Welcome to our post on the best safari destinations around the world. Wildlife safari is an incredible way to encounter nature and wildlife. Our world is home to millions of animal and plant species adapted to different environments. There are more than 4000 National Parks around the world and each is unique in its terms but some stand out in terms of experience and variety of wildlife. Some are too touristy. Some fail to match visitor expectations. Some are in a very remote location that fits the budget of most travelers. This is our updated guide of the top 5 best safari destinations around the world.
Top Countries for Wildlife tourism
Seeing the animals in their natural setting is a far better experience than visiting a zoo. The animals and birds are more active instead of lying in a corner in a zoo. With an increase in deforestation, the animals and birds are protected in National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries. Some of the top preferred countries in different continents for Wildlife tourism are:
- India, Nepal, Thailand, China in Asia
- South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania Kenya in Africa
- Brazil in South America
These continents listed are known for their variety of species of animals and birds and serve as wildlife hotspots. Visiting any of the countries on these continents inside a National Park or a wildlife sanctuary would be always rewarding. We are comparing the national parks in Three different continents which are different in terms of flora and fauna.
Wildlife in Asia
First on our list of the best safari destinations around the world, Asia is the largest continent in the world and wildlife is divided amongst 5 major vegetation regions based on the richness and types of each region’s flora: tropical rain forests in Southeast Asia, temperate mixed forests in East Asia, tropical rain/ dry forests in South Asia, desert and steppe in Central and West Asia, and taiga and tundra in North Asia. Due to the variety in flora, certain species are endemic to that place. Even there is some family of animals and birds have different species spread across the continent. For example, there are 6 different subspecies of tigers found across the Asian continent. Birdwatching and Tiger safari in India are some of the must-do activities on your visit to a National Park. India is the best country in Asia for tiger safari tours because of conservation efforts and almost 3000 tigers in the wild. During a wildlife safari tour in India Big five that can be spotted are Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Asiatic Leopard, One-Horned Rhino, and Asiatic Elephant. India is also a Birders paradise as 1357 species are recorded as of 2021 out of which 81 are endemic to the country.
Best National Park in Asia
National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries are protected forests to conserve the fauna and flora, generate tourism as a source of revenue, and support local communities. Before visiting any area do your research about the weather, the best time to visit, nearby places, and general information before going on a safari tour. Wildlife sightings are purely based on luck and skills of guide and driver being prepared would further decrease chances of disappointment. Since there is no fence between the core area and the buffer area chances of sighting of animals are equal. Recently, zones of national parks of Central India have been renamed.
Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, India
Corbett is one of the best safari destinations around the world, named after famous hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett from Hailey National Park in 1936 and Ramganga in the mid-1950s. Project Tiger is incomplete without Jim Corbett National Park as it is amongst the first and the finest National Park of India. Due to the location of the Reserve in the foothills of the central Himalayas, both Himalayan and peninsular flora and fauna are found in the Reserve. Ramganga river is the lifeline of the National Park.
Unique features of Corbett National Park
- Inaugural National Park for Project Tiger
- Proximity to New Delhi
- Famous for Tiger safaris, Himalayan black bear, and elephant sightings.
- Stay inside 100-year-old Forest Rest Houses in Dhikala
- Over 50 mammal species, 580 birds, and 25 reptile species listed
- Wildlife safari tour in 5 zones of Corbett National Park: Dhikala, Dhela, Jhirna, Bijrani, Durga Devi
- 2 safari vehicle options: Maruti Gypsy and Open Canter
Key species of Corbett National Park
Here’s a list of the top 10 mammals reptiles, and bird species checklist that can be found in Corbett National Park.
|1||Royal Bengal Tiger||Himalayan Rubythroat||Gharial|
|2||Asiatic Elephant||Great Hornbill||Mugger Crocodile|
|3||Leopard||Long Tailed Broadbill||Indian Rock Python|
|4||Yellow-Throated Martens||Chestnut Headed Bee Eater||King Cobra|
|5||Sambhar||Great Barbet||Common Krait|
|6||Spotted Deer||Khaleej Pheasant||Russell’s Viper|
|7||Barking Deer||Brown Dipper||Indian Cobra|
|8||Hog deer||Blue Tailed Bee Eater||Burmese Python|
|9||Rhesus Macaque||Pallas’ Fish Eagle||Bengal Monitor Lizard|
|10||Grey Langur||Lineated Barbe||Indian Wolf Snake|
The average cost for Corbett National Park
The best itinerary for Corbett National Park is of 4 nights and 5 days. The best way to explore the national park is by staying 3 nights inside the Dhikala forest rest house and 1 night at a resort or lodge outside the dhikala zone. So this itinerary combines the opportunity to stay inside the dhikala zone in Corbett National park and also explore other zones. This recommended 4 nights and 5 days itinerary for two-person traveling starts from $ 1100 per person from New Delhi having exclusive safaris.
