Serengeti National Park vs Kruger National Park
Serengeti is in Tanzania bordering Kenya towards the north. It was declared a National Park in 1929. Its 14 763² km area is 2/3rd that of the area of Kruger National Park. It takes 8 hours by car from Arusha. Its nearest airports are at Dar-es-Salaam in the east and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya’s Capital Nairobi – further north. It is ideally suited for 4×4 Safari-style exploring but one needs to be self-sufficient in respect of food as there are a limited number of shops and restaurants in the park. It is the pricier of the two parks with entrance fees around $50pp and accommodation from $300pp upwards per day at a number of highly exclusive lodges and bush camps.
Wildlife viewing is spectacular across vast plains
Wildlife viewing is spectacular across vast plains where large herds of animals can be observed from the edge of the Ngorongaro Crater with acacia trees dotted across its grassy floor. The annual migration of huge herds of wildebeest is one of the most amazing sights imaginable. It is here at Serengeti that the term Big Five was first coined. It’s booking system, literature and signposting within the park are not as good as Kruger. It is best visited from December to July and it has an abundance of wildlife equal to that of Kruger.
Kruger National Park borders Mozambique in the east and Zimbabwe in the north. It was declared a National Park in 1926. With its 19 633² km it is 1/3rd larger than Serengeti. Accessible from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg it takes 5 hours by car. There is an airport at Nelspruit and smaller airstrips in and around the park. Ideal for self-drive holidays it requires no 4×4 vehicles as the main roads are tarred and all secondary roads are well maintained gravel roads. Entrance and accommodation suits most pockets at many campsites although there are also many private exclusive lodges around the park. Wildlife viewing is ideal at waterholes and river pools during the southern winter to spring months from July to October when many of the animals have offspring. The northern parts consist of thicker bush with big trees including the Baobab and elephants are in abundance. Kruger is also Big Five country and often offers surprise crossings of herds of Elephants, Buffaloes and buck around the “next corner”. Tourists are visiting the south more often due to its abundance of buck and lions. Kruger’s better booking system, large amounts of literature that is available and better sign posting makes it easier for tourists to plan their own day outings.
herds of Elephants, Buffaloes
Although both Game Parks are rated tops with tourists visiting Africa a “head-to-head” comparison of the two parks makes Serengeti the better of the two for a wilderness style, guided safari whereas Kruger is better suited for the lesser experienced, self-drive style explorer of wildlife.