Types of Safaris in Africa

20 Types of African Safaris

When it comes to exploring the vast and stunning landscapes of Africa, embarking on a safari is often the first choice for adventure-seeking travelers. However, the world of African safaris is not limited to just one type of experience.

There are a multitude of options available, each catering to different interests and preferences. From thrilling primate safaris that bring you face-to-face with our closest relatives, to tranquil birdwatching safaris that allow you to observe the vibrant avian life, the possibilities are endless.

But what are some other types of African safaris that await? Let’s delve into the diverse array of experiences that await those who seek to uncover the beauty of this captivating continent.

Key Takeaways

  • African safaris offer a wide range of options for wildlife enthusiasts, including primate safaris, birdwatching safaris, walking safaris, flying safaris, and marine safaris.
  • Educational and cultural safaris provide opportunities for learning and immersing in the rich traditions and customs of Africa, with activities such as guided nature walks, birdwatching expeditions, traditional ceremonies, and learning traditional dances, music, and crafts.
  • Family safaris cater to all ages, offering unique and unforgettable experiences for children to learn about the African ecosystem and conservation.
  • Luxury and tailor-made safaris provide unparalleled comfort and customization, with luxurious accommodations, gourmet meals, and the ability to choose the duration, destinations, activities, and accommodations of the safari.

1. Primate Safaris

Primate safaris offer an extraordinary opportunity to witness the captivating world of Africa’s diverse primate species, including gorillas, chimpanzees, and baboons, in their natural habitats.

One of the most popular primate safaris is gorilla trekking safaris, which take place in countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These safaris allow visitors to embark on an unforgettable journey through dense rainforests, tracking and observing these magnificent creatures up close.

Gorilla trekking safaris offer a unique chance to witness the intimate lives of gorillas, as well as learn about their conservation efforts and the challenges they face in the wild. This experience not only provides a deep connection with nature but also promotes a sense of belonging to a community that values and protects these incredible primates.

2. Birdwatching Safaris

Continuing our exploration of Africa’s rich wildlife, we now turn our attention to the captivating world of avian species with birdwatching safaris. Birding safaris offer an incredible opportunity to observe the diverse and vibrant birdlife found throughout the continent. Africa is home to over 2,300 bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts. Whether you are an expert birder or a novice, these safaris provide an immersive experience in the natural habitats of these magnificent creatures.

Imagine waking up to the melodious calls of African sunbirds, or witnessing the graceful flight of a majestic African fish eagle. Birding safaris allow you to witness the stunning plumage, intricate behaviors, and unique vocalizations of a wide range of bird species. From the vibrant lilac-breasted roller to the striking ostrich, Africa’s birdlife is a tapestry of colors and forms.

Guided by experienced birding experts, these safaris take you to prime birding locations such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the Serengeti plains in Tanzania, or the bird-rich wetlands of the Gambia. You will explore diverse ecosystems, including rainforests, savannahs, wetlands, and coastal areas, each harboring its array of avian wonders.

Birdwatching safaris offer more than just bird sightings. They provide an opportunity to connect with nature, develop a deeper understanding of ecosystems, and contribute to conservation efforts. By participating in these safaris, you become a part of a global community of bird lovers and conservationists, united by a shared passion for the preservation of these magnificent creatures.

Whether you are capturing stunning photographs, adding new species to your life list, or simply marveling at the beauty of nature, birding safaris promise an unforgettable experience. So, pack your binoculars, camera, and a sense of adventure, and embark on a journey into the enchanting world of African birdlife.

3. Walking Safaris

Walking safaris offer an immersive and intimate experience, allowing travelers to explore the African wilderness on foot and connect with the natural beauty of the continent. Unlike traditional game drives, walking safaris provide a unique opportunity to engage all the senses and truly become a part of the environment.

