Africa’s Best Safari Country 2017

Category: Other
- 18 Jul 2017

Tanzania Best Safari Country 2017

THE NETHERLANDS – SafariBookings.com has conducted an in-depth analysis of reviews from safari tourists and acclaimed Africa experts to determine the continent’s best country for safaris. And the winner? Tanzania came out on top – the country is the clear winner and has been awarded our best safari country for 2017.

More than 2,500 reviews were used in this comprehensive research. Contributions came from safari-goers all over the world. And 22 reputable guidebook authors – working for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint, who make-up the SafariBookings expert panel – also contributed reviews.

Tanzania is rated the best safari country of 2017

Tanzania with its teeming wildlife and astounding natural beauty on average had the highest scores. The country won only by a slim margin though from Zambia. Interestingly, when the results are broken down, members of the expert panel rated Tanzania the highest while safari tourists had a preference for Zambia.

Ratings for the 8 major safari countries

  • 1. Tanzania

    4.83/5(Experts: 4.77/5 – Users: 4.89/5)

  • 2. Zambia

    4.79/5(Experts: 4.67/5 – Users: 4.92/5)

  • 3. Botswana

    4.75/5(Experts: 4.71/5 – Users: 4.79/5)

  • 4. Kenya

    4.64/5(Experts: 4.47/5 – Users: 4.82/5)

  • 5. South Africa

    4.58/5(Experts: 4.31/5 – Users: 4.86/5)

  • 6. Namibia

    4.44/5(Experts: 4.29/5 – Users: 4.59/5)

  • 7. Uganda

    4.30/5(Experts: 3.89/5 – Users: 4.71/5)

  • 8. Zimbabwe

    4.29/5(Experts: 4.00/5 – Users: 4.57/5)

Tanzania again overall the best safari country in Africa

In 2013 SafariBookings conducted its first-ever review analysis to determine the best country for safaris in Africa. Tanzania won that contest clearly. However, because things change so rapidly in Africa we conducted another analysis in 2017, using new reviews from safari tourists and from the guidebook authors on our expert panel. One thing that hasn’t changed is Tanzania’s popularity, once again voted the best safari country in Africa.

Best country for wildlife
Our analysis also determined that Tanzania was the best country in Africa for spotting wildlife. Given the exceptional wildlife-viewing opportunities in parks such as the superlative Serengeti and the wildlife-rich Ngorogoro Conservation area, this was unsurprising.

What the experts say about Tanzania

  • Tim Bewer From United StatesUS – Author of 10 Lonely Planet guidebooks to Africa, incl. Tanzania

    Rating:

    5/5 stars

    “Tanzania is home to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater; and this fact alone makes a solid case for declaring it Africa’s best safari country.” Full review
  • Kim Wildman From AustraliaAU – Author of 15 guidebooks, incl. Bradt’s Tanzania guides.

    Rating:

    5/5 stars

    “Tanzania is a wildlife photographer’s dream come true… with one of the world’s largest and wildest animal populations, the country offers some of the best safari opportunities on the continent” Full review

Want to do a safari in Tanzania?

Roadtrip paradise Namibia, the best country for scenic value

Namibia, with its swirling desert sands, pink-granite mountains and famous dune-meets-ocean landscape was overall considered the best country for scenic value. The experts in particular rated Namibia’s remote and rocky scenery highly, although safari-goers thought South Africa was better.

“Namibia is road-trip paradise and – with its otherworldly,
lunar-like landscapes – has jaw-dropping scenery”
The top 3 countries with the best scenic views
Overall Wildlife Scenic Beauty Bush Vibe Birding
Namibia 4,44 4,51 4,80 4,23 3,68
Tanzania 4,83 4,96 4,79 4,46 4,12
South Africa 4,58 4,69 4,67 3,91 3,94
  • Lizzie Williams From South AfricaZA – Author of 4 Footprint guidebooks to Africa, incl. Namibia.

