Ask the Experts: Best Safari in Africa?

This week, our Ask the Experts panellists have chosen a question from Ross in Portsmouth, on a subject close to their hearts: safari!

Travelling overland in Africa remains one of the world’s greatest journeys, bringing forth a wealth of amazing opportunities. From meeting some of the most enigmatic people on earth, to exploring awe-inspiring landscapes that play stage to some of the more famous cycles of life.

And it appears we’re not alone in being allured by Africa; let’s see what Ross in Portsmouth is asking our panellists…

When’s the best time of year to do a safari in Africa, and where would you recommend? Ross in Portsmouth

It’s over to you, STA Travel Experts!

Mark @ Belfast believes…

Hey Ross, thanks for a great question! The best time of year for you to do a safari in Africa is between July and September, with the famous wildebeest migration crossing the Masai Mara in Kenya between September and October. I visited Kenya last October and would recommend it, there are plenty of animals about and it’s not too warm.

This kid has definitely got the X-Factor! | Image by our expert Mark Reynolds

There’s a wide variety of parks, but the Masai Mara and Serengeti are my two personal favourites. I did a Kenya Camping Safari, and visited the Samburu tribe, Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru. We saw the Big 5 within a couple of days, even the elusive leopard! In Samburu I had the chance to see the tribe, and where they live, and we shared stories about day-to-day life and share some customs.

It was an amazing experience! At night, after the two game drives that day, the chefs prepare some great food and we capped it off with some drinks by the campfire. The roads are pants, but you get used to it, and you’ll be left with an amazing experience that will stay with you for the rest of your days.

Kim @ Dundee decides…

As Mark implied, it’s hard to look past The Great Wildebeest Migration of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem that occurs between July and October, when 1.7 million wildebeest graze through the northern Serengeti and Masai Mara. At the height of the season, the Serengeti sees the highest concentration of mammals anywhere on earth!

If time and money dictate something less ambitious, South Africa is a fantastic, well-priced option. You haven’t lived until you’ve camped out in the open, listening to lions’ roar in the dead of the night, and the Kruger National Park delivers this in a sensational fashion. Best time of year is spring (April and May) or autumn (September and October) to avoid the summer heat, and peak season prices.

One elephant, two elephants, three elephants… hide and seeeeeek! | Image by our expert, Mark Reynolds

Heather @ Nottingham says…

Make that three for Kenya, Ross! It offers a huge diversity for safari, plus the opportunity to experience a variety of national parks, and you can usually pick up some reasonably cheap flights to Kenya. The Masai Mara National Park is surprisingly green, with the Mara River flowing through it, where you can see lions, cheetahs and leopards, as well as buffaloes, elephants, hippos and zebras.

The Samburu National Park offers a very different, dry landscape; spend some time here Big 5 spotting. A less-visited spot is Lake Nakuru, within the famously beautiful Rift Valley — it’s a soda lake, with an abundance of flamingoes (known as a ‘Stand’) as well as the opportunity to see both the white and black rhino. If we haven’t convinced you to visit East Africa, then we’re doing something wrong!

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