The Top 10 Safari Outfitters in 2017
When it comes to planning an African safari, the stakes can seem pretty high. It’s not a trip one does every day — in fact, this type of vacation may well fall into “trip of a lifetime” territory. Expectations tend to be lofty, as do budgets. There might be multiple generations traveling, or perhaps it’s a honeymoon; either way, the experience needs to be seamless.
Faultless planning and organization were at the top of a long list of things our readers loved about Rothschild Safaris, the World’s Best winner in the Safari Outfitter category in 2017. Respondents also raved about their expert, on-the-ground knowledge of Africa (all of their staffers either live or have lived on the continent) and their dedicated personal service.
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. Readers rated safari outfitters on their staff and guides, itineraries and destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and overall value.
For respondent Rachel Lindvall, it was Rothschild’s skill in crafting her itinerary that really set the outfitter apart. “Leora Rothschild and her staff worked very hard to personalize our safari, giving input while listening closely to what we were interested in,” she wrote. “We ended up with a trip that worked so well for us. We were constantly amazed how each aspect of it was just exactly what we wanted.”
It’s not the first time Rothschild has appeared on our list of top safari outfitters — in fact, it also won top honors in 2014. Micato Safaris, which came in second, is a Hall of Fame honoree, having been on the list every year since World’s Best began in 1996. Deeper Africa and Extraordinary Journeys also placed for the second year in a row. “Their tours are truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said one reader of Deeper Africa. “They’ve taken the time to form relationships in the Kenyan and Tanzanian communities, and it shows. It’s so important to get to know the context of where you’re going — that’s what makes them truly stand out from the pack.”
10. Travel Beyond
9. Mango African Safaris
8. Africa Adventure Consultants
7. Lion World Travel
6. Thomson Safaris
5. Deeper Africa
4. Extraordinary Journeys
3. Alluring Africa
2. Micato Safaris
1. Rothschild Safaris
Native South African Leora Rothschild channeled a lifelong love of the continent’s wildlife when she founded Rothschild Safaris back in 1998. Since then, the tour operator has become one of the most trusted names in the safari industry — and a firm favorite of our readers, who named it Safari Outfitter of the year in 2017. Rothschild puts her company’s success down to in-depth knowledge of the countries and communities she sends her guests to, whether it’s a popular destination such as Botswana, Tanzania, or South Africa, or a more off-the-beaten-track country such as Namibia, Rwanda, or Mozambique. “You need to know the right people, because when you need something to happen quickly, you better know who to call.”