Africa is a huge continent with 56 sovereign countries. How does one determine which region might be best fit for their holiday safari expectations? How have you pictured your African safari vacation?
In general, most people are trying to decide between visiting one of the Southern African countries or one of the East African countries. What is the difference in what you might experience. Kenya and Tanzania tend to be the holiday destination that most people have dreamed of or seen on television especially the vast Serengeti or Maasai Mara (the Jewel Parks of Kenya and Tanzania) with huge volumes of wildebeest and zebra. But here is an honest explanation of what the difference is between Southern and Eastern Africa.
East Africa is home to the Serengeti/Mara eco-system where huge wildebeest and zebra herds and other antelopes, form the famous eighth wonder of the world, the great wildebeest migration as they move in search of food and water all year round.
The national parks in Kenya and Tanzania are not fenced and hence there is a true migration allowing nature to take its course in the balance of wildlife in their natural habitats. There is no need to “cull” any of the herd animals. Private reserves are not allowed within the boundaries of these famous national parks as these are considered as rich natural resources that will remain available to all people who visit these gazetted areas of land now and in the future.
Kenya and Tanzania take tremendous pride in the protection of natural habitats and there are areas of the parks that you must remain on the system of small tracks. There are areas that you can do more off-road travel, but the most important thing is to select a company like African Outback Wildlife Safaris that has expertise in the parks, provides unlimited daily mileage on game drives, and gets you away from crowds to seek a unique wildlife interaction.
In Kenya and Tanzania, it is possible to combine driving and flying in such a way that you can enjoy the same private driver guide throughout your safari, building a warm and educational relationship as you both become “friends” in the bush.
Southern Africa has a rich tradition of private reserves and often offers smaller tented properties that you fly into and out of. The staff at these individual lodges conducts the game drives and there are fewer restrictions in terms of where you are allowed to do game drives and travel off-road. In general, while you will not see as much quantity of wildlife in southern Africa, you usually will travel less distance to see a greater number of individual species. On the other hand you will see a much greater volume of animals in East Africa, with the huge herds spending the majority of their time in Tanzania and the non migratory herds and other animals remaining in Kenya. While East Africa is not the only incredible tourist destination in Africa, it remains a jewel for a safari vacation experience.
All of our Kenya and Tanzania safaris visit either the Maasai Mara, Serengeti or both. Those wanting to concentrate on the migration in the Serengeti will like our Duma Adventure and if the migration in the Maasai Mara is what you really want to see then Migration Special is for you. If however you want the ultimate East Africa tour then why not mix up the two on our Jambo KT Adventure which heads to both the Serengeti and Maasai Mara! Our Ambomara Special safari holiday spends 2 nights in the Maasai Mara with lots of included game activity – so if you time it for the second half of the year from July through to October you could well see the migration in the Mara. Wilderness Trail flies between the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti as well as exploring lots of other great national parks in the region. Tanzania Highlight focuses on some of Tanzania’s best national parks including the migration in the Serengeti at the right time of year.