Here are some of the top safari tour packages by Nature Safari India.
Places nearby to Corbett National Park
Stay at Corbett National Park can be combined with the Corbett trail which includes places Choti Halwani which is known for Corbett Museum, Nainital for birding, and Gurney House (It is a must-visit for every Corbett enthusiast). In 1871, Jim Corbett’s mother, Mary June Corbett of land. The cottage was constructed in 1880. It is an English countryside cottage with French-style bay windows which are fully glassed. A center gallery leads into the house with a drawing and dining room on either side and three aligned bedrooms at a right angle to the gallery. The back wall of the bedroom has a huge arched French window for natural light.
The slanting tin roof has a raised conical shape in the center to break the monotony of the slanting roof. All rooms have adjoining bathrooms. The rooms have wooden flooring. There is a beautiful attic reachable only with considerable effort with the help of an external staircase. The house is a rich repository of Corbett’s belongings. The piano which Maggie played, souvenirs which Corbett got from Africa, Crockery, furniture, books, and many more are still in use in Gurney House. Pangot is a birders paradise in the Nainital district.
Best time to visit Corbett National Park
Corbett National Park is open from 15th November to 15th June. The best time to visit depends on one’s priorities of interest.
- Winter: From November to February – The nights are cold averaging 5° C. Frost with some fog which lasts until Morning. The sun is pleasant and the day temperature averages 25° C. This time the park has some beautiful sunrises which one can enjoy on a morning safari. Some wildlife photographers prefer these foggy backgrounds to capture Tigers. The day throughout remains pleasant even in the afternoon safari the pleasant temperature allows one to enjoy tiger safari in Corbett national park.
- Summer: From March to June – May & June is the hottest month of summers the day temperature averages 44° C. But the evening and nights are pleasant with temperatures averaging 21° C. The park is visited mostly during the hot season due to the increase in the frequency of tiger sightings in these hot months of the year. Tigers often come out to drink water or to sit in water to get rid of unbearing heat of the sun.
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India
After Corbett, we have Kanha in the best safari destinations around the world. Kanha National Park is a jewel in the history of Indian wildlife. Kanha hit worldwide fame when Rudyard Kipling penned “The Jungle Book”. Both in words and illustrations, his tales of jungle lore were explicitly inspired by the flora and fauna of the National Park. It is the largest National Park in the Madhya Pradesh state. The resurgence of wildlife is a result of efforts put in by conservationists in 1955. Situated between Banjar and Halon valley, National Park is spread across an area of 362 sq. Km. Kanha National park is known for its tiger sighting in the Evergreen sal forest.
Unique features of Kanha National Park
- Prime inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book”
- Beautiful lush evergreen forest of Sal trees and grassland
- Known for large male tigers
- Kanha is one of 10 national reserves in the world where the wild dog is most commonly found, roaming around in packs.
- Once an endangered species, the hard ground swamp deer can be spotted in the forest of Kanha National Park
- 43 mammal species. 23 reptile species, almost 325 species of birds are recorded
- A walking safari is also an option available in Kanha National Park. However, it is allowed only in two zones.
Key species of Kanha National Park
Here’s a list of the top 10 mammals reptiles, and bird species checklist that can be found in Kanha National Park.
|1||Royal Bengal Tiger||Indian Golden Oriole||Indian Rock Python|
|2||Hard ground Barasingha||Malabar Pied Hornbill||Russel’s Viper|
|3||Indian Wild Dog||Alexandrine Parakeet||Common Krait|
|4||Wild Boar||Crested Serpent Eagle||Indian Cobra|
|5||Sambhar||Green Bee Eater||Common Rat Snake|
|6||Chausingha||Tickle’s Blue Flycatcher||Common Skink|
|7||Barking Deer||Brahminy Starling||Fan Throated Lizard|
|8||Hog deer||Yellow Footed Green Pigeon||Indian Garden Lizard|
|9||Rhesus Macaque||White Rumped Shama||Indian Monitor|
|10||Sloth bear||Emerald Dove||Banded Krait|
The average cost for Kanha National Park
The recommended duration of stay is of minimum 3 nights at Kanha National Park with exclusive private safaris and 3- star lodge with meals is starting from $ 900.
Places nearby to Kanha National Park
The best itinerary for Kanha National Park is of 6 nights and when combined with Bandhavgarh National Park with a 3-night stay in each park. Bandhavgarh National Park is a National Park with a high density of tigers. A full-day or half-day duration safari is available in both the National park.
Best time to visit Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park is open from October to June. The best time to visit is from November to March. The temperatures are calm, with showers of rain and the welcoming sight of blossoming flowers in the land. The tropical climate of the region means you will be experiencing quite a cold and moist final months of the year. It is during the winters that when most of the wildlife is hustling and bustling. Summers are hot, and while not an advisable time to visit, however, it does offer a better chance for wildlife photographers to capture wild cats in action
Read more about the best national parks of India for tiger safaris.
