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Best Places to See Animals In Africa

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southafrica SOUTH AFRICA
  East -- Kruger, Johannesberg, Pertoria
Moremi Game Reserve
The Moremi Game Reserve is supposed to be one of the best wildlife destinations in Africa. It's got hippo ponds, elephants, zebra, buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena, jackal, impala, and red lechwe. African wild dogs are studied here. Heron rookeries and storks draw birders to Gcadikwe lagoon.  Its 99km north of Maun. The reserve forced locals to move their village to Kwai. Viewing best in July - Oct dry season when animals have to come close to water. .
Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden
Legendary anthropologist and animal advocate Jane Goodall worries that chimpanzees will be wiped out of the wild within a decade due to poaching for bush meat. Chimpanzee Eden allows a small number of rescued chimps to live out their life in semi-wild safety. The facility, also known as the Umhloti Nature Reserve, has 90 min. tours  three times a day; basic to luxury lodging; and weeklong volunteer stints. Nelspruit, South Africa+27 13 7457406
Shashe-Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area
South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe recently got together to form the Shashe-Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Areawhere all their countries meet. The area combines private land and game and national parks to try to save the black rhino.
Vervet Monkey Foundation
South Africans often think of vervet monkeys as clever pests. The Vervet Monkey Foundation hopes to change their mind, mend injured monkeys and give a home to those that can't make it in the wild. You can stay and volunteer here.
Vervet Monkey Foundation
Plot 35 California, Tarentaalrand, Tzaneen 0850, South Africa, 0834 545 381
Ingwe Leopard Project
The Ingwe Leopard Project studies leopards in South African outside the parks and game reserves. By tracking the animals, it hopes to figure out exactly how many there are and to convince farmers they're not being overrun. It works in two areas: Lydenburg - Pilgrims Rest - Roossenekal and the  Lowveld - Hoedspruit Area.
You can either volunteer with them or pay for a 14-day safari with expert Gerrie Camacho. 
Paperbark Bush Retreat
The Paperbark Bush Retreat, near Kruger National Park, is the base of the Ingwe Leopard Project, which raises money by teaching you how to track animals. The lodge also has other ways to see animals with a conservationist on safari
Rooms are about $140.
See their map near Lydenburg South Africa +27 (0)79 354 8538 
Dullstrom Birds of Prey Rehabilitation
Dullstrom Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Centre is the biggest hospital for eagles, hawks, and owls in Africa. East of Johannesberg, the center takes in injured and imprinted birds and does some captive breeding. Mainly, its aim is public education, so they welcome visitors. They have special photography days andexperience days (where you spend the day with one bird and attend classes) you can volunteer through Responsible Travel.

Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre (outside Pretoria)

Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre has helped save cheetahs from extinction by breeding and releasing the fast cats. 
The center, just northwest of Pretoria, South Africa, offers daily tours, a chance to see some of the residents go for morning runs three times a week and fancy lodges.  

R513 Pretoria North (012) 504 9906/7/8

Ranch Resort

The Ranch Resort -- between Johannesburg and Kruger-- is a corporate getaway with a twist. In the morning you can go on a walk with their 30-some resident (tame) lions. The hotel and massive grounds has its own conservancy that "comprises 1000 hectare of grasslands and bushveld which are home to lions, giraffe, zebra, warthog, kudu, impala, wildebeest and even cute little bushbabies."


Blouberg Nature Reserve

The Blouberg Nature Reserve in Limpopo has the world's largest breeding colony of cape vultures. There's even a "vulture restaurant" where you can watch them eat from a hiding place. The local Blouberg Conservation Project offers tours.


Kruger Skukuza Camp Fruit Bats

Fruit bats roost under the canopy of the outdoor dining hall at Kruger National Park's Skukuza CampBats Gauteng & Northern Regions Bat Interest Group says South Africa has 56 bat species, including four fruit bats. Fruit bats (also known as flying foxes) are the ones tourists like me would be most interested in because they're huge. Ngwenya Lodge, which backs up against Kruger National Park, has built a number of shed-sized bat houses. 


Zululand Rhino Reserve

The Zululand Rhino Reserve started in 2004 when local land owners banded together and took down their fences to create a place for the endangered black rhino. 20 were released in 2005. Now you can stay here at a bunch of fancy lodges


Near Durban

Umgeni Vlei Nature Reserve is the main nesting site for wattled cranes in South Africa, with up to 6 pairs here and 4 nearby, Birdlife International says. 


whale shark

Aliwal Shoal

Aliwal Shoal, south of Durban, South Africa, is a breeding ground for spotted ragged tooth sharks, known locally as raggies, July to November. The reef also has whale sharks, Bull Shark (Zambezi Shark), tiger sharks, great white sharks, fish, whales, turtles, manta rays. You can reach it by many dive  tours from Umkomaas.

