Africa is the continent of the animal kingdom. It is indeed on these vast territories that live those who are called the big five : the lion, the leopard, the buffalo, the elephant and the rhinoceros . They are the most coveted animals in the world and they are the main interest of safaris in Africa. The simple evocation of the term safari (which means journey in Swahili) transports us directly to the heart of a wild nature, to the sunsets so characteristic, where the most dangerous animal species share their territories with ancestral tribes.
The Maasai Mara is probably Africa’s best-known national park . It is in this part of the savannah that you can see the most beautiful animal species in the country, and in particular the big five. This is also where one of the continent’s most famous tribes lives: the Maasai , an ethnic group that has managed to preserve its culture and traditions despite the large number of visitors it receives each year. The best season to visit the Maasai Mara Nature Reserve is autumn, after the Great Migration, a natural phenomenon in which millions of herbivores leave Tanzania in search of water and more fertile land, upon arrival of the dry season. Their journey, which ends with their arrival in Kenya at the end of September, fills the park with animal life.
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Established in 1898, Kruger National Park, South Africa’s wildlife haven, is South Africa’s largest and oldest game reserve . You can see the Big Five in their natural habitat here, as well as other animals like zebras, cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, wildebeest, crocodiles and more than 500 species of birds . The park, where there are six different ecosystems, allows you to enjoy very diverse landscapes, including that formed by its famous baobabs. The Kruger canyons, which are among its main attractions, have been classified as a Biosphere Reserve. The best time to go on safari in Kruger Park is from May to September.
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Serengeti National Park is a must visit on any trip to Tanzania. Famous for its wildebeest migrations during the dry season, this African nature reserve is home to, among other species, lions, leopards, hyenas, zebras, buffaloes and elephants. With an area of more than 15,000 km², it is one of the largest in the country . For the Maasai, its first inhabitants, its name means “endless plain”. This park adjoins the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, an ancient volcanic crater that is also a prime location for studying the evolution of the human species. The best time to go on safari in this area is early summer, as this is when the great migration passes through before heading to the Maasai Mara.
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Best known for its impressive waterfalls, Murchison Falls National Park is one of the must-see visits if you plan to travel to Uganda . It is located on the shores of Lake Albert, on either side of the White Nile. You can easily see different animals such as crocodiles, hippos, lions, giraffes and buffaloes. The famous cataracts, known as Kabalega or Kabarega, drop from a height of 43 meters between the plateau and the basin. The best time to visit the park is from June to August.
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Etosha National Park , which covers more than 22,000 km², is one of the largest in Africa and even in the world. Its main characteristic is to be covered with an immense white mantle due to the presence of saltworks. Different animal species live there: lions, leopards, buffaloes, giraffes, hyenas, etc. But its main tourist interest is linked to the presence of black rhinos . It is indeed the place of the continent where they are in greatest number. The best time to visit is during the rainy season, as this is the time when wildlife is best distributed throughout the park. If you come outside this season, it is by going to the water points which abound in the region that you will be able to see the greatest number of animals.