Travel + Leisure Readers’ 5 Favorite Safari Outfitters of 2023: Unveiling the Masters of Wildlife Encounters

In the prestigious annual “World’s Best Awards” survey for 2023, Travel + Leisure readers have crowned five safari outfitters that embody the perfect harmony between nature respect and exhilarating animal-spotting adventures. These outfitters have garnered a reputation for curating “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences by seamlessly navigating the habitats of the continent’s most iconic residents. Whether it’s the quest for the Big Five in Kruger National Park or the awe-inspiring gorilla trekking in Rwanda, these safari experts have earned the trust of readers in showcasing the best of the animal kingdom.

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Voting Criteria and Process

In the World’s Best Awards survey, nearly 165,000 T+L readers participated, representing an impressive 25% increase over pre-pandemic voting levels. With over 8,500 unique properties considered, including hotels, cities, cruise lines, and more, readers specifically evaluated tour operators and safari outfitters based on the following criteria:

  • Staff/guides
  • Itineraries/destinations
  • Activities
  • Accommodations
  • Food
  • Value

Readers provided ratings ranging from excellent to poor for each criterion, and the final scores represent the averages of these responses.

Reader Favorites and Noteworthy Outfitters:

Consistency proved to be a defining factor as seven of the top 10 reader favorites from the previous year reclaimed their positions. Piper & Heath Travel made a notable debut in the No. 2 spot, praised for its thoughtful consideration of guests’ specific needs and dedication to family-friendly experiences. Readers commended Piper & Heath Travel for its outstanding travel advice, planning, and execution, emphasizing the company’s commitment to sustainability and conservation-focused trips in Kenya.

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Africa Adventure Consultants secured the No. 5 spot, while Rothschild Safaris claimed the No. 9 position, both reaffirming their status among the reader favorites.

Wild Adventures and Exceptional Care:

Navigating unpredictable situations in the wild requires expertise, and Thomson Safaris demonstrated its prowess by rising from No. 7 to No. 3 this year. One reader credited Thomson Safaris for providing top-notch care during a medical emergency in the bush, proclaiming, “They saved my life.” Another shared a memorable experience falling asleep to the grunts of hippos under the Serengeti’s starry sky.

The Unmatched Winner: Alluring Africa: Alluring Africa claimed the top spot, elevating from No. 3 last year and reaffirming its 2018 victory. Renowned as “safari matchmakers,” the Florida-based company excels in tailoring animal-spotting adventures to diverse preferences. Readers lauded Alluring Africa for delivering the “best African experience” and creating addictive “trips of a lifetime.” The operator’s commitment to personalized service and repeat-worthy journeys solidified its status as the go-to choice for Africa destinations.

In the realm of safari outfitters, Alluring Africa stands as the undisputed winner, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of readers and earning their unwavering trust for unforgettable African adventures.


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