Welcome to the Jungle: The Safaris You Want to Do Now
Elephants and Lions and Acrobatic Monkeys! Oh, My!
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure, go on an African safari. Observing wildlife in its natural habitat from inside an open-air 4x4 — or luxury mobile camp, boat, or even hot-air balloon — is worth the miles, cost, and planning that it takes to get you near a lurking leopard or migrating herd of wildebeest.
Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia are home to some of the best safari spots to get your up-close-and-personal fix of the Big Five (the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo), and the list goes on. So grab your khaki-colored gear, check out the 10 most-searched destinations by Yahoo’s jungle junkies, and start planning.
The pink flamingos of Lake Nakuru (Photo: Thinkstock)
1. Lake Nakuru
Have you ever seen a pink lake? Lake Nakuru in Kenya is your chance. Famous for the millions of flamingos that flock to its shores, the shallow alkaline lake can actually look fuchsia pink when the birds are in flight. Joining the flamingos are about 450 species of birds and hordes of mammals, including white and endangered black rhinos, leopards, giraffes, buffalo, and tree-dangling pythons. If you want to spot a zebra from your window, stay inside the surrounding Lake Nakuru National Park at the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, or spring for your own cottage at The Sleeping Warrior, which is a short trip from the park.
Black rhino (Photo: Thinkstock)
If you’re looking for an exclusive safari experience, North Luangwa is it. Compared with the more popular South Luangwa, visiting the untouched wild at Zambia’s remote North park is the lesser road traveled (the most convenient way to get there is by flying). With fewer passersby, you’re sure to have unique encounters with a buffalo herd, black rhino, or wildebeest when trekking the terrain — on foot only. Since the park calls for adventure-seekers, visitors should delight in the camping-only lodging. Three camps by the Mwaleshi River — Kutandala, Mwaleshi, and Luangwa North Camp — provide three-to-five-night stays during open season, which is from June to October.
African wild dog (Photo: Thinkstock)