I'll be traveling around the world for a year and stopping in Africa. Would you recommend a Victoria Falls to Windhoek trip (Chobe N.P and Okavango Delta) or a Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi (Arusha and Serengeti N.P.) Would you recommend both because there are great differences between the two?
Haven't been to Chobe/Okavango, but I can surely recommend Tanzania and Kenya. Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire are beautiful parks in Tanzania while Amboseli and Tsavo are great in Kenya. Distances between the parks are relatively small as well, and the difference within Tanzania and Kenya are already big.
I don't think you would see many more different species in Botswana, although the Okavango is totally different regarding landscape.
If you can manage it you should do both. I would also do Etosha in Namibia as well as the Namib and skeleton coast.
While it is true that many of the animals will be the same, the setting and huge differences in the landscapes of these different places makes the experience well worth it. I enjoyed the serengeti and mara for the sheer number of animals and the vastness of the plains. Chobe offers a more diverse experience with chances for water and land safaris while Namibia offers something different from anywhere else you can go with its unbelieveable landscapes and excellent game viewing in a fairly compact area. I don't think you can go wrong in any of these places, they are all awsome.
1st time safari you cant beat Serengeti and Ngorogoro for wildlife in 'typical' Africa savannah. However, Chobe and Okavango are stunning, likewise Etosha. If you can, you have to do both, the differences are incredible. Vic Falls is a totally cool place too and you can organise trips to Zambia, Botswana and beyond easily from there.
If you only do one, and you want to see animals, Ngorogoro has to be the one. Just make sure its not rainy season, its miserable!
My husband and I have done Kruger, Chobe and Etosha.
As Jekala mentioned, all these places are unique and beautiful in its own way. But, personally for us Etosha came up tops!