Where to do a safari in Africa ?

Did you just watch the Lion King or a documentary on African animals? Or do you simply love animals and want to realize in a dream by going to meet them by organizing your first safari? However, by inquiring you quickly understood that there are many parks in Africa that allow you to go on a safari, but you don’t know which one to choose?

Don’t worry, I offer you here a quick summary that will allow you to choose the best country to go on your safari.

What is the best time to go on a safari in Africa?

In general, the African continent enjoys a relatively pleasant climate throughout the year.

However, since this continent is immense, each African country has its own specific climatic characteristics

However, in each country where it is possible to go on a safari, there is usually a rainy season around March to June. For some countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, there is another rainy season around November-December.

It is therefore preferable to opt for a safari during the dry season, which is between June and October

However, going on a safari during the rainy season does not mean that you will have rain during your entire stay.

Also, you must take into account migration periods, for example, if you want to see wildebeest migration in Tanzania in particular, the ideal period is from March to June, during the rainy season.

Don’t worry, it is possible to go on safari at any time of the year in most African countries.

Top 10 countries for safari in Africa 

This list summarizes the 10 best countries in Africa where you can go on a safari:

  • Botswana: Central African country with a very dense fauna and flora. Botswana safaris are booked for high and luxurious budgets.
  • Tanzania: Located on the Indian Ocean, Tanzania is home to many national parks. There is a very high concentration of animals and a variety of landscapes. Safaris in Tanzania are generally cheaper than those in Botswana, more accessible, but not the cheapest.
  • Uganda: Uganda is particularly known for its safaris that allow chimpanzees and gorillas to be approached as closely as possible. This is the best place to observe these majestic animals. The Bwindi Forest is home to half of the world’s mountain gorilla population.
  • Kenya: A safari in Kenya is probably one of the most affordable, but you will also find mass tourism there. It is probably the African country with the highest number of safari tourists. Obviously, wildlife is very important in this country. Indeed, the Masai Mara is home to the largest wildebeest migration in the world.
  • Namibia: This is probably the best place to go on a free safari. It is possible to rent a 4×4 for a free safari in the middle of Namibia’s exceptional landscapes.
  • South Africa: Kruger Park is easily accessible to independent people. The main criticism is that this park is more like a developed park than a nature reserve. 
  • Zambia: Foot safaris are probably the best in Zambia. The country’s parks are home to a varied and magnificent fauna and flora.
  • Zimbabwe
  • Malawi 
  • Mozambique 

Safari in Africa: what type of safari for which country?

At present, it is possible to go on a safari in different ways in most countries. Some countries specialize in one type of safari and others in others.

Safari in Africa by hot air balloon

Safari in Africa

During your safari, you can also book a hot air balloon ride over the national parks. This experience will offer you a breathtaking view of the fauna and flora from the sky. 

However, this adventure is not given to everyone because it requires an extra cost. Indeed, count between US$300 and $700 for a few hours of flight over the national parks depending on the country.

A hot air balloon flight is possible over the Serengeti in Tanzania or over the Masai Mara in Kenya and even in South Africa.

Safari in Africa by taxi plane 

Whether in Botswana or Tanzania, it is possible to take a safari by taxi. These are small aircraft that can accommodate only a few passengers.

In Botswana you can fly over the Okavango Delta.

However, be aware that these safaris are much more expensive than « normal » safaris (for example, US$5,500 / person for 7 days in Tanzania).

Safari in Africa by canoe or on foot

This type of safari is ideal for experiencing a different safari and staying active.

Without any engine noise and as close to nature as possible, a canoe or walking safari, although requiring good discipline, will remain etched in your memory forever with a mixture of excitement and thrills.

Canoe and walking safaris are available in many countries (Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Malawi, Namibia). However, it is advisable to do this kind of safari in Zambia. For walking safaris we can recommend South Luangwa and for canoe safaris we recommend Lower Zambezi.

Safari in Africa in a luxury lodge

It is possible to enjoy a safari in a Lodge in all African countries offering safaris. However, comfort levels differ according to the options chosen. 

