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Marie from Whitewater asked

Always wanted to go to the country...time to get specific!

What is the best country to go to in Africa to get a great feel for culture, safety, and of course safaris!


5 Answers
top answer by
Polly from Washington, DC

If you're looking for a classic safari, that narrows your choices down to less than ten countries - Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa included. Tanzania and Kenya are especially known for their national wildlife parks. Tanzania might be what you're looking for - it's a fairly safe country with great safaris, as well as being home to Mount Kilimanjaro! Meanwhile, Zambia has (half of) Victoria Falls and Botswana has the Okavango Delta.

Of the countries listed above, I've only been to South Africa. I loved it! Cape Town is the most beautiful city I've ever been to. Going to the top of Table Mountain National Park is memorable for the scenery and the little dassies that live at the top. The Garden Route is great for food and wine, with gorgeous scenery. Tsitsikama National Park is absolutely breathtaking. Farther north, Blyde River Nature Reserve and Golden Gate Highlands National Parkoffer different kinds of natural beauty.

As far as safari parks go, Kruger National Park is one of the best-known in the world. You can see all the the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino) within its borders along with many other animals. Within the park, there are many camps of varying comfort levels you can stay in overnight, driving from one to another during the day. I'd also recommend going to a smaller, private park like Shamwari Game Reserve - you typically see more animals in a shorter period of time and it's interesting to be able to compare the two experiences.

Comments (2)

Amazing recommendations, Polly! Surprised that Africa isn't listed in your "Places I know". It should be! Thanks for sharing this :)

Thanks Debbie! I'll add it. :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tanzania (attraction)
  2. Botswana (attraction)
  3. Kenya (attraction)
  4. Zambia (attraction)
  5. South Africa (attraction)
  6. Mount Kilimanjaro (attraction)
  7. Victoria Falls (attraction)
  8. Okavango Delta (country)
  9. Cape Town (city)
  10. Table Mountain National Park (amusement park)
  11. The Garden Route (attraction)
  12. Tsitsikama (attraction)
  13. Blyde River Nature Reserve (attraction)
  14. Golden Gate Highlands National Park (attraction)
  15. Kruger National Park (amusement park)
  16. Shamwari Game Reserve (attraction)
comments (2)
likes (7) thanks
answered by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

Polly has pretty much nailed it on the safari front.  I have a few things to add that may help your decision... if you want the classic safari experience (by "classic" i mean savannas dotted with Acacia trees, vistas as far as the eye can see, skies that seem bigger than anywhere else on earth ,etc... or said another way, what you would imagine from the Lion King or Out of Africa), then you should definitely do Kenya and/or Tanzania. While Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park is located in Tanzania, you can easily see it from Kenya, particularly from Amboseli National Park.  I have to say that the site of snow-capped Kilimanjaro rising out of the plains is a bucket list type thing to see in person.  Now, while you can see Kili from both countries, if you were to choose one, I would give the nod to Tanzania, as it also has Ngorongoro Crater.  Ideally, you could do both.  In addition to the safaris, a great side trip for a night or two is Lamu on the coast in Kenya.  Another great side trip to see some coast and a different part of African culture is Zanzibar.  Of the two, I think Lamu is more interesting, but Zanzibar is great too.  

Safari in Southern Africa (I.e., Botswana, Zambia, South Africa) is also amazing, but different than East Africa.  As opposed to the wide open Savannas with hugh migrations of animals, the landscape has more bush and isn't as wide open.  

In terms of add-ons to a safari, I think South Africa is one of the more incredible countries in the world.  Polly was right about Kruger National Park and Shamwari Game Reserve (as a private reserve), and the The Garden Route.    Cape Town is incredibly beautiful and cosmopolitan and a historically interesting place.  Outside of Cape Town, Stellenbosch is at the center of the most beautiful and interesting wine regions in the world, and the number of attractions throughout the country are too numerous too count (if you decide to go to SA, let me know and can give more specific tips).

If you are going for pure safari and had to pick one place, I think Tanzania is your best bet, but the good news is that you can't go wrong, because anywhere you go will be a life changing and amazing experience.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kenya (attraction)
  2. Tanzania (attraction)
  3. Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park (park)
  4. Amboseli National Park (park)
  5. Tanzania (attraction)
  6. Ngorongoro Crater (attraction)
  7. Lamu (city)
  8. Zanzibar (city)
  9. South Africa (attraction)
  10. Kruger National Park (amusement park)
  11. Shamwari Game Reserve (attraction)
  12. The Garden Route (attraction)
  13. Cape Town (city)
  14. Stellenbosch (city)
  15. Tanzania (attraction)
likes (5) thanks
answered by
Annemarie from New York City

I agree with Polly on nearly all accounts. There's so much to do, and so many different cultures, that you'll really want to pinpoint where you want to go and what you'd like to see. I'm afraid I haven't been everywhere in Africa just yet, but I fell in love Uganda and Rwanda. Rwanda specifically, because they are just coming out of political hardships and a terrible genocide, but have really forged ahead in the tourism, business and telecoms world; I had better phone service in a very rural village just outside of a mountain range than I usually do in Times Square. Lake Kivu is gorgeous and glassy and surrounded by a brewery and some small fishing villages. Kampala, as the main hub of Uganda, has a lot of interesting diy media and news organizations. And, of course, you can trek for gorillas in both countries. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has amazing animal watching as well, but some political strife that unfortunately can be distracting to travelers.

Regardless of where you go, I urge you to plan ahead. Look up not only the countries own tourism board, but do some googling an social media searches for other folks experiences in that exact area for news and customs (for example, plastic bags are illegal in Rwanda). You'll want to get your vaccinations, register with the consulate and bring tissues with you everywhere.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Uganda (attraction)
  2. Rwanda (attraction)
  3. Lake Kivu (attraction)
  4. Kampala (city)
  5. Democratic Republic of the Congo (attraction)
likes (4) thanks
answered by
Clifford from Kenya

I recommend Kenya. NB; Insecurity is confined to coastal areas and not the safari destinations. It is big country.

Safaris: You have options. First arrive in Nairobi and straight away head to Nairobi National Park which hosts lions, girrafes, hartebeests, 400 species of birds. It is the only city in the milky way galaxy with a national park.

 The next day head to Lake Nakuru National Park popularly known as Birdwatcher's paradise and a home to both black and white rhino among other wildlife.

Afterwards, go to the wildlife arena of the world, Maasai Mara National Reserve with a large concentration of wildlife which include lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The Mara Plains are teeming with wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, impala and Thomson's gazelle. Also cheetahs, hyenas and jackals are seen regularly in the reserve. In the Mara River large amounts of hippos and crocodiles are enjoying their lives - the crocodiles are especially happy in July and November when thousands of wildebeest migrate across the river causing a sumptuous feast for the hungry crocodiles. Birdlife in Maasai Mara are abundant and diverse. Species such as eagles, ostriches, storks and vultures are among the more than 50 different birds of prey.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nairobi (city)
  2. Nairobi National Park (amusement park)
  3. Lake Nakuru National Park (attraction)
  4. Maasai Mara National Reserve (attraction)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Mutasa from Kampala

Uganda has diverse cultural and many game parks that can make a memorable stay count and your safari will be enjoyable nice travels

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Uganda (attraction)

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