The best african safaris for second-timers

The best african safaris for second-timers

Top African Safaris for second-timers.

With big game already under your belt, these safaris take you away from the crowds to relax and enjoy a fuller appreciation of the wildlife. The best african safaris for second-timers can be limited to a travellers preference on where and when to travel, most of the times due to his or her previous safari experience. The best african safaris for second-timers can also be a challenge for a traveller since one has a variety of places to choose from, aside from the little african safari experience that he or she has. Here is a list of some of The best african safaris for second-timers; take a look

  1. Mana Pools Zimbabwe/Zambia

The Zambezi River meanders east towards the Indian Ocean across a broad floodplain between towering escarpment walls. Come the dry season, the valley’s mosaic of islands, oxbows and river terraces fills up with wildlife: large herds of elephant and buffalo move down from the hills, while lion and other predators stalk prey along the river.

Absentees include rhino, wildebeest and giraffe – but this place is more about quality than quantity. The scenic backdrop invites you simply to sit and soak it all in – which is no bad strategy, when wildlife wanders through the riverside lodges at will.

Road access is rough and the emphasis, especially on the Zambian side, is on the upmarket. Activities include game drives and bush walks. This is Africa’s top canoeing destination: wildlife lines the banks and hippo pods lurk around every bend. Wilderness trails in Mana Pools are only for the adventurous.

Budget: Medium / High

When to go: Peak game viewing May-Oct; no road access to Mana Pools during rains (Nov-Apr), when many Zambian camps also close

  1. Okavango private reserves, Botswana

If a trip to Moremi has whetted your appetite for the Okavango, a number of private concessions offer a more exclusive window on this fabulous wildlife area. Each has its own attractions according to terrain – some more water-based than others. The reintroduction of both white and black rhinos means that the area now boasts the complete Big Five, while highlights include Africa’s best wild dog viewing and dramatic lion/buffalo interactions.

Access is almost entirely by air and many of the lodges are extremely swanky, with prices to match. Your money gets you fabulous locations, top guides, a glorious wilderness area pretty much to yourself and a chance to enjoy activities – such as walks, night drives and even elephant-back safaris– that are not available inside the national park.

Budget: High

When to go: Year round; peak game viewing Jul-Oct

  1. Laikipia Plateau, Kenya

The Laikipia Plateau lies at the southern boundary of Kenya’s northern frontier, with dramatic views of snow-capped Mt Kenya to the south. With similar wildlife to that in nearby parks of Meru, Samburu and Buffalo Springs, it comprises around a dozen private concessions, notably the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, that have joined forces in one enormous conservation initiative. This protects one of Kenya’s healthiest wildlife populations, with elephant, buffalo and all the major predators in good numbers, plus reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra and more than half the country’s black rhinos.

Laikipia offers an exclusive Kenya alternative to the Masai Mara; lodges – some very imaginative – tempt guests with everything from camel trekking to fishing. It has become a pioneering area for ecotourism, with many properties owned by the local community. The high altitude means that large areas are malaria-free and usually cooler than the Mara.

Budget: Medium / High

When to go: Year round; some lodges close with the ‘long rains’ (Nov-Mar)

  1. Imfolozi Wilderness Trails, South Africa

Imfolozi is synonymous with white rhino and wilderness trails – it was here that Africa’s second-largest land mammal made its stand against extinction a century ago, and this is where conservationist Ian Player developed his wilderness trails concept, encouraging a more holistic appreciation of the wild.

Close encounters with white rhino are common as you tramp through the undulating bush. Black rhino also thrive, while elephant, buffalo and all major predators are present. But the trails are as much about appreciating tracks, birdsong, insects and plants as big-game thrills. Camping is basic, guiding outstanding and the total wilderness immersion memorable. The park is easily reached on good roads and the trails come at bargain KwaZulu-Natal Parks Board prices. Book in advance.

Budget: Low

When to go: Trails (2, 3 or 4-day) run mid-Feb to mid-Nov

  1. Ruaha National Park, southern Tanzania

As Tanzania’s ‘southern circuit’ has developed in recent years, so this once obscure park has become a favourite. It offers classic big game in a remote setting, with the few camps spaced far apart.

Attractions include Tanzania’s largest elephant population, plus numerous buffalo and the full spectrum of large predators. Its geographical position between two biomes – the east African acacia savannahs and the southern African miombo woodland – means an unusual mix of species, including, for example, both greater and lesser kudu.

This reserve is often combined with a visit to Selous. Lodges are upmarket and access is generally by air. Game viewing is best during the dry season, when large herds gather around the rivers, though birding is excellent in the rainy season. Activities include both night drives and day walks in the company of expert guides.

Budget: Medium / High

When to go: Year round; some lodges close with the ‘long rains’ (Nov-Mar)

  1. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Uganda is best known for its gorilla trekking and, with Kenya and Tanzania receiving most of East Africa’s safari visitors, its game parks are often overlooked. True, this park suffered heavily from poaching during the country’s recent turbulent years, but the wildlife has returned with astonishing speed.

Today elephant and buffalo once again roam the lakeshores, while hippos crowd the Kazinga Channel and the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha thrive on the abundant kob, waterbuck and other antelope.

While the first-timer is assured plentiful big game, the more experienced safari-goer will find that the unusual variety of habitats, for a relatively small park, offers an impressive diversity. This runs to chimpanzees in the forested gorges and rare shoebill in the papyrus swamps. The bird list of 610 species is exceptional by any standards. A full range of activities and accommodation is available, including boat cruises, and all beneath the backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Budget: Options at all price levels

When to go: Wettest months Apr-May and Oct-Nov, when some roads are impassable

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About Debrazza Tours and Safaris 34 Articles
Debrazza Tours and Safaris is a leading travel and tour operator in Kenya specializing in Ala carte or tailor made safaris & excursions in East Africa. We love and appreciate a quality safari experience for both our clients and their loved ones. Having been in business for more than 10 years, we understand local travel routes and have onboard a team of experienced local tour guides at your service!