At nearly 15,000 square kilometers, this is one of the world's largest and most famous national parks. What's special here: nowhere else do so many animals migrate at the same time. When the rainy season starts in March and April, millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles make their way northwards to new feeding grounds.
Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Kenya boasts 23 national parks. Amboseli National Park is the most popular. It lies at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. It's famed for its elephant herds, which live peacefully here, protected from poachers, because the surrounding countryside belongs to the Massai, who tolerate no poaching on their territory.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Safari tourists staying in chalets at this lodge have the best view, because the spectacular expanse of the countryside truly comes into its own when seen from up here. It's as if it had been made for experiencing nature and wildlife. Savannas alternate with tropical rainforests, marshes and crater landscapes. This variety of ecosystems gives the park the greatest biodiversity in East Africa.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Twelve gorilla groups live in the rainforests of the Virunga Mountains. The primatologist Dian Fossey made them world famous. She lived with them and showed the world the amazingly gentle side of these threatening-looking animals. Since then, many tourists dream of standing face to face with a mountain gorilla. Trekking excursions with park rangers make that possible.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Tourists to Africa dream of seeing the “big five” among the continent's wild animals: lions, elephant, rhinos, African buffalo and leopards. On a safari through Kruger National Park they have an especially good chance of seeing lions. More than 1,500 of these large carnivores live here. For the adventurous, walking routes offer the opportunity to explore the park's more remote regions on foot.
Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe
It has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1989. Victoria Falls, on Zimbabwe's border to Zambia, is the largest waterfall in the world. The waters of the Zambezi thunder down over a width of more than 1,700 meters. If you dare, you can plunge into the depths yourself. On a bridge 111 meters over the river, there's a bungee jumping station.
Sanganeb Marine National Park, Sudan
Divers from all over the world love the atolls and reefs off the Sudanese coast. Here in the Red Sea, a huge coral reef drops off steeply to the seabed. Reef sharks, barracuda, dolphins and colorful reef fish splash about in the crystal clear waters. Diving safaris offer an unobstructed view of this marine life: an ecosystem that has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2016.
Tassili n’Ajjer National Park, Algeria
Bizarre rock formations: the Tassili n’Ajjer plateau stretches out deep in the Sahara, far from civilization. Since the 1950s more than 10,000 prehistoric rock engravings have been discovered here. The area is home to the nomadic Tuareg people. Their hospitality is legendary. It is said that a guest who drinks three glasses of tea with them is under their protection from then on.
Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
Dead Vlei, a desiccated white claypan, lies in the oldest desert in the world, the Namib. Its camel thorn trees, dead for centuries, have been preserved by the extremely dry climate – an archaic landscape. The best view is from “Crazy Dune,” at the edge of the shallow depression. After the arduous 300-meter climb to its top, you can flop down in the sand, exhausted but awestruck.
No other continent has such an immense number of natural assets as Africa. These make Africa's national parks and nature reserves highlights on any trip to the continent.
Savannas, rainforests, deserts, volcanic landscapes, mountains and coasts; added to that is its incredible wealth of fauna. That always attracts tourists. People are ready to pay a lot of money to see exotic animals in the wild. Countries such as Namibia, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania are classic safari destinations. Here tourists can see the "big five:" elephants, African buffalo, rhinos, lions and leopards.
In many African countries, tourism is one of the largest and most important sources of income. The national parks play an important role. Local inhabitants earn money as guides, generate revenue by renting lodges or run restaurants – just to mention a few possibilities.
Most tourists would like to go on safari without forgoing the comforts of home. The national parks, more than 300 in number, make that possible: safe ways to get close to nature and animals.
Park rangers and knowledgeable guides organize guided tours to herds of zebra, mountain gorillas, lurking crocodiles or lions dozing in the sun. Tourists spend the night in lodges that offer everything from simple comfort to luxurious accommodation.
Attentive travelers notice that many national parks have problems. They include poaching, dam building, deforestation, prospecting for resources and road building. Some of the fragile ecosystems at such great risk that they are threatened with collapse.