Our picks for the best safari destinations in 2021.

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Botswana - Okavango Delta

Why: Wetland experience, concentrated wildlife, unparalleled exclusivity.

The Okavango Delta is the world's largest inland Delta. Created by crystal-clear filtered waters from the Okavango River flowing into the arid Kalahari Desert. The Delta offers an unparalleled water-based safari adventure. Since being added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2014 the Delta area has grown in strength and offers incredible wildlife viewing in and around the lagoons and grasslands. With large populations of lions, cheetah, leopards, antelope, African wild dogs, hippos plus the biggest concentration of elephant and buffalo in this part of Africa.

The waters of the Delta tempt visitors with a range of exciting ways to explore. Traditional mokoro (a dugout canoe) allow visitors to float through the hazy light of the area's stunning sunsets. The guides have exceptional knowledge of the wildlife and ecosystems and with their superb tracking skills can get you incredibly close to the action. Perfect for wannabe wildlife photographers.

Botswana has a high-end, low-impact tourism policy. As a result there are relatively few lodges within the conservation areas and most offer exclusive wildlife experiences.

Recommended accomodation Vumbura Plains: A premier camp situated in the extreme north of the Okavango Delta within its own private concession.

South Africa - Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Why: Renowned location and Big 5 game viewing

Undeniably one of the leading private game reserves in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. The 63,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve offers spectacular game and wildlife watching and is known for incredible close encounters with an array of animals, particularly the safari 'Big 5'. It's also one of the best locations in the world to catch sight of the normally-elusive leopard, which are so relaxed in the reserve that you often see them mere metres from your vehicle!

Sabi Sands arguably boasts the best luxury accommodation in southern Africa. The destination of choice for those that demand the very best service, guiding and culinary standards alongside the very best of the African bush. Here you'll be able to luxuriate in a remote, authentic location.

Recommended accomodation Chitwa Chitwa: A wonderful location and aspect overlooking the nearby dam assures guests of unbelievable sunset wildlife views at the water's edge without even needing to the leave your luxurious private deck. Unless you fancy a dip into your personal plunge pool...

Tanzania - Mwiba Concession

Why: Spectacular views, Great Migration and exclusive safari experience.

The private Mwiba Wildlife Reserve is a sanctuary tucked away in the giant granite outcrops and thick bush overlooking the glorious Arugusinyai River Gorge. As a fully private concession you will be the only people allowed to stay. Providing flexibility for walking, off-road and night game drives. The concession incredibly also offers private access to the Great Migration route and wildebeest calving grounds from December to March.

The natural water springs are the lifeblood of the resident wildlife and the local guides will do everything in their power to get you close encounters on both game drives and walking safaris. Impressive numbers of elephant and buffalo reside in the area, while lions and leopards prowl the bush surrounding the only lodge within the concession: Mwiba Lodge.

Recommended accomodation Mwiba Lodge: Hidden between imposing boulders and a canopy of vegetation, the stunningly luxurious, beautifully furnished raised-platform suites are a simply incredible base for exploring the Serengeti.

Zambia - South Luangwa

Why: Home of the walking safari, exceptional wildlife and birdlife, year-round appeal.

Amongst the most fertile wildlife habitats on the globe, South Luangwa Park is a haven for wildlife. An almost guaranteed sighting of antelope, giraffe, crocodiles, lions, wild dog and elephants awaits, while the Luangwa river has the highest concentration of hippos in Africa. The area also boasts a large natural population of leopards, packs of endangered African wild dog plus and an abundance of birdlife with over 400 resident species at certain times of year. Brightly-coloured bee-eater birds swarm in their thousands, an unforgettable sight for even seasoned safari-goer.

Luangwa's appeal is reinforced by pronounced weather patterns and distinct seasons that create very different safari throughout the year.

Recommended accomodation Chinzombo Camp: Situated on a sweeping bend of the Luangwa River, style aficionados will feel right at home in this camp designed by award-winning architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens.

Kenya - Masai Mara National Reserve

Why: Great Migration, Big 5, scenery.

The Masai Mara is one of the most spectacular and beautiful locations on Earth. Golden sunsets bathe the quintessential-African landscape of rolling savanna grasslands in a stunning flame-hued glow that you'll struggle to get out of your mind once you've left.

The Masai Mara reserve welcomes the awe-inspiring wildebeest migration every year. Millions of animals follow the wildebeest through the area from July onwards resulting in arguably the most abundant concentration of wildlife anywhere in Africa. View lions, hyena, cheetah, baboons, crocodiles, hippo, gazelle, zebra, impala...the list goes on. You are considered unlucky if you don't spy most of the Big 5 animals in an extended stay. This is why the Masai Mara.

Recommended accomodation Mara Plains Camp: One of just three camps in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, you'll benefit from a high level of privacy and exclusivity in amongst the clamour for big game spotting.

Zimbabwe - Hwange National Park

Why: Elephants, African Wild Dogs

Best known for its majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has so much more to offer as an authentic, rugged destination delivering superb game viewing in the care of some of the most respected guides in the business. Hwange National Park is the most outstanding and popular safari destination in Zimbabwe. Located on the border with Botswana, the huge park has an impressive range of habitats from woodlands to grasslands and scrub that support a vast diversity of wildlife. The park has one of the largest elephant populations in the world, with groups in their hundreds gathering around the waterholes.

Hwange supports large herds of buffalo and antelope that provide a wealth of food opportunities for the predators. Known also for one of the best surviving populations of African Wild Dog, a rare breed of feral dog with large earlobes that can be seen playing and hunting. A real game sighting draw for visitors.

Recommended accomodation Linkwasha Camp: This chic tented camp in the stunning Linkwasha private concession provides superb game views thanks to the nearby Ngamo Plains and is supported by excellent facilities and activities, including nighttime game drives and walking safaris.