2020 Travel: Top Safari Destinations in Southern AfricaJanuary 31, 2020
International leaders in tourism have spoken and named these two Southern African countries, with their various wilderness regions, top safari destinations for 2020 travel.
With a new year (and decade!) come exciting new travel trends to help you set your holiday goals. Whether travelling with family, friends, your significant other or solo, Botswana and Zambia are safari destinations recognised by Harper’s Baazar and CNN Travel as two options for an unforgettable holiday in Southern Africa.
Without further ado, take a look at what these countries have to offer:
“While many southern African countries monetized the safari as an economy of scale, Botswana leaned into exclusivity instead of volume, championing singular, upmarket experiences for the few instead of midrange camps for the many. The strategy paid off as the peaceful nation has garnered an international reputation for its roaring population of wildlife versus a small huddle of tourists” – Harper’s Bazaar
Moremi Game Reserve is made up largely of the wetland waters of eastern Okavango Delta, setting the scene for incredible biodiversity and abundant wildlife. Game-viewing is great throughout the year and can be experienced by game drive or mokoro (dugout canoe). It acts as a refuge for endangered predators such as African wild dog, cheetahs and lion, who share this wilderness with elephants, red lechwe, giraffes, buffaloes and almost 400 bird species.
Chobe National Park is characterised by the mighty Chobe River and is renowned for big concentrations of elephant – at times exceeding 120 000 – and buffalo that come to drink along its banks. A notable list of bird species, particularly of the aquatic variety, can be spotted among the reeds and hunting overhead during boat safaris. Further inside the park, spotted hyena, leopard and cheetah are commonly sighted.
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is a collection of salt pans covering an area of almost 4 000 square kilometers in the dry north-eastern reaches of Botswana. When the rains descends upon the lunar-like desert landscape, life comes to the park in the form of migrating wildebeest and one of Africa’s largest zebra populations. It is also a critically important breeding site for greater and lesser flamingos. Depending on the season, the park can be experienced by game drive, quad-biking and guided walks.
“With over 30% of the country’s land reserved for national parks, a visit to Zambia encourages you to get up close with jaw-dropping national parks as well as a look at stunning Victoria Falls” – CNN Travel
South Luangwa National Park is considered by many the birthplace of the walking safari and is an exceptional wildlife experience due to its biodiversity. The flooding of the Luangwa River turns the park lush and fertile – famously known as the Emerald Season – to be enjoyed via boat. The park is a top spot for birders and game alike, with over 450 bird species, and healthy populations of elephant, buffalo, hippos, giraffe, leopards and lions.
Lower Zambezi National Park lies between the rugged Zambezi escarpment and vast Zambezi River, with channels, lagoons and sandbanks along the river that open out into plains, woodland and bush. This watery playground can be explored by boat and canoe, with elephants and buffalo on the water’s edge and hippos lolling about; or by game drive to come across predators like leopard, spotted hyena and lion. Keen fishermen can try their hand at wrestling with the ferocious tiger fish.
Victoria Falls, known locally as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, is the world’s largest falling sheet of water and deservedly holds UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Swimming in Devil’s Pool – nature’s own plunge pool on the Fall’s edge – is exhilarating as are the other equally water- and air-based activities. Upstream of the Falls, the Zambezi can be navigated by boat and canoe; traditional wildlife safaris are possible in nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.
Contact us to plan a holiday to one or more of these top safari destinations in Southern Africa.
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