Which are the Most Popular African Countries to Visit?

Africa, the Mother Continent, entices travelers with its intriguing appeal, from towering mountains to azure beaches and diverse wildlife. Each country offers unique landscapes and cultural encounters, ensuring unforgettable experiences. As a luxury African Safari Tour Agency, we’ve curated numerous safaris across the continent, from South Africa’s Big Five safaris to the Great Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania and Kenya, and gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda. With so many adventures to choose from, it’s no wonder travelers often ask, “Where do we start?” And that’s why we are here.  Dive into our 13 most popular safari destinations to discover the wondrous possibilities in Africa.

Little Chem Chem, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Top Southern Africa Countries to Visit  

Southern Africa, distinct from South Africa, comprises the southernmost countries of the African continent, excluding Madagascar. With diverse landscapes and cultures, it includes Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

1) South Africa 

A lion pride at Royal Malewane, Timbavati, South Africa

For many first-time safari-goers, South Africa is an ideal starting point. Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Nature Reserve offer exclusive Big Five safaris, complemented by luxurious safari lodges. Meanwhile, Cape Town boasts world-class wine tasting, top restaurants, art, outdoor adventures, rich history, and thrilling outdoor and cultural experiences. Plus, we must add, the South African Rand to the US dollar exchange rate provides exceptional value for money.

Top Reasons to Visit South Africa 

  • Exclusive Big Five Safaris 
  • Exceptional leopard viewing in Sabi Sand Nature Reserve 
  • Cape Town fine dining and world-class wines
  • Wildlife Conservation Experiences – rhino notching  
  • Malaria-free big five safari options available – perfect for families 


2) Botswana 

Voted by the Ubuntu Travel team as the top safari destination in 2024. Botswana, roughly the size of Texas, offers some of the world’s most immersive safaris thanks to its low population density and progressive government. Bordered by South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, this landlocked country is a sought-after wilderness destination. Experience abundant big game, lush vegetation, and natural beauty at its finest. Witness incredibly large elephant herds, with the Chobe River hosting up to 50,000 elephants during the dry season.

Wilderness King’s Pool, Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana

Explore the Okavango Delta, a seasonal wetland attracting diverse wildlife in search of water. Don’t miss the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve and the opportunity to visit the San people in the central Kalahari. Adventure activities abound, including quad biking and horse riding, and you can even visit habituated families of meerkats. A blog post you might be interested in, “Seven Highlights from our Botswana Trip” – written by Co-founder, Leah Green 

Top Reasons to Visit Botswana

  • Expansive & remote Big Five wilderness areas
  • Incredible wild dog sightings – Africa’s second rarest carnivore 
  • Mokoro experience through the famous Okavango Delta
  • Meerkat experience in the remote Kalahari Desert 
  • Longest terrestrial zebra migration in Nxai National Park (Nov – March) 

Wilderness Vumbura Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana

3) Zimbabwe 

Zimbabwe, bordering South Africa, boasts some of the continent’s most expansive and wildlife-rich destinations. From the adrenaline-pumping Victoria Falls to the mega herds of elephants in Hwange National Park and the thrilling big game walking safaris in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe offers an authentic safari experience. 

Singita Malilangwe House, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Zimbabwe

With two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Victoria Falls and Mana Pools, the country is a haven for natural beauty seekers. Refreshed luxury lodges and world-class adventure and dining experiences complement the wilderness destinations, making Zimbabwe a must-visit safari holiday destination.

Top Reasons to Visit Zimbabwe 

  • The majestic Victoria Falls & adrenaline capital of Africa 
  • Big game walking safaris in Mana Pools 
  • Hwange National Park – home to 40,000 elephants 
  • Rhino conservation at Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve 
  • World-renowned Zimbabwean hospitality & safari guides 
  • Zambezi River sunset cruises and game viewing 


 4) Zambia 

Zambia’s safari destinations are renowned for their natural beauty and wildlife diversity. Victoria Falls, a majestic wonder on the Zambezi River, is a must-see attraction. The country’s well-known parks like South Luangwa National Park and hidden gems like Liuwa Plains National Park offer unparalleled opportunities for walking tours, making Zambia a top choice for adventurous travelers. With a surge in interest, Zambia promises unforgettable experiences for those seeking to explore Africa’s hidden wonders.

