Are you putting off your first trip to Africa for a long time because you can’t decide on a country? You got a lot of different information, but there is no winner in Tanzania vs. Kenya competition. Let us help you put everything on the pop shelves.
First, we would like to say that the choice between these two countries is quite challenging. Of course, when you go on your first safari, you want to be sure of the direction you select. You have to go a long way and spend money, so your journey should be perfect. Looking ahead, both destinations, Tanzania and Kenya, deserve your attention. In addition, they are very similar, and we are sure that these two East African countries would win your heart. However, several characteristic differences between them will help you weigh everything and pick a country for your first safari.
Tanzania vs. Kenya National parks
By the number of national parks in the Tanzania vs. Kenya battle, Kenya leads by a small margin. Also, here the most visited parks are quite close to each other, so you can see quite a lot in one trip. Depending on how long and varied your Kenyan itinerary will be, it may include:
- Drylands Samburu.
- Green grasslands Masai Mara.
- Snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya.
- Pink flamingo clouds at Lake Nakuru.
- Red Lands of Tsavo Park.
- Amazing views of Kilimanjaro.
Even though the mountain is in Tanzania, the locals say that the best views are from the Kenyan Amboseli National Park.
The nature of Tanzania is also impressive in its diversity: the boundless savannah of the Serengeti, Lake Manyara, and many baobabs in Tarangire. Also, in Tanzania, there is something that is not found in any other country – the Ngorongoro Crater, a natural caldera within the walls of which many African predators and other animals have found their homes.
Tanzania vs. Kenya Wildlife
If your goal is to see African Five, you can do it both in Tanzania and Kenya. The same goes for the big wildebeest migration. The only thing is that in Kenya, you can observe the migration only a couple of months a year. When the antelopes have already crossed the Mara River and are looking for pastures where they can rest and recharge after a long journey. In the Serengeti, migration goes on practically all year round. If you would like to see rare animals, visit the Samburu National Park in Kenya, home to a Special Five: Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, and East African Oryx. If, besides lions, elephants, zebras, and so on, you also want to see chimpanzees, your choice should fall in Tanzania and the Gombe or Mahali Mountains National Parks.
For accommodation, Tanzania vs. Kenya is tough to pick, as there are great options in both countries. You can choose accommodation from simple camps to high-end lodges, close to park gates or in the savannah’s heart. Some lodges are far, far away from everyone. For example, in Tanzania, this is Mwiba Lodge, and in Kenya, a Desert Rose. Although, there is still one unique hotel in Kenya that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Of course, it’s a Giraffe Manor!
Seasonality in both countries is the same, and you can come here all year round. April and May are traditionally considered the low season, but it also has their advantages. We wrote about this in our previous article. The most popular time for the safari is from December to March, when the migration begins. And in June–October, when the antelopes cross the Mara River and you can see it in the Serengeti and the Masai Mara.
If you want to get to know the local people during your safari, a vivid experience is provided for you when traveling to any of the countries. Natives Masai still lives in Tanzania and Kenya. If you have heard of the Hadzabe, they can only be found in Tanzania on the shores of Lake Eyasi. And in Kenya, in Samburu Park, you will get acquainted with the pastoral groups of the same name.
Tanzania vs. Kenya Beaches
If, after a safari in Tanzania, you would like to go to the ocean, the best option would be to fly to Zanzibar. The beauty of the local beaches is really impressive. In addition, you can stay on the coast where there is practically no low tide and enjoy the seaside holiday continuously. Also, on any coast, you can find both budget accommodations and luxurious villas, resorts all-inclusive, and so on.
The beaches of Kenya are also among the top African beaches for white sand, beautiful ocean, availability of infrastructure, and so on. In addition, the beaches of Kenya are on the mainland, and that means you won’t always need to use a domestic flight to get to the ocean.
The hotel base of coastal Kenya is very diverse: budget hotels, classic resorts, and luxury villas. The only thing that distinguishes the coast of Kenya from Zanzibar is the low tides. Here you can’t find a beach like Nungwi or Kendwa in Zanzibar, where the ocean is always there. Several hours a day, you will watch the ocean go away and returns. And between high and low tides, you can walk along the bare ocean floor to get a closer look at its inhabitants.
The price tag in these two countries is the same. This applies to safari, accommodation, meals, visas, and so on. In the combination of safari and beach holidays, Kenya wins by a small margin. Because the beaches are on the mainland, often you don’t need to fly anywhere and can save on flights. Even if you use a domestic flight to get to Mombasa, it’s still a little cheaper than, say, a flight from Arusha to Zanzibar.
In conclusion, we want to add that, in practice, tourists who have once visited Tanzania will visit Kenya next time and vice versa. Your acquaintance with Africa will certainly be successful and doesn’t matter what country are you starting from. Most likely, you will not be able to resist and will return very soon to visit other countries.
But if you can’t choose, we offer you to combine visiting two countries in one trip, for example, on our Kenya and Tanzania tour. Also, you can send us a query, and we will help you arrange everything!