Safari Bucket List Adventures To Start With In 2023

When some one mentions destination East Africa, there are a number of bucket list adventures that come to mind. The region has diverse wildlife species and is currently a must visit for nature lovers. The past years have been hard with the COVID 19 Pandemic effects but the year 2023 will be a great year as many countries have fully recovered from COVID. With this, an African safari is highly recommended as you get to tick some adventure activities off your bucket list. Let us look at the top experiences that you must not visit while in East Africa.

This primate trekking experience tops the bucket list of many travelers to the region. Mountain gorillas live in the forested mountains of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga massif. They have over 95% DNA similar to humans and are therefore among man’s closest wild relatives. Mountain gorillas live in families that are headed by a dominant male called Silverback and can be up to 20 individuals in one family.

They are pure vegetarians with their diet mainly comprised of plant vegetation, wild fruits, and bamboo shoots. Meeting the mountain gorillas in their most preferred habitats is very remarkable and a once-in-a-lifetime experience you must do while in East Africa. There are 4 main gorilla national parks in the region. They include Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable national parks in Uganda, and Virunga national park in DRC.

Because of the ongoing civil conflict in DRC, Virunga national park is currently closed and at the moment even gorilla trekking adventures are not possible. But the other three national parks are safe and open for tourist visitation. Important to note is that gorilla trekking is highly demanded and it is important to book the permits in advance.

This annual animal migration in Serengeti and Masai mara is an interesting event that is highly anticipated by wildlife enthusiasts. Millions of wildebeest, hundreds of Thompson gazelles, zebras and other major grazers move over the Serengeti and Masai mara ecosystem for fresh pasture. They stretch over the open plains in a journey that attracts predators, especially the big cats as they seek to get prey for their own survival.

The wildebeest migration is a life and death journey that as many are hunted, many are also given birth to especially in January. This rejuvenates the herbivores’ crowds and the migration cycle continues. Seeing animals in large numbers as it usually is the case for the migration is incredible. It is very ideal for wildlife viewing as game drives in national parks are all about that. On the wildebeest migration however it is even more impressive with not only the numbers but the variety of wildlife species present.

Crossings of the Mara and Gremeti Rivers are a game changer as the wildebeest meet their other major obstacle on the course, the Nile crocodiles. Some are giants and have over the years thrived on the wildebeest migration as they also readily take down their prey as the major grazers attempt to cross the Rivers.

The best time to catch with the wildebeest migration is from September to June. This time features the calving period, the River crossings and a start of the journey back up north through central and western Serengeti. It is important to know where the wildebeest are in a particular month to book the most appropriate accommodation. There are some temporary under canvas tents that move with the migration and can be great options to consider. Visit East Africa this coming year and get the wildebeest migration off your bucket list!

An African safari without the big five mammals is usually not considered a successful one. Africa’s and savanna’s big five mammals include elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, and Rhinos. All of these have over the years been threatened by poaching, and habitat loss due to encroachment because of the increasing human population among other factors. Because of these, the population of major wildlife species has greatly reduced but destination east Africa thankfully still has many of these species.

In some places, species like the rhinos had gone extinct because rhinos are highly poached for medical purposes. These have however been reintroduced to foster conservation and ensure an ecosystem balance. A case in point is Rwanda’s Akagera national park which now has both black and white rhinos. The park now has all the big five mammals and safari game drives are very enjoyable. In Uganda’s Murchison falls national park, there are four of the big five with the exception of the rhinos. These however live at the Ziwa rhino sanctuary in Nakasongola about a 2 hours drive from the park. With this, you are able to experience the big five while on an adventure safari in Uganda. All safaris to Murchison falls national park features a stop over at the rhino sanctuary for rhino tracking.

Kenya and Tanzania’s wilderness’ beat Uganda and Rwanda when it comes to the big five. In Kenya’s Masai Mara national reserve, you get to see all of these and more while on game drives. In Tanzania, safari destinations like Serengeti, Selous, Ruaha, Tarangire, and many others have all or four of the big five. Here you get to enjoy classic African safaris either on game drives, nature walks, or hot air balloon safaris. Selous and Ruaha are among the less traveled paths and offer exclusive safari adventures.

East Africa is a birders’ haven and a variety of bird species. The various ecosystems in the area are home to the many bird species including endemics that occur only in the region. There are various important birding areas including Nyungwe forest in Rwanda, Akagera national park that is the largest protected wetland in the area among others.

In the open plains of the vast savanna are a number of bird species. Many of these are seen on birding safaris in the different protected area. The best birding season in the reason is from November to May when the migratory birds from Europe are in the region as well.

Birding in East Africa is very rewarding and highly recommended among the must do bucket list adventures in the region.

