If you only do it once in a lifetime, go on safari. Seeing animals in their natural environment is a memorable experience and beats any zoo or animal park.
The list is based on 2,530 reviews contributed by 1,670 safari-goers from 72 countries and 860 park reviews written by renowned industry experts including guidebook authors from Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint. Both first time and experienced safari-goers make up the results.
Sweeping to first place was the people’s favourite, the magnificent Serengeti in Tanzania which polled an impressive average rating of 4.9 out of 5. It was followed by South Africa’s MalaMala Game Reserve and Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe in second and third place respectively.
Surprisingly, Kruger National Park did not feature in the top 10 despite South Africa holding two of the top 10 rankings and given how highly regarded Kruger National Park is in the wider safari industry.
Wouter Vergeer, co-owner of SafariBookings.com, said: “Serengeti thoroughly deserved first position in our study as it is universally loved for its wildlife, profusion of predators, and astonishing wildebeest migration. Remarkably, Kenya’s only foray into the top 10 is on the back of the Masai Mara National Reserve (eighth place) despite the country actually having nine parks that rank in the full list of the top 50.”
MalaMala Game Reserve which ranked third is popular amongst the rich and famous, offering luxurious accommodation options and some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa. Watching wildlife while bobbing down the Zambezi in a canoe, with the unspoiled wilderness of Mana Pools on either side, is an unforgettable experience.
South Luangwa in Zambia, which jumped six places from 11th in 2015 (when the list was last compiled) to fifth place in 2018.
The Top 10 African Safari Parks are:
Serengeti National Park Tanzania
Mala Mala Game Reserve South Africa
Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
Okavango Delta Botswana
South Luangwa National Park Zambia
Moremi Game Reserve Botswana
Sabi Sand Game Reserve South Africa
Selous Game Reserve Tanzania
Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania