Photo Credit: Wajahat Mahmood

Africa is a continent teeming with possibility. There are thousands, if not millions of sights, activities, places and animals to see and experience while on safari, all of them unique, all of them exhilarating. I asked safari tour specialists Safari Consultants to name the definitive top five safari experiences:

Watching big cats hunt on the plains of East Africa

The big cats of Africa, the lion, cheetah and leopard, are never more impressive than when hunting their prey. The leopard, for instance, can haul a carcass three times its own weight up a tree. If you’re lucky, you will find the large felines stalking their unknowing prey in Kenya’s Masai Mara (which has one of the world’s largest lion densities) and the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Witnessing wildebeest crossing the Mara River

It’s nearly impossible to imagine the magnitude of this natural wonder until you see it in action. This world famous event takes place mainly from July to early November, as some two million animals make the crossing.

A walking safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa Valley

The Luangwa River is one of the most pristine river systems in Africa, and as such it’s an incredible place to explore on foot with an expert tour guide you and your group in tracking and stalking dangerous game, while teaching you all about the bush The world’s largest concentration of hippos can be found in the Valley, and are particularly easy to find during the dry season, when the contracting water source brings the animals to the smaller pools.

Boat safari on one of Africa’s great rivers

A continent full of contrasts, Africa has the hottest desert in the world, but it also has lush wetland and incredible rivers. A boat safari is the best way to absorb the ecosystems that have grown up around the rivers. The top rivers to explore are the Chobe River (Botswana), the Zambezi River (Zimbabwe and Zambia), Shire River (Malawi), Nile River (Uganda).

Following wild dogs hunting

The sight of wild dogs hunting their prey is a visceral experience; the small, scrappy predator will use strength in numbers and huge energy reserves to take down other animals – commonly the impala. They have the highest success rate of any African predator and are best viewed in the Linyanti Region of Botswana.

If you’re considering a safari holiday, you should consult a safari expert to help choose the right destinations, accommodation and safari activities, as well as planning transport and transfers.

Vivienne Egan writes for Safari Consultants.