Exclusive Tanzania Wildlife Destinations You Must Visit

Tanzania is one of the most visited wildlife destinations in East Africa. The country’s size gives it an advantage of a large area size for wildlife no wonder it has some of the highest wildlife concentrations in the region. East Africa in general is a great place to visit but destination Tanzania stands out. It is highly recommended for those seeking exclusive wildlife destinations and adventures. Let us briefly look at the major exclusive wildlife destinations you must not miss out while on a visit to this beautiful country.

The Selous

Selous game reserve also known as Nyerere national park is Tanzania’s leading exclusive wildlife destination. The park is located in the remote southern part and is also Tanzania’s and Africa largest protected area with a land area of 19,000 square kilometers. Selous has a number of wildlife species including giraffes, elephants, hippos, wild dogs, buffaloes, greater Kudus, elands and over 440 bird species. There is also unique vegetation species of the Miombo woodlands including baobab trees. It is from this basis that the park was listed among the world heritage sites by UNESCO.

Much as the biggest part of the park is used as a hunting area, about 8% of it is strictly for tourism and hunting in the tourism area is prohibited. Here adventure tourist especially wildlife photographers get to capture best moments in the park. The location of the park makes it not easily accessed by Many tourists and it therefore among the less crowded places in Tanzania. Unlike mass tourism experienced in parks like Serengeti, a safari in Nyerere national park is totally exclusive. The park can be best explored while on game drives and guided walking safaris.

The dry season from June to October is the best time to visit Selous game reserve. Here major game drive trails are dry easy to maneuver and the short grass makes it easy to spot wildlife. During the dry season some of the animals can be seen along River Rufigi as they take water. If you are seeking for exclusive wildlife safaris in Tanzania ensure to have sells as your number one destination.

The Ngorongoro Crater

This is world’s largest unfilled volcanic caldera with 610 meters deep and a floor of 260 square kilometers. It is also listed among the World heritage sites and it is one of Africa’s natural wonders. The crater is an attraction it self but has many other attractions including the various relief features within the crater. These include Rivers, lakes, vegetation varieties like forests, woodlands, grasslands all of whom are habitats to a number of wildlife species.

Notable wildlife seen on game drives on the crater floor include waterbucks, lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, wildebeest and many bird species. The Ngorongoro crater being a natural enclosure makes it one of the exclusive wildlife destinations in Tanzania. It also offers a wide range of activities that once can engage in including birding, game drives, nature walks among others.

Just like many other wildlife destinations in Tanzania, the best time to visit the crater is during the dry season. Here there are minimal rainfall disturbances and game drives can easily be executed with easy wildlife viewing. The wet season from November to May is also a good time to visit and with the rains the number of guests reduce. The wet season is also a time the migratory birds from Europe set in and is the best time for birding.

Much as Uganda’s Kibale national park and Nyungwe forest Rwanda are most famous for chimpanzees, Tanzania’s Gombe national park is another beautiful chimpanzee trekking destination. The park is located near lake Tanganyika in the rugged mountainous forested landscapes that are not only home to chimpanzees but also other primates and birds.

Gombe national park has a number of steep valleys with streams. There is also a waterfall that can be seen while on a guided nature walk in this forested national park. Chimpanzee trekking is the most commonly done wildlife activity here. The chimpanzees here were made famous by Jane Goodall who started her research In the early 1960’s and has done a tremendous job in primate conservation not only in Tanzania.

The park can be mainly explored on foot on the guided primate treks, natures walks in the forest or along the shores of Lake Tanganyika Africa’s deepest lake. For exclusive primate trekking in Tanzania and East Africa in general visiting Gombe national park would be great.

Ruaha is Tanzania’s second largest national park also located in the southern part. The park covers a land area of 7,809 square kilometers and also home to a variety of wildlife species. The four of the big five mammals occur here namely elephants, buffaloes, lions and leopards. Ruaha is also a great place to see Africa’s predators and big cats. It is the best places to see lions as prides of over 20 individuals are seen in the park.

Giraffes, hippos, zebras and over 450 bird species also occur in the park and all these can be seen on game drives and guided walks. Hot air ballon safaris are incredible offering great panoramic views of the parks wildlife. The park Is totally exclusive with limited accommodation facilities. Wildlife safaris here are very classic and undisturbed best for honeymooners and those who prefer their peace and quiet.

The park can be accessed by both road and air transport though air transport is the most convenient one. The road transfer from Dar-es-salaam takes about 10 hours drive with en route stop overs for photography and a lunch break. Incase you do not want this long drive you can have a stopover at Mukumi national park for an adventure and then proceed to Ruaha the next day. Since air transport is costly the road transfer would be an option and very rewarding in terms of adventure.

Ruaha is undoubtedly one of Tanzania’s most exclusive wildlife destinations and can be visited throughout the year. For better wildlife experiences though you can visit in the dry season from May to October.

