Kruger National Park, South Africa

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Some purists argue that South Africa’s premier national park is too crowded and managed. Certainly, its tar roads and large camps are not to everybody’s taste. But its 22,000 sq km mean room for all comers, with enough backroads and bush camps to satisfy those with serious wilderness cravings.

Whatever your tastes, there’s no denying the wildlife. With the Big Five (including both rhino species) all thriving, plus cheetah, wild dog, numerous large herbivores and 500-plus bird species, you will see a huge selection here. The secret is the habitat variety, from hills and savannah to woodland and riverine forest. Abundant water helps, with perennial rivers ensuring game concentrations year round. All-weather roads also make this a top bet for the rainy season.

The upside of development is choice. From exclusive lodge to large public camp, and from night drive to wilderness trail, Kruger really does offer everything. First-timers and budget travellers will probably find this Africa’s easiest and most rewarding safari destination.

Budget: Options at all price levels

When to go: Year round; main rains Nov-Mar

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