(1)Serengeti National parkTanzania:

Map of Tanzania showing national parks.

Type of park: Open Savana grassland

Size Area: 14,763 km²

The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa, spanning northern Tanzania. The protected area within the region includes approximately 30,000 km² of land, including the Serengeti National Park and several game reserves and is famous for its annual wildebeest migration, when some 8 million hooves cross the open plains, as more than 1,500,000 wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the trek for fresh grazing. Predators follow the migration and sightings of big cats hunting is particularly exciting.

Zebras and Wildebeest at Serengeti national Park during the annual migration

(2)Kruger National park:

Location: South Africa

Type of park: dry savanna biome

Size:19,485 km²

Kruger National Park, in northeastern South Africa, is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Its high density of wild animals includes the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos. Hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks. Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape, and is famous forlarge mammal species than any other park in Africa. Besides the famous Big 5: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo – there is a wealth of antelope species, warthogs, ostriches, zebra, wildebeest, hyena, cheetah, wild dogs and many smaller animals like otters, mongeese and shrews.

Tourists watching Two male lions fighting at Kruger National Park South Africa

(3) Victoria Falls

The Mighty Victoria falls

Type of park: Cataract water fall

Location: Border between Zambia and Zimbabwe

Height: 108 Meters (360ft)

Victoria Falls is a waterfall on the Zambezi River in southern Africa, which provides habitat for several unique species of plants and animals. It is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is considered to be one of the world’s largest waterfalls due to its width of 1,708 m. And famous for being one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and the major waterfall on the Zambezi River in Africa. It is famous for being the largest waterfall in the world, in the wet season. The African people who live around the falls call it Mosi-oa-Tunya which means “smoke that thunders”.

Victoria falls the mighty falls between Zambia and Zimbabwe Africa

(4)Etosha National Park:

Type of park: Desert savanna

Location: Northern Namibia

Area Size: 22,270 km2 (8,600 sq mi)

lioness hunting zebras at Etosha national park Namibia

Etosha National Park is unique in Africa. The park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space. Yet there is abundant wildlife that congregates around the waterholes, giving you almost guaranteed game sightings

A family of Rothchild’s giraffe at Etosha National park Namibia

. At the same time Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa. And is famous for its wildlife like lion, elephant, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, hyena, springbok, two kinds of zebra, eland and many more species of wildlife are found here.

lions with antelopes in back ground at Etosha national Park Namibia Africa

(5) Okavango Delta

Type of park: Flooded swampy grassland savanna

Location: Northern Botswana

Area Size:16,000 sq. km

A tourist using mokoro Tradition boat during bird watching activity of the Okavango delta

The Okavango Delta Grassland in Botswana is a swampy inland delta formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough at an altitude of 930–1,000 m[3] in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari.

A lioness crossing the flooded area at Okavango delta Botswana

All the water reaching the delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired and does not flow into any sea or ocean. Each year, about 11 cubic kilometres (2.6 cu mi) of water spread over the 6,000–15,000 km2 (2,300–5,800 sq mi) area. Some flood waters drain into Lake Ngami.[4] The area was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that had mostly dried up by the early Holocene. And famous for its rich wildlife, water-based safaris and commitment to low-impact tourism. The delta is a fascinating region to discover.

Aerial view of Okavango delta swampy grass land in Botswana Africa

(6) Chobe National Park

Type of park: Open humid savanna woodland

Location: Botswana

Area size:11,700 km²

Aerial view of Chobe national park

Chobe National Park is in northern Botswana near the vast, inland Okavango Delta. It’s known for its large herds of elephants and Cape buffalo, which converge along the Chobe Riverfront in the dry months. Lions, antelopes and hippos inhabit the woods and lagoons around Linyanti Marsh. The floodable grasslands of the Savuti Marsh attract numerous bird species, plus migrating zebras. Located in the north of Botswana, Chobe National Park is famous for its elephants, its diverse habitats, its varied array of animals and birds and its beautiful river, which allows for amazing game viewing by boat.

Family of elephants drinking water at Chobe river in Botswana Africa

(7)Kidepo valley National park

Type of park: Valley woodland savanna

Location: Uganda

Area size: 1,442km2

Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.

Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges. During the dry season, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools in the broad Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal oases, combined with the open, savannah terrain, make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location.

A family of elephants grazing at Kidepo National Park Uganda
Rothschild giraffes at Kidepo National Park Uganda

(8)Hwange National Park

Type of park: Grassland mopane woodland

Location: Zimbabwe

Area size:15 000 km²

Hwange National Park is in west Zimbabwe. Its grasslands and mopane woods are home to large elephant herds, lions and African wild dogs. In the northwest, animals gather at Mandavu and Masuma dams, where there are concealed lookouts. Bumbusi National Monument includes 18th-century ruins and pre-colonial rock carvings. In the southeast, waterholes include the Nyamandhlovu Pan, with its elevated viewing platform. Hwange is the largest national park of Zimbabwe’s . At this immense wildlife reserve is packed with big game and is famous for massive numbers of buffalo and – in particular – its elephant herds.

Male lion and cubs at Hwange National park Zimbabwe
Zebras at Hwange National park Zimbabwe

(9)Bwindi impenetrable national park- Uganda

Type of Park: Dense impenetrable rainforest

Location: South west Uganda- Africa.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rain forests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.

This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.

The neighboring towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo both have an impressive array of luxury lodges, rustic bandas, and budget campsites, as well as restaurants, craft stalls, and guiding services. Opportunities abound to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa Pygmy cultures through performances, workshops, and village walks.

Mother and baby Gorilla in bwindi Impenetrable national park Uganda Africa

(10) Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzee Tracking (trekking) is the activity where travellers with the help of a guide through the jungle follow the trail left by a habituated chimpanzee family and when they find them, spend sometime (usually an hour) with the chimps experiencing their cultures.

Chimpanzees are close cousins to man with almost 98% DNA; they live in huge communities of about 20-70 individuals with many family groups with one alpha male. The Alpha male is the highest-ranking male that controls the group and maintains order during arguments, in chimpanzee society male chimps normally stay within their communities were they are born while females frequently move to the neighboring communities after reaching adolescence, Chimpanzees consume a variety of foods like fruits and plants that man eats, and the fruit of fig trees.

(A)Location: Kibale National park Uganda

type of park: Rain forest

Uganda is the most well known destination for gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Africa.

The Kibale Forest National Park, located in western Uganda, is known to be the home to the close relatives of humans, chimpanzees. It contains a diverse array of landscapes and Kibale is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests. In eastern Africa, it sustains the last significant expanse of pre-montane forest.

A family of Chimpanzees at Kibale National park Uganda

(B) Budongo forest-Uganda

Type of park: Rain forest

Budongo Forest reserve is located in Western part of Uganda approximately a 4 hours drive from the Uganda capital Kampala right before you enter the Murchison Falls National Park. Budongo Forest covers an area of 793 sq km, 53% is complete montane forest and the other area is grassland. This forest reserve is home to different wildlife species such as over 359 bird species, 465 species of trees, 9 primate species, 289 butterfly species, and 24 species of mammals as well as 130 species of moths. Budongo forest is also famous for mahogany trees and a big number of Chimpanzees approximately 600 to 700 chimpanzees.

The reserve has 6 groups of welcomes chimpanzee tracking travellers all year round boasting of 6 habituated chimp groups in the area. There’s always a high chance of seeing the primates in Budongo forest once you book a chimpanzee trekking permit. Trekking starts at 7:00 am as you are led by the ranger guides to look for these amazing primates that share a DNA of about 98% with the human beings. Chimpanzee trekking can take you 30 minutes or even a full day, how long it takes is mainly dependant on the location of these primates. The Budongo forest reserve is managed both by the Uganda wildlife Authority (UWA) and the Jane Good all Institute.

A family of chimpanzees on the ground in Budongo Forest Uganda

(11)White water rafting

(A)River Nile at Jinja Uganda

Jinja is in Jinja District, Busoga sub-region, in the Eastern Region of Uganda. It is approximately 81 kilometres (50 mi), by road, east of Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda]

It sits along the northern shores of Lake Victoria, near the source of the White Nile. The city sits at an average elevation of 1,204 metres (3,950 ft) above sea level.