Kenya Safari Experiences to Part of This March

Kenya Safari Experiences
Wildebeest Migration along Mara River. Courtesy Photo

Kenya safari experiences form a great part of an African safari and its the reason why Kenya is a leading safari destination. The country has diverse wildlife and physical attractions that leave many adventurous tourists wanting more. The coming month is a transition one from the dry to the wet season that will last till May. The wet season comes in handy with the rains making safari activities not as enjoyable like in the dry season. However there are a number of adventurous Kenya safari experiences one can still be apart of. They include the following;

Birding Safari

Much as March is part of the low season its a great time for a birding safari in Kenya. From March to May, there are a number of migratory birds in Kenya. A number of them come all away from Europe and a combination of these and then natives make birding very enjoyable. Notable birds to see on a Kenya birding safari include the southern ground hornbill, crowned hornbill, Amani sunbird, Jackson’s hornbill among others. There are also a number of birds endemic to Kenya including Clarke’s Weaver, Taita thrush, Williams’ lark most of which while on game drives.

Big Cats Safari Experiences

Big cats will forever form a great part of a Kenya Safari experiences. The country is home savannah’s major big cats and leading predators. These include lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. Prides of lions are often seen in Masai Mara National reserve and other national parks and conservancies.

Some of these caught in action hunting their prey. Leopards the strongest of all the cats even like to climb with their prey up the tree. Here they can feast in comfort without any disturbances especially the hyenas that like to eat already hunted prey.

Game drives featuring any of the big cats are very enjoyable. At least major national parks and conservancies in Kenya have 2 or all the big cats. Because there are a number of newly borns, predators are very active hunting taking advantage of the young ones.

The fact that March is not so crowded it makes it a perfect month for big five mammal safari experiences. Savannas’ big five include elephants, lions, buffaloes, leopards and Rhinos. These are seen while on game drives in beautiful places like Amboseli National Park. This park has the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the best place in Kenya to see Elephants.

These are complemented by the major herbivores including antelopes, zebras, giraffes that are easy to spot because with the rains there is plenty of grass. Most times the predators hide in the lush and relatively tall grasses to slowly take down their prey.

The other major benefit of having Kenya safari experiences march included is that some lodges reduce on rates.

Uganda Wildlife Safari Destinations to Visit this May

There are various Uganda wildlife safari destinations in this beautiful East African country. Uganda has over the years become among travelers top safari destinations due to its beauty and outstanding wildlife. The country lies along the tropics with favorable weather conditions permitting tourism throughout the year.

With the corona Virus travel restrictions, tourism slowly resumed and now there are no crowds in leading Uganda wildlife safari destination. This is therefore the best time to take that most anticipated tour to Uganda’s finest destinations.

Lets us explore the top Uganda wildlife safari destinations you must not miss visiting this May.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

This world heritage site is located in southwestern Uganda and its among the most diverse wildlife destinations not to miss. The forest has a number of primate species, birds, reptiles and various plant species.

The most outstanding wildlife attractions in Bwindi are mountain gorillas and the forest has half of the entire remaining population. Mountain gorilla trekking is the most demanded wildlife activity in Uganda today as many seek to meet these rare primates in the wild. Now that few people are traveling, this may would be the best time to Visit Uganda for gorilla tracking.

Mountain gorilla trekking permits are currently on a discount from USD700 to USD400 for foreign travelers. This discount is on going till June 30th therefore don’t miss an opportunity to be part of unforgettable primate safaris.

Mountain Gorilla Arm. Uganda Wildlife Safari
Mountain Gorilla arm Bwindi Uganda. Courtesy Photo
Pian Upe Reserve

Located in eastern Uganda, Pian upe is the most underrated and less explored Uganda wildlife safari destination. The reserve is the largest in the country and it will soon be upgraded to a national park status. Once upgrade Pian upe will be Uganda’s largest national park and among the country’s most diverse wildlife destinations.

With endless plains of open savannas’, Pian Upe is home to a number of wildlife species including the rare roan antelope. Notable wildlife seen here include cheetahs, giraffes, buffaloes, a number of birds among others.

The scenic views of mount Morungule are breathtaking and quite a sight to see. When in Uganda or planning your safari this May ensure to add Pian upe on your bucket list. En route to Pian Upe is a perfect tourist stop at the sipi falls on Wanale ridge in Kapchorwa. Don’t miss any of these wonderful destinations while in Uganda.

Uganda wildlife safari destinations
Pian Upe Game Reserve Uganda. Courtesy Photo
Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo valley national park is Uganda’s most isolated park located in the northeastern park of the Uganda. The park is very peaceful and a must visit Uganda wildlife safari destination.

The park has the highest African buffalo population that is estimated at the number of wildebeest in Serengeti. Lions, giraffes, antelopes, cheetahs, jackals, elephants, zebras, waterbucks and various birds species are often seen in the park. Early morning and sunrise game drives are highly recommended while here as you get to catch up with the early risers.

You can also take guided nature walks in the park enjoying the wildlife species and endless open savanna plains. The park is neighbored by the Karamojong community one of Uganda’s authentic local people’s community. A cultural visit here enables you get to know more about the local people’s culture.

