How to Plan an African Safari

giraffes grazing in the african savannah

African safaris feature exotic wildlife, breathtaking beauty, jaw-dropping natural wonders, thrilling adventures, and more! 

These extraordinary excursions into the vast wilderness of Africa span arid deserts and sprawling savannas to lush rainforests and rugged mountains. 

This InteleTravel guide will help you navigate the various elements essential to making your African safari the trip of a lifetime. 

Factors to Consider 

Planning your African adventure requires careful consideration and research about your ideal destination. 

Here are several key factors to consider. 

Wildlife Diversity

Research the specific wildlife you hope to encounter. Africa is home to so many—from lions, leopards, and elephants to water buffaloes, hippos, zebras, rhinos, and many more. Certain countries and regions host diverse populations, such as South Africa's Kruger National Park or Tanzania's Serengeti. 

Choose the optimal habitats for your preferred animals!


Safaris range in costs significantly based on the exact location, accommodations, and activities you prefer. Luxury lodges and exclusive reserves boast more intimate settings, but come with higher price tags. Budget-friendly options such as camping safaris specialize in authentic adventures, without breaking the bank. Explore a range of options to discover the right balance between cost and comfort.

Safety & Travel Restrictions

Stay informed about the safety situation and any travel restrictions in your chosen destination. Some regions may have specific health risks or require vaccinations. Additionally, keep updated about travel advisories, and consult with local authorities or reputable tour operators.

Base your choice on your preferences to ensure lasting memories.

Top 10 African Safari Destinations

1. South Africa

South Africa is home to gorgeous and diverse landscapes, from grasslands, deserts, and forests to tall mountain peaks—making it a top destination. Kruger National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity, and its Sabi Sands Game Reserve is renowned for its leopards, lions, zebras, rhinos, and more! 

2. Botswana

Botswana features exotic pristine wilderness, such as the Okavango Delta. Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park boast extraordinary wildlife bound to memorize and thrill—including large elephant herds. 

3. Kenya

This East Africa nation is home to Maasai Mara National Reserve and The Great Migration—the mass movement of thousands of wildebeest across Mara River in search of grazing lands—Amboseli National Park has breathtaking views of neighboring Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the continent and highest free-standing mountain in the world. 

4. Tanzania

Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is renowned for its vast plains, abundant wildlife, and The Great Migration. Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and world’s largest caldera, is not to be missed. The park offers a multitude of safaris to choose from, spanning walking tours and drives to migration viewings, and more! 

5. Madagascar

Explore Andasibe-Mantadia National Park to spot lemurs and other exotic creatures, and visit The Avenue of the Baobabs for absolutely surreal landscapes perfect for otherworldly photography.

6. Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park is famous for its large elephant herds and diverse fauna. Take a walking safari through Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a truly immersive experience in the African wilderness.

7. Namibia

Namibia's Etosha National Park is a salt pan surrounded by diverse habitats, attracting a variety of wildlife guaranteed to amaze anyone on safari. The transcendental beauty of Sossusvlei's towering red dunes and the eerie Deadvlei make this southwestern African nation a photographer's paradise, as well.

8. Eswatini

Despite its small size, Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, boasts Mkhaya Game Reserve, known for its rhino conservation habitats, and Hlane Royal National Park, which provides opportunities to view lions and elephants in the wild.

9. Uganda

Uganda is renowned for its primate safaris, especially in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where visitors can trek to see endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Queen Elizabeth National Park is another must-see, with more than 95 mammal species and 600 bird species ripe for viewing! 

10. Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park is a prime destination for endangered mountain gorilla trekking and close encounters with these extraordinary creatures as they go about their days in the wild. Experience families of lions and black rhinos at Akagera National Park, along with buffaloes, antelopes, giraffes, zebras, baboons, more than 490 bird species, and much more! 

Types of Safaris 

One of your most important decisions is the type of safari you prefer, as well as its overall duration. 

Game Drives

These include open and closed vehicles, each with advantages in visibility and comfort. Morning and evening drives unveil different facets of wildlife behavior, casting the savannah in the golden hues of dawn and dusk for absolutely gorgeous backdrops. 

Walking Safaris

These intimate and immersive experiences enable visitors to connect with wildlife in a profound and personal way. 

Boat Safaris

Glide through serene waterways while viewing myriad species of mammals and birds in their natural environments.

Selecting a reputable and experienced tour operator helps ensure you enjoy a stress-free safari, while also providing knowledge, safety, and expertise. Research reviews to discover those with the best track record, resounding customer satisfaction, and a true commitment to ethical and sustainable tourism practices. 

Best Times to Travel

The best time to go on safari for much of the sub-Saharan regions of Africa is between June and October, during the dry season. The weather is cooler and more favorable, and visitors are more likely to view wildlife out in the open as they gather at water sources.

Here are several destination-specific considerations. 

Kenya & Tanzania

The Great Migration, one of nature's most spectacular events, usually occurs between July and September. Witnessing thousands of wildebeest and zebras crossing the Serengeti is a life-changing experience not to be missed. 

The wet season, from November to May, hosts flocks of migratory birds—a truly breathtaking sight! 

South Africa & Botswana

Southern Africa's dry winter months from May to October are excellent for game viewing, with plenty of animals gathering around waterholes to stay cool bathing and drinking—fantastic photo opportunities.

The wet season in the Kalahari Desert from November to April showcases blooming vegetation and newborn animals out in the open.


The dry season from April to October is known for clear skies and comfortable temperatures—fantastic for exploring the dunes and wildlife of Etosha National Park.

Wetter months from November to April transform the desert into a breathtaking array of greenery and migratory birds.

Zimbabwe & Zambia

The dry season from April to September is ideal for outings—particularly for witnessing the Zambezi River's incredible wildlife.

The wet season has its own charm: lush landscapes, migratory birds, and fewer crowds. 

Prices may vary depending on the season, so balancing your preferences with practical considerations will help you choose the optimal time for your dream safari adventure.


The ultimate price tag for a safari is contingent on several factors including accommodations, travel style, and level of exclusivity.

For the budget-conscious, affordable options start at around $125 per person per night. Even  basic lodges and campsites are incredible gateways to witnessing the beauty of African wildlife without breaking the bank.

Mid-range safaris average around $350 per person per night and balance between affordability and comfort. may include guided game drives through more diverse habitats. 

More luxurious excursions range from $500 to $1,500 per person per night, featuring exclusive lodges, top-notch services, and curated wildlife encounters. These often also include private game drives and more personalized attention. 

Regardless of your budget, an African safari is a priceless experience promising encounters with diverse ecosystems, remarkable wildlife, and the cultural richness of the continent.

InteleTravel Will Plan Your Dream African Safari 

An African safari is the experience of a lifetime, and precision planning is the key. 

Working with experienced travel partner InteleTravel transforms your travel dreams into  realities. 

Our certified advisors possess the knowledge and expertise to curate a bespoke African safari tailored to your unique preferences. From choosing the perfect destinations to securing the best accommodations and crafting a seamless itinerary, we handle the intricacies—so you can focus on immersing yourself in the sheer beauty and wonders of the African wilderness!  

Contact InteleTravel today to book your unforgettable African safari!  

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