12 Best Binoculars for Safari in the Market – 2019 Reviews & Guide

Last Updated: May 14, 2019 @ 7:21 am

I have been a safari enthusiast for many years now. When I was a young man, my uncle who was a passionate lover of safari introduced me to its thrills and joys.

Observing different forms of wildlife in their natural setting is always an exciting experience.

He also emphasized that having a good pair of binoculars with you adds a lot to the fascinating adventure. I realized this each time I had an opportunity to go out on such safari trips.

I want to tell you how important it is to have a pair of good binoculars for safari trips. In addition, I will provide you clear tips on how to choose one that meets such a specific need. I am sure that will help you to have a trip that will be great fun.

best safari binoculars 2

Quick Comparison Of Top 10 Best Binoculars For Safari                                

Product

Specs

Our Rating

Price

Objective Lens

10


Magnification

​42


FOV @ 1000 YDS

324 ft

Objective Lens

8


Magnification

​42


FOV @ 1000 YDS

330 ft

​Nikon 8252 ACULON A211

Objective Lens

10


Magnification

42


FOV @ 1000 YDS

305 ft

Objective Lens

10


Magnification

42


FOV @ 1000 YDS

283 ft

Hawke Endurance ED

Objective Lens

12


Magnification

56


FOV @ 1000 YDS

289

Objective Lens

8


Magnification

32


FOV @ 1000 YDS

362 ft

Objective Lens

8


Magnification

42


FOV @ 1000 YDS

420 ft

Objective Lens

10


Magnification

32


FOV @ 1000 YDS

339 ft

Objective Lens

8


Magnification

32


FOV @ 1000 YDS

351 ft

Objective Lens

8


Magnification

30


FOV @ 1000 YDS

-

Objective Lens

12


Magnification

50


FOV @ 1000 YDS

242

Objective Lens

10


Magnification

42


FOV @ 1000 YDS

336

On keeping several criteria and variations in mind, I have prepared some of the best budget binoculars where you will find a variety of binoculars in affordable price range. You are welcome to read those reviews also.

I have written some of best binoculars under 100 and 200 price range in budget category.

The Best Binoculars Under $300 and $400 review is for those budget conscious users who wants to get mid level binoculars in an affordable price range. In these price range review section, you will discover some of the best affordable binoculars easily.

And finally, last but not the least, I have also reviewed 6 Best Binoculars Under 500 and 600 dollar where you will find another set of industry leading binos in that price range.

Now, Let us move on to the binoculars we are discussing in this review i.e. helping you to find the best ones for your next safari and travel expeditions.

Things You Need to Consider Before Buying Safari Binoculars

best safari binoculars 3

Magnification:

Magnification means how the image gets enlarged. After all, you would love to see spots on a leopard sleeping on a tree or eyes of an elephant. Therefore, you may feel that having a high magnification is great.

However, you should remember that it is difficult to hold high-powered binoculars still.  Moreover, your field of view will become narrow. Hence, you must try to balance the two aspects.

It is my experience that the ideal magnification to go for is 8x or 10x. If you are viewing at night time or in dim light, choose binoculars with medium magnification and larger objective lenses.

Best Objective Lens Size:

I can tell you that the binoculars come with a range of sizes of the objective lens. Full-sized binoculars generally have lenses that are 42mm or more which are good in dim light conditions. Such lenses also produce very high-quality images. But the problem is that they are large and heavy.

Hence, the best bet is to go for compact binoculars. These usually have lenses that range from 21mm to 32 mm and are good for bright day viewing.

In mid-sized binoculars, you will find objective lenses to be between 32mm and 42mm which are suitable for early morning and evening views.

Overall Size and Weight:

You will agree with me that if the binoculars are light and compact, you will enjoy carrying it around, the whole day. You can take a quick look at changing scenes without missing much.

But the weight of the binoculars must be balanced with the aspect of magnification. Therefore, my advice would be to choose a middle-sized pair that weighs less than 2 or maximum 3 pounds with a size of 8×32 to 10×42.

Field Of view:

So, What is the field of view (FOV) is and why it is an important factor in choosing your binoculars?

FOV is the width of the image you see. That means the greater the width of the lenses, the greater will the field of view.