For a safari with an unlimited budget and maximum comfort and luxury, I advise you to go to Botswana, believe me, you will not be disappointed. 

Safari in Africa by car tour

Several African countries offer the possibility of independent safaris. 

Indeed, it is possible to rent a 4×4 and visit the reserves freely and at your own pace. 

For this type of safari, it is preferable to go to Namibia or South Africa.

In South Africa you can organize your safari alone in Kruger Park, while in Namibia it will be in Etosha Parks as well as the deserts of Damaraland and Namib.

Safari in Africa by car with a guide

The 4×4 safari with a guide is the most common. Indeed, this type of safari is offered in all countries where it is possible to do a safari. 

However, this formula necessarily has a higher price than a safari done by autotour or on foot. This is the preferred option for tourists

For this type of safari, the choice of country is made according to your budget and of course your preferences.

Safari in Africa: which country for which budget?

The budget you have at your disposal will probably allow you to make your final choice.

A safari is necessarily an adventure that is not cheap. You will not find extremely low prices for this type of service. However, depending on the country, the price for a safari is different.

Safari in Africa: low budget

For small budgets wishing to go on a safari at any price, the cheapest destination is undeniably South Africa

Indeed, count about 150€ per day per person for a safari in South Africa, especially in the Kruger park. 

However, when you wish to sleep in a park, an extra charge will be payable, probably 50€ per night.

Safari in Africa: average budget

With a slightly larger budget, between 150€ and 200€, you can choose Namibia. There, you can rent a 4×4 to visit the parks and camp in your car. 

If you choose this country, I strongly advise you to visit Etosha Park.

As everywhere, if you sleep inside the park, an extra charge will be charged. 

Safari in Africa: high budget

For a higher budget, I recommend that you choose a country such as Tanzania or Kenya.

Indeed, these destinations are among the most popular safari destinations

There is an exceptional and rich fauna and flora.

For a safari in these two countries, count around 200€ to 250€ per day and per person.

Please also note that there is a price difference between these two destinations. 

If you are unsure between these two destinations, I suggest you read my article « safari in Kenya or Tanzania » to help you make your choice.

Safari in Africa: very high budget

This type of safari is reserved for large budgets. Whether for a honeymoon, a honeymoon, a trip of a lifetime or simply to indulge yourself for a few days or weeks.

For this type of budget, I advise you to go to Botswana. This is the most suitable destination for « luxury » safaris with splendid Lodges in the middle of the savannah. For this kind of safari, count more than 250€ per day and per person.

Also, a safari to see the famous gorillas in Uganda is very expensive but it is an exceptional adventure to do.

Safari in Africa: how to lower prices?

Obviously, a safari is expensive, however, there are some tips to get the price down if you don’t get the quotes you receive.

Here are some tips I can give you to lower the prices for a safari:

  • Choice of season to go on safari: in order to lower the season as much as possible, choose to go during the low seasons. The low season is often the rainy season, which will potentially earn you a few hundred euros.
  • The more people in the car, the lower the price of the safari per person: keep in mind when negotiating with the tourist agency or the guide directly
  • Avoid going through an agency and prefer to go directly with a guide: this will allow you to avoid paying the intermediary who is the agency that takes a large part of the price you pay for your safari
  • Sleep outside the parks if possible: this reduces your bill because one night inside a park drastically increases the price of the safari
  • Choose the parks and reserves you want to visit carefully: to reduce the price of a safari as much as possible, try to go off the beaten track, in less tourist parks. For example, in Tanzania, prefer southern parks to northern parks. 
  • If you have the opportunity, rent your own car instead of taking a guide, it will save you some money.
  • NEGOTIATE! Once you have received your quote(s) if you wish to use a travel agency, do not forget to negotiate. The agencies are taking a nice margin on the price of safaris. Unfortunately, it is not the guides who are paid a lot… You can therefore allow yourself to negotiate in order to obtain the best possible price. To give you an example, I went on a 5-day safari in Tanzania in the northern parks. After asking several people, I was given prices between $1800 and $1100. It took me several days of negotiation to get the prices down for $850 for one person.

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