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High Ecotourism Locations in Africa in 2024

What defines nice ecotourism locations in Africa? Ecotourism reaches additional than the right here and now – it ensures a long-term future for African tourism centred round accountable journey. This method helps protect the pure areas, protects susceptible and endangered wildlife, and uplifts native communities, predominantly by the ability of training. It is all about low-volume, low-impact journey with a powerful deal with sustainability as a complete.

Pangolins at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve

The pangolin faces an unsure future until drastic conservation efforts are taken to guard them. Picture Credit score: andBeyond Phinda Personal Recreation Reserve

The Influence of Tourism

Africa’s vast-open landscapes, fascinating fauna and flora, and distinctive wildlife have at all times attracted vacationers. Nevertheless, this additionally meant excessive foot visitors, which slowly however certainly took its toll on the setting. And since Africa is likely one of the few continents that also has untouched wild areas, it due to this fact solely is sensible that we’re attempting to safeguard it the most effective we will. 

The fact is that tourism will at all times have an effect. Nevertheless, it is as much as us to make sure it is a optimistic affect. A number of ecotourism locations in Africa are making a distinction. From conservation efforts to guard South Africa‘s rhino, Rwanda’s gorillas, Uganda‘s chimpanzee, sea turtles in Seychelles, birdlife in Kenya, and extra. 

Greatest Ecotourism Locations in Africa

The most effective ecotourism locations in Africa provide numerous wildlife experiences that profit journey locations and travellers alike. Listed here are a few of our favorite ecotourism locations in Africa.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Strap in your climbing boots, we’re going gorilla trekking!

1. andBeyond Phinda Personal Recreation Reserve, South Africa

Phinda Personal Recreation Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal types a part of the andBeyond portfolio. Their ground-breaking conservation achievements have set the tempo for the ecotourism business in Africa. In actual fact, it was right here at Phinda that the famend luxurious journey model shaped and examined its Care of the Land, Wildlife, and Individuals affect imaginative and prescient. 

Phinda is a South African safari success story. The 28,622 hectares of land was as soon as used for farming. Nevertheless, at this time it is a flourishing sport reserve. Of this land, 790 hectares consists of critically endangered historic sand forest. And for over 30 years now, this has been a haven for rhino, cheetah and pangolin, with Phinda actively defending these susceptible species. 

Black rhino in Phinda Private Game Reserve

Black rhino in Phinda Personal Recreation Reserve, Picture Credit score: andBeyond Phinda

Most notably, their rhino conservation experiences unlock the uncommon alternative for a hands-on technique to make a distinction in rhino conservation. Relying on whenever you go to, you possibly can partake in something from rhino notching to dehorning. Though rhino dehorning may appear extreme, it has been immensely profitable in saving our rhino from extinction by deterring poachers.

Private dining at plunge pool Phinda Rock Lodge suite

Keep in luxurious when you tread evenly and make a distinction, Picture Credit score: andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge

The reserve additionally works alongside Africa Basis and in neighbouring communities, selling native employment and investing within the training and welfare of the neighborhood. Moreover, Phinda focuses on vitality conservation and different sustainable practices to make sure a accountable method to tourism.


  • Influence experiences embrace rhino, elephant or pangolin analysis 
  • Local people experiences for perception and to contribute 
  • Bushwalking adventures provided 
  • Participate in hands-on rhino conservation experiences like notching or dehorning

Who’s it for?

Excellent for small teams travelling collectively and desirous to make a tangible distinction. 

2. Volcanoes Nationwide Park, Rwanda

On the misty, forested slopes of the Virunga mountain vary within the northwest nook of Rwanda lies Volcanoes Nationwide Park. House to round half of the world’s mountain gorilla inhabitants, it is among the best ecotourism locations in Africa. And as considered one of Africa’s most biodiverse parks, Volcanoes Nationwide Park additionally boasts a symphony of birdsong with over 180 chook species residing within the dense forest. 

