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Awards Judges

Safari Awards Judges

All The Safari Awards Judges have been nominated by the previous years awards winners and finalists and are unquestionably the most highly-respected, knowledgeable independent tour operators selling safaris.

The judges sit at the head of the Good Safari Guide, ensuring that the lodges, camps and operations presented both in the guides and in the Awards really are the best in Africa.

To take a closer look, please visit our Judges page.

Awards Winners

Safari Award Winner

Since their inception in 2008 the Safari Awards have gone from strength to strength, and are now regarded as an industry gold standard.
The 2015 Safari Awards included 20 award categories.

To see a full list of awards winners,
please visit our Past Winners page.

The Safari Awards Guidelines

The purpose of the The Safari Awards, sponsored by The Good Safari Guide, is for experienced tour operators, journalists and other travel professionals who have visited many safari camps and lodges to nominate them for an award in the relevant category. Categories cover many disciplines that need careful consideration. The awards are more about excellence than just being 'very good' or 'better than most'. Please choose the category carefully.

Basic nomination criteria (please do not nominate if the safari lodge/camp does not fit these criteria):

  • the property must be located in a wildlife reserve (national or private), or within at most an hour's travel from extensive wildlife (game, bird or marine life), and must not be located in a city or a large town.
  • the property must offer wildlife viewing excursions, whether big game or marine wildlife tourism viewing.
  • the property must feasibly be part of the 'safari circuit'- somewhere visitors will stay as part of their safari holiday.

How Does the Voting Process Work?

The voting phase runs September - September. The Judges assess the votes during September and announce their finalists in early November.

Phase 1:

Over 4,000 vetted tour operators, travel agents and travel journalists are invited to vote for their favourite camps in each category. This creates the 'awards nominees' list that is published on our website. Every nominee is then notified by email of their nomination and they may contact their opt-in mailing lists to gain support for their nominations from their customers who are asked for their comments when voting. These comments are a valuable source of information for the Judges.

Phase 2:

From May to September the Judges visit as many finalists in their designated countries as they are able. This provides a recent and in depth understanding of the Nominees that is shared with all Judges at the end of each year.

Phase 3:

In September the Judges are sent the votes for their countries of responsibility and the supporting comments from customers. This is followed by an online voting process where each Judge selects their top nominees in each category per country. This creates the 'Judges Shortlist' of safari camps, individuals and operators, as well as the country-level results. The country-level results are announced via social media throughout October.

Phase 4:

Following a conference where they can share their own experience of the 'short listers' and discuss newcomers, all Judges are then required to vote for the finalists in each category overall. This unearths the overall finalists and winners, announced in November.

All awards voting systems are flawed in some way but we believe our process to be transparent, thorough and effective. Your votes are vital and will be much appreciated by the safari companies you support. The voting process covers approximately seventeen award categories and should not take more than twenty minutes of your time.