Uganda Safari Destinations to Explore this Off Season

There are a number of Uganda safari destinations that nature lovers love to add on their bucket list while planning to Visit the beautiful country. The country is one of the few places in the world where you can experience both primates and savanna wildlife safaris. Uganda is truly gifted by nature with diverse wildlife attractions and it is from this basis that is called the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda has two main seasons the dry and wet season. The dry season stretches from June to September and from Mid December to March. This is also doubles as the high tourist season a time when tourists from various parts of the world Visit Uganda for wildlife adventures. During the dry season, there are minimal rainfall disturbances making it the best time to explore Uganda safari destinations. For wildlife photographers this also doubles as a best time for photography with great light effects from the bright sun received in Uganda throughout the year.

When going for renown safari activities like mountain gorilla trekking, because it is done in the forested mountains, it is easy to Hike much as the trails are often wet in the morning. General activities even game drives and nature walks are very easy to do in the dry season.

The wet season from April to May and November experiences rainfall and it is the low tourist season. Much as there are rains almost every day, the low tourist season is still a good time to explore Uganda and be part of the different safari activities. For birders that is the best time to visit as migratory birds from Europe set in. Let us briefly look at the leading Uganda safari destinations you must not miss visiting this off season.

Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park. Uganda Safari destinations
Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park. Courtesy Photo

Bwindi Impenetrable national Park is most famous for mountain gorilla trekking and is home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas whose population is about 1000 individuals. Bwindi is the best place to see the rare mountain gorillas in their most preferred habitants. The park has 3 major sectors each with habituated gorilla families that are open to tourist visitation. It can be accessed by both road and air and gorilla trekking safari adventures are doable even in the wet season.

It is important to book permits for the right sector where you are required to report to the park headquarters by 7:00 am for a briefing. Because rainfall is very unpredictable especially in the wet season, it is advisable to carry a Poncho or rain coat. To easily navigate the wet muddy trails, you are advised to wear water proof pants and gaiters or boots. You are then guided to the forested mountains a hike that takes 1 to 4 hours or more until you meet the mountain gorillas. Here you are given time to take photos, observe and to learn more about the mountain gorillas. Even on a bloody rainy day you will still get to enjoy a gorilla trek in Bwindi.

Bwindi is not only home to mountain gorillas but also other primates including chimpanzees and Many other monkey species. There are also many bird species and other mammals including forest elephants and buffaloes. The park is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site and it is undeniably among the top Uganda Safari destinations to Visit this off season.

Lake Mburo national park is the smallest savanna wildlife park in Uganda. It is located in Kiruhura district about 4 hours drive from Kampala Uganda Capital city. Despite its small size, lake Mburo national park is home to various savanna wildlife species. The park is one of the only two places to see zebras in Uganda the other being Kidepo valley national park located in North eastern Uganda. With the long drives involved when going to Kidepo and some roads becoming impassable because of the rains, if you are seeking an exclusive experiences with the zebras then Lake Mburo national park is the place to be.

The park is also home to elands that do not occur in other national park in Uganda. Lands tallest mammals the giraffes also occur here and can only be seen in two other national parks in Uganda that are Murchison falls and Kidepo valley national park plus Pian Upe game reserve.

Other notable wildlife in Lake Mburo national park include the Topi, waterbucks, Oribi, warthogs and various birds. Many of these are seen while on game drives in the park. During the wet season the rains enable the growth of lush vegetation that the major grazers are seen enjoying and can easily be spotted while on game drives and nature walks. Just as per its name the park has a Lake (Mburo) where you can enjoy a boat cruise seeing Hippos and other aquatic wildlife. There is also an ankole community near the park where you can enjoy a community visit participating in local activities like Milking.

Given the accessibility and the activities you get to engage in, lake Mburo should not miss on your top Uganda safari destinations to visit this season.

The primate capital of the world can not fail to make it on this list. Kibale national park home to chimpanzees and 12 other primates species and the best place to see chimpanzees in the wild. Some of the notable primates here include the Black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys among others.

The park has the highest chimpanzee population in the region and chimpanzee trekking is the commonly done adventure activity here. There are two chimpanzee trekking sessions here the morning and afternoon one. The morning session starts with a briefing at the park headquarters and then you set off for a guided trek from 8 am lasting for 3 to 4 hours depending on the movement of the chimpanzees. The afternoon session starts at 2 pm and also last for 3 to 4 hours. Unlike some primates like mountain gorillas, chimpanzees are very mobile and often times they jump over tree canopies.

To allow for experiential adventures and give people more time to get to know about Mans’ closest wild relatives, there is chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale national park. This experience enables you to follow the daily routine of the chimpanzees starting from when they wake up, feed, groom, interact and retire. The chimpanzee habituation experience is best for researchers and those who would like to spend more time in the wild with chimpanzees.

Murchison falls national park is Uganda’s leading savanna national park and the best place to see major savanna wildlife species. The park is situated at the northern edge of the Albertine rift valley near Lake Albert one of the great Rift Valley lakes. Murchison falls National park is crossed by the great River Nile on its journey up north and forms a great waterfalls – Murchison falls from which the park was named.

The Great River Nile at Murchison falls plunges down a 7 meter narrow gorge forming a thunderous sound and often has a rainfall on a sunny day. The waterfalls are very magnificent to watch and are often seen while on a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls. From here one can hike to the top of the falls for a panoramic view of the falls and surrounding area.

The park has diverse wildlife species and is the best most diverse national park with 4 of the big Five mammals. There are over 76 mammals and 450 birds most of which are seen on game drives while in the park. The northern sector has the highest wildlife concentration and it is where most game drives are done. Notable wildlife species to see here include giraffes, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, hartebeests, warthogs among other.

