Masai Mara Vs Serengeti Vs Kruger National Park

Masai Mara Vs Serengeti Vs Kruger National Park. The Guide to Masai Mara, Serengeti, and Kruger National Parks. If you’re seeking the ultimate location for a true African safari experience, these three are unrivaled. The Masai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti National Park, and Kruger National Park all provide a variety of experiences and excursions to accommodate all types of visitors, from honeymooners and lone explorers to families and friends.

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

But how can you select between these three breathtaking locations? Masai Mara vs. Serengeti? Serengeti compared. Kruger National Park? Which is the most suitable for a safari? We’ve been visiting these beautiful wildernesses since 1998, therefore we’ve broken down this hard subject to assist you to find the perfect spot for your trip needs.

Are you ready to plan your safari to the Masai Mara, Serengeti, or Kruger National Park? Talk to someone who has been there. Contact one of our Africa Safari Experts to help you customize a vacation that’s perfect for you. Help Me Plan

Quick Overview

Masai Mara Serengeti Kruger
Safari Country Kenya Tanzania South Africa
Dry Seasons January – March
June – October
January – March
June – October
May – October
Wet or Green Seasons November – December
April – May
November – December
April – May
November – April
Safari Cost $385 – $1,600 (per day depending) $500–$1,850 (per day depending) $450 – $1,700 (per day depending)
Safari Highlights Wildebeest Migration
Cultural interactions,
Big cat sightings
Hot-air balloon safaris
Wildebeest Migration
Cultural interactions
Excellent year-round game viewing
Unrivaled Big 5 game
viewing World-class amenities & service

Are you ready to plan your safari to the Masai Mara, Serengeti, or Kruger National Park? Talk to someone who has been there. Contact one of our Africa Safari Experts to help you customize a vacation that’s perfect for you. Help Me Plan

Location and Landscape

Let’s start with the widest distinction: the Kruger National Park is in South Africa, whereas the Serengeti and Masai Mara are in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively. Tanzania and Kenya share a border, and the Masai Mara and Serengeti share an unfenced border for wildlife but not humans. They compose the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, one of the world’s biggest (nearly twice the area of New Jersey) and best-protected habitats. This huge wilderness region serves as the backdrop for one of nature’s most spectacular shows, the Wildebeest Migration.

What is the location of the Masai Mara?

The Masai Mara National Reserve is a wilderness region in south-western Kenya, near the Tanzanian border. The Masai Mara environment is defined by its huge rolling grasslands, filled with lone thorn trees and distant purple highlands. This is Out of Africa territory, and the sunsets are some of the most dramatic you’ll ever see. There are few trees since elephants have knocked many of them down throughout the decades. It is really simple to go to the Masai Mara. You’ll fly to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, before taking a small plane to one of the Masai Mara’s airstrips.

Where is the Serengeti?

The Serengeti National Park is in northern Tanzania and covers an area of 14 763 square kilometers (5 700 square miles). It shares the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (which includes the iconic Ngorongoro Crater) and the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Serengeti is a place of stunning wide grassland, dense forest, and scrubby hill area. ‘Serengeti’ means ‘land that travels forever’ or ‘land that continues forever.’ You’ll travel into Kilimanjaro International Airport and spend the night in Arusha, the entrance to Tanzania’s famed Northern Safari Circuit.

Where can I find the Kruger National Park?

The Kruger National Park is located in South Africa’s northeast. It is one of the world’s largest national parks, covering an area of 19 485 square kilometers (7 523 square miles) — about the size of Israel.

Expect to see open woodland or denser acacia scrub rather than large sweeping savannahs as in the Masai Mara or Serengeti; the vegetation here is thicker than in East Africa and much of the scenery is open woodland or denser acacia scrub. It is stunning, with gigantic trees (ideal for leopards to hide in) and rocky hills known as koppies, which are frequently the domain of klipspringers: tiny, monogamous antelope that marry for life. Fly into Johannesburg, Africa’s wealthiest metropolis, and then take a short-haul flight to one of Kruger National Park’s several airstrips. The park is bordered by private game reserves like Sabi Sands, Thornybush, and Timbavati, all of which provide exceptional safari experiences.

