Botswana has been voted Africa’s best country for a safari. Coming in second, not far behind Botswana, was Tanzania, followed by Namibia in third place. Every year SafariBookings performs a study to determine which country is Africa’s best safari country. It is always a tight race and this year was no different. Safari-goers and experts from all over the planet play an important role in these results. This year, almost 3,600 of their reviews were examined in this detailed study.

Botswana, the undisputed winner of Africa’s top safari country, is both watery wonderland and baking-hot desert landscape. It is a place of extreme contrasts, huge numbers of wildlife, enormous areas of untamed wilderness, and home of the famed Kalahari black-maned lion. Three little-known highlights include: rock art, which is a diary of human existence; magical canoe rides in the maze of the Okavango Delta; and the rare wild dogs, which lucky observers may spot on safari.

Industry professionals with years of experience in the African safari industry made contributions to the study that significantly influenced the outcome. These experts are mainly guidebook writers who contribute regularly to Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt Travel Guides and Footprint. These industry professionals are also well represented on the SafariBookings expert panel.

Ratings for the Major African Safari Countries

  • Red lechwe, Okavango Delta, Botswana

    #1 Botswana Botswana flag

    4.62/5
    Superb Big Five viewing, Africa’s largest elephant population, boat and walking safaris
    Gold award Ranks #1 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • Wildebeest migration at the Mara River, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    #2 Tanzania Tanzania flag

    4.55/5
    Serengeti migration, Ngorongoro Crater, chimp trekking, Mt Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar
    Silver award Ranks #2 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • Desert elephants, Damaraland, Namibia

    #3 Namibia Namibia flag

    4.42/5
    Vast desert landscapes, wild coastal scenery, Big Five present in Etosha and the northeast
    Bronze award Ranks #3 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • Lion walking through thick green grass, Kafue National Park, Zambia

    #4 Zambia Zambia flag

    4.41/5
    Victoria Falls, walking and canoe safaris, Big Five (rhino scarce) plus African wild dog
    Medal Ranks #4 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • Three alert cheetahs, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

    #5 Kenya Kenya flag

    4.39/5
    Classic Big Five safaris including rhino spotting, seasonal Masai Mara wildebeest migration
    Medal Ranks #5 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • Rothschild’s giraffe in a field with a clear blue sky, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

    #6 Uganda Uganda flag

    4.38/5
    Gorilla and chimp trekking, Big Five present, thrilling boat safaris, Africa’s best birding
    Medal Ranks #6 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • Majestic lion, Kruger National Park, South Africa

    #7 South Africa South Africa flag

    4.37/5
    Big Five, excellent for leopard and rhino, self-drive safaris and luxury private reserves
    Medal Ranks #7 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • Sunrise over Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

    #8 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe flag

    4.26/5
    Good Big Five territory, top-rated walking safaris, best views of Victoria Falls
    Medal Ranks #8 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • Silverback mountain gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

    #9 Rwanda Rwanda flag

    3.98/5
    Gorillas, chimps and other forest primates and birds, Big Five present in Akagera
    Medal Ranks #9 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

  • African elephants drinking in the Shire River

    #10 Malawi Malawi flag

    3.46/5
    Lake Malawi beaches, boat safaris in Liwonde, Big Five present in Majete
    Medal Ranks #10 in Africa’s Top 10 Safari Countries

Botswana Rated the Best Safari Country

Botswana, crowned the winner of Africa’s Best Safari Country of 2024, was also the winner in 2023. Huge tracts of wilderness dominate this country and incorporate both desert and delta, each supporting an astonishing variety of wildlife. Annual floods bring the parched waterways of the Okavango Delta to life. All manner of animals become visible, including the big cats (cheetah, leopard and lion) and very big elephants. It is truly a celebration of nature, and includes islands, woodlands, channels and rivers to explore.

And there is no bigger African cat than the lion. The roar of the black-maned lion will live with you long after you’ve left the ancient sands that blow across the Kalahari Desert.

Tanzania Voted Best Country for Wildlife Viewing

It may have placed second overall, but Tanzania came in first on a number of key indicators. The combined tally from both our experts and safari-goers ranked Tanzania as the best safari country for wildlife. And the experts voted it best for scenic value. If you’ve ever stood on the grasslands of Serengeti National Park, where the horizon touches the sky in every direction, you probably would too.

Tanzania is home to the great migration, when wildlife including wildebeest are present in their millions. The country also contains the scenic wonders that are Ngorongoro Crater and the savannah grasslands and koppies of the Serengeti. An extended Indian Ocean coastline, the classic savannahs of the north, the continent’s highest mountains, and dense rainforests out west make Tanzania epic. And when it comes to safaris, these soul-stirring landscapes provide habitats for wildlife on a vast and incredibly diverse scale.

Travelers Chose Kenya Over Tanzania for Wildlife Viewing

Kenya offers a wonderful range of opportunities for an unforgettable African safari. If we take the reviews of industry experts out of consideration and only look at the ratings of safari-goers, Kenya was voted the best safari country for wildlife viewing. And the diverse array of wildlife here, often in huge numbers, makes it almost impossible to bypass Kenya as an option when deciding where to have your safari adventure.

Kenya is home to the Masai Mara National Reserve and is separated by the Mara River from the Serengeti. It is most famous for hosting, along with the Serengeti in Tanzania, the great migration, which is dubbed the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth.

Uganda Voted Best Country for Birding

Uganda was voted number one in the birding category with travelers and experts alike ensuring it is recognized as Africa’s best birding-safari country. A remarkable result in this important African wildlife category, and no wonder as more than 1,000 bird species live inside its relatively small borders. Murchison Falls National Park is one of the country’s best places for birding.

Uganda can never be counted out in these surveys as it offers unique wildlife experiences on safari, including gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking. In fact, when you take a closer look at Uganda’s parks, from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and its gorillas, to the 13 primate species at Kibale National Park, and the variety of wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda clearly has reason to be optimistic about future surveys.

Demographics of the Reviewers (Interactive Charts)

User reviews: 2,419
Expert reviews: 1,174
Nationalities: 103

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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By Anita Kovalevska

Anita is a data researcher and content manager at SafariBookings with a background in editing and translation.

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