Why go on an East Africa safari?
East Africa is full of perfectly beastly animals going about their daily chores in huge parks. Millions of them, mooching and munching, fighting and fleeing, it’s all go in this animal kingdom. And East Africa’s hotspot is Kenya’s Maasai Mara (aka Masai) National Park, a brilliant place to watch wild things en masse that can’t be surpassed – except perhaps by Namibia’s Etosha National Park.
Kenya vs Tanzania
Comparisons can be made between Kenya’s Masai Mara and neighbouring Tanzania’s massive Serengeti reserve that shares the same 10, 000 sq miles (25, 000 sq kms) eco-system, but most tourists who have done a side-by-side East Africa Safari (including us) or traveled both in different years have concluded that Serengeti’s game viewing is good but the Maasai Mara’s is better, while the selection of camps and hotels is also a step up.
Basically if you have time left over from touring the Maasai Mara and want more sights you’re better off heading up to Kenya’s Samburu where the flora and fauna are markedly different.
When to go there
Very best East Africa Safari season: October-November when there are fewer tourists, the grass is short (best for game viewing) and the migration is still on. June-September is prime migration time but August-September is a particularly busy tourist time and sightings get uncomfortably crowded.
OK: December – February (so-so with small rains and low prices)
Worst: March-May (big rains, animals disperse and long grass conceals the action)