Apart from the boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, there is another boat cruise to the Nile delta boat that offers yet another exploration of the great River Nile. This is usually done by birders hoping to see a number of birds including the shoebill stork in the marches of Nile Delta. You can also do sport fishing along the River and on a lucky day can catch some of the biggest Nile Perches.

Murchison falls national park is true wildlife gem and a Must visit when exploring leading Uganda safari destinations.

Luxury Safari Lodges To Consider on Your Visit To Masai Mara

Masai Mara national reserve has some of Kenya’s leading luxury safari lodges that complement the vibrant big five and wildebeest migration safaris. Masai Mara is renown for its big five mammals that can be experienced in the Mara Triangle and and the various conservancies around the reserve. Accommodation is Key in exploring the vast lands of the Masai ecosystem and a number of luxury safari lodges have been set up over the years. These are strategically located making it easy for tourists to access Masai Mara for general activities like game drives.

Let us look at some of the most outstanding luxury safari lodges you must consider when visiting Masai Mara.

Luxury Safari Lodges in Masai Mara
A luxury Tent at Mahali Mzuri. Photo by Mahali Mzuri

This beautiful luxurious tented safari camp is situated in the Olare Motorogi conservancy. The camp has 12 luxury cottages that are self contained with great views of the conservancy. Mahali Mzuri was voted Number 1 hotel and number world safari lodge in 2021 in Travel+Leisure for its outstanding services and luxurious touch.

Mahali Mzuri has an infinity swimming pool where you can swim and cool down on a hot day and relax enjoying the views of the wilderness. The pool is also heated and you can still enjoy your swim on a chilly day.

While staying at the Mahali Mzuri you get to experience big cats safaris, Wildebeest migration if it is the right season, safari game drives and much more. The Olare Motorogi conservancy is famous for the big cats and many other wildlife species. Incase you are interested in visiting the Mara triangle you can still do for wildlife viewing. You can also have a community to the Masai where you would get to know more about their culture and heritage.

Ensure to make your booking to the camp in advance since it gets fully booked especially in the peak tourist season.

Angama Mara is one of the best luxury safari lodges in Masai Mara overlooking the reserve. It is situated on the Rift Valley escarpment over looking the Rift valley floor. The tented safari lodge has 15 luxurious self contained and fully furnished tents that offers interrupted views of the great Rift Valley.

It is among the best exclusive and Honeymoon destinations in Kenya. It has over the years been internationally recognised as among World’s best accommodation facility for its outstanding beauty and excellent services offered there. It featured in and got accolades from renown travel magazines including Travel+leisure, Conde Nest Traveler, National Geographic among others.

Angama Mara is the perfect place to explore Masai Mara starting from Big five and big cats plus the wildebeest migration experiences. The lodge has a mobile tented camp called Angama Safari Camp in the Mara Triangle that is very ideal to explore the wildebeest migration. With this you are able to keep up with the wildebeest migration including live predators hunting moments.

The lodge can easily be accessed by air to the lodge’s airfield and it would be the best means to maximise your experience at the lodge. The safari experience starts right at the lodge and at the Angama Safari Camp so if you a wildlife lover you are very much covered. Those interested in filming or photographic safaris are very much welcome here. The lodges strategic location makes it ideal for filming and a lot of scenes from Out of Africa were filmed here. You can therefore enjoy photographic safaris, family safaris, Masai cultural visits, classic game drives, ballon safaris, guided nature walks among others.

You can not list luxury safari lodges and camps in Masai Mara and fail to mention andBeyond’s Kichwa Tembo tented camp. It is located on a private concession on the Oloololo escarpment overlooking Saparingo River. The concession is home to wildlife species including big cats that are often seen while on game drives. Kichwa Tembo is one of the best places in Masai to enjoy the great wildebeest migration experience. 

It has 8 superior view tents, 20 superior tents and 12 classic tents that are well furnished and decorated with a rustic touch. They offer great uninterrupted views of the Masai Mara and one can easily spot wildlife even at the comfort of their tent. The tents are self contained and private and you get to have an exclusive access during your stay at Kichwa Tembo. 

Kichwa Tembo also has a beautiful infinity pool where you can relax enjoying the sunset and the great scenic views. While staying at Kichwa Tembo you can engage in a number of safari activities including game drives, nature walks, community visits among others.

This rustic camp has 12 tented cottages and it is among the top luxury safari lodges in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Its strategic location makes it an ideal place for game drives featuring the big cats. It is very exclusive giving one an opportunity to enjoy interrupted wildlife safari experiences and services at the lodge it self.

Elewana Sand River overlooks the Sand river and often times dinner and breakfast is set at the River banks. Here one relaxes enjoying great scenic views of the River and wilderness in general. There is also a swimming pool overlooking the plains of Masai Mara where you can enjoy a swim or sunbathe.

While Elewana Sand River you can engage in a number of safari activities like game drives, nature walks, community visits among others. The lodge is very ideal for the great wildebeest migration as you can get to watch the migration from your cottage.

The lodge received a Conde Nest traveler Readers’ Choice award in 2020 and it is truly outstanding.

This beautiful camp overlooks Talek River and is also strategically located in the heart Masai Mara national reserve. The camps location makes it an ideal place to enjoy and explore the great Masai mara and its wildlife species. Mara Intrepids Tented Camp is located just a few minutes drive from the Mara River where millions gather to witness the Wildebeest River crossings as the wildebeest cross over from Tanzania’s Serengeti National park. With this easy access to the Mara River, the camp is the best and ideal to book if you are much interested in the wildebeest migration.

The luxury tents at the camp are self contained with great views of the surrounding scenery. You can engage in a number of safari activities while staying at the lodge. These include safari game drives, photography safaris, ballon safaris among others. Mara Intrepids Tented Camp is also a great place to stay with your family. They organise kids activities that keep them engaged and also get an opportunity to learn and explore more of the African and Masai Mara wilderness.