Kidepo Valley NP. Uganda Wildlife safari
Kidepo Valley National Park. Courtesy Photo
Kibale National Park

Kibale national park is located in western Uganda and is home to over 13 primate species and over 350 bird species. The forested park is home to the highest chimpanzee population and the best place to see these mans’ closest primates.

Its one of the most outstanding Uganda wildlife safari destinations and a must visit while in the Pearl of Africa. Chimpanzee tracking and birding are the commonly done activities here as you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

While here you can do a chimpanzee habituation experience that gives you a behind the scenes experience of how chimpanzees live in the forest. This experiential experience goes you four hours in the presence of chimpanzees a very good time to explore all you need to know.

Night nature walks are also done here where you get to see nocturnal wildlife including the night jars. The night nature walk is a very exclusive and thrilling activity in the park. When planning a Uganda wildlife safari this May ensure to add Kibale National Park on your list for ultimate primate experiences.

Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park. Uganda Wildlife Safari
Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park. Photo by Lionel Egger

Serengeti Named Best National Park in The World By Trip Advisor

Tanzania’s Serengeti national park has been named the best national park in the world by the world’s leading travel forum. Every year trip advisor lists the best of the best wild places in its traveler’s choice. Destination Tanzania has won big this time with 3 national parks Serengeti national park taking the number one spot.

Serengeti national park is located in northern Tanzania and its home to a number of wildlife species. The park has one the occurrence of one of worlds wildlife wonders the wildebeest migration no wonder it was named Best National Park.

This comes at a time when the world is slowly getting back to normal after being hit by the Corona-virus pandemic. Many travelers worldwide are now looking at going for safaris to compensate for the time they have been in lock-down.

Other two Tanzania national parks that were listed include Tarangire and Kilimanjaro national parks all situated in northern Tanzania. While on a visit to Tanzania you can have an itinerary combining the three parks for never ending adventures.

Zebras in Serengeti National Park Tanzania
Zebras in Serengeti National Park Tanzania. Photo by Geraldine Morelli

Key Attractions in Serengeti

Big Cats.

Serengeti national park is one place in East Africa where you can enjoy the Savanna big cats experience. Savanna’s big cats include lions, leopards and cheetahs that can all be seen while on safari in Serengeti. These are often seen while on game drives in the park with endless views of the plains of Serengeti.

Big Five Mammals

An African safari without an encounter with the big five mammals is never enjoyable but thankfully Serengeti has it all. While here you can see big five mammals including herds of Elephants, buffaloes, leopards among others. These are also seen while on game drives or hot air balloon safaris.

Wildebeest Migration

This is an annual migration involves mass movement of wildebeest, gazelles, zebras moving over the plains of Serengeti for pasture. This migration is whole year round and can be seen in different parts of Serengeti in particular months.

Most phenomena sightings include predators like lions taking down their prey and the deadly crocodiles in River Grumeti waiting for their prey as well. The wildebeest migration is the most demanded safari activity in Serengeti and one you should never miss out on.

Wildebeest Migration. Tanzania Safari Experiences
Wildebeest River Crossing in Serengeti Tanzania. Photo by George the Explorer

The park can be visited anytime of the year but for best experiences you can visit in the dry season from June to September. October to May are great months to visit as well as you get rewarded with bird life and other wildlife species in the park.

Exclusive Safari Hideaways for an escape in East Africa

Travel is very enjoyable with exclusive safari Hideaways where one would get one on one moments without any disturbances. Destination East Africa has many of these less crowded and very exclusive safari hideaways where one can have enjoyable moments.

In this years travel calendar, there is an anticipation of high tourist numbers as many are in need of a vacation. Lets explore some of East Africa’s best and exclusive safari hideaways you can include on your bucket list.

Semuliki National Park

This evergreen national park is among Uganda’s best safari hideaways located in the western part of the country. The park is very exclusive and less crowded but most magnificent of all.

Semuliki national park has a number of wildlife attractions and most outstanding are species endemic to the central African forests. Many of these are birds where in the whole of East African they can only be found here. The park is also home to a number of primates including chimpanzees, ververt monkeys, colobus monkeys red-tailed monkeys and others.

The Sempaya hot springs are very outstanding attractions in Semuliki national park. The are two main hot springs that flush out boiling water every moment. There are also a number of geysers where many tourists boil eggs under 5 minutes and enjoy them with the great scenic views of the national park.

Sempaya Hot-springs Semuliki National Park
Sempaya Hot-springs Semuliki National Park. Photo By Jonathan Benaiah

Kahuzi Biega National Park

This primate park is located in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and its the only home for lowland gorillas. The park is among the less visited primate parks in East and Central Africa making it among the perfect safari hideaways.

Lowland gorillas are main attractions here though there are many other safari attractions. Notable ones include a number of birds most of which endemic to the Congo forests and Albertine rift valley.