Led by experienced guides, these safaris take visitors off the beaten path, offering a closer encounter with Africa’s wildlife and landscapes. As you walk through the bush, you may come across a variety of animals, from graceful antelopes to majestic elephants. The sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling underfoot create a symphony of nature that surrounds you.

Walking safaris also allow for a deeper understanding of the ecosystem, as guides share their knowledge about the flora, fauna, and local traditions. For those seeking a genuine connection with Africa’s wild heart, walking safaris are an absolute must.

4. Flying Safaris

Flying safaris offer a thrilling and unparalleled perspective of the African landscape, allowing travelers to soar above the vast wilderness and witness breathtaking views from the sky.

These safaris provide a unique opportunity to explore the continent’s diverse ecosystems and iconic landmarks in a way that traditional safari experiences cannot. Imagine flying over the Serengeti, with its teeming herds of wildebeest and zebras, or gliding above the Okavango Delta, with its winding waterways and lush greenery.

With flying safaris, you can cover great distances in a short amount of time, maximizing your chances of spotting elusive wildlife and experiencing the sheer vastness of Africa’s wilderness.

Whether in a small aircraft or a hot air balloon, the sense of freedom and adventure that comes with flying safaris is unmatched, making it an unforgettable way to connect with the natural wonders of Africa.

5. Marine Safaris

A unique and captivating way to explore the wonders of Africa’s coastal regions is through marine safaris. These safaris offer an opportunity to discover the rich marine life and stunning underwater landscapes.

Imagine diving into crystal-clear waters teeming with colorful coral reefs, swimming alongside majestic whales and dolphins, and witnessing the grace of sea turtles gliding through the ocean depths. Marine safaris allow you to experience the magic of Africa’s coastal ecosystems up close and personal.

Whether you choose to snorkel, scuba dive, or embark on a boat excursion, these safaris offer a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty and serenity of the ocean.

Get ready to be enthralled by the vibrant marine biodiversity and create memories that will last a lifetime on your marine safari adventure.

6. Horseback Safaris

One of the most exhilarating ways to explore the vast landscapes and diverse wildlife of Africa is through the thrilling adventure of horseback safaris. Imagine galloping through the golden savannah, feeling the wind in your face as you witness the incredible wildlife up close and personal.

Horseback safaris offer a unique and immersive experience, allowing you to connect with nature and the animals in a way that is simply not possible from a vehicle. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner, there are horseback safaris available for all skill levels.

Expert guides will lead you on unforgettable journeys, taking you to hidden corners of Africa that are inaccessible by other means. So saddle up and embark on a horseback safari for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Africa.

7. Quad Biking Safaris

Continuing the exploration of thrilling ways to experience the vast landscapes and diverse wildlife of Africa, Quad Biking Safaris offers an exhilarating adventure for those seeking a unique and adrenaline-pumping safari experience.

Quad biking, also known as ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) riding, allows visitors to traverse the rugged terrain of Africa while enjoying the thrill of speed and freedom. These safaris typically take place in remote and off-road areas, providing a chance to explore untouched landscapes and encounter wildlife up close.

Quad biking safaris cater to both experienced riders and beginners, with expert guides ensuring safety and providing training. Whether it’s navigating through dunes in the Sahara Desert or maneuvering through dense forests in South Africa, quad biking safaris offer an unforgettable adventure that combines the thrill of riding with the beauty of Africa’s natural wonders.

8. Educational Safaris

Educational safaris offer a unique opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves in the fascinating ecosystems and wildlife of Africa while gaining valuable knowledge and insights from expert guides.

These safaris are designed to provide a deeper understanding of the natural world and its conservation challenges.

Participants can choose from various educational activities, such as guided nature walks, birdwatching expeditions, and wildlife tracking.

The expert guides, often local conservationists and researchers, share their expertise and passion for the environment, making the experience both enriching and inspiring.

Educational safaris also offer the flexibility for solo travelers to embark on a journey of discovery and personal growth.

