The 9 Best African Safari Tours of 2019

Visit Africa and embark on these unforgettable journeys

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Across Africa Safari – Buy Tickets at Viator

"An adventure-defining opportunity to sample Southern and Central African highlights."

Best Budget: Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point from Cape Town – Buy Tickets at Viator

"The ability to explore both culture and wildlife simultaneously makes this a winner."

Best Botswana: Moremi Special 5 Day Safari – Buy Tickets at Viator

"A family-friendly trip that will transport you to areas inaccessible by many."

Best South Africa: 5-Day Garden Route – Buy Tickets at Viator

"To experience the best of South Africa it is essential to emerge from your comfort zone and take an adrenaline filled journey."

Best Tanzania: Climb Mount Kilimanjaro – Buy Tickets at Viator

"Africa’s highest peak is a challenge which tests one’s mental and physical strength, and after is indisputably rewarding."

Best Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls and Chobe Tour – Buy Tickets at Viator

"Each vantage point offers a different and more superb view of the tumbling waters."

Best Kenya: Lake Nakuru National Park Day Tour – Buy Tickets at Viator

"There is no more unique experience than the flamingo migration of Lake Nakuru!"

Best Mozambique: Luxury Trip to the Quirimbas – Buy Tickets at jacadatravel.com

"Mozambique’s outer islands are as beautiful as any along the African coast."

Best Namibia: Etosha And Swakopmund Accommodated Adventure – Buy Tickets at Viator

"Namibia is a road tripper’s paradise, with vistas of the rolling dunes and sights of wild elephants."

01 of 09

Best Overall: Across Africa Safari

Chobe National Park

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This 28-day, in-depth expedition across six African countries begins in cosmopolitan Cape Town, where participants can explore the bustling Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and the serene Kirstenbosch Gardens before crossing the border into Botswana. There, stunning scenery and an overnight camp will be the defining highlights of many days filled with delicious meals, many of which are cooked around the campfire.

Along the way, guests will visit both Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls National Park in Botswana and Zimbabwe, respectively. Participants can get up-close and personal with the African game that inhabits these nature preserves. Both parks are known for their elephants and giraffes, so guests should keep their eyes peeled. Visitors can relax in Zambia’s Kapishya Hot Springs, a geological treasure tucked into a 20th-century colonial estate, before traveling into Tanzania where views of towering Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, are front and center. The journey continues to the coastal paradise of Zanzibar, known for its clear waters and sandy beaches.

The next stop — Kenya’s wildlife-rich national parks — offer travelers views of unique birdlife and serene Rift Valley lakes. Afterward, the trip spends over a week in Uganda with the option of ascending into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in search of mountain gorillas.

Visas are not included as part of the tour and therefore prior planning is essential to ensure ease of travel. Accommodation, national park fees, air-conditioned transport, and guides are all included, guaranteeing paramount safety and comfort on the excursion. 

02 of 09

Best Budget: Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point from Cape Town

Cape of Good Hope

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Many African excursions are long and expensive packages that bring tourists deep into the bush in search of the most beautiful nature on the planet. Still, a shorter, more relaxed day trip is an excellent addition to any holiday. 

This eight-hour private day trip around the Cape Peninsula is a flexible trip that visits the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, known for its neon and brightly colored houses. It then continues on to the Cape Point Vineyards for a taste of South Africa’s world-renowned wines, so sightseers can explore both culture and nature back to back. 

Next, travelers head to False Bay via the scenic Chapman’s Peak Road to swim with penguins. The final stop of the expedition will visit the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve where a private guide will impart information that will both thrill and intrigue, such as how Europeans first rounded the Cape in the 15th century to open up nautical trade with Asia, or how the native penguins will swim up to 30 miles in search of food. 

Hikers should make sure to wear sturdy footwear as the trails of the Cape can be rough and unforgiving on ankles. Entrance fees to various National Parks are not included, but road tolls, hotel pick-ups, and guided transportation are.

03 of 09

Best Botswana: Moremi Special 5 Day Safari

Botswana

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Botswana is often overshadowed by its tourist-heavy neighboring countries, so tourists can visit and head out on a safari without having to worry about all the crowds. 

This five-day trip combines the best of northern Botswana through a mobile, tented camp safari in the Okavango Delta, which is one of, if not the world’s most wildlife-abundant areas. On this voyage, visitors will be transported to the Moremi game reserve for daily land and boat excursions to spot elephants, leopards, hippopotamuses, and countless other African creatures. Accompanied by fantastic and knowledgeable guides, the safari group learns all about the flora and fauna of the diverse ecosystem.

This is a true adventure, and vacationers will spend nights sitting around the crackling fire while hyenas and hippos cackle and rumble close by. 

Lunches and breakfasts are included on the trek, so travelers won’t have to worry about bringing food for themselves.

04 of 09

Best South Africa: 5-Day Garden Route

Tsitsikamma National Park

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Taking an adrenaline-filled journey along the scenic Garden Route, an outing that treks the South African Coast, beginning in Cape Town and ending in Port Elizabeth, a city known for its beaches and relaxed way of life. 

After hotel pick-up from Cape Town, adventurers meet their guide on the ride north from the western side of the Cape to the eastern end. Throughout the journey, optional activities include canoeing through the massive canyons of Storms River in Tsitsikamma National Park, surfing at J-Bay, home to some of the best waves in the world, and even jumping from Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bridge bungee jump in the world. 

An action-packed itinerary may not be for everyone, and alternatives include hiking around Tsitsikamma National Park or attempting to encounter as many safari species as possible at Addo Elephant Park, and with an elephant population of over 550, vacationers are sure to spot at least one African giant here. 