Top Reasons to Visit Zambia

  • An alternative view of Victoria Falls and Devil’s Pool 
  • “Valley of the Leopard” in South Luangwa National Park 
  • Exclusive & remote  big game viewing without the crowds 
  • Renowned wild dog viewing in National Parks 
  • Game fishing and sunset cruises on the Zambezi River

5) Mozambique 

Mozambique offers the perfect blend of safari and beach experiences, a trend that’s gaining popularity. With 1,550 miles of pristine beachfront and stunning tropical islands, it’s a paradise for beach lovers. After an exhilarating safari excursion, unwinding on these beautiful shores is the ultimate relaxation. 

Azura Benguerra Island, Mozambique

Mozambique’s clear turquoise waters are ideal for world-class diving, showcasing vibrant marine life and well-preserved corals. Add colonial-style architecture, Portuguese-influenced cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, and you have the recipe for an unforgettable vacation off the beaten path. Checkout our blog post, ‘5 must-do Benguerra Island Adventures’ 

Top Reasons to Visit Mozambique 

  • Remote beachfront & island vacation – a perfect way to end a safari
  • Traditional sunset dhow cruises and boating activities 
  • Thriving dugong population inside marine reserves 
  • Renowned PADI scuba diving and snorkeling sites
  • Deep sea fishing and other marine activities 


6) Namibia 

Namibia offers a unique safari experience like no other in Africa. With its vast, sparsely populated landscapes, sweeping dunes, and rugged coastlines, Namibia embodies true adventure. Despite its seemingly isolated nature, Namibia is remarkably tourist-friendly, making it ideal for first-time African explorers.

Etosha National Park boasts one of the world’s largest and most stable populations of black rhino, while Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert showcases immense sand dunes surrounding a dry salt pan, offering a truly isolated and breathtakingly scenic safari destination.

Top Reasons to Visit Namibia 

  • Desert adapted wildlife like oryx, black rhino, elephant and lion
  • Sossusvlei’s red desert dunes and dark sky reserve 
  • Horse riding safaris across remote arid landscapes 
  • Excursions and helicopter flips over the Skeleton Coast 
  • Etosha Pan’s dramatic and diverse big game viewing

Top East Africa Countries to Visit 

East Africa spans the eastern region of the African continent, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultures. It encompasses countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Seychelles, each offering unique experiences, from the majestic wildlife of the Serengeti to the tranquil shores of Lake Victoria.

1) Kenya

Sitting along the Indian Ocean, Kenya is an East African paradise renowned for its diverse wildlife, majestic mountains, lush flora, and pristine islands. With family-friendly options available, Kenya offers a variety of great safari destination through-out the year. Witness the legendary Great Wildebeest Migration, typically occurring from August to October. Explore Nairobi for unique encounters like Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Centre, then venture into the renowned Masai Mara National Reserve for thrilling year-round safaris. Concerned about crowds? Opt for private conservancies for a more exclusive experience.

Little Governors’ Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Kenya, the birthplace of traditional safaris, promises unforgettable adventures. Highlights include the Lewa and Laikipia conservancies, known for horseback riding, exceptional rhino viewing, and conservation efforts. Additionally, Tsavo and Amboseli are celebrated for their populations of the last remaining great elephant tuskers.

Top Reasons to Visit Kenya  

  • Seasonal Great Wildebeest Migration from August to October 
  • Year-round game viewing in the Masai Mara and private conservancies 
  • Hot air balloon safaris over the meandering Mara River 
  • Big tusker elephants at Tsavo and Amboseli National Park 
  • Horseback riding safaris at Chyulu Hills, Lewa and Laikipia region 
  • Authentic cultural experience with local Maasai & Samburu

Little Governors’ Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

2) Tanzania 

Tanzania, celebrated for its rich biodiversity, beckons travelers to explore its vibrant savannas and stunning 800-mile coastline along the Indian Ocean. The Great Wildebeest Migration, a breathtaking display of millions of animals crossing the East African plains, is a key attraction.

