I have been on four safaris, two in South Africa and two in Kenya and I have found that each time the visits have exposed the inadequacies of my digital cameras. Originaly I took a Fuji 4x optical zoom, point and shoot (6Million pixels) and a camcorder with a big zoom. This I found next to useless so being a point and shoot photographer I thought I'd bought the ideal camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 with 12x optical zoom and left the camcorder at home. Once again I found the limitations of the camera, taking mutiple shots of moving birds or animals was a hit or miss affair and on return I enlarged a 12x zoom shot of a leopard coming down a tree and was not happy with the quality. This is a picture I will probable never be able to capture again no matter how many times I visit Africa.
Since my last visit I have now bought a Canon EOS 450D with a couple of lenses which I have yet to use in Africa. So far the picture quality is great but there is the handicap of having to change lenses or having the wrong lenses in when a picture presents itself, i.e. a fiend fell in a canal and I had the camera on me but not the zoom lense, resulting a distant image.
The message is: for decent animal shots an inbetween camera like the Panasonic get you in close to the animals but if you want to do anything with pictures afterwards then I think aDSLR with the expenses of a couple of lens is the way to go.