They also organise bush dinners and sundowners where you can enjoy the view of the sunrise and sunset. The camps exclusive nature makes it a great option if looking for luxury Safari Lodges to stay at when in Masai Mara.

Kenya Wildlife Adventures To Do This July

Kenya is a renown destination for epic wildlife adventures thanks to its wildlife diversity. The country offers by far some of the most enjoyable classic African safaris experienced in over 20 national parks. Aside from the usual savanna parks and game reserves, Kenya has marine national parks along the coast. These gives one opportunity to enjoy marine wildlife adventures featuring dolphins, sea turtles among others.

Let us briefly look at the leading Kenya wildlife adventures you must not miss this July.

Kenya Wildlife Adventures
Zebras in Kenya. Courtesy Photo

The wildebeest migration is an annual animal mass migration over the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems. It involves over 1 millions wildebeests, Thompson gazelles, zebras and other major grazers. These move in search for fresh pastures and are often times guided by rains.

The great wildebeest migration is a true life cycle that involves every stage of life with births, survival and deaths. It attracts the lands most feared predators that readily take down their prey. They include larges prides of lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and many scavengers.

Every month features a unique wildebeest migration wildlife adventures transitioning to the other. In this month, the River crossings have started from Serengeti to Masai Mara and the wildebeest have to over come the deadly Nile crocodiles in the Mara River. Those that make it alive sweep across the Mara ecosystem until late September when they start going back to Serengeti.

While on a visit to Kenya ensure to visit Masai Mara to be part of the great wildebeest migration. Look out for other wildlife in the park and reserves including elephants plus a number of bird species.

Amboseli African elephants

Amboseli national park is among Kenya’s most famous national parks. It is the best place to see African elephants as they freely roam the open savanna of the park. Mount Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest mountain can be best seen in Amboseli national park. Wildlife safari adventures in Amboseli are a great deal with the magnificent background view of the Kilimanjaro.

Apart from elephants, you can see other wildlife species in the park like giraffes, buffaloes, zebras among others. The park is also home to over 400 bird species including flamingos that are present in the wet season. Given that the park has diverse ecosystems of grasslands, woodlands and swamp vegetation, it attracts different bird species.

The park can be visited any time of the year but the best time is in the dry season. This ranges from December to February and June to September. A visit to this park can be done in additional to a wildebeest migration safari in 6 to 7 days for better chances and maximisation of wildlife.

Nairobi City Safari escapes

Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city and it is the only city in the world in the proximity of a national park. Nairobi national park is situated just a 40 minutes drive from the city centre. This gives nature lovers an opportunity to go for short wildlife adventures with ease and convenience.

The park is home to various wildlife species including Rhinos, giraffes, lions, zebras, wildebeest and a number of antelope species. Even in a day trip to the park you will be able to enjoy game drives and later return to the city for an overnight.

Birders are also well catered for here as the park is home to over 500 bird species. Notable birds here include black-headed heron, Ostriches, blacksmith lapwing, kori bustard among others. The migratory birds also set from November to April coming from as far as Europe.

For those with little time in Kenya but would love to enjoy African Wildlife adventures this is the place to be.

Mombasa is Kenya’s biggest sea port and city. It is strategically borders the Indian Ocean and is a one stop centre for Marine wildlife experiences. Mombasa has beautiful white sand beaches where one can relax and enjoy the African sun with uninterrupted ocean view. Leading beaches in Mombasa include Diani beach, watamu beach, Tiwi beach, Nyali beach, Kalifi beach among others.

All the beaches have accommodation facilities where one can stay incase they are visiting for more than a day.

The key wildlife attraction in Mombasa are the aquatic wildlife that are not found in any place in Kenya. They include sea turtles, dolphins, fish species among others. Diving is a major activity done giving one an opportunity to see the aquatic wildlife and enjoy the adventures in the Indian Ocean.

A visit to Mambasa is a great supplement to the classic wildlife adventures on the mainland. It also enables one explore the ocean side and get to relax at the beach. Other activities one can engage in include beach football, volleyball, wind surfing, boat rides on the ocean.

The great rift Valley adventures.

The eastern arm of the great Rift Valley in Kenya is a wonder it self and the Rift Valley floor is home to a number of wildlife species. They are a number of Rift Valley lakes in Kenya including lake Nakuru that was gazetted into a national park. Lake Nakuru national park’s location not only offers a great Rift Valley experience but also incredible wildlife adventures.

Lake Nakuru is famous for flamingos and was one of the best places to see flamingos. Due to climate change and weather conditions, flamingos migrated but still occur in smaller numbers. Great white pelicans though occur in large numbers making the lake a birders haven. Other notable birds here include grey crowned cranes, shining sun bird, crab-plovers, Kenya rufous sparrow among others.

For those interested in the big five there are four of the big five mammals present here. These include White and black rhinos, buffaloes, leopards and lions. Other wildlife species present include giraffes, hippos, zebras, that are often sighted while on game drives in the park.

Kenya is no doubt a safari giant and a must visit for those seeking incredible wildlife adventures in East Africa. Safaris here are possible all year round though for best experiences it is often recommended to visit in the dry season when there are minimal rainfall disturbances. The dry season stretches from June to September and from December to January. 

Kampala City tour, A local Guide

A Kampala City tour in Uganda‘s biggest and main capital City is very ideal and a better way to start the pearl of Africa exploration. Kampala City is located in the central part of the country. The city was established In and its most famous for its vibrant life. Beyond that are very exciting and interesting places to explore. These range from cultural, historical, Religious, political and social aspects.

Much as the city is a bit congested, it can be explored and below are a Must Visit to a Kampala city expedition

Old Kampala Mosque. Kampala City tour
Old Kampala Mosque. Courtesy Photo

The Bahai Temple located in Kikaya Hill is the only temple of the Bahai Faith on the African continent. The Temple construction work was completed in 1961, 10 years after the Bahai Faith had been introduced in Uganda in 1951. The Bahai temple is very outstanding icon and a religious landmark best to visit to a Kampala City tour.