Whether it’s learning about the intricate web of life in the African savannah or understanding the importance of sustainable conservation efforts, educational safaris provide an unforgettable experience for those seeking to connect with nature and expand their knowledge.

9. Cultural Safaris

Cultural safaris provide travelers with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich traditions, customs, and heritage of African communities. These safaris go beyond wildlife encounters and focus on the vibrant cultures that make Africa so diverse and captivating. Through cultural safaris, visitors can participate in traditional ceremonies, learn traditional dances, music, and crafts, and even stay in local villages to experience daily life firsthand.

Each African country has its own unique cultural experiences to offer, from the Maasai tribes in Kenya and Tanzania to the Himba people in Namibia. Travelers can engage with local communities, gain a deeper understanding of their way of life, and forge meaningful connections.

Cultural safaris not only provide a sense of belonging but also contribute to the preservation and appreciation of African cultures for future generations.

10. Family Safaris

When planning a family vacation, an African safari offers a unique and unforgettable experience for all ages.

Family-friendly safaris provide an opportunity to bond with loved ones while exploring the breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife of Africa. These safaris cater to the needs and interests of families, ensuring a safe and enjoyable adventure.

With knowledgeable guides, comfortable accommodations, and exciting activities, families can embark on thrilling game drives, encounter majestic elephants and lions, and witness the annual wildebeest migration in the Serengeti.

Children can learn about the African ecosystem, engage in educational activities, and develop a deeper appreciation for wildlife conservation.

Family safaris create lasting memories and foster a sense of togetherness, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a vacation that is both enriching and entertaining.

11. Budget-Friendly Safaris

As families consider planning an African safari, they may also be interested in exploring budget-friendly options that still offer an incredible experience. One such option is community-based safaris.

These safaris provide an opportunity to not only witness the breathtaking wildlife but also immerse oneself in the local culture and support the communities. By choosing community-based safaris, travelers can contribute to the local economy and make a positive impact on the lives of the people living in these areas.

These safaris are often more affordable compared to luxury lodges and camps, making them accessible to a wider range of budgets. Despite being budget-friendly, community-based safaris still offer exceptional game drives, knowledgeable guides, and comfortable accommodations.

12. Luxury Safaris

For those seeking the ultimate in comfort and extravagance, luxury safaris offer an unparalleled opportunity to experience the African wilderness in style. These exclusive safaris provide a level of opulence and personalized service that caters to the discerning traveler.

From luxurious accommodations in private game reserves to gourmet meals prepared by world-class chefs, every aspect of a luxury safari is designed to create an unforgettable experience.

Expert guides and trackers accompany guests on game drives, ensuring that they have the best chance of spotting Africa’s iconic wildlife in their natural habitat. In addition to thrilling animal encounters, luxury safaris often include unique activities such as hot air balloon rides over the savannah or indulgent spa treatments.

Whether it’s staying in lavish tented camps or luxurious lodges, luxury safaris offer a true sense of belonging and an unrivaled safari experience.

13. Tailor-Made Safaris

Tailor-made safaris offer a personalized and customized experience, allowing travelers to design their dream African adventure according to their specific preferences and interests. Unlike other types of safaris, tailor-made safaris provide the flexibility to create a unique itinerary that suits individual needs. Whether it’s exploring the vast Serengeti plains, embarking on a thrilling gorilla trekking expedition, or immersing in the vibrant cultural heritage of local tribes, tailor-made safaris offer endless possibilities.

With tailor-made safaris, travelers have the freedom to choose the duration, destinations, activities, and accommodations that best align with their desires. From luxury lodges to rustic bush camps, there is a wide range of options available to cater to different tastes and budgets. Expert guides and rangers accompany guests throughout their journey, ensuring a safe and enriching experience.

