5 Best Safari Binoculars to Take on the trip
When planning a safari trip to Africa, you should not forget to look for the best safari binoculars to put in your luggage. It is not a simple coincidence that the images of the safari tours are always portraying a person with a hat and binoculars. This tool is essential for your trip, especially for game-viewing expeditions and bird-watching. Thanks to them, you will not have to get as close as you may want to the wild, ferocious animals. However, if you took the effort to reach such a wonderful destination in Africa, it will be a shame if you wouldn’t be able to observe them. No matter if you are a professional or an amateur, a pair of binoculars is a must have for any safari trip.
Check out our compilation off best safari binoculars, all available from Amazon.
1. Tips to Finding the Best Binoculars for Safari
When searching for the best binoculars for a Safari trip, you will need to take some certain characteristics into consideration. One of the important aspects is the toughness. As long as you are planning to go on a safari, you cannot choose binoculars that have very sensitive, thin objective lenses, because they will get damaged rapidly. Keep in mind that you are going to travel on some quite rough terrain, and spend a lot of time in the bushes and dust. Thus, it is recommended that you choose a pair of binoculars that have the lenses built deeper inside, as they will be better protected this way.
Another important aspect when choosing the good binoculars for Safari trip is the size of the tool. Small or compact binoculars are great options because they do not weigh too much. Still, they do have some disadvantages. For example, if you are planning to take numerous safari walks rather than go by car, you may want to buy compact binoculars. But you will lose the wide field of view, as well as the great light balance that large binoculars offer you, no matter the weather. If you are not ready to give up neither your comfort nor the quality of the view, you should opt for a medium sized binocular, which is the perfect compromise.
Magnification is another aspect that you should consider when buying Safari binoculars. A high magnification means a closer look, and it provides you with plenty of details, but it also means a smaller field of view (FOV).
If you travel to Africa in the rainy season, you should also look for waterproof binoculars because otherwise you will barely use them.
2. Top 5 Binoculars for Safari
2.1. Celestron 71380 Granite Series 9×33 Roof Prism
It withstands anything you might throw at it.
This is one of the best choices of binoculars when it comes to safari trip. Its body is made of magnesium alloy, which means that the binoculars’ body is durable and strong, but also extremely lightweight – only 570g. The design allows you to grip it safely with one hand. The eye cups are made of metal, not plastic, as in the case of the majority mid-sized binoculars – this is another advantage because they will function smooth and won’t get damaged very fast. The viewing angle is of 7,2 grades, which means that at a distance of 1,000 yards, you will see 378 feet wide – an amazing FOV.
Not to mention that this binocular is waterproof and fog proof. Starting from around $300, the Celestron 71380 Granite 9×33 * is an excellent choice for a safari trip.
- Close focus and great quality lenses
- Waterproof and lightweight
- Can be used even by those who wear glasses
- Has a strong construction
- Might sometimes have a flimsy tripod mount.
2.2. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars
The best of its class, with the best technology guaranteed.
When looking for recommendations on the best safari binoculars, more than 250 Amazon reviews recommend Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular *, at an average of 4.6 stars.
The best thing about this tool is its ultra-wide FOV, of 340 feet at 1,000 yards, which makes it better than many mid sized 10x binoculars of the same price. Just as the Celestron 71380 Granite 9×33, it is made of magnesium alloy and it weighs only 24,7 oz.
The binoculars are also waterproof, and fog proof, and their price/quality ratio is a very good one. Granted, they definitely fit the standard for great binoculars for an African Safari trip.
- Great settings for eye relief
- Lightweight; it includes a strap and carry case
- Has a wide view field
- Not recommended for astronomy viewing
- Price can be high for some people
- Some claim that the eye relief needs improvement
2.3. Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars
Get close to nature even if you’re on a tight budget.
Belonging to the Nature DX series, the purpose of these binoculars is to provide the best quality for an affordable price. The main characteristics are its wide FOV – 388 feet at a distance of 1,000 yards, a durable chassis made of polycarbonate, which is also lightweight. On the outside, the binoculars are covered in thin rubber that makes them easier to grab and minimizes the risk of slipping.
The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars * are also waterproof. The price is great, as you can buy them for less than 150$.
