African holidays are becoming ever more popular as the continent opens itself up and becomes more accessible for visitors from elsewhere. Safari trips to see the fantastic wildlife that only Africacan supply are now within the means of many people from across the globe. Whilst South Africaand Kenyaremain popular as safari destinations, other countries are also now offering wildlife tours and experiences, unique to their areas. Scenery, wildlife and culture is a heady mix in these exciting trips.
Tanzania is one such destination. As well as being the home of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, there are also some of the continent’s best national parks. Serengeti is justifiably world famous, but Ngorongoro’s volcanic, often otherworldly mountain landscape is difficult to conceive unless you have visited it. Elsewhere in Tanzania, safari holidays are enlivened by the presence of the Maasai tribes, still living in largely the same way that they have for generations.
Another East African nation, which has opened up considerably to wildlife visitors in recent years, is Uganda. The country has ten national parks and is making eco-tourism a foundation plank of its plan for economic growth and progress. Kibale Forest is the place to visit here for anyone fond of chimpanzees, whilst Lake Mburo has some of Africa’s best locations for watching hippos and zebras. There are also some great locations to see that rare and gentle primate, the gorilla.
Healing Gorilla Country
Another country where gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat is Rwanda, a place that is still in the process of recovering from the horrendous events of the genocide and war, which occurred in the last two decades. Thankfully, things are much more peaceful in the country now, which welcomes visitors and works hard to preserve the environment in which gorillas can thrive. Safari holidays to Rwanda involve a lot of mountain and forest trekking and are one of Africa’s most mystical adventures.
Many people head for an African safari to see big cats and Botswana is one of the best places to see animals like lions and leopards, as well as some of Africa’s wild canines, such as hyenas. There are some wonderful private concession areas here, where professional photographers often guide the visitors to the really prime locations to see and also to photograph animals like lions and leopards.
However, South Africa remains one of the world’s top safari locations. The great range of facilities and urban locations situated close to iconic venues such as Kruger Park helps to make the country especially welcoming. Kruger states in its publicity material that it offers the most diverse game viewing experience in Africa and it would be hard to dispute that assertion.
Whilst visitors can see the classic animals like big cats and wildebeest, the South African landscapes are epic and there is also superb fishing on offer. South African tour operators tend to cater well for family groups and there are a number of walking safari experiences on offer in Kruger Park.
Africa is a magical continent where everyone can feel some sense of belonging. There are few other places on the planet where a visitor is treated to so much in the way of wondrous spectacle.
Sandy van den Boom writes regularly on African safari and travel options for several different travel blogs and websites.