Kosi Bay

Kosi Bay has a big sea turtle nesting population. This area, known as Maputaland, is only accessible by 4WD. Kosi Forest Lodge is a bit pricey, but they offer nightly tours to see Leatherback and Loggerhead turtle nesting Nov-April.
Lucia Park Rural, South Africa
whale shark

Sodwana Bay

Sodwana Bay is a national park in South Africa known for diving. You may get to see whale sharks year-round but especially Oct. - April, this tour operator says. You can go by boat, dive or ultralight. Diving charters abound. Bonus species: manta ray and loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles.

African Dawn Wildlife Sanctuary
African Dawn Wildlife Sanctuary and Endangered Species Breeding Centre takes in injured wildlife and gives them a place to stay. It's not all grim, though; thye also let them breed, so many are raised by hand. Some are friendly and approachable. Some non-native species live here, too. They help with breeding of endangered cheetah, serval, blue crane and blue duiker (antelope). You can go on game drives to see monkeys, giraffe, zebra and birds. They take day visitors, offer overnight rooms and have stays for volunteers.
Between Jeffreys Bay and Port Elizabeth

oudtshoorn Meerkats

Meerkat Magic near Oudtshoorn, South Africa, leads tours to see wild meerkats and disdains pretenders to meerkat tours. Their website is a bit overwhelming, but the gist is you can stay at the farm, either in cabins or camping. As a bonus, the farm rescues horses and has lots of dogs.

  Eastern South Africa, Cape Town

Blouberg Penguins

The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds takes care of endangered jackass penguins. You can volunteer for several weeks or just take a tour. 22 Pentz Dr., Blouberg 7441, South 


Boulders Beach Penguins

Simon's Town, near False Bay and Cape Town in South Africa, has one of the most accessible penguin colonies in the world. The penguins are big African or black-footed penguin, which are more memorably known as Jackass Penguins because of their braying. Simon's Town archives say:'The larger part of the colony - at Foxy Beach - is reached by following a bridle path along the shore-line, and a boardwalk extends onto the beach to allow visitors an up-close encounter with this endangered bird species.' 


Kalk Bay Seals

Seals hang out in the fishing town of Kalk Bay on the penninnsula near Cape Town. They're part of the 75,000 seal colony of Seal Island, which attracts jumping great white sharks. Fish Hoek 7975, South Africa

Baboon Matters Table Mountain Baboon Walks

Baboon Matters, a baboon advocacy and protection group, leads frequent walks into baboon habitat near Cape Town. The two-hour Baboon Walks tour Table Mountain. They track the various baboon troops the way American wolf watchers map wolf packs. +27(0)21 785 7493

Shark Alley, South Africa--Great Whites
Shark Alley, near Cape Town, has the highest concentration of great white sharks in the world.
Shark Alley is the water between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island, which is a bird sanctuary and seal colony. Many boats come out of Gansbaai.
According to Shark Booking, you don't have to get in the cage to see the sharks. And even if you do get in the cage, you may not use an air tank or snorkel.
Shark Booking lists many companies.
Flying White Sharks, False Bay, South Africa
Great white sharks off South Africa are known to leap out of the water to catch seals. The hotspot of this rare breeching habit is False Bay, about 20 miles south of Cape Town. The season is April-September.
There are a variety of tours to watch the sharks, which tend to jump in the morning and late afternoon, from a boat or by diving. Some boats drag a seal decoy to attract the sharks.
African Shark Dives has both boat and diving tours. The all-day boat tour to seal island is about $200 (2009). Oddly, the cage dive, which goes to Geyser and Dyer Islands, is about $140.
White Shark Projects offers 1-3 day cage dives off a catamaran.
Drakenstein Lion Park
The Drakenstein Lion Park, a half hour outside Cape Town, takes in lions from around the world that have been bred and misused in captivity and now have nowhere to go. For R45 ($6) you can visit--even during feeding times--and for about $160 two people can stay over in a safari tent. 27 21 8633290
Mkhaya Game Reserve, Swaziland 
Mkhaya Game Reserve  in Swaziland was started to save cattle and is now saving black and white rhinos and other wildlife. The reserve, which is funded only by tourists and guarded by locals, elephant (so many they are sterilizing males), roan antelope, tsessebe, sable antelope, giraffe, buffalo, hippo and crocs. Birders go for Narina Trogon, Purple-crested Turaco, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike and Pygmy Kingfisher. Ecovolunteer says you can pay to go work there for 2-5 weeks.
kenya KENYA
Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Giraffe Manor is a Scottish-style estate just outside Nairobi where semi-tame giraffes live and sometimes eat from your window. It's expensive--but it is a mansion with giraffes. A couple, since retired started the Giraffe Centre, also on the 140-acre grounds, to save the Rothschild Giraffe and to teach Kenya kids about conservation. You can also just pay to visit without staying over. 
Bonus species: warthog, bush buck
254 (20) 251 3166
Mukoma Road, Langata, Nairobi, Kenya
Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Sweetwater Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy is thebiggest sanctuary for black rhino in east Africa; 84 live here. This Kenya non-profit is also home to the Sweetwater Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which is permanent home to 43 orphaned or otherwise traumatized chimps from all over Africa. This sanctuary is supported by visitors so it's open daily. You can go on safari (about $50 a day) in Ol Pejeta, too. 
Kimathi Rd., Nanyuki, Kenya  
Bonus species: leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion, Grevy’s zebra, Jackson’s hartebeest, cheetah
ghana Ghana
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, near Hohoe, Ghana, is where 350 or so Mona monkeys live unmolested. Some claim the monkeys are considered sacred and so are left alone. SacredLand says it was "established by the residents of Tafi Atome village in 1996 and contains the only remaining Ghanaian population ofCercopithecus mona mona, known as the true mona monkey. The community reveres these monkeys as sons of their gods and celebrates them in an annual festival. The core fetish grove has no walking trails that lead into it and entry is highly restricted, according to research by environmental scientist Alison Ormsby."

