Top 50 Best Safari Parks of Africa

Category: Other

SafariBookings.com conducted an in-depth analysis of 3,008 reviews to put to rest the question of which park was best for African safaris. With an overall rating of 4.89 out of 5, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania came out as the clear winner. Rounding up the top 3 were MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa, and Okavango Delta in Botswana.

In total, 138 parks of the 8 major safari countries were in consideration for a place in the top 50. The analysis was based on 3,008 park reviews collected through the SafariBookings website. Of them, 2,234 reviews were contributed by safari tourists from 63 countries around the world. The remaining 774 reviews were written by renowned industry experts, most of whom are guidebook authors working for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint.

The top 50 safari parks

  • Serengeti National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.89/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present (rhino rare), many big cats, wildebeest migration
    Ranks #1 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Mala Mala Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.81/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, abundant wildlife- including the Big 5
    Ranks #2 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Okavango Delta   Botswana Botswana

    4.75/5
    Canoe, boat and classic safari, waterway paradise, Big 5 (rhino in Moremi)
    Ranks #3 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Mana Pools National Park   Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

    4.75/5
    Walking, canoe and classic safaris, 4 of the Big 5 and wild dogs present, no rhino
    Ranks #4 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Moremi Game Reserve   Botswana Botswana

    4.66/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present (rhino rare), partly located in the Okavango Delta
    Ranks #5 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Sabi Sand Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.64/5
    Area consisting of multiple private reserves, excellent Big 5 wildlife viewing
    Ranks #6 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Phinda Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.63/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, abundant wildlife- including the Big 5
    Ranks #7 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Masai Mara National Reserve   Kenya Kenya

    4.60/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present (rhino rare), many big cats, wildebeest migration
    Ranks #8 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park   South Africa South Africa

    4.59/5
    Classic safari, transfrontier park with Botswana, all big cats present
    Ranks #9 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Ruaha National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.56/5
    Walking and classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), cheetah and wild dogs
    Ranks #10 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • South Luangwa National Park   Zambia Zambia

    4.56/5
    Walking and classic safari, giraffe, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), abundant wildlife
    Ranks #11 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Ngorongoro Crater   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.52/5
    Classic safari, abundant wildlife in the volcanic crater includes the Big 5
    Ranks #12 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Selous Game Reserve   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.48/5
    Walking, boat and classic safari, Big 5 present, healthy population of wild dogs
    Ranks #13 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Kidepo Valley National Park   Uganda Uganda

    4.45/5
    Classic safari, giraffe, cheetah, antelope species, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino)
    Ranks #14 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Chobe National Park   Botswana Botswana

    4.45/5
    Boat and classic safari, Big 5 present (rhino very rare), abundant elephants
    Ranks #15 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy   Kenya Kenya

    4.45/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 and chimpanzee sanctuary present
    Ranks #16 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Etosha National Park   Namibia Namibia

    4.45/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no buffalos), excellent wildlife viewing during the dry season
    Ranks #17 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Linyanti Concession   Botswana Botswana

    4.44/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino)
    Ranks #18 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Hwange National Park   Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

    4.44/5
    Classic safari, abundance of all major safari animals- including the Big 5
    Ranks #19 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Kruger National Park   South Africa South Africa

    4.43/5
    Classic safari, great abundance of all major safari animals- including the Big 5
    Ranks #20 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Lower Zambezi National Park   Zambia Zambia

    4.40/5
    Canoe and classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), no giraffe
    Ranks #21 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Katavi National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.35/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), abundant wildlife in the dry season
    Ranks #22 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Matusadona National Park   Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

    4.35/5
    Walking, boat and classic safari, Big 5 present, many elephant, no giraffe
    Ranks #23 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Timbavati Nature Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.33/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present
    Ranks #24 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Samburu National Reserve   Kenya Kenya

    4.33/5
    Classic safari, 4 of Big 5 (no rhino), adjoining Buffalo Springs without fences
    Ranks #25 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Tsavo West National Park   Kenya Kenya

    4.31/5
    Classic safari, adjacent to Tsavo East, Big 5 present, low wildlife density
    Ranks #26 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Madikwe Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.28/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present
    Ranks #27 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Amboseli National Park   Kenya Kenya

    4.26/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, famous for its views of Mount Kilimanjaro
    Ranks #28 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Kafue National Park   Zambia Zambia

    4.26/5
    Walking, boat and classic safari, cheetah, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), no giraffe
    Ranks #29 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Tembe Elephant Park   South Africa South Africa

