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Here’s a turn up for the books. If you were expecting Cape Town’s Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront or Johannesburg’s Sandton City to be the most Instagrammed place in the land, you’ve got it all wrong.
According to Dutch travel company TravelBird, the Kruger National Park takes the honour of South Africa’s most Instagram-famous destination.
In fact, the country’s largest national park is the only South African venue to feature in the world’s top 400, ranking at number 49 in TravelBird’s survey, and beating the likes of Boston’s Fenway Park, Stonehenge and Mount Rushmore.
As for the most Instagrammed place on the planet, California’s Disneyland takes that honour comfortably from Paris’ Eiffel Tower.
Third is Florida’s Walt Disney World, while the state’s other big attraction, South Beach, is the first natural feature on the list in fourth.
The Berlin Wall, Las Vegas Strip, London’s Big Ben, New York’s Times Square, Paris’ Notre Dame, and the annual Oktoberfest Festival in Munich round off the top ten.
But while those international venues do boast a fair bit of clout on the social network’s hashtag hierarchy, what about South Africa’s other big attractions?
For one, #CapeTown is still a prominent hashtag in South Africa on the social network, but TravelBird seemingly wasn’t considering entire cities.
Cape Town was also home to the six most-visited tourist destinations in South Africa in 2015, according to SA Tourism. The Kruger National Park was ranked eighth, behind the Garden Route.
According to TravelBird, the Kruger National Park beats other South African tourist attractions as the country’s most Instagrammed destination
TravelBird outlines is method in a post below the graph.
Notably, it sourced two of the most popular destinations for the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Norway, UK, Finland and Germany.
“Using the Instagram API, we then looked at which destinations produced the most hashtags in the local language, as well as their translations into English and other languages we could master, and related hashtags.
“For example, when looking for #Disneyland, related hashtags which were also searched for include: #TheHappiestPlaceOnEarth #disneylandpark and so on. However, we excluded results from tags such as #Disney or #Anaheim because while they are related, they may not refer to the specific location of interest. We used the sum of these searches as the number presented in our results,” it adds.
“We then added the tags together. The number of tags is a sum of all of this values.”
It also noted that just one hashtag per user was counted, which perhaps accounts for the Kruger National Park’s win over Cape Town’s flat-topped mountain.
But even if TravelBird’s method won’t completely please statistics professors, global awareness through social media is perhaps exactly what the Kruger National Park needs at present, especially during its crackdown on fervent rhino poaching.
You can have a look at the full list here.