Our planet is home to some of the most beautiful and magical locations you could ever hope to clasp eyes on, yet many of us will sadly never get to see them for one reason or another, and that is such a shame. People say that travelling is one of the most rewarding experiences you could ever wish for, which is why we’re being encouraged to pack our cases and jet, or sail, off to parts of the world that we may previously have never considered visiting. When booking your next getaway, instead of going to the all-inclusive holiday resort that you always go to, why don’t you consider trying somewhere new, somewhere, like Africa, perhaps? Africa is full of beauty and wonder, and for anybody with an interest in nature and the great outdoors, visiting Africa should truthfully be considered a no-brainer. If we’ve piqued your interests, here’s a look at some of the best African National Parks in the entire region.
Courtesy of Jorge Láscar/Flickr
African National Park: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Tanzania is one of the most underrated and underappreciated parts of Africa, yet it is filled with so much beauty that it should be one of the most popular destinations on the planet. One of the main reasons why Tanzania is considered so stunning, is the fact that it is home to the Serengeti National Park. This is a hugely popular safari destination, as it is packed full of majestic animals, including Wildebeest, which annually migrate here, making it one of the park’s main attractions. The park covers more than 15,000km2, with landscapes primarily being made up of endless plains, with the odd tree dotted around the place for good measure. The Serengeti is also home to some of the largest populations of lions on the planet, over 500 species of bird, and much, much more besides.
Courtesy of Massimiliano Sticca/Flickr
African National Park: Chobe National Park, Botswana
Botswana has a reputation for being home to a diverse range of wild animals, and because of this, if you enjoy animals and nature, Chobe National Park, Botswana, is very highly recommended indeed. In fact, Africa’s largest concentration of game actually resides in this very park. The park itself stretches for more than 12,000km2 and is home to creatures such as: elephants, birds, lions, zebra, giraffes, buffalo, antelopes, and much, much more besides. Experts recommend visiting between the months of April and October as that is the county’s winter, and that is where you are likely to observe the most creatures, usually drinking and bathing at the various water sources dotted around the area.
Courtesy of flowcomm/Flickr
African National Park: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger national park is actually considered to be one of the finest game parks in the entire world, and is the top safari destination in all of South Africa. The park comes in at just under 20,000km2, covering a staggering 19,485km2, making it one of the largest in the region. For those of you who have an eye for birds, Kruger National Park is perfect as it has close to 500 different species of bird. In actual fact, there are over 145 species of mammal thriving here, with common animals including: lions, crocodiles, wild dogs, cheetah, hippos, antelope, and much more besides. The park itself is considered to be one of the world leaders when it comes to conservation practices, and it is very well maintained and highly accessible.
Courtesy of Doug Greenberg/Flickr
Situated in Kenya, the Masai Mara National Reserve is another underappreciated national park of Africa, and is a real haven for all things wildlife. It was named in honour of the Maasai people who are indigenous to the region, and if big cats are your thing, this is the park for you. The park is famous for its cheetahs, lions, and leopards, as well as Gazelle, wildebeest, and Zebras, who annually migrate here in the great migration, which happens from July through to October. Don’t worry however, there are plenty of other species to keep you entertained, as you will find more than 400 different species of bird, and, perhaps most importantly, Africa’s big five. Africa’s big five are made up of: rhino, buffalo, leopard, elephant, and lion. The dusty plains may look barren, but wildlife absolutely thrives here, so if you are packing a camera, make sure you have plenty of spare batteries.
Courtesy of Joxean Koret/Flickr
African National Park: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Whereas so far, all of the national parks we have covered have been typically barren and plain, the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is like no other national park you could imagine. Situated in East Africa in Uganda, the park comprises of just over 330km2 of dense forest and jungle. The park can only be accessed on foot, and has a rich and varied ecosystem, with a variety of different and highly unique species of tree. The critically endangered mountain Gorilla species, also reside here, and in actual fact, roughly 50% of all known mountain gorillas, can be found in this national park.
Courtesy of Renaud CHODKOWSKI/Flickr
Situated in Namibia, the Etosha National Park is huge, spanning more than 22,000km2. The park itself actually gets its unique name from the Etosha salt pan, which covers close to 25% of the park itself. The Etosha National Park therefore, is like no other national park you are ever likely to see, and that is what adds to its charm. Here you will find hundreds of different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, including species that are threatened and critically endangered. The black Rhinoceros for example, resides in this very park, and if you’re lucky, you may get to see one in its natural surroundings.
Courtesy of Joseph King/Flickr
African National Park: Nechisar National Park
Finally, last on our list, we have the Nechisar National Park, which is located between two lakes on the floor of the Rift Valley, making it very beautiful. The park is only 514 km2, but is home to a diverse selection of different species of animals, especially birds. The park is in actual fact, considered a very important habitat for migrating birds, with kingfishers, flamingos, storks, and pelicans, amongst others, thriving here.