Kenya or Tanzania? Which Country should I experience?

Mount Kilimanjaro can be viewed on both Kenya & Tanzania

Nothing beats Kenya and Tanzania when it comes to authentic game safari. In fact, the two countries are the world’s most popular safari destination that should be on every travelers’ bucket list. They have lots of similarity when it comes to travel experiences, but there are also a number of unique activities that distinguish the two destination. These activities or reasons include:.

1. Natural Beauty:

Both Kenya and Tanzania have unique yet different natural beauty shaped by the global plate tectonic forces that created the East African Rift Valley.

Tanzania for instance is home to Africa’s highest and walkable summit; the beautiful snow peaked Mount Kilimanjaro. This mountain offers hiking experience for the most reasonably fit and properly guided climbers who can experience the triumph of reaching the crater rim with little more than walking stick, warm clothing and determination. A journey up the slopes takes visitors on a climatic world tour, from the tropics to the arctic. Additionally, the country’s Rift Valley features; the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the eighth wonder of the world. On one of Ngorongoro Crater, visitors can encounter some of the 30, 000 animals in the crater diverse range of habitats: swampy wetlands open savannah, woodlands and lake – all within the steep rock walls that climb through thick forest some 600 m to the rim.

ngorongoro crater
Ngorongoro Crater

Kenya on the other hand is home to Africa’s second highest Mountain; Mount Kenya. Batain and Nelion, the Mountain’s main summit, can only be reached through a rigorous technical climb over rock and ice. Point Lenana, the mountain’s third highest peak, is popular with trekkers who want the spectacular views without the rigors of technical climb. Kerio Valley is another unique destination within Kenya’s Rift Valley that is covered with broad escarpments in semitropical vegetation. It offer stunning views as well as premiere paragliding destination.

Lenana Peak Mount Kenya
Lenana Peak Mount Kenya

2. Coast & Beaches :

There are a lot of similarities to Kenya and Tanzania, as both countries sit a long Indian Ocean and are littered with white sandy beaches lined with palm trees, warm seas, aquamarine life, coral reefs, golden sandy dunes making a haven for the perfect holiday.

The archipelago of islands off the coast of Tanzania and Zanzibar are surrounded by coral reefs and are home to an amazing array of silver beaches and clear blue sea. There are spice gardens and sultan’s palaces; and a chance to wander through the ancient lanes of Stone Town with its antique emporiums, ‘House of Wonder,’ Dr. Livingstone’s house, old Slave market and Arab Fort.

Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

The Kenyan coast on the hand has rich history, dating back over one thousand years epitomized by the Vasco da Gama pillar and fort Jesus. Also resting on Kenya’s magnificent Indian Ocean shoreline is Diani Beach. The area’s wonderfully warm waters and exquisite coral reefs provide an ideal environment for diverse crowd: party people, families, honeymooners, backpackers and water-sports enthusiasts. But if that sounds like your typical resort town, think again. Diani has some of the best accommodation in Kenya, from the funky kite-surfing lodges to the intimate honeymoon spots. Most places are spread along the beach road, hidden behind a line of forest.  

Diani Beach, Kenya
Diani Beach, Kenya

3. Getting Around :

Kenya has an extensive domestic travel network by rail, road or air to suit every travelers budget. The country has three international airports; Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Eldoret International Airport in Eldoret. Local airports include: Wilson Airport in Nairobi and Kisumu Airport in Kisumu. There are also over 250 airstrips. Visitors  to Kenya can drive using an international driving license and driving is on the left hand side and the most popular means of transport in Kenya is the Matatu which has become an international icon and a large part of Kenyan modern culture uber can also be found in Kenya major town such as Mombasa and Nairobi. There is also the new SGR rail which connects the city of Nairobi with Mombasa. This rail transport takes approximately 3 hours.

Ostrich walking in the wild with the standard gauge railway in the background
Ostrich walking at Nairobi National Park with the standard gauge railway in the background

Tanzania on the hand has three well known international airport: Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro Airport in Arusha as well as Zanzibar International Airport in Zanzibar. Local airports include: Mwanza Airport, Kigoma Airport and Mutwara Airport.  Ferry services are also available from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam. All major centers with exception of Arusha are connected with meter gauge railway. There is also an option for buses and taxis in major town such as Dar es Salaam where you can also find Uber.

Arusha, the safari capital city of Tanzania.
Arusha, the safari capital city of the Tanzania.

4. Culture and Language :

There is no big difference between Tanzania and Kenya when it comes to language since both nation speak Swahili and English as the official Language

5.  Wildlife :

Finally, both Kenya and Tanzania have numerous wildlife that can only be found within the two destination.

Tanzania for instance has one of the largest game reserve in the world: Selous Game Reserve while Kenya has a national park next to Nairobi City. The Great Wildebeest Migration can also be experienced not only in Kenya but also Tanzania. The only big difference when it comes to experiencing game wildlife between the two countries is the accommodation facilities. Kenya has numerous number of accommodation on it game parks and reserves to meet different budgets when compared to Tanzania whose number is a bit small.

A herd of running zebras.

 So which Destination is ideal for You?

There is no perfect answer of this question since both countries have more or less similar experiences and the choice of the country to visit only depends on you. However, we highly recommend our guests to combine the two destination for instance a safari in Kenya and a beach holiday in Tanzania or vice versa.

Kindly get in touch with us at info@tembeaafrica.co.ke or contact us via our contact page if interested with these two destination or amore personalized safari

Cheers & Stay Safe!

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