East Africa is famous for it’s wildlife encounters and here we dig deeper in these and more classic adventures. Below are details of the Must Visit and bucket list adventures to look out for while in East Africa.

1. Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorilla in Virunga National Park Democratic Republic of Congo
Mountain Gorilla in Virunga National Park DRC. Photo by Blue Skye Photos
Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Uganda
An Infant gorilla with its Mother in Bwindi, Uganda. Photo by Bishop Skyler

In the forested mountains of East Africa are some of the planet’s rare primate species the mountain gorillas. These inhabit the forested mountains of the Virunga massif and Bwindi Impenetrable national park in southwestern Uganda. The Virunga Massif covers volcanic mountains in Volcanoes national park Rwanda, Mgahinga gorilla park Uganda and Virunga National Park DRC.

Mountain gorillas are primates species covered with black fur and with over 95% DNA similar to humans. They live in families headed by dominant male mountain gorillas called silver-back. These families comprise of females, juvenile and infant gorillas ranging up to 20 or more individuals.

A gorilla trek in East Africa offers incredible wildlife encounters as you meet the gorillas in their habitats. There are many habituated mountain gorilla families that are accustomed to human beings presence and open to tourist visitation.

When in East Africa, visit the national parks for once in a life time mountain gorilla tours. With this you get to meet these endangered primates in their most preferred habitats.

2. Big Cats

Lions in Selous Game Reserve Tanzania. Tanzania Wildlife destinations
Lions in Selous Game Reserve Tanzania. Courtesy Photo
Cheetah in Masai Mara game reserve Kenya
Cheetah in Masai Mara. Photo by Rishi Rudani

East Africa has large populations of big cats that include lions, leopards, cheetahs that are usually seen in national parks. Big cats offer Africa’s finest wildlife encounters especially on game drives in the regions savanna destinations.

Safari destinations like Serengeti National park in Tanzania have over 3000 lions that roam the open savanna plains. While in Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve, you get a one on one encounter with leopards and cheetahs. In Uganda’s Ishasha and Kasenyi sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, there are tree climbing lions seen in fig trees.

A wildlife safari in East Africa is usually incomplete without an encounter of the big cats. With multiple game drives and experiential activities like predator tracking, there is 100% chances of meeting the fierce animals.

The big cat populations in East Africa is supported by the abundance of prey especially antelopes that they hunt down. Fierce big cats especially lions even make successful attempts of Savanna’s big mammals like buffaloes and elephants. Don’t miss out on many and more of these wildlife adventures.

3. The People

Turkana Woman wearing Ornaments (East Africa's Cultural Encounters)
Turkana Lady Wearing Ornaments in Northern Kenya. Photo by Olivier Ranrigo
Tepeth people in Moroto
Tepeth Man in Moroto Uganda. Photo by Jonathan Benaiah

A side from the wildlife encounters, East Africa has diverse cultural backgrounds a combination of which offers great cultural experiences. Meet some of East Africa’s native communities like the Hadzabe people who live at the edge of Serengeti national park. The Hadzabe are believed to be among the oldest tribes on earth with their roots tracing over 100,000 years ago.

Other native tribes include the Karamojong in northeastern Uganda, the Turkana’s in Kenya, the Masai in Kenya and Tanzania. These unique tribes offer unforgettable cultural experiences and a true insight of the people of East Africa. Cultural tours can be arranged for those seeking for exclusive experiences and can visit the homesteads of the people.

The people generally are very hospital making the whole tour experience worthwhile. Most cultural tours are had after wildlife savanna tours or safaris making a complete classic African safari.

4. White Sand Beaches

Watamu Beach Kenya; Visit East Africa
Watamu Beach Kenya. Courtesy Photo
Mnemba Island Tanzania. Visit East Africa
Mnemba Island Tanzania. Courtesy Photo

East Africa has a long coastline bordering the Indian Ocean a perfect getaway after a savanna wildlife tour. Beach life here is very vibrant as a number of people head out to enjoy the pure white sand beaches.

While at the East African coast, you can relax at the beach, sunbathe, play beach games like soccer. There are also various water sports activities like snorkeling, diving with marine wildlife like sea turtles and dolphins. If interested in exploring the Ocean, take boat cruises in classic East African dhows visiting islands in the Indian ocean.

The islands in the Indian ocean are great honeymoon destinations and perfect places for those who prefer calm environments. Most visited islands include Zanzibar that’s very rich in East African trade history, Pemba island, mafia and Seychelles.