Treasure Trove of Wilderness

/ New Delhi
Wildlife tourism is one of the biggest attractions of several African countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. India Outbound brings you glimpses of some of the most notable examples of wilderness in Africa.
4/5 - (1 vote)

IIt is the only part of the world where one can locate the Big Five in the wilderness practically anywhere. Rhinoceros, elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard make the list of animals that have long been on top of the list of hunters. But now with hunting banned in almost all the African countries, the Big Five have transformed into the largest draw of tourists to these nations.

For the uninitiated or those looking to maximise the ‘return on investment’ in terms of variety of landscapes and wildlife, South Africa is one of the best places to start with. The vast land and the oceans around the country offer a rich and unique experience to visitors. Numerous wildlife parks with all the stalwarts of the African bush are sprinkled all over the country, allowing tourists in almost any part to see the wildlife up close – be it the giraffes, leopards, elephants, hippos, zebra or rhinoceros, one can find all of them in every part of South Africa. Those looking for offshore adventure can head to Hermanus, off Cape Town, amongst several other destinations.

Kenya is another attractive place to discover African wildlife along with close encounters with the Masai, the iconic tribals who are synonymous with one of the most well-known wildlife parks in the world – the Masai Mara. Spread over 1510 sqkm of patchy landscape, with numerous acacia trees in the sprawling grassland, the Mara is also known for the great migration.

There are about 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles here, including the Big Five: lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino, but also hyena, cheetah, fox, jackal, hippo, crocodile, topi and impala. The list is endless. If you are a bird lover, you’ll definitely be delighted to spot some of the 400 bird species recorded in the reserve.

About 8 pc of the Kenya’s total land mass is protected area for wildlife conservation. From Amboseli to Masai Mara, the country is home to 40 national parks and wildlife reserves, but the Mara is known to be the finest one, home to an abundant wildlife. The Masai Mara National Reserve is situated on the Great Rift Valley.

One of the most well-known attractions of the Masai Mara and indeed large chunks of Kenya and Tanzania is the annual wildebeest migration involving over 1.5 million animals that arrive in July and depart in November, looking for fresh grass to feed on. Visitors during the world’s largest annual migration can spot large groups of wildebeests, zebras and buffaloes. An impressive sight. During the migration, most of the hotels here are fully booked, so if you want the best view, reserve at least one year ahead! The best time to visit the park is between July and October during the migration but also between early November and February. This time of the year you’ll also see many lion cubs around.

The tiny land of Botswana is also rich in wildlife and one of its most famous experiences is the safari in the Chobe National Park that is on the border with Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This park is said to have the highest density of wild animals in the world. The park is home to over 120,000 elephants as well as 15 different species of wildlife, making a safari here a must for those passionate about wildlife.

The boat safari on the Chobe river happens only in the afternoon. The river has an abundance of hippos and crocodiles and it’s a great way to observe birdlife as well. There are about 460 bird species recorded in the park. The boat safari gives you a completely different perspective of wildlife and allows you to enjoy the sunset while sipping a drink comfortably seated in the boat. And that African sky will definitely leave you speechless.

Leave a Reply

Get Magazine