Tanzania Safari vs Kenya Safari

Tanzania Safari vs Kenya Safari: Is Safari Better in Kenya or Tanzania? Choosing between Kenya and Tanzania for a safari is one of the most difficult decisions in the world, these two amazing African safari destinations provide breathtaking landscapes, excellent wildlife viewing such as the Great Wildebeest Migration and a variety of must- do activities that will defy comparison.

Focus East Africa has designed tailor – made safaris to Kenya and Tanzania for thousands of tourists from all over the world and from our experience, we know that organizing an Africa safari is occasionally a difficult task.

To aid in your decision about going for an African safari either to Kenya or Tanzania, we have compiled and compared the specifics of a Kenya Vs Tanzania Safari.

Location & Landscape

Kenya and Tanzania are found in East Africa and have coasts that go along Lake Victoria and the pleasantly warm Indian Ocean, these countries are neighbors sharing a border. A significant portion of this border is made up of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara national reserve in Kenya which together make up the Serengeti – Mara Ecosystem, one of the largest and best protected ecosystems on earth.

The Mara – Serengeti Ecosystem is approximately 12,000 square miles.

Tanzania Kenya
Official Capital Dodoma Nairobi
Safari Capital Arusha Nairobi
Major National Conservation Areas Serengeti

Lake Manyara

Ngorongoro Crater


Masai Mara


Nairobi National Park


Private Conservation Areas Grumeti Laikipia


Mara Conservancies

Off-the-Beaten-Path Reserves Nyerere (Selous)


Mahale Mountains





Beaches & Islands Zanzibar


Mafia Island




Most Popular Routes Northern Circuit: Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater Nairobi, Amboseli, and the Masai Mara

Both Kenya and Tanzania are renowned for their vast savannahs and golden grasslands, the same scenery that was featured in movies such as Out of Africa and The Lion King. The open landscape provides plenty of grazing and where there are grazers, there are bound to be predators, you can see practically 360 degrees of the horizon in Serengeti national park and Masai Mara national reserve.

Tanzania Safari vs Kenya Safari
Wildebeest Migration

Both protected areas are one of the easiest places in the world to spot animals including The Great Wildebeest Migration which is a continuous annual movement of over two million wildebeests and hundred thousands of gazelles and zebras in search of fresh grazing and water. The great wildebeest migration takes place in the Mara – Serengeti Ecosystem.

Costs & Your Budget

A safari in Kenya or Tanzania is reasonably price though an East African safari may not be the cheapest vacation in the world, below are the estimates based on the general evaluation of the costs associated with different types of accommodations in both Kenya and Tanzania.


Low High Low High Low High
$500 – $675 $550 – $725 $800 – $1,200 $950 – $1,350 $1,250 $1,850


Low High Low High Low High
$375 – $450 $500 – $600 $600 – $700 $750 – $950 $1,000 $1,150 $1,200 – $1,600


Tanzania and Kenya Combined

Low High Low High Low High
$450 $600 $650 – $1,050 $1,1000 – $1,250 $1,300 $1,900


Note: The prices listed above are merely averages for sharing a room with another person during high and low seasons, they do not include international travels, visas or other safari activities.

Also keep in mind that permits, levies and fees related to conservation could all change.

The peak or high season typically lasts between July and October and over Christmas and New Year.

 Traveling on a Tight Budget

Although both Kenya and Tanzania offers fantastic off – season discounts, a safari in Kenya is definitely more affordable which makes it a perfect destination for individuals traveling on a budget.

Kenya has a huge number of game and has tremendously promoted it’s attractions and destinations on a global scale which has resulted into more flights, more accommodation options and more safari enthusiasts.

Africa as a continent is not a place for largest hotels with thousands of rooms and a 40 –room lodge is regarded as rare and gigantic in Kenya. The Mara River is the busiest spot in the Mara – Serengeti ecosystem most especially during the migration.

If You Want to Splurge

A safari in Tanzania is generally more expensive than one in Kenya particularly if you want to visit extremely exceptional reserves like Grumeti, Nyerere, Ruaha and Mahale. Tanzania is a larger destination and transfers by small aircrafts are required for practically all travels outside of the Northern Circuit, this is also the same if you visit Northern Kenya but the distances are shorter.

Best Places to Stay

In both Kenya and Tanzania, there aren’t many big hotels and resorts so during the peak season, the available lodges and camps quickly fill up.

Note: if you are planning to visit either Kenya or Tanzania in the peak season, ensure to book your accommodation al teast a year in advance.

General Tips on Accommodation, Tanzania Safari vs Kenya Safari

  • Ensure to inquire and book your accommodations at least a year in advance most especially for popular accommodations like The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi as there is a long waiting list of travelers.
  • There are just a few inter-connecting or family suites available, so if you are travelling as a family make an inquiry as soon as you decide you want to go.
  • If you are traveling with young children, opt for a resort that is fenced in rather than one that is unfenced and open to wild animals.
  •  If you have unique dietary needs such as being vegan, Kosher or halal. Let your African Safari Expert know in advance so they can inform your hosts.

 Best Kenya Safari Lodges

  • Angama Mara Safari Lodge – Maasai Mara national reserve
  • Saruni Samburu – Samburu National Reserve
  • Governor’s II Moran Camp

  Best Tanzania Safari Lodges

  • Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp – Serengeti national park
  • Jabali Ridge

 Big 5 Sightings, The Wildebeest Migration & General Game Viewing

 Kenya and Tanzania are listed among the best sights to see the Big Five in Africa, Masai Mara national reserve and Serengeti national park host all the 5 members of the big Five “elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and rhinos” which you see on a game drive.

 In some ways, striving harder to find the Big 5 which makes the experience more satisfying, even though things are a little trickier in Kenya and Tanzania.

Rhinos are among the most endangered species on the planet and in Kenya and Tanzania, it is possible to see these magnificent creatures. Ngorongoro Crater is the best location in East Africa for Big 5 sightings, the crater is part of the Tanzania’s popular Northern Circuit and is a very popular location to look for the big Five and is a home to some over 30,000 animals which are protected within its unbroken caldera walks.

Tanzania Kenya
Big 5 Serengeti

Ngorongoro Crater (most reliable)

Mara Conservancies

Lewa (most reliable)

Chimpanzees Mahale Mountains

Rubono Island

Gombe Stream

Elephants Strongholds (Nyerere) Selous Amboseli
Wildebeest Migration Serengeti Masai  Mara

Safari Activities

Game drives looking for wildlife are the main activity in Kenya and Tanzania, however some national parks or a private conservancy may offer amenities like guided hikes, night drives or hot air balloon safaris.

 Best Time to go to Kenya or Tanzania for a safari

Best Time to Go

Peak / High Season June – October (dry winter) June – October (dry winter)
Low / Green Season November – May November – May
Wildebeest Migration January – March (calving / birthing season)

May – September / October (river crossings)

October – December
Rainy Seasons November – December (short rains)

April – May (long rains)

November – December (short rains)

April – May (long rains)

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