Africa is a vast continent, so if you're keen to see the best of its wildlife, it can be hard to know where to start. From South Africa to Kenya, these six itineraries showcase the Big 5 and other wildlife amid Africa's dramatic landscapes. Whether you're looking to spot elephants by the dozens in Zimbabwe or see mountain gorillas in Uganda, these trips are sure not to disappoint.

When it comes to picking where to go for an amazing safari experience, most travelers set their sights on either Southern Africa or East Africa. Although distances are vast in this part of the world, it's easy to string together some of Africa's top experiences by combining neighboring countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana in a single trip. While the Big 5 (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, and Cape buffalo) can be found in most destinations between Kenya and South Africa, if you're looking to spot specific animals there may be some destinations that will give you better odds than others. Your local specialist can help you identify the best options based on your interests. Beyond the national parks, these itineraries also showcase some of Africa's diverse cultures and stunning landscapes.

Best to see... Destinations
Elephants Chobe National Park (Botswana) and Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)
Lions Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania)
Leopards Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Greater Kruger (South Africa) and South Luangwa National Park (Zambia)
Rhinos Etosha National Park and Damaraland (Namibia)
Cape Buffalo Okavango Delta (Botswana) and Greater Kruger (South Africa)
Cheetah Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya) and Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
Wild Dogs Mana Pools National Park and Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)
Giraffe Murchison Falls National Park (Uganda) and Etosha National Park (Namibia)
Gorillas Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda) and Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)
Hippopotamus Okavango Delta (Botswana) and Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)

#1 Southern Africa Safari: Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, & More - 10 Days

Elephants on the march

Elephants on parade

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, City Tour, & Table Mountain Cape Town
Day 2 Cape Peninsula Tour & Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Cape Town
Day 3 Cheese, Wine, & Chocolate Tour Cape Town
Day 4 Cape Town to Sabi Sands Safari Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Days 5-6 On Safari in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Day 7 Sabi Sands to Victoria Falls Victoria Falls
Day 8 Victoria Falls to Chobe Safari, Zambezi Queen Houseboat Chobe National Park
Day 9 Houseboat Safari in Chobe National Park Chobe National Park
Day 10 Depart Botswana via Johannesburg  

 

This itinerary is great for spotting: elephants, leopards, and Cape buffalo

Take ten days to travel through some of the wildest parts of Southern Africa with this trip plan. You'll start in Cape Town to experience urban life, touring the surrounding natural attractions and the city's wine scene, before you start your safari time in Sabi Sands, adjacent to Kruger National Park. From there, fly to Victoria Falls to take in the famous waterfalls, then continue on some slower waters with a houseboat trip down the Zambezi. Read more

#2 Namibia & Botswana Safari Road Trip - 14 Days

Giraffe happy hour

Giraffe happy hour

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Namibia! Arrive in Windhoek Windhoek
Day 2 Road Trip from Windhoek to Sossusvlei Sossusvlei
Day 3 Road Trip from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund Swakopmund
Day 4 Road Trip from Swakopmund to Damaraland Khorixas
Day 5 Road Trip from Damaraland to Etosha National Park Etosha National Park
Day 6 Game Drive in East Etosha National Park Etosha National Park
Day 7 Road Trip from Etosha to the Caprivi Strip Caprivi
Day 8 Caprivi Strip to Chobe National Park Chobe National Park
Day 9 On Safari in Chobe National Park Chobe National Park
Day 10 Chobe to Makgadikgadi Pans Makgadikgadi Pans
Day 11 Makgadikgadi Pans to Moremi Game Reserve & Okavango Delta Okavango Delta
Day 12 On Safari at Moremi in the Okavango Delta Okavango Delta
Day 13 Okavango Delta to Central Kalahari Game Reserve Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Day 14 Central Kalahari to Windhoek & Departure  

 

This itinerary is great for spotting: rhinos, giraffe, Cape buffalo, hippos, and elephants

Take two weeks to check out Namibia and Botswana's varied landscapes and the many creatures they contain on this itinerary. You'll travel up sand dunes, down into caves, out into the salt pans, and more as you watch for the region's many wildlife residents. Read more

#3 South Africa and Zimbabwe Safari: Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, & More - 14 Days