Apart from the entrance to Addo Elephant Park, all additional activities, lunches, and dinners require additional fees. Hotel pickup, guides, and breakfasts are included. Guests should rest assured that they’ll enjoy themselves since multiple travelers have praised the fact that the tour allows people to have the freedom to choose exactly what they want to do.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best Tanzania: Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

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Africa is home to some extreme terrain, but very few places on the continent are more daunting than Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. Summiting the mountain is a challenge that tests one’s mental and physical strength, and after completion is indisputably rewarding. Thousands of visitors attempt to reach the peak every year, and climbing the mountain is the accomplishment of a lifetime — should hikers make it to the top.

This seven-day trip starts at Machame Gate, the entrance point of the most popular route up the mountain. Here climbers meet their team before beginning the climb through the lower altitude trek, which is spotted with dense rainforests. The slow ascent allows for maximum acclimatization to higher altitudes, so that when the mountaintop arrives, adventurers won’t be out of breath as they experience triumph atop the African continent.  

First-class equipment is provided including oxygen systems, tents, and provisions. Fees and airport transfers are also included, although gratuities are not. All drinks and food will be prepared by chefs who accompany the hike and have been carefully chosen to provide optimal nutrition for the climb. The final day of the trek will descend from 10,200 feet to 5,400 feet, where a celebratory presentation will take place and summiteers will receive certificates of completion. 

06 of 09

Best Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls and Chobe Tour

Victoria Falls

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This five-day excursion to the area surrounding the iconic Victoria Falls – the earth’s largest waterfall and one of the seven wonders of the world – and Chobe National Park will begin with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi, which feeds the waterfall, before embarking on a hike of the falls. On the hike, each vantage point provides a different and more superb view of the roaring, tumbling waters.  

From the Falls, travelers will depart to the border with Botswana where they will have three days to explore in Chobe National Park, which is home to the largest concentration of elephants in Africa. The safari’s early morning game drives will also give lucky tourists the opportunity to encounter various species of big cats as well, including lions, leopards or cheetahs. 

All meals are included on the excursion, but the Victoria Falls park fee is not.  

07 of 09

Best Kenya: Lake Nakuru National Park Day Tour

Lake Nakuru

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Kenya is a popular stop on the tourist circuit because of its stunning natural beauty, so those looking to escape the crowds while still seeing the celebrated Kenyan flora and fauna should embark on a trip to the lesser-visited Great Rift Valley.

This nine-hour day trip to the Great Rift Valley includes hotel pickup in Nairobi at 6:30 a.m. before arriving at Lake Nakuru National Park where hundreds of thousands of flamingos transform the lake into a pink mirage during the months of January and February. The national park is also home to over 450 species of birds, including pelicans, falcons, and canaries, but travelers can expect to see rhinoceros and even the rare black-maned lion. 

After an in-depth game drive to get sightseers up close and personal with these wild animals, an optional lunch at a local lodge is provided. Finally, the voyage will depart back to Nairobi. 

Since National Park fees, food, and drink are not provided, most participants bring their own snacks and water to sustain them throughout the long journey and in-park visit. 

08 of 09

Best Mozambique: Luxury Trip to the Quirimbas

Mozambique

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Mozambique is home to a wealth of places and foods worth seeing and eating, like its Peri-Peri spices and its unspoiled beaches. Once colonized by the Portuguese, Mozambique’s coastal islands are as beautiful as any along African, thanks to the country’s crystal-clear water and excellent diving reefs. 

A week on one of the islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago, located near the northern border of the country, offers plentiful fishing and diving opportunities. Other activities include kayaking over gin-clear waters or simply laying back in a hammock with a cool beverage in hand. 

Enjoying warm waters year-round, the scuba diving opportunities on the islands will uncover great shoals of fish and virgin reefs. Some of the world’s tastiest fish, like trevally, mahi-mahi, and tuna are often seen off the country’s coastal reefs, so divers have the chance to catch their own dinner.  

After a day at sea, weary adventurers can unwind with drinks and relaxation at the idyllic Azura Quilalea, a private island replete with nine different villas, a full-service restaurant, and a spa.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best Namibia: Etosha And Swakopmund Accommodated Adventure

The Skeleton Coast

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A country where giant rolling dunes meet the wild Atlantic Ocean and elephants roam free through the desert, Namibia is definitely a road tripper’s paradise.

This four-day mobile adventure, departing from the capital city of Windhoek into the expansive wilds of this West African country, is an exhilarating journey – perfect for those who want a glimpse at some of the best safari land Africa has on display.

The safari’s first visit is to Etosha National Park, home to the giant salt flats where wildlife congregates from hundreds of miles around to drink at the waterholes. The evening of the first day is particularly rewarding, as the accommodation at the Halali Rest Camp is famed for its floodlight waterhole where elephant and buffalo come within yards of the group to take a drink.

The next stop on the journey is along the Skeleton Coast, which gets its name from the abundance of shipwrecks that dot its beaches. Explorers will visit the Zeila shipwreck, a discarded fishing vessel that has been colonized by the birds of Namibia, and. for those who want to indulge further, the opportunity to soar over the other eerie shipwrecks on the coast is possible with a scenic flight from a nearby runway.

After a visit to the flamingos of Walvis Bay lagoon, the group will climb to the top of Dune 7, a 1,256-foot sand goliath, and the tallest sand dune in Namibia.

All meals and accommodation are included, as well as professional guides and transportation in a custom-built safari vehicle for optimum safari viewing opportunities.

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