Kenya Vs. Tanzania Safari Experience - The Viking Abroad
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Kenya Vs. Tanzania Safari Experience

30 Oct Kenya Vs. Tanzania Safari Experience

In the 1850s, the concept of safari travel was born in East Africa, with the region’s main destinations being Tanzania and Kenya. These two countries still offer the best safari experience in East Africa, where you are sure to find the iconic wildebeest migration, snow-capped mountains with beautiful peaks, crocodile-infested rivers, tented camps, beautiful sunsets and lush savannah.

A tourist’s major question, however, is which of the two countries offers the best safari experience. To help you answer this question, we will compare the two destinations, with the ultimate decision on which one is better, resting on your shoulders.

Kenya’s Safari Experience

  • Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by wooded and bushy grassland. Tourists in this park can enjoy excellent game viewing and camping activities in different areas such as near the majestic Makalia Falls, found at the extreme southern end of the park.

Kenya vs Tanzania

Image via: Unsplash

Lake Nakuru is also rich in birds, making it a bird watchers paradise. So important is this ecosystem that in 1990, it was designated a Ramsar Site. Bird enthusiasts are treated to amazing views of regionally endangered bird species like the African Darter (Anhinga rufa), Great Egret, the range-restricted Grey-crested Helmet-shrike, the Lesser Kestrel and the Madagascar pond heron. You will also enjoy beautiful views of buffalos, black rhino, and flocks of flamingoes.

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve is regarded as Kenya’s best park and one of the parks in Africa with the highest wildlife density for predators. The park is rich in impalas, topis, giraffes, elephants, rhino, zebras, buffalos, warthogs, elands, lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles and a bonanza of birds of prey. Lions are very common here, making them very easy to spot.

Visitors are also treated to wonderful exposure to the Maasai culture such as their folk songs, traditional practices and dances. This experience is never complete without seeing young, strong morans jump.

Kenya vs Tanzania

Image via: Unsplash

Horseback riding safari makes the Maasai Mara experience a unique one. There are 16 of the finest horses that include boerperds, thoroughbreds and other breeds that measure 15 to 17 horse hands in height. On these horses, you can discover and appreciate the pristine beauty of the reserve’s savannah, rivers, streams and plains.

  • Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is the best place in the world to get close to free-ranging elephants. It is the home to Echo, the most researched elephant in the world, who died in 2009 at 60 years of age. She was subject of many documentaries and books and had been followed for over 4 decades by American Conservationist, Dr Cynthia Moss.

The park is also rich in many species as Cape buffaloes, impala, Maasai lions, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, Maasai giraffes, plains zebras and blue wildebeest. It is also the best and closest view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya, showcasing a beautiful, romantic and picturesque sunrise behind the snow on the peaks.

Image via: Unsplash

  • Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell’s Gate National Park, where you get to enjoy a walk on the wild side, is a gorgeous national park found in Naivasha, characterized by spectacular scenery including towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub-clad volcanoes and intense geothermal activity within its boundaries, causing belching plumes of geothermal steam.

Other than the usual safari experience where visitors enjoy an array of animals and spectacular birds, tourists spend their time rock climbing, mountain biking or relaxing at the natural spa.

Tanzania’s Safari Experience

  • Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and is best experienced within Mount Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. Tourists enjoy mountain climbing which requires a licensed guide, as well as wildlife watching where there are leopards, buffaloes, bush pigs, elephants and baboons.

The national park is also host to the beautiful Chala Crater Lake, whose incredible waters change colour, ranging from turquoise to emerald green, depending on the time of the year.

  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area

This is a deep volcanic crater, the largest unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world. The undisturbed habitat is home to flamingoes, zebra, lions, elephants and the scenic Olduvai gorge, an important paleoanthropological site, where early men, ranging from Homo Habilis, Australopithecus boisei, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens are dated to have occupied between 17,000 and 1.9 million years ago.


Image via: Unsplash

The Ngorongoro experience is topped up by exposure to the Maasai culture, and walking safaris done with guides.

  • Arusha National Park

Although it is a small park, Arusha National Park has varied spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. The west side of the park boasts of Mount Meru, the fifth highest mountain in Africa.  The mountain has huge cliffs and is normally used by hikers as warm-up hiking in preparation for Mt. Kilimanjaro. On this mountain, hikers are likely to meet buffaloes, baboons, giraffes and antelopes. The west side of the park features the Meru crater, which funnels Jekukumia River.

The south-east part of the park is Ngurdoto crater, a grassland. North-east has the shallow alkaline Momella Lakes, characteristic of varying algal colours, and stunning flocks of wading birds.

  • Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is mainly known for the annual wildebeest migration, but the park also has other interesting features. Its expansiveness is interrupted by Ol Doinyo Lengai, which is the only active volcano in the area, and the only one that still ejects carbonatite lava. This lava turns white when exposed to air, turning into a calcium-rich material that is as hard as cement when it rains.

On the south-eastern side, the park offers thrilling lion viewing at the Simba Kopje (Lion Kopje), a popular tourist stop. Simba Kopje is one of the many Kopjes in this landscape, displaying a number of gneiss and granite outcroppings, a result of volcanic activities.

Image via: Unsplash

The Wildebeest Migration In The Two Countries

The wildebeest migration is a safari experience that is seen in both countries. It is a seasonal journey that takes place over the course of each year as zebra, gazelle and wildebeest migrate in a circular route through Maasai Mara in Kenya, and Serengeti in Tanzania.

The direction of this migration is affected by seasonal changes and time of the year, thereby directly deciding on which country offers the best safari experience at a particular time.  Between July and August, both Maasai Mara and Northern Serengeti are a spectacle, where river crossings are seen. From November to Marc, however, Southern Serengeti is the best location, where you will witness the birthing of thousands of wildebeest calves, which consequently attract magnificent predators.

  • Adriaan
    Posted at 11:24h, 13 November Reply

    The Serengeti migration is something that I have to see someday! To witness thousands of wildebeest moving together over the plains must look amazing! I will want to go and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro as well. Africa has soooo much to offer for the nature lovers among us! Great article! Thanks!

  • Adventographer
    Posted at 13:19h, 13 November Reply

    I love Africa! The last time I was there I visited the Masai Mara and Ambiseli, both stunning with a diverse wildlife population. The wildabeast migration through the Masai was amazing, they stretched on forever! When I return I’m going to do Ngorongoro and Mt Kilimanjaro I hope! Great overview of some of the best parks in the world!!

  • Tara
    Posted at 19:02h, 13 November Reply

    I have never been on safari, and would totally visit either place, but African elephants are my favorite, so I think if forced to choose, I would pick Kenya. I hope that I can make either one happen some day.

  • candy
    Posted at 21:16h, 13 November Reply

    I looove elephants and had no idea that Echo lived in Amboseli National Park. I also had no idea Echo was the most researched elephant in the world. It really makes me want to visit Amboseli National Park even more now 🙂

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