Named as the Mother Temple of Africa, the Bahai House of Worship in Uganda was designed by Mason Remey. Its green dome is made of mosaic tiles from Italy. The temple is seated on 50 hectares of land that also the over 600 seater temple, gardens, an administrative centre and a guesthouse. While on a Kampala City tour ensure to add the temple on the Must Visit places. You will get to know more about the Bahai faith and relax in the lavish green gardens if you like.

Kasubi Tombs

The Kasubi tombs are a burial ground for the Kings of Buganda Kingdom. The burial site has great cultural significance in the Buganda Kingdom. It has Four royal tombs in the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga the main building that is circular and was constructed using purely local and organic materials. The tombs were designated a United Nations Educational Scientific and cultural Organization (UNESCO) Heritage site because of its cultural significance.

The tombs sit on a 30 hectare piece of land. The site was formally a Palace of Kabakas’ (Kings) of Buganda having been built in 1882. Two years later it was turned into a royal burial ground. For those interested in African culture the Kasubi tombs a Must visit place. Its strategically located in the city centre and can be easily accessed by those on a Kampala City tour.

Uganda Museum

The Uganda Museum was founded in 1908 and is one stop centre for those exploring Kampala city. It is the oldest in East Africa when Uganda still a British Protectorate. It has a collection of archaeology, science, natural history and cultural facts of Uganda. The Museum is strategically located in Kampala just 5 kilometers from the city centre.

Uganda being one of the most diverse countries on the planet, it has a beautiful culture and heritage that are well exhibited at the Uganda Museum. There are musical instruments From all tribes of Uganda that one is free to play while at the Museum. The Museum has an open ground with traditional huts and enough space where one can relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area.

The Uganda museum is open from 8 to 5 pm and a must visit while on a Kampala city tour.

Old Kampala Mosque

The Old Kampala Mosque is also known as the Uganda National Mosque located in Kampala City. With a sitting capacity of over 15,000 worshipers, its the largest mosque in East Africa. It is an iconic religious attraction and very symbolic to the muslim community.

The mosques’ construction works started as early as 1972 but was completed and officially opened in 2007. Constructions was first halted in 1976 and later restarted in 2001 to be completed 6 years later and was officially commissioned by Colonel Muamar Gaddafi the then President of Libya.

The Old Kampala mosque offers a 360 degree view of the City and its the best place to have a panoramic view of Kampala city. The Unique architectural design of the mosque is also an attraction with a beautiful dome and Minaret. If interested in religious tourism and best views of the city this is the place to be.

Craft Villages

These are located along Buganda Road in the city center with a collection of locally made crafts and paintings. All of the crafts here are made using local materials and the clothes and bags are made with local fabric. The craft villages are best places to get to know about the rich Ugandan and African heritage. They are the best places for shopping souvenirs and local items you will not find in any other places.

The craft villages are strategically located and are highly recommended for one exploring Kampala City. Many of the items here are very affordable ranging from $10 to $50. Purchasing items here is a direct support to the Ugandan local community enabling them to directly earn from tourism.

Nakasero Market

Nakasero market is a food market situated in the heart of Kampala. Uganda being the food basket of Africa, there is a variety of foodstuffs and vegetables grown around the country. Some of these include Avocados, tomatoes, watermelons, pawpaw, eggplants, mangoes among others. Many of these and much more are supplied daily to Nakasero market to meet the demand of the highly populated Kampala City.

The market is open daily from early morning and it’s a great place to visit while on a city tour. Here you get to meet vibrant and hard-working men and women who will serve you with a smiling face. While on a Kampala city tour do not miss tasting Ugandan fresh fruits and getting to know more about the ever-growing agricultural sector In Uganda.

Kampala city is known as the city that never sleeps with very vibrant night clubs. Often times there are musical performances by Ugandan and international artistes celebrating African culture and heritage.

During the day because of traffic, it might be a little hard to access some parts of city. You can however explore the city on a boda boda another unique and adventurous experience. Beyond the city Uganda has a lot to offer ranging from the rare mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, Big Five mammas and much more. Visit Uganda today and be part of the never-ending adventures in the city and beyond.

Kigali Hosts CHOGM 2022

Rwanda Commonwealth Day. CHOGM 2022
Commonwealth Day Celebrations. Courtesy Photo

Rwanda is the host of the commonwealth heads of government meeting CHOGM scheduled from 20th to 25th June this year. Commonwealth is an association of 54 countries most of which are former colonies of Britain. The commonwealth was instituted in the mid 1900’s when a number of British empires started gaining independence from British Rule. It was formally established in 1949 by the CommonWealth foundation that established the member states free and Equal.

Since 1971, leaders from commonwealth countries meet every two years for CHOGM. Each meeting is held by a different member country on a rotational basis with the last one held in the United Kingdom in 2018.  The one happening in Rwanda was supposed to happen in 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID pandemic.

Various leaders from all the Commonwealth countries are expected to be in Kigali for CHOGM. They will hold a series of meetings to discuss policy and how to improve the lives of their citizens.

This years theme is ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’. This years’ CHOGM was kick started by the Commonwealth Youth Forum that started today and will end on 21st June. This will be followed by the Commonwealth Women’s Forum from 20th to 21st at Kigali Serena Hotel. On Wednesday 22nd June and Thursday there will be ministerial meetings. It will be officially opened on 25th June then followed by executive sessions and the closed on Saturday 26th.

What to do in Rwanda During the CHOGM week

Kigali City tour

Kigali Rwanda’s capital city is very vibrant and the cleanest city on the African continent. The city has a number of attractions ranging from the Art centers, local markets, genocide memorials, Restaurants, craft shops and others. The city can be explored on foot giving one an opportunity to interact with the very hospitable Rwandan citizens.

