Kenya VS Tanzania wildlife and national parks
If you’re heading to East Africa for a safari, then the quality of national parks and abundance of wildlife are probably the most important factor to consider. The good news is that both Kenya and Tanzania are premier wildlife destinations. They both house the Serengeti ecosystem, which is Africa’s largest intact wild space. It’s home to millions of native animals including all of the Big Five (lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo). The Serengeti is also home to the annual Great Migration. Herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope millions-strong follow the rains and the good grazing across hundreds of kilometres, stalked every step of the way by the predators they support. This important ecosystem is protected in the form of two protected areas. In Kenya, it’s the Masai Mara. And in Tanzania, it’s the Serengeti National Park.
Masai Mara National Reserve VS Serengeti National Park
So, your next question is: Masai Mara VS Serengeti. Well, the two are part of the same ecosystem, the name just changes as you hop the border between the countries. What may affect your decision is the time of year you are travelling. If you are travelling between August – November and want to see the Great Migration, then you should visit the Masai Mara. The rest of the year sees the herds moving throughout the Serengeti.
When comparing the Masai Mara VS Serengeti national parks, there are other considerations to bear in mind. The Serengeti National Park is nearly ten times bigger than the Mara and is home to more diverse habitats. But it means that wildlife densities in the Masai Mara are better. So if you only have a few days for safari then you will probably see more here. In the Serengeti the wildlife is more spread out. This is great if you are planning a 2-week safari, but not so good if you’re in a rush.
The Masai Mara is also generally cheaper than the Serengeti and is home to the Masai tribespeople, which makes it a great destination for those interested in African culture.
Other national parks and game reserves
Aside from the Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara, both Kenya and Tanzania are home to plenty of other great game reserves and national parks. Kenya has Amboseli, Tsavo, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Naivasha. And Tanzania has Arusha, Tarangire and Lake Manyara. The country is also home to the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO-listed reserve in which some of Africa’s highest densities of wildlife live within a volcanic crater. It adjoins the Serengeti National Park and also sees the Great Migration take place. It is reason enough to visit Tanzania on its own, being one of the best places in the world for a safari.
So to sum up:
Kenya and Tanzania are the two best destinations in Africa for a wildlife safari, so you can’t go wrong. Tanzania has the slight edge due to the size of the Serengeti National Park and the impressive Ngorongoro Crater. But Kenya is better for those in a hurry, or for those visiting the Masai Mara between August and November. It is also slightly cheaper and better for culture. Overall: Tanzania.