The magical Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda

The magical Volcanoes Nationwide Park in Rwanda, Picture Credit score: Bisate Lodge

Rwanda as a rustic is a chief in sustainable ecotourism, with initiatives starting from banning plastic luggage, lodges with a sustainable mannequin, and strict animal conservation laws. In Volcanoes Nationwide Park, the main target is on gorilla conservation, with round 400 mountain gorillas calling this historic rainforest house. Company can hike into the wealthy, thick foliage of the forest to fulfill these gorillas face-to-face, a heart-stirring expertise. As you step into this magical world, you may rapidly perceive why Diane Fossey devoted 20 years of her life to those primates.

Gorilla chilling in the forest of Rwanda.

Gorilla chilling within the forest of Rwanda. Picture Credit score: Singita Kwitonda Lodge

As per her triumphant legacy, the park is now a conservation space for mountain gorillas. Due to this fact you have to receive the required gorilla trekking permits earlier than visiting Volcanoes Nationwide Park. Moreover, you need to comply with strict conservation guidelines to make sure you tread evenly.


  • Gorilla trekking adventures in one of the various parks in Central Africa
  • The Fossey Fund continues to trace, analysis and defend the Rwandan gorillas
  • These primates so moved Ellen DeGeneres that she selected the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund as her first recipient for The Ellen Fund, a nonprofit defending endangered animals
  • Discover the Musanze Caves shaped 62 million years in the past after the ultimate estimated volcanic eruption

Who’s it for?

Perfect for a romantic vacation with a deeper function or for any adventurers and conservationists at coronary heart. 

3. Seychelles, Indian Ocean Islands 

The small, personal North Island in Seychelles is a main instance of how constant conservation measures can have an exponential affect. North Island is quick changing into a mannequin for tropical island restoration, and the chance to volunteer in Seychelles on a non-public island is likely one of the most unique experiences. 

Island living in Seychelles

Island dwelling in Seychelles

Earlier than conservation and analysis work started right here, rats, coconuts, and invasive birds dominated the island. The conservation of North Island concerned restoring indigenous flora, indigenous chook species and monitoring the fish and endangered inexperienced and hawksbill turtle populations. The Aldabra big tortoise, which was practically extinct, has additionally been reintroduced to the world. Fortunately, they’re now thriving!

Hawksbill Turtle swiming like flying

Assist defend and examine the Seychelles’ turtles

Ecotourists who volunteer in Seychelles in partnership with Wildlife ACT conduct each day turtle patrols at dawn. Hawksbill nesting season usually runs from October to March and inexperienced turtle nesting from March to October. You possibly can typically discover contemporary turtle tracks each day throughout these instances, and volunteers would possibly see the majestic sea creatures emerge from the water to put their eggs. 


  • Quite a lot of conservation actions, from turtle and different marine conservation to indigenous tree planting
  • Tenting out on the seashore to see the rising turtles
  • Hike up Spa Hill, one of many three highest factors, to get an unbelievable view of the island 
  • Benefit from the sluggish island way of life whereas serving to to guard it for future generations 

Who’s it for?

Excellent add-on expertise to your romantic seashore getaway or honeymoon.

4. Okavango Delta, Botswana

Botswana as a rustic has a really distinctive method to sustainable tourism. This matches its really distinctive landscapes, many nonetheless wild and distant. One in all these is the Okavango Delta. Whereas most river deltas result in the ocean, the Okavango Delta empties into the savanna, flooding the open land and creating a novel inland delta. The Okavango has developed numerous advanced ecosystems with its wealthy aquatic setting. At this time, hundreds of plant species help the staggeringly various wildlife discovered right here, making it a flourishing ecotourism vacation spot in Africa. 

Birds eye view of the Okavango Delta

Chicken’s eye view of the Okavango Delta, Picture Credit score: Little Sable

Inlets lined with lilies make their method by the open grass plains overflowing with wild sage, and mopane forests invite wildlife to relaxation in its shade. From leadwood and candle-pod acacia bushes to the well-known marula and knob thorn bushes, the Okavango Delta boasts pure phenomena of notice. Over 500 chook species name this place house, together with the uncommon Pel’s fishing owl, considered one of only some fish-eating owls worldwide.

An elephant stands in Okavango Delta in Botswana

An elephant dots the enduring Okavango Delta horizon

In 2013, the Okavango was voted as one of many Seven Pure Wonders of Africa. The next 12 months, it grew to become the thousandth place to be enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Website. And you will not want lengthy on this distinctive paradise to see why it received these prestigious titles!


