Oliver Lynch

Oliver Lynch

Content writer, language nerd and aspiring screenwriter. Usually found wandering old European towns or trying to snowboard.

The Bucket List: Go On Safari

Is going on a safari on your bucket list? If it isn’t then it probably should be…

There are few things more relaxing, fascinating or just simply enjoyable as going on a safari. You may have been to the zoo, but watching animals in their natural habitat is unbeatable.

Africa is the best destination for safari with most countries offering some kind of wildlife and nature tour.

For the best prices buy a safari package in advance from a package provider, or shop around when you arrive. Although packages flying you out on ten day tours are often geared towards more luxury travellers, you can sometimes find a great deal if you keep your eyes peeled.

I have been on safari in Kenya, South Africa and India and the prices are normally competitive when you are in a town geared towards tourists.

For example Kochi in India is packed full of tour companies as is Diani Beach in Kenya. You can sometimes haggle a better deal too if you are part of a group.

The Best Places To Go On Safari IN Africa

If you want to spot the big 5 (lions, buffalo, elephants, leopards and rhinos) then you can pick one of the man great safari destinations in Africa.

The best places to go for safari in Africa are:

  • South Africa (Kruger, Tsushlue-Umfolozi, Madike, Pilanesberg)
  • Kenya (Masai, Tsavo, Mount Kenya, Nairobi National Park)
  • Tanzania (Serengeti, Arusha, Ngorogoro)
  • Botswana (Kalahari, Chobe, Kgalagadi)
  • Namibia (Kalahari, Etosha)
  • Mozambique (Niassa, Limpopo, Gorongosa)
  • Zambia (Zambezi, Luangwa, Kafue)
  • Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls National Park, Great Limpopo, Matobo, Hwange)

The Best Places To Go On Safari OUTSIDE Africa

Of course the wildlife is different outside of Africa but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fascinating.

India Safari Options:

Keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful tiger in India pic: Alexas-fotos

If you’re lucky, in India you could spot Bengal tigers, Indian elephants and one horned rhinos. There are national parks in almost all the states of India but these are the best known with some of the most diverse wildlife.

  • Corbett National Park (Uttarakhand)
  • Bandavgarh (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Kanha (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Sunderbans (Bengal)
  • Periyar (Kerala)
  • Chinnar (Kerala)
  • Ranthamobore (Rajasthan)

Sri Lanka Safari Options

Asian elephants are everywhere in Sri Lanka pic: KiraHoffmann

Home to Asian elephants, leopards and lots of stunning birdlife then Sri Lanka has several excellent reserves. You can also go whale watching in season.

  • Minneriya National Park
  • Yala National Park
  • Wilpattu National Park
  • Wasgomuwa National Park

Brazil Safari Options

The graceful jaguar is Brazil’s big cat – pic: CMart29

Home to the mighty Amazon jungle (albeit rapidly shrinking!) of course Brazil has stunningly diverse wildlife. Try and spot jaguars, tapirs and giant otters. If you’re really lucky you might even see a river dolphin.

As Brazil is vast there are lots of places to go spotting. The Pantanal is near Curitiba in the south, or Manaus is in the heart of the Amazon. Mato Grosso neighbours Bolivia and has parts of the Amazon within it.

  • Pantanal
  • Jalapão State Park
  • Iguacu falls and park
  • Mato Grosso

USA and Canada Safari Destinations

He may look fluffy but don’t try and cuddle him! – pic: GMarcelo

Vast and diverse north America is home to many species of wildlife. Grizzly bears, whales, bison, moose and wolves. You can also get close to polar bears in Canada’s arctic circle.

Both the USA and Canada have some great parks where you can take guided wildlife tours, mostly in the west of both countries.

  • Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming/Montana, USA)
  • Yosemite/Tahoe (California and Nevada, USA)
  • Churchill (Manitoba, Canada)
  • Vancouver Island & The Canadian Rockies (British Columbia, Canada)
  • Kenai Fjords (Alaska, USA)

Borneo Safari Destinations

Spot Orangutans in Borneo pic: James Jester

Home to orangutans, pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinos, sun bears and proboscis monkeys, Borneo is a fantastic safari tour destination.

Both the Malaysian and Indonesian parts of Borneo have many options for wildlife spotting. But most people go from Sarawak and Sabah on the Malaysian side. Kuching and Kota Kinabalu are the best starting points.

  • Tabin Wildlife Reserve
  • Sepilok Orangutan Reserve
  • Kinabatangan River
  • Danum Valley

Australia Wildlife Options

G’day mate! – pic: Eiston

In fairness a jaunt to the outback in Australia will mean you spot kangaroos and koala bears almost as a matter of course. You could also spot Tasmanian devils, crocodiles, dingos and whale sharks.

Queensland, The Northern Territory and Victoria all have good places to go wildlife spotting.

How Much Does It Cost To Go On Safari?

The sky is very much the limit for safaris. No matter where you are you will find prices vary by duration, included accommodation, level of luxury, private or group tours and other factors.

In Africa, for example in Kenya, you should be able to find a basic day tour package from around US$100-150 per day. This will be as part of a larger group (normally 6 or 8 people) with an early start heading to somewhere like Tsavo East.

As you add factors such as overnight stays or smaller groups the price will creep up.

A three day African safari with luxury tent and food provided can be anything from US$300 to US$3000.

Doing a three day orangutan tour in Borneo is about US$250 with accommodation included.

It will pay to shop around if you are somewhere where there is a lot of wildlife. In all honesty, the tour guide should know the popular spots to find the wildlife and then it will come down to luck on the day.

What Shall I Take On Safari?

The obvious thing to take on safari is a good camera with a zoom. For the best zoom you’ll need around x300 plus for those epic close ups.

You will also need:

  • High factor sun cream
  • Possibly an umbrella or plastic mac (check the weather forecast)
  • Bottled water
  • A wide brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars

Don’t forget to print your photos off when you get home!

When Shall I Go On Safari?

The best time to go on safari varies from place to place. For example, Sri Lanka and India are subject to monsoons twice a year. Africa too has a rainy season which varies from place to place.

Generally speaking in tropical and equatorial destinations, the winter is a good time to go (November to March) as the weather is normally milder.

Feeling Inspired?

Ready to head to one of these excellent safari destinations? Take a look at our handy flight booking widget.

Is a safari on your bucket list or have you been already? Let us know your experiences and drop us any questions below.

Don’t forget to share!

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