Who could argue with Botswana’s astonishing breadth of landscapes and wildlife, home to iconic wilderness and wildlife destinations such as the Kalahari, the Okavango and Chobe National Park?
From its parched and ancient deserts to its vast, water-drenched landscapes, Botswana has recently been voted the best safari country for 2023 by SafariBookings, which is the world’s largest resource and leading authority for planning safaris to Africa.
Safari-goers and experts from all over the planet were at the heart of these results. More than 4,000 of their reviews were analysed in this detailed and comprehensive study.
The analysis included reviews from expert travel journalists who have extensive safari experience across all of the countries covered by this survey. These experts are mainly guidebook writers who contribute regularly to Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint.
Perfect safari country
If you were to design the perfect safari country, it would look something like Botswana. Home to vast tracts of wilderness, Botswana is a world of deserts and delta, of elemental earth colours of the deepest red and blue.
Botswana is where you find the sand-drowned Kalahari Desert and its black-maned lions, but also the water-drowned landscapes of the Okavango Delta with its big cats, very big elephants and superb mix of islands, woodlands, channels and rivers.
But who could argue with Botswana’s astonishing breadth of landscapes and wildlife, home to iconic wilderness and wildlife destinations such as the Kalahari, the Okavango and Chobe National Park?
Or Botswana’s commitment to low-density tourism and opportunities for wild and exclusive safaris? It should come as little surprise, therefore, that Botswana’s legend as a destination for safari excellence just keeps getting stronger, a fact reinforced by this year’s results.
This is why going on safari in Botswana remains an utterly unforgettable experience.
Coming in second, not far behind, was Tanzania, followed by Zambia and Kenya. And a close analysis of the results reveals some fascinating surprises: industry experts rated Botswana the best overall safari country, but safari-goers voted for Uganda as the best, while Tanzania just pipped Botswana among experts and travellers when the survey was restricted to wildlife alone.
Tanzania was the winner in 2013 when SafariBookings conducted the first study to determine the best safari country in Africa. It held onto first place in the second study in 2017. But that changed in 2018 when Botswana narrowly defeated Tanzania. Botswana again took first place in 2019.
In this first survey since travellers returned to the safari trails following the pandemic, Botswana reasserted its position in the number one spot, although Tanzania remains very close behind. Both are incredible safari countries.