Jeroen Beekwilder
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.

Categories: African Hotspots, SafariBookings News

Which safari parks in Africa are the best? An in-depth analysis by SafariBookings of 2,373 reviews was carried out to determine the finest safari parks on the continent. The World Famous Serengeti in Tanzania emerged as the overall winner. Serengeti had an overall rating of 4.92 out of 5, a stunning result (Serengeti also topped the Best Safari Parks list last year, when we carried out our previous analysis). Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, which jumped a spot higher this year, and Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa rounded out the Top 3 parks in our analysis.

In determining a top 50 list of Africa’s best, 157 parks in 11 countries were under consideration. These countries offer the best safari experiences for visitors in Africa. Based on 2,373 park reviews on the SafariBookings.com website, the study included 1,363 reviews contributed by safari tourists from 83 countries around the world. The remaining 1,010 reviews were written by distinguished industry experts. These experts are mostly authors working for well-known guidebook companies such as Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer's, Bradt and Footprint.

Top 10 African Safari Parks and Destinations

Top 11-50 Best African Safari Parks

  • #11 Kidepo Valley National Park   Uganda Uganda

    4.58/5
    Classic safari, giraffe, cheetah, antelope species, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino)

  • #12 Hwange National Park   Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

    4.57/5
    Classic safari, abundance of all major safari animals including the Big 5

  • #13 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park   South Africa South Africa

    4.57/5
    Classic safari, transfrontier park with Botswana, all big cats present

  • #14 Chobe National Park   Botswana Botswana

    4.53/5
    Boat and classic safari, Big 5 present (rhino very rare), abundant elephants

  • #15 Ruaha National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.52/5
    Walking and classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), cheetah and wild dogs

  • #16 Selous Game Reserve   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.51/5
    Walking, boat and classic safari, Big 5 present, healthy population of wild dog

  • #17 Mahale Mountains National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.48/5
    Chimpanzee tracking, several major safari animals present but rarely seen

  • #18 Kruger National Park   South Africa South Africa

    4.47/5
    Classic safari, great abundance of all major safari animals including the Big 5

  • #19 Madikwe Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.45/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present

  • #20 Phinda Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.45/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, abundant wildlife- including the Big 5

  • #21 Amboseli National Park   Kenya Kenya

    4.45/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, famous for its views of Mount Kilimanjaro

  • #22 Etosha National Park   Namibia Namibia

    4.43/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no buffalo), abundant wildlife during the Dry season

  • #23 Central Kalahari Game Reserve   Botswana Botswana

    4.40/5
    Classic safari, wildlife scarce except after summer rains, all big cats present

  • #24 Samburu National Reserve   Kenya Kenya

    4.40/5
    Classic safari, 4 of Big 5 (no rhino), adjoining Buffalo Springs without fences

  • #25 Ol Pejeta Conservancy   Kenya Kenya

    4.39/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 and chimpanzee sanctuary present

  • #26 Tsavo East National Park   Kenya Kenya

    4.38/5
    Classic safari, adjacent to Tsavo West, Big 5 present, low wildlife density

  • #27 Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.31/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, famous for its rhino population

  • #28 Shamwari Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.25/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present

  • #29 Timbavati Nature Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    4.25/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present

  • #30 Tarangire National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.24/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), abundant wildlife in the dry season

  • #31 Murchison Falls National Park   Uganda Uganda

    4.23/5
    Boat and classic safari, waterfall, abundant wildlife, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino)

  • #32 Makgadikgadi Pans National Park   Botswana Botswana

    4.13/5
    Classic safari, wildlife scarce outside wet season, Big 5 present (rhino rare)

  • #33 Tsavo West National Park   Kenya Kenya

    4.11/5
    Classic safari, adjacent to Tsavo East, Big 5 present, low wildlife density

  • #34 Lake Nakuru National Park   Kenya Kenya

    4.02/5
    Classic safari, black and white rhino, family-friendly park

  • #35 Katavi National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    4.00/5
    Classic safari, private reserve, Big 5 present

  • #36 Queen Elizabeth National Park   Uganda Uganda

    4.00/5
    Boat and classic safari, abundant wildlife, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), no giraffe

  • #37 Pilanesberg Game Reserve   South Africa South Africa

    3.98/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present

  • #38 Addo Elephant National Park   South Africa South Africa

    3.94/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, but only elephant are regularly seen

  • #39 Kafue National Park   Zambia Zambia

    3.94/5
    Walking, boat and classic safari, cheetah, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), no giraffe

  • #40 Aberdare National Park   Kenya Kenya

    3.87/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present (lion difficult to spot)

  • #41 Nairobi National Park   Kenya Kenya

    3.83/5
    Classic safari, Big 5 present, small park, lacking wilderness vibe, close to city

  • #42 Lake Manyara National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    3.83/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), big cats difficult to spot

  • #43 Nxai Pan National Park   Botswana Botswana

    3.79/5
    Classic safari, wildlife scarce outside Wet season, Big 5 present (rhino rare)

  • #44 Hell's Gate National Park   Kenya Kenya

    3.77/5
    Cycling, walking and classic safari, mainly antelope species, lion very rare

  • #45 Augrabies Falls National Park   South Africa South Africa

    3.75/5
    Scenery, animals scarce, some antelope species, giraffe and leopard

  • #46 Mountain Zebra National Park   South Africa South Africa

    3.71/5
    Classic safari, Cape mountain zebra, cheetah, lion, black rhino and antelope

  • #47 Arusha National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    3.68/5
    Classic safari, hiking, several antelope species and black-and-white colobus

  • #48 Meru National Park   Kenya Kenya

    3.63/5
    Classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 present (rhino in fenced sanctuary)

  • #49 Mikumi National Park   Tanzania Tanzania

    3.54/5
    Walking and classic safari, 4 of the Big 5 (no rhino), predators rarely seen

  • #50 Karoo National Park   South Africa South Africa

    3.50/5
    Classic safari, mainly antelope species, black rhino and lion (rare) present

How we created this list

  • In total, 157 parks from 11 safari countries (Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) were included in the study.
  • Only parks recognized for classic wildlife-viewing safaris were considered. Parks mostly known for scenery or gorilla/chimp tracking (and not other wildlife) 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.

Interesting Insights

  • Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is Africa's best safari park according to our analysis. Deserving of this accolade, this stunning park impresses with the sheer numbers and variety of wildlife contained within its borders. The abundance of predators and spectacular wildebeest migration are two more big drawcards to the Serengeti.
  • Rating second is the pristine wilderness of Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. This sublime park appeals to the adventurous with canoeing a popular way to see the animals. The expertise of the guides here ensures exciting encounters with wildlife.
  • Rated as Africa’s third best park, privately-owned Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa has a reputation for outstanding wildlife viewing, heavenly accommodation, and first-rate guiding. Mala Mala is one of 14 South African parks in the Top 50.
  • The fastest climber was Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, which came in 5th. The park, which mirrors Mana Pools across the Zambezi in Zimbabwe, has magnificent landscapes and wonderful canoe safaris which add another level of excitement to viewing its prolific wildlife.
  • Selous Game Reserve plummeted in our ratings, falling to 16th in our top 50. Selous has been ravaged by poaching in recent years with its elephant populations decimated. See our blogpost for more information.
  • Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe was rated 2nd by safari-goers (12th overall). The atmospheric bush vibe and wildlife were particularly appreciated. Hwange has the most diverse array of mammals of any park in Africa.

Demographics of the reviewers (all parks)

User reviews: 1,363
Expert reviews: 1,010
Nationalities: 83

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