I consider a FOV of 315 feet at 1,000 yards as a good value.

On a safari, if the binoculars have a greater field of view, you will see more of the surrounding area and your chances of spotting a moving animal become greater. 

Prisms type and Coating:

I would like to mention that prisms used in the binoculars should be of high quality. Likewise, the optical parts should be multi-coated. This will ensure lower light reflection. All these will help you to have the best possible view of the animals and surroundings. You can choose between two types of prism models:

  • Roof-prism: In these the barrels are straight, the view is not very clear.
  • Porro-prism: These use zigzag prisms which create brighter images.

Exit Pupil Size:

From my experience, I can tell you that quite often, animals are more active at dusk and dawn. Under such poor light conditions, I advise you to use binoculars with a large outer diameter and exit pupil size.   

What does exit pupil size mean? It is the lens size divided by the magnification. The size depends on the pupil and the light conditions.

The idea is to collect as much light as possible to see well. At night, the pupil size can be as high as 7mm, while in bright daylight it is just 2 or 3 mm. 

Waterproofing:

As you might be aware, most safari vehicles are open at the top. When you move through the forest area, you are likely to come across unfavorable weather conditions like high humidity, rain or dust.

Thus it becomes essential that your binoculars are waterproof. Anyway, most standard models have this feature.

It will also help to protect your binoculars against dust. During a safari that involves a good deal of walking, you are likely to be in open spaces most of the time.

You can keep using your binoculars for long by protecting them against such adverse conditions.

Shockproofing: 

I am sure you know that most safari tours involve traveling in Jeeps or such other sturdy vehicles.

This is because the roads and the terrain are generally rough and uneven. What do you expect then? It’s going to be a really bumpy ride.

You have to take extra care to see that your binoculars don’t get damaged.

What is a simple solution? 

When you buy a pair of binoculars chooses one that is shock-proofed. That will surely extend the life of the binoculars.

Eye Relief:

If you use normal glasses or use sunglasses, you will need to hold the binoculars a little away from your eyes.

In order to still see images clearly, you have to go in for binoculars that have the facility of long eye relief. It is a big help when you travel in the hot blazing sun.

I would suggest choosing a pair of binoculars with an eye relief of 18 mm or more.

General Considerations:

I hope I have explained clearly different factors you should consider to choose a really good pair of binoculars. Once you have the right pair you can enjoy your safari to the fullest.

You may ask me if you need to spend a fortune in getting the right type of binoculars.

My simple answer is No!

Take your time and study the market carefully and pick a model that is reliable and has all the features

I described earlier. Make a decision that will keep you happy for years to come.

FAQs:

1. Do I Really Require Binoculars for Safari to have the Best Experience?

My answer is a definite YES.  Without a good pair of binoculars, you will be missing out on half the fun. 

Don’t be tempted by low- priced and low-quality stuff. My sincere advice is: Buy the best pair you can afford that has all or most of the features I described.

Since you are already spending a good fortune for the trip, hustling hard to save on this one item is not a wise step. 

2. Should I Buy the Best Quality and the Most Expensive One?

I suggest that you should go in for the best quality that you can afford to buy. You should see it as an investment for the lifetime.

Hence, you should not try to cut costs and compromise on quality. You should get expert advice about the features to look for.

In addition, you can take a close look at some of the models to get a feel of the pairs.

3. Which Brands and at What Pricing Point Should I choose a Safari Binocular?

You will be happy to know that there are many brands that create high-quality binoculars suitable for safari trips.

Some of the better-known brands are Bushnell, Nikon, Pentad, Celestron, Opticron, Olympus and Canon. Even more valued are models from Leica, Zeiss and  Swarovski Optik.

In case money is not a hurdle, you can choose Swarovski Optik binoculars since they probably represent the highest quality. Buying this brand will be a lifelong investment.

Safari binoculars 1

2019's Top 12 Best Binoculars For Safari Reviews

Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x42 Binoculars

Nikon 16003 PROSTAFF 7S 10x42 Inches All-Terrain Binocular (Black)

Nikon’s PROSTAFF 7S binoculars are very light and easy to handle. You will find an advanced optical system that forms clear images.