According to AllAfrica, locals used to hunt them, but Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) and Netherlands Development Organisation started the sanctuary in 1993 and give proceeds from tourists to villagers. 
Lake Volta, GHANA
A small population of West African manatees got trapped inland when a dam created Lake Volta in 1964. Researchershave only recently started studying whether the population is viable. On the plus side, the man-made lake has provided mangrove food and restricted boat speeds. Severa ltour groups visit the area.  
Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary
Ghana's Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary protects Lowe's Mona Monkey and the black and white collubus monkey. It started in 1975 and is considered asacred place by locals. "Residents associate the two species of monkeys with a male and a female god, and the chief of Fiema conducts a weekly ritual at the shrine of the god Abudwo," says SacredLand
Buoyem Sacred Groves and Bat Caves
About 20,000 rosetta fruit bats live in the Buoyem Sacred Groves and Bat CavesThe site has been protected in some form since the 14th century (because high-ranking residents wanted to eat the flying foxes.) 
Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary
Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary, along the Black Volta River in Ghana, was started by locals to both saved the hippo and give the community some eco-tourism money. The 40 km-long sanctuary was started in 1996 and required moving villages. It's stabilized one of two hippo populations in Ghana.  Tanduori, Ghana
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park has 11 species of lemur in its two sections. The Mantadia section is right of the main road RN2, but the northern part has the Indri, Madagascar's biggest lemur. If you're lucky maybe you'll see the lemurs dance on Lemur Island.

Marojejy National Park

Marojejy National Park in Madagascar has 11 lemur species. The park was only opened to the public in 1998 (before that only researchers were allowed). It's been decimated by subsistence loggers who clear-cut and burn. For foreigners the charge is 10,000 Madagascar Ariary, which sounds expensive until you look up that it's about $5.

Ranomafana National Park Madagascar
Ranomafana National Park has lots of lemurs (12 species), but locals are slash and burning the trees to survive. The WWFand various universities are trying to save the area. Primatologist Patricia Wrightdiscovered a new species of lemur here, the golden bamboo lemur in 1985, and convinced Madagascar to set up this reserve. She's set up the leading lemur research center nearby.

Bazaruto Island

If a standard African safari isn't expensive enough, you can fly to Mozambique's Bazaruto Islands, where you'll be paying something close to $1,000 a night. But it is a tropical paradise, with five sea turtle species, whale sharks, dolphins and the biggest dugong population in Africa.


Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique

Maputo Elephant Game Reserve has about 200 elephants. It's just across the border from South Africa, but you'll need a 4x4 to drive here and the area is just opening to outsiders after years of war. It's part of the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area

