The Best Binoculars for a Safari in 2020
So, you’re planning a safari? How exciting! You’re sure to have an amazing time and see some truly majestic animals in their natural habitats.
However, don’t be fooled by all the pictures you see on the website or brochure. While you are sure to see some animals, don’t count on them being mere feet away from your vehicle. It is much more likely that they’ll be out in the distance. In order to make sure you’re able to get the best view of them, you’ll want to find the right pair of binoculars to help you get the right view that will make you feel like they’re right next to your vehicle.
There are so many different types of binoculars on the market that it can be challenging to choose the right pair. Plus, what you’ll want for a safari will be different from what someone else recommends for stargazing or hunting. To help you make the best decision, we have compiled a buying guide with tips for selecting the best pair of safari binoculars. We’ve also reviewed a few excellent options for you to consider.
Field of View
One of the first things you should look at when selecting a pair of binoculars for your safari is the filed of view, often referred to as FOV. This feature refers to how wide of a view you will be able to see when you look through the lenses. Binoculars with wider lenses provide a wider field of view, which would allow you to be able to see more when you look out.
Choosing an option with a wider field of view is a good idea when going on a safari. It will help you see more of the landscape at one time, increasing your chances of being able to see an animal. A wider field of view will also be helpful if you’re trying to keep an eye on a moving animal.
When looking for a field of view, you should look for something around 315 feet at 1,000 yards.
The magnification options offered by each pair of binoculars you’re considering is something else you’ll want to pay attention to. While it might sound like a good idea to select the pair that offers the highest levels of magnification, this isn’t necessarily the best idea.
Once you get over a magnification of 10x, you will really need a tripod to steady the binoculars, which just isn’t feasible when you’re in a moving vehicle. For this reason, we recommend selecting a pair that offers magnification options between 8x and 10x.
Objective Lens Size
Objective lens size refers to the diameter of each of the binocular’s lenses. Products with a larger objective lens size will typically provide you with higher quality images. The problem with selecting a full-size pair of binoculars that will provide this large lens size when you’re going on a safari is how heavy and bulky they can be.
You may prefer to select a more compact pair of binoculars that will be a little easier to carry. If you select a high-quality pair, you’ll still enjoy crisp and clear views of the amazing animals.
Coatings and Prisms
Another feature to consider is the coatings and prisms of each pair. Higher quality models will be made using quality prisms with coatings designed to provide lower light reflection.
Roof-prism models have a straight barrel. This option produces slightly dimmer views and is typically more expensive.
Porro-prism models use zigzag prisms to create brighter images.
Ability to Perform in Low-Lighting Conditions
Depending on the time of day your safari will be taking place, you may want to look for a pair of binoculars that will also perform well under lower lighting conditions. A feature to look for when selecting a pair of binoculars to use under low-lighting conditions is the exit pupil size. The exit pupil size refers to the size of the lens divided by the magnification.
If you’ll be using your binoculars at night, you will probably want to look for an exit pupil size that is higher than 5.25mm. If you’ll only be using the binoculars under brighter light conditions, an exit pupil size between 2mm and 3mm may suffice.
Waterproof and Shock-Proof
Selecting a quality pair of binoculars that are build to hold up to regular use and the elements is also a good idea, especially with all the unknowns of taking a safari. One feature you will want to look for is waterproofing. Since you’ll be traveling through the jungle, it is quite likely that your binoculars will get wet from rain, humidity or both. There is also likely to be lots of dust and other debris blowing around, and waterproofing can help protect your binoculars from these elements as well.
You’re in for a bumpy ride when you take a safari, so selecting a pair of binoculars that is shock-proof will be important. You don’t want your binoculars to break if they bounce out of your hands and hit the floor of the vehicle or fall off the side.
Long Eye Relief Option
If you’ll be holding the binoculars up to your eyes for an extended period of time, which is quite likely when you’re trying to search for animals, you may want to consider a pair that comes with a long eye relief feature. This feature will allow you to still be able to see out of the binoculars even when your eyes are not pressed directly up against them. It is also a good feature to look for if you wear glasses or are planning to wear sunglasses during the safari.
The weight of each pair is another thing you’ll want to consider before making a purchase. You’ll be holding and wearing your binoculars for a large chunk of time, so you’ll want to select an option that isn’t so heavy that it’s going to weigh you down.
You may need to compromise a little bit on lens size and magnification to find a light-weight product. But, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to find many quality options that weigh less than two pounds.