Kigali city is very green and organized and very safe for a guided walking tour. For those who would like to explore more destinations outside the city center can still do so as there is a lot to see in the land of a thousand hills.

This will be showcasing local Rwandan and international commonwealth fashion. It will feature a number of designers showcasing their works. The fashion week will have a series of activities all aimed at uplifting designers worldwide.

The fashion week will be taking place at different venues and will also feature shop tours plus visiting artisans in the city. This will be one stop center to be as you will get an opportunity to learn about diverse African art and craft industry. With the different art works on display, one will be able to buy some souvenirs.

A visit to Rwanda is not complete without a mountain gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes National Park. The park is located in Northwestern Rwanda just a 3 hours drive from Kigali Rwanda’s capital city. Volcanoes national park is home to half of the mountain gorilla population in the Virunga massif. It has 20 habituated gorilla families that are open for tourism.

Each mountain gorilla family is tracked by 8 tourists a day in an awesome primate once in a lifetime experience. Mountain gorillas are special primates with over 95% DNA similar to humans. Just like humans they live in families headed by a dominant male called silverback. They are predominately vegetarian and feed on plant leaves and bamboo shoots and occasionally on small insects.

The gorilla trekking experience starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where you are briefed about the do’s and don’ts of gorilla trekking. You are then guided in the light bamboo forest amidst sighting of a number of wildlife including birds. You are allowed to stay in the presence of the mountain gorillas for an hour taking photos and getting to know more about them. From here you are led back to the park headquarters for your certificates of participation.

Even if you don’t have a lot of time in Kigali a gorilla trekking tour is doable. You can do a 1 day tour with an early morning (4:30 am) pick up from Kigali. You will then take a 3 hours drive to the park arriving in time for the gorilla trek and later be transferred back to Kigali. For those with more time you can do a 2 or 3 days tour that can include golden monkey trekking.

A safari to Akagera national park is another activity you should not miss while attending GHOGM 2022 in Kigali. Akagera national park is located in eastern Rwanda and its the only savanna national park in Rwanda. It is home to the big five mammals that include Elephants, lions, buffaloes, Rhinos and Leopards. Most of these had been extinct but were recently restored in the park all thanks to the great conservation works.

Akagera National park stands out because of its diverse ecosystem and wildlife species. The big five safari experience here is complemented by sighting of other savanna favorites like the giraffes, Topi’s while on game drives. Rhino tracking is among the newly established activities in Akagera National Park giving one an opportunity of a close encounter of one of the big Five.

A tour to Akagera is doable in 1 day with enough time to explore the park. For more chances of wildlife viewing though it is good to visit for 2 or 3 days. A boat cruise a long Lake Ihema is a must do as you will get to see Nile Crocodiles, hippos and a number of bird species. 

As you attend the CHOGM 2022 let’s celebrate our culture, wildlife and heritage and you can a part of the above mentioned experiences. There are many more experiences that Rwanda has to offer. You can also check out Nyungwe forest National park located in the southwestern part. It is home to chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and many other primates. 

Remember June is the start of the peak tourist season. You will therefore have to book your accommodation and activities in advance to avoid missing out. For any other information about your other favorite destination in East Africa, you can check on our blog page. 

East Africa’s Outstanding Top City Hotels

East Africa is a vibrant tourist region with exciting urban destinations to explore and beautiful city hotels offering great hospitality services. The region though most famous for wildlife safaris, cities bring the tourist experiences to a new perspective.

The major East African cities include Kampala Uganda’s capital, Nairobi Kenya’s capital, Kigali Rwanda’s Capital and Dodoma Tanzania’s capital. Since we feature eastern Democratic Republic of Congo a lot, we will consider Goma the eastern city of DRC. There also important and historical cities in East Africa like Mombasa in Kenya and Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania.

While in East African Cities you can visit museums, local markets, attend festivals or local concerts among others. All these are supplemented with Meals and relaxation at the unmissable city hotels. Lets explore some of the outstanding hotels in the different cities in East Africa.

Raddison Blue Hotel is located in the Heart of Kigali a few minutes drive from Kigali International Airport. The Hotel has a total of 291 rooms that are spacious and fully furnished with all what can need.

The Hotel has 6 floors with 18 meeting rooms having a capacity of Holding 3,677 people. Each meeting room has all the necessary facilities including A-V Equipment, Internet Access among others.

Other general outstanding services offered include currency exchange, room service, hair stylist, Wireless internet, Child care, rollaway beds among others. The area is very safe with ample onsite parking space and tight security.

The restaurants at the Hotel prepare both local and international cuisines that you can enjoy with great views of Kigali. You can as well relax in the indoor or outdoor pool or head to the gym for working out. The hotel also offers massage with an outdoor tennis court and golf course where you can play some games. This is no doubt among the best East African city hotels and a great place to visit while in Rwanda.

Raddison Blue & Convention Center Kigali City Hotels
Raddison Blue & Convention Center Kigali. Courtesy Photo

Kampala Serena hotel is fully immersed in nature surrounded by beautiful green water gardens. This is Kampala’s 5 star luxury Hotel strategically located in the city center the providing the best stop over.

The Hotel has different luxury room categories from Deluxe and executive rooms to Suites. These are all very spacious with Balconies some directly overlooking part of Kampala and with clean en-suite bathrooms and toilets.

The Royal suite is most outstanding with Two bed rooms, a walk in closet in the master bedroom, Private balcony, work desk, a beautiful living room, dining, Kitchenette and a visitors bathroom. The walls are decorated with paintings from one of Africa’s pieces showing the Ugandan Culture.

