The Greater Serengeti including Masai Mara
Known for the great migration, the greater Serengeti includes the adjacent Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. There are no fences between these reserves, and the main attraction here is the annual migration of over a million wildebeest and many thousands of zebra. The great herds attract all the big predators (lions, leopards, cheetah, hyenas) and for many people, this is among the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth. You need to know where and when to go if you want to see a river crossing or the annual calving season, but even outside of the peak migration time, there is an abundance of general wildlife in the Masai Mara and in the Seronera area (central part of the Serengeti).
The Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
The Sabi Sand is known as the best destination to see leopards in the wild. It is not uncommon to have multiple close-up sightings per day of these magnificent cats. Vehicles can go off-road to track the predators and get closer to the animals, and you can expect not only very good predator sightings but also lots of general wildlife like from Safari Tours Rwanda. The Sabi Sand has many different safari lodges to choose from, most of them rather luxurious and expensive but generally priced from around ZAR 5000 (0) per person per night, up to ZAR 20,000 (00) pp per night, and more.
The Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger is one of the most accessible and affordable of Africa’s big game reserves. It is also one of the largest. The Kruger National Park is a fantastic year-round destination, and less seasonal than other safari destinations in Africa. It has the largest diversity of wildlife of any big game park in Africa. You can visit Kruger on your own (self-drive, self-catering), or join a guided open vehicle safari, or stay at one of the private game lodges inside Kruger, or in one of the adjacent game reserves. Kruger is very popular, and is probably one of the best destinations for a first-time safari, due to the abundance of wildlife and its affordability.
Chobe National Park, Botswana
The Chobe river offers the best boat-based game viewing in the world, especially during the dry season. It is also known for its abundance of elephants, who come to the river in huge herds to drink during the dry season (June to October). Chobe can easily be combined with nearby Victoria Falls, on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The Okavango Delta, Botswana
One of the most beautiful and wildest safari destinations in the world, the Okavango Delta is unique. This remote oasis in the desert attracts large numbers of wildlife throughout the year, but fluctuating water levels makes this a very seasonal destination.
It is also generally one of the most expensive safari destinations in Africa, where most lodges cost more than 00 USD per person per night during peak season. There are a few mid-range and low budget options available, but in general Botswana is rather expensive as a safari destination, not least because many of the lodges are primarily reached by light aircraft.