Ease of Use
When you’re bouncing around in a Jeep and trying to focus in on a moving animal, you’ll appreciate it if your binoculars are easy to use. Look for a pair that will be comfortable to hold and easy to adjust.
Finally, be sure to consider the price of each option before making a purchase. If you’re planning to only use the binoculars for your safari, you don’t need to go all-out and purchase the most expensive option you can find. A mid-priced product should be more than sufficient to help you enjoy amazing views of the animals you encounter.
If you’re planning to find other uses for your binoculars after your safari, such as birdwatching, you may want to invest in a slightly more expensive pair.
The Nikon Prostaff 3S 10×42 Binoculars are a great option for you to consider for your next safari. This pair is made using an arsenic- and lead-free eco-glass. It is designed with multi-layer coatings which allow for higher light transmittance when you’re looking through the lenses.
This product has turn-and-slide rubber eyecups which will make it possible for you to achieve a customized fit of the eye relief. This will help you enjoy a full field of view and keep your eyes comfortable when you are using the binoculars. They offer a magnification of 10x.
To make it easy for you to hold these for an extended period of time as you look for animals on your safari, the binoculars feature an ergonomically-designed body. They are also lightweight, so your arms won’t feel fatigued as you hold them.
This pair is also designed to be durable, making them a great choice for a bumpy and wet safari ride. They have a rubber-armored body to provide protection against bumps and accidental drops. The binoculars are also waterproof and fog-proof.
- You can customize the fit of the eye relief.
- The binoculars are waterproof and fog-proof.
- They are made using a lead-free and arsenic-free eco-glass.
- If you’ll be taking your safari under lower lighting conditions, these may not be the best option.
Another option you’re sure to love is the Steiner Optics Safari Series Binoculars. This pair is designed to make sure you are always able to enjoy the best views possible including clear images and accurate colors.
The binoculars come with either a 10x or 8x magnification. They are available in 10×26, 10×42, or 8×42 size. You’ll be able to zoom in on animals out in the distance to enjoy a clear view during your safari.
The binocular’s durability is another reason this is a good option to consider for your next safari. They have a submersible O-ring construction, making them completely waterproof. You won’t need to worry if they drop in a puddle when you’re trying to catch that perfect view of an animal.
The binoculars also have an NBR (Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) coating. This coating is designed to provide protection against chemicals, like fuel or oil, that could get stuck on the surface and cause damage.
Steiner Optics offers a heritage warranty. This warranty provides you with free repair or replacement of a defective product for the entire life of the binoculars.
- There are compact and full-sized options to choose from.
- The submersible O-ring construction makes this a waterproof option.
- The heritage warranty will provide you with free replacement or repair of a defective product for as long as you own the binoculars.
- The binoculars don’t come with lens caps.
The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD M-Series Binoculars will be a great companion for your safari. This product is available in either 8×42 or 10×42 sizes.
The glass is lead-free and features PC-3 phase coating. The PC-3 phase coating helps provide enhanced resolution of the images you view through the binoculars. They also feature ultra-wide band coatings designed to provide anti-reflection protection.
This pair of binoculars features a roof prism design with dielectric coating. They have twist-up eyecups and a centre focus system.
You’ll enjoy a 426-foot field of view from 1000 yards away. They also offer a 6.5-foot close focus.
The Bushnell Legend Binoculars also have a Rain Guard HD water repellent coating to provide protection in damp conditions.
- This option allows you to enjoy a 426-foot field of view from 1000 yards away.
- The PC-3 phase coating is designed to help you see clear images.
- The twist-up eyecups are easy to adjust.
- They only have a water repellent coating; they are not fully waterproof.
You’ll be able to find an option that best fits your needs and preferences with the Celestron 71336 Nature DX Binoculars. This pair is available in 10×32, 10×42, 10×56, 12×56, 8×32, and 8×42 sizes. This will allow you to choose whether you are looking for a more compact option or something a little bigger for your safari.
These binoculars feature BaK-4 Prisms with Phase Coating. This design was chosen to provide increased resolution and contrast to provide you clear images every time you look through the lenses.
The binoculars are also designed with fully multi-coated optics. This ensures that the maximum amount of light is able to transmit through the optical path to allow you to enjoy brighter images.
They have a 6.5-foot close focus. This will allow you to clearly view the markings and other features of animals that are close to your vehicle.
This pair is also designed to be durable and lightweight, making them easier to bring along and hold during your safari. They have twist-up eyecups to help you find the most comfortable view position whether or not you are wearing glasses.
- There are six different sizes and magnifications to choose from.
- The 6.5-foot close focus will help you see details in the animals that are close to your vehicle.
- The binoculars are lightweight and durable.
- This pair is not waterproof.
If you’re looking for a durable option that will hold up well during your safari, consider the Leupold BX-1 McKenzie Binoculars. This pair of binoculars is designed to be waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. You won’t need to worry about them bouncing around in the jeep, getting bumped, or accidentally dropping into a puddle.
There are four different size and zoom options for you to choose from. They are 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, and 12×50. These options will allow you to select the option that will be most comfortable for you during your safari.
The binoculars are made using a fully multi-coated lens system. This design was selected because of the clarity, contrast, and brightness it delivers. It also will deliver vibrant and true colors to help you enjoy the true wonder of what you’re looking at.
The binoculars have an open bridge, roof prism design. They are made to feel lightweight and ergonomic, without sacrificing quality.
Another feature of this option is the round exit pupil. It leaves hardly any edge distortion and helps ensure images are clear.
This option includes twist-up eyecups. You’ll enjoy eye relief thanks to the extended viewing options, helping you keep a constant eye out for any exotic animals you may encounter during your safari.
These binoculars also have a Twilight Light Management System, which provide up to 1- minute of glassing light, helping you to see better in low-lighting conditions.
- There are four different zoom and size options available.
- The binoculars are shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof.
- They provide extended eye relief.
- Some of the other options on our list are of higher quality and will likely provide you with a better viewing experience.
The Xgazer Optics Ultra HD Certvision Binoculars are designed to provide you with an expanded field of view, helping you keep track of wild animals out on the horizon. You’ll enjoy the anti-reflective lens coatings that help increase the amount of light transmission, since it will provide you with clear images.
This option is also designed to be durable and last for a long time. The binoculars are made using O-ring seals which make them both fog-proof and waterproof. This makes them a great product to use on a damp day or in the early morning when there’s likely to be dew and condensation out still.
You can purchase this pair in 8×32, 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, or 12×50 sizes and magnifications, allowing you to find the right product that will be comfortable for you to bring for your trip.
When you purchase this item, you’ll also receive a variety of accessories. A neck strap, lens covers, hard storage case, cleaning cloth, and Rainguard eyepiece are included.
The manufacturer also offers a limited lifetime warranty to protect your purchase. If you experience any issues with the binoculars, contact the manufacturer for assistance.
- The O-ring seals make these a waterproof and fog-proof option.
- Numerous accessories are included with your purchase.
- The manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty will protect you from product defects.
- If you choose one of the larger options, they may be too bulky and heavy to comfortably hold through your safari trip.
Finally, consider the Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars. This pair will provide you with a powerful 10x zoom and a large field of view. They are designed to be used for outdoor activities, making them the perfect addition for your safari.
The binoculars have 42mm fully multi-layer coating with green film objective lenses and 18mm blue film eyepieces to help you enjoy clear and bright images.
You’ll also love the quality and durability of this option. They are designed using a tight-fitting rubber armor that absorbs shocks to keep the binoculars protected. The design will also help keep the binoculars protected against the elements.
When you purchase this product, you’ll also receive a smartphone mount. This will allow you to connect your smartphone to the device so you can view the images through it or even capture pictures of the animals you see. A carrying case, neck strap, lens covers, and a cleaning cloth are also included with your purchase.
To provide you with peace of mind about your purchase, the manufacturer of the Gosky Roof Prism Binoculars also offers a lifetime warranty and lifetime technical support. If you are not satisfied with your purchase or experience an issue with the binoculars, contact the manufacturer about their replacement and money-back guarantee.
- This option comes with a smartphone mount that will allow you to view images and take pictures through the binoculars using your phone.
- The rubber armor will provide protection against bumps and accidental drops.
- The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty and lifetime technical support.
- There is only one size and magnification available.
Finding the right pair of binoculars will help make your safari experience that much more enjoyable. Hopefully we’ve provided you with some inspiration to select the perfect pair to meet your needs! Read through our reviews one more time to help you select the pair you’d like to have by your side during the exciting trip you have coming up. If you’re having trouble making a decision, look back at our buying guide, re-read the reviews, and weigh the pros and cons of each option. Then, you should be ready to make your purchase to ensure you’ll be set and ready when it is safari time!