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An African safari tops many a traveler's bucket list. However, when asked, a surprising number of people have no idea what country they would like to go to for a safari. Some people, in fact, don't even realize that Africa is a continent and not a country. In order to have the best safari experience possible, however, it is important for a person to choose the right country, and to do that, there are a number of things that a traveler must decide in order to pick the best destination for a safari.
Each country offers visitors a slightly different experience. For instance, Botswana is one of the most expensive countries in Africa for a safari. However, because it does cost more to visit, it also has fewer visitors and safari jeeps jockeying for position around prime viewing opportunities. In addition, Botswana is considered one of the safest countries in Africa. It is popular with visitors who don't mind spending a little more money and who are interested in traveling to a stable country with great wildlife sightings.
Although Uganda's game parks are home to many of the typical wild animals that can be found in other countries, such as giraffes and hippos, this country is most famous for its primates, especially chimpanzees and the rare mountain gorillas.
Travelers interested in seeing the great annual migration of wildebeest and zebras will want to head over to Tanzania and Kenya. Tanzania is also where you will find the world famous wildlife-rich Ngorongoro Crater.
These are just a few of the countries in Africa that offer great safari opportunities. South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are also popular safari destinations, and there are also a number of other countries, such as Gabon, that have recently thrown their hat into the wildlife viewing ring.
So how does a traveler decide on which country is the right one for his journey? First, he must decide what type of game he is interested in seeing. If a visitor heads to South Africa in hopes of seeing a wild mountain gorilla, he will be sorely disappointed. Knowing where certain game lives is the first step in choosing the right safari destination.
Travelers also need to determine how much money they are willing to spend on their safari and whether or not they feel comfortable traveling to a country where there may be some political unrest or if they would feel safer in a country that is more stable.
Another consideration that a traveler must make when choosing a country for their safari trip is accessibility. Game parks in some countries are much easier to get to than in others. In fact, reaching some game parks can add an extra day or two of travel onto an itinerary that some visitors may not have.
While every African safari is an exciting and incredible adventure, a traveler who chooses the right country for his safari will almost always have a much better experience than a person who fails to look into the options that may be available to him.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|