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Which Safari Is Better, Kenya Or South Africa?

Family Vacay in South Africa
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Which Safari Is Better, Kenya Or South Africa?

A safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Many of us have dreamed of seeing lions and elephants roaming the African plains since we were tiny children. Kenya and South Africa are two of the most popular destinations to visit if you want to go on an adventure and view animals in their natural environments. Which country, on the other hand, gives the best safari experience?

The answer is dependent on the type of trip you feel most applies to your individual needs and circumstances.



Africa Travel. [Photo: Goway Travel]

Making travel arrangements and ensuring you have permission to enter your selected nation are the first steps to travelling on safari in Africa. For example, Kenya and South Africa are both accessible to visitors from a wide range of countries.

Most nationalities are eligible for an electronic visa (eVisa) in Kenya. This can be achieved by filling out a Kenya online visa application from any location with an internet connection, avoiding the time-consuming procedure of applying for a visa at an embassy. Then, after receiving your visa confirmation, you can go to Kenya, and Nairobi will most likely be your first stop.

Only a handful number of nations require their people to apply for a Kenyan visa in person. Visitors from around 40 countries (mainly in Africa and the Caribbean) can, on the other hand, enter Kenya without a visa.

Although South Africa has yet to implement its eVisa system, people from more than 70 countries can visit without a visa for up to 30 or 90 days. However, if you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you will need to apply for a tourist visa at your nearest South African embassy.

Getting Up Close and Personal with the Animals

Both Kenya and South Africa are excellent places to see Africa’s “big 5” animals: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and Cape buffalo.

Kenya has more national park space and animal reserves than South Africa, including the world-famous Masai Mara. As a result, many travellers report seeing the big five, as well as cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and wildebeest, in just a few days.

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is a well-known safari destination. This area is extremely abundant in wildlife, and safari-goers are rarely disappointed by the species they encounter.

The Great Migration is the one thing that provides Kenya with an advantage. Around 1.3 million wildebeest, half a million gazelles, 200,000 zebras, and thousands of other animals migrate south from the Masai Mara each year around July, crossing the Tanzanian border en masse in October. It is well worth taking a safari in Kenya to watch this massive exodus of animals, as it is one of the most magnificent natural phenomena in the world.

Safari trips in Kenya also provide additional opportunities to approach and interact with wildlife. Drivers and guides may approach animals cautiously, not to upset them, but to provide you with a better photo angle. In South Africa, the laws are even harsher, so you may have to settle for watching from afar.

Cost and Convenience

Kenya is a bit wilder than South Africa, so if you want to camp in tents and feel more connected to nature, Kenya is an excellent choice. However, if you’re going to stay in a tidy lodge, you will have to pay a premium. Between costlier private accommodations and camping, there are few options.

The national parks of South Africa, on the other hand, are designed with visitors in mind. As a result, there are various lodges to choose from, ranging from budget villas and chalets to luxury private lodges. All lodging is of a high grade, with clean facilities, a natural location, and many come with additional amenities such as golf courses.

South Africa is known for being a family-friendly destination with a variety of activities for visitors with children. The roads have been repaved, and the infrastructure has been improved. If you prefer to drive around the parks yourself, this is a huge plus. Yes, in South Africa, this is a viable possibility (as long as you stick to the rules). Of course, if you want, there are guided trips, which are essentially the only option in Kenya.

This, however, comes at the expense of some of the craziness. South Africa receives top marks for being comfortable, affordable, and excellent for families, but it can’t help but feel a touch regulated and sterilized compared to Kenya’s authenticity. But, again, it is a personal preference.


It’s important to remember that no matter which country you choose for your safari, you’ll almost certainly need to get vaccinated against certain local diseases. Surprisingly, only a few vaccinations are necessary for visitors to South Africa, with minimal protection against measles, hepatitis, and typhoid being advised.

Serious infections such as malaria and bilharzia are substantially less likely. Malaria medicines are only prescribed in a few locations of the country. While national parks are typically hotspots for malaria-carrying mosquitos, South Africa is unique on the continent in that it has a variety of malaria-free safari sites.

Malaria medications are required when going on safari in Kenya, and the list of vaccines is longer.

Coastal Activities

If you’re travelling to Africa, you’ll want to do more than just go on a safari. Both Kenya and South Africa have beautiful coastlines that are ideal for beachgoers. However,  However, South Africa is better for families and anyone looking for a little extra luxury. There are numerous beach resorts in the country that cater to visitors of various budgets and are ideal for relaxing.

Kenya, on the other hand, enjoys a cultural advantage. At the same time, it may not have as many or as high a number of resorts as South Africa. It has many fascinating historic ports and medieval ruins to visit, such as Gedi. History aficionados and admirers of old buildings may find that a trip to Kenya is far more rewarding than a trip to South Africa.

Two separate safari experiences in two different nations. Kenya arguably has the edge for a more wildlife-focused, authentic experience in Africa’s wilds, whilst South Africa may be the better choice for more comfort and a more comprehensive vacation that the whole family can enjoy. In any case, it will be a voyage to remember.

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