National parks in Africa are some of the largest in the world – as well as the most spectacular. Most of them have been created over the past century to help safeguard the continent’s wildlife from habitat destruction and poaching. Known for their natural beauty and diverse wildlife, Africa’s national parks have become premier safari destinations for increasing numbers of travellers in recent decades.
The list below details our top picks of national parks in Africa, and links to country overview pages – including maps, pictures, and links to further resources such as official park authorities, all with a focus on the top African safari spots of East and Southern Africa. (There are also some Indian and Sri Lankan national parks listed as these countries provide alternative safari activities and wildlife spotting opportunities of a high standard.) The nature of the parks listed varies considerably in terms of the degree of accessibility and protection, the number of tourist and type of environment. The one thing all the African parks listed have in common is that they provide a fantastic African safari experience.
Featured national parks
A classic African national park – with excellent visitor facilities – housing the “big five” and much more in plains surrounding the huge central pan.
The oldest desert on earth, probably the most beautiful. Namib Naukluft National Park is easily accessible from Sossusvlei, where giant dunes tower 300m into the air, and pockets of long ago dried-out lakes serve as sporadic homes to forests of thousand year old dead trees. In a word, epic!
One of the best places in the world to see wild gorillas is without a doubt Parc National des Volcan – 160 km sq. of dense, wet jungle on the upper reaches of towering volcanos. It’s a long,sweaty walk to the very top of these peaks, but the reward is getting to see several fmailies of wild. habituated mountain gorillas.