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Animals in Africa: Here are the best places for safari in Africa

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Africa is the perfect continent to go on safari in. With lots of exotic animals, beautiful nature and enchanting experiences, it will be a journey that you will never forget.
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Animals in Africa: Here are the best places for safari in Africa is written by Cecilie Saustrup Kirk

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That's why you should go on safari

If there is a journey you need to treat yourself to in life, then it's another trip Africa on a safari adventure. Whether you come to experience the magnificent nature or that wildlife, then it's a journey you will never forget.

But before you go, there are several things you need to be aware of. Depending on what you want to experience, what animals you want to see, what nature you want to discover and who you travel with, you must carefully consider and select your safari country.

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Which safari country is best?

There is quite a difference in the safari countries in Africa. For the most part, you will find the best safari opportunities in South and East Africa. But that does not mean that you should completely exclude West Africa, because here there are also spectacular experiences to pick up. But when you have to choose which country to visit, it depends a lot on what your needs are.

The most famous and accessible safari countries are Kenya, Tanzania og South Africa. Since the countries are used to tourists, there are plenty of offers for safari experiences, the locals speak English, and the countries are relatively easy to navigate around.

The countries have good and well-preserved nature reserves, such as the national parks Kruger in South Africa, Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya.

Here you should choose to travel outside the high season, as there may otherwise be many visitors. A few places in South Africa have the advantage that you can be in malaria-free areas, so you don't have to take malaria pills, and at the same time it is possible to bring smaller children with you.

Africa offers lots of wildlife, no matter what country you are in. But are you specifically looking for experiences with the big five Lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes - that's it South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya you have to go to.

Tanzania is an obvious country to start with, because the nature and wildlife are top notch, and it can easily be combined with a trip to neighboring Kenya.

If you want to go as a family with small children, then Swaziland - also known as Eswatini - a good choice. The smaller parks in the country are a nice and child-friendly alternative to e.g Kruger National Park. Both Swaziland and Kruger are close to the big city of Johannesburg, so if you start your journey here, the opportunities are right at your feet.

In South Africa's other neighboring countries, there are also fantastic opportunities to experience the 'big five' on safari. Both Botswana, Namibia og Zimbabwe are absolutely fantastic safari countries, and with clearly fewer visitors. Here you get a more authentic experience of both nature, culture and local community. Botswana and Namibia in particular have very few inhabitants, so large parts of the two countries are wild nature.

If you are into a little more challenging travel destinations with great experiences and few tourists, you can look towards GabonZambia og Ethiopia. In West Africa is Senegal a relatively easy choice, although the safari opportunities are limited and the large herds of animals are found primarily in eastern and southern Africa.

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Animals in Africa: The big five and The small five

Most people know about 'the big five' - the big five - but there is actually also a group with 'the small five' - the five small ones. The lesser known collection of exotic animals consists of elephant shrew, leopard turtle, ant lion, rhinoceros beetle and buffalo weaver.

Namibia gives you the best opportunity to see the cutest of 'the small five', namely the elephant shrew - also called the spring shrew - as it is most common here.

The little bird buffalo weaver you have to cross across the border into South Africa to have the most luck seeing. Keep an eye on the buffalo herds; the birds gather on the backs of the buffaloes and take on the take-your-own-table of flies and insects that irritate the large buffaloes.

Two animals that many are surprised are not included in the 'big five' are the giraffe and the hippopotamus. Even if they didn't make the list, they are definitely a sight that you must experience on your safari trip to Africa.

Fortunately, giraffes are easy enough to find. The altitude of course helps with that, but there are also large flocks of giraffes in most countries in southern and eastern Africa. The prettiest of these are said to be the net giraffes that you find in the Horn of Africa. They belong in Somalia, Ethiopia and the north Kenya.  

There are also plenty of hippos. There are around 150.000 wild hippos in Africa – most in Zambia og Tanzania. If you want to see these beautiful – but quite dangerous – animals on your safari, then you must go to eastern or southern Africa to have the greatest chance of experiencing them.   

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Famous Serengeti and unique animals in Africa

A trip to Tanzania with a visit to the famous Serengeti National Park guarantees you an encounter with herds of zebras, wildebeest, gazelles and antelopes.

If you come between April and July, you may be lucky enough to fall into the Great Migration. Here, the huge herds of over a million animals move from the southern Serengeti on an 800-kilometer journey north to Kenya. They must cross rivers with hungry crocodiles and protect their young from lions and hyenas, all hoping to reach the lush savannahs of the north first.

If you are going to have something truly unique to write home about, then you need to experience the mountain gorillas. These animals are the only ones of their kind in the world and you will only find them up in the forested mountain ranges on the border between Uganda, DR Congo og Rwanda. The gorillas are highly endangered and there are only 1.000 of them left in the wild. Fortunately, they are under protection, and the population is slowly growing.

Rwanda and Uganda in particular are obvious destinations if you like to see monkeys playing freely, and both countries can also be recommended as travel destinations. Uganda has the advantage that the locals speak very good English, and there are several really nice national parks and the source of the Nile, while Rwanda offers unique nature experiences without particularly many visitors.

Another completely unique animal that you can only experience one place in the world outdoors is the lemurs of Madagascar. There are over 50 species here. Madagascar, which lies by itself off the African continent, is to that extent an overlooked safari destination. The country's fauna in particular is completely unique, and the large island has been the source of some fantastic animal species.

In addition to lemurs, you will find a multitude of geckos, chameleons and parrots in all the world's colors and the cat-like predator, the fossa, which only lives here.

If you dream of seeing wild animals in Africa, then you can plan your safari adventure so you get to see exactly that, you find most exciting. Talk to one skilled travel agency, so you get as many fantastic animal experiences as possible on the journey.

Where can you go on safari in Africa?

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About the author

Cecilie Saustrup Kirk

For Cecilie, the world is her playground, and the more often she gets out there, the better.

She has traveled most of her life and experienced everything from the romantic streets of Paris to Tokyo's electronic neon signs and Accra's scenic game parks.

She loves to look for the hidden gems in culture, experiences and food, and always prefers the local food stall and the authentic performances, rather than the international chain stores.

She has lived in South Korea for half a year, and is determined to live in another country again sometime in the future.

Next targets on the list are Canada's magnificent waterfalls and Australia's colorful coral reefs

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