NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 16 – An online survey of Africa’s best national reserves has ranked the Maasai Mara eighth in the top 50 parks.
According to the study by SafariBookings.com, other Kenyan reserves in the top 50 include Pejeta Conservancy, Samburu National Reserve, Tsavo West, Amboseli, Tsavo East, Lewa Conservancy, Meru National Park with Lake Nakuru.
Tanzania’s Serengeti took first place with an impressive rating of 4.89 out of 5, followed by South Africa’s MalaMala Game Reserve, and Okavango Delta in Botswana.
“South Africa held four of the top 10 spots, more than any other country; however, its Kruger National Park only ranked 20th, which was a great surprise, as Kruger is highly regarded in the safari industry,” a statement from the organisation said.
The report further reveals that the sheer variety of wildlife, abundance of predators and spectacular wildebeest migration are valid reasons why Serengeti deserves this ranking.
“Serengeti was rated best for its variety of wildlife, abundance of predators, and spectacular wildebeest migration. Legendary MalaMala Game Reserve offers some of the best wildlife viewing of Africa, and its luxury lodges cater the rich and famous,” it stated. “The Okavango Delta is regarded for its scenic beauty. Its annual flooding transforms this otherwise desert area into a wildlife paradise of tranquil waterways.”
Kenya has almost 17 percent of the top 50 parks, but only the Maasai Mara National Reserve is in the top 10.
Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools was ranked 4th, which is significant when looking at all 138 parks that were considered for this top list.
Only parks known for classic wildlife viewing safaris were considered while those known only for their scenery or typical gorilla tracking parks were not included.
Over 1,400 specialised safari operators from Africa and western countries offer their safari tours on the SafariBookings platform.
SafariBookings.com conducted an analysis of 3,008 reviews to put to rest the question of which park was best for African safaris.
In total, 138 parks of the eight major safari countries were in consideration for a place in the top 50.
The analysis was based on 3,008 park reviews collected through the SafariBookings website.
Of them, 2,234 reviews were contributed by safari tourists from 63 countries around the world.
The remaining 774 reviews were written by renowned industry experts, most of whom are guidebook authors working for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint.