Is Kenya or Tanzania Safari Better ?
When planning for your African safari adventure, it can often be difficult to decide between Tanzania & Kenya. This is because both countries are alot similar in many ways. Kenya and Tanzania are both in East Africa, they both offer exceptional and authentic African Safari experience. Kenya has the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve while Tanzania has Serengeti National Park. To make it easier to compare a Kenya and Tanzania safari we have prepared a brief guide below listing the key similarities and differences between these two premier African Safari countries
The savannah grassland of the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem
Below are the key similarities between Kenya and Tanzania:
Generally the wildlife in both Kenya and Tanzania is virtually similar in terms of diversity. From a traveler's point of view, both locations offer fairly equal chances of spotting the 'Big Five' of the 'Big Nine' list of animals which includes Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Rhino, African Buffalo, Giraffe, Hippo and Zebra. Absolute numbers for each animal species vary ofcourse, for example the number of Lions in Masai Mara fewer than in Serengeti, but the density is higher in Masai Mara. Click here to read more about Kenya Safari Animals and Wildlife
Both Kenya and Tanzania have generally temperate Tropical climates with sub zones along the coast where it is warmer and humid and with selected regions which are drier and arid such as large parts of Northern Kenya. The rest of both coutries benefot from pleasant year round climate with two rainy seasons in the year occuring between March to May and September to November. Therefore climatic conditions are similar among both countries only with localized differences due to altitude or vegetation.
Although both countries are known for beautiful and diverse landscapes, Kenya is arguably more diverse in terms of scenic beauty, not least because there are more variations in altitude and vegetation zones within the smaller land area of Kenya, which makes all these different regions easier to access compared to Tanzania where the country is larger and parts of it harder to access from Arusha or Dar es Salaam. It is possible to fly to a desert, stunning beach, snow capped mountain or for that matter a vast lake all within an hour's flight from Nairobi. The sheer diversity of scenery also makes Kenya more picturesque than Tanzania though the latter also has some stunningly beautiful places such as Ngorongoro Crater.
Shared Eco System:
Both countries have a shared eco-system which is Masai Mara (in Kenya) and Serengeti National Park (in Tanzania). These two distinct parks are essentially one large eco system with similar wildlife, geological features, topography and other natural characteristics. The world famous great Wildebeest migration which takes place every year is the movement of large numbers of wildebeest from Serengeti to Masai Mara, and there being no physical barriers between the two parks it allows wildlife to freely move across from Serengeti to Masai Mara and vice versa.
Great Migration in Maasai Mara
Differences between Kenya & Tanzania
Prices & Costs of a Safari:
Both Kenya and Tanzania offer safari adventures to suit all budgets and are among the most affordable safari destinations in Africa. However, a safari in Kenya tend to be less costly than a Safari in Tanzania. One of the reasons for this is the fact that Park entry fees in Tanzania is higher than the entry fee in Kenya. As an example, a 24 hour stay inside Serengeti National Park costs approximately USD 140 per adult. By comparison, the fee in Masai Mara is only USD 70 per adult if staying inside the reserve. The entry fee for Serengeti includes a concession fee. Another reasons for the price disparity is that Safari accommodation in Tanzania typically tends to cost more when compared to similar standard accommodation in various national parks in Kenya. The reasons for these are varied - for example the fact that there are more Camps and Lodges in Kenya than in Tanzania, resulting in lower pricing in the former.
Flight Connectivity & In Country Access:
Although both Nairobi and Dar es Salaam are regional hubs, Nairobi has a greater number of flight connections from the rest of the world. The thing with flying to Dar is that you will need to get another flight into Arusha which is where most safaris in Tanzania start except if you are visiting parks in the south of the country. One can always fly into Arusha directly as well but as mentioned fligths into Nairobi are more common and hence less costly. Within both countries, Kenya which is smaller in size arguably has a more developed road and flight network connecting various safari locations to Nairobi.
So which is Better ~ Kenya or Tanzania ?
In conclusion, as you may have noted, both locations have some positive and not so positive attributes to them and which is better depends on the context of a specific traveler's preferences. Generally though for a first time Safari in Africa we would suggest Kenya which give you the chance to see pretty much most of the wildlife you'd want to spot while enjoying a high quality experience at a more reasonable cost compared to Tanzania. For tourists also coming to see the river crossings during the wildebeest migration, we suggest the Mara for the slightly more spectacular viewings of the migration across the Mara river. However for the more intrepid traveler, or for someone who has already before been on Safari in Africa, Serengeti offers more of an varied experience albeit at a higher price.
Click here to see our Safaris in Kenya