- Affordable price
- Great lenses
- Image can get blurry and not focus on the details
- Fiddly adjustments
2.4. Swarovski CL Pocket 8×25 Binoculars
Easy viewing from edge to edge.
The Swarovski CL Pocket 8×25 Binoculars * have exceptional characteristics compared to their small size, but everything comes at a price. They cost between 800 – 1000 $.
The optical quality is amazing for a compact pair of binoculars, offering a large FOV of 357 to 1,000 yards. This means that you will enjoy both view quality and comfort. Reviewers say that the Swarovski are the best binoculars for wildlife viewing.
- Durable coating
- Eye relief
- Has a wide field of view
- Lens are vulnerable because they don’t have a cover
2.5. Celestron 20×80 Skymaster Binocular
Best Binoculars for both daytime and nighttime viewing.
This is an affordable choice, with quality lenses, easy to use and having a good FOV, water resistant body, and it is also great for viewing the sky during the night. However, the Celestron 20×80 Skymaster Binoculars * have some disadvantages. The main one is their weight, because they are pretty big, and it may be difficult for you to carry them when walking.
This tool is a robust one and you can buy it for about 120 $ making sure that you have great binocular option for enjoying your Safari trip.
- Clear visual image
- Quality of the materials is above standard
- Impeccable alignment
- Lenses are sensitive to scratches
- Can be difficult to carry around
3. Best Lightweight Binoculars for Safari
It is important to be lightweight when going on a Safari because you’ll be walking a lot. Here’s what you might want to have on you if you don’t want to carry plenty of luggage.
3.1. Bushnell 10×42 Powerview Roof Prism Binoculars
The versatile companion that you won’t notice you’re carrying around.
The Bushnell 10×42 Powerview Roof Prism Binoculars* are the perfect choice if you want to go lightweight. They are also ideal for multi-use, making them some of the best binoculars for a Safari trip if you want to mix quality and comfort. They can be used with glasses thanks to the twist-up eyecups and they are also resistant to any kind of weather. They offer a wide view for any kind of activities that can range from birdwatching to sports viewing to game hunting. You even have a very smooth focus wheel that lets you see the sight in just a matter of seconds!
- Easy to carry around
- Perfect for bird watching
- Sometimes, it can be difficult to get the right eye position
3.2. Pentax 9×28 WP Binoculars
Get blown away by the optics.
Pentax 9×28 WP Binoculars* is one of the best binoculars for a safari trip. Easy with it, though. You don’t want to get the lenses dirty. Which are spectacular, by the way. These lenses offer you an incredible view in a compact setting which is also durable and can withstand pretty much everything a Safari might throw at you. You will be sure to have a convenient tool for you which will be easy to carry around without having its performances compromised. With these binoculars, you can just enjoy the show!
- Lightweight, just 365 grams
- Great focus
- Wide view
- Too much visible tube
- The thick border can be a point of distraction
4. Best Binoculars for a Safari Trip That Are Under $100
Safaris can be expensive, and might put a great hole in your pocket. You can, however, find the best binoculars for a Safari trip without spending too much money on them.
4.1. Leupold BX-1 Rogue Binoculars
You can be natural at a good price.
This is the most lightweight and compact model of the Leupold family. The Leupold BX-1 Rogue Binoculars* are ideal for big wood stalkers, eastern bowhunters or even little ‘hunters’ that don’t have really big hands. It has quick and smooth focus, making it very easy on the eye while you are using it for extended periods of times. It can withstand pretty much anything, passing the ‘torture test’ with flying colors, if only with just a few scratches. And it only costs $89! Make them your best binoculars for a Safari trip and enjoy the fact that they also come with accessories that include a high-quality case and a great rubber lens caps.
- Smooth focus
- Waterproof and weather resistant
- Twist-up eyecups
- Lenses can be fragile if exposed and not protected
4.2. Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8×42 Binoculars
The Classy Safari companion you will definitely love.