Kampala Serena has over 4 restaurants where you can enjoy all your meals with beautiful scenic views of the gardens. They also offer room service incase you prefer to have you meals at the comfort of your bed. The Hotel has a swimming pool where you can swim and sun bathe the sun of the Pearl of Africa. Kampala Serena is the finest of all Kampala city hotels and a Must Visit.

Kampala Serena Hotel. City Hotels
Kampala Serena Hotel Uganda. Photo by Kampala Serena

This Five star Hotel is the oldest having been started in 1902 as the first luxury Hotel in Nairobi city. This Hotel is very historic and the best place to be if you are interested in Magical Kenya’s History.

Sarova Stanley Hotel has hosted Kenya’s and world’s re-known leaders, celebrities and all kinds of VVIP’s. It has well spacious rooms with Large windows offering great views of the surrounding environment.

The hotel hosts conference and events on the major conference rooms most which having been named Historical figures like Sir Winston Churchill, Baden Powel, Patterson among others. At Sarova Stanley Hotel you can also a perfect honeymoon as you relax at the hotel or visit Nairobi one of the most vibrant cities in East Africa.

While here taste food from best chefs who are masters in preparing both local, regional and international dishes. From the touristic perspective, Sarova Stanley is the best of Nairobi city hotels as the travel experiences start as soon are you arrive at the Hotel.

Sarova Stanley Nairobi city Hotels
Luxury Room at Sarova Stanley Nairobi. Courtesy Photo

Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam is a 5 star Hotel situated in Dar es Salaam Tanzania’s largest city. With an added advantage of the great Indian Ocean, Hyatt Regency is spectacular with incredible views of the ocean.

Dar es salaam being East Africa’s hub for trade, tourism, with beautiful beaches, great history and culture, Hyatt Regency becomes a prime place to base when visiting Tanzania. The Hotel is also a few minutes drive from the airport and can therefore be easily accessed.

The Hotels amenities include wireless internet, spa services, meeting and conferencing, and so much more. All these are enjoyed with a cool breeze from the Indian Ocean, a moment everyone would like to be a part of. The rooms at the Hotel are very spacious with balconies offering views of the City or the Ocean.

At the Hotels restaurant you can taste Tanzania’s and Asians best cuisines as well as western cuisines depending on your preference. You can have a great time even with your whole family as they play live music and feature children’s activities. The Hotel is great for weddings and honeymoons. It has capacity to host over 400 guests and the beautiful reception sites.

Hyatt Regency Kilimanjaro. City Hotels
Luxury Room at Hyatt Regency Kilimanjaro. Courtesy Photo

This beautiful Hotel is located in Dodoma Tanzania’s capital city and its among the newly constructed Hotels. Morena hotel is strategically located in city center of Dodoma making it among the perfect places to stay when exploring the city.

Morena Hotel has over 20 self contained and affordable spacious rooms overlooking the city where you can comfortably stay. These are well air conditioned with cable televisions, King size beds and wireless internet.

While at the Hotel’s restaurant you get to taste the chefs well tailored and creative cuisine. All menus are customized giving one a wide range of options to choose from which ranges from local to international dishes. At the cocktail bar you can get a variety of drinks with a number of cocktails and brands.

Moreno also has an immense swimming pool where you can have a swim especially on hot days. There is also a children pool where little ones can relax and play making family visits at the Hotel enjoyable. Among the many Dodoma city Hotels, Morena Hotel has class and its very affordable, ensure to visit it.

Morena Hotel Dodoma
Morena Hotel Dodoma. Courtesy Photo

Near the shores of Lake Kivu in Goma town eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is Goma Serena Hotel. This beautiful hotels location enables you explore the less traveled paths in the diverse greater Congo.

Goma Serena Hotel has different room categories from deluxe rooms to suites that are self contained and very spacious. The rooms offer uninterrupted views of Lake Kivu quite a sight to see perfect for relaxation.

The Hotel has two iconic restaurants and a bar where you get to enjoy all your meals while at the hotel. Goma Serena offer meetings, wedding facilities, an onsite spa and gym and most importantly a persons with disability friendly room.

While taking on the Eastern DRC adventures like mountain gorilla tracking in Virunga National Park, a stay here is worthwhile.

Goma Serena Hotel
Presidential Suite at Goma Serena Hotel. Photo by Goma Serena

Tips for an affordable East African Tour

For many, an East African tour is usually among their bucket list as it offers unique and lifetime safari encounters. Many travelers wish to be part of these tours to meet some of world’s rare wildlife species and encounters.

Many of East African tour destinations are however located in remote areas making transportation there a bit expensive. There is usually need for proper accommodation facilities while in these wild places thus making tour packages a bit expensive. Not all travelers have a lot of money to spend and we will therefore explore tips for an affordable East African tour.

1. Choosing Wildlife Activities to Engage in.

The main reason for an East African Tour is to explore leading and outstanding safari destinations. This is often done by engaging in activities like game drives, hiking, primate tracking, boat cruises among others.

Each of these activities are charged differently so there is need to select what you are most interested. The most expensive so far is gorilla tracking with Rwanda charging USD 1500 per person for a gorilla permit. Its very important to know which activities you will be doing and know how much you will spend on each.

This helps a big deal in planning and can help you choose an affordable east African tour package. You can get information of tariffs charged for each activities from local tour operators or government organizations that manage these destinations.

Mountain gorilla Virunga National Park. East African Tour
Mountain gorilla Virunga National Park. Courtesy Photo
2. Choosing Lodging or accommodation option.

Accommodation is one variable that makes tours a bit expensive. Its an important part of a tour as with this you can determine and plan your itinerary. There are various accommodation options in East African tour destinations from budget to high end luxury facilities.

Depending on your budget, its important to choose what accommodation budget option you prefer. With this you are able to choose the best East African tour and the most affordable budget.

