TOP SAFARI OPERATORS IN AFRICA
How is the Rating Done?

YOU ASKED

We are about to select a safari operator for our family reunion tour to Africa.Our research from travel forums, journals and safari websites is coming up with different lists of "top three or five" safari operators in each country. This is confusing and we would want a guideline of how the rating is done. Would we be risking if we booked our family safari with an operator who is not rated in the "best" category?


ANNE HUYSMAN REPLIES

The rating of the best or the top tour operators for safaris is a controversial topic and the results depend on a number of factors:

1.Who is doing the rating - Is it a travel magazine, a travel portal or a tourism membership organization - any of these will tend to give the "top safari operator" to safari companies that they are associated with, either as members or as advertisers.

2. Why they are doing the rating - if is to draw attention to particular region or activity, the "top safari company" tag will go to an operator who meets the region and activity criteria.

3.Which Africa tour operators can make submissions - some rating agencies only accepts submissions from international whole sale safari operators and not local safari tour operators.

4.The benefit that the agency rating gets - either in form of commission from bookings accruing from the rating or benefits in kind e.g. links to website, discounted trips etc that are given to the rating agencies. Some rating agencies will award the "top safari operator" or "best tour operator" to the safari companies that pay the highest commissions or have the high rated "gifts".

In view of the above, the decision on if quality safaris in Africa are offered by the rated " top safari or best tour company" has to be scratched to see what lays underneath - unfortunately this is not always obvious to the travelers.

If after due diligence you find a none rated safari company that can give a similar itinerary as a top rated safari company, using same hotels and it has good reviews on travel forum, don't hesitate to book your African safari with it.

Anne Huysman
Ontdek Kenya Safaris