Everything about the Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8×42 Binoculars* looks great. And considering they only cost $69, you definitely will not regret buying them. The focus wheel is velvet smooth, and the image you see is bright, sharp and clear to an exceptional level. It’s very easy to hold and you won’t feel it slipping right through your hands because it has a slight rubber cover. These binoculars were designed to be as light as possible considering the conditions they could be used in. They come with a wide field of view and will be sure to bring you closer to what you want to ‘capture’. No wonder people say that they are the best binoculars for a Safari trip.
- They are not waterproof
- Can have poor durability
5. Best Compact Binoculars for Safari
When going on a safari, it’s important to choose compact binoculars simply because they would make your experience easier. Here are two examples of compact binoculars you can take with you.
5.1. Steiner Optics Safari Series Binoculars
Expands your view while still keeping a compact form.
These binoculars enable you to see ‘deep within the bush’, making it very easy to track animals in a safari. The reason why the Steiner Optics Safari Series Binoculars* are the best binoculars for a Safari trip is because they give you the best levels of light and contrast transmission. The lenses are designed to filter out any inbound light and make your viewing experience a top notch one. It’s all you can ask from a pair of binoculars. They will make you feel as if you are watching a lively quality movie on TV, except the game will be right in front of you.
- Eye relief
- Durable material
- Small exit might give difficulties when getting a clear view.
5.2. Steiner Peregrine Binoculars
Compact High Definition Optics perfect for wildlife or bird watching.
If you are an avid fan of the wildlife, you will definitely not be disappointed by the Steiner Peregrine Binoculars*. They should definitely be on you packing list. These binoculars have combined a lot of features that include Bak-4 prisms, fog-proof body and fully-coated lenses that provide the best quality optics. If you’re looking for the best binoculars for a Safari trip in terms of compactness, give these Steiners a try, and you will not be disappointed. These binoculars make traveling and going to safaris seem like a walk in the park.
- High definition view
- Focus can be closed very fast
- The almost $400 + you have to pay can be rather expensive for the average customer.
6. Best Binoculars for a Safari Trip that Allow Bird Watching
When going on a bird watching Safari, you need to have a good pair of binoculars which can let you view birds from any distance. Quality and focus are also important, because birds tend to be rather fast, so your binoculars need to be able to keep up. Here are some examples of binoculars you can use.
6.1. Minox BL 8×33 HD Binoculars
Admire the life of birds in HD view.
These binoculars are an updated version of the previous Minox BL 8×33, which was very popular for birdwatching as well. These follow-up lenses are of a much better quality, providing the watcher with the best experience from a safari. It has various properties that include a high resistance to water, making them easy to use in any weather condition, a light and compact design which makes it easy to carry around and a real wide field of view with a long eye-relief. If you are willing to spend a few bucks, the Minox BL HD Binoculars* are the best binoculars for a Safari trip that involves bird watching.
- High HD optics for a higher transmission
- Shows bright images
- Ideal for people wearing eyeglasses
- Close focus distance can be a little long
- Level of the neck strap can be disappointing
6.2. Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 Binocular with Hoya ED Glass
Premium glass lenses for a magnificent experience.
These binoculars are perfect also if you want to travel in style. These binoculars are a super high quality and use premium glass lenses (ED) made in Japan, and which deliver a foolproof super-quality image. It makes it easy to watch animals set at a considerable distance from the viewer using a high focus, and it also has an eye relief of 19.5mm. The Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 Binocular with Hoya ED Glass* can enter the race for best binoculars for a Safari trip if you are willing to spend some money in exchange for great quality.
- Fog proof and waterproof
- A large range view
- Impressive near focus
- The knob can be rather stiff
- Can be heavy compared to other binoculars
7. Best Premium Binoculars for Safari
When you go on a Safari, you will want to take the best binoculars with you. This is where premium ones come in handy, and if you have some extra money to spare, you should give these two a try. They are most definitely two of the best binoculars for a Safari trip.
7.1. Zeiss Victory HT 10x54mm Premium Binoculars
Better and faster focus than most products.
Users on Amazon.com all recommend these binoculars for their high quality and great construction. Upon using them for extended periods of time, they found out that the result was beyond any expectations, giving you the best light possible. The razor is sharp, the focusing wheel is smooth and light gathers like in no other binoculars you may have used. Although their lenses are bigger than those of other binoculars, they are lighter, making them easy to carry around. Not to mention that it has a large field of view that lets you see far away! Get the Zeiss Victory HT 10x54mm Premium Binoculars* and experience how it feels to use the best binoculars for a Safari trip.
