How Safaris Work

Map of Africa

There are a great many fascinating destinations in Africa for a visitor, but most of the best opportunities to experience the continent’s incredible diversity of wildlife and natural habitat are in the eastern and southern regions. Various African nations have their own advantages and attractions for Safari goers. Kenya, which probably is the most developed country in terms of economic and tourist infrastructure, is most famous for safaris. But neighboring Tanzania, the locale chosen by Ernest Hemingway for one of his most famous safari stories, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," has an equally rich diversity of wildlife and safari opportunities. South Africa has been working hard to develop and promote its safari industry, and offers numerous locally-run safari operations. Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, and even the obscure African kingdom of Swaziland are rich in animals and birds, and offer a range of possible trips and safari operators from which to choose. Uganda now offers gorilla-tracking trips, an option that's gaining rapidly in popularity among those who are interested in our endangered primate cousins.

In fact, you may want to think of your trip to Africa as just an introduction to a continent that you can visit again and again. For your initial safari, you might choose to visit Kruger National Park in South Africa or the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Both of those parks afford you with a good opportunity to see the so-called big five animals -- lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros -- and are the best places to get a classic safari experience. If you're able to return to Africa again, you can pick a different locale, and perhaps pay more attention to other denizens of the African wild, such as birds and insects, and to the diverse flora [source: Harrison]. See the map to give you some idea of the continent's geography and climate, and the location of some prime safari areas.