    Rating:

    5/5 stars

    “A hauntingly beautiful country that stretches along the west coast of southern Africa, with wide open spaces and some of the earth’s most mystical and vivid sunsets, any visitor is blown away by the way Namibia ‘looks’.” Full review
  • Christopher Clark From United StatesGB – Travel writer who contributed to various Fodor’s guidebooks.

    Rating:

    5/5 stars

    “Most of Namibia is comprised of harsh and inhospitable desert, yet I’m not sure there’s anywhere in the world that I consider more beautiful.” Full review

Want to do a safari in Namibia?

Zambia, favorite among safari-goers, has the best bush vibe

Zambia with its huge, wild parks and extensive wildlife rated highly in our analysis. It was number one with safari-goers for best country and best destination for birdlife; and everyone’s favorite for its bush landscapes;

Its beautiful, thick foliage and dreamy landscapes ensured Zambia come out on top in the bush vibe category. Both experts and safari-goers were in agreement about the exceptional beauty of bush parks such as South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi.

“Zambia is a walk on the wild side – its untamed landscapes and
unfenced camps a favorite among safari tourists”
The top 3 countries for the best bush vibe
Overall Wildlife Scenic Beauty Bush Vibe Birding
Zambia 4,79 4,83 4,50 4,79 4,10
Botswana 4,75 4,73 4,39 4,51 4,17
Tanzania 4,83 4,96 4,79 4,46 4,12
  • Stephen Cunliffe From South AfricaZA – International photojournalist specializing in wildlife conservation.

    Rating:

    5/5 stars

    “I am one of Zambia’s biggest fans and I think this country deserves its reputation as one of Africa’s foremost safari destinations.” Full review
  • Alan Murphy From AustraliaAU – Author of over 20 Lonely Planet guidebooks to Africa, incl. Zambia.

    Rating:

    5/5 stars

    “Watching Zambia’s prolific wildlife in classic safari country with stunning landscape, churning rivers and wide horizons may just be a life-changing experience.” Full review

Want to do a safari in Zambia?

Kenya best rated safari country for birding

Kenya with its highland, arid and well-watered regions that create many-a-varied habitat for birdlife was rated as the best country overall for bird-watching. Safari-goers, however, preferred Zambia.

The top 3 countries for the best bush vibe
Overall Wildlife Scenic Beauty Bush Vibe Birding
Kenya 4,64 4,93 4,64 4,15 4,49
Uganda 4,30 4,18 4,37 4,22 4,36
Botswana 4,75 4,73 4,39 4,51 4,17
  • Mike Unwin From United KingdomGB – Award winning author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

    Rating:

    5/5 stars

    “The birder will be happy: Kenya holds the world record for the most bird species recorded in a single day.” Full review
  • Philip Briggs From South AfricaZA – Author of 7 Bradt guidebooks to Africa, incl. Kenya.

    Rating:

    5/5 stars

    “Kenya’s biodiversity is such that its national bird checklist of 1,136 species is the second highest for any African country.” Full review

Want to do a safari in Kenya?

Demographics of the reviewers (interactive charts)

User reviews: 1,721
Expert reviews: 969
Nationalities: 79

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

 


 

Note from the author
We saw some different results between safari-goers and the expert panel, but they are easily explained. Guidebook authors tend to spend less time in parks and wildlife areas, however they may visit multiple times over several years, and also visit a large number of countries. They are therefore in a good position to make comparisons. Safari-goers on the other hand tend to spend longer in a park and visit less countries overall. Both groups contributed very useful and insightful reviews, which form the basis of our 2017 analysis.

 

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Tanzania with its teeming wildlife and astounding natural beauty on average had the highest scores. The country won only by a slim margin though from Zambia. See the full list here!


  • Jeroen Beekwilder
  • Contributed by From Netherlands NL
    Jeroen is co-owner of SafariBookings.com. His desire to feel connected powers his love of travel. He has traveled all over the world with his wife and two children. But he will always remember his first African safari with his family in Tanzania. The thundering hooves of the wildebeest migration over the endless plains helped to develop a passion for Africa which never left.
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