  • The world’s largest inland delta, a very one-of-a-kind setting 
  • Strolling safaris, mokoro (conventional canoe), water excursions and evening sport drives provided
  • Most lodges are very unique and distant as they’ll solely be reached by boat or small plane 
  • Strict environmental requirements type a part of these leases, making certain a well-preserved safari setting

Who’s it for?

Excellent for solo travellers, {couples} or small teams of explorers searching for a real digital detox and immersive eco-safari.

5. South Luangwa Nationwide Park, Zambia

South Luangwa Nationwide Park, additionally identified regionally as “the South Park”, stretches over about 9,050km² of the Luangwa Valley ground in Zambia. The Muchinga Escarpment borders the park’s western and northwestern edge, whereas the Luangwa River flows within the south, making this majestic place a wildly various paradise.

Walking safari at Puku Ridge Camp

Strolling safari affords a novel perspective of the endangered African wild canine, Picture Credit score: Puku Ridge

The park prides itself on a dense animal inhabitants, providing an array of wildlife to examine off any safari bucket listing, from famed predators such because the endangered African wild canine, majestic lion, and leopard to the bigger favourites just like the elephant, buffalo, and hippo.

South Luangwa grants distinctive animal sightings, corresponding to Zambia’s well-known Crawshay’s zebra herds and numerous antelope species, together with the elusive bushbuck. There are additionally over 400 chook species within the park. Because the nationwide park affords day and night sport drives, a complete new world of viewing prospects is open to visitors.

Walking safari in South Luangwa, Zambia

Tackle the huge landscapes for an immersive eco-safari, Picture Credit score: Puku Ridge

South Luangwa Nationwide Park is a must-visit, with thrilling actions together with strolling safaris, authentically African in a single day stays, birding and mountain biking.


  • Identified for its thriving endangered African wild canine populations 
  • Famed for being the “birthplace of the strolling safari”
  • Unique ecotourism expertise because of the distant location and low variety of guests 
  • One in all Africa’s best off-the-beaten-track wildlife sanctuaries

Who’s it for?

Perfect for anybody who loves African wild canine, desires to go on a strolling safari, and on the lookout for a extra off-the-beaten-track adventurous safari.

6. Lake Nakuru Nationwide Park, Kenya

Lake Nakuru Nationwide Park is situated in central Kenya, northwest of Nairobi. The Kenya Wildlife Service coordinates and initiates biodiversity analysis and monitoring by its Biodiversity Analysis and Monitoring Division. This Division not solely supplies scientific data that’s used within the conservation and administration of Kenya’s invaluable biodiversity but in addition formulates insurance policies for the sustainable administration of wildlife and habitats.

Rhino and her baby walking under dark clouds

The way forward for our rhino rests in our fingers, Picture Credit score: Chris Minihane

Most giant safari animals, just like the Rothschild giraffe, hippo and buffalo, may be seen at Lake Nakuru, apart from elephants. Black and white rhino have been bred to wholesome populations on the reserve, with white rhino frequenting the scenic lakeshore. The well-known tree-climbing lion and leopard additionally sometimes seem to fortunate guests. Most visitors, nevertheless, are captivated by the sight of the “Pink Necklace” of flamingos on the lake.

From the lakeshore, the Rift Valley escarpment rises, adorned right here and there with euphorbia bushes. Within the mornings, yellow fever bushes carry a shroud of mist on their shoulders which blankets the lake.

Hundreds of thousands of flamingos on the lake

Flamingos collect in big numbers alongside the shore of Lake Nakuru

The really useful visiting time is from March to Might within the moist season for the reason that park is inexperienced and adorned with many flowers. That is additionally the most effective time for birding, with migratory birds current. New child animals normally seem throughout this time of 12 months, and the park is much less crowded with individuals.


  • One of the fascinating nationwide parks in Kenya, well-known for leopard sightings
  • Lake Nakuru dotted with tens of millions of pink flamingos, which is kind of a sight 
  • Extremely wealthy in birdlife and residential to over 400 chook species
  • Haven for a lot of endangered animals just like the Rothschild’s giraffe, black and rhinos, and many others. 

