If you’re looking for the perfect African travel destinations, you’ve come to the right place!

Africa, the second largest continent, with the largest desert, the Sahara, the longest and deepest rivers, the Nile and the Congo, amazing scenery, fauna and flora and cultures.

Africa has perhaps the world’s largest combination of density, range of freedom of wild animal populations and diversity.  Wild populations of large carnivores such as lions, leopards and cheetahs, and herbivores, buffalo, elephants and giraffes, ranging freely on the plains.

Africa is also home to a variety of jungle animals including snakes, primates like gorillas, chimpanzees and other ape species, and aquatic animals, crocodiles and amphibians.

Additionally Africa has the largest number of megafauna species, as it was least affected by the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna.

But, where to go and what to see? Of the 54 African countries, with 3000 protected areas, 198 marine protected areas, 50 biosphere reserves, and 80 wetlands, here are our top 5 destinations.

1. Namibia


Any visit to Namibia must include a visit to Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the southern part of the Namib Desert.

The beauty of one of the most rugged landscapes on earth has to be seen to be believed. See some of the world’s highest sand dunes, some nearly 400 metres high. There are many dunes in the area, but most people want to see the world-famous Big Daddy and Dune 45. Slide down the dunes or walk around the vlei below admiring the cascading dunes in all their glory.

Namibia has desert elephants, shipwrecks on the skeleton coast and incredible stargazing with clear, dark skies with no light pollution. In fact, the NamibRand Nature Reserve has been named an International Dark Sky Reserve.

Namibia has a lot more to offer, history, archaeology, cuisine and friendly welcoming people. A trip to Namibia will leave you with fond memories. 

2. Botswana


In one word, Okavango. 

Visiting the Okavango Delta is a unique experience. The Okavango River rises in Angola and flows through the Caprivi Strip before spreading out in an alluvial fan covering between 6,000 and 15,000 square kilometres of Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana.  

Wildlife populations exhibit a seasonal shift between the arid desert region that surrounds the delta and the Okavango Delta itself. During the wet season, large grazers, followed by predators, move out to take advantage of lush grazing that surrounds the delta. In the winter dry season animals move back to the delta.

Wildlife of the Okavango Delta includes African Bush Elephant, African Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Lechwe, Topi, Blue Wildebeest, Giraffe, Nile crocodile, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Brown Hyena, Spotted Hyena, Greater Kudu, Sable Antelope, Black Rhinoceros, White Rhinoceros, Plains Zebra, Warthog and Chacma Baboon. 

African Wild Dogs still survive in the Okavango Delta and one of the largest concentrations can be found here. 

With 530 bird species, 160 mammal,155 reptiles, 35 amphibian and 1500 plant species, there is something for everyone.

Moving on from the Okavango, Botswana offers many other superb parks such as Central Kalahari Reserve, Chobe and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. A trip to Botswana leaves visitors spoilt for choice.

3. Zambia


If for no other reason, visit Zambia for the greatest mammal migration on earth when more than 10 million straw-coloured fruit bats make their way to Kasanka National Park between October and December.

At only 470 square kilometres, Kasanka is one of the smallest national parks in Zambia, yet it has a rich biodiversity due to its location within wetlands and floodplains. In addition to the millions of straw-coloured fruit bats, the park is home to nearly 500 bird species and 114 mammals, including a small, recovering population of elephants. Puku and sitatunga are common sights, while lucky visitors may see buffalo, antelope and other more elusive mammals.

Apart from Kasanka, Zambia offers visitors 20 national parks and 34 game management areas in the country.  South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi rank among the finest national parks in the world. 

4. Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe has much to offer the visitor, but a must have experience is feeling the spray from Mosi-oa-Tunya, The Smoke That Thunders, cooling your face. Victoria Falls is an iconic African destination. 

The country is an under-estimated destination and as such is less crowded, usually with no queues at wildlife sites which gives a more immersive and personal experience.

Speaking of wildlife, Zimbabwe has several excellent parks, such as Hwange and the Matobo National Park. Lake Kariba also offers the opportunity to catch one of the world’s best fighting fish, the tigerfish. 

Zimbabwe yields a truly African experience.

5. Tanzania


Two exceptionally good reasons to add Tanzania to your destination list are Kilimanjaro towering over the savannah and the wildebeest migration. 

Tanzania also has the largest concentration and diversity of animals in Africa and there are over 1000 bird species to spot in the country. It is home to some of the most famous game parks in the world such as the Selous (Nyerere) Game Reserve, home to more than 120,000 elephants, 160,000 buffalos and 2000 rhinos. Selous is also home to large concentrations of hippos, crocodiles and wild dogs.

Tanzania also offers spectacular beaches and Zanzibar has a fascinating history, which is worth discovering. Whatever your safari expectations, Tanzania will more than satisfy them.

These are our favourite African travel destinations, but wherever you wish to go in Africa, whether a single destination or a combination, talk to John at John Pearse Safaris to tailor-make you a bespoke, individualised safari.