A Guide to the Best Attractions in Africa

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Top National Parks in Africa

Being the second largest continent on the globe, Africa is very diverse. This beautiful land includes many national parks and game reserves. Here are the top National Parks in Africa.

1- Serengeti, Tanzania 

 

Famous for the annual migration of over 1.5 million variants of different animals, Serengeti National Park is the main attraction in Tanzania. Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya are Africa’s most diverse ecosystems. 

 

Wildlife

 

Being one of the greatest wilderness areas in the world, the national park supports a diverse number of animals, from the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and black rhino) to impala, kongoni, topi, giraffe, and Grant’s gazelle.

 

The park is famous for its predators such as lion and cheetah, leopards, exciting lion kills, serval cats, African wild dogs, spotted hyenas, and golden and black-backed jackal.

 

The highlight of Serengeti is the Great Migration, an annual circular movement of wildebeest, gazelle, zebra towards the neighbouring park in Kenya, the Masai Mara and then back to Serengeti.

 

Things to Do 

 

Sunrise game drive is a perfect way to observe  leopards, lions, cheetahs, hyenas and many others. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride to witness the park from thousands feet above. Spot an excellent view while witnessing the inhabitants of the park along with the tranquil atmosphere.

 

Location: a remote corner in the north of Tanzania

 

Best Time to Visit: the dry season, from late June to October

2- Masai Mara, Kenya 

 

Wildlife

 

Wildlife in Masai Mara is really rich where ippopotami and crocodiles are found in large groups. There are also Hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, lions, leopards, and big cats. 

 

Almost 470 species of birds are spotted in the park, many of which are migrants, with almost 60 species being raptors.

 

Birds at this area are seen at least one time in the year including marabou storks, vultures, secretary birds, ostriches, long-crested eagles, hornbills, crowned cranes, African pygmy-falcons and the lilac-breasted roller, which is the national bird of Kenya.

 

Things to Do 

 

A safari drive is the highlight of touring in the Masai Mara. It is a great chance to search and spot the iconic animals. Visitors have a high chance to see the big five, along with lions, elephants, rhinoceros, giraffes, cape buffalo, gazelles, antelopes, Nile crocodiles, wildebeest zebra and more.

 

Location: the Great Rift Valley, almost 3500 miles stretching from the Red Sea of Ethiopia through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and into Mozambique


Best time to visit: the dry season between June to October and the short and long rains in January and February

3- Amboseli, Kenya

 

Amboseli is pretty famous for its views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Located across the border of Tanzania, the park features various wildlife species from giraffes, cheetahs and zebras to hundreds of bird species.

 

Wildlife 

  

80 different mammals, ranging from the tiny spectacled elephant shrew to the huge bulk of the African elephant are spotted in the park. There are also more than 400 bird species.

 

Things to Do

 

The best thing to do in Amboseli is wildlife viewing of the elephants roaming the plains. Enjoy watching them splashing and foraging in Ol Okenya Swamp, during much of the day.

 

An excellent experience is to visit the Elephant Research Camp where elephants live a rich and protected life, but they are also keenly studied.

 

Location: northwest of Mountain Kilimanjaro, on the Kenya/Tanzania borders

 

Best time to visit: the dry season, from June to October

4- Queen Elizabeth, Uganda

 

Being the most visited national park in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most famous national parks around the world. It is a very well known savannah reserve with various wildlife among all the parks in the country.

 

Wildlife

 

The park is home to the African buffalo, Ugandan kob, hippopotamus, Nile crocodile, African bush elephant, African leopard, lion, and chimpanzee. It includes over 95 mammal species and over 500 bird species.  

 

Things to Do 

 

One of the best things to do in all of Africa is watching the tree climbing lions of Ishasha. It is a unique scene to witness a lion climbing and not a thing to see everyday. 

 

 

Birdwatching is another excellent experience in the park, as it is one of the top birding spots in Uganda. It is a haven for over 500 bird species. It is a pleasure for birdwatching enthusiasts. 

 

Bird species include Sedge warbles, Pink backed Pelican, Yellow throated Cuckoo, the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Papyrus canary. Flamingos can be spotted at  Katwe and Bunyampaba salt lakes.

 

Location: western part of Uganda, between Lake George and Lake Albert

 

Best Time to Visit: The dry season from June to February

5- Nairobi, Kenya

 

Nairobi National Park is the only national park all over the world that is close to a capital city. 

 

Wildlife

 

Mammals spotted in the park include African buffalo, baboon, black rhinoceros, Grant's gazelle, hippopotamus, leopard, lion, Thomson's gazelle, Burchell's zebra, cheetah, Coke's hartebeest, eland, impala, Masai giraffe, ostrich, vulture, and waterbuck.

 

Nairobi park has a high number of bird species, up to 500 permanent species. 

 

Things to Do 

 

Going on a game drive is the highlight of Nairobi National Park. The contrast of seeing animals in such an urban setting attracts so many visitors every year. 

 

Situated inside the park, Elephant and Rhino Nursery of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a must visit. Get close with elephants and watch baby elephants and rhinos that were rescued and being cared for. 

 

Location: just 7 km south of Nairobi

 

Best Time to Visit: during the dry months, from July to October, and also January and February