    4.25/5
    Classic safari, the Big 5 is present, famous for its big tuskers
    Ranks #30 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Tsavo East National Park   Kenya Kenya

    4.25/5
    Classic safari, adjacent to Tsavo West, Big 5 present, low wildlife density
    Ranks #31 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • North Luangwa National Park   Zambia Zambia

    4.21/5
    Walking safari only, Big 5 present (rhino in protected zone), no giraffe
    Ranks #32 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Central Kalahari Game Reserve   Botswana Botswana

    4.20/5
    Classic safari, wildlife scarce except after summer rains, all big cats present
    Ranks #33 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Queen Elizabeth National Park   Uganda Uganda

    4.19/5
    Boat and classic safari, abundant wildlife, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), no giraffe
    Ranks #34 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Shamwari Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.17/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present
    Ranks #35 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.16/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, famous for its rhino population
    Ranks #36 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Lewa Wildlife Conservancy   Kenya Kenya

    4.15/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present
    Ranks #37 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Meru National Park   Kenya Kenya

    4.15/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 present (rhino in fenced sanctuary)
    Ranks #38 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Murchison Falls National Park   Uganda Uganda

    4.11/5
    Boat and classic safari, waterfall, abundant wildlife, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino)
    Ranks #39 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Kapama Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.08/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present
    Ranks #40 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Gonarezhou National Park   Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

    4.08/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 and cheetah present, rhino rare and animals are skittish
    Ranks #41 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Tarangire National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.05/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), abundant wildlife in the dry season
    Ranks #42 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Makgadikgadi Pans National Park   Botswana Botswana

    4.04/5
    Classic safari, wildlife scarce outside wet season, Big 5 present (rhino rare)
    Ranks #43 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Nxai Pan National Park   Botswana Botswana

    4.00/5
    Classic safari, wildlife scarce outside wet season, Big 5 present (rhino rare)
    Ranks #44 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Mkhuze Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    3.92/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, wild dog present but rare
    Ranks #45 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Lake Nakuru National Park   Kenya Kenya

    3.90/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, famous for its flamingos
    Ranks #46 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Pilanesberg Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    3.87/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present
    Ranks #47 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Addo Elephant National Park   South Africa South Africa

    3.86/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, but only elephants are regularly seen
    Ranks #48 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Mapungubwe National Park   South Africa South Africa

    3.85/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 and cheetah, no buffalo, lion and rhino are rare
    Ranks #49 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

  • Matobo National Park   Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

    3.85/5
    Classic safari, rhino, leopard, cheetah, giraffe and antelope species present
    Ranks #50 of Africa’s top 50 safari parks

How we created this list

  • In total, 138 parks of 8 major safari countries were included in the study (Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
  • Only parks known for classic wildlife viewing safaris were considered. Parks mostly known for scenery or typical gorilla/chimp tracking parks were not included.
  • Parks with less than 10 reviews were excluded from the top 50.
  • The overall review score of a park consists of 50% expert reviews and 50% user reviews.
  • The reviews of individual Sabi Sands reserves were merged into one overall Sabi Sands rating because those reserves collectively brand themselves as the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

Notable Insights

  • Serengeti National Park in Tanzania was rated Africa’s best safari park. The sheer variety of wildlife, abundance of predators and spectacular wildebeest migration are valid reasons why this park deserves this ranking.
  • Second is the privately owned Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa. Renowned for its excellent wildlife viewing, luxurious accommodation, and top-class guiding. Mala Mala is one of South Africa’s 4 parks in the Top 10
  • The annual flooding of the Okavango Delta transforms this vast area into a true wildlife paradise. Anyone who had the privilege of navigating the tranquil waterways in a Mokoro canoe knows the Delta deserves a spot in the top 3.
  • It is remarkable that Kenya, although having 8 parks in the top 50, has only Masai Mara National Reserve ranking in the top 10.
  • Kruger National Park in South Africa ranked 20th, which came as a surprise to the SafariBookings team. They expected this top-class park to rank higher.
  • Zimbabwe did very well, with Mana Pools National Park ranking 4th.

Demographics of the reviewers (all parks)

User reviews: 2,234
Expert reviews: 774
Nationalities: 63

Percentage of reviews by country
All user reviews. Move your cursor over a country to get the number

Age and gender (Percentage)
All people who wrote user reviews. Move your cursor over the chart for more details

Safari Experience Level (Percentage)
All people who wrote user reviews. Move your cursor over the chart for more details

 





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