The type of safari you would like is very much a personal decision. The main thing to consider when designing a trip is to consider what destination you had in mind and wildlife you would like to see. We know that Africa’s wildlife is a big reason why people choose to travel here, whether you are hoping to see all of the classic Big Five or a selection of rarer species. Below, we created a series of guides on the wildlife found in our favorite destinations, including Tanzania, Botswana, and South Africa. We've also created helpful guides on where to find specific animals and wildlife in Safari Africa:
With the YZ team made up of ex-professional safari guides, we know a thing or two about wildlife! Every trip we design is tailor-made, depending entirely on the destinations you've had your heart set on and the wildlife you've been waiting to see!
Do you have a destination in mind?
Africa’s amazing diversity provides some very contrasting safari experiences, from the wide open savannahs of Kenya and Tanzania to the wetlands of the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the wilderness of Zambia. Add to this the natural beauty of the Namib Desert, the South African private reserves, and an excellent range of luxurious camps and lodges, as well as experienced and knowledgeable guides, and you are presented with some outstanding game-viewing experiences!
For first-time visitors, Kenya and Tanzania are a good option – each is a great Big Five destination, boasting lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. Both countries offer some of the most fascinating wildlife experiences anywhere – and if you are traveling in late May/early June, then you will be fortunate enough to witness the annual migrations across the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara! This is when game in their thousands move across the plains in search of new grazing land, in a journey that attracts hundreds of predators.
In addition to all the wildlife, Kenya has some wonderful beaches, providing ideal bush-and-beach combinations! Tanzania offers two main safari circuits. These are the northern routes and the southern parks. The northern routes tend to focus on the remarkable natural amphitheater of Ngorongoro Crater and the wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park, whereas the southern parks are usually less busy and require flights into the region. There are fewer crowds in the southern parks, which is always a welcome feature!
Botswana is certainly at the top of the list of the best safari destinations. This country provides an amazing array of wilderness encounters, from the famous herds of elephants at Chobe, to a sunset mokoro boat ride along the stunning waterways of the Okavango. With excellent wildlife, brilliant lodges, and Victoria Falls close by, Botswana will not fail to impress!
Zambia is renowned for its walking safaris, allowing close-up wildlife encounters that will leave you mesmerized! This country is considered to be one of the most natural safari destinations, offering a wealth of inspiring landscapes from South Luangwa to the mighty Zambezi River.
South Africa is also a great option, inviting you to combine your safari with culture, fine dining, and excellent accommodation, whereas Namibia, although not abundant in wildlife, is a country of incredible beauty, with the golden towering sand dunes of the Namib Desert and the saltpans of Etosha National Park, home to the iconic oryx!
Do you have a specific animal you want to see?
The Big Five
A Big Five safari to Africa will include sightings of lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant, and rhino! Here’s our guide to where you can see Africa’s Big Five on a safari.
A member of the Big Five, for good reason, is the lion considered King of Beasts! Here’s the YZ guide to the best places to see lions in the wild in Africa.
The most elusive of the Big Five members, leopards can be tricky to spot, so here’s our guide to the best places to observe these beautiful cats.
Below, you’ll find the YZ top 12 places to see elephants as well as our recommended safari camp or lodge. We reckon there’s something to suit all types of travelers here!
We’ve selected our top places in Africa to see rhino, from walking safaris in remote Zimbabwe to conservation excursions with the ‘Save the Rhino’ trackers in Namibia.
Seeing buffalo on an African safari is probably the easiest of the Big Five members to spot. However, just because they are prevalent and move in large, obvious herds, doesn’t make them any less fascinating. Here’s our favorite places to spot them:
Breakfast with giraffes
With just 12 rooms and a breakfast experience that remains unparalleled by any other wildlife encounter, Giraffe Manor often has no availability for up to two years. However, to help you live out your dream, we’ve compiled an in-the-know cheat sheet on how to get a room with a giraffe-view.
The Marine Big Five
Once you’ve spent a few days scouring the bush for them in a safari vehicle, how about an alternative safari experience, searching for Africa’s Marine Big Five? This is whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, and penguins!
The Mysterious Five
Once you have been on a few safaris, the challenge of spotting the Big Five seems to fade and you begin to search for some of the more elusive creatures, lurking in the shadows. Cue the ‘Mysterious Five’…
Many people design their trips to give them the best chance of seeing the endangered wild dog. It has been reported that there are only around seven thousand left in the wild, and here's our top 5 places to see them.
Discover the best places to see whale sharks in Africa stretching from southern Mozambique up to northern Kenya on your tailor-made safari vacation.