|Wildlife tourism is popular in many countries and often takes place in protected areas including in developing countries (Higginbottom and Tribe, 2004). Income generated from this type of tourism can contribute to the economy and provide employment in rural areas, including in South Africa (Naidoo et al. 2011). Considering its potential benefits, it is important for those providing wildlife tourism opportunities to know which species are attractive to tourists and why. A common way to obtain this information is by surveying visitors in parks, and this has been done in a range of parks in South Africa, but how do the studies compare, and what species were most popular overall and why? To assess tourists preferences for wildlife tourism in South Africa, we examined data from multiple published surveys in several parks and private game reserves to: 1) examine consistency in species popularity among locations and visitors, and 2) identify species traits that may account for differences in popularity.