I don't have any comparison since this is my first time safari; but I can say we're quite satisfied to be able to do safary for 1 day at Hwange. As per our guide/ranger, Hwange is the 3rd largest safari park after Serengeti (Tanzania) and Kruger (South Africa).
For the big 5, We saw, Lion 2 times (in the morning and in the afternoon), Elephants (in the afternoon)- in fact they grazing in the same place we saw lion in the morning, buffalow and rhino.
For non big 5, we saw: Kudu, Giraffe, Hippo, Zebra, Painted dog, Wild dog, Small bucks, crocodile, wilderbeast, whartog, and many other.
We spent $500 for 2 persons for 1 day safari; it include the ranger and they provide lunch (don't expect too much for the lunch). We stayed at Zambezi river lodge and someone at concierge arranged this for us.
Until we do the Serengeti or Mara River, I think it was a good 1st time experience on safari.