On a safari, you can say with sufficient certainty that no one likes to get up at four and turn around empty on dusty and bumpy roads until the sun is too strong to resist, without seeing anything but the ear of an impala in the grass or a grasshopper on the seat of the jeep.
So we can undoubtedly consider that the presence of many animals, the ease with which they can be seen and, I feel like adding, the absence of millions of other cars that bark in Spanish as soon as a lion decides to finally pull his head out of the bush, are elements that make a difference to a national park.
First of all, we go to Africa, undoubtedly the home of safaris, without taking anything away from the other wonderful destinations for flora and fauna. Leaving aside the private reserves and itineraries for experts, which we will discuss soon in a dedicated article, we can divide the safaris into two main categories: those that can be easily visited with a rental car (even for a medium level traveller), and those for which it is highly recommended to use a guide.
For self-drive, the best safari in the world can undoubtedly be done in the Addo Elephant NP, in South Africa. There are many reasons for this. First of all, it is the only park in the world (beyond the all too well known Kruger) where you can see not only the famous “big five” (elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo) to which everyone aspires but even the “big seven” (the first five-plus whale and shark). It is also very easy to reach and is located in one of the quietest and easiest areas for driving a rental car: the Western Cape. Finally, the park is relatively small and therefore the animals are sufficiently concentrated to allow you in a single day to make really thousands of sightings and incredible photos.
If you prefer a game drive with a guide, Kenya is definitely a perfect place to meet the African fauna. However, most tourists go to parks closer to the coast because they are easy to reach from the beaches. These offer less interesting environments and the greater difficulty of sightings, as well as, of course, more patrons. If you really want to do a Safari, know that the best area is within the country. In addition to the famous Masai Mara (really spectacular during the migrations), we definitely recommend an exclusive national park: the Samburu.
Although very collected (therefore with a greater intensity of animals and consequent ease of sightings) the Samburu develops in an area with a high difference in level and a river, so as to include 5 different types of African environment: coastal forest, palm forest dom acacia, and three types of savannah (arboreal savannah, shrubby savannah and flat savannah). It is also the best place to meet the “reticulated giraffe” (recognized as a species in its own right only in 2016). It is the one in which the spots are arranged in a regular manner with linear spaces and small size, so much more beautiful than the others, to represent always and absolutely the icon of the giraffe in the common imagination, in the puppets and in the drawings (although it is actually the species less common among the four present in nature).
Also in this case, therefore, the places we want to advise you are certainly not the ones you’ve all heard of as the best parks. But moving off the beaten track is our speciality and doing so while keeping costs low and safety high is our skill.