Where are the best places to take your first safari? : Africa is a vast continent with diverse ecosystems and fauna that differ depending on the area, ranging from the limitless savannahs of East Africa to the marine-rich coast of South Africa and the gorilla-inhabited rainforests of Rwanda. However, if this is your first time going on a safari, South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania are the three nations that will make your safari dreams come true.
Where are the best places to take your first safari : South Africa.
The best destination to have your first safari experience is South Africa, with its mix of towns, coastline, and wildlife reserves. While visiting the Rainbow Nation, one day you might be trekking up Table Mountain or enjoying wine in Constantia, and the next, you might be seeing whales in Hermanus or taking in the sights at Kruger National Park.
Because of South Africa’s varied regions, there is always a good place to go on safari, weather permitting, no matter when you go. The Eastern Cape and the Greater Kruger National Park are the most well-liked destinations for safari travellers. Both provide luxurious accommodation with treehouses where guests may sleep beneath the stars and are home to the Big Five. Remember the Marine Big Five as well; Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay, two Garden Route locations, are great places to see whales, dolphins, sharks, seals, and penguins.
Where are the best places to take your first safari : Kenya.
Kenya was the pioneer of safari, as books like Born Free and Out of Africa exemplify. This is where the famous African photos of wide, sun-burned savannahs peppered with termite mounds and acacias first appeared. It is home to the Masai MaraNational Reserve, a big cat hotspot that facilitates the yearly Great Migration, and is among the best spots in the world to see the Big Five. Between July and October, millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles storm across the plains in search of lush grasses and water. This is a natural event.
Although a trip to the Masai Mara National Reserve is essential, Kenya offers first-time safari visitors much more. The Special Five the Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx, and gerenuk live in the parched Samburu plains and the bird-studded Great Rift Valley lakes, which are accessible from Nairobi, the country’s dynamic capital. Experience the main attractions
Kenya with our Taste of Kenya itinerary, which also offers the option to add a beach break on the fine white sands of Watamu and Diani for some post-safari relaxation.
Kenya is home to an astonishing array of camps and hotels accessible by road or bush airstrips, making it the original safari heavyweight. The Governors’ Safari combines lodging in some of the most illustrious and historic camps in Africa, situated in prime wildlife viewing areas, with luxury extras like hot air balloon excursions. Without going on an ethical cultural excursion to visit the renowned Maasai people who have roamed this area for millennia, a trip to Kenya is not complete.
Where are the best places to take your first safari : Tanzania.
The northern circuit of Tanzania is perfect for a short first safari, such as our Classic Tanzania itinerary. After arriving in Arusha via air, go west to Lake Manyara National Park, home to a plethora of bird species. The UNESCO-listed Ngorongoro Crater, a natural amphitheatre formed by a volcanic collapse millions of years ago, is only a short drive north. The crater, which is home to 30,000 species, including the Big Five, guarantees sightings of wildlife.
With its limitless grasslands, the Serengeti is the last stop on the circuit. You can track the herds here for most of the year if seeing the Great Migration is your top safari destination. Large-scale wildebeest calvings occur in the grasslands during the winter, and by summer, the animals are migrating across the Grumeti River to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. In addition to the migration, the national park manages a rhino conservation initiative and offers year-round excellent animal watching.
Tanzania furthermore offers the opportunity to mix a safari with a little beach time in Zanzibar. This group of Spice Islands is a gem in the Indian Ocean, offering tours of Stone Town’s history, private villas fit for a honeymoon, and protected marine parks with world-class diving. The ideal way to cap off your first safari.
Tips for your first safari.
Are you prepared for the safari of a lifetime in Africa? Here are some first-time safari tips to help you get started, along with our comprehensive Safari Essentials Guide to help you get ready:
When to travel – this largely depends on weather and migration patterns, which vary by country. Because they congregate around water sources during the dry season, animals are easier to see, but during the wet season, parks can be challenging to manage.
Safari length – this will likely depend on your budget but between three days and a week is a good guide for a first-time safari. In order to counterbalance the early beginnings and rough 4×4 trips, think about scheduling a beach vacation and adding some city sightseeing or cultural tours.
Getting around – you’ll get around on safari using 4x4s and light aircrafts. If you rent a private vehicle, your guide will customize the safari to suit your interests and you can go at your own speed. However, because you may share guides and transportation, small group tours are less expensive and let you meet other tourists.
What to pack – neutral-colored clothing works best for safaris, with long sleeves and trousers to protect from bugs and sun. For chilly evenings around the campfire and early mornings, dress in layers. Sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, and a swimsuit are also necessities for poolside resorts. Investing in binoculars and a high-quality camera might significantly enhance your gaming excursions. But keep in mind that most light aircraft only allow 15 kilograms of soft luggage, so bring as little as possible.