The sprawling Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is the most popular place to go on safari in Africa, according to the results of a new survey that also includes the east African country among the top locations for going on honeymoon or safari on the massive continent.
In a poll by Google Surveys for UK-based Africa travel experts Tanzania Odyssey , the Serengeti was the safari destination most known by respondents (44.8%), with Kruger National Park in South Africa the second most popular place (43.2%) to go on safari. Part of the Serengeti — famous for its annual wildebeest migration — is in Kenya, but most of its 30,000 square kilometres is in northern Tanzania.
Indeed, Tanzania's tourism sector is currently enjoying a boom, with close to 2 million foreign tourists arriving on holiday in the country in 2016, according to the most recent government statistics. The figure represents an almost 13% increase in foreign tourist arrivals in Tanzania that year, lured by an array of natural wonders and sights. Americans lead tourist arrivals in the east African country, followed by Britons and other Europeans.
Tanzania: A Towering Tourist Destination
The survey, which was conducted in early April, also sought to find out what people's idea of going on safari is and what they expected to experience. Most people (39%) said they thought they would see enormous exotic animals, such as lions, elephants and giraffes, while others (38.8%) said they believed they would encounter wide, open plains.
This was followed by the notion of dining under a romantic canopy of trees, which is what 21.1% of respondents thought they would spend some time doing on an African safari. For others, the equally romantic scenes as played out in the famous film Out of Africa would be their preferred backdrop while out on safari in an African country like Tanzania or Kenya.
It was the lure of incredible natural wonders like Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (48.3%) and going on safari (46.2%) that would chiefly attract foreigners to Africa in the first place, the survey results of British and Irish people found. For others, the chance to visit traditional African villages (27.8%) would be their main reason for going to Africa and others (20.8%) just wanted to lie on an African beach and do as little as possible.
Vital African Expertise
Possibly because parts of Africa are viewed as difficult to visit, with many obstacles that might prove problematic to foreigners, such as local languages, cuisines and customs, the majority of respondents (29.7%) said they would not visit Africa if their tour company was inexperienced in the region.
A majority (52.9%) also said they would feel comfortable going on holiday in Africa only if their travel firm had solid local knowledge and contacts, as well as good pricing (43.8%). Clear communication (40.6%) and rapid responses to queries (24.6%) were also deemed important among respondents if they were to visit an African country for a general holiday, specifically to go on safari or perhaps as a honeymoon destination.
Tanzania Odyssey director Marc Harris said the survey's results reflected the views of his clients, who are mainly from Britain and the United States. "People want reassurance when they're travelling so far and to such an unfamiliar place," he said. "Above all, they want expertise from their travel firm that everything will go smoothly and they'll have a fantastic time in such amazing places as Tanzania."
Marc Harris, Managing Director
Company: Tanzania Odyssey
Address: London, UK
Tel.: +44 (0) 20 8704 1216