African Safari Holidays Avoiding the Crowds
African safari holidays are incredible experiences you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Thousands of travellers set off each year in the hope of spotting as many different species of wildlife as possible, and who can blame them? There’s nothing like seeing a lion or an elephant in its natural habitat.
But what if you want somewhere a little less busy? Luckily, there’s an option for you — choose a destination that’s not as well-known for its safari opportunities and you’ll get the peace and quiet you’ve been craving, without missing out. Here are three places to avoid the usual safari crowds.
Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda
It’s surprising Kidepo Valley National Park isn’t visited more, since it’s frequently listed as one of the best parks in Africa, thanks to the abundance of wildlife.
For an altogether different African experience, visit the Voodoo Festival in January in Benin and other countries.
Set off on a game drive with one of the park rangers, who know exactly where to spot the animals’ hiding places, and don’t forget your binoculars. You can also go birding, which is well worth it even if you’ve never been before, since the area is home to many different species, including Clapperton’s Francolin, which is only found in Kidepo.
Wildlife you might see, includes: lion, elephant, leopard, jackal, buffalo, bush pig and ostrich. You’ll also have the opportunity to see mountain gorillas if you go on a trek with a local porter.
KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Most people head to Kruger National Park if they go on safari in South Africa. Make your trip in KwaZulu Natal instead and not only will you avoid the crowds, you’ll also be able to explore a variety of different landscapes alongside the grasslands of the game parks, including forests, beaches, and mountain ranges.
KwaZulu Natal sits on the east coast of the country and is most famous for its rhino population (you’ll also be able to see the Big 5 at some safari lodges — be sure to ask before booking if this is important to you).
You could even experience something truly unique and do a safari tour on horseback, which allows you to get closer to the animals because you don’t have to worry about the noise from the vehicles.
Read Mark Bibby Jackson’s Favourite Safari Experience.
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
The Selous Game Reserve is often overlooked in favour of the Serengeti because of its remote location. Make the most of this — Selous is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you’ll appreciate its beauty even more away from the crowds.
As for wildlife, you have the chance to see elephants, buffalos, lions, hippos, zebras and giraffes, not to mention over 350 species of birds and reptiles. You can travel by vehicle, boat, or on foot, or you might even go for a combination of all three. The Rufiji River is a great place to spot elephants in particular.
As you can see, you don’t need to deal with big crowds if you’d prefer your safari to be more private. No matter where you decide to go, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Read more about how to select an ethical Elephant Sanctuary in Asia.
To book your African Safari Holidays
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Mark Bibby Jackson
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