The Park has two main dormant volcanic mountains of namely mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega that are forested. They can also be hiked in-case you are interested in Mountain climbing. Near this park is the Lwiro sanctuary a home to a many primates and birds. The place was started to look after Orphaned chimpanzees but it later became a home for many primates.

Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga NP. DRC Safari Hideaways
Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga NP. Photo by Shannon

Ruaha National Park

This safari park is located in southern Tanzania and its the largest national park in East Africa. With the vast size comes with more wildlife numbers of diversity making it one of the best safari hideaways for savanna’s finest wildlife.

Ruaha national parks is the best place to see big cats especially lions as there are many prides of lions. Land’s largest mammals the elephants are also very common here, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes and many others.

In East Africa’s savannas Ruaha is the one of the best safari hideaways especially for honeymooners. Its also a great destination for those who prefer less crowded safari destinations. The park can be visited any time of the year each period offering the best of East Africa’s savanna experiences.

Zebras in Ruaha National Park Tanzania
Zebras in Ruaha National Park Tanzania. Photo by Ngoteya Wild

Nyungwe national Park

Nyungwe is a forested national park located in the southwestern part of Rwanda. The park is majorly a primates park though with other mammals species including forests elephants though rarely seen.

The park is home to over 13 primate species including chimpanzees, l’hoest monkeys, colobus monkeys and many others. Many of these are seen while on general primate tracking done in the park. Chimpanzee tracking is the commonly done activity here as the park is one of the best chimpanzee tracking destinations in East Africa.

There are a couple of trails where you can take guided nature walks other leading to the waterfalls. Near the park is a beautiful ever green tea plantation where you can go for guided walks. Nyungwe national park is perfectly located in the Rwandan countryside which is a perfect place for safari hideaways from city noise.

Chimpanzee in Nyungwe Forest. Safari Hideaways
Chimpanzee in Nyungwe Forest Photo by Jonathan Gregson

Turkana Land

This beautiful semi arid area is located in Northwestern Kenya and its a home to the Turkana people. These native Kenyans live around the shores of lake Turkana one of East Africa’s great rift valley lakes.

The area is the best place in East Africa to explore semi arid wildlife as it has various wildlife species. The shores of the lake is one of the major breeding sites for crocodiles and reptiles especially snakes.

Turkana’s wild dry lands are a mystery to explore deeply and the areas remoteness and isolation makes it among the perfect safari hideaways in East Africa. While on a visit to Kenya and are seeking exclusive places consider the Turkana area. The Turkana people are ones you should look out for while on the visit to the region.

Turkana People Kenya. Safari Hideaways
Turkana People in Northern Kenya. Photo by Olivier Ranrigo

East African safaris One must not miss This February

The new year already set in and many are planning their East African safaris to get a break from work and the COVID19 stress. December throughout March are great travel months and a period where we see many travelers visiting national parks.

East African safaris and travel has however greatly changed as governments seek to enforce COVID19 regulations. Now any one traveling is expected to present negative COVID19 Results tested not later than 72 hours prior arrival. Before departing for your favorite East African destination ensure to know COVID19 regulations you will have to follow to avoid any inconveniences.

A number of tourists choose East African safaris to be part of vibrant primates experiences like gorillas and chimpanzee tracking. Given that these primates have over 95% DNA similar to humans, only negative COVID19 travelers are allowed to track them to avoid disease spreading. You will have to bear all these in mind as you plan your next adventures in the region.

Below are those safari adventures first time travelers and returning visitors should not miss on a visit East Africa expedition.

Mountain gorillas offer East Africa’s niche tourism and wildlife experiences as tourists hike the forested mountains to meet them. Mountain gorillas are apes covered with black fur. They live in groups or families headed by a dominant male called Silver-back.

They prefer the forested mountains and in East Africa they can be tracked in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorilla groups that are tracked by tourists are habituated (accustomed to human beings presence) and therefore very safe to visit.

Since the COVID19 lock-down was instated in March 2020, there has been a gorilla baby boom as many births have been recorded. This means a lot for gorilla tourism and conservation and we hope the gorilla population will keep on increasing.

This February don’t miss out on exclusive mountain gorilla tracking safaris in Volcanoes national park Rwanda, Virunga national park DRC, Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla parks in Uganda. The good news is that the gorilla permits have been discounted for the different tourist categories meaning you will save if you travel now.

Mountain Gorilla in Virunga National Park. East African safaris
Mountain Gorilla in Virunga National Park. Photo by Anthony Caere

Still about primates, chimpanzees are among East African safari exclusives one must not miss on a visit to the region. Visit Uganda’s Kibale national park the primate capital of East Africa where you will meet families of chimpanzees with over 30 individuals.

Kibale national park apart from chimpanzees is home to many other primates including various monkey species often seen on hikes. When Uganda, you can have chimpanzee tracking experiences in other safari destinations like Budongo forest, Kyambura forest and Kalinzu forest.

In Rwanda, Nyungwe national park is home to chimpanzees and its Rwanda’s ultimate chimpanzee tracking destination. Chimpanzees here live in Nyungwe forest one of East Africa’s oldest forests home to many other wildlife species including Albertine rift valley endemics.

In-case you don’t get a chance to visit Nyungwe forest then Gishwati Mukura forest would the best alternative. This primates national park is a newly established protected area in Rwanda and home to many primates species and birds.

Chimpanzee in Nyungwe National Park. East African safaris
Chimpanzee in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Photo by Jonathan Gregson

These are the most sought for safari experiences in East Africa as 90% of the protected areas in the region are savanna parks. Here you will see a variety of wildlife from herds of African elephants, giraffes, hippos and nile crocodiles.

Cape buffaloes are very common as well, lions, leopards, antelope species, zebras, wildebeest, warthogs among others. Many of these are seen on game drives in the different national parks of East Africa.

In Rwanda you can have savanna safaris in Akagera national park the only savanna park in Rwanda. The park has gone through a series conservation that has seen animals that had gone extinct like lions and rhinos being reintroduced in the park. You can go for boat cruises along lake Ihema where you will see hippos, crocodiles and birds.

Other outstanding savanna parks in East Africa include Murchison falls NP Uganda, Amboseli NP Kenya, Serengeti NP Tanzania, Selous game reserve and Masai Mara. This time throughout March is the first best quota for safari game drives with minimal rainfall disturbances.

Leopard in Masai Mara National Reserve
Leopard in Masai Mara National Reserve. Photo by Steve Woods

The wildebeest migration is East Africa’s safari natural wonder that involves a movement of millions of animals. This great migration takes places between Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania and Masai Mara game reserve in northern Kenya.

Over 2 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras, over 350,000 gazelles and other hoofed animals move in search for pasture. This annual migration is year round and attracts a number of predators like lions, cheetahs, hyenas, leopards that openly hunt the animals on the migration.

Most iconic on the wildebeest migration are the river crossings of Mara river. The River is home to giant Nile crocodiles that eagerly await for the animals crossing. Here only the strong and smart ones survive. This January and February, don’t miss on the wildebeest migration experience when on your East African safaris expedition.

Currently the animals have spread in Eastern Serengeti and are in the calving process. This will go one and transit around April when the animals will move towards Central Serengeti. Between now and April is a best time for those who are interested in seeing the calving process or seeing newly born of the great annual migration.

Wildebeest River Crossing
Wildebeest River Crossing. Photo by Trevor
5. Birding Safaris

For those interested in birding, destination East Africa is very ideal especially this time of the year. Between now and April many migratory birds from Europe and North Africa Visit East Africa and are often seen while on birding excursions.

Apart from migratory birds, East Africa is blessed with many other bird species including native and endemic species. Birding safaris in East Africa can be enjoyed in all national parks and major ramsar sites.

Mamba swamp along Lake Victoria in Uganda is among the outstanding birding safari destinations. Its home to the rare shoe-bill stork and other 250 bird species. For those interested in seeing the shoe-bill should go for birding here early in the morning or late afternoon.

Shoebill Stork at Mabamba Swamp Uganda. East African safaris
Shoe-bill Stork at Mabamba Swamp Uganda. Photo by Daniel Rosengren

Tips for successful Self Drive Road Trips in East Africa

Travel has greatly changed with the corona virus pandemic and now many tourists go on self guided road trips. East Africa being famous for outstanding safari destinations, road trips have become a new normal in the region. Many tourists both local and international are seeking for getaways to reconnect with nature.

Lets explore some of the general tips to ensure successful self guided road trips while visiting East Africa’s leading destinations.

Serengeti national park Tanzania. Road Trips
Serengeti National Park Tanzania. Courtesy Photo
1. Cars mechanic condition

This is very Vital and a major determinant of successful the road trips end. Most of the safari destinations are located in remote areas especially national parks. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for example is located a 9 to 10 hours drive from Kampala Uganda’s Capital city. To have a successful safari or road trip to Bwindi your car mechanic condition Must be stable.

Most of the roads or trails in savanna national parks are bumpy and to easily maneuver around car stability is vital. Its hard to access mechanics in these remote wildlife destinations therefore while planning ensure to crosscheck the cars mechanic condition.

Ensure to have car repair equipment like spare Tyre, jerks, wheel spanners with basic knowledge of repair in-case of breakdown. Remember to fill up fuel while in major towns to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of safari.

This is another important aspect of any tour or safari. When going on road trips travelers pack clothes and necessary equipment they will need while on tour. Packing the right things is wise decision.

Packing lists should be dependent on the activities one will be doing at a particular destination. For tracking for example mountain gorillas or chimpanzee tracking, its always good to pack long trousers, good hiking shoes as the activities are done in forested mountains. The trails here are often wet in the morning when the activities begin and also slippery and muddy therefore strong hiking shoes are important.

