How do I Know Which African Country is Best Suited to Me?

by Sandy Salle on August 7, 2018

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


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Trek Rwanda Gorillas September 11, 2018 at 5:28 am

Thank you Sandy for this great information. Its really a guide especially to tourists planning to go on their first trip.

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