Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE has been named among Africa’s Best Safari Countries for 2019 by SafariBookings.
SafariBookings is a website which receives thousands of safari reviews and once a year, analyse them to determine the country which should be crowned Africa’s best for safaris.
According to the website, more than 4 000 reviews were analysed in the comprehensive study and safari-goers from all over the planet made their contributions. The analysis of reviews also included reviews from a bunch of travel journalists, mainly guidebook writers who contribute regularly to Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint. These industry professionals populated the SafariBookings expert panel.
Botswana leads the race becoming the first country followed by Tanzania, Zambia and then Zimbabwe. Other countries managed to be in the top 12 ratings but trailed behind Zimbabwe. These are Kenya at number (5), South Africa (6), Namibia (7), Uganda (8), Rwanda (9), Swaziland (10), Mozambique (11) and Malawi (12).
SafariBookings’ overview of Zimbabwe said prices were competitive and the main parks are still cared for and well worth visiting.
Under the Zimbabwe safari reviews, it was rated four stars out of five by experts and four and a half stars by users.
“A closer analysis of the results throws up a surprise: when broken down the results tell us that the industry experts rated Botswana the highest, but that there was a preference for Zimbabwe among safari-goers,” said SafarisBookings.
The website showed that Zimbabwe had the highest user ratings of 4.83 out of five and the lowest expert ratings of 3.92 out of five in the top four, beating the leader Botswana by three units in user ratings and losing to it by 69 units on expert ratings, which equated to its total ratings of 4.38 out of five landing it in fourth position.
“Zimbabwean safaris have excellent guiding, one of the best walking safari destinations, there is a chance to see Victoria Falls and they are competitive rates and low tourist densities,” said the website.
SafariBookings said Hwange and Mana Pools were Zimbabwe’s prime sites for wildlife watching.
The most commonly spotted animals are the elephant and hippo, while the giraffe, zebra, lion and hyena are also present in good numbers.
The beautiful sable antelope and the bat-eared fox are two lesser-known highlights of the local animal population.
This honour comes as Government this month said it was concerned about wildlife deaths in the country’s game parks due to the effects of drought as this is likely to negatively affect the tourism sector, which is largely hinged on wildlife. — @pridesinstinctz