Top 6 Safari Destinations in East Africa

When deciding where to go in East Africa make sure you include a visit to at least a few of its best destinations. Go on safari in some of Africa’s famous parks; the Masai Mara and Serengeti. East Africa has some of the continent’s best treks–the most popular is Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro and Uganda’s mount Rwenzori. Lamu and Zanzibar are historically fascinating and their beaches aren’t too shabby either. For culture, you can’t beat Uganda’s rich culture derived from its prominent kingdom of Buganda.You can not also leave the East African region minus going gorilla tracking from either Uganda or Rwanda for a truly unique adventure.The best East African destinations that you can not desist from visiting when in East Africa are as below;

Masai Mara

The Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s premier wildlife park. It was established in 1961 to protect wildlife from hunters. The Masai Mara is the reason many visitors come to Kenya and its beauty and abundant wildlife won’t disappoint.The Masai Mara is in southwestern Kenya on the border with Tanzania. The reserve is situated in the Rift Valley with Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains running along its southern end. The Mara River runs through the reserve (north to south) hosting plenty of hippos and crocodiles and making the annual migration of over a million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras an extremely dangerous undertaking.

Most of the Masai Mara is made up of hilly grassland which is fed by plentiful rain, especially during the wet months between November and June. The areas bordering the Mara river are forested and are home to over several hundred bird species

The Masai Mara reserve is Kenya’s most popular game park because it’s relatively small yet it hosts an amazing concentration of wildlife. You are almost guaranteed to see the Big 5. Lions abound throughout the park as do leopards, cheetah, hyenas, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, topi, baboons, warthogs, buffalo, zebra, elephants, and of course hippos and crocodiles in the Mara River.The best time to go on a trip to Masai mara is between July and October when the wildebeest and zebra are at their highest number and offer plenty of food for lions, cheetahs, and leopards. The best time to view animals is either at dawn or dusk.

Because the reserve has no fences you can actually see as much wildlife within its boundaries as outside in the areas inhabited by the Maasai tribes.This national reserve has a lot of accommodations that can reside in on his/her visit to Masai mara like;

-Mara Serena

-Royal mara safari lodge

-Sarova Mara

-Siana springs tented camp

-Mara Manyatta camp

There are a variety of activities that are normally carried out in Masai Mara national reserve which include;

-Game drives

-Bush walks

-cultural interactions

-Bird viewing

-specialist photography workshops

-Baloon safaris

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga National Park & Volcanoes National Park

With only about 700 mountain gorillas left in the world, seeing them in the wild on gorilla safaris is something only a few people will ever have the chance to experience.In East Africa these primates are found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park all in Uganda,Volcanoes national park of Rwanda as well as Parc de Virungas of Congo. All together, about 300 mountain gorillas inhabit this area.There is nothing as good as seeing these primates feeding their young ones, playing with each other and others just relaxing. The time you are allowed to spend observing the gorillas is limited, but I can guarantee the hour spent sitting and watching these incredible animals will be one of the best you’ve ever had. On top of that,these three areas have some of the best accommodations in the region especially the clouds lodge found in Bwindi is really magnificent and several other facilities are worth a test and you will not regret.

Zanzibar Beaches

Zanzibar is one of East Africa’s top destinations because of its fascinating history and its incredible beaches. Zanzibar’s location in the Indian Ocean (off the coast of Tanzania) has made it a natural trading center throughout its history. Zanzibar also became an important slave trading post under its Arab rulers.Zanzibar is also well known for the various kinds of spices that the grow which plantations have also become an ammensing stock.

The Arab influences are obvious throughout Zanzibar, but especially in Stone Town one of the island’s biggest attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Stone Town boasts beautiful traditional houses, narrow alleyways, a Sultan’s palace, and many mosques.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania offers the absolute classic African safari setting. Serengeti National Park is a large conservation area located in the north of Tanzania. The park flows over into neighboring Kenya where it’s known as the Masai Mara.

The park is but one of several conservation areas within the Serengeti region of East Africa, though a vitally important one. As well as conserving wildlife, flora and iconic landscapes, Serengeti National Park has emerged as a major traveler and tourist destination, many making the journey there to engage in safari. The name Serengeti comes from the Maasai language, meaning ‘endless plains’.Serengeti National Park is most famous for its migration. Nearly one million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras move from the northern hills to the south every October and November during the short rains. They then move toward the west and north from April to June when the long rains progress. The instinct to migrate is strong. Hence, no drought, gorge, or river infested with crocodiles can prove to be a deterrent. The grasslands make the Serengeti fantastic for spotting lion kills because you can see the whole spectacle clearly. The migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra starts here and because it’s much larger than the Mara thus being less touristy.

There are a variety of activities that are normally carried out in Masai Mara national reserve which include;

-Game drives

-Bush walks

-Bird viewing

Serengeti national park has a multitude of accommodations that any traveler to this park can reside in a feel the ambiance of a home away from home which among others include the following;

-Serengeti sopa lodge

-Serengeti serena safari lodge

-Lobo wildlife lodge

-Serengeti migration camp

-Ndutu safari lodge

 

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Tanzania)

Known as “Africa’s Eden,” the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the greatest density of wildlife found on any Tanzanian safari. It features the world’s largest unbroken caldera — a crater formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano. The Ngorongoro Conservation area in Tanzania includes the world’s largest crater, which acts as a natural enclosure for almost every species of wildlife found in East Africa.The Ngorongoro Crater spans 102 square miles encompassing grasslands, swamps, forests and lakes, and it contains approximately 25,000 large animals.Safari participants descend nearly 2,000 feet into the crater to observe large herds of zebra, wildebeest, gazelle and their predators. You may even see rare black rhinos grazing by the lakes. The area also contains the Olduvai Gorge, where famed archaeologists and anthropologists Mary and Louis Leakey discovered nearly 2-million-year-old bones and tools from what some believe were the earliest humans.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Africa is known as one of the best destinations for adventure travel, and what can be more adventurous than hiking up the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, stands at 19,340 feet (5896m) and will take you 6 days to conquer. The exciting thing about this mountain is that anyone who is fit and determined can make it up. No special climbing equipment or expertise is needed. That said, almost 75 attempts fail because people figure it’s doable in shorts, t-shirt, and a couple of beers for hydration.

Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Lake Nakuru is famous for its huge flocks of flamingos that enjoy the alkaline waters of this shallow soda lake. Other than 1 million flamingos and many more species of birds, the park is also home to white rhino, warthog, giraffe, hippo, ostrich, and lion. Lake Nakuru is slowly recovering from several environmental pressures that caused its flamingo population to decline in the 1990’s.

This park has very few accommodations but they are all worthy a visit.They are as below;

-Flamingo Hill Tented camp

Where to Stay: There are two main lodges and several public and private campsites in the park.

Flamingo Hill Tented Camp

-Maili saba camp

-Lake Nakuru Lodge

-Mbweha Camp

-Lakira Camp

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