Are you ready to plan your safari to the Masai Mara, Serengeti, or Kruger National Park? Talk to someone who has been there. Contact one of our Africa Safari Experts to help you customize a vacation that’s perfect for you. Help Me Plan

What Animals Can You Expect to See in the Masai Mara, Serengeti, and Kruger National Park?

Each destination’s fauna is world-renowned. The Kruger National Park provides typical heavyweight game watching, but if you’re visiting Africa to see the Big 5, there’s no better place to go. On any given day, you could see a lion, an elephant, a rhinoceros, a leopard, and a buffalo. The Masai Mara and Serengeti, on the other hand, provide as the backdrop to our planet’s greatest spectacular natural spectacle: the Great Wildebeest Migration.

Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is home to lions, elephants, and buffalo, but leopards and, notably, rhinos are more difficult to spot. The lack of trees and thicket means you’ll have to work harder for a decent sighting (rhinos feel the cold and like to migrate to dense undergrowth at night to remain warm). Throughout the year, the Mara is home to a plethora of different animals, but it is especially beneficial to large herds and their predators. Aside from enormous lion pride, it’s one of the greatest spots in Africa to watch cheetah. These swift felines require broad and flat areas to hunt; watching a cheetah pursue down its prey is an exciting sight. Its vast plains are also ideal for lion hunting. There are also many spotted hyenas, giraffes, and Thomson’s gazelles.

migration of wildebeest in masai mara

migration of wildebeest in Masai Mara

Head to the Masai Mara from about August to October to see the Wildebeest Migration’s mega-herds. The national reserve is fairly small and can get rather busy when the wildebeest arrive, so it’s always a good idea to stay in one of the neighboring private conservancies. You’ll enjoy a more tranquil safari experience, but you’re still close enough to the Migration’s hot spots.

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Serengeti

You’ll see lots of lions, buffalo, and elephants, as well as leopards if you remain in the Serengeti’s steep sections and along the Serenora River, as you would in the Masai Mara. However, rhinos are becoming increasingly scarce. Lion prides, in particular, enjoy the vast plains of the Serengeti. The Serengeti has a similar reputation for big cats as the Masai Mara for general wildlife watching at any time of year. It also ranks among the top birding destinations in the world, with a bird count of around 500 different species.

Game viewing safari in Serengeti

Game viewing safari in Serengeti

From November to July, the Serengeti receives the lion’s share of the Wildebeest Migration. A month-by-month summary of the Great Migration may be found in our handy guide.

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Kruger

Private reserves in the Kruger National Park, such as Sabi Sands, Timbavati, and Thornybush, provide some of Africa’s greatest Big 5 sightings, particularly of the group’s most elusive member: the leopard. The area’s hillocks, rocky outcrops, and dense forest provide ideal leopard habitat. This is also the best spot to observe rhinos, and it is said to have the most elephants of the three. Expect excellent general game watching all year, with possibilities to see rare and endangered wildlife like African wild dogs, cheetah, and sable – plus it’s one of Africa’s greatest birding destinations.

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park, South Africa

The variegated landscape along its dams and rivers provides habitat for a variety of kingfisher species (pied, malachite, and huge), lilac-breasted rollers, carmine bee-eaters, raptors such as eagles, vultures, owls, and ducks. Remember that birding is generally more remarkable during the Green Season (about November to April) when all migratory species are there and there is plenty of food.

Are you ready to plan your safari to the Masai Mara, Serengeti, or Kruger National Park? Talk to someone who has been there. Contact one of our Africa Safari Experts to help you customize a vacation that’s perfect for you. Help Me Plan

What Safari Activities Can You Look Forward to in the Masai Mara, Serengeti, and Kruger National Park?

