Kenya vs Tanzania

Truly a difficult decision as they both offer excellent opportunities for game viewing, cultural exchange and budget to luxury accommodations. Ideally I’d recommend that you do a trip that encompasses both!

Let’s begin with Kenya. Sadly, this country has had recent terrorist attacks which have truly impacted their already struggling economy. The reality is that the areas posted as “to avoid” are not around any of the Game Parks or natural highpoints generally showcased in their safari itineraries. Nowadays, Nairobi is simply utilized as a one night stop upon arrival and you are quickly shuttled off via flight or truck to your next destination.

Kenya’s safari industry is more established than Tanzania’s. There are more options for accommodation budgets, ranging from deluxe luxury to basic lodge. Due to this plethora of beds you will likely find that the Kenyan safaris are more economical than their Tanzanian counterparts.

The world renowned Game Reserve is the Maasai Mara. Location to a vast number of natural watering holes, the Mara creates a confluence of innumerable wildlife species and is the destination for the annual Great Wildebeest Migration. Game drives are able to go off-road to track specific species if desired unlike in the Tanzanian Serengeti which requires guides to remain on designated trails. That being said, the Mara is significantly smaller and has more visitors and can therefore be very busy during the high season of July through September.

Other definite highlights for Kenya would be cultural village visits with the Maasai villagers, always an incredible and inspiring event. The northern Game Reserves of Samburu and Lewa which are home to the reticulated giraffe, dikdiks and Grevy’s zebra as well as the Rhino Conservatory. The indescribable display of thousands of pink flamingoes along the shores of Lake Nakuru and of course the incredible elephant herds of Amboseli National Park!

Tanzania as an alternate can offer a less crowded and less "touristy" experience. The Serengeti is home to the same species of animals but is spread out over a much larger expanse which in turn can result in a more private game viewing experience.

The Ngorongoro Crater is often referred to as The Eighth Wonder of the World. The lodges are perched along the crater’s rim 7500 feet above sea level. The permanent water source creates a lush paradise which is home to over 30,000 game animals and bird species.

Mt. Kilimanjaro offers the adventure and adrenaline rush that real explorers crave. Reaching the summit of the 5895 metre volcano is both a thrill and accomplishment for even the fittest of trekkers!

Finish off a safari to either country with the ultimate beach vacation in Zanzibar!

Both Kenya and Tanzania require Canadian passport holders to attain entry visas. Passports must have at least a six month validity beyond your expected return date. There are no “mandatory” vaccines required for either country.

  • Dry Season: June through September (October for Tanzania) – short grasses allow for easy game viewing
  • Shoulder Season: December through March – Wildlife easy to track, less dust in the air and the weather is more temperate.
  • Light Rains: November – excellent time for true wildlife enthusiasts as the cooler temperatures result in animals being more active during the day. Parks are greener and there are less tourists.
  • Rainy Season: April through May – avoid travel. Roads can become impassable and tropical downpours hide everything.

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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