South African parks have dominated the Best Safari Parks 2019 list, with 14 parks in the top 50 list.
Kruger National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve and Phinda Game Reserve came in at 18, 19 and 20th place, respectively.
SafariBookings.com, an online marketplace for safaris on the continent, conducted its annual study to unequivocally determine the 50 best African safari parks of 2019.
A detailed analysis of almost 2 400 reviews from safari-goers and African travel experts was carried out.
The winner was the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which is renowned for the sheer volume of animals to be seen there.
More than 25% of the top 50 were South African parks. South Africa also has two parks – Mala Mala Game Reserve and Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the top 10.
South Africa’s strong presence on the list has partly been attributed to the sheer number of protected areas in the country and the high visitor numbers they receive.
The number of parks creates a high level of competition, and this means that the wildlife watching experience is generally of a high standard, according to SafariBookings.com.
“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,” the organisation said.
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.
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.
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 canoe safaris which add another level of excitement to viewing its prolific wildlife.
Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania plummeted in the ratings, falling to 16th.
“Selous has been ravaged by poaching in recent years, with its elephant populations decimated,” SafariBookings.com said.
A total of 1 363 reviews were contributed by safari tourists from 72 countries. The remaining 1 010 park reviews were written by industry experts. – SAnews.gov.za