2 Animals That Live In The Savanna And Are Related The Best Safaris in Africa

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The Best Safaris in Africa

As you drive through the picturesque savanna landscape, tall grass and pristine acacia trees cover the horizon. Animal sightings are overwhelming. At first glance you’ll rush to your camera to snap a photo of the grazing animals; giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, impala, waterbuck and oryx. It is incredible to think how many centuries they have roamed these lands. The real hunt while on safari is looking for the Big Five. Find elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, leopards and of course lions, all come in time. On some safaris, they can come in one day.

Have you always wanted to go on a safari, but imagined an exorbitant price tag? If you’re looking for a good safari on a budget, some are easily accessible, self-drive is allowed and the entrance fees are wallet-friendly. What about packing for a safari? There are a few essential things to remember. With our top picks in Africa, you’ll see all the expected animals, including a good chance at the Big Five.

What animals will I see on Safari?

It is normal to see lots of wildlife and it can be overwhelming at times. Expect to see LOTS of wild bees and antelope. Some parks have lots of elephants and giraffes. Depending on your luck and patience, seeing Lions is common, but you may only see a few. Seeing leopards and rhinos is rare. They are in many parks, but they are elusive. Leopards tend to hide in trees while Rhinos stay away from vehicles.

Can I go on a Safari on a budget?

Yes, you absolutely can! East African safaris cost more, starting with the Serengeti and Masai Mara. If you’re on a tight budget, scratch your plans to visit those parks, because they’ll add up to a few hundred each day you visit. While they are worth it, they are not budget friendly. Safaris in South Africa and Namibia are excellent, which have very cheap entry fees and you can drive yourself in a small sedan. Renting a car is cheap in those places, making a safari very affordable. Another way to save money on safari is to bring or rent a tent. National Parks in Namibia and SA have campsites and it gets expensive if you don’t intend to camp.

What is the best Safari in Africa?

Every safari is unique. Landscapes create a different environment for what you see every day. Some make it very difficult to detect animals, while others are open and much easier. Some safaris need a 4×4 and you usually need to hire a driver, especially those in East Africa. Self-driving is allowed on most safaris in Southern Africa, great for those independent travelers or backpackers on a budget. Finding the best safari in Africa for YOU depends on what you’re looking for, but you’ll probably find it in one of these parks:

Best Safari in Africa:

Masai Mara National Park, Kenya

What to expect:

This iconic park, when one thinks of safaris, rolling savannahs teeming with animal life unlike any other, the Masai Mara fits the bill. Known for decades as the premier park in Africa, the action here can’t be beat. Within minutes you can see lions, rhinos, a leopard and some cheetahs. The big 5 are all in this park and you have a good chance of seeing them all, maybe even in one day. Come during the Wildebeest migration between July and early September for more action and the famous river crossing, with the best time to come in early September.

• Self-driving is an option. Park requires 4×4 only.

• The cost of entering the park is $80 per day.

• Camping is available from $7 – $15 per person outside the park gates.

Norongoro Crater National Park, Tanzania

What to expect:

Norongoro Crater is the largest inactive, unfilled caldera in the world, with the floor itself over 100 square miles (260 sq km). The wildlife is impressive. Elephants, buffalo, giraffe and lions graze inside the crater. Elephants spend their last days in the Norongoro Crater. They travel hundreds of kilometers just to get there. The views are stunning with the crater walls surrounding the flat plains, and the wildlife is dense considering the size of the crater. It is a common side excursion as a day trip during the Serengeti safari.

• Self-driving is an option. They only require 4×4.

• The cost of entering the park is $60 per day plus 18% VAT and $40 per day for the vehicle.

• Camping is $30 per night per person.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

What to expect:

When most think of the great game parks and some of the most iconic parks in Africa, the Serengeti is often the first thing that rolls off the tongue. This famous park in Tanzania borders the Masai Mara in the South and is a large park. With over 3,000 lions and 1,000 leopards, the Serengeti is home to what many say is the largest population of big cats in Africa. There are also over 2 million wildebeest, of which over 1.5 million annually migrate north into the Masai Mara as part of the Great Migration. Come during the migration between July and early September for more action and famous river crossings, with the best time to come in early September.

• Self-driving is an option. They only require 4×4.

• The cost of entering the park is $60 per day plus 18% VAT and $40 per day for the vehicle.

• Camping is $30 per night per person.

Etosha National Park, Namibia

What to expect:

This gem of a park in Namibia, not far from the picturesque Namib Sand Dunes, is one of the best parks in Africa. It is a very large park with a central salt flat that floods during the rainy season. The park has excellent walks along the salt and savanna, as well as through the forest. Many natural and man-made watering holes help animals congregate, especially during the dry season. There are three main camping areas with watering holes for night viewing. The park is teeming with wildlife. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, antelopes and elephants. everyone calls Etosha home. We had several close encounters with lions. A mother cheetah tried to kill the antelope with her two young cubs. Hundreds of giraffes would gather for some water. Etosha was one of our favorite safaris and is a great option for those on a budget. For quality of animals and accessibility, this may be the best budget safari in Africa. The best time to visit is from May to October during the dry season.

• Self-drive is an option and 4×4 is not required.

• Park entry fee is $6 per day plus $2 per car per day.

• Campsites for up to 8 people cost $18 per night.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

What to expect:

Mountain gorillas can only be found in the four National Parks that border the Virunga Mountains. You can visit Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in Congo, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has the most mountain gorillas of all the parks, home to nearly 400 of the 900 living mountain gorillas. Sightings are daily and you can often track large families with several large male backs as well as young gorillas. This is unique to most African safaris in that you are only looking for one species and it is entirely on foot, but the memories of this one can overpower all others.

• The best time to visit is from May to September when it is not the rainy season. Prices are lower during the rainy season, making this a good time for those on a budget.

• Bwindi Mountain Trekking costs $600 per person during high season and $450 during low season (April, May and November).

• Camping costs $5 per person in the national park and $7-10 at rest camps outside the park.

Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

What to expect:

This very underrated park is perhaps the most diverse of these parks. It hosts the largest waterfall of the Nile River, Murchison Falls, along with excellent game drives and scenic Nile River boat cruises. The delta here near Lake Albert offers excellent views of hippos and birds. The savannah is stunning with rolling hills. We loved the unique landscape in Murchison which was dotted with palm trees, a rare occurrence in the savannah. The park is home to many giraffes, hippos, exotic birds, lions, antelopes, buffalo, crocodiles and the occasional leopard. There are also chimpanzee tours available. The best time to visit is from May to September.

• Self-drive is an option and 4×4 is not required.

• The cost of entering the park is $40 per day.

• Camping is $8 per person at Red Chili Rest Camp.

Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

What to expect:

The Moremi Game Reserve in northwestern Botswana is located near the Okavango Delta, which is worth a visit when you go to Moremi. This park is one of the best safaris for self-drive enthusiasts. Thick sandy roads make for fun, but difficult driving conditions through forests and smaller open fields. You can drive in for a few days, or take a longer trip through Moremi to Chobe for a 5 to 7 day Safari. Wildlife is abundant with elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, antelopes, lions, leopards, hyenas and rare wild dogs. The best time to visit is from June to September during the dry season, but when flood waters are at their highest in the Okavango River Delta.

• Self-driving is an option. They only require 4×4.

• Park entry fee is $11 per day plus $5 per day per vehicle.

• Camping costs range from $15 to $50 per person depending on each campsite.

Chobe National Park, Botswana

What to expect:

Chobe National Park is one of the major parks in Africa and has some of the densest concentrations of animals in Africa. They host the second largest number of elephants in Africa. Animals come for hundreds of miles to make the journey up the Chobe River. Along with Moremi, this park is great for paddling enthusiasts. Their game drives are great, but the real bonus is the Chobe River. Take a sunset boat cruise and watch as elephants cross the river, hundreds of hippos eating, exotic birds, crocs lying down and many other animals can be spotted. The occasional lion can be found on the banks of the river grabbing a drink. The best time to visit is from May to September.

• Self-driving is an option. They only require 4×4.

• The cost of entering the park is $7 per day.

• Camping costs range from $15 to $50 per person depending on each campsite.

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