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Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

El Cajon, California
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Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

Please give me your thoughts/opinions on which place to visit, if I could only go to one of the places. Thanks so much!

nyc
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1. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

Replied to on the Kenya Forum. Final decision is yours.

Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

Well, it sort of depends a lot on what you are looking for?

Have you considered other places? eg South Africa, Morocco, etc?

El Cajon, California
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3. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

peterscot...I might consider South Africa. Not too fond of going to Morocco. A safari is on my bucket list of traveling experiences. I've been told that Tanzania is better to see than Kenya and just wanted to see what the people on Trip Advisor thought about the two places.

4sandi...Thanks for your comparison information on the Kenya forum. Your information was very helpful.

Chicago
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4. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

Kenya has many fantastic locations and parks, and will give a great safari, but when planning my trip, I realized that Tanzania has all of the places I had really heard about and wanted to travel. The Serengeti and Maasai Mara are similar, but the Serengeti is much larger and less crowded. The spectacular river crossings happen in TZ. The Ngorongoro crater is a worldwide wonder. Olduvai crater is an archaeological champion. Tarangire and Manyara are spectacular. Of course, if you just want to view the migration, view Kilimanjaro, have a basic safari, and go to a beach, either country will do fine.

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

As noted, the response may depend on the forum you post on.

There are aspects of Kenya I would like to see. It is cheaper, but that also makes it more crowded at certain times. Like Sciguy, I chose Tanzania as it was the Serengeti I wanted...a place I had dreamed to visit since grade school.

You might need to consider length of time and time of year as this may alter options dependi g on your must see list.

As well as similarities of nature, there are other considerations, and that is how safaris are done in the country. They tend to differ. In some areas or countries the norm is to fly between camos and share a vehicle with other guests where other areas you rent a car and driver. The driver is an experienced guide and you have a private safari where you call the shots. This is the norm for Northern Circuit in Tanzania. Of course there are other combos, but that is a common difference as Kenya often does the fly ins.

I would like to suggest you pick up the Fodors complete guide to safaris. It gives a description of safari in the various African countries. Maybe a country like Botswana or Namibia catches your interest. You can read about them in that book. I think it doesn't have Uganda, though. That country offers lots of interesting travel options as well as gorillas and chimps.

If you are thinking of a group tour, then you can do a combo of Kenya and Tanz. I first visited Tanz on an Overseas Adventure Travel tour. I really enjoyed it. I then went back as a volunteer, and did a private safari. But as a solo traveller, unless you go during the cheaper rainy season, solo travel is expensive. OAT or Gadventures have been doing safaris in East Africa for numerous years and are well recommended....and no single supplement for some.

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

Because you mentioned it, South Africa is an excellent destination if you wish to combine your safari with some general sight seeing. SA offers a world-class city in Cape Town, beautiful and tasty wine country, the scenic Garden Route, nearby Vic Falls, sites of historic importance such as Robben Island and, for game viewing, the Kruger region, one of the iconic safari areas.

If interested in game viewing mostly, either Kenya or Tanzania will give you a memorable visit. However, I find myself more often returning to Tanzania.

El Cajon, California
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7. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

Wow, thank you everyone for the excellent posts. I appreciate the information very much and am starting to get some understanding of each country.

nyc
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8. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

Both Kenya and Tanzania do 'driving' (private game drives) and/or 'flying' (often shared game drive) safaris. And then there are 'combo' drive/fly safaris.. And of these would actually be 'private' safaris, for when you wish to visit, the # of days you have for being in-country, areas of interest and own selection of lodge/camps, to meet your budget.

Unless you select a 'group' safari - OAT, GAdventures, Friendly Planet, others - that has set departure dates, areas visited in each country, their selection of lodges/camps, means of transport.

Your decision, when, interest and budget.

Note: It's NOT recommended to try visiting both countries with 10/days or less, regardless how close these appear on a map; quite a bit of time for transport between them.

.

melbourne
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9. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

A lot for me would depend on your time of travel as I think Kenya is only worthwhile 3 months of the year. Having said that I still prefer Tanzania for a better overall wildlife experience.

Tz. has less tourists and you can more easily get that wilderness experience. Many village and cultural activities in Tz. are still less frequented by visitors...so you can get a more natural experience.

The cats are pretty much the same...but for that wildebeest the experience of the calving in February I don't think you can beat it.

There are more off the beaten path things to do in Tz. also if that is your thing.

The 3 months when I think Kenya is good Northern Tz is also good as well......so it is much of a muchness.

I have done many safaris in both countries and if I had a choice it would be Tanzania everytime.

Having said that I will add the following....

If you want to do both countries then you need about 14 days min....I have done it starting in Nairobi.... Maasai Mara onto Lake Victoria all by road and then after a canoe trip here then into the Serengeti. A great way to satisfy the interest in both countries and settle the oft asked question for yourself.

Edited: 01 September 2013, 08:32
10. Re: Kenya or Tanzania for first visit to Africa? Your thoughts?

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