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Date: 05/04/2013

Top 5 Safaris to visit

If you're looking for the most spectacular safari this summer, where you're practically guaranteed to see the 'Big Five' - then look no further than our guide to the top 5 safaris on earth!

1. Masai Mara, Kenya

Often renowned as the 'Crown Jewel' of Kenyan safaris, some believe it to be the best game reserve in Kenya. Sharing a river with the neighbouring Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, it's easy to visit both and take in the landscape of rolling grassland and dense forests. Head for Lake Nakuru to see its stunning display of pink flamingos or visit Marsabit, where you'll find more elephants than you have ever seen! For something a little different, a cultural tour with traditional Masai tribesman is something you must experience!

2. Kruger National Park, South Africa

Established in 1898, this stunning national park is the oldest in Africa and home to the widest variety of animals in the country - you'll find the 'Big Five' amongst them as well as cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos and many more! The perfect choice for a self-drive safari, Kruger National Park is very well maintained, with good quality roads meaning a 4x4 vehicle isn't strictly necessary.

3. Chobe National Park, Botswana

Lying in the Okavango Delta, you'll find more than 120,000 elephants here as well as a wide range of other wildlife. Visit between April and October, when the weather is cooler and you'll find giraffe, zebra, buffalo and eland congregating at the Savuti Marsh. You could camp under the stars or even rent a luxurious houseboat here and the park is accessible by car, making it a cheaper option than many safaris.

4. Etosha National Park, Namibia

Whilst you may not have heard of it, this national park is the top wildlife destination in Namibia. You'll find 91 species of mammal, alongside Africa's black rhino - now an endangered species - and the tallest elephants in the country! This is a popular destination for professional photographers who head for the waterholes with cameras in tow and if it's good enough for them.....! You're practically guaranteed to see rhinos, giraffes, lions and elephants and chances are good that you'll also see leopards and cheetahs as well as some spectacular birds.

5. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

This national park has one of the largest wild dog populations in the country, as well as lions, giraffes, elephants and more than 100 other animal species. Always ensure that you take out adequate travel insurance when you're on safari - if you're camping outdoors you need to ensure your belongings are protected against loss or theft! You're close enough to the Victoria Falls to head for a day trip and take some stunning photographs and the local lodges are reasonably priced - a great family destination!

With so many great safari destinations out there, our guide to the top 5 will ensure you don't miss out on the best there is to see this year!