Thinking about a trip to Africa but wondering which country should be at the top of your bucket list?  Here are some ideas to start daydreaming about during these lazy days of Summer.

If it’s your first time to Africa — and you’re primary motive is a classic wildlife safari — then several places automatically come to mind. Between them, Kenya, northern Tanzania and the eastern side of South Africa boast some of the planet’s best game parks. Serengeti, Kruger and the Mara are the “big three” national parks.

Zimbabwe safari tours

But those regions feature dozens of smaller parks that can be strung together as part of a safari vacation. Among the best of the rest are Tsavo, Amboseli, Meru and Loisaba in Kenya; Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire in Tanzania; the small, private game reserves (many of them with luxury lodges) that cling to the western edge of Kruger.

If you’ve already done the big three safari regions — and wildlife is still your most important consideration — more choices come to mind. Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia offer exceptional game viewing, in some respects just as good (if not better) than the more famous areas.

For instance, Chobe National Park in northern Botswana is probably the continent’s best place for elephants, sometimes more than a hundred in a single herd. And if you’re into hippos — or viewing animals from a canoe or kayak rather than a 4×4 vehicle — then Lower Zambezi in Zambia or Mana Pools in Zimbabwe might be the place for your.

Botswana’s legendary Okavango Delta is another place where boat is the primary means of getting around — and viewing the unique animals (both large and small) and dwell in one of the world’s great wetlands.

Namibia is the best bet for organizing a self-drive safari. The road system is awesome, traffic is light, rental rates are reasonable, this is maybe the safest nation in all of Africa, and national parks like Etosha and Namib-Naukluft are basically designed so visitors can drive themselves around.

Uganda and Rwanda are the best places for gorilla trekking. Both of these landlocked nations — astride the gorgeous East Africa Lake District — afford the opportunity of combining gorillas with typical African savannah wildlife and other primates like chimpanzees and monkeys.

And speaking of primates, Madagascar is the only destination where you can see lemurs in the wild. Depending on who’s counting, the huge island is home to more than 100 lemur species as well as copious chameleons, fabulous bird life and marine mammals offshore in the Indian Ocean.

Of course, African has a lot more than just wildlife. The best blends of beasts and beach are found in Kenya, Tanzania (specifically Zanzibar island), Mozambique and South Africa where tropical beach resorts glimmer along white-sand strands.

The best combination of wildlife and history is Ethiopia, where a 1,500-year-old Orthodox Christian civilization is very much alive and thriving. Madagascar offers a unique island culture that mixes aspects of Africa and Southeast Asia. And if you want a cool urban space to complement the great outdoors, Cape Town (and South Africa) is the place to head.

Hills of Africa can give you the full lowdown on where to stay, what to do, and which African country would best fit your vacation needs.

Contact us at 1-800-940-9344 if you’re ready to start planning your African Safari Vacation.  Or email us at



Africa for Vegans and Vegetarians

July 24, 2018

Despite the continent’s reputation for braais (barbecues), boerewors (sausages) and other carnivorous delights, it actually is possible to vegans and vegetarians to travel in Africa without starving. Although success in that endeavor largely depends on which countries you decide to safari in. South Africa, for instance, boasts hundreds of restaurants with hearty vegan and vegetarian […]

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Cape Town’s Chic Little Three Boutique Hotel

July 10, 2018

Wondering where to stay in Cape Town? There are certainly lots of choices, from historic hotels and international chains to Air BNB. But our new favorite digs — and one that we highly recommend — is the Three Boutique Hotel. Located on Flower Street in the historic Oranjezicht neighborhood of central Cape Town, the 18-room […]

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Safari Etiquette – The Complete Guide to What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

June 26, 2018

If you’re a safari veteran like those of us on the Hills of Africa team, then you know how to conduct yourself in the African bush — the manners expected by your guides and appreciated by your fellow travelers, and also the sort of behavior that will ensure closer encounters of the animal kind. But […]

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A Favorite – Cape Town By Foot, Experiencing Culture, Food and History

June 12, 2018

One of the best tours offered in Cape Town is the “Cape Town Eats Walking Tour”. This tour explores Cape Town from all sides.   It aims to climb under the skin of the city so that by the end of the day you understand the pulse of the city.  You will explore it from […]

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Murchison Falls: Uganda’s Jewel of the Nile

May 29, 2018

No other destination illustrates Uganda’s renaissance as a safari destination and wildlife sanctuary better than Murchison Falls National Park. Sprawling across both sides of the River Nile, MFNP is Uganda’s largest and oldest national park — and a remarkable testament to how both the country and its creatures have bounced back since the dark days […]

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Lemala Ewanjan in Central Serengeti National Park

December 5, 2017

Lemala Ewanjan is a beautiful tented camp set in the Seronera of Central Serengeti, about a 30 minute drive from the Seronera airstrip.  If you’re thinking of going on an African safari vacation, you might want to look at this camp in Tanzania‘s Serengeti National Park. Lemala Ewanjan is a beautiful tented camp, very comfortable […]

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A day in Central Serengeti National Park

December 5, 2017

Serengeti National Park is Africa’s most famous area for an African Safari vacation.  It is renowned for its large concentrations of big cats/predators – lion, leopard and cheetah and also the laughing hyena.  It’s also on the Great Migration route, which does a circle through Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania‘s Serengeti National Park.  The great […]

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Through a Lens – Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest, Uganda

November 29, 2017

Our wonderful clients, Rich and Mary, recently traveled to Kibale Forest in Uganda on their #thisisfifty birthday celebration trip. To give you a glimpse into what a Chimpanzee safari is like, we’re going to share their photo journal with you.  (Thanks Mary!!) Today, we went Chimp trekking in the Kibale National Forest. Our guide, Africano […]

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Why We Love Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp

November 21, 2017

Probably the best thing about Lemala Ngorongoro — if you don’t count the rustic luxury, the incredible food or the amazing staff — is the quick and easy access that guests have to Ngorongoro Crater. You’re often at the bottom a full hour before the safari trucks descending from lodges and camps on the west […]

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