Travel + Leisure Readers’ 20 Favorite Safari Lodges and Safari Outfitters in Africa of 2024

Travel + Leisure Readers’ 20 Favorite Safari Lodges and Safari Outfitters in Africa of 2024

Readers voted for their favorite African lodges and safari outfitters in our annual "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024.

<p>Courtesy of MORE Family Collection</p>

Courtesy of MORE Family Collection

Travel + Leisure readers’ votes this year proved that people are essential to the best safari experience, in regards to both lodges and outfitters. From warm, welcoming on-the-ground staff to a reliable and knowledgeable travel specialist pulling all the trip details together, readers highlighted how a great team can make all the difference — in addition to epic wildlife sightings and transportive accommodations.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, inn, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Rooms/facilities

  • Location

  • Service

  • Food

  • Value

Tour operators and safari outfitters were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Staff/guides

  • Itineraries/destinations

  • Activities

  • Accommodations

  • Food

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

What Readers Loved About Africa Safari Lodges

South Africa was the most popular country this year, with three lodges in the top ten. Coming in at No. 1, Monwana Game Lodge is a solid all-rounder, overlooking a waterhole in a wildlife-rich safari reserve, supported by a compassionate team.

Asilia Namiri Plains (No. 2) in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park garnered plenty of praise for its team, too. “The staff were kind and made this a trip of a lifetime,” wrote one reader. The tents were also a highlight: “The rooms were huge, comfortable, and gorgeous, and the outdoor tub overlooking the Serengeti was unbeatable.”

But it wasn’t only lodges in famous Big Five destinations that T+L readers loved. Uganda’s Mount Gahinga Lodge, Volcanoes Safaris (No. 4) with direct access to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Kyambura Gorge, Volcanoes Safaris (No. 6) — where chimpanzee trekking is the big draw — reveals the popularity of primate safaris.

Safari Lodges Winner

Monwana Game Lodge: Thornybush Nature Reserve, South Africa

<p>Courtesy of MORE Family Collection</p>

Courtesy of MORE Family Collection

In Thornybush Nature Reserve — part of South Africa’s Greater Kruger area, one of the best regions in Africa for Big Five sightings — Monwana Game Lodge is located by a waterhole frequented by elephants, lions, and other key wildlife. The lodge was the top choice for T+L readers this year, with one reporting “an amazing experience throughout, from staff to game viewing.” With just six suites, and a private residence for up to five guests, Monwana is ideal for honeymooners or families with kids over age 10. As well as twice-daily game drives, guests can go on bush walks, take a massage at the spa, or head out after dark for stargazing.

Safari Lodges Full List

1. Monwana Game Lodge: Thornybush Nature Reserve, South Africa

Reader Score: 98.90

2. Asilia Namiri Plains: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Reader Score: 98.73

3. Finch Hattons: Tsavo West National Park, Kenya

Reader Score: 98.67

4. Mount Gahinga Lodge, Volcanoes Safaris: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda

Reader Score: 98.37

5. Mfuwe Lodge, The Bushcamp Company: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Reader Score: 98.26

6. Kyambura Gorge, Volcanoes Safaris: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Reader Score: 98.00

7. Lion Sands Game Reserve: Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Reader Score: 97.89

8. Singita Grumeti: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Reader Score: 97.87

9. Thornybush Game Lodge: Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Reader Score: 97.83

10. Angama Mara: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Reader Score: 97.47

What Readers Loved About Africa Safari Outfitters

T+L readers valued expert teams with enthusiasm and reliability in their favorite safari outfitters this year.

2024’s No. 1 winner — Alluring Africa — scored perfect marks, making it readers’ top choice for the second year in a row.  Vegas-based Dazzle Africa (No. 2) is also no stranger to high scores from T+L readers, one of whom said they’d discovered the Zambia specialist through our 2021 World’s Best Awards — after an initial call with a “helpful and committed” trip planner, they “didn’t need to look any further.”

South Africa-based Go2Africa (No. 9) earned praise for going above and beyond — for example, one reader reported their coordinator “got us into Kenya’s Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage after they had sold out.” The word “dream” came up repeatedly as guests described their Go2Africa vacation — “We can't wait to plan another dream trip to Africa!” one concluded.

Safari Outfitters Winner

Alluring Africa

<p>Sunit Sanghrajka/Courtesy of Alluring Africa</p>

Sunit Sanghrajka/Courtesy of Alluring Africa

Last year’s winner retained the top spot for 2024, with a perfect score of 100 — up from 99.21 in 2023. Alluring Africa is a Florida-based agency, specializing in travel to Africa and the Middle East. The type of experiences they book for their clients include tracking desert rhinos in Namibia, watching wildebeests’ dramatic Great Migration in Tanzania and Kenya, and meeting mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda. A strong database of repeat customers suggests the team really knows how to deliver a trip of a lifetime.

Safari Outfitters Full List

1. Alluring Africa

Reader Score: 100.00

2. Dazzle Africa

Reader Score: 98.82

3. Asilia Africa

Reader Score: 98.66

4. Micato Safaris

Reader Score: 98.56

5. Piper & Heath Travel

Reader Score: 98.31

6. Extraordinary Journeys

Reader Score: 97.91

7. Rothschild Safaris

Reader Score: 97.60

8. Thomson Safaris

Reader Score: 97.38

9. Go2Africa

Reader Score: 96.22

10. Deeper Africa

Reader Score: 94.91

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