While journeying through the wild, the animals you wish to see won’t always be close. By having a pair of binoculars at your side, you’ll experience more from having a really good close-up look than you would’ve with the naked eye.

Girls sitting next to jeep with binoculars
Mother and daughter using binoculars together on a trip

Although camera lenses are becoming more sophisticated each day, they still only provide a partial view of what you’d like to see. You need to be looking with both eyes, especially when tracking moving subjects.

Binoculars can help you scope certain areas before going there to photograph it. Taking in the whole scene with binoculars prior to shooting can help you determine what gear to pack, making your journey that much lighter.

Technological innovations have stepped up — binoculars are compact and easy to carry around, a practical asset to have with you on any trip.

How to pick the binoculars perfect for you

Whether you’re a photographer just starting out or an established professional; if you want to capture all the subtleties of your surroundings, nothing beats a great pair of binoculars.

To pick the perfect pair of binoculars isn’t just about choosing what looks great; the most important thing to do is to consider exactly what you’ll be using it for and that’s why we’re here to help with some features to look out for.

Man in forest with a pair of binoculars
Man looking for binoculars at landscape

Choosing binoculars is ultimately a very personal thing and you have to find a pair that you’re comfortable with.

Features to look for when you decide it’s time to buy

Ease of focus: This is a feature that’s often overlooked, but can become a big irritation. Binoculars with good focus will have key features like speed and precision, so you can have fast sharp focus. Swarovski’s EL10x42 HD Swarovision Binoculars have mastered this feature.

Water-resistant coating: Sometimes things might get wet, especially if you’re travelling to areas known for its rainfall. Having a pair of binoculars that’s water-resistant is a bonus. The Zeiss Conquest 8×42 HD Binoculars is perfect for this.

Weight: If you know that you’ll be doing a lot of walking instead of sitting in a safari truck you should consider a lightweight, slim design like the Nikon Aculon T01 8×21 Binoculars, weighing only 195g.

Field of view: A wide field of view makes it easier to find birds when looking through the binoculars and with the correct, wide field of view you’ll have a sharp and clear lookout. The Nikon Monarch HG Binoculars 10×42 is the pair for you if this feature is high on your list.

Our top wildlife picks

For lifelike views that are rich in colour, these binoculars are suited for most close to mid-range viewing activities: magnify up to 10x, focus as close as 2m, and enjoy a 61° wide viewing angle. Thanks to a fully multicasted extra-low dispersion (ED) lens system, the optics transmit bright images with high contrast.

The 16mm eye relief and twist-up eyecups (with multiple click-stop positions) help create a comfortable viewing experience for observers, even when wearing glasses. Equipped with fog-proofing and submersion tightness, this is a sure investment piece that will last for years.

Available in anthracite and green, these binoculars bring you the needed 10x magnification for viewing wildlife or birds in exceptional detail. They deliver high-contrast images with accurate true-to-life colours and virtually zero distortion across the entire field of view. Enjoy a non-slip focusing wheel, and individually adjustable twist-in eyecups for a comfortable viewing experience. Features a 57°apparent angle of view, and since its nitrogen filled, it is water and fog proof ideal for early morning safaris.