Who’s it for?

{Couples} on the lookout for a romantic hideout whereas additionally partaking in wildlife conservation actions.

7. Sabi Sand Recreation Reserve, South Africa

Probably the greatest ecotourism locations in Africa, Sabi Sand Personal Recreation Reserve shares a border with the famend Kruger Nationwide Park. The park is full of thrilling wildlife to see, together with the well-known Huge 5. It additionally has a excessive density of the elusive leopard, which implies you may seemingly see a lot of them! As a non-public sport reserve, visitors get a extra unique expertise than in public parks. This consists of day and evening sport drives, the power to go off-road to comply with the animals, and strolling safaris. 

silvan safari lions cubs

Relaxation assured, you may see loads of large cats at Silvan Safari

The Sabi Sand Reserve is broadly generally known as the birthplace of sustainable ecotourism in Southern Africa. It conserves wildlife within the space, thereby creating a novel wilderness sanctuary that preserves each animal inside its borders. The lodges on the reserve run a variety of environmental administration applications the place they tackle alien plant management, wildlife ailments corresponding to foot and mouth illness, soil erosion, and the prevention of bushveld fires. 

The Sabi Sand Reserve lodges like Thornybush run many neighborhood outreaches and upliftment programmes, such because the Grass Roots Undertaking, hoping to enhance the native communities’ high quality of life. The employment of neighborhood members ensures a mutual profit between locals and vacationers, efficiently selling wholesome and sustainable ecotourism. 

The Good Work Foundation's students

Assist form a brighter future for native youngsters by training, Picture Credit score: Good Work Basis

Moreover, visitors are granted perception into the lives of individuals from a unique cultural backgrounds, experiencing the distinctive traditions of the world first-hand, finally leaving the reserve with a larger appreciation of Africa and its richly various heritage.


  • Group and girls empowerment initiatives and experiences
  • Assist native training, talent and enterprise growth 
  • By staying at lodges like Thornybush, you help their initiatives and assist help native communities 
  • Unimaginable wildlife range in a non-public reserve for up-close and unique safari experiences 

Who’s it for?

Perfect for guests who need a luxurious, unique Huge 5 conservation expertise and help neighborhood upliftment actions.

The Way forward for Ecotourism in Africa 

Ecotourism has by no means been about simply “going inexperienced”– it is about implementing a sustainable, long-term future for South African tourism, respecting pure assets versus decimating habitats for short-term acquire.

An entire buy-in from the federal government and native communities is essential to realize the long run hoped for. Our most profitable vacationer assets in Africa are wildlife and pure surroundings, so we should defend these assets in any respect prices.

Within the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism business is slowly rebuilding. The unhappy actuality is that, for the reason that onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, over 470,000 South African Journey and Tourism jobs have been misplaced. Nevertheless, hope is on the horizon. As journey bans and restrictions eases, it additionally turns into simpler for ecotourism locations to welcome again visitors, thereby getting the funds they should proceed with the exceptional work they’re doing. 

Looking at the most effective ecotourism locations in Africa has undoubtedly confirmed that, until surrounding communities have possession within the native tourism business, there is not any incentive to guard or help sustainable practices within the area. 

Lion cubs in a morning light

Curious lion cubs

Nevertheless, parks and reserves, like Sabi Sand and people listed on this article that spend money on the upliftment of the area people, are paving the best way for different ecotourism locations to comply with go well with.

However, though the expansion in sustainable tourism in Africa has been super, there’s at all times room for extra. 

The Approach Ahead

Expertise growth is an effective way to raise ecotourism and set up native communities. On this method, we not solely empower African communities but in addition educate vacationers on nature conservation, serving to our technology to go away an enduring legacy.

By supporting these ecotourism locations, you possibly can go in your dream safari whereas additionally positively impacting Africa and its residents. Journey on, and journey responsibly!

Go to Ecotourism Locations in Africa to Go away a Lasting Legacy 

From island paradise to Huge 5 safaris, the most effective ecotourism locations in Africa await.

In case your coronary heart is thrashing wildly on the name to journey, reply it at this time. Contact our Rhino Africa Journey Specialists, and let’s begin planning your journey to the most effective ecotourism locations in Africa! 

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