My Safari Tips for a Photographer:
Clear Answer is Serengeti and Ngrongoro. I have been to Etosha in Namibia, I heard a lot about South African Safari Parks. I have been to Chobe National Park and in Okavango Delta in Botswana ( I put Okavango to a special chatagory, let`s don't compare with others ). Compared to others, Serengeti and Ngrongoro is the best option. You are really in the middle of wild nature here. In others it gives you an impression that you are in a very big zoo, with signs and roads etc.
From Arusha, its about 5 hours drive to Simba Camping Site of Ngrongoro National Park, after Ngrongoro you have 3-4 hours more to the Camping Site of south Serengeti. North Serengeti, the border to Kenya where the Mara River is, is about 5-6 hours drive more. I have never been to North Serengeti, but to witness Mara River migration is my next target.
For a photographer a group safari is definitely not the right choice. Since the driver is totally focused to show you the big five. After hours when you meet a lion family, after a few minutes they want to leave since its just a check for them.
Best try to organize a private safari. I recommend do not book in advance online. Fly to Arusha, give a few days for search, and bargain hardly !!! To have an idea about the price, a group safari costs about 700-800 US Dollars for tent accommodation if you book advance online.
Buy a second hand 100-400 mm and a Tamron 2X extender. Thats the best price/quality ratio I know. Focusing can be problematic in low light (sun-rise & sun-set) but with some patience you will get that. During day light, focus is not a problem at all.
You want to provide a little help for African Children ?
Visit Flowers Children Center in Arusha. It‘s located about 10km outside of Arusha. A few dollars you will donate means a lot for the school. Just visit them, the positive energy you get is priceless.
After the Safari ?
Visit Zanzibar island. Check my posts about Zanzibar, and the video below, amazing view around 5.a.m. in the fishing village Kizimkazi in Zanzibar Island.