Tailor-made safaris provide a sense of belonging, as travelers have the opportunity to truly connect with the African wilderness on their own terms. This personalized approach allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural wonders and cultural diversity that Africa has to offer. Whether it’s a family adventure, a romantic getaway, or a solo expedition, tailor-made safaris create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

14. Photographic Safaris

With a focus on capturing the beauty of Africa through the lens, photographic safaris provide an immersive experience for nature enthusiasts and photography enthusiasts alike. These safaris are designed specifically for those who want to explore the stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant cultures of Africa while honing their photography skills.

Accompanied by experienced guides who have an in-depth knowledge of the local wildlife and ecosystems, participants have the opportunity to capture breathtaking images of iconic African animals in their natural habitats. Whether it’s a close-up of a lioness on the prowl or a sweeping panorama of the vast Serengeti plains, photographic safaris offer unrivaled opportunities to create stunning images that tell a story.

These safaris also provide a sense of belonging, as participants connect with like-minded individuals who share the same passion for photography and Africa’s natural wonders.

15. Night Safaris

Night safaris offer a unique and thrilling opportunity to explore the mysteries of Africa’s nocturnal wildlife and witness the captivating behaviors of creatures that come alive after the sun sets.

As the darkness envelops the landscape, the African bush reveals a whole new world of activity. The air is filled with the sounds of nocturnal creatures, from the haunting calls of the nightjars to the rustling of leaves as animals move through the undergrowth.

Night safaris provide a chance to spot elusive predators like lions and leopards as they embark on their hunting expeditions. With the aid of spotlights, the eyes of these predators gleam in the darkness, creating an awe-inspiring sight.

Additionally, night safaris offer the opportunity to see other fascinating creatures such as hyenas, genets, and owls, who thrive in the nighttime realm.

The experience of a night safari is truly unforgettable, providing an intimate encounter with Africa’s nocturnal wonders.

16. Eco-Friendly Safaris

As the focus shifts from exploring the mysteries of Africa’s nocturnal wildlife on night safaris, a new aspect of safari experiences comes into play – eco-friendly safaris.

These safaris are designed to minimize the impact on the environment while still offering an unforgettable adventure. Eco-friendly safaris prioritize sustainability, conservation, and responsible tourism practices. They strive to ensure that the natural habitats, wildlife, and local communities are protected and preserved for future generations.

These safaris often involve staying in eco-lodges that are built with sustainable materials and powered by renewable energy. They also promote eco-conscious activities such as guided walking safaris, birdwatching, and cultural visits to local communities.

17. Adventure Safaris

Adventure safaris offer thrilling experiences for travelers seeking an adrenaline-filled exploration of Africa’s breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. One popular type of adventure safari is the chimpanzee safari. These safaris take you deep into the lush rainforests of countries like Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania, where you can witness the incredible behavior of our closest primate relatives.

Chimpanzee safaris provide a unique opportunity to observe these intelligent creatures in their natural habitat. You can go on guided treks through dense jungles, tracking the movements of chimpanzee troops and learning about their social structures and behaviors. Imagine the excitement of encountering a chimpanzee family, witnessing their playful interactions, and listening to their distinctive vocalizations.

These safaris also allow you to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Africa’s rainforests, with their towering trees, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. It’s an adventure that combines the thrill of exploration with the chance to connect with nature and witness the wonders of the animal kingdom up close.

18. Self-Drive Safaris

For travelers seeking a different level of exploration and independence, self-drive safaris offer a unique opportunity to navigate Africa’s stunning landscapes at their own pace.

With a self-drive safari, adventurers can take control of their journey, driving themselves through national parks and reserves, and experiencing the thrill of spotting wildlife up close and personal.

Self-drive safaris provide the freedom to choose the route, stop whenever desired, and stay for as long as desired in a particular location.

This type of safari allows travelers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Africa, witnessing breathtaking sunsets, encountering diverse wildlife, and discovering hidden gems off the beaten path.

Self-drive safaris are ideal for those who crave a sense of adventure and want to create their own unforgettable African experience.