Wildlife in Africa
Second on the list of the best safari destinations around the world, Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. It has12 million square miles of tropical rain forests, deserts, and vast savannas and is home to one million species of animals. It has both the heaviest (African Elephants) and the tallest (Giraffe) land animals on Earth. There are over 1,100 different mammal species, plus over 60 carnivore species, 100,000 insect species, 3,000 freshwater fish species, and over 2,600 bird species. Africa is known for its sighting of the Big 5 during the safari. The big five of Africa are African Lions (Panthera Leo), Leopards(Panthera pardus pardus), African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer), and both the species of Rhinoceros and African Elephant. From July to October millions of Thompson’s Gazelle, Wildebeest, and Zebra travel between Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve. This movement of animals is called “ The Migration”. It is one opportunity that is not to be missed during the Africa safari tour.
Best National Park in Africa
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger National Park is the first on our Africa list of the best safari destinations around the world, South Africa‘s first National Park established in 1926.after merging Sabi Game Reserve and Singwitsi Reserve. Sabi Game reserve was initially created to control hunting and protect the wildlife of the reserve in 1898. The park is spread across an area of 19,623 sq. Km. and has 9 gates to enter different camps. Later in 2002, Kruger National Park was merged with Limpopo Mozambique’s Limpopo Park and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park to form the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, the largest game reserve or National Park in Africa which is spread across an area of 100000 sq. Km. Kruger National Park an inspiration for wildlife conservation in known for its sighting of Big five, Cheetah, wildebeests, impalas, and bird count of more than 500 birds out of which almost half of the total species are endemic in the savannahs, grassland, and forests that roughly cover over 4.8 million hectares of land bordering South Africa and Mozambique. The park has two rivers Crocodile river in the south and Limpopo river in the North and Lebombo mountains in the east.
Unique features of Kruger National Park
- Spot Big five, Cheetah, Hippopotamus, African wild dog, and many birds
- Self-drive safari option inside Kruger National Park
- Home to more than 140 large mammal species
- Baloon safari is also an option but needs to be booked in advance
- Walking safari is another option to explore Mphongolo Trail, Lonely Bull Trail, and Olifants Backpack Trail plus four more trails in Kruger National park
- Large option of staying at camps or cottage
Key species of Kruger National Park
Here’s a list of the top 10 mammals reptiles, and bird species checklist that can be found in Kruger National Park.
|1||Lion||lappet-faced vulture||African Rock Python|
|2||Leopard||Martial eagle||Egyptian Cobra|
|3||Cheetah||saddle-billed stork||Black Mamba|
|4||Elephant||kori bustard||Puff Adder|
|5||Black Rhino||ground hornbill||Mozambique Spitting Cobra|
|6||Wild Dog||Pel’s fishing owl||Twig Snake|
|7||African Buffalo||Bat Hawk||Boomslang|
|8||Hyena||White-Faced Duck||Olive Gras Snake|
|9||Wildebeests||Curlew||Red Lipped Snake|
|10||impalas||Green Pigeon||Vine snake|
The average cost for Kruger National Park
The recommended duration of stay is a minimum of 7 nights at Kruger National Park with a self-drive option is a little over $ 100 per person per day. There is a wide range of accommodation for stay during the night from affordable camps to a luxury family cottage varying in price. The daily price for a foreign national is $ 27 paid as conservation fees. For a full day safari, the cost per unit is over $ 200
Places nearby to Kruger National Park
Some places that are nearby and can be explored with Safari at Kruger National Park are as below:
- Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center: Featured in many TV shows and series. It is established for the medical care of injured and orphaned animals and birds.
- Blyde River Canyon: One of the world’s largest canyons and home to a wide variety of lush subtropical plants.
- Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park: Largest National Park in Africa spread across 3 countries Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique in Africa continent.
Best time to visit Kruger National Park
The best time to visit Kruger National Park is from April to September. The best experience is at the beginning and end of the dry season as during the day the temperature reaches around 30 °C and during the night it fell to below 10 °C. July to September is the driest season October to March is mainly the rainy season with abundant rainstorms.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Another park on our list of the best safari destinations around the world is Serengeti National Park is a typical African safari experience with a pristine landscape of swaying savannah, dotted with flat-topped acacia and speckled with great roving herds. This Park’s history starts from 1800 when explorers found a large no. of animals in the Serengeti plains. An area of 2,286 sq. km. was established for hunting in 1930 but in 1937 all hunting activities were stopped and in 1940 it received its protected area status and later in 1951 it was established as a National Park. Later in 1959 Ngorongoro crater and Ngorongoro Conservation area were excluded from the Serengeti National Park boundaries. In 1981 it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the best place to see “The Migration” or mass movement of almost 2 million ungulates for the search of water and food.
