Game viewing is sure to be one of the main activities on your bucket list for any trip to Africa.
Vast tracts of Africa’s land mass are dedicated to conservation. There are National Parks to visit across the continent for game viewing purposes:
Some of the better-known game reserves and national parks in Africa include:
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Masai Mara Reserve, Kenya
- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
- Chobe National Park, Botswana
- South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Transfrontier Parks, or Peace Parks, consist of conservation areas that span two or more countries. There are currently 10 of these in Africa, namely:
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – Namibia and South Africa
- !Ai-!Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park – Namibia and South Africa
- Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area – Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe
- Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park – South Africa and Zimbabwe
- Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area – Mozambique, South Africa and The Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland)
- Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area – Lesotho and South Africa
- Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area
- Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe
- Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools Transfrontier Conservation Area – Zambia and Zimbabwe
- Liuwa Plains-Mussuma Transfrontier Conservation Area – Angola and Zambia
There are also very many smaller parks and private game reserves that will offer you unique wildlife experiences. It all depends on what you are looking for on your trip. From 5 star luxury and escorted game drives to self-drive camping trips with few amenities, Africa has it all.
In Africa, you can spend your days eyeballing the Big Five or go in search of birds, frogs and insects – all in the name of getting back to nature.
Each of these has their own unique attributes, and every one of them deserves a visit.
- Kruger National Park is the best known and one of the most accessible places for game viewing worldwide.
- Etosha National Park is famous for its massive salt pan which is visible from space, and large populations of endangered large mammals.
- The Serengeti and Mara are the places to watch mass wildebeest migrations.
- South Luangwa is considered the home of the walking safari.
All of Africa’s wild spaces are home to prolific birdlife, both endemic and migratory, as well as many thousands of reptile, insect and amphibian species.
You’ll find many an unusual plant to surprise and delight you too.
In Africa, you have to work for your game sightings. Wild animals are free to roam as they please and your patience may be tested as you drive or walk in the hot sun searching for them. This only makes each sighting seem like more of an achievement.
Fortunately, the gorgeous landscapes that you traverse during your searches are just as appealing as the animals – there are few dull moments during an African safari.
Many of the lesser-known protected areas in Africa provide access to some of its most stunning scenery and unique species.
Game Viewing Tips
Animals are unpredictable, and luck can play a major role in the success of your game viewing activities. Be prepared to spend time and effort to achieve sightings and you will be rewarded.
Waiting close to water holes is a sure way to see animals as most of them drink at least once a day. Scour the landscape and the nearby vegetation for signs of movement which can indicate that an animal is about to emerge from cover for a drink.
Most game parks in Africa provide access to hides and lookout points with a view over watercourses, and many have floodlit waterholes situated close to their boundaries where you can watch for animals 24/7.
Drive slowly while travelling in game reserves, as animals often hang back from the road and could be concealed in the bushes nearby or their camouflage may fool you at first glance.
Take pleasure in the antics of small, less famous creatures. Warthogs, squirrels and meerkats can be hugely entertaining on closer observation.
Check out the game sightings books at the various rest camps for clues as to where sought-after species may be.
Above all, take the time to soak up the unique environment of Africa’s beautifully preserved spaces and the blissful safari atmosphere around camp with its smell of braai fires, sounds of birdsong and blissful silences.
For more information or to book your game viewing trip to Africa, pop African Travel Guide a message via our contact us page, and we will gladly assist.
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.