Safari has significantly evolved. In ancient times, it was about hunting animals and roughing out in the wild. But these days, it’s mostly about sleeping in luxurious tents and watching or photographing wild animals from the comfort of a safari jeep. Indeed, wildlife safaris have become a global phenomenon, and although Africa remains the world’s top safari destination, places like Sri Lanka offers the best safari experiences in Asia. Here are some of the best destinations for luxury safari travel.
1. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
If you want to see mountain gorillas on your luxury safari holiday, head to Rwanda, home to Volcanoes National Park, a popular spot for seeing habituated gorilla families in the wild. On your safari to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, you will trek through the tropical rainforest to seek habituated mountain gorillas and spend at least an hour with them in their natural habitat. The park is in the north-western part of the country bordering Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, another popular spot for gorilla trekking.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park can take several hours, depending on where the gorilla families are since they tend to move from one area to another to search for food. During the trek, you will also have a chance to see other primates and different bird species. To protect yourself from sun damage and unwanted cuts and scratches from the branches, make sure to wear one of Kinship Comfort Brands’ arm skin protection sleeves. It comes in different colors too so you can wear one that matches your hiking outfit.
You will be with a guide familiar with the jungle and know where the primates are. Once you spot the gorillas, you can learn about their habits and behaviors and even see them do their daily chores, such as breastfeeding the young ones and playing with each other!
Make the most of your gorilla trek by booking a safari package, which includes luxury accommodations, such as 5-star luxury lodges surrounded by outstanding views of the volcanoes.
2. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Uganda is another country famous for mountain gorillas. In fact, you will find plenty of excellent gorilla trekking excursions in Uganda, ideal for those who want to see these fascinating primates up close but don’t want to go through the hassles of planning a DIY trip.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park lies in the southwestern region of Uganda, at the edge of the Rift Valley. It’s home to a vast community of gorillas and has over half of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas. Therefore, you will have a higher chance of seeing these primates when trekking in this park.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is cheaper than Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Yet, you can enjoy a luxurious experience, especially if you stay in luxury lodges. While seeing the gorillas would be the highlight of your trek to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you will also see mesmerizing nature views, including a scenic crater lake. Sure, it’s not an easy trek, but it’s all worth it.
3. Serengeti, Tanzania
Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is among the world’s best places to experience an authentic African safari. Its lush rolling grasslands and golden savannah offer an awe-inspiring sense of space to support vast populations of buffalo, zebras, elephants, giraffes, and more, not to mention millions of wildebeests!
The Serengeti National Park lies in the north-western region of Tanzania, bordering Kenya on the north, running towards Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, and forming part of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem, one of the world’s most protected ecosystems.
Aside from the incredible wildlife, the stunning landscape scenery is another thing to look forward to on your safari at the Serengeti. The park’s southeast area is famous for its grassland plains, while the north is rocky and hilly. To the west, you’ll see scenic valleys, raging rivers, and lush forests. The variety of landscapes is quite stunning, offering a truly unforgettable safari experience.
If you can, schedule your safari during the Wildebeest Migration, an interesting phenomenon where you witness millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles migrating from Serengeti to the neighboring Masai Mara in Kenya.
4. Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa
South Africa is a beautiful country and another fantastic place to visit for an exciting African safari. In fact, there are plenty of luxury safari packages in Pilanesberg National Park, ideal for those looking to stay in the park while witnessing incredible animals in the wild.
Brimming with a vast diversity of wildlife, expect to see a wide array of animals in Pilanesberg National Park. In addition, the park’s relatively small size and unusual ecological richness increase your chances of seeing them in their natural habitat. And while game drives are the most common activity, you can also indulge in exclusive luxury experiences, such as balloon safaris, a magical way to admire the pristine wilderness of Pilanesberg National Park.
Pilanesberg offers a diverse range of accommodations, which means there is something to suit every traveler. Luxurious travelers can sleep in beautiful safari tents with comfy beds and upscale amenities like an outdoor Jacuzzi, where you can savor a glass of wine as you gaze around the stunning views of the Pilanesberg National Park.
5. Yala Park, Sri Lanka
When going on a safari, most people immediately think of Africa. While Africa offers some of the best safari experiences, you’ll also find many other incredible safari destinations in Asia, such as Sri Lanka, home to Yala National Park, a designated wildlife sanctuary best known for having one of the world’s highest densities of leopards.
Yala National Park is home to various mammals and bird species, including at least seven endemics. But its most famous residents are the elusive leopards. You will also find herds of majestic elephants, jackals, sloths, spotted deer, and crocodiles.
As for the accommodations, you will find plenty of great hotels and lodges close to Yala National Park, particularly in Tissamaharama, a small town outside Yala. It’s also possible to stay at one of the beachfront luxury resorts in Tangalle, about a 3-hour drive to Yala National Park. Many hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka can arrange a day trip to Yala, complete with an air-conditioned private car with a driver and guide.