Kenya vs. Tanzania

Apr 22nd, 2006, 06:22 AM
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Kenya vs. Tanzania

For those of you who have been to both Kenya and Tanzania:

If someone could only do one safari in their life.... and they could only visit one country.... would you suggest they go to Kenya or Tanzania for their once-in-a-lifetime safari?
simbakubwa is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 06:51 AM
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From a variety of wildlife perspective - Tanzania.

It is hard to beat the ultimate safari circuit of Kilimanjaro, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Mahale, Katavi, Ruaha, Selous, east cost, Zanzibar, Mafia and Pemba.

And the Mara is close enough to drop in to see the migration between Aug - Oct.
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:26 AM
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For once-in-a-lifetime, you can actually visit both countries, you don't really have to choose between the two.

That said, and though Eben loves Tanzania... I like Tanzania. Personally, I love Kenya. Here too you can visit various eco-systems with a wide variety and often unique animals found throughout. From Amboseli in the south to Samburu, Laikipia, Meru or Lewa in the North; further north in the Northern Frontier; the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya in the Middle; the Lakes areas nearby to the West; and, of course, Kenya's "big sky" country or the world-famous Masai Mara. The coastal regions of Lamu, Manda Bay, Malindi and even the surounds of Mombasa.

Though I haven't visited the southern Tanzania parks, even I have a difficult decision to make when planning my return visits... which always seem to pull me back to Kenya.

As mention above, it doesn't really have to be one or the other... combining both is pretty easy to do.
Apr 22nd, 2006, 07:30 AM
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Well said, Sandi.

Kenya has the same wildlife as Tanzania, plus some northern specialities like Grevyís zebra, the reticulated giraffe and the Somali ostrich.

Nyamera is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 11:02 AM
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So far it's:

Kenya 2 Tanzania 1

Anyone else?
simbakubwa is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 11:11 AM
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I chose to do both.
Apr 22nd, 2006, 02:00 PM
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Tanzania All the Way!
We found the people in Tanzania much more friendly (although Kenyans were also very nice) but because Tanzania has a more balanced economy and Kenya has a larger separation from rich and very poor and their economy hit the bottom a few years ago - they're kind of PO'd and there is more corruption there.

Plus you can go to Ngorongoro and see rhino (hopefully) and spend more time in the serengeti and go to lake manyara and tarangire.
kstyle is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Our family would vote for Tanzania. Felt Kenya was quite a bit more touristy than Tanzania. I originally typed in a lengthy response but then rethought my stuff. We may have been a bit more harsh on Kenya due to incompetent guide we had than the acutal country. That, and the areas we visited (Lake Nakuru and Amboseli in particular). But, as other posted mentioned either country offers a great experience and certainly depends on time of year and areas chosen. Kinda like comparing northern and southern Tanzania. Would still return to Kenya if I could but would be in second place with Tanzania first.
rsnyder is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 02:31 PM
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At Lk. Nakuru and Meru for sure you can see rhino and "up-close-and-personal"

Corruption - you've got to be kidding. First and third world! Which country isn't corrupt?
Apr 22nd, 2006, 02:41 PM
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rsnyder - will you give feedback on Amboseli? Looked like it was not a highlight for you.
Like some of the earlier comments, I'd considered crossing the border Kenya/Tanzani during a N. Circuit (Tanzania) safari. Wanted to see Mt. Kili and thought Amboseli would be perfect for that - or best opportunity to see it anyway if the weather permitted.

lovetodiscover is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 03:02 PM
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maybe Eben's right but how many fodorites have been in all those places Eben mentions, let alone one tour ?

1. Samburu(& surrounding) Fauna has no equivalence south of Kenya (anywhere in Africa)!
Reticulated Giraffe & Grevy Zebra (considered the most beautiful by many)
& somali Ostrich plus concentrated Gerenuk & Dikdik "shows"
see also Sandi & Nyamera

2. Night Viewing Lodges (NVL) like Ark, Mt. Lodge & Treetops. Unique experience

3. The grand flamingo spectacle of Lake Nakuru / Bogoria (in some years)- a million or even 2 million "pink flowers" on a lakeside... astonishing

4. Ethnic tour on the way to Lake Turkana: tribes like Turkana, Rendille, Gabbra, Samburu and maybe best of all - Pokot: a real anthropological excitement (though fodorites tend to highlight the animals)


If the options r TZ Northern Circuits vs. Mara-Samburu-NVL-NAkuru-Baringo-(Naivasha) the latter is more Varied !!


