Kenya vs South Africa: Which is Better for Safari?


Kenya and South Africa are arguably the two top safari destinations in the world. Every year, millions of tourists visit both countries for bush safaris and wildlife viewing. 

However, which between the two is better for safari? Is there a difference between the safaris in each country? Which animals can you see while on safari in each country?

In this post, we will look at both countries, why to visit, and which animals you can expect to see. 

Safari in Kenya


Kenya is the largest economy in east africa and home to the world renowned Masai Mara game reserve. Kenya is a top safari destination for tourists from all over the world. The main tourist attraction is the Masai Mara which hosts the annual wildebeest migration, the 8th wonder of the world. 

Kenya also has some of the best beaches in Africa with Diani beach being the most popular beach in Kenya. Read more about the top beaches in Africa here

In addition to the masai mara, Kenya is also home to many other national parks and game reserves. The top national parks in Kenya include;

  • Masai Mara National Reserve 
  • Amboseli National Park
  • Nairobi National Park
  • Tsavo East and West National Parks 
  • Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Hell’s Gate National Park 
  • Aberdares National Park 

These are some of the top national parks in Kenya. Most travel itineraries will take you to at least 2 national parks. 

Why should you consider a safari in Kenya? 

There are so many reasons to consider a safari in Kenya. There are many parks to visit, you are guaranteed to see the big 5, there are 5 star lodges and camps in most of the national parks, and the cost is fair. 

How to get to Kenya for your safari 

Being one of the biggest economies in East and Central Africa, Kenya is well connected by air. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi is a major travel hub with flights from all over the world. If you’re travelling from Europe, you can easily get to Nairobi from most of the Major cities in Europe. Alternatively, you can transit via the middle east either in Qatar or Dubai as there are daily flights from Nairobi to Dubai and Doha. 

What animals will you see while on a Kenya safari?

Some of the animals you will see while on a Kenya safari include lions, elephants, zebras, wildebeests, cheetahs, giraffes, and more. Most of these animals can be found in most of the national parks in Kenya. The rhino, being endangered, is elusive but if you are lucky you can see some rhinos in national parks such as Masai mara or in conservancies such as Olpejeta conservancy in Laikipia County. 

South Africa Safari


South Africa is a leading tourist destination for visitors from all over the world. Every year, millions of tourists visit South Africa for leisure. South Africa is world renowned for its large variety of wildlife which includes lions, leopards, elephants, cheetahs and many more. 

One of the most famous national parks in South Africa is Kruger which attracts millions of visitors every year. 

Other national parks in South Africa include;

  • Kruger National Park 
  • Golden Gate Highlands National Park
  • Namaqua National Park
  • Addo Elephant National Park 
  • Mapungubwe National Park
  • MalaMala Private Game Reserve
  • Phinda Private Game Reserve

Why should you consider a South African safari?

South Africa attracts millions of visitors annually and for good reason. Its conservation efforts means that its parks have high concentrations of the big 5 animals. Hwange National Park for instance has a large population of wild elephants. 

The road network within some of the parks is also very good making it ideal for visitors without 4 wheel drive vehicles. You can literally hire a car and go on a game drive in Kruger National Park. 

How to get to South Africa for your safari

South Africa is the third largest economy in Africa. It has numerous international airports with direct flights from the US, Europe and Asia. Most tourists arrive via Johannesburg International Airport. From there you can take a domestic flight to the lodges within the parks. Most parks have airstrips for light aircrafts. 

What animals can you expect to see on a South African Safari?

South Africa is home to a wide variety of wild animals which include the big 5. Some of the animals you can expect to see while on safari include; elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, hippos, springboks, ostriches and many more. Additionally, there are thousands of bird species. 

So, Which is better for safari, Kenya or South Africa?

Our verdict is that both Kenya and South Africa are great Safari destinations. The wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara is a sight to behold while the elephant population in South Africa allows you to get up close with the largest mammal in the world. 

Whichever country you decide to go to for your Safari, you can rest assured that you will see the big 5 and the experience will be unforgettable. 


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