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Tanzania - This is a large and incredibly rich African country in terms of its human history, geographic features, beautiful wildlife areas that have incredible densities of wildlife and incredible coastline. The attractions to visit here are numerous and there are a number of smaller parks and areas that are relatively unknown to Tourism. However the main attractions are the Serengeti , Ngorongoro Crater, Mt Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park. This forms what is commonly reffered to as the Northern Circuit. The Southern Circuit is less known and includes the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, Katavi National Park and Mahale National Park on Lake Tanganyika.
Added to either of these circuits is the superb Indian Ocean Islands of Zanzibar and Mafia
Zimbabwe - This is the country where I live in Africa with my wife and children and it has been on the news for all the wrong reasons over the past few years. However I can confidently state that you will not be disappointed in the quality of the wildlife and wilderness package that Zimbabwe can offer. One of the superb things of Zimbabwe is that the main National Park areas that we travel to, have such contrasting environments and experiences making each park a totally new experience to enjoy and there is an excellent variety of activities that can be done in each of the Parks, the other advantage of Zimbabwe is because of the negative press that Zimbabwe has received in recent years it means that the tourist and camp density in the Zimbabwean Parks is much reduced from what it was in the 90’s, however this is changing and tourism is definitely increasing here.
Zambia - A country in Africa that has huge wildlife areas that are becoming more and more well known. These include the Luangwa River National Parks, the Kafue River ecosystems and the Lower Zambezi. However like Tanzania there are also parks and areas that are unknown and would be of interest to those travellers to Africa that are looking for experiences outside of the normal African National Park experience, a country that you can have a real adventure in.
Kenya - The original safari destination of Africa that has some incredible wildlife and well developed safari options. There is a wonderful array of ecosystems through the wildlife areas from the tropical coastline up to the dry thornveld of Samburu National Park and the amazing Rift Valley and the Highlands of Kenya and of course the spectacular and famous Maasai Mara.
Useful links to use when choosing your destination:
Mozambique - This is a country emerging onto the wildlife and eco tourism world. It has three main parks Limpopo, Niassa and Gorongosa and this can be coupled very nicely with the beautiful beaches and diving areas that this tropical coastline can offer or join it with a safari in Zimbabwe it all works very well.
Botswana - Botswana is developing the reputation as one of the best safari destinations in Africa. The vast protected areas in the North of the country include the Okavango Delta and the adjoining Moremi, Linyanti, Kwando, Selinda, Savute and Chobe, make this one of the largest wilderness areas in Africa. Added to this you have the nearby Nxai pan, Makgadikgadi Pans and the vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve giving you many safari options in vastly different ecosystems.
Namibia - This sparsely populated country is primarily a desert country famous for its stark beauty, ancient deserts, diverse wildlife and people making it a most interesting and unusual country to visit. This environment might seem inhospitable but there is an amazing variety of specially adapted plants and animals that have evolved here as a result of the deserts age and this is blended with your more traditional large animals that fill the Etosha National Park and its savannah’s.
Congo - A new destination which is based around its jungle experiences and two different parks with habituated groups of lowland gorillas. The good thing about these experiences is that the parks are not just about Gorillas there is also specials such as bongo, forest buffalo, forest elephants and a host of other primates with beautiful birds that give this experience much variety and colour, a destination that is really off the beaten track.
Chad - This is a country that most people would not consider as a safari destination and to be honest I would not suggest as a first time safari destination. However if you have seen a lot of Africa this is an amazing country to visit and has two completely different areas. The first is deep in the South - Zakouma National Park which has a feeling of being a combination between the Okavango Delta and South Luangwa. This park is now managed by the amazing African Parks organisation and they have bought this park back from a very uncertain future to a tremendous destination with amazing wildlife - much that you would recognise but always slightly different and you generally will have the entire park to yourself. Then you have the unvisited North of Chad that has very traditional cultures and incredible scenery - something very different to do.
Democratic Republic of Congo:- This is a huge African country and has many problems politically and tribally however the bulk of this happens far from Africa's oldest national park and probably the most ecologically diverse - Virunga National Park. If you are looking for a great place to have a quality Gorillas and Chimps safari with other primates at a very reasonable price then this should be considered, plus it has the amazing addition of being able to climb Mt Nyirerengo an active volcano with the worlds largest larva lake. It really is an incredible place to be. Where get here via Rwanda and its an easy drive to the border at Goma and into the Park.