Africa boasts enchanted landscapes that include sand dunes, jungles, and, of course, savannahs to name a few. Explorers have come from far-flung places to witness the many marvels of this vast continent that is home to a dazzling array of cultures as well as flora and fauna. The following national parks are among the most must-see places of Africa and have all the makings of a memorable experience.
1. Kruger National Park, South Africa
As one of the largest game reserves on the continent of Africa, Kruger National Park is located in northeastern South Africa. The park attracts safari enthusiasts from around the world who come to view the wildlife that make their home in the park. Kruger National Park is South Africa’s first national park and gained protective status as such in 1926. Animals that make their home on the spectacular terrain include the lions, elephants, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, and much more.
2. Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe
Located in northwestern Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is situated on the Zambezi River and is regarded as the largest waterfall in the world. Witnessing the falls and catching a glimpse of crocodiles in the river is a marvelous experience for visitors. Other animals that also may be seen around the park which is truly dominated by the falls are hippos, elephants, white rhinos, and cape buffalo.
3. Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania
This Tanzanian national park is among the most revered spots on the continent. Mount Kilimanjaro, celebrated in the Hemingway short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” is the highest mountain in Africa. Ringed with forests, Mount Kilimanjaro attracts many climbers. The mountain, of course, is also among the largest volcanoes on the planet. Visiting the savannah lands around the mountain is also a popular pursuit among those who visit the park.
4. Masoala National Park, Madagascar
This stunning park is home to various species of lemurs and other enchanting species of the island. With its beautiful coastal views, the park is also ideal for kayaking and scuba diving. It’s one of those rare parks where visitors will be as delighted by the water territory as by the terrain. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Masoala National Park may be far off the beaten track, but it is a destination worth seeking out as one of the world’s most extraordinary places.
5. Ahaggar National Park, Algeria
With its other-worldly Sahara landscapes, this vast park is a stunning landscape. Home to the Tuareg people, the park is home to both mountains and sand dunes. Located in southern Algeria, the park covers more than 173,745 square miles. Home to a rare cheetah population, the park is also graced by a 3,000 meter mountain, Mount Tahat. As one of the more remote national parks on the planet, getting there is part of the overall experience.
6. Etosha National Park, Namibia
Located in northwest Namibia, Etosha National Park covers an area of 8,600 square miles. Home to an incredible array of animal species, the park is best known for its black rhinos, African wild dogs, hyenas, wildebeests, zebras, lions, and leopards to name a few. The park features five lodges and various facilities that are associated with tourism in the area. The spectacular wildlife is complemented by the various types of terrain contained in the park.
7. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
Situated in northern Uganda, park is named for Murchison Falls as it incorporates part of the Victoria Nile, one of the main tributaries of the world’s longest river. The park encompasses 1,480 square miles. Many travelers come to see the Nile’s celebrated headwaters and spend time exploring the park. Murchison Falls National Park is home to animals like lions, elephants, and giraffes.
8. Table Mountain National Park, South Africa
Encompassing Table Mountain as well as the historically famous landmark Cape of Good Hope, the park is a breathtaking area that encompasses eighty-five square miles. The region is home to cape lions and leopards as well as mountain zebra and African bush elephants. Boasting extraordinary views of the turbulent sea, the park has a mystique all its own.
9. Ras Muhammad National Park, Egypt
Located on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, this extraordinary national park is world famous for its dazzling coral reefs and populations of sea turtles. Flanked by the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba, the park is a major attraction on the Red Sea Riviera. Ras Muhammad National Park encompasses underwater caves as well as two islands. The reefs attract divers from all over the world.
10. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Celebrated as a sanctuary for Mountain Gorillas, Volcanoes National Park has the claim to fame of being the first national park created on the continent. Volcanoes and rainforest-covered mountains make this one of the most unique environments in all of Africa. The park is open to limited numbers of tourists, but it continues to be one of the most beloved parks in the world.
These celebrated parks live in the imaginations of people the world over. Even so, there is nothing like visiting them in person to behold their myriad of singular elements and views. Have you ever visited any of these parks?