Unique features of Serengeti National Park
- Known for open savannahs and endless grasslands
- Spot Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, and more than 500 birds
- Chance to understand the Masaai culture: Inhabitants of Serengeti
- Witness “The Migration”
- Stay at mobile tented camps or luxury family lodges
- Balloon safari
Key species of Serengeti National Park
Here’s a list of the top 10 mammals reptiles, and bird species checklist that can be found in Serengeti National Park.
|1||Lions||grey throated spurfowl||Black-necked Spitting Cobra|
|3||Cheetah||red-throated tit||Puff Adder|
|4||Hyena||rufous-tailed weaver||Red Lipped Snake|
|5||Wild Dogs||grey-crested helmet shrike||Nile Monitor|
|6||Wildebeest||Schalow’s turaco||Nile Crocodile|
|7||Thompson Gazelle||secretary bird,||Guttural toad|
|8||Zebra||African fish eagle||Kenyan Rock Agama|
|9||Golden jackals||Fischer’s lovebird||Helmeted Turtle|
|10||bat-eared foxes||ostrich||Leopard Tortoise|
The average cost for Serengeti National Park
The recommended duration for safari is a minimum of 7 days at Serengeti National Park and will cost around $ 2500 for the budget category and $ 7500 for luxury.
Places nearby to Serengeti National Park
Some places that are nearby and can be explored with Safari at Serengeti National Park are as below:
- Ngorongoro Crater: Largest unbroken caldera in the world hotspot for watching wildlife.
- Kijereshi Game Reserve: It is a part of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem which forms an integral part of the Western Corridor for the Great wildebeest migration
- Grumeti Game Reserve: Migration corridor for animals
- Retima Hippo Pool: Big pond with hippos
Best time to visit Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is recommended to be explored in the months of late June to September. This duration is the dry season at Serengeti National Park. Animals can be spotted around water holes during this time. The migration is also at the peak and if lucky river crossing can be witnessed. Brighter day with a temperature around 25 °C. The wildlife is easy to spot, fewer chances of malaria.
Wildlife in South America
Third on our list of the best safari destinations around the world, we have South America. Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest covering Brazil and spread towards, Columbia, Peru, and other South American countries in a total area of 6000000 sq. km.. 4000 plant species, nearly 1300 bird species, 3000 types of fishes, 427 species of mammals, and 2.5 Million different species of insect make the amazon rainforest the most diverse ecosystem in the world. Amazon river flows through the forest and is its lifeline. On a safari tour in Amazon do watch out for a Jaguar which is the third-largest feline in the world. Green or black Anaconda and black caiman are found on the shores of the Amazon River. Pantanal and Amazonia National Park are some places to visit in Brazil.
Best National Park in America
Jau National Park, Brazil
Jau national park is the largest protected forest park in the South America continent and a UNESCO World Heritage site. . Jau National Park got its name from the largest fish in Brazil, the gilded catfish or Jau (Zungaro zungaro). It is about 220 kilometers northwest of Manaus port town and contains the entire Jaú River basin between the Unini River to the north and the Carabinani River to the south. The park is spread across 23673 sq. km. The park is added to the best safari destinations around the world for its 120 mammal species, 455 birds, 150 reptiles, and more than 280 kinds of fish.
Unique features of Jau National Park
- Safari on foot in a tropical rainforest
- Safari on a canoe, kayak, and large cruise boat
- Untouched forest
- Many unexplored areas
- Piranha fishing
- Feeding pink dolphin
- Swimming in the Amazon river
- New species have not been discovered yet
Key species of Jau National Park
Here’s a list of the top 5 mammals reptiles, and bird species checklist that can be found in Jau National Park.
|1||Jaguar||Toucans||great black caiman|
|2||Margay||Harpy eagle||Green Anaconda|
|3||Giant otter||Hoatzin||Boa constrictor|
|5||short-eared dogs||Green-winged macaws||Rainbow boa|
|6||Sloth||Scarlet Macaw||Emerald tree boa|
|7||Tapir||Blue and Yellow Macaw||Red Worm Lizard|
|8||Giant Otter||Hyacinth Macaw||Spectacled Caiman|
|9||Howler Monkey||King Vulture||Yacare Caiman|
|10||Spider Monkey||Manakin||Dwarf Caiman|
The average cost for Jau National Park
The only option to explore the rainforest of Jau National park is on a cruise which requires a minimum of 7 days of onboard experience on a cruise along with different activities. The price starts from $ 700.
Best time to visit Jau National Park
The humidity is very high in the tropical rainforest of Jau National Park. During the day temperature is generally higher from 25 °C to 30 °C. The climate is typical tropical always wet. From December to April being the rainiest months and July-September being the driest.
Interested in more? Visit our other website on wildlife tourism and tiger safari tours here.