Today I’m chatting about Kenya vs. South Africa Safari and our opinions on both!
So, you’ve decided to go on safari…GOOD CHOICE! Now comes the tough part — deciding where to go! Would you recommend a safari in Kenya or a safari in South Africa? How do South Africa and Kenya compare? This is probably the #1 question I got from our trip and I’ll be honest – I really had to sit down and think about this one. I think what it comes down to entirely is personal preference. Today I’ll be breaking down some of the similarities and difference between a safari in Kenya and a safari in South Africa, so if that is something you have been curious about, today’s post is for you 🙂
Kenya vs South Africa Safari – Which Safari Is Right For You?
First and foremost – I don’t think it’s fair to pit one country or park against another. It’s important to realize that every single park and concession within the countries has its own unique ecosystems and can range from desert to lush jungle. So honestly, comparing them is like picking between an apple and an orange. It doesn’t make sense.
That said, I did notice a couple differences between my safaris. They were all pretty minor in the big picture, but it’s worth noting, so you can make the best choice for your next adventure when trying to decide between Kenya vs. South Africa safari.
Kenya Safari vs. South Africa Safari
Vehicles. In Kenya, the vehicles have all been covered, which means that it’s a traditional 6-seater safari vehicle with a roof and open-air sides. The paneling on the sides rolls up or down and can be put down in the case of an unexpected downpour, but the roof stays in place and works as a shield against harsh sun and light drizzle. In South Africa, the vehicles were 8-passenger with no roof at all. This meant that on the days where it was raining, we sat in it for our game drives.
Our camp did provide ponchos, which was great, but unfortunately made taking photos pretty difficult. That said, because there was no roof, taking photos was great in the sunshine, albeit quite hot with lots of direct sunlight. Either way – not bad – just different.
Guides and Trackers. On our previous Kenyan safaris, we had a guide in our car who worked has both a guide and a tracker, periodically stopping the car to investigate footprints or markings. In South Africa, it’s a two person team. The tracker sits on the front of the car, while the guide drives the vehicle. This was nice, because sometimes the tracker got off to investigate on foot and we kept driving.
That said, every single guide/tracker has been incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, willing to answer questions, stop for photos — everything. The men and women who work at safari camps are the best of the best, so don’t worry about that part!
Which safari camp is right for you?
My best recommendation is to do your research. What kind of a safari experience do you want? Do you want to do other activities on your vacation in addition to the safari (exploring a big city, wine country, etc)? It’s also important to check the weather conditions for the time of year you are interested in visiting. Do they get heavy rainfall that time of year or is it chillier? Do you want a small, boutique lodge or a larger camp? What about tents versus rooms?
I will say that safari is my hands-down favorite vacation. When Dane and I talk about being able to travel again one day, safari is the first option that comes to mind, so no matter what you pick, you’re going to have the best time! For easy reference, we’ve stayed at stayed at Finch Hattons (Kenya), Mahali Mzuri (Kenya) and Klaserie Sands (South Africa).