Kenya vs Tanzania Safari: The Better African Safari Experience

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East Africa's abundant wildlife, hot climate, and rich culture make it one of the best safari regions in the world. When deciding exactly where to go, many tourists ponder the distinction between embarking on a Kenya tour or a Tanzania tour, both renowned globally for their safari experiences.

This Kenya vs Tanzania safari guide highlights each of the two geographical areas and compares seasonal differences, budget considerations, activities, and popular safari regions to help you decide which country is best for your trip.

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Kenya vs Tanzania: Location and Peak Safari Season

Kenya vs Tanzania: Location and Peak Safari Season See more

Kenya vs Tanzania: Cost and Budgeting

Kenya vs Tanzania: Cost and Budgeting See more

Kenya vs Tanzania: Activities Beyond Safari

Activity     Kenya Tanzania
Mountain trekking/climbing     Unavailable Available
Best from December – February and late June – October
Diving and snorkeling     Best from October – January Best from April – February
Local culture     Year-round Year-round
Bike tours     Year-round Year-round
Hot air ballooning     Best during dry season Best during dry season
Wildebeest migration     August–October December–July
Seeing flamingos     November–May at Lake Nakuru November–April at Lake Manyara


Comparing Popular Safaris in Kenya and Tanzania

1. Serengeti National Park Vs Masai Mara National Reserve

Lion Spotted in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Spot the king of the jungle whilst on a game drive safari in the Serengeti National Park.

The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania covers 14,763 square km of protected land, offering superb wildlife viewing opportunities. There are five distinct habitats within the park and beautiful rocky outcrops. It is most famous for being the starting point of the annual great wildebeest migration.

Serengeti National Park: Advantages and Drawbacks


  • The larger of the two parks and offers a diverse range of wildlife habitats
  • The Great Migration runs eight months out of the year, from December through July.
  • The amazing Ngorongoro Crater is nearby, so you can combine visits
  • Due to the size of the Serengeti, crowds are less overwhelming during peak season


Masai Mara National Reserve: Advantages and Drawbacks

Tourists looking at the wildebeests from a hot air baloon in Masai Mara
Soar over the majestic wildebeest migration in the heart of Kenya's Masai Mara with a breathtaking hot air balloon ride!

The Masai Mara is 1,510 square km and is home to one of the most recognizable tribal groups in Africa. While on a Masai Mara National Reserve trip during The Great Migration, you can spot more than a hundred thousand wildebeests and zebras crossing the Mara River.


  • Generally less expensive than the Serengeti
  • A smaller park could mean denser wildlife, so more likely to spot it
  • Home of the Maasai people, offering excellent cultural opportunities
  • The wildebeest migration runs from August to October


  • Less of the Great Migration takes place in the Masai Mara
  • The national reserve is smaller, with fewer habitats than the Serengeti
  • Masai Mara can feel more crowded due to its size

When comparing the Serengeti National Park to the Masai Mara National Reserve, for many, the Serengeti will come out on top due to its vast size, the greater chance for viewing the annual migration, the feel of fewer crowds, and the opportunity to see the Ngorongoro Crater. However, the Masai Mara National Reserve might be better for those who have less time and are on a budget.

2. Amboseli National Park vs Tarangire National Park

Distant view of Mount Kilimanjaro from Aamboselli National Park.
Embrace the beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa, from the viewpoint of Amboselli National Park.

The Amboseli National Park is located in southern Kenya and is famous for its large elephant herds and stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro. The park is 392 sq kilometers—small compared to many other parks in Africa— is the second most visited national park in Kenya.

Amboseli National Park: Advantages and Drawbacks


  • Amboseli sits at the northern base of picturesque Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Excellent elephant viewing
  • A good option to escape crowds in other national parks


  • It offers some of the same attractions as other national parks in Kenya.

Other Popular Safaris in Kenya:

Tarangire National Park

Elephants spotted at Tarangire National Park.
Embark on a journey to witness elephants roam free in Tarangire National Park.

The Tarangire National Park sits in northern Tanzania and covers 2,850 square kilometers. It is unique for its river, swamps, and wetlands which provide much-needed hydration for the variety of wildlife in and near the park.


  • The Tarangire River runs through the park and serves as the main water source for wildlife during the dry seasons.
  • If you go on a Tarangire National Park safari after your safari in Amboseli National Park, you will notice that the park is larger, and the landscape is more diverse; it includes ridges, valleys, rivers, swamps, and several scenic baobab trees


  • Wildlife viewing can be difficult during the wet season

Other Popular Safaris in Tanzania:

Both Amboseli and Tarangire offer excellent safari experiences. Tarangire is much larger, so your experience may be more diverse. However, if you are interested in elephant sightings, Amboseli is slightly superior.

Kenya vs Tanzania: The Best Choice for Your Trip

Ideally, the best choice is to visit both. Everyone would combine Kenya and Tanzania into one trip, as they both offer unique and enjoyable safari experiences. But If you must choose, we suggest you are choosing between the two countries, it’s important to consider the time of year you want to travel, your budget, and your travel style.

If you're looking for an African safari experience on a strict budget, Kenya is likely the better option for you. Other reasons to choose Kenya over Tanzania would be if you are looking for a wide selection of accommodation choices or if your travel dates correspond with Kenya’s annual migration.

If you are the type of traveler that avoids crowds at all costs, Tanzania makes a better choice. Additionally, if you would like more flexibility regarding when to see the annual Great Migration, Tanzania offers more selection.

With us, you have the option to personalize your trip to both countries! You can also fill out our separate forms to customize a trip to Tanzania or customize a trip to Kenya. To travel to both countries, simply select the additional country while filling out either of the forms.

Read our Tanzania travel guide and Kenya travel guide to make sure you know everything about Kenya vs Tanzania before planning your trip!

Published by Supriya Rayamajhi, updated on March 29, 2023

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