These accommodation options are located within safari destinations especially national parks and helps a big deal in accessing the park. Ensure to choose the right lodging option to avoid over spending while on your East African Tour

Elephant Plains Lodge. East African Tour
Elephant Plains Lodge. Photo by Uganda Lodges
3. Choosing when to go

The East African region has two major seasons that have an impact of East African tour package pricing. The busiest is the peak season from June to September and from December to March. The low season is from April to May and from October to November and here there are usually discounts.

The low season usually has rainfall but tourist activities are doable and its also the best time for birding. Many lodges discount their rates and if you are looking for affordable East African tour packages this is the best time.

Apart from discounts, the other best option for traveling in the low season is that you enjoy exclusivity. There are few people traveling and therefore major destinations are not as crowded as it is in the peak season.

Lilac Breasted Roller in Ngorongoro Tanzania. East African Tour
Lilac Breasted Roller in Ngorongoro Crater. Photo by Murali Nature Photography
4. Choosing A Local Tour Operator

Local operators help a big deal in planning for tours and these charge differently for the packages they offer. There are local operators that specialize in high-end safari packages where as there are those that organize budget and mid range packages.

You can always check or inquire on the different East African tour packages and choose the most affordable option. Local tour operators have many tailor made tour packages whose prices differ depending on what is included or excluded.

Local tour operators have a lot of information on the different transportation and accommodation options. With this, they can advise on the most affordable options thus enabling you to save some money.

Moroto Uganda
5. Having Travel Companions

This is a very important aspect as solo tours tend to be a bit more expensive. This is is because with solo travel you bear the all the costs alone especially transportation. Having travel companions like traveling in a group helps bring the tour costs down with shared transport and accommodation fees.

Having travel companions also gives you company on your tour enjoying with friends and family. In case you choose to travel solo it’s also okay but to keep the costs down by choosing budget or mid range packages.

There are budget and mid range packages that are affordable and equally great. You can always check for lodge options online to be sure where you will be staying.

Best All Inclusive Safari Lodges In Uganda

Safari Lodges form a great part of travel and are places to be keen to book ahead of a safari. This December is a great time to travel and Uganda is one of those places many yearn to be.

Being one of East Africa’s finest safari destinations, Uganda has many safari lodges in the different national parks the country has. Lets explore some of the all inclusive safari lodges in Uganda for families, couples and single travelers.

This beautiful lodge is located at the edge of Kyambura gorge overlooking the endless plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The lodge has rustic bandas each offering a great view of the open savanna plains or Kyambura gorge.

There are 4 deluxe bandas at Kyambura gorge lodge, a swimming pool and all the essential lodge amenities. The lodge is ideal when going for chimpanzee tracking, game drives, boat cruise and other activities in the park.

Kyambura gorge lodge is among the all inclusive safari lodges in Uganda and a great for a getaway. The lodge provides wireless internet at the main building and also offer a personal butler for all guests.

Kyambura Gorge Lodge. Uganda safari Lodges
Kyambura Gorge Lodge. Courtesy Photo

Buhoma lodge is among the best safari lodges to stay at while going for gorilla tracking in Bwindi impenetrable national park. The lodge is located in Buhoma the first sector that opened up for gorilla tracking in Bwindi in the early 1990’s.

The lodge directly overlooks the impenetrable forest and was constructed in an Eco-friendly manner minimizing impacts on the ecosystem. Each cottage here has a private verandah and large windows which enables clients to have incredible forest views at the comfort of their rooms.

There are a total of 8 cottages here self contained each with a flush toilet, hot showers and some with bath tubs. Buhoma lodge is ideal when going for gorilla tracking, birding, nature walks and community visits in the Buhoma sector.

Buhoma Lodge Bwindi Uganda
Buhoma Lodge Bwindi Uganda. Courtesy Photo

Elephant plains lodge is located in Queen Elizabeth National Park with a spectacular view of the park. The lodge is strategically located and its only a 2 minutes drive to the national park gate.

The lodge is very close to Kasenyi sector where most game drives are done. While here look out for animals like lions, antelope species and many birds. You can also go for a crater drive enjoying beautiful views of some of the unfilled craters in the park. From these adventure activities you can dive in the pool and relax enjoying Ugandan weather.

Rooms at Elephant plains lodge are very spacious, self contained with large windows offering views of lake Kikorongo. All rooms here have bath tubs and showers with flowing hot water incase you need a hot bath. The bar at lodge is fully stocked with wines and also offers great views of the park.

Elephant Plains Lodge. Uganda Safari lodges
Elephant Plains Lodge. Photo by Uganda Lodges

This lodge is located near Kibale forest national park in western Uganda. Ndali lodge is situated in the Crater lakes area and directly overlooks one beautiful crater lake. The lodge has a calm serenity and of the best places to relax and escape the noise from the city.

Ndali lodge is ideal for those interested in chimpanzee tracking, nature walks, birding and community visit in Kibale national park. It lies in between Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National park a strategic location for adventure lovers.

Cottages at Ndali lodge are spacious, self contained with views of the lake and the beautiful landscapes of the area. The lodge can be easily accessed by road and a highly recommended place for adventure lovers.

Ndali Lodge Uganda Safari Lodges. Destination Uganda
Ndali Lodge Uganda. Photo By Jonathan Benaiah

East African Safari Destinations that are great to Explore off-season

Tourists visit various safari destinations on East Africa but often do this in the peak season. East Africa’s peak season ranges from June to October and December to March with highest tourist numbers recorded in safari destinations.

The off season from April to May and Late October to November is equally a good time to travel. This however gets low tourists numbers because of some rainfall disturbances. Rainfall in the tourists low season doesn’t prevent tourist activities and many tourists actually prefer to travel during this time.

During this time, one greatest advantage is safari destinations are usually less crowded. This enables tourists to have intimate and exclusive safari experiences and knowing destinations in details. Lets look at some of the leading safari destinations in East Africa that great to explore off season.

