By Brooke Porter Katz
July 10, 2019
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Cheetah sighting with African Travel
Credit: Courtesy of African Travel

When you’re taking a bucket-list trip like a luxury safari in Africa, you don’t want to leave the planning in just anyone’s hands. It takes a true expert with years of experience to arrange a stress-free, bespoke itinerary and guide you to the best destinations, lodges, and experiences.

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 tour operators and safari outfitters based on their staff and guides, itineraries and destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and overall value.

Coming in at No. 3, Micato Safaris has made the World’s Best list every year since the survey launched 23 years ago. It’s safe to say that this legendary company — founded by the Kenya-based Pinto family in 1966 — has set the bar for outfitters ever since. One respondent noted, “Cannot say enough about Micato Safaris. Used them two times in Kenya and Tanzania and both trips were way beyond any expectations! The Pintos are involved in many charities in the area, and we were happy to join in with the really good work they are always doing.”

Roar Africa is another consistent favorite, earning the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row. The founder, Deborah Calmeyer, was raised on a farm in Zimbabwe, and she applies her vast knowledge when organizing trips everywhere from Botswana to Uganda to Namibia. “I have been to Africa numerous times and find that the services, guides, and exclusivity exceed any other company that we have traveled with,” raved one reader. Another wrote, “Seamless from start to finish.”

Read on for the full list of top safari outfitters — and see which one took the No. 1 spot. (You won’t recognize its name from last year.)

10. Africa Adventure Consultants

Wildebeests with Africa Adventure Consultants
Credit: Courtesy of Africa Adventure Consultants

Score: 95.63

More information: adventuresinafrica.com

9. andBeyond

andBeyond safari in Grumeti
Credit: Courtesy of andBeyond

Score: 95.65

More information: andbeyond.com

8. Travel Beyond

Elephant with Travel Beyond
Credit: Courtesy of Travel Beyond

Score: 96.74

More information: travelbeyond.com

7. Extraordinary Journeys

Elephants with Extraordinary Journeys
Credit: Courtesy of Extraordinary Journeys

Score: 96.97

More information: extraordinaryjourneys.com

6. Thomson Safaris

Safari with Thomson Safaris
Credit: Courtesy of Thomson Safaris

Score: 97.08

More information: thomsonsafaris.com

5. Rothschild Safaris

Africa with Rothschild Safaris
Credit: Courtesy of Rothschild Safaris

Score: 97.14

More information: rothschildsafaris.com

4. Deeper Africa

Zebra spotting with Deeper Africa Safaris
Credit: Kevin Zimmermann/Courtesy of Deeper Africa Safaris

Score: 97.50

More information: deeperafrica.com

3. Micato Safaris

Cheetah with Micato Safaris
Credit: Courtesy of Micato Safaris

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 98.31

More information: micato.com

2. Roar Africa

Safari with ROAR Africa
Credit: Courtesy of ROAR Africa

Score: 99.05

More information: roarafrica.com

1. African Travel, Inc.

Tangarire with African Travel
Credit: Courtesy of Elewana Collection

Score: 99.78

More information: africantravelinc.com

After not appearing on the World’s Best list since 2015, this fourth-generation, family-owned outfitter managed to snag the No. 1 spot this year. The company plans a variety of traditional safari trips across the continent to favorites like Botswana, Kenya, and South Africa, and can also create itineraries from private cruises in Zimbabwe to volunteer opportunities in Tanzania. “This was one of the very best trips we have experienced. There was only excellent staff, food, safaris, knowledgeable guides, and accommodations,” wrote one respondent. “This was an amazing trip, and I would do it again.”

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.