collection, which is considered to be one of the leading collections of art from Africa and the African diaspora. Here, art and an aesthetic experience surround you at every turn.
According to their official website, every room in the retreat is solar-powered, and they also have a water bottling system for distilling still and sparkling water which significantly reduces the carbon footprint on their facility.
6) Uncharted Africa, Botswana
Uncharted Africa operates mobile safaris on the private Mapula concession in the Okavango Delta, it is a bit more rough-and-tumble than other safaris in the region. It operates luxury camps that embody classic 1940s-era safari fantasies. When the camp moves, guests can sleep under the stars in a fly camp on an island in the Delta. Wildlife that is likely to be seen includes zebra, wildebeest, wild dog, cheetah, elephant, lion, hippo, crocodile, buffalo and giraffe, not to mention a myriad of birds. Uncharted Africa’s guides are excellent and will ensure you don’t miss a thing on your journey. Fishing is also possible between March and December.
5) Singita, Boulders Lodge, South Africa
Singita is a South African company founded in 2005, which operates game lodges in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Rwanda. It owns game lodges in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Grumeti Game Reserve, Serengeti National Park, and Volcanoes National Park. Its South African operation in Sabi Sand is a private game reserve. It is synonymous with environmentally conscious luxury. A standout among the lodges is Boulders Lodge, which offers niceties like glass walls, a swimming pool, a gym, and a spa. With two-bedroom suits and children’s activities, it is more family-friendly than many other safaris in the region.
4) Mahali Mzuri, Kenya
Mahali Mzuri is Sir Richard Branson’s 12-tented luxury safari camp in the Kenyan Bush. Its 12 exclusive safari tents offer you the ultimate luxury safari experience. Its futuristic architecture is defined by steel girders. Mahali Mzuri offers luxuries like refrigerators and claw-foot bathtubs. Shared spaces include a swimming pool and a spa. The camp is situated in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the wider Maasai Mara ecosystem.
3) Explore Inc. Kenya
Explore, Inc. offers personalized luxury tours and intimate wildlife encounters throughout Africa, it was a company founded by Cherri Briggs. It is well-known for its exclusive and adventurous custom safaris. The company has won over its customers by orchestrating experiences, like a flight over Mt. Kenya in the plane used in Out of Africa. Sounds exciting!
2) Micato African Safaris,
Micato is an African safari company with operations across multiple African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia. Their Safaris expeditions are luxurious by design. They feature world-class accommodations and legendary game parks. They supply top local drivers and guides. They ship high-end duffels to guests in advance. Guests are usually welcomed with a meal or a drink. No wonder they are popular among many tourists worldwide.
1) Ol Jogi, Kenya
This is arguably the most prestigious private ranch in Africa. The Wildenstein family opened the Ol Jogi to paying guests in 2013, it was established over 60 years ago. Here, for $210,000 a week, they offer you sublimely comfortable sleeping arrangements for 14, doting service from staff members, endless sumptuous details, and private access to one of Africa’s most wildlife-rich areas. The 58,000-acre ranch is home to 15 per cent of the world’s Grevy’s zebra. Guests can stay out after dark, but it is advisable to follow their guidelines.
Places to visit on an African Safari
While having a relaxing evening in some luxury resort in the middle of the jungle might be enough for some tourists, the main purpose of an African Safari is to see the natural world as nature intended. Here are the top attractions every tourist on an African Safari should see.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti is without a doubt the earth’s greatest wildlife spectacle. Three million or more large mammals–elephant, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra, lion, gazelles by the gazillions, rhinos, giraffe, and going on 60 more large mammal species inhabit the great plain, its riverine forests. The Serengeti is simply a force of nature.
At 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest, and one of Earth’s most massive mountains. If you are into mountain climbing, climbing the magnificent Kilimanjaro will take you between 4 – 10 days and cost you between $1,799 and $5,799 depending on the route, season, and number of people you’re sharing the experience with.
The Maasai Mara Game Reserves
Located in Kenya, the Mara abounds with rolling grasslands, expressive acacia trees, sweeping vistas teeming with wildlife, and one of Africa’s common but unforgettable sights.
Things to do in the Maasai Mara
- Watching miles-long trains of wildebeest and zebras in their endless migration in the Maasai-Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, Earth’s largest animal homeland, and haven.
- Enjoying early morning tea as you watch a herd of elephants patiently waits in line for a frolicking dip in the Mara River.
- Soaking up the feeling of being in a whole landscape alert with life, and being part of it.
- Watching lion cubs play hide and seek among grassy tussocks.
- Game drives in peaceful search of the Big Five (and maybe the elusive Little Five: rhinoceros beetles, buffalo weavers, leopard tortoises (not so mini, really; they can weigh as much as three standard bowling balls), ant lions, and extremely shy elephant shrews, which weigh not much more than an elephant’s tear.
- Quad biking and horsebacking on the acacia-accented savannah.
- Camel treks in the Mara’s hills.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Located in Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater is one of our solar system’s greatest geographic ornaments, a gorgeous natural Eden the size of 75 Central Parks, home to 30,000 free-roaming animals. All-in-all, a superlative safari destination.
Things to do in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Reveling in the world-uniqueness of the 100-square mile crater, standing on its grassy floor realizing that a couple of million years ago we’d be stuck in a fierce volcano with thousands of feet of rock over our heads.
- Watching hippos galumph in waterholes, wondering, like Peter Matthiessen, how the huge beasts could have found their way into the crater.
- Horsebacking and mountain biking on the crater’s lush slopes, based on the idyllic Manor at Ngorongoro, followed by a vitalizing swim in its pool.
- Standing on the deck at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge on the crater’s rim, looking 2,000 feet down at elephants ambling and beautifully designed zebras flowing across the acacia-dotted landscape.
- Breathing in the pure air of the African highlands.
Kruger National Park
Kruger is South Africa’s most famous and its largest park—almost 5,700 Central Parks would fit neatly into its classic, golden veldt, river-crossed, acacia-dotted African landscapes. Classic is a good umbrella word for Kruger. Founded in 1926, it’s a source of great South African pride, a conservation model, and as the beautiful home of all the Big Five, along with 142 other mammal species, quite probably the most of any African park.
The Okavango Delta
If we had to pick the most miraculous African place of all, it might well be the Okavango Delta, where the 1,000-mile-long Okavango River gives up on its search for an outlet to the sea and seeps life-givingly into the sands of the Kalahari, one of the world’s most uncompromising deserts, creating a vast and mesmerizing oasis.
The Okavango Delta is a unique pulsing wetland that covers between 6 and 15 000 square kilometres of the Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana and owes its existence to the Okavango (Kavango) River which flows from the Angolan highlands, across Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and into the harsh Kalahari Desert.
Tourists hoping to see the natural world will not lack for attractions on an African Safari, other places worth seeing include Yankari Games Reserve and Obudu Cattle Ranch in Nigeria, the Victoria Falls shared between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Kalahari desert in Botswana and Mount Kenya which the locals refer to as the seat of Ngai, God himself due to its sheer magnificence.