19. Beach Safaris

Beach safaris offer travelers the opportunity to unwind and relax in the idyllic coastal settings of Africa while still enjoying the natural beauty and wildlife that the continent has to offer. Imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing against the shore, feeling the warm sand between your toes, and soaking up the sun’s rays as you bask in the tranquility of the beach.

Africa’s beaches are not only breathtakingly beautiful but also home to a diverse range of marine life and ecosystems. Whether you choose the pristine white sands of Zanzibar, the rugged coastline of South Africa, or the palm-fringed beaches of Mozambique, beach safaris provide a unique blend of relaxation and adventure.

From snorkeling and diving to exploring coastal villages and indulging in delicious seafood, these safaris offer the perfect blend of leisure and exploration. So, pack your swimsuit and get ready to embark on a beach safari that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and fulfilled.

20. Off-the-Beaten-Path Safaris

Continuing our exploration of African safaris, let us now venture into the realm of off-the-beaten-path safaris, where intrepid travelers can discover hidden gems and experience the untamed beauty of Africa’s lesser-known wilderness areas.

Off-the-beaten-path safaris offer a unique and authentic experience, taking you away from the crowded tourist hotspots and allowing you to immerse yourself in the untouched landscapes and diverse wildlife that Africa has to offer.

These safaris often involve exploring remote and secluded areas, where wildlife encounters are more intimate and the natural beauty is unspoiled. Whether it’s trekking through the dense rainforests of Central Africa, exploring the vast savannahs of Southern Africa, or navigating the winding waterways of the Okavango Delta, off-the-beaten-path safaris provide a sense of adventure and discovery that will leave you with lifelong memories.

What Are Some Good Options for African Safari Lodges?

When planning an African safari, choosing the right lodge is crucial to ensure a comfortable and immersive experience in the heart of the wilderness. Here are some good options for African safari lodges to consider:

  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve: Located in South Africa, this private game reserve offers luxurious lodges with stunning views of wildlife and the opportunity to see the Big Five up close.
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve: Situated in Kenya, this reserve is known for its vast savannahs and annual wildebeest migration. Lodges here provide a unique cultural experience with the Maasai people.
  • Okavango Delta: Found in Botswana, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers lodges that are nestled amidst the tranquil waterways, providing a serene and exclusive safari experience.
  • Serengeti National Park: Located in Tanzania, this park is famous for its abundant wildlife and the annual Great Migration. Lodges here offer breathtaking views of the plains and easy access to game drives.

These lodges provide excellent accommodation options for those seeking unforgettable experiences on their Africa safaris and tours.

Are African National Parks and Reserves Good for Families?

Yes, African national parks and reserves provide an ideal setting for families to embark on unforgettable wildlife adventures together. With their diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife, these parks offer a unique opportunity for families to connect with nature and experience the thrill of observing African animals in their natural habitat. From the vast plains of the Serengeti to the dense jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, there are numerous parks and reserves across Africa that cater to families of all ages.

One of the highlights of visiting these national parks and reserves is the chance to witness the nocturnal life of African animals. As the sun sets and darkness descends, a whole new world comes alive. Families can go on guided night drives or walks to witness the elusive creatures that emerge after dark. From the calls of nocturnal birds to the rustling sounds of predators on the prowl, the night-time safari experience is truly captivating.

In addition to the wildlife encounters, African national parks and reserves offer a range of family-friendly activities and amenities. Many lodges provide comfortable accommodations, kid-friendly menus, and educational programs designed to engage young minds. Some parks even have dedicated children’s areas where little ones can learn about conservation and participate in age-appropriate activities.


In conclusion, African safaris offer a diverse range of experiences for every type of traveler. Whether you’re interested in observing primates, birdwatching, or exploring off-the-beaten-path locations, there is something for everyone.

With a variety of safari lodges available, you can choose the perfect accommodation to suit your needs. African national parks and reserves also provide excellent opportunities for family adventures.

Embark on a thrilling safari and immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and rich wildlife of Africa.