This famous primates national park is situated in northwestern Rwanda and its among the most visited safari destinations in Rwanda. The park is home to various primates species including mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.

During the peak season, volcanoes national park receives many tourists and some miss as gorilla permits get fully booked. In the off season however there is usually less chances of missing on the permits and the park is not very busy.

If you are therefore much into exclusive and less crowded primates safari experiences in Rwanda you can visit in the off season. The parks major activities can be done throughout the year so you will definitely have a great time.

Golden Monkey Rwanda. Safari Destinations
Golden Monkey in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. Photo by Steve Woods

This savanna national park is most famous for the wildebeest migration, big five mammals, big cats and diverse wildlife. The park is one of the most busiest safari destinations in East Africa in the peak season.

Much as you get to enjoy most of the wildlife species, there is need to have a more intimate safari experience. This usually happens off season when tourist numbers reduce. Given that there is usually rainfall, the grass regains a lush green providing an impressive scenic view.

The migratory birds are another reason to visit Serengeti off season if interested in birding. The rates for major lodges are also discounted enabling to travel at an affordable rate but still enjoy.

Leopard in Serengeti National Park. Safari Destinations
Leopard in Serengeti National Park Tanzania. Photo by George Benjamin

Famous for mountain gorillas, this tropical rain forested national park is a UNESCO world heritage site located in Southwestern Uganda. The park is among the most diverse primates park with mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and many monkey species.

Bwindi Impenetrable national park has half of the remaining mountain gorillas making it an ultimate gorilla tracking destination. The park has four major sectors each with habituated gorilla families but permits get fully booked in peak seasons.

In-case you miss visiting Bwindi in the peak season you can as well to the gorilla trek off season. This time is not as busy as the peak season and you can get to track gorillas few in number. The total number allowed per day is 8 which is fair but off season you could be only 4. Despite the season, always ensure to book your gorilla permits in advance to avoid missing out.

Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi. Wildlife Conservation
Baby Mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP. Photo by Jonathan Benaiah

This is among Kenya’s ultimate safari destinations and no doubt the most visited of all. The park is famous for its wildlife and the wildebeest migration wonder between here and Serengeti makes visits here remarkable.

A visit to Masai Mara anytime of the year is very rewarding. A visit off season is not only exclusive but also enables you to enjoy the parks green vegetation and flowers. During this time, there are births enabling one to have safaris featuring newly borns of the reserve.

Rare Migratory birds species can also be seen during this time as well as Masai Mara’s major native and resident species. Wildlife viewing in Masai Mara off season is very enjoyable and you can never regret visiting the reserve.

Ostriches Maasai Mara National Reserve. Safari destinations
Ostriches in Maasai Mara. Courtesy Photo

Wildlife Tours To The Less Traveled Paths in DRC

Democratic Republic of Congo is one tourism giant but the least explored wildlife tours destination in East and Central Africa. The country has been affected by civil wars for a long time thereby discouraging many potential tourists.

DRC is huge with diverse wildlife and ecosystems making it one of the most attractive country in the region. While in East Africa, you can easily access the Eastern part of DRC uncovering all the hidden tourist attractions.

Let us uncover the country’s less traveled paths for unmatched wildlife tours in this beautiful safari destination.

Mount Nyiragongo Hiking Wildlife Tours

Mount Nyiragongo is one of the World’s most active Volcanic Mountains currently. The Mountain is part of the Virunga massif Volcanic Mountains located in Eastern DRC. Mount Nyiragongo has a 2 kilometer wide crater with a lava Lake that adventure tourists are very opportunistic to observe.

Nyiragongo’s lower slopes is covered with a forest that has various wildlife species like Chimpanzees, three-horned chameleon and birds. These are often seen while on the hike as you start the adventurous hike.

The Mountain Overlaps Baratu and Shaheru Volcanic mountains covered with green vegetation an awesome view to look out for. The Mount Nyiragongo hike is divided into 5 major sections each with a 15 minutes break. With these stopovers, hikers get a chance to see wildlife and take photos as they learn more about the area.

Wildlife tours to Nyiragongo are adventurous and rewarding though the mountain is among the less visited destinations in the region.

Mount Nyiragongo Lava Lake; DRC Wildlife Tours
Mount Nyiragongo Lava Lake - DRC. Courtesy Photo

Mountain Gorilla Wildlife Tours

DRC’s Virunga national park is one place in East and central Africa with habituated mountain gorillas. Mountain gorilla are rare apes that live in the forested mountains of sub Saharan Africa.

With about 95% DNA similar to humans, mountain gorillas are among Man’s closest primates. Just like humans, mountain gorillas live in families headed by a dominant male gorilla. Hiking the forested mountains of Virunga National park to meet gorillas is often referred to as once in a lifetime.

Mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga national park gives one an opportunity to meet other wildlife especially birds. This double experience thereby uncovers some of Congo’s tourism treasures whose safaris are very exclusive.

Mountain Gorilla in Democratic Republic of Congo
Mountain Gorilla in Virunga National Park. Photo by Blue Skye Photos

Lowland Gorilla tours of Kahuzi Biega

A part from Mountain gorillas, DRC has another gorilla sub species; the Eastern Lowland gorillas. Lowland gorillas inhabit the forested mountains of Mount Kahuzi and Biega in Eastern DRC.

Eastern lowland gorillas differ from other gorillas as they are larger in size with a stocky body and short muzzle. They are the least explored gorilla species and yet offer exclusive primate tracking experiences.

Kahuzi Biega national park is a true definition of less traveled wildlife paths and we encourage tourists to explore it. While on the lowland gorilla tour you also get to meet other wildlife species in the park.

While on wildlife tours in East Africa, ensure to add DRC to your itinerary. The country though less explored will leave you very astonished yearning for more wildlife experiences.

Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga NP DRC
Eastern Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi Beiga NP. Photo by Shannon