Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is Africa's best safari park due to its sheer numbers and variety of wildlife, abundance of predators and the spectacular wildebeest migration, according to a popular safari booking website.
According to the rating by safari travellers and African travel experts, Serengeti pulled an impressive 4.9 out of 5 points, emerging the winner.
Rating second is the privately-owned South Africa’s Mala Mala Game Reserve renowned for its excellent wildlife viewing, luxurious accommodation, and top-class guiding.
It is closely followed by Zimbabwe’s pristine wilderness of Mana Pools National Park, the three emerged Africa’s top best safari parks.
“This sublime park appeals to the adventurous with canoeing a popular way to see the animals. The quality of the guides ensures wildlife watching is a joy.
"It is remarkable that Kenya, although having 10 parks in the top 50, has only Masai Mara National Reserve ranking in the top 10,” Mr Jeroen Beekwilder co-owner of SafariBookings.com said in a statement.
Tanzania continued dominating in the African tourism products beating Kenya at its own game.
Three among top 10
Three of Tanzania’s national parks were among the top 10 with only one of Kenya’s national reserve emerging the best (Masai Mara National Reserve) in the ratings.
The analysis was based on more than 2,500 reviews.
A total of 1,670 reviews were contributed by safari-goers from 72 countries; another 860 park reviews were written by renowned industry experts.
Experts included guidebook authors from Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint.
Reviews from both first time and experienced safari-goers make up the results.
“Serengeti also topped the Best Safari Parks list in 2015, when we last carried out the analysis.
Rounding out the Top 3 parks in our list were Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa, and Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, which jumped a spot higher in 2018 it came 4th in 2015,” Mr Jeroen Beekwilder, co-owner of SafariBookings.com said in a statement.
Serengeti is universally loved for its wildlife, profusion of predators, and astonishing wildebeest migration.
“Mala Mala Game Reserve is popular for the rich and famous, offering luxurious accommodations 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,” Mr Beekwilder added.
Analysis of reviews
The top 10 Best African Safari Parks of 2018 is an analysis of more than 2,500 reviews from safari travellers and African travel experts to determine the best Safari Parks on the African continent.
Most reviews came from USA, UK South Africa, Australia, India, German, Sweden, France, Kenya and Nigeria.
From position 11 to 50 ratings, Kenya got 10 slots with Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Tsavo East National Park, Samburu National Reserve, Amboseli, Tsavo West, Lake Nakuru, Aberdare, Nairobi, Hell’s Gate and Lake Baringo National parks.
Reviews were derived from both first time and experienced safari-goers make up the results, other parks included
Botswana’s Okavango Delta came fourth, Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park came fifth and Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve was sixth. Others are South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park, Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve and Nyorongoro Crater scooped ninth and 10th positions consecutively.
In total, 139 parks from all eight 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 their scenery or typical gorilla/chimp tracking parks were not included.
Parks with less than 25 reviews were excluded from the top 50. The overall review score of a park consists of 50 per cent expert reviews and 50 per cent user reviews.
SafariBookings is one of the largest online marketplace for specialised safari tours in Africa. Over 2,000 specialised safari operators from around the world offer their safari tours on the SafariBookings platform.