Serengeti Bushtops, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Must-visit destinations include Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, while a short flight transports you to Zanzibar, renowned for its “Spice Island” charm. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, offers thrilling adventures. Ruaha National Park, home to 10% of the world’s wild lion population amidst a backdrop of baobab trees, is a must-see for big cat enthusiasts, adding to Tanzania’s allure as a top safari destination.

Top Reasons to Visit Tanzania 

  • Seasonal Great Wildebeest Migration
  • Luxury mobile-tented camps in the Serengeti 
  • Ngorongoro Crater UNESCO World Heritage Site 
  • Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the largest mountain in Africa. 
  • The “spice island” of Zanzibar – a lush island paradise 
  • Tree-climbing lions at Lake Manyara National Park 


3) Rwanda 

Rwanda, celebrated as the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills,’ offers breathtaking mountain landscapes throughout. Its key attraction, Volcanoes National Park, is home to endangered mountain gorillas, drawing visitors from around the world. Lake Kivu and its surrounding tea and coffee plantations offer a unique ‘Crop to Cup’ experience, showcasing the journey of coffee production.


Akagera National Park, now a Big Five reserve, symbolizes inspiring conservation efforts with recent rhino introductions and increasing big cat sightings – especially in leopard hunting catfish along the banks of Lake Rwanyakazinga. Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda’s largest forest tract, is a biodiversity hotspot famous for wild chimpanzee encounters.

Top Reasons to Visit Rwanda

  • Gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park 
  • Traditional Big Five safaris at Akagera National Park 
  • Chimpanzee trekking at Nyungwe National Park
  • Lake Kivu and ‘coffee to cup’ experience 
  • City tour of the culturally & historically rich Kigali

Wilderness Magashi, Rwanda

4. Uganda 

Uganda, the “Pearl of Africa,” offers an enchanting blend of natural wonders and cultural richness. From its volcanic lakes and snow-capped mountains to its diverse wildlife, including chimpanzees and tree-climbing lions, Uganda presents a safari experience like no other. The highlight of Uganda lies in its Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, home to over 53% of the world’s mountain gorilla population.

Explore highland forests for gorillas one day and gaze upon open savannahs the next, encountering herds of buffalo and elephant. Explore Lake Victoria to spot the prehistoric-looking shoebill, or embark on an exhilarating wildlife encounter in Murchison Falls National Park. Discover the primate richness of Kibale National Park and witness the majestic tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Ishasha region. Uganda’s allure lies in its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and unique cultural experiences, making it a destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Top Reasons to Visit Uganda 

  • Gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga National Park 
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park  – primate capital of Africa 
  • Visit Murchison Falls – the world’s most powerful waterfall 
  • Witness tree-climbing lions in Ishasha, Queen Elizabeth National Park 
  • Shoebill excursions on Lake Victoria


Top Island Countries to Visit 

The Indian Ocean islands, including Mauritius, Seychelles, and Madagascar, offer idyllic escapes perfect for unwinding after a safari adventure. With pristine beaches, azure waters, and lush landscapes, each tropical island boasts its own unique charm.

1) Mauritius 

Introducing Mauritius, a volcanic island nation embraced by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Known for its stunning beaches, lagoons, and reefs, it offers the ultimate luxurious escape. Our selection of the best luxury hotels ensures a memorable stay.

For active travelers, there are plenty of activities, from yoga classes to water sports. Prefer relaxation? Enjoy private beach access and secluded spots. Explore attractions like Balaclava Ruins, Flacq Market, Ile aux Cerfs, and the Seven Coloured Earths of Chamarel, catering to nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Top Reasons to Visit Mauritius 

  • Luxurious resorts and lodges offering top amenities 
  • Mountain biking and hiking trails in the  Black River Gorges National Park
  • Experience the Seven Coloured Earths of Chamare
  • Cultural attractions like Balaclava Ruins and Flacq Market
  • An array of beach and marine activities in the Indian Ocean

2) Seychelles 

The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands, boasts unparalleled privacy and seclusion, making it a coveted honeymoon destination in Africa. With over 100 islands to explore, including Mahe, Praslin, and private retreats, it offers five marine national parks and stunning coral reefs for diving and snorkeling.

Prohibiting motorized water sports preserves its marine biodiversity, making it ideal for underwater exploration. Explore palm-fringed beaches, crystal-clear lagoons, dense jungles, and iconic granite boulders across the shorelines. Don’t miss the Aldabra atoll, home to the largest raised coral reef and a thriving population of giant tortoises.

Top Reasons to Visit the Seychelles 

  • Explore allée de Mai – a protected natural park and UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Discover Anse Source d’Argent, a beach on the island of La Digue
  • Visit some 300 giant tortoises on Curieuse & St. Pierre
  • Snorkel in the Sainte Anne Marine Park
  • Indulge in Seychelles city-life in the capital Victoria

Seychelles Honeymoon

3) Madagascar 

Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, boasts unparalleled biodiversity, with over 90% of its wildlife found nowhere else on Earth.

Just off its coast lies Miavana, once a pirate refuge now transformed into an exclusive private island resort. Accessible only by helicopter, it offers breathtaking vistas of mountains, baobabs, and azure waters. Immerse yourself in luxury accommodations and eco-conscious adventures while supporting conservation efforts. Explore vibrant coral reefs and encounter lemurs on captivating treks, making Miavana a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Top Reasons to Visit Madagascar 

  • Guided lemur trekking experience 
  • Helicopter excursion to Ankarana or Tsingy Rouge
  • Turtle monitoring with the conservation team 
  • Guided walks to discover unique fauna & flora  
  • Untouched snorkeling & scuba diving locations 


The best African country to visit in 2024 is… Botswana

The Ubuntu Travel team debated this for a while. As you can imagine, it wasn’t an easy decision. But we felt the combination of remote, expansive wilderness areas with exceptional and consistent game viewing. Complimented by the variety of incredible luxury lodges, prioritizing ethical guiding, gorgeous dining, and attentive service. A safari in Botswana provides a seamless all round experience. It truly provides an authentic luxury safari experience we can’t wait to design for you in 2024! 


Plan Your Perfect Africa Trip with Ubuntu Travel

It all starts with a conversation as we work with you to customize your ideal safari, start to finish. Reach out to one of our travel designers today and we’ll help make your bucket list vacation a reality. We are available to assist in person (if geographically possible), over the phone, or through Zoom calls. If you’d prefer to correspond via email, we’re happy to do so as well!

Popular African Countries – FAQs 

How many countries are in Africa?

Africa, the second largest continent after Asia, comprises 54 countries recognized by the United Nations. Remarkably, it’s home to about 15% of the world’s population and boasts between 1000 to 2000 official languages. Our curated selection focuses on prominent countries offering authentic, safe, and world-class safari experiences that align with the standards our clients appreciate and trust. We are constantly seeking out new African safari destinations to enhance our list. 

Notably, Egypt, Morocco, and Ethiopia are three African countries not featured on this list. This is because our post primarily focuses on regions renowned for wildlife safaris. However, we are capable of curating such experiences in these destinations upon request.

When is the best time to visit Africa?

Africa is a fantastic destination to visit year round – it all depends on a number of factors such as what wildlife you are most interested in seeing, the activities you’re looking to engage in (i.e. hot air ballooning, water safaris, scuba diving, etc.), as well as your ideal budget. If you are interested in seeing a specific animal or migration, we can help determine the best time of the year for you to visit. If you are interested in visiting a specific country or eco-system, we can help you plan for the optimal weather and best game viewing in that part of Africa.

How safe are African safaris?

Very safe! Safari guides and staff are highly trained to keep guests safe during their safari experiences. Understanding and recognizing animal behaviors is a key part of ranger training, teaching guides to respect the space of wild animals and providing a safe environment for both the guests and the wildlife.

Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime?

If you’re thinking of planning a trip, we’re here to help! Our team of travel designers will create an itinerary just for you to create memories to last a lifetime and conquer your bucket list. Get in touch with us today to start planning your adventure in Africa.

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