Ongava Reserve Lions

Best Adventure Safaris in Africa

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Written by
Jamey Lowis

Published on: September 18th, 2017

Last modified: July 27th, 2023

The national parks of southern Africa guarantee a thrilling safari experience.

A variety of wildlife combined with fewer visitors will please animal enthusiasts, with game spotting opportunities second to none.

Handpicked by our expert team of safari specialists, these are some of the best adventure safaris in Africa.

Leopard spotting
Sabi Sands
Geological beauty
Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve
Elephant spotting
Lower Zambezi
Lion, Sabi Sands, South Africa

1) Sabi Sands, South Africa

The premier game reserve in South Africa with some of the most exclusive properties in all of Africa, few destinations could match the density and range of wildlife to be found in Sabi Sands.

Bull Elephant, Sabi Sands, South Africa

A famously healthy population of Leopards is the reserve’s signature, found alongside the Big Five and plenty more species to be discovered.

Zebra, Sabi Sands, South Africa

2) Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Definitely the most dramatic terrain in Tanzania, this amphitheatre of fauna and flora is home to the densest population of mammals in all of Africa. From its mineral soil spring nutrient-rich grasses attracting Zebra, gazelle, black rhino and wildebeest.


These, in turn, attract a large number of predators including lions, leopards, hyena and the golden jackal. Popular too with humans, the Crater guarantees frequent sightings of huge a variety of creatures.

Rhino, African elephants, zebra and game in the grassy plains of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

3) Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Zimbabwe

Still wonderfully off the radar for most, Malilangwe offers an extraordinary game experience in a very geologically distinct environment of sandstone outcrops, mopane forest and baobabs. Its 124,000 acres sit in the southern corner of Zimbabwe and are home to the some of the healthiest populations of black and white rhino in Africa.

Singita Pamushana Lodge drive, Simbabwe, Malilangwe wildlife reserve

Here you’ll also find hunting dogs, lions, hyenas, leopards, crocodiles, hippo and 400 species of bird to name just some. Stay at Singita Pamushana and experience a safari that is the real deal.

Wild dogs, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Zimbabwe

4) Lower Zambezi, Zambia

Remote and not hugely easy to get to, this is one of Africa’s most pristine wildernesses set along the Zambezi River bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Drinks by the Zambezi, Zimbabwe, Africa

It offers a rewarding and rich wildlife experience with very healthy populations of elephant, buffalo, lions and leopards in a peaceful and exclusive solitude.

Lower Zambezi elephant, Zimbabwe, Africa
Lion, Zambia

5) South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

This is an altogether distinct safari experience. Zambia’s famous South Luangwa National Park is the home of the original ‘walking safari’ as spearheaded by the tracker and conservationist Norman Carr. Track game on foot with expert guides for a unique and thrilling safari unlike any other.

Zambia lion

The pace also slows your safari right down for what some may argue is a richer experience, giving you time in take in the things that you might usually miss in a vehicle, such as the birdlife, animal calls, flora and more.

Walking safari, Zambia
Wildebeest Great Migration

6) Maasai Mara, Kenya

This is the adjacent home to the Great Migration and one of the World’s most famous game reserves. Its vast fertile plains attract millions of wildebeest and zebra, and therefore packs and prides of predators that follow them. You can definitely tick off the Big Five and then some on your safari here.

Female cheetah stalking in early morning light - Masai Mara, Kenya

We ensure our clients stay in the more exclusive, off the beaten track lodgings for a safari you don’t have to share with others and with lots of luxury to boot.

Giraffe watching a hot air balloon, Tanzania

7) North Serengeti, Tanzania

In the northern boundaries of the vast Serengeti National Park, where it meets Kenya’s Maasai Mara, the thrilling safari and survival scenes are unparalleled. Choosing a camp or lodge here will assure a front row seat for the action.

wildebeest serengeti

This is where herds of wildebeest swarm across the river during the Great Migration in search of richer pastures, followed by hungry, opportunistic predators.

Jeep Safari Lions
A safari vehicle with guides and travellers inside parked in the sun-drenched grasslands of Singita Grumeti, Tanzania

8) Singita Grumeti, Tanzania

This is the largest private game reserve in all of Tanzania, giving you 350,000-acres of rolling wilderness and Big Five game action all to yourself and the other small number of guests staying at the five Singita lodgings there.

Giraffe Tanzania Serengeti

During July and August you can see some wonderful sightings of the wildebeest and zebra migration as it makes its way north again through the reserve.

Singita Grumeti, elephant, Tanzania
Chada Katavi Hippos, Katavi National Park, Tanzania

9) Katavi National Park, Tanzania

Completely off the beaten track, Katavi is one of those game reserves that remains isolated and undiscovered. Its remoteness makes it hard and costly for safari outfitters to set up there, however the ones that do are rewarded with 25,000 square kilometres of untamed wilderness all to yourself.  The wildlife varies with each individual environment and landscape.

Chada Katavi Cheetah, Katavi National Park, Tanzania

It is said you come across more prides of Lion here than any other game reserve in Tanzania. Flat plains, marshland, rugged hills, lakes and rivers all make up this great western Tanzania ecosystem and all of this makes for a few fantastic close encounters and some excellent photographic opportunities. For a wildly adventurous and untamed safari like no other, Katavi is the ultimate destination.

Chada Katavi Game Drive, Katavi National Park, Tanzania
Group of hippos in the water, Okavango Delta,Botswana

10) Okavango Delta, Botswana

It’s a well known fact that this watery wilderness is one of the world’s premier wildlife habitats and one of the most exclusive safaris to be had in all of Africa, with few lodges and camps allowed to set up there. The rich nutrients of the Okavango River carried from highlands of Angola through the Kalahari to its Delta have created an immensely diverse ecosystem that attracts creatures of all sizes, from kingfishers to Kalahari lions. In the dry season especially, birds and game flock to these floodplains in droves, followed by hungry predators.

Zebra close view in the Moremi Game Reserve (Okavango River Delta), National Park, Botswana

Most of the concessions here are private, in all senses of the word, and very often your game trackers and guides can take you ‘off-road’ or even on boat, walking and night safaris. We recommend booking as far in advance as possible if you are eager for a safari in the Delta so we can get you into best and most exclusive lodgings.

Botswana Selinda Camp

Talk to one of our expert travel designers today and start planning your once-in-a-lifetime adventure safari.