For safari game drives, you can pack casual wear with some open sandals as these are done in a car. Its very important however to pack what is most needed as many road trips only last a couple of days. Ensure to pack cameras or extra batteries and chargers to be able to capture every road trip moment.

3. Booking accommodation in advance

If going for road trips where you will be spending nights at particular destination, booking accommodation is important. This should be done ahead of time to avoid missing out as with East Africa’s tourist seasons, lodges get fully booked.

One important aspect of accommodation is to book facilities near or within the destination you will be visiting. This helps you easily access and engage in the different tourist activities you will be interested in doing there.

Incase you choose camping also ensure to check on the camping site ahead of time and know where you will get food. If planning a road trip in the peak season from June to September and December to February book accommodation in advance.

Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania Road Trips
Singita Sasakwa Lodge. Courtesy Photo
4. Having a Weather forecast

Weather within the tropics where East Africa lies is very unpredictable and rainfall can occur any time of the day. A weather forecast is therefore very important as it would help you plan your road trip well. Weather also determines safari activities while at destinations as you can know what to do and when to do it.

With the nature of roads on major safari destinations, weather forecast helps you to know the best time you can visit with minimal disturbances. Rain fall is among the major challenges of self guided road trips and therefore if visiting destinations for the first time its better to go in the dry season.

Having a weather forecast or knowing the season you will be visiting enables you pack the right clothes to wear. In some destinations like the Ngorongoro crater temperatures drop very low and you can know this by weather forecasting. Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable, Virunga, Kibale Forest, Mgahinga and other forested national parks also have cold temperatures.

5. Having Updated Maps

Many tourists in East Africa on road trips usually go to destinations for the first time and a good map is key. Maps help in guiding on the best or shortest directions to take to reach one desired safari destination.

With maps, you know tourist landmarks of an area and can add some important ones you had missed. With modern technology, you can use google maps but this requires a smart phone and stable internet. This is a challenge especially in remote destinations that’s why you need to have a physical hard copy map as well.

6. Having a well laid out Itinerary

This helps in knowing what specific activities you will be doing while on your road trip and when to do them. This helps you maximize every time and experience you have in each destination without wasting time.

Preparing an safari itinerary must be done prior the road trip to avoid confusion when the adventure has started. It also enables you to know how much you will be spending at each destination saving you from unnecessary spending.

7. Important Contacts

Going on self guided road trips can become a challenge without important or emergency contacts. These contacts can be of accommodation facilities where you will be sleeping or park wardens who can direct you.

Before embarking on any road trip ensure to research and know who you can call in-case of any emergency. This enables you in problem solving and thus saves you a lot of time maximizing your road trip enjoyment.

Best Kenya Resorts Not to Miss on a Tour in 2021

Destination Kenya never seizes to amaze and with the January sunshine and heat, relaxation at top Kenya Resorts is the perfect experience everyone should be part of. As the new year sets in, many are revising travel calendars and Kenya is no doubt on the list of many.

Kenya is famous for savanna wildlife where travelers go for safaris however there are also beautiful resorts along the coast. Kenya resorts are among the finest in East Africa and while on a visit to Kenya ensure to visit them.

Lets explore some of the top Kenya resorts one must include on their travel list. These are perfect for honeymooner and breaks from safaris in Kenya’s national parks like Masai Mara.

This is a 5 star luxury boutique beach hotel directly overlooking the Indian Ocean. Hemingways Watamu is located in Watamu Marine National park making the best accommodation option while visiting this marine park.

The resorts ocean view is very iconic and its supplemented with the white sand beaches where one can relax. While here you can engage in a number of activities that include Kite surfing, dhow cruises, play golf among others.

Hemingways resort has self contained rooms that are very spacious and most with ocean views. While on a safari in Kenya or seeking the best Kenya resorts in the coming year, ensure to visit Hemingways.

Hemmingways Resort. Kenya resorts
Hemmingways Resort Kenya.

This beautiful resort is located in Diani and its stands out because of its architectural design. Swahili beach resort architecture depicts coastal culture and history of Africans, Arabs, Indians and Zanzibaris.

The resort offers great views of the Indian Ocean and has beautiful white sand beaches where many guests relax. The Swimming pool at Swahili resort is an ideal spot where you can relax enjoying coastal sunshine.

Rooms here are very spacious and self contained offering great views of the gardens, swimming pool or the Indian Ocean. They have a 24 hour room service, wireless internet and other major amenities needed. This resort is among top Kenya resorts and a visit here can never be regretted.

Swahili Beach. Kenya resorts
Swahili Beach. Photo by Swahili Beach

This is located in Mombasa and its one of the areas best beach resorts. The resort directly overlooks the Indian Ocean and boosts five outdoor swimming pools with water slides.

Sarova whitesands beach has different room categories that overlook the garden, pool and the Indian Ocean. The rooms are very spacious and self contained with large windows and balconies offering uninterrupted scenic views.