The city was founded in 1901 by British settlers.  It was planned under colonial rule in 1948 by Ernst May, German architect and urban planner. May also designed the urban planning scheme for Kampala, creating what he called “neighborhood units.” Estates were built for the ruling elite in many parts outside the center city. This led to the area’s ‘slum clearance’ which displaced more than 1,000 residents in the 1950s.

In 1954, the construction of the Owen Falls Dam submerged the Ripon Falls. Most of the “Flat Rocks” that gave the area its name disappeared under water as well. The local Baganda called the area “the stones” which is “Mayinja” in Luganda. The name “Jinja” is derived from this. A description of what the area looked like can be found in the notes of John Hanning Speke, the first European to lay eyes on the source of the Nile:

Though beautiful, the scene was not exactly what I expected, for the broad surface of the lake was shut out from view by a spur of hill, and the falls, about twelve feet deep and four to five hundred feet broad, were broken by rocks; still it was a sight that attracted one to it for hours. The roar of the waters, the thousands of passenger fish leaping at the falls with all their might, the fishermen coming out in boats, and taking post on all the rocks with rod and hook, hippopotami and crocodiles lying sleepily on the water, the ferry at work above the falls, and cattle driven down to drink at the margin of the lake, made in all, with the pretty nature of the country—small grassy-topped hills, with trees in the intervening valleys and on the lower slopes—as interesting a picture as one could wish to see.

Jinja was among the Ugandan cities affected by the Uganda–Tanzania War of 1978–1979. After the Fall of Kampala to the coalition of the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) and the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA), Ugandan President Idi Amin initially fled to Jinja. There, he attempted to rally remnants of the Uganda Army (UA). According to journalist Nelson Bwire Kapo, Amin even declared Jinja the new capital of Uganda, but soon fled to Arua and from there into exile. Parts of the local UA garrison belonging to the Eagle Colonel Gaddafi Battalion remained, drunkenly harassing and murdering local civilians, but most soldiers gradually deserted and fled Jinja. The TPDF and their UNLA allies assaulted Jinja on 22 April 1979, occupying the city after encountering little resistance. The remaining UA troops mostly fled, and Jinja’s civilian residents greeted the TPDF-UNLA force with cheers. The operation was accompanied by some looting in the city. Following the end of hostilities, Tanzanian officers reportedly used Jinja as a hub to transport stolen goods from Uganda to Mwanza, including cars, tons of coffee, large amounts of gasoline, and war materiel.

Tourists rafting on the Nile

(B)Zambezi white water rafting in Zimbabwe,

The Zambezi River (also spelled Zambeze and Zambesi) is the fourth-longest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is 1,390,000 square kilometres (540,000 sq mi), slightly less than half of the Nile’s. The 2,574-kilometre-long river (1,599 mi) rises in Zambia and flows through eastern Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, then along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it crosses the country to empty into the Indian Ocean.

Tourists rafting on Zambezi river

The Zambezi’s most noted feature is Victoria Falls. Other notable falls include the Chavuma Falls at the border between Zambia and Angola, and Ngonye Falls, near Sioma in Western Zambia.

There are two main sources of hydroelectric power on the river, the Kariba Dam, which provides power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, which provides power to Mozambique and South Africa. There are additionally two smaller power stations along the Zambezi River in Zambia, one at Victoria Falls and the other one near Kalene Hill in Ikelenge District.

The river rises in a black marshy dambo in dense undulating miombo woodland 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Mwinilunga and 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Ikelenge in the Ikelenge District of North-Western Province, Zambia at about 1,524 metres (5,000 ft) above sea level. The area around the source is a national monument, forest reserve and Important Bird Area.

Tourists rafting through the rapids on zambezi river

The region drained by the Zambezi is a vast broken-edged plateau 900–1200 m high, composed in the remote interior of metamorphic beds and fringed with the igneous rocks of the Victoria Falls. At Shupanga, on the lower Zambezi, thin strata of grey and yellow sandstones, with an occasional band of limestone, crop out on the bed of the river in the dry season, and these persist beyond Tete, where they are associated with extensive seams of coal. Coal is also found in the district just below Victoria Falls. Gold-bearing rocks occur in several places.

