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15 April 2019 | 7 min read

Have A Wild Side? 7 Best Jungle Safari In The World

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From the dusty tents of explorers to amazing eco-conscious lodges, safaris have come a long way in the past century without losing any of their adventure and magic. Today, many tented camps showcase the grandeur and opulence of the past decades, while others have completely reinvented the safari lodge, by offering an incredible perspective of aesthetics, authenticity, and luxury, right in the middle of the forest.

Therefore, discerning travelers yet to go on a safari should know that now more than ever before, it is possible to book a wildlife getaway without sacrificing an ounce of comfort. From South Africa to Kenya, Botswana, and beyond, we have picked out some of the most luxurious safaris/properties that one-ups the competition with an air of exclusivity through their intimate camps, that is set within acres of incredible wilderness, coupled with prolific and unusual wildlife encounters in the company of knowledgeable guides to interpret it all.

Tip – Many of the destinations mentioned below are located outside India, so it is best to book your stay and safaris online and pay through your card so that you can travel in a stress-free and comfortable manner.

1. Okavango Delta, Botswana

Okavango Delta - Live More Zone

The sheer diversity of wildlife at Okavango Delta makes it one of the best safari destinations in the world. A glittering oasis, this region attracts thousands of animal species who migrate here in search of water, making it an unrivaled spot for animal spotting. What also sets this area apart is the fact that visitors can also opt for an elephant/horse safari, thereby allowing them access to flooded regions, which they cannot reach by jeep.

Where to Stay: After your safari, head to Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, which is situated in the Okavango Delta’s Moremi Game Reserve. It boasts of 12 pavilions, each with a private pool and outdoor seating area. The resort also houses the Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite that can accommodate six people and has its own private bar, kitchen, guide, waiter, and safari vehicle.

Prices start at INR 43,219 per night {check website for actual price}

2. Ongava Park, Namibia

Ongava Park - Live More Zone

Although Namibia is not the most obvious choice for safari enthusiasts, very few know that the Ongava and Etosha National Parks are two of Africa’s best-kept secrets. This means that guests who come here can enjoy a safari experience that is truly authentic and memorable, as they are unlikely to jostle for space to spot the multitudes of lions, rhinos, and elephants that abound here.

Where to Stay: With pristine views of the plains, Little Ongava has only three spacious suites each with its own plunge pool, en-suite bathroom, and outdoor shower.

Divide your stay here with wildlife-viewing drives {that happens both during the day and night), visiting hides overlooking waterholes, walks, and rhino tracking with experienced guides – all of which are offered at the resort.

Prices start at INR 4,973 per night {please check the website for actual price}

3. Ranthambore Park, India

Ranthambore Park - Live More Zone

Safaris might be synonymous with Africa, but India too has its own share of wildlife wonder. Shifting the focus from the famed Big Five, the star attraction at Ranthambore is the Bengal tiger. That being said whether you see one or not, it’s unlikely you’ll return without a tiger story. Although, jeep safaris are the most common way to explore the park, don’t forget to visit the Ranthambore Fort which can be explored on foot, and offers incredible views of the surrounding grasslands.

Tip: If you have more time, we also recommend a trip to the UNESCO-listed Kaziranga National Park in Assam. It is home to the highest density of tigers in the world and also offers incredible wildlife spectacles like the wild Asiatic water buffalo, Ganges river dolphins, and two-thirds of the planet’s one-horned rhinoceroses.

Where to Stay: Head to Sher Bagh Hotel that is located on the edge of the Ranthambore National Park. Visitors at this resort can unwind in colonial-themed tented bedrooms, a secluded pool, and candlelit dinners around the campfire.

Additionally, as there is a cap on the daily visitors to the park, most tourists are carted around on giant open-sided trucks, which can’t stray from the main paths. However, a stay at Sher Bagh or the neighboring Aman-i-Khas means that you can sign up for private jeep tours of the park with guides who can sniff out a tiger from miles away.

