It’s difficult to beat the feeling of a relaxing ride through the bush in anticipation of what intimate wildlife encounter may be around the next bend. An African safari is something that I believe anyone could enjoy and is particularly special for people, like me, whose only previous exposure to animals was at a zoo. I can’t recommend them enough and am excited to rank my top 10 memories.
I’ve been on safaris in four African Parks–
- Mikumi National Park, Tanzania, June 2011
- Kruger National Park, South Africa, November 2013
- Nairobi National Park, Kenya, July 2017
- Hlane Royal National Park, Swaziland, February 2018
The criteria for this countdown is simple – It must be one of my experiences from a safari in Africa. Primary determining factors were how unique, exciting and overall memorable the ‘episode’ was. The below entries are a purely personal opinion based on my experience and I did not receive any financial compensation for the choices. As with virtually every one of my posts, I took all of the displayed photos. Let’s get to it!
10.) African Rock Python | Kruger, South Africa
This African Rock Python crossed the road near our vehicle having clearly just come from lunch.
9.) Night Safari | Kruger, South Africa
Kruger Park offers evening/night safaris and equips riders with flashlights. As you drive, the light illuminates the animals’ eyes making them visible from the truck.
8.) Urban Backdrop | Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi National Park is 7 kilometers (4 miles) south of the center of Nairobi and one of the most convenient safari locations in the world. The urban backdrop often makes for unusual pictures and videos.
7.) Chacma Baboons | Kruger, South Africa
Kruger Park is flooded with Chacma Boboons. They breed year-round and are notoriously protective of their young.
6.) Rhinos | Hlane, Swaziland
Swaziland’s Hlane Park has gone to extreme lengths to preserve its rhino numbers. This crash of more than a dozen was the most I have ever seen in one place.
5.) Charging Elephant | Kruger, South Africa
We unintentionally found ourselves in between the world’s largest mammal and her baby, a serious safari no-no. She took several charging steps toward us scaring the daylights out of our group. Thankfully, our guide was on his game and managed to quickly reverse the truck to safety.
4.) Giraffes | Mikumi, Tanzania
Giraffes are curious mammals and spend nearly their entire lives standing, a combination that leads to great photos. The species in Mikumi are a blend of Masai (Kenya) and Somali (Somalia) giraffe.
3.) Lions | Kruger, South Africa
A safari countdown would not be complete without the king of the jungle. Male lions have it made. All they do is eat, sleep and look cool while every other animal worships them in fear of being eaten.
2.) Cheetah | Kruger, South Africa
Cheetah’s are the world’s fastest land animal and can reach their top speed of 70 mph (110 kph) in just three seconds. Although not quite as elusive as the leopard, spotting a cheetah is a rare and exciting encounter.
1.) Tracking Rhinos on Foot | Hlane, Swaziland
Hlane is one of the few game parks in Africa that allows adventurous safari-goer’s to leave the vehicle and track rhinos on foot. Walking near 5,000-pound white rhinos in the wild was an incredible experience and one I’ll never forget.
Have you been on an African safari? What are your best memories?