Yeah we saw that text
Lionesses resting between hunts
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, City Tour, & Table Mountain Cape Town
Day 2 Cape Peninsula Tour & Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Cape Town
Day 3 Cheese, Wine, & Chocolate Tour Cape Town
Day 4 Cape Town to Johannesburg, Soweto Tour Johannesburg
Day 5 Johannesburg to Sabi Sands Safari Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Days 6-7 On Safari in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Day 8 Sabi Sands to Victoria Falls Victoria Falls
Day 9 Guided Tour of Victoria Falls & Sunset Cruise Victoria Falls
Day 10 Victoria Falls to Hwange National Park Hwange National Park
Day 11 On Safari in Hwange National Park Hwange National Park
Day 12 Hwange to Mana Pools National Park Mana Pools National Park
Day 13 On Safari at Mana Pools National Park Mana Pools National Park
Day 14 Depart Mana Pools via Johannesburg  

 

This itinerary is great for spotting: leopards, elephants, and wild dogs

The African continent has more than 3,000 protected areas of land, and while you won't be able to cover all of them on this trip, you can get a good look. From the treetops of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town and vineyards of the Winelands, you'll continue to the Sabi Sands game reserve and two different national parks in Zimbabwe to take in all the scenery and safari time the southern region of the continent has to offer. Read more

#4 Parks & Beaches of Tanzania: Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar - 13 Days

Sunset over the Serengeti

Sunset over the Serengeti

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Arusha Arusha
Day 2 Tarangire National Park Tarangire National Park
Day 3 Transfer to Serengeti National Park Serengeti National Park
Day 4 Serengeti National Park Serengeti National Park
Day 5 Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater Ngorongoro
Day 6 Ngorongoro Safari/Transfer to Zanzibar Zanzibar
Days 7-12 Free Days in Zanzibar Zanzibar
Day 13 Depart from Zanzibar  

 

This itinerary is great for spotting: lions, cheetah, and hippos

The first part of this Tanzania adventure will take you on safari at Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Here, you'll do game drives, learn about the ecology of the parks, and see the African Big Five. Then, you'll fly over to the gorgeous Zanzibar archipelago, where you'll spend several days swimming in crystal-clear waters and diving around corals. Read more

#5 Kenya National Park & Wildlife Safari - 7 Days

A couple of lionesses in Masai Mara National Reserve

A lion in Masai Mara National Reserve

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Nairobi - Free Time Nairobi
Day 2 Transfer to Lake Nakuru National Park - Afternoon Exploration Nakuru
Day 3 Transfer to Masai Mara National Reserve Masai Mara
Day 4 Culture Tour & the Big Five in Masai Mara Masai Mara
Day 5 Transfer to Lake Naivasha - Boat Tour Naivasha
Day 6 Explore Hell's Gate National Park Naivasha
Day 7 Transfer to Nairobi - School Tour - Depart Kenya  

 

This itinerary is great for spotting: cheetah

This one-week adventure combines Kenya's culture, dramatic landscapes, and fascinating wildlife. After a night in the bustling capital, a private driver will take you to some of the country's best reserves, including Lake Nakuru National Park, Masai Mara Park, and Hell's Gate National Park. In addition to seeing the Big Five, flocks of flamingos, wildebeest, and much more—you will get the chance to visit the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha, and a local village. Read more

#6 Uganda National Parks: Kibale, Queen Elizabeth & Bwindi - 8 days

Wild Gorilla in Uganda
Wild Gorilla in Uganda
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Uganda! Kampala
Day 2 Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park Kibale National Park
Day 3 Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park Kibale National Park
Day 4 Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 5 Land & Water Safari at Queen Elizabeth National Park Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 6 Transfer to Bwindi National Park Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 7 Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi National Park Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 8 Flight Back Home  

 

This itinerary is great for spotting: gorillas

On this 8-day tour, you will be visiting some of Uganda's incredible national parks. Begin at Kibale Forest National Park, where you will track chimpanzees and go bird-watching at a wetland preserve. Continue to Queen Elizabeth National Park for land and water safaris. You'll see elephants, lions, leopards, hippos, buffalos, crocodiles, and more! End with the experience of a lifetime: seeing wild mountain gorillas up-close at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Read more