Mozambique Whale Sharks, Manta Rays & Dolphins
You can dive with whale sharks and dolphins off the coast of Mozambique. The Manta Ray & Whale Shark Research Centre needs volunteers for weeks or months. Since fishing is one of the country's few industries, many sharks are killed for their fins. The Centre hopes an eco-tourism industry develops as an alternative--as long as its one that doens't burden the whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins that need the local reefs.
Responsible Travel recommends whale and dolphin conservation volunteer holidays.
The centre is based at the Casa Barry Lodge
Tofo, +27 31 767 0111
Endangered West African Manatees spend time near Warri and Kainji in the Niger and Benue Rivers, especially in the rainy season Melford Ita wrote in Science in Africa. It's known as mami water or mermaid. Officials are trying to curb its use as bush meat and promote their helpfulness  in eating aquatic weeds.
CERPOCAN - Primate Rehabilitation, NIGERIA
Centre for Education, Research & Conservation of Primates and Nature in Nigeria is a rustic sanctuary for primate conservation. They do it by nurturing gorillas and monkeys, but they also make sure to provide jobs and conservation education to the community, so there is less pressure to log in the rainforest.
4 Ishie Lane, Hepo 826, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone's Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary lets about 100 chimps live in the semi-wild in Sierra Leone. You  can tour during the 10:30 or 4pm feedings or stay overnight in the eco-lodge ($80-$120). Bala Amarasekaran and his wife Sharmila started the sanctuary after seeing baby chimps being sold in markets as pets and learning of how many were in the area, neglected. It opened in 1995.
The sanctuary is 1km after Bathurst on the mountain road.(0)33611211
São Tomé and Príncipe
The tiny, Portuguese-speaking island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe has four species of nesting sea turtles that nest October-April. Though that may change asoil exploration comes in.
Travel agents boast it's just five hours from Europe. Ôbo' Park is one-third of the main island. Gray parrots are native. The island has humpback whale-watching July-September. Bonus species: bats, monkeys, smallest ibis (the São Tomé Ibis), the world's largest sunbird (the Giant Sunbird)
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Nakitoma, Uganda
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, 180 km north of Kampala in Nakitoma, Uganda, is the only place rhinos range in the country. Rhinos were wiped out in 1982. This program is taking southern white rhinos and br...
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, 180 km north of Kampala in Nakitoma, Uganda, is the only place rhinos range in the country. Rhinos were wiped out in 1982. This program is taking southern white rhinos and breeding them, with hopes and plans to reintroduce them to Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park.
The sanctuary is also a wildlife rehabilitation center that gets a lot of orphans due to poaching. They've treated duikers, reedbucks, bushbucks, and vervet monkeys.
At about 2200 Uganda shilling per dollar, you can go on a guided hike and stay over for about $50. 
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Gorillas, Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in western Uganda has half of the world's remaining 500-600 mountain gorillas. Bwindi Trust manages the gorillas here and at nearby Mgahinga Gorilla National ParkOnly 24 people can track gorillas here a day reservations are made up to two years in advanceThe State Department warns of local militias.
Chimfunsi Wildlife Sanctuary Zambia
Zambia's Chimfunsi Wildlife Orphanage has about 100 chimps -- mainly either orphaned by poachers or neglected by zoos. The couple that runs the non-profit haven, David and Sheila Siddle, also take in lots of other animals: Antelope, baboon, monkey, tortoise, squirrel, bush baby and the big star, Billy the hippo.
You can volunteer through Africa Impact. for about $1600 for two weeks. 
  Other Countries
Quicama Parque Nacional - ANGOLA
Kissama National Park is one of the few places you might see an African Manatee. But research is just beginning on the African manatee and where it likes to live. This park is being resupplied with wildlifeafter decades of war. Unfortunately, nobody has any manatees to spare.
Tourists are starting to check out Angola again, the Independent reports.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary - Botswana
Botswana's Khama Rhino Sanctuary was started by the community to save the white rhinoceroses. Only 11,000 now survive and 34 live here. Residents started the sanctuary on a former hunting ground, then moved in rhinos, which breed here. It's protected by a nearby military base. It's about $5 to go in and $50 for a game drive.
Bonus species: zebra, blue wildebeest, giraffe, springbok, impala, warthog, leopard, ostrich, African wild cat, caracal, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, brown hyena, Abdim's stork and bearded woodpecker .
Limbe Wildlife Centre - Cameroon
Limbe Wildlife Centre  in Cameroon takes in a range of primates. They take care of llioti chimpanzee, the drill monkey, the western lowland Gorilla and Cross River gorillas, monkeys, parrots and owl. They're open for visitors every day. Or you can visit and volunteer for a month (650 Euro).
Boa Vista, Cape Verde, Loggerhead Turtles
Boa Vista, an island in the Cape Verde archipelago off Africa, has a large loggerhead turtle nesting population. The Turtle Foundation accepts volunteers for a minimum of 2-3 weeks to stay on the island in June to October.
Maldives Whale Sharks
The Maldives just declared three areas of the southern atoll protected for Whale Sharks: the coral reefs and waters in and around Baa atoll Hanifaru and An'gafaru, and South Ari atoll Maamigili. In general whale sharks are seen year round on the outer edges of South Ari Atoll (also called Alif or Alufu Atoll). The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme  is studying the local whale sharks and promoting their safety--against the backdrop of their being caught for Asian fish markets. The program takes volunteers regularly.
Banc d'Arguin National Park Mauritania
Banc d'Arguin National Park in Mauritania is a world heritage site and migratory bird wintering area. It's also "one of the most significant West African feeding grounds” for the Green turtle, according to a UN reportHawksbill turtles are found in shallow waters here, too. Endangeredmonk seas have a colony on Cape Blanc. Eurasian spoonbills, flamingos, spoonbill's Bench, pale gray heron and pelicans are seen here.








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