We compared the nested internal transcribed spacer (ITS) PCR and the 18S PCR RFLP (restriction-fragment length polymorphism) pan-trypanosome assays in a cross-sectional survey of bovine trypanosomiasis in 358 cattle in Kwale County, Kenya. The prevalence of trypanosomiasis as determined by the nested ITS PCR was 19.6% (70/358) and by 18S PCR-RFLP was 16.8% (60/358). Of the pathogenic trypanosomes detected, the prevalence of Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma vivax was greater than that of Trypanosoma simiae. The nested ITS PCR detected 83 parasite events, whereas the 18S PCR-RFLP detected 64; however, overall frequencies of infections and the parasite events detected did not differ between the assays (χ2 = 0.8, df = 1, p > 0.05 and χ2 = 2.5, df = 1, p > 0.05, respectively). The kappa statistic (0.8) showed good agreement between the tests. The nested ITS PCR and the 18S PCR-RFLP had comparable sensitivity, although the nested ITS PCR was better at detecting mixed infections (χ2 = 5.4, df = 1, p < 0.05).