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Nairobi is usually your gateway into Kenya. While most safari visitors spend one night in the city on their way to or from their wildlife experience, Nairobi has great lodges and unique boutique hotels. The city is bursting with life with informal Maasai Markets lining the streets selling handmade arts and crafts to local tailors who can finish a beautifully made, bargain-friendly safari suit in 24 hours. Nairobi National Park with its dense concentration of black rhino is no more than 7 km from Nairobi's city centre.
Famous for its arresting desert scenery and outstanding game viewing, Namibia is one of Southern Africa's top travel destinations. Its most captivating attraction, the ancient Namib Desert, presents endless ochre dunes and parched salt pans, while the game-viewing gem of Etosha National Park offers a world-class safari experience. Natural wonders include the Fish River Canyon, Etosha Pan, Sossusvlei, Waterberg Plateau and the fertile Caprivi Strip.
Consisting mainly of sweeping grasslands, the Ndutu area in the northern part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area joins the Serengeti. As such, it forms part of the annual migratory route of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, antelope and their predators who come to graze and calve between November and March, depending on the rains. The forests around Lake Ndutu and small koppies are also home to prolific resident wildlife.
Ngorongoro is a Tanzanian must-see. The Ngorongoro Crater, a caldera or collapsed volcano, while only covering 260 km², includes a diverse range of habitats including montane forest, grasslands, acacia forests, a salt-lake and swamps. The diversity of the habitat provides home to an incredibly wide range of birds and animals, including the Big Five, in a concentrated area. Accommodation around the rim of the crater provides spectacular views and easy access to the crater.
Ngorongoro Crater is a Tanzanian must-see. Situated within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a vast park of spectacular beauty, this caldera or collapsed volcano has created a mini game reserve with many habitats in a very small area. This provides a home to an incredibly diverse range of birds and animals including the Big Five in a concentrated space.
Accommodation and park fees within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area can be high. Just 20 km out of the park lies the bustling town of Karatu, surrounded by beautiful coffee plantations. It is here that comfortable, affordable accommodation in spectacular settings can be found. The area has easy access to Ngorongoro, with its breathtaking scenery and teeming wildlife, especially at Ngorongoro Crater.
There are few wild places on Earth that offer the same unique combination of spectacular wildlife, beautiful scenery, palm-fringed waterways, remote islands and vast unspoilt wilderness than Botswana's Okavango Delta. The Okavango swamps are formed by the annual flooding of the Okavango River, which opens into a vast life-giving oasis in Botswana's desert. The delta attracts huge numbers of wildlife due to the permanent water available here.
Phinda Private Game Reserve is not far from the well-known iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Phinda offers you abundant wildlife, courtesy of its incredibly diverse habitats. There, a handful of private lodges share excellent game sightings in a 23,000-hectare wilderness. Within easy distance of the warm Indian Ocean and its pristine beaches, Phinda makes for an ideal "bush and beach" safari destination.
In the heart of Tanzania where the Zambezi miombo woodlands meet the Tanzanian/Kenyan savannahs, lies Ruaha National Park. This vast park, with its few camps, offers visitors an uncrowded glimpse of untouched Africa, with a huge diversity of game, birds and landscapes. It's an area known for its incredible animal sightings, including large herds of elephant and plenty of predators.
The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park. It is a collection of privately-owned game reserves which have dropped their fences by mutual agreement. There is also no fence between the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park, allowing the free movement of animals through the reserve. It is known as South Africa's top luxury safari destination and the best place in the world for viewing leopards in the wild.
Set alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, Kenya's biggest northern river, Samburu has the lion's share of wildlife. Besides big cats and African wild dogs, you're likely to see some of the rare northern species such as Grevy's zebra, the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk, Guenther's dik-dik and the beisa oryx, known as the Samburu Special Six.
Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania covers over 45,000 km² and is one of the country's three World Heritage Sites. The reserve is world-renowned for its unspoilt bush and vast numbers of game, including elephant, lion, hippo and over 440 species of bird. Incredible scenery and the option to enjoy the African bush not only on game drives but game walks and boating safaris too make Selous an incredible safari destination.