Tourists rafting through Zambezi gorge

(12) Tree climbing lions

(A) Ishasha Uganda.

Two males and one lioness resting on the branches of a fig tree at Ishasha Queen Elizabeth national park

In many places around the world, it is really unheard of for lions to climb trees. In fact, only two lion populations throughout the entire universe are known to be those of tree climbing lions who do it as a behavior. Uganda is lucky be one of habitats for these lions; in the Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southern side while the other is in the neighboring Lake Manyara National Park’s southern side in Tanzania. For those visitors whose wish is to see these amazing lions, then journeying on safari with Xavier safaris is the only way how to find and view these creatures in the wild!

Two lioness resting on a branch of a fig tree at Ishasha Queen Elizabeth national park Uganda

These lions in Ishasha climb on the tree tops as a way of protecting themselves from crawling insects and gnawing tsetse flies that are at the bottom. however, some people believe that they move from branch to branch in order to get warmth and stay away from the heat that is on the ground. In the branches though the winds are cool which might actually be the reason they are motivated to climb, though the real reason as to why these lions are able to climb remains unknown. In the evenings, the lions head to the trees to find rest and refreshment from the cool tree shades after having a sumptuous meal they might have hunted earlier.

A lioness climbing down from the tee at Queen Elizabeth national park Ishasha Uganda

A number of our visitors for the biggest part of their safari opt to go to Ishasha mainly because of the undying passion they have to see these tree climbing lions. these are rewarded not only with the lion pride but also with the sight of numerous untamed wildlife species and views that are breathtaking.

the bigger part of the Ishasha sector in the Queen Elizabeth National Park is entirely based on the beguiling populace of these tree climbing lions whose sight is a fascination extraordinarily extreme. this lion population has over the years become a magnet so significant that it draws a huge number of tourists to visit the national park. The lions in Ishasha have many a time been seen lazily laying on the branches of gigantic fig trees as they gaze and await their prey; like the Ugandan Kobs which wander into the open fields of Ishasha in the park.

if there is even a slightest chance that while on your Ugandan tour you happen to be pursued by a lion, then the option of climbing onto tree tops might actually be of no help especially is you are in the Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha sector since we already know who rules the trees!

(B) Lake Manyara national park Tanzania

A lioness and a male lion relaxing on the branches of a fig tree at lake Manyara national park Tanzania

The lions in the Lake Manyara National Park, in Tanzania, are known as “tree-climbing lions”; they usually spend the days on the branches of the trees, while they descend on the ground at sunset.

This particular habit has been well documented in this park, but the motivation that leads them to behave in this particular way has not been defined with certainty; conjectures have been formulated over the years.

In fact, sometimes the lions climb trees as well in other areas in Africa, but in the Lake Manyara National Park they do it very often and for much longer, it has become their custom.

The first studies were undertaken in the ’60s by Stephen Makacha who compared the behavior of the lions of the Lake Manyara with that of the lions of the Serengeti National Park, that had been analyzed by the studies of George Schaller; previously other scholars also formulated various theories, that were collected and analyzed by Makacha.

Two lioness looking at the tourist in Lake Manyara national park Tanzania

What has already been observed is that the lions of the Lake Manyara climbed on trees much more frequently than the lions of the Serengeti and, in most cases, remained on the trees for a long time during the daylight hours.

two lioness up in the tree for a better view of the roaming animals at lake Manyara national park Tanzania

It was known that the lions of the Ngorongoro Crater, at a certain moment, began to climb trees, in the presence of an epidemic of mosquitoes or other dipterans able to sting them (biting flies), but this was considered an anomalous behavior, due and circumscribed to the particular situation, anyway this fact was taken into consideration. In the Lake Manyara National Park it had already been observed that the lions escaped the charges of the buffaloes and elephants by taking refuge on the trees, but this did not justify their stay on the branches for several hours.

A lioness resting on a branch of a fig tree furiously gazing at the tourists at Lake Manyara national park Tanzania.

(13) Maasai Mara game reserve Kenya

Size: 1,510 km2 (580 sq mi)