Going on an overlanding safari is the best way to experience Africa’s greatest wilderness areas on a budget. Instead of staying at expensive lodges, you camp out under the stars, and instead of hiring your own car, you travel around in a big overland truck. The best thing about an overlanding safari is just how much you can see and do in one trip: on overlanding safaris of just less than two weeks, you can visit three African countries and numerous game parks.
If you want to see wildlife, an overlanding safari is the way to go. You’ll camp inside or just outside Africa’s best national parks and spend your days driving and walking through the parks to spot the animals you’ve seen on the Discovery Channel – herds of wildebeest, giraffes, lions, leopards, elephants, snorting hippos, rhinos, buffalos and lots of buck.
To help you choose the best budget African overlanding safaris to see wildlife, we’ve picked our best and most popular trips, which take in the most spectacular game viewing places on the continent.
On the 10-day highlights of East Africa overlanding safari, you’ll get to visit East Africa’s top four game reserves – Masai Mara National Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya and the Serengeti Park National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania – and experience some of the best game viewing on the continent. The Masai Mara and the Serengeti offer the quintessential safari experience – vast savanna plains covered in wildlife and the world-famous wildebeest migration, which happens annually. Lake Nakuru is home to 56 mammal species but its big drawcard is its birdlife – 450 species in total including beautiful flamingoes – a true bird watcher’s paradise, while the Ngorongoro Crater is a unique place – a deep volcanic crater covered in lush vegetation and filled with a huge variety of wildlife, from lions to elephants. All in all, this trip is African game viewing at its best.
Landlocked Botswana is one of Africa’s best countries for epic wild landscapes and abundant game. On our 7-day Ultimate Botswana Budget Safari you’ll get to experience two of the country’s best wilderness areas – Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. Chobe is home to Africa’s biggest elephant population – and you’ll definitely see many of the grey leviathans on your safari drives and canoe safaris, as well as other resident animals such as hippo, giraffe, lion and leopard. The Okavango Delta is breathtakingly beautiful – one of the world’s largest inland deltas is a world of water channels, forests, reeds and of course, amazing wildlife. Experience the unique adventure of seeing game by mokoro (a traditional dug out canoe) as you glide gently through the Delta’s water channels.
The 4-day Budget Kruger Park Safari takes you through South Africa’s flagship park – Kruger National Park – which is unrivalled for its sheer abundance and diversity of wildlife. If you’re keen on seeing the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo – but you don’t have much time, this is the trip to do. Big Five sightings can happen in Kruger in just the space of one game drive!
Namibia’s Etosha National Park is one of the easiest places in Africa to see wildlife during the dry winter months. Unlike other parks, where you have to go looking for animals, Etosha National Park’s animals come right to you – as long as you’re near a waterhole. All you have to do is park your car next to a water source and wait – soon enough there will be lions, elephant, rhino and dozens of other mammals coming for a drink. On our 3-day Etosha Budget Safari you’ll get to sleep inside the park at one of the camps with a floodlit nighttime waterhole, and you’ll get to see the best waterholes in the park. You’re guaranteed some truly amazing sightings if you go during winter!