While here you can engage in a number of activities including snorkeling, boat cruises, walks along the beach, swimming among others. The resort is ideal for weddings and Honeymoon and its big enough to accommodate many guests. While in Mombasa ensure to visit this beautiful resort as you uncover magical Kenya.

Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa. Kenya Resorts
Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa Pool. Courtesy Photo

This is a 5 star beach resort located in Mombasa one of the most famous coastal towns of Kenya. The beach resort also directly overlooks the Indian Ocean with beautiful coconut palm trees and pure white sand beaches.

Serena Beach resort has several room categories some with garden views and many with a beautiful Indian Ocean view. Each of the rooms is very spacious with a balcony and necessary facilities needed by a guest.

The beach resort has conference and meeting rooms ideal for the business class. After meetings people can to the beautiful swimming pool or the Indian Ocean for a swim. You can engage in various tourist activities here like fishing, dhow cruise experiences, walk-on chessboard experiences among others.

Serena Beach Resort & Spa
Serena Beach Resort & Spa. Courtesy Photo

Waterlovers beach resort is located along Diani beach on Kenya’s south coast. Diani beach is most famous for its pure white sand and a stay at waterlovers beach gives you an opportunity to enjoy that.

The resort has 8 suites that are very spacious, a penthouse apartment and a self-contained villa. These have all the needed facilities and offer a great view of the Indian ocean. Waterlovers resort has a beautiful turtle-shaped infinity swimming pool that directly overlooks the ocean one of the best places to relax.

Watersport activities are commonly done here and include swimming, boat cruises, kite and wind surfing, diving among others.

Water Lovers Beach Resort. Kenya Resorts
Water Lovers Beach Resort. Courtesy Photo

Kola beach resort is located about 15 kilometers north of Malindi along the Indian ocean. The resort has 27 two-storey villas strategically located in 3 different areas that are private and exclusive to guests.

The beach is an ideal honeymoon destination, they have provisions for beach weddings, parties and banquets. Kola beach resort has 3 swimming pools each in the areas of the resort cottages.

Kola beach resort also has a conference room with all the necessary facilities and wireless internet. Other amenities at the resort include a gym and a wellbeing center. You can engage in water-sport activities here swimming, diving, surfing among others.

Kola Beach Resort.
Kola Beach Resort. Courtesy Photo

Tips To Make Safari Tours During the 2020 Holiday Season a Little Easier

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania East Africa. Safari tours
Hot Air Balloon in Serengeti National Park. Photo by Fred Shirima

The year 2020 is ending and tourists are visiting East Africa for safari tours to celebrate the holiday season. Travel this time has been greatly affected by the corona virus disease but nevertheless people are visiting safari destinations.

East African governments have put up measures to prevent the spread of COVID19 as the number of tourists increase steadily. Travel for safari tours is not easy this season because of COVID19 regulations. Below are some tips you can follow to ease travel and enjoy your holiday season.

1. COVID19 Testing and Results

This has become a travel requirement from travelers and those interested in safari tours in East Africa. International travelers are required to present COVID19 negative results tested not later than 72 hours prior arrival.

In Rwanda, on arrival tourists are further subjected to another COVID19 test and are supposed to wait 24 hours in Mandatory quarantine. All this is done to ensure safety of travelers.

When planning travel this season, have your COVID19 test results ready and expect more tests if visiting countries like Rwanda. For departures, they will also require you to take a test to ensure you left East Africa COVID19 free.

2. Wear a Mask

Wearing a mask has become a new normal as countries push to reduce the spread of COVID19. A mask must be on top of your packing list when planning safari tours to East Africa. Its a major standard operating procedure requirement even on arrival at the airport so ensure to have one.

When going for primate tracking for example mountain gorillas and chimpanzee tracking, you will be required to put on a mask. Its advisable to have more than one mask or buy disposable masks that you can dispose off properly after use.

3. Check in ahead of time

With the current standard operating procedures, its better to check in ahead of time. With check ins a mean flight or hotel check ins. This will help you avoid long queues especially at the airport as you wait to be cleared.

Checking on hotels or lodges by calling them prior your arrival is also very important now. With this it helps them plan accordingly and find ways of enforcing social distancing for all clients arriving.

Crossing checking hotel bookings will help you get an alternative incase your booking was missed or not booked as planned. There are curfew regulations and the last thing you need is to fall prey as you sort out hotel bookings. December is a busy season and therefore if going for safari tours have all hotels booked and confirmed in advance.

4. Pack what is Necessary

Packing for safari tours is an important aspect and for one to enjoy their tour they need to pack right. Have all your travel documents ready for example passports or personal identification.

As mentioned above, masks and other necessities like hand sanitizers have become a new normal so ensure to pack them. Equipment like cameras, extra camera battery, chargers, power banks should not be missed.

Ensure to pack the right attire for safari tours and enough to take you through the entire safari. Avoid over or under packing as it can easily ruin your trip or safari holiday.