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Go2Africa Explores the State of Safari in its Annual African Safari Travel Report and Releases its First Positive Impact Report

Zambia is predicted to be a top destination in 2024 as consumer inquiries grow by 78%

Cape Town, South Africa (May 15, 2024): In its second annual African Safari Travel Report, Go2Africa, the Cape Town-based travel operator, explores the state of safari, spotlighting new travel trends, consumer booking habits, and the surprising destinations in demand as they reflect on data from over 50,000 inquiries and bookings from 2023. As demand for family safaris and honeymoons in Africa surges in popularity, it does so with a new, fast-growing interest in sustainability and eco-tourism. Meanwhile, Go2Africa predicts Zambia will be the next place to go for a safari, as it saw a 78% increase in demand for the destination. On the heels of becoming B Corp certified, Go2Africa also releases its first Positive Impact Report, a year after launching over 300 itineraries aimed at delivering meaningful experiences for clients that serve as an aid to conserve and protect Africa’s wildlife and wild places and empower communities. 


With an entire team of African-born and raised specialists spread across the continent from Nairobi to Cape Town, including eighteen named as Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialists in 2024, the award-winning operator has its finger on the pulse of the latest trends and insights, which are shared below. 

State of Safari | Standout Destinations & the Place to Go in 2024
Thanks in part to new nonstop flights and a slew of new lodge openings, South Africa came out on top as the most popular safari destination for Go2Africa, followed by Tanzania and Kenya. These three destinations make up 60% of all interest in African safaris. Still, there has been increasing interest in non-game drive safari destinations as travelers seek out great ape trekking in Uganda and Congo and the different landscapes of Namibia’s contrasting salt flats and tall red sand dunes. Meanwhile, Go2Africa predicts Zambia will be a top destination in 2024, as inquiries have grown by 78%. Zambia, the "new Botswana," as their African Safari Experts would call the neighboring country, has similar landscapes, wildlife, and land and aquatic activities, while offering great value with more affordable lodges.

State of Safari | Trends to Keep an Eye On
While the Big Five remains the most prominent attraction, travelers began to explore a broader range of experiences on the continent, such as experiencing local communities and including bush and beach itineraries, with particular interest in the Indian Ocean Islands like Madagascar and Seychelles. For 2024, Go2Africa is predicting a 20% increase in interest for beach and safari combo trips, and the Zambia & Malawi combination is deemed to be the most popular combo, with Zambia offering great value with untouched, uncrowded parks to explore and a quick one-hour flight to Malawi for incredible beach and water activities. The interest in sustainable safaris grew by 6.4% compared to 2022 but has seen more than a 1000% increase in interest over the last four years. While searches for ‘sustainable travel’ have seen a sharp growth in monthly searches since 2018, the eco-travel trend has now filtered into more specific travel niches, including safaris, as more travelers become aware of choosing trips that positively affect the areas they visit. 

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in our guests’ interest in sustainability and connection with the local communities. Our clients look for experiences that foster authentic community engagement during their trip to Africa, and have specifically asked if they can volunteer for a day on their safari,” shares Liesel van Zyl, Head of Positive Impact & Product Development at Go2Africa

State of Safari | Changing Booking Habits to Monitor 

Though June to October is known to be peak traveling seasons, there was a rise in the number of people who traveled outside of these months. In 2023, travelers tended to book their trips with a much longer lead time on average, with the longest lead time of three years before departure. Go2Africa already has twice as many bookings for 2025/26 confirmed as compared to the year before. Last year saw a notable 25% increase in the average overall budget spent on safaris, with 70% of visitors from Australia, the US, and Canada now having medium ($5,500) to high ($6,500) budgets on average, a 27% drastic increase from the previous year. Similarly, Europe and the UK, with medium to high budgets, now account for 25% of visitors from these countries, compared to just 18% in 2022. 

Positive Impact | Year One Results 
In 2023, Go2Africa launched its new positive impact program, introducing over 300 ‘Positive Impact’ itineraries that include donations to projects supporting local communities, environmental work, or wildlife conservation, while their newly launched ‘Trips With a Purpose’ allowed travelers to visit or have a hands-on experience at such projects. The program aims to provide exceptional, meaningful experiences for its clients while creating a sustainable and prosperous future for Africa’s natural ecosystems and the people whose livelihoods are directly linked to them. Through 150+ Positive Impact experiences booked in 2023, over $40,000 was donated and invested into local projects across Africa, while four students were sponsored in Kenya and Tanzania, 838 trees were planted across Sub-Saharan Africa, and four endangered species were collared for protection in South Africa. Go2Africa added 115 new positive impact journeys, creating more opportunities to contribute into 2024. 


For more information, read the full report here

State of Safari 2023 Report

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