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When it comes to embarking on any of our African safaris, there’s really no wrong option. Here at Micato, we pride ourselves on knowing East and Southern Africa like the back of our well-travelled hands. We’ve been at it for 51 years and this is our home. With us, you’ll visit places you grew up hearing about in addition to many off-the-beaten-path spots that will have you in awe.
A question we often get is, “what locations should I travel to for the best safari in Africa?” If we’re being honest, we genuinely love every place we visit. But, if we had to narrow down the list to only six locations, these would be them. Check them out.
Without a doubt, one of our top locations across all of our safaris is the Maasai Mara Game Reserves in Kenya. Here, you’ll have the chance to experience quintessential game viewing you could only imagine encountering in Africa, such as giraffes, elephants, and wildebeest to name a few. The scenery, too, is absolutely stunning. Iconic acacia trees dot a landscape comprised of sweeping open plains.
In fact, this is one of the greatest places in Africa to catch an early morning hot air balloon ride while watching the sun rise over the plains. If you think a hot air balloon ride sounds exciting, what about visiting a traditional Hemingway-style bush tent while on a walking safari? The Mara offers many amazing, adventurous activities to partake in.
While the environment is beautiful, the people who inhabit the land are of a beautiful spirit. Interacting and speaking with the Maasai people is one of the highlights of visiting the Mara. Not to mention the accommodations, like the Mara Plains Camp, Mahali Mzuri, and Angama Mara, are all extraordinary. Each of these lodges and camps is located on private concessions adjoining the Mara, which affords a more secluded experience. At the end of the day, the Maasai Mara in Kenya will always hold a special place in our hearts and that’s why it’s one of our top locations to consider including for the best safari in Africa.
We consider Laikipia to be the hidden gem of Kenya. Home to private upcountry ranches and estates all deeply focused on conservation, especially black and white rhino, you’ll encounter a large cast of varied wildlife characters. These include, but are not limited to the Big Five, zebras, rare wild dogs, cheetahs, hippos, and monkeys.
These private reserves offer unrivaled, exclusive access to wildlife experiences such as horseback riding amongst a tower of giraffes, being guided across the plains by Samburu warriors while riding a camel, tracking rhino on foot with your Safari Director, hiking or biking through the forests, enjoying a celebratory bush meal followed up with a night game drive, and sleeping under the stars in an elevated open star bed.
Many of these experiences are owner hosted, meaning they offer stellar, personal service, thoughtfully prepared delicious meals, and great stories from the bush. A few of the places you’ll stay while visiting include some favourites like Ol Jogi Ranch, Solio Lodge, Lewa Safari Camp, and Loisaba Wilderness. Needless to say, the Laikipia Game Reserves offer some fantastic, “time of your life” moments.
Easily one of, if not the most, unique places on our African safaris list is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, home to the Ngorongoro Crater. The crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a truly rare ecosystem as it’s the floor of a collapsed volcano that’s millions of years old, formed by the shifting of tectonic plates that formed the Great Rift Valley. While here, know that you’re visiting an area that’s home to over 30,000 animals, except giraffes!
Exploring the Ngorongoro Crater floor is one of the highlights of the visit, as you’ll get to observe wildlife in a locale unlike anywhere else on safari. In terms of lodging, we like the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge where you’ll get to drink in amazing views, the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge where the sunsets are absolutely breathtaking, the Manor at Ngorongoro, and Neptune Ngorongoro. If you’re looking to set off on the best safari in Africa, make sure the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is on your list.
This naturally beautiful city is situated near Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles range, and Table Bay with the Atlantic Ocean flanking the city. Considered the sixth floral kingdom of the world, the Cape Floristic Region produces multiple plant species that add pops of dazzling colour to the modern cityscapes. One of the several reasons why we consider Cape Town among the best places to visit on our African safaris is because there is such a wide variety of things to do there. From driving Chapman’s Peak to the Cape of Good Hope and the penguin colony at Boulders Beach to ascending Table Mountain either on foot or by aerial cable car, Cape Town has plenty to offer for the adventurous spirit.
On the adventurous note, there are a lot of outdoor activities to partake in, such as exploring the trails of Kirstenbosch Gardens, discovering the winding streets of historic BoKaap, biking around Hout Bay, dune surfing, parasailing, shark diving, you name it and Cape Town likely has it on offer.
There are plenty of cultural activities to interest you as well. After all, Cape Town is considered the art capital of Africa. While there, you can explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront where you’ll have the chance to visit the Zeitz MOCAA, a contemporary art museum situated on the waterfront, indulge in shopping and discover a vibrant culinary scene. Not only is the cuisine varied and delicious, but you’ll have the opportunity to visit wine producers, craft beer breweries, and even some gin distilleries.
Regarding places you’ll stay, there are a few to note. These include historic wine farms, a bed and breakfast overlooking the penguin colony, The Silo (a luxury Cape Town hotel), or even a marvelous penthouse high above the V&A Waterfront. In short, Cape Town is more than worth your time on a Micato African safari.
While we are singling out the Okavango Delta here, which is magnificent, we would really like to recommend all of Botswana. Botswana is utterly fascinating, with plenty of exotic adventures on offer to suit virtually any interest. For example, you can spend time in the arid Kalahari Desert where you’ll get to meet habituated meerkats and walk with San Bushman, navigate the intricate waterways and islands that form the Okavango Delta and encounter vast species of wildlife there or even go on a mokoro boat ride.
When it comes to accommodations, Botswana is where it’s at. Some of our favourites include sleeping in a treehouse overlooking elephants at Abu Camp and spending nights in luxury tents like Duba Plains, Mombo Camp, and Jack’s Camp. While we did give Okavango Delta the shout out, we really would like to stress that all of Botswana is ripe for experiencing, which is why we consider it one of the top places to visit during your time in Africa.
Rounding out our top 6 locations to consider including for the best safari in Africa is Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. This specific location is ripe with natural beauty and unique wildlife experiences. If you’ve never flown in a helicopter before, you’ll get the opportunity here to helicopter over the falls. Everything from the copious mist rising up to the sheer size of the falls themselves will have you in awe. Photographs simply don’t do it justice, the falls are something you have to see and witness with your own eyes to fully capture their majesty.
You’ll also get the chance to view game and horseback ride along the Zambezi River, go on privately guided explorations of the nature trails along the falls, canoe and white water raft along the Zambezi, go freshwater fishing, have lunch with elephants, and swim in Devil’s Pool on Livingstone Island on the lip of the falls. Victoria Falls is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground but is also great for less adventurous travellers too, with plenty of opportunities to relax and soak in the views.
During your stay, you’ll get to stay in some river lodges and camps we absolutely adore like Thorntree River Lodge. Spending a few days near the falls will have you feeling right as rain, which is why we consider it one of the top spots to experience on safari.
Experiencing any or all of the locations listed above with Micato Safaris will give you a unique, once in a lifetime African experience you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. If you’re interested in getting the process started, get in touch with one of our expert Safari Specialists today. We look forward to adventuring with you!