1. more remote parks, less crowded

2. chimpanzees (if u go that far on your first safari)

3. calving in Serengetti

4. Hadzabe hunter-gatherers

4. Geologically Ol-Doinyo Lengai is one-of-its-kind on earth. The Ngorongoro Caldera (plus Empakaai & Olmoti)

aby is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2006, 03:10 PM
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I have been to both, and I would let the calander decide so that you visit either the Masai Mara or the Serengeti during the migration.
thit_cho is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 03:39 AM
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Iíve been sent a newsletter written by Iaian Allan (Tropical Ice) about how this talk about Kenya being ďtouristyĒ and Tanzania more ďwildĒ really has started to get to him. I canít link to it and I wouldnít like to because it contains some, probably unfair, Tanzania bashing. Anyone who would like to see it can send an email to sannasusathotmaildotcom. Iíd say that Amboseli and the eastern parts of the Mara are more crowded than Selous or Ruaha, and that Ngorongoro and parts of the Serengeti are more crowded than Tsavo or Meru or parts of the Mara. The chimps in Tanzania are in quite remote places, so you might just as well visit Ugandan chimps while in Kenya.

You can see rhino in Nairobi NP as well, and thereís rhino in Tsavo. Some people even see them in the Mara. If it werenít because Atravelynn didnít see any rhinos in L. Nakuru, Iíd say theyíre guaranteed there.

Kstyle, itís not the first time I hear that Tanzanians are nicer than Kenyans, and for some personal reasons, it really irritates me. When I was young I was always told that Greeks were nicer than Spaniards and my answer was always, ď Iím not that nice myself, so Iíll just go to Spain, thank you very muchĒ. The main difference is that Tanzanians are Tanzanians first and then they are whatever tribe they may be and in Kenya itís often the other way around. Anyway, there are friendly people everywhere Ė in Kenya more than in other places Iíve been to which arenít that many - and Iím sure I could easily find some really nasty Tanzanians.

As I havenít visited Tanzania Ė yet Ė I shouldnít really be posting here.

Nyamera is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 04:56 AM
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... and we saw 7 rhino together without a guard while at Nakuru. Came around a bend and there they were. You just never know.
Apr 23rd, 2006, 05:27 AM
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If this was a rhetorical question, it produced some excellent responses that should be helpful for others too. Nothing more I can add.

If this is input for actual planning of your own trip, I'd respond with the questions:

When are you going?
How long do you have?
What is your budget?
Are there any animals or experiences that are especially important to you?

Then there's that "once-in-a-lifetime" statement that may prove inaccuarate after visit #1.

atravelynn is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 05:43 AM
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So far:

Kenya 3 Tanzania 3

Anyone else?!

simbakubwa is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 05:45 AM
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PS. I have been to Kenya many times.... and to Tanzania only once. I prefer Kenya due to friends and familiarity with the country, but I can see a number of first-timers prefer Tanzania in their trip reports.

I was just curious what most people would say.

simbakubwa is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 09:54 AM
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lovetodiscover, glad you asked about Amboseli. After the post I thought maybe I was a bit harsh on Kenya versus Tanzania. I re-read our trip report (seeing I said Amboseli Sopa Lodge instead of Amboseli Serena Lodge)to refresh my memory. We stayed two nites and the our accommodations were fine with hippos and elephants coming right to the patio of the lodge. Even though Mt Kilimanjaro was cloud covered during our stay we could see the top and I have a couple of good pictures of wildlife with cloud covered mt (but clear peak)in the background. Basically a one day stay there might be two little to get a good impression of the really interesting habitat and wildlife there. I thought the game drives were a bit skimpy with only 90 minutes or so in the morning but somewhat longer in the late afternoon. Our guide was simply lazy. We drove at breakneck speed to/from the lodge when we entered and exited. Part of his performance is our fault as we simply did not challenge him nor complain as to not being given opportunity to observe things. We accepted the program thinking it was the norm when in fact we were in charge. Amboseli is a truly interesting habitat with the swamps, grasslands, shrub thickets, etc and has wildlife we had not seen before (jacana, gerenuk antelope, etc). Saw our first African hoopoe there on lodge game walk. I did not mean to downgrade it The park is relatively small but still worthy of attention particularly if one has a good guide or at least a firm hand in scheduling time afield.
Given the opportunity for another East Africa visit I would still select Tanzania and then Kenyan where I would opt for other parks (over Amboseli)simply to see more of the country.
rsnyder is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Thank you, rsnyder, for update on Amboseli. Sounds like it would be a consideration for adding into a Kenya itinerary. Based on the boards, it does seem other parks in Kenya are more popular. For our safari, I've cut out Amboseli since it meant added logistics and time that I'd chose instead to use for more time at Mahale National Park. Very different experiences, but Mt. Kili remains something we'd like to see and photograph.
Thanks, again.
lovetodiscover is offline  
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