Best African safari experiences. 10 things to enjoy when you visit Africa

For someone who wants to visit Africa, it is hard to know where to start. Hopefully, many of our articles have been helpful in helping you narrow down the choices.

With so much to see and do in Africa, it can be overwhelming to find a starting point. This article makes an attempt at making the choice easier. We will look at some of the unique experiences that are fun and an enjoyable way to spend time on your African Safari.

These experiences are not ranked in any particular order since tastes change with every person. We have picked the experiences that attract the most people and receive the most positive reviews by visitors.

Let us look at these top African safari experiences, and you can decide how you would rank them - according to your personal preferences.

Top African Safari experiences

1. Gorilla Trekking

gorilla mother and baby

Seeing gorillas is one of the most exclusive safari experiences you can enjoy in Africa. Gorillas are very closely related to humans and seeing a family of gorillas go about its day, with the infants playing around while the silverback quietly and calmly offers safety and protection is an astounding thing.

Gorillas can be found in the rainforests of Central Africa. Mountain gorillas are only limited to the volcanoes of Rwanda, DRC, and Uganda. Rwanda and Uganda offer excellent gorilla trekking safaris because the tourism industry is more stable and developed.

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To learn more about gorillas, and how you might be able to see them, here are some of our articles.

2. Chimpanzee Tracking

Chimpanzee in Kibale np Uganda

Our closest animal cousins, the chimpanzees are also as fascinating as gorillas. Chimpanzees do exhibit social habits that show how closely related we are with them.

Whereas chimpanzees also inhabit natural forests, their home is not as limited as gorillas and they can be seen in many national parks around Sub-Saharan Africa.

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3. Desert Safaris

sahara desert morocco

The vast sandy deserts are as exciting as the vas savannahs and lush forest - albeit in a different way. Whether it is the lighter sand of the Sahara or the reddish dunes of the Namib Desert, each provides a wonderful landscape made up of sand, little vegetation, and very limited water.

Whether you want to explore the desert on a quad bike/ATV, a 4WD car, or a camel, the feeling of exploration in the vast openness is a worthwhile experience that doesn't leave anyone.

4. Wildlife Game Drives

great migration safari

This is the classic of all African safari experience. A safari vehicle with an open roof and all sorts of animals in the open Serengeti savannah is what comes to many when an African safari game drive is mentioned. It is a good thing that there are more game reserves and national parks where you can get to see these animals and landscapes in many parts of Africa.

The most popular and well-developed game parks for wildlife game drives are found in Eastern and Southern Africa - where vast savannah and semi-arid areas exist. The most sought after african safari animals include elephants, zebras, lions, rhinos, giraffes, leopards, hippos, buffaloes among others.

Here are some game and national parks which are popular for wildlife viewing - one from each country.

5. Scuba Diving

big turtle in quirimbas archipelago

This is an experience only the divers will love and understand. Many African countries are blessed with stunning Archipelagos and islands that have an abundance of flora and fauna. Some of the marine life in these archipelagos is not found anywhere else.

From the coast of Madagascar, East Africa, Red Sea, West Africa or Southern Africa, there are various hotspots for the adventurer who wants to see what lies below the water.


6. Beach holidays

zanzibar luxury accomodation

Similar to diving, Africa has some great spots for beach holidays. Packages to places like Zanzibar, Egypt or the canary islands are already popular but that is barely the limit to how much beach you can enjoy along the African coast.

Some of the inland lakes have extensive beaches that will make you forget that you are some thousands of kilometres from the ocean. A day or two at the beach can be a great way to end a heart thumping safari before going back home.

7. White Water Rafting

rafting on river nile

White water rafting is one of the top high-adrenaline activities that you can take part in on Africa's many rivers. The experience is both scary and doubly as exciting, for the people who are taking part.

As the longest river in Africa (and the world), the Nile is very well known for white water rafting. This is especially so in Jinja, Uganda at the very source where the water is moving at higher speeds over a series of rapids. Another wonderful and popular white water rafting is at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or Zambia.

You can do water rafting on africa's biggest rivers - the Nile, the Congo and the Zambezi. It is up to you which one you chose first but your heart will be racing every time.

8. Hiking

mana suspension bridge in korup np

The most incredible way to see and take in any new place is on foot. This is why hiking is the most popular travel experience in the whole world. The best thing about hiking is that it can be done wherever you are.

Hiking is the best way to fully engage with the new people, the culture as well as the surrounding - whether in the serene and quit landscape, or in a city buzzing with beautiful chaos.

9. Mountain Climbing

Mount Kenya's snow peaks

Africa has all sorts of mountains for you to climb. From those whose summits are easy to reach in a day or two, to those where you need about a week and extreme endurance.

The most exciting of these mountains is Mount Kilimanjaro which is the tallest, as well as Rwenzori which is actually a mountain range - a fact that makes it even harder to climb. Unlike hiking, mountain climbing requires more energy and preparation but there is definitely no experience like being at the summit of a mountain very few people even dare to climb.

10. Culture Safari

san bushmen of kalahari

Culture and history tours in Africa are almost unfinishable. From the pyramids and stone churches to the smallest hunter-gatherer tribes of the forest. Cultural experiences are the biggest learning opportunity for you to understand the norms, history, and stories of the local people.

These include foods, religious places, events, and local folklore. Wherever you are going to visit, just add some days or afternoons for a cultural visit with the local areas.

Final Thoughts

A list of experiences to enjoy on an African safari is not really something you can put in order or fully explore. Our other content explores some of these experiences even deeper.

If you want to travel to Africa, especially for your very first time making a choice can be overwhelming. We advise that you start by choosing an interest or two and then looking at which places have experiences that meet such interests. From there you can proceed to figure out the other details.

Given that there is so much to see and do in Africa, you will have to choose one thing or two. Choosing more interests might have you planning a trip that is too expensive as well as needing several months to complete. You can always do more than a few trips, so taking it in smaller chunks is a good thing.

Have you had an experience that you think we should have mentioned? Any experience you are more curious about? Just tell us via the form and we'll be in touch.

If you would like to plan a safari with one of our trusted partners, you can also reach out and we'll make sure we get you a great deal and service.

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