Our picks for the best 2021 safari destinations

Contact a Specialist

Botswana - Okavango Delta

Why: Wetland experience, concentrated wildlife and unparalleled exclusivity.

The Okavango Delta is the world's largest inland Delta created by crystal-clear filtered waters from the Okavango River flowing into the arid Kalahari Desert and offers an unparalleled water-based safari adventure. This UNESCO World Heritage site has large populations of lions, cheetah, leopards, antelope, African wild dogs, hippos plus the biggest concentration of elephant and buffalo in this part of Africa. The waters of the Delta tempt visitors with a range of exciting ways to explore, like a traditional mokoro (a dugout canoe). Botswana has a high-end, low-impact tourism policy and as a result there are relatively few lodges within the conservation areas and most offer exclusive wildlife experiences.

Recommended accommodation Jao Camp: Rebuilt in 2019 and relaunched in late 2020, Jao Camp offers their guests an almost tangible sense of adventure and style.

South Africa - Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Why: Renowned location and Big 5 game viewing

Undeniably one of the leading private game reserves in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. The 63,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve offers spectacular game and wildlife watching and is known for incredible close encounters with an array of animals, particularly the safari 'Big 5'. It's also one of the best locations in the world to catch sight of the normally-elusive leopard, which are so relaxed in the reserve that you often see them mere metres from your vehicle! Sabi Sands arguably boasts the best luxury accommodation in southern Africa.

Recommended accommodation Tengile River Lodge: andBeyond Tengile River Lodge is a new luxury safari property situated on a bend of the Sand River, with sweeping views from every vantage point. An exclusive and luxurious safari haven meaning 'tranquil' in the local language, Tengile is all about magnificent accommodation and game viewing.

Rwanda - Volcanoes and Akagera National Parks

Why: Gorillas and Big 5 game viewing in one country

Renowned for its specialist gorilla trekking adventures, Rwanda has long been integrated into epic wildlife travel itineraries alongside the classic 'Big Five' safari spots, Kenya and Tanzania. Now, thanks to the newly opened Wilderness Safari's Magashi Camp in Akagera National Park, international travellers can look within the country's borders in search of sightings of these world-famous animals. Visitors will be immersed in jaw-dropping landscapes from volcanoes and lush rainforest, to emerald green lakes and vast grasslands.

Recommended accommodation Magashi Camp: Overlooking the beautiful Lake Rwanyakazinga in Rwanda's diverse Akagera National Park, Magashi Camp offers luxury accommodation in one of the most scenic savannahs in East Africa and can be seamlessly combined with gorilla trekking.

Kenya - Masai Mara National Reserve

Why: Great Migration, Big 5, scenery and culture

The Masai Mara is one of the most spectacular and beautiful locations on Earth and home to indigenous Maasai communities. Golden sunsets bathe the quintessential-African landscape of rolling savannah grasslands in a stunning flame-hued glow that you'll struggle to get out of your mind once you've left. The Masai Mara reserve welcomes the wildebeest migration each year and millions of animals follow the wildebeest through the area from July onwards, resulting in an abundant collection of wildlife. View lions, hyena, cheetah, baboons, crocodiles, hippo, gazelle, zebra, impala...the list goes on. You are considered unlucky if you don't spy most of the Big 5 animals in an extended stay.

Recommended accommodation Angama Safari Camp: This brand new, exclusive-use safari camp has the same iconic style and service as Angama Mara and as a proud True Blue partner we can offer our clients exclusive benefits.

Tanzania - Serengeti National Park Reserves

Why: Great Migration and exclusive safari experiences

Easily one of Africa's most famous national parks, the Serengeti holds the highest concentration of mammals on earth in its endless savannah grasslands. Bordering the Serengeti are a number of private reserves that offer the same iconic landscapes and wildlife, but with exclusive experiences such as off-road viewing, night drives and walks - experiences not permitted in the national park. These private reserves and concessions also practice low impact tourism and conservation of the wildlands, wildlife and local communities.

Recommended accommodation Legendary Serengeti Camp: An exclusive-use camp for groups of 6 or more, this authentic safari experience offers complete privacy, luxury and a prime location for game-viewing year-round as it moves to follow the wildlife.

Zimbabwe - Hwange National Park

Why: Elephants, African wild dogs and authenticity

Best known for its majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has so much more to offer as an authentic, rugged destination delivering superb game viewing in the care of some of the most respected guides in the business. Hwange National Park is one of the most renowned safari destinations and has an impressive range of habitats from woodlands to grasslands and scrub that support a vast diversity of wildlife. The park has one of the largest elephant populations in the world, with groups in their hundreds gathering around the waterholes. Known also for one of the best surviving populations of the rare African wild dog - a real game sighting draw for visitors.

Recommended accommodation Somalisa Camp: An intimate, luxury bush camp providing guests with breathtaking views of the golden savannah plains of Hwange. Sip a G&T while gazing out over a herd of elephants mere metres away from your deck.