While everyone wants to see big cats on a hunt or check off the Big Five (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard), many of the big game parks can be expensive to enter and quickly eat into your budget.
So instead of looking for just the common animals, you should try your hand at exploring Africa’s less common and smaller species.
Travelers on a serious budget will often be just as happy spotting smaller species and can vastly cut down on the daily conservation fees.
And if you’re on a longer tour of Africa, you can work far more game parks into your trip and end up seeing just as many exotic species.
One of the best places to go in Africa for smaller species is Zanzibar’s Jozami Forest.
It’s home to Colobus monkeys and its entrance fees are up to 10 times cheaper than some of the big game parks in mainland Tanzania.
Over in Kenya, South Island National Park boasts only crocodiles, snakes and birdlife, but entry is a quarter of the cost of the Masai Mara and reaching this petite park in Lake Turkana is a travel tale in itself.
Another cheap park is Gambia’s Abuko Nature Reserve where you can see vervet monkeys, cane rats, monitor lizards and mongooses — the entrance fee is less than US$5 per person.
And if you want to see lemurs, head to Parc National d’Andringitra in Madagascar, home to more lemurs than anywhere else in the world.