South Africa versus Kenya / Tanzania

Aug 9th, 2001, 07:29 AM
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South Africa versus Kenya / Tanzania

I have been to Kenya/Tanzania on a viewing safari. I would like to hear from people who have been to both Kenya/Tanzania and South Africa about how they compare the two places for large animal viewing.
Aug 10th, 2001, 07:27 AM
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Just returned from Kenya/Tanzania. One couple on the tour completed the South African tour first before coming to Kenya/Tanzania. They said South Africa might have 2-3 animals at a time where Kenya/Tanzania had many more in groups. We saw all the large animals and cats.
Aug 10th, 2001, 12:52 PM
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We have been to Kenya/Tanzania and Botswana (not quite S.A.). For us the trade-off was not as many animals in groups but then we avoided the many people in groups in Kenya/Tanzania. We loved the peace and solitude of Botswana. An example of crowding is the Ngorongoro Crater where we stopped for lunch around a small lake with 36 other vehicles. While we enjoyed both we would rather see fewer other tourists. Our next trip would be S.A. but I can't imagine anything better than Botswana.
Aug 11th, 2001, 01:11 PM
Lynda Howland
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I have done safaris in South Africa and Kenya/Tanzania, and would strongly recommend Tanzania. (There are fewer crowds than Kenya.) South Africa has some nice game parks, including Kruger, but they almost seem too "civilized," with vans all over with people doing self-drives on paved roads - almost like Disney World. Of course, the facilities are more modern in South Africa. Tanzania, on the other hand, is more the "real" African safari country - much for primitive and exciting. I found more crowds in South Africa than in Tanzania. The Serengeti is one of the most incredible game parks in Africa, and far superior to Kruger.
I have also traveled in Botswana and Namibia, and would recommend Botswana as another place for the more "wild" experience. Etosha Game Reserve in Namibia is superb, but it is the only game park there.
If you are interested, I can give you the names of local safari companies in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania or Uganda. Some do camping safaris, others can do more "comfortable" safaris.
Aug 12th, 2001, 03:25 PM
rachel sumaria
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if you want to avoid crowds in tanzania then go to Selous Game reserve, the largest game reserve in the world. The best palce to stay is Sand Rivers Camp where you can go fly camping, fishing, boating, etc. Ruaha game reserve next door is also fabulous and the place to stay at is Mwagusi. I travelled to ngorongoro last December and over 20 vehicles surrounded 5 lions, whereas Grumeti River Camp in Serengeti was much quieter - we loved it. If you go to Ngorongoro stay at the crater lodge -it is outlandish and gorgeous. Vintage Africa arranged the trip fr me and they were incredibly good.
Aug 15th, 2001, 05:13 AM
Anjali Sanga
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I have been to Tanzania twice and just recently returned from South Africa. Lynda is right - South Africa is too "civilized" - paved roads, less animals and fences everywhere! Serengeti, Tarangire (in the dry season) and Ngorogoro in the northern circuit is awesome, and in my opinion, BEST for large animal viewing. But for less tourists and remoteness, Selous and Ruaha in the south cannot be beat.

I keep reading account after account on how Botswana is the ultimate safari destination, described as "how africa used to be." Great animal viewing and less tourists. Will eventually get there!

I have heard that Kenya is amazing also, but alot more people. I will be going there in February for a few days, after my trip to Uganda.
Aug 15th, 2001, 01:52 PM
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As someone who has visited both East Africa and South Africa, there are differences between the two. Note: I visited both in the late Sept-early Oct time period.

I first went to Kenya (Masai Mara & Lake Nakuru) in 1990. In the Masai Mara, you can go offroading to see the animals and you see vast herds on endless plains. In South Africa which I visited in 1995 (I didn't go to Kruger but to a private
reserve right outside), the herds overall are much smaller and the landscape is more bushland. For example, in South Africa I saw a solitary wildebeest; this would have been unheard of on the Masai Mara plain where I saw
herds so large I couldn't count them.

[I would recommend that if you choose South Africa, go to one of the private reserves like Sabi which does allow
offroading vs. Kruger where you have to stay on the roads.]

Types of animals: Overall, you are more likely to see cheetah if you go to Kenya; if you go to South Africa, you
are more likely to see rhinos in the wild (and I saw my leopard there). Also I always thought God had a funny sense of humor when he made zebras have stripes. On the plains of East Africa, the stripes are like bullseyes; however, in South Africa, in the bushlands, zebras do blend in to the bush. But I didn't see my Big Five until South Africa (I never saw a leopard in Kenya).

In fact, I am going back again this October. I will be visiting the Masai Mara again and also Amboseli which I
have never visited (I want to see Kilimanjaro - I figure I've seen and hiked Mt. Kenya - might as well include
another mountain).

They are different but both are worthwhile.
Aug 21st, 2001, 03:19 PM
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I myself have only been to South Africa, the Sabi Sand game reserve; however, my family has been traveling to Africa for the last 17 years. They have visited both Kenya and Tanzania along with Botswana and South Africa. For the last 10 of those 17 years they have devoted their two week vacation to South Africa. I understand that the game in East Africa does contain larger herds but I also understand that for them, areas like the ngorogoro crater seem like zoos with one animal after the other and you lose the thrill of tracking and finding the animals that South Africa (at least the Sabi Sand) offers you. I would not recommend Kruger Park, as it is a national park and has very strict rules. I have been to the Sabi Sand twice now, and have seen just about all one could ever ask to see; both experiences are amazing. One of the major pluses to South Africa over East Africa is that it is not considered third world and so you are able to eat all of the fruits and vegetables raw and drink the milk, etc. If you are interested, I can give you the names of some wonderful lodges in South Africa that do give you the feel of the "wild" and offer knowledgeable rangers, which will definitely add to the experience.
Aug 23rd, 2001, 05:18 AM
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I have been to both, plus Namibia and Botswana. My favourite is Botswana.

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