Prices start at INR 86,855 per night {check with the resort for updated prices}

4. Serengeti, Tanzania

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Tanzanians describe the Serengeti as “a magical experience of the heart.” In fact, watching the annual migration of wildebeest across the plains at Serengeti is, without doubt, a rite of passage for any safari enthusiasts.

One of the most ideal places to spot the big five: elephants, lions, leopards, Cape buffalo, and rhinos, the best way to explore this region is to take a road trip from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater, a grassy crater outside the park that’s home to a huge concentration of wild animals.

Where to stay – Singita Grumeti is the classiest piece of wildlife real estate in the world. Although it is best visited in June when the wildebeest migration is passing through, it remains spectacular all through the year, thanks to the stunning Serengeti landscapes of flat-topped thorn trees and wide grass oceans.

During your time here, you can divide your stay between the unashamedly luxurious Singita Sasakwa Lodge and Sabora, a Hemingway-style tented camp that is located on the plains below.

Prices start at INR 21,748 per night {check with the resort for updated prices}

5. Yala Park, Sri Lanka

Yala Park - Live More Zone

The teardrop neighbor of India, Sri Lanka manages to retain its identity against the heavyweight destinations of Africa when it comes to wildlife safaris. Visit Yala West National Park, which is one of the best places to spot leopards {there is one leopard in almost every square kilometer of the park}, besides other animals like elephants, crocodiles, and rare migratory birds. Also, make your way to the Uda Walawe Park, which is teeming with elephants and located quite close to the capital of the country, Colombo.

Where to stay – Wild Coast Tented Lodge is situated in the buffer zone adjacent to the Yala National Park. A true countryside retreat if ever there was one, this sumptuous property is an unabashed paean to nature. The surf-lashed, boulder-strewn beach, the friendly resident wild boar that lounges on the lawn, the monitor lizard that slinks past you in the reception area – each of them is a reminder that guests are part of the land. The atmosphere is relaxed and homely, and children will love the open outdoorsy feel of the entire place.

Prices start at INR 95,708 per night {check with the resort for updated prices}

6. Masai Mara, Kenya

Masai Mara - Live More Zone

Big cat enthusiasts rave about Masai Mara and the adjoining reserves where cheetahs and lions roam the plain looking for sustenance. Its annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November. Here, leopards are frequently spotted, endangered black rhino hide in the dense thickets and large rafts of hippo and enormous crocodiles have made their home in the Mara River. Additionally, there are close to 450 bird species found in the park as well.

Where to stay – Seemingly suspended on what seems like the very edge of the Great Rift Valley, the spectacular views from Angama Mara are simply unforgettable. The well conceptualized inside-outside living areas are separated by floor-to-ceiling windows, that are decorated with one-of-a-kind furniture pieces that capture a minimal and contemporary Maasai-inspired space. With the right combination of plush creature comforts and old-world charm, this is Kenyan hospitality at its finest.

Prices start at INR 87,134 per night {check with the resort for updated prices}

7. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

South Luangwa National Park - Live More Zone

Africa doesn’t feel any more wilder and authentic than at Zambia’s South Luangwa national park. The finest wildlife stronghold in the country, the park is renowned for its leopards, lions, and elephants. Its avian wildlife is also a major highlight here: about 400 species have been recorded – with large birds like snake eagles, bateleurs, and ground hornbills that are found in large numbers.

Where to stay – For a truly luxurious extravaganza, book a stay at the flagship camp of Norman Carr Safaris. Located on the banks of the Luangwa River, it is the ultimate in safari-chic, as it was conceptualized by the same architectural team that was behind the North Island Lodge in Seychelles. Guests can pick from five unique lodges that are situated in different parts of the park.

After a tiring day in the sun, wash off the dust at Lake Malawi, which is home to 1,000 species of tropical fish.

Prices start at INR 2,36,308 per night {check with the resort for updated prices}

Tip – Please note that the resort rates are subject to change, depending on time, season, availability, and discretion of hotel management. Check with the resort for updated prices before booking.

All image courtesy, including featured image – Pexels

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