The Inspirational Travel team have selected the best National Parks within Africa for you to visit within your lifetime. These National Parks have something for everyone, a great diversity of wildlife and birdlife to see.
The Masai Mara is situated in south-west Kenya on the border of Tanzania. It is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves and stretches 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) and rises 1,500-2,170 metres above sea level. It is home to over 95 species of mammals including; lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, giraffe and elephant to name a few, as well as 570 recorded species of birds. The area has been classified among the “Seven Wonders of the World” due to the extraordinary annual migration from July to November when 1.3 million wildebeest and zebra cross from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in search of greener pastures.
In the north-west of Botswana, the Okavango River empties into the Kalahari sands, creating the largest inland river delta in the world. While the Okavango Delta is home to relatively few large game animals in companies to other areas of Botswana, its clear waters and myriad small islands are home to an astounding variety of bird, plants and smaller species of animals.
With its unparalleled opportunities for wildlife viewing and seeing Africa at its most untamed, the Serengeti National Park offers a synchrony of beauty and nature like no other place. This world-famous park is renowned for the largest wildebeest and zebra migration on the planet, which is usually triggered by rains in locations many miles away from where they are. This migratory pattern, observed by close to three million animals, is undoubtedly the biggest animal spectacle in the world. The Grumeti River harbours the biggest crocodiles in Africa and the mere sight of them is chilling! In some ponds, they do co-exist with the huge uncompromising hippos, where a clear-cut boundary is set between the distinct groups of animals and clearly, there is much respect of each other.
The Ngorongoro Crater is a magnificent natural amphitheatre showing an amazing wildlife show. Often described as the ‘Eight Wonder of the World’ and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. it is so spectacular that it touches all the senses. A volcanic crater of over 300 square kilometres, with surrounding walls rising 609 metres above it, the crater is a natural sanctuary of over 25,000 animals. Also referred to as “God’s Zoo” the crater is home to almost every species of African plains mammals, including the densest population of lions in African and the endangered Black Rhino. It is also a conservation area inhabited by the Masai tribe.
Etosha National Park is made up of a vast salt pan so large it can be seen from space. The ‘Pan’ provides a great, parched, silver-white backdrop of shimmering mirages to an area of semi-arid savannah grassland and thorn scrub. The pan itself contains water only after very good rains and sometimes for only a few days each year, but is enough to stimulate the growth of blue-green algae which lures thousands of flamingos. As a water source there is abundant wildlife that congregates giving you almost guaranteed game sightings.
Kidepo Valley National Park is located in Karamoja region, in north-east Uganda, and situated in Kaabong District. The park consists of two major valley systems of Kidepo and Narus River. The National Park is mostly open tree savannah; vegetation and animals population vary between the two valleys. Game viewing is possible by vehicle on dirt roads; the dirt roads crisscross the southern and western parts of the park together. Kidepo Valley is home to 77 mammal species and around 475 different type of bird species.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the second largest game reserve in the world, wildlife that can be seen in this game reserve includes; South African giraffe, brown hyena, South African cheetah, Cape wild dog, African leopard, Transvaal lion, blue wildebeest, eland, gemsbok, kudu and red hartebeest. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive National Park in Kalahari Desert of Botswana.
This vast bushveld ranges for hundreds of miles and has probably the greatest diversity of wildlife and birdlife in Africa, from the mighty elephant to the tiny field mouse and over 500 species of birds. Luxurious accommodation options are plentiful and you can sleep under the Milky Way with down duvets and percale cotton high in a tree or under Ralph Lauren sheets in a suite with your own heated pool.