Choosing the Right Safari Binoculars

Enhance your wildlife sightings

A camera (or even just a decent smartphone), is probably the most obvious item to have with you on an African safari. However, a pair of binoculars is still valuable. 

A great pair of safari binoculars helps in bringing far-away wildlife and landscapes into view. They’re helpful when tracking animals on game drives or bush walks and enhancing bird sightings.

Binocular technology has evolved over the years and with endless options on the market, selecting the ideal pair can become overwhelming. This guide will help you pick the perfect binoculars for your unforgettable safari. 

Magnification Matters, But Not Too Much

Binoculars are described by two key numbers: magnification and objective lens diameter. Magnification brings the image closer, but for safaris, a sweet spot exists. While high magnification is tempting, it can make holding the binoculars steady difficult, resulting in a shaky view. Generally, 8x or 10x magnification is ideal, offering a clear close-up without sacrificing stability. 

Letting in Light: The Power of the Lens

The second number refers to the objective lens diameter, typically in millimeters. This lens size dictates how much light enters the binoculars, impacting image brightness. On safaris, where early mornings and late afternoons offer low-light conditions, prioritize a larger lens. A 42mm objective lens is a great choice, providing a bright image even as the sun dips below the horizon. 

Binoculars on Safari

Finding the Perfect Fit: Comfort is Key

You’ll be using your safari binoculars for extended periods, so comfort is crucial. Consider the weight and size – lighter binoculars are easier to carry throughout the day. Try different models before you go to find a pair that fits your face comfortably and allows for easy focus adjustments.

Beyond the Basics: Roof vs. Porro Prism

Binoculars come in two prism designs: roof and porro. Roof prisms are more compact and streamlined, while porro prisms offer a wider field of view at a similar price point. Choose what best suits your needs – a wider field of view can be helpful for spotting animals quickly, while compactness might be preferable for long treks. 

Remember: Don’t skimp on quality! Invest in a reputable brand known for good optics and durability. With the right binoculars, your African safari will be a feast for the eyes, bringing you face-to-face with the wonders of the wild. 

Binoculars on Safari

Binoculars on Safari Examples:

Budget Range: Celestron Nature DX 12×56 Binoculars 
A  great option for value-conscious buyers. It offers 12x magnification and a large 56mm objective lens, ideal for low-light situations. While it might be a bit bulkier, it delivers good image quality at an affordable price point. 

Medium Range: Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 Binoculars 
These strike a good balance between price and performance. This 10×42 configuration is a popular choice for safaris, offering a clear and bright view. Nikon is a reputable brand known for its quality optics, and the Monarch 5 is built to withstand the elements. 

High-End Range: Swarovski Optik EL 10×42 Binoculars 
Swarovski are top-of-the-line binoculars known for their exceptional clarity, brightness, and durability. The EL series features premium optics and a lightweight, ergonomic design. If you’re serious about getting the absolute best view possible and have the budget to match, these safari binoculars won’t disappoint.

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