Masai Mara Serengeti Kruger
Morning & Afternoon Game Drives
Night Game Drives In private conservancies In private reserves and concessions In private reserves
Guided Nature Walks In private conservancies In private reserves & concessions In private reserves
Hot-air Balloon Safaris In private reserves & concessions In private reserves
Cultural Tours

The principal activity in these places is morning and afternoon game drives in game-drive vehicles. Behind the wheel is a trained guide who will identify and explain what you observe. Other activities are available, depending on where you go: the general rule is that private reserves offer more activities than public-access parks (for example, neither night drives nor nature walks are permitted in national parks). Family-friendly lodgings provide a variety of enjoyable activities and educational programs for youngsters.

Are you ready to plan your safari to the Masai Mara, Serengeti, or Kruger National Park? Talk to someone who has been there. Contact one of our Africa Safari Experts to help you customize a vacation that’s perfect for you. Help Me Plan

When is the Best Time to Go?: Masai Mara vs Serengeti vs Kruger National Park

It is critical to decide when to visit the Serengeti, Masai Mara, and Kruger National Park. The ‘ideal’ time to visit is often considered to be during their dry seasons, simply because the animals are simpler to locate. Furthermore, the climate is at its most comfortable (the intense heat of summer has gone), the malaria danger is quite low, and game viewing is typically easier because the foliage is at its thinnest (particularly in the Kruger) and animals are congregated around water sources.

The cost will also be influenced by the season — a safari in the peak season will be more expensive than one in the low season. And if you want to see the Wildebeest Migration (particularly its more dramatic moments, such as mid-year river crossings), you’ll have to spend a bit extra and arrange your safari up to a year in advance. The more cheap low or Verdant Season offers a certain enchantment of its own, with green, bird-filled landscapes and many animals to witness – frequently with newborns. Green Season is also ideal for avoiding crowds and shooting amazing shots due to the lush foliage, brilliant light, and lack of dust, which results in sharp, interesting images. Learn more about a Green Season safari by reading our handy guide.

Masai Mara Serengeti Kruger
Dry Seasons January – March
June – October
January –March
June – October
May – October
Wildebeest Migration Season August – October November – July n/a
Safari High or Peak Season June – October June – October June – August
Safari Low or Green Season November – December November – December November –April

Are you ready to plan your safari to the Masai Mara, Serengeti, or Kruger National Park? Talk to someone who has been there. Contact one of our Africa Safari Experts to help you customize a vacation that’s perfect for you. Help Me Plan

Which other destinations may be included with a visit to the Masai Mara, Serengeti, and Kruger National Park?

If you have the money and time, deciding whether to go on safari in the Serengeti vs Masai Mara vs Kruger National Park is simple — you can visit all three! Each may be combined with a slew of other classic places thanks to efficient logistics and regular flights. For a different take on Africa’s wildlife and landscapes (a diverse safari experience), we recommend adding another game reserve or two, a one-of-a-kind gorilla trekking expedition, or perhaps concluding your trip with a beach holiday. Days on safari can be long, dusty, and action-packed, which is why we always suggest crowning your trip with white-sand beaches, flourishing coral reefs, and a butler service right down to the ocean’s edge.

The following is a list of places that may easily be coupled with a safari in the Serengeti vs Masai Mara vs Kruger National Park:

Masai Mara Serengeti Kruger
Destinations in Kenya:

Amboseli

Samburu

Laikipia

Lewa

Kenya’s beaches

Destinations in Tanzania:

Ngorongoro Crater

Tarangire

Lake Manyara

Nyerere National Park

Ruaha

Destinations in South Africa:

Cape Town

Garden Route

Cape Winelands

Destinations in East Africa:

Serengeti

Rwanda (Gorilla Trekking)

Uganda (Gorilla Trekking)

Destinations in East Africa:

Masai Mara

Rwanda (Gorilla Trekking)

Uganda (Gorilla Trekking)

Destinations in Southern Africa:

Victoria Falls

Okavango Delta

Indian Ocean Islands:

Seychelles

Zanzibar

Indian Ocean Islands:

Zanzibar

Seychelles

Indian Ocean Islands:

Quirimbas or Bazaruto (Mozambique)

Mauritius

Are you ready to plan your safari to the Masai Mara, Serengeti, or Kruger National Park? Talk to someone who has been there. Contact one of our Africa Safari Experts to help you customize a vacation that’s perfect for you. Help Me Plan
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