For those who care to spend their time and money wisely, here's some insight into the African Safari. First, I would skip Kruger National Park. While it is popular and probably the cheapest, you can get the same experience at the animal adventure drive at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. Secondly, Etosha National Park has a man-made (German) floodlit waterhole. During the dry seasons, it becomes a cultural waterhole for the animals if you will. It is almost natural for the animals to migrate miles through the region to this site in this season. In one night (meaning one 6 hour sitting), I watched 35 elephants, 5 lions, 12 rhinos, and at least that many hippos and giraffes drink from the same waterhole. It was like watching the Discovery Channel without the couch... at a distance of less than 50 feet. Brings new meaning to HD TV, kids. The day we arrived, we were told not to fall asleep on the bleachers, because a lion jumped the 3-foot rock wall that separates you from the animals, to devour a particular sleeping gentleman. There is a game park (Moremi) in Maun, Botswana that only lets a set number of trucks in everyday, so its still full and vibrant of many types of animals that are not so skittish when they hear the trucks. Some drivers will even take the truck off the path into blind jungle terrain, which they are banned from doing in the Serengeti... Lastly, if you truly desire the real African experience, I suggest that you get yourself up to Arusha to visit Ngorongoro Crater. It's not only amazing animal activity (30,000 different animals in a 10 square mile blown out caldera volcanic crater), but they can't get in or out of the caldera so it's like a modern day eden. All the big 5 (animals) are there and everything in between flamingos, hippo pools, Servel cats etc. Its simple. The geography is just as breathtaking as the animal factor...
I have explored 76 countries, no hand holding, no tour guides just a drive to see, smell, taste, experience, and enjoy the earth. I have been on Reality Television and spend much of my time giving back to the community. From a unique perspective of sports, adventure and travel.