When it comes to successfully selecting from a multitude of Africa safari holidays, the chances are there will be plenty of debate because the desires and requirements of one person in your party may well differ from one person to another.
After all, much will depend on what you demand from a safari experience, as aside from viewing the big five, there’s hundreds of hikes, activities and day trips that you can enjoy when visiting a prominent game reserve.
However, there are some game reserves that remain universally popular, particularly among US and UK visitors. We’ve listed three of these below, while asking what makes them so popular.
Remember, vacations can be stressful so read our guide first!
- The Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
The magnificent Maasai Mara National Reserve represents the jewel in Kenya’s crown, while it’s a location that remains on the wish-list of wildlife lovers from across the globe.
This reserve is particularly popular between July and October, as this offers an excellent opportunity to see the so-called “Great Migration”. This refers to the migration of more than one million animals across The Serengeti plains and through Kenya, as wildebeest and zebra embark on an epic quest for lush grazing lands during the dry season.
The reserve is home to a particularly high concentration of big five game, as it’s known to protect these species and provide a safe environment for lions, cheetahs and those difficult to spot leopards.
Interestingly, the red-cloaked Maasai locals that live in the park also add a fascinating cultural dimension, creating a learning experience for visitors and contributing to a genuine, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- The Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
We touched on The Serengeti earlier, and there’s no doubt that this name conjures up romanticised images of golden savannas, bustling wildlife and a seemingly endless stretch of acacia-dappled plains.
This iconic location is Tanzania’s most popular game reserve, and one that provide an ideal wildlife viewing experience between December and July.
Between these months, visitors can also take in the Great Migration, as the watch wildebeest, zebra and gazelle interact freely in their natural habitat.
A large number of the famed ‘big five’ also live within the boundaries of the reserve, which is arguably the single best place for those who want to observe those nail-biting encounters between prey and predator.
- The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s most striking natural landmarks, and one that was formerly part of The Serengeti National Park.
This landmark encompasses three magnificent volcanic craters (the Ngorongoro is the most famous of these) cover more than 8,300 square kilometres of land, which consists of diverse terrain including dense forest, African bush and golden savannah.
This is currently one of the few areas in the world where wildlife and humans can coexist peacefully, as the proud Maasai people live in harmony with a diversity of species in and around the World Heritage-listed site.
While the volcanically formed backdrop and iconic Ngorongoro Crater may be the most striking aspect of this location, other highlights include one of Africa’s densest population of wild lions.
With no shortage of black rhinoceros, leopards and buffaloes also local to the Ngorongoro Crater (and more than 500 species of bird), this is a fantastic and often underrated game reserve that offers genuine value to visitors.
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