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East Africa vs. Southern Africa

When considering an African safari, deciding between East and Southern Africa can be a challenging task. These regions each offer distinct and equally captivating safari experiences.

Southern Africa

In the southern part of the continent, safaris are synonymous with private game reserves. This region, encompassing countries like South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia, is celebrated for its remarkable biodiversity. Here, you have the opportunity to encounter the renowned Big Five and a multitude of other wildlife in various habitats. Southern African safaris are known for their meticulously maintained lodges and luxury camps, top-notch infrastructure, and the added benefit of all-weather accessibility.

Leopard spotted taking a drink at Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa.

East Africa

On the other hand, East Africa, particularly in countries like Kenya and Tanzania, presents a unique spectacle—the Great Migration. Millions of wildebeest and zebras undertake a treacherous journey across the Serengeti and Maasai Mara in search of fresh grazing grounds. This epic event provides an incredible opportunity to witness the circle of life, complete with thrilling predator-prey interactions. East African safaris are characterized by vast open savannahs, dramatic landscapes, and a sense of wild, untamed beauty. East Africa is also an ideal region for Mountain Gorilla Trekking, with the opportunity to get up close with these magnificent creatures in lush jungle habitats found in Rwanda.

Experience the stunning Great Migration up close with front-row views of wildebeests' majestic journey through Serengeti and Maasai Mara.

Here are a few differences and similarities between East Africa and Southern Africa safari:

  • Landscapes: East Africa boasts dramatic landscapes like Mt. Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti, and lush rainforests. Southern Africa offers diverse terrains including the Okavango Delta, Kalahari Desert, Skeleton Coast, Victoria Falls, and popular Kruger National Park.

  • Weather: Southern Africa is a year-round destination with camps and lodges open throughout all seasons. East Africa has specific rainy seasons, during which some camps can be closed.

  • Wildlife Abundance: Both East Africa and Southern Africa are home to the renowned Big 5, with Southern Africa having more elephants and other fascinating animals. East Africa boasts vast herds of wildebeest and zebra, especially during the Great Migration, and offers unique Mountain Gorilla Trekking.

  • Lodge-based vs. Operator-based safari: In Southern Africa, the lodge or camp hosts all your game drives, and you typically fly directly to the lodge. Expert safari guides based at the lodge conduct your daily drives during your stay. In East Africa, safari experience is executed through a local safari operator. You travel between national parks with a dedicated vehicle and guide accompanying you. Upon arriving at a lodge, you can enjoy its amenities while having your own vehicle and guide for game drives.

  • Safari Vehicles: In East Africa, where travelers venture between national parks, safari vehicles are built for comfort and adaptability to handle various types of roads. These vehicles are exclusively reserved for you and your companions throughout the journey. In Southern Africa, safari vehicles operate from specific lodges and emphasize open, doorless, and roofless designs that provide unobstructed views of the wildlife. These vehicles often feature tiered seating, with a maximum of 6 passengers for an intimate experience.

Ultimately, choosing between East and Southern Africa for your safari depends on your preferences and priorities, as both regions offer unique and captivating experiences in the heart of the African continent. Our knowledgeable safari experts are at your service to navigate the array of options and craft a tailor-made safari that fulfills your every expectation.




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