This study examines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of selected local large firms in both Kenya and Tanzania by exploring communication, organisation and activity dimensions of these firms. The study focuses on these two East African countries because there is a well established stock exchange with a large number of firms capable of engaging in social issues in this region. Moreover, compared to other regions in Africa, there has been little research on CSR practices in this part of Africa. In addition, the existing literature on CSR in Africa reveals more studies on Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) with little emphasis on large indigenous firms operating in the southern hemisphere, particularly in the East African region. Accordingly, this study explores the CSR practices of indigenous large firms in Kenya and Tanzania. Specifically, it examines whether these firms engage socially, and in the same way. To answer the research questions a survey research approach using standardised public data (i.e. newspapers and business annual reports for the period 2010-2012) was employed. In particular, content analysis of newspapers and annual reports was carried out to investigate the characteristics of CSR practice of these local firms. The study concludes that local firms in both Kenya and Tanzania are faced with the same obligations in meeting society's needs, even though social engagement is different between the firms. This research identified well organised firms with established CSR (i.e. proactive firms); less well organised firms in which CSR is not established (i.e. reactive firms); and lastly firms that engage less often and are not organised internally (i.e. episodic). Overall, research findings in this study imply a shift of focus from sole stakeholders to multiple stakeholder engagements in business conduct.