The model has multicoated Eco-glass lenses and Roof Prisms. The images are bright and sharp and show the true colors of objects.

You will be happy to know that it is covered by Nikon USA's warranty. It has a reliable waterproof feature as well.

Prostaff is a model that can be used in any kind of outdoor activity and is thus ideal for safari enthusiasts.

Moreover, they have provided turn-and-slide rubber eyecups to adjust the eye-relief. That helps you to have a comfortable view for a longer duration of the safari.

 ​Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)

These binoculars from Nikon are built with high-grade ED ( extra-low dispersion) glass. This ensures a clearer and sharper field of view.

You will also find it quite light and portable. It is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof and has a protective rubberized armored body.

The images are brighter and more natural even under poor light conditions. You will find the high eye point design quite attractive.

The Fully Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses and prism surfaces also make sure the light is transmitted effectively. Priced between $200-$300, I think it’s a great buy, given its advanced features.

Bushnell H2O Waterproof Binoculars

Bushnell H20 has most of the features you would look forward to in good safari binoculars. The added attraction is that it is modestly priced at within $100 per piece.

It has high-quality optics and High definition (HD ) clarity of images. You will surely like its beautiful design and long life.

The make is completely waterproof as well as fog-proof and will serve you well in adverse weather conditions.

Moreover, it is also shockproof because it has protective rubber armor. 

The magnification is 10x. What is more, you get 17 mm eye relief. You also get eyecups for having an undistracted view.

Avalon 10x42 PRO HD Binoculars

This model is claimed to be the lightest binoculars for professional use for safaris and other outdoor activities.

You get a Magnification of 10x which is good for long distance viewing. It is completely waterproof and fog-proof.

You will be able to see sharper and brighter images as the lens and prisms are multi-coated.

Twisted eyecups are also provided for undistracted viewing. You can use your eyeglasses also if you like.

The binocular is covered by a Lifetime Warranty. It is a medium-sized model weighing 550 grams (19.4 oz).

The set also comes with a beautiful carry case and straps for easy portability.

Celestron 71336 Nature DX 12x56 Binoculars

Since the optic is multi-coated, you get to see bright and sharper images.The  BaK-4 prisms used to provide better contrast and resolution.

The model also comes with strong twist-up eyecups to provide an unhindered view.

It provides 16 mm of eye relief. This means you can use your normal glasses or sunglasses and have a relaxed view.

Celestron 71336 is built specifically for outdoor use and hence an ideal choice for safari trips. It is waterproof and protected with a full rubber armored body.

Avalon 8x32 Mini HD Binoculars

If you are looking for a light-weight pair of quality binoculars, this model is a good choice. It weighs only 14.7 oz.

Don’t be mislead by the weight. It may be small but has most of the features of the heavier models and is quite a comfortable one for safari fans.

The design is waterproof and the images are sharp and bright as the lens and prisms are totally multicoated. It is covered by the company’s VIP Lifetime warranty too.

You will really like the compact carry case, straps and a charming gift box that comes with the piece.

Wingspan Optics Thunderbird Ultra HD - 8X42 Binoculars

This is a model specially created for bird watching enthusiasts. However, it can be used conveniently by safari enthusiasts too.

It has advanced features like Extra Wide Field of View, Close Focus, and Phase Correction Coated Prism to make your eyes melt with a great viewing experience and getting extra pleasure.

ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) glass used gets rid of the chromatic aberration that leads to smudged colors. Thus you get to see sharp images with the natural colors.

It uses Nitrogen purging system and is Waterproof and Fog proof to work well under unfavorable weather conditions and rough surroundings.

Priced at mid-range, you may find it a bit expensive but the advanced features and lifetime warranty make it worthwhile.

Opticron Traveller BGA ED 10x32 Binoculars

This is a 32 mm field binocular from Optocron created with the tag line ”Smaller, Lighter, Brighter, Sharper”.

It measures  4.7x4.5” and weighs only 16oz. and ideal for use by a safari enthusiast like us.

The binocular offers a wide field view of 6.5deg and excellent cross-field resolution. The model is designed to cut out hazy color patterns and provide true to life sharp an natural images.

The Opticron brand assures excellent quality standards and long term warranty at a very modest price. That should appeal to those of you who are searching for a good piece but on a modest budget.

Swarovski Optik EL, 10x42 mm

This is a high-end model for you from the reputed Swarovski Optik. It offers one of the best image resolution across the whole field of view in its class.

The model combines lenses of the field flattener type along with optics of high-definition. That helps you to see highly contrasted and sharp images with minute details even in dim light.

The HD cut out color-fringing to help you see authentic images in their natural colors.

You will also notice that it offers greater eye relief to help those of you who wear vision glasses or sunglasses.

Thus you experience a sharp, clear and wide-angle field of view of the surroundings.

Snypex Knight 8X32 D-ED

This model is a compact pair of binoculars that is nitrogen filled and fully fog proof and waterproof.

It has a commendable close focus of only 3.92 ft. The Bak-4 prisms and the precision-crafted ED glass used, adds to its quality.

You would find the optics fully multi-coated and phase correction coatings to provide you a wide field of view.

When you use this on your safari trip, you can enjoy clear and sharp and bright real-life life images.

The colors are also seen without any chromatic aberration. The model is shock-proof since it has a strong rubber armor covering to protect it bumps and shocks. It weighs 2 pounds

Steiner AZ830 Binoculars

This is a very compact 1.25 lb model and provides sharp, reliable and clearly focused images, you will enjoy as a safari lover. You can carry it comfortably in your hand or backpack and handle it conveniently.

What is special is that images remain very sharp for an object distance of 20 yards to infinity. So you don’t have to keep changing the focus.

It has a floating prism system that makes use of flexible silicon lens mounts. That helps the piece to withstand high shock and rough handling without getting damaged.

The body is also well protected by durable polycarbonate and sturdy rubber armoring. Thus it is ideal for safari lovers. It is also covered by the company’s Heritage Warranty.

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 12x50 Binoculars

This model, priced at lower than $200, has a high magnification and you will find very useful for wide-open areas you come across on the safari.

You will be able to see minute details. It has incorporated the Twilight Light Management System which helps you see clearly in the dim light as well. It is also water-proofed.

It weighs 2.4 lbs. Leupold BX-1 is both waterproof and fog-proof and designed to withstand adverse conditions.

It uses BAK4 Prisms and has round exit pupil. This means that there is no edge distortion and the images come through sharp and clear.

The body is made of a durable aluminum alloy and is further protected against shocks by rubber armor.

Final Verdict


Every Safari Enthusiast should get a quality set of hunting binoculars. As you can see, however, the choices are endless, and I’ve only named a few. Honestly, any of the binoculars above are more than suitable for most Safari Expeditions.

However, if you’re going to be spending your hard-earned money, you don’t just want suitable binoculars, you want the absolute best ones for you. So, how do you decide?

The answer is simple: consider your specific needs.

 Which One Is The Best Binoculars For Safari?

For Safari, 8 or 10 Magnification is sufficient as anything higher may need a tripod or stand which is not a convenient option unless you have a good budget .

IF You intend to do Safari during dark early morning or evening hours, then you should opt for one of the 42mm objective lens options above, such as the Bushnell or Nikon Monarch 5.


For an overall Ideal safari experience and a good value you can consider Nikon Prostaff 7S.


If You don't want want to compromise on any aspect and get the best experience while having no budget constraint you can opt for the Swarovski Optik EL.


The choice is ultimately yours to make. So, do your research, consider your needs, and take your African safari experience to the next level with an awesome pair of safari binoculars today!

Conclusion:

Safaris are adventure trips you always look forward to. The opportunity to watch wildlife of diverse types is a thrilling experience. For many of you, such opportunities come only once in a while. So you must go all out to have a whale of a time. Having a high-quality pair of binoculars can add to the real value of such trips by offering a more complete and exciting view of the wildlife and surroundings. Consider the tips and info I have given and choose your binoculars carefully, with the best features. You will thus turn your safari trip into a memorable one.

Here are some of our other reviews If you need Binoculars for other purposes:-

Best Hunting Binoculars

Value For Money Binoculars

Choose the Best Compact Binoculars

Last update on 2019-06-15

Binoculars Guru
 

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