Any vacations in Africa will not be complete without going on a safari to experience the wild animals and the peace and tranquillity of the bushveld.
But there are literally hundreds of national parks and wildlife areas in Africa that you can travel to. And some are definitely better than others when it comes to providing the potential for a great safari holiday.
In my experience, and in the general consensus of the wildlife tour industry and other sources such as the first hand accounts of safari trips in the travel diaries at African Safari Journals, here are the top five safari vacations in Africa:
1. Tanzania - Serengeti
During the annual migration, when the wildebeest and zebra pack up and leave their grazing areas to find fresher ones, the Serengeti is an astonishing place to be.
It's a very good safari vacations in Africa destination at other times of the year too but the migration has been ranked by many as one of the wonders of the natural world.
Hard to beat in the safari stakes.
2. Kenya - Masai Mara
If you want to see the big cats, this wildlife park is hard to beat. Lion, leopard and cheetah abound and they are relatively easy to spot because of the grassland vegetation which means you get unrestricted views for miles around.
Another big plus is the fact that going off-road is allowed as long as you are not making new trails of your own. This is one of the few vacations in Africa parks that still allows this and it is a big advantage because the animals will rarely oblige you and stay next to the major roads.
The only downside here is that because of it's popularity there are a lot of people around so if you want to spend time in isolation with nature this is not the place to go.
3. South Africa - Kruger National Park
For sheer variety of species no other place in Africa can come close to the Kruger Park. And because it is so large (larger than Wales) it has a number of different ecosystems that you can pass through in your search for animals and birds.
It is one of the best managed parks in Africa and the accommodation and infrastructure is superb.
4. Botswana - Selinda Reserve
Seasoned safari travellers rate this reserve in north Botswana extremely highly and they return to it again and again, drawn by the very high concentration of wildlife, high standard of accommodation, service and exclusivity.
5. Zambia - South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa is a diamond in the rough, just waiting for enough exposure to bring it to its rightful place at the crown of vacations in African wildlife destinations.
But for the moment it's relative isolation as one of Africa's best kept secrets is part of it's rustic charm.
It has a reputation as one of the best places in Africa to see the elusive leopard and it is the birthplace of the walking safari.
Bruce Whittaker is the founder of African Safari Journals and has been on numerous safaris throughout Africa. African Safari Journals contains various safari travel diaries and photographs from previous trips to aid in choosing possible African safari vacations.