- Schott HT durable glass
- Light transmission that goes up to 95%
- Great focus
- The cost is rather high ($2,399.99)
7.2. Gthunder Digital Night Vision Binoculars
Witness the nightlife in great quality.
When you go on a Safari, you won’t only want to watch the wildlife during the day. Some animals are only active during the night, which is why you need to be ready with a pair of binoculars that will let you see through everything. These GETHUNDER Digital Night Vision Binoculars* are equipped with infrared illuminator. It measures the amount of light and is adjustable to brightness while also preventing the illuminating unit from being turned on during the day. This way, you experience durable comfort and performance without any troubles. This would definitely be among our choices for best binoculars for a Safari trip.
- Easy for beginners
- The illuminator allows for long distance performance
- Adjustable for brightness
8. Best Binoculars Accessory to Take Along in a Safari
It’s not just the binoculars themselves that you need to pay attention to. If you already have your best binoculars for a Safari trip, you will also need some accessories to enhance their performance. This is what we recommend:
8.1. Vortex Optics Binocular Harness Strap
Travel easy and comfortable with a good value.
If you go on a Safari for an extended period of time, you are definitely going to need something to take the weight off. Carrying the binoculars on a neck strap can put a strain on your neck, making it hurt. This harness allows you to distribute the weight around your back and shoulder, making it easy to travel around. Moreover, if you have to move fast, you won’t be bothered by any binoculars swinging back and forth. It is constructed with reliable elastic straps, buckles and also leather turnbuckles, keeping those binoculars exactly where you want them to be. Get the Vortex Optics Binocular Harness Strap*and secure your best binoculars for a Safari trip in it.
- Keeps the binoculars close to the chest
- Perfect for heavy binoculars to take the weight off your neck
- May not be suitable for binoculars of all sizes
8.2. Barska Binocular Tripod Adaptor
Barska’s tripod allows your binoculars to stay steady.
For a price that seems to be a steal from the website, the Barska Binocular Tripod Adaptor* can be the greatest thing you could add to your binoculars. Most binoculars can come with tripods that are a flimsy fit or of a less durable material, but the Barska adaptor is made of a sturdy metal that, apart from being very durable, it also steadies your image. It’s rock solid, so your best binoculars for a Safari trip will definitely be happy to be accompanied by this accessory. It got positive reviews from all adventurers who wanted an accessory that is cheap, as well as reliable in their safaris.
- Sturdy and solid
- Can fit pretty much any kind of
- Portable and handy
- Can sometimes swivel while adjusting the knob
9. Conclusion: What is the best safari binocular for African trip
These are some of the best choices of binoculars that you can take with you on your safari trip. However, as the prices and characteristics differ, you should make a comparison and decide which one fits your needs best. Think about the activities you want to do during your trip. For example, if you enjoy safari walking, and you would like to spend a big part of your vacation walking around and watching animals or birds, the 4th option – Swarovski CL Pocket 8×25 Binocular may be the best one for you. Or, if you’re looking for something more affordable, you can opt for the Celestron 71380 Granite Series 9×33 Roof Prism, which basically have the same characteristics, but they’re just a bit heavier.
When choosing your best binoculars for a Safari trip, start from the activities you will be involved in, the weather in that period of the year, the sum of money you can afford to pay, and make your choice based on these factors.
10. Some useful resources for planning your lifetime vacation:
- Safari Planning Recommendations: Best Safari Camera and Safari Camera Accessories, Best Safari Binoculars, Shoes for Safari, Safari Wear
- For Your Birding needs while on Safari: Bird Watching Binoculars, Bird Watching Camera, Birding Scopes
- Kilimanjaro Climbing Recommendations: Backpack for Kilimanjaro, Sleeping Bags for Kilimanjaro, Best Hiking Boots for Kilimanjaro Climb
- Checkout Safari resources for destination guides and FAQ for better planning.
Check Triperiod for complete list of things you will need to have a lifetime experience. Triperiod is your one place destination to everything, African safari.
*Link to Amazon website. Please see disclosure around our affiliate relationship.