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.

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.

Lions in Selous Game Reserve Tanzania. Tanzania Wildlife destinations
Lions in Selous Game Reserve Tanzania. Courtesy Photo

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.

The Wildebeest Migration Adventure

The great wildebeest migration is an annual animal migration between Serengeti and Masai mara ecosystems in Kenya and Tanzania. It features vast numbers of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and other antelope species moving over the plains of Serengeti and Masai mara for fresh pasture. This natural phenomenon happens month per month gradually transitioning into the other as the grazers move facing deadly predators especially the big cats.

Wildebeest Migration Visit East Africa. 3 Days Masai Mara
Wildebeest Migration Maasai Mara. Photo by Thomas Vijayan

The Wildebeest Migration Annual Road Map

In January at the beginning of the year the migration is often in Southern Serengeti. Here they evenly spread throughout the Ndutu conservation area and part of the Ngorongoro Crater. They would have returned from Kenya’s Masai Mara around mid October spreading through out Northern Serengeti.

The wildebeest stay in southern Serengeti throughout the months of February and March that also double as a calving period. The young ones are a great addition to the wildebeest population that eagerly await to take on their journey up north once again. The calves are however targeted by the predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs that often hide in the lush grasses ready to take down their prey.

In April and May, the wildebeest steadily start moving towards northern Serengeti as the wet season ends. This ushers in the dry season in June as the animals spread further west. Here they encounter River Grumeti their first major obstacle on their journey. The high water levels from the rains in the wet season discourage the wildebeest from quickly crossing over. The River banks are also graced with some of the deadliest Nile crocodiles that the wildebeest have to look out for.

In July and August at the peak of the dry season quite a number of them would have crossed Grumeti River. They move further north towards Masai Mara crossing the Mara River that has a number of predator crocodiles that take advantage of the wildebeest numbers. The Nile crocodiles feast big time on the herbivores that also fight hard to continue on course northwards. The wildebeest move over the Masai Mara Ecosystem till around mid October when they start crossing back to Serengeti.

The Migration cycle then starts allover again a journey that wildlife enthusiasts often want to be part of.

The Big cats

Serengeti and Masai are among the few places in East Africa with highest concentrations of big cats. These have large prides of lions whose survival is directly linked to the wildebeest and the many herbivores that they prey on. The wildebeest migration is among the few places where you can catch live action hunting in the wild.

Apart from the lions, the wilds’ most stealth predators the leopards are also many in Serengeti and Mara ecosystem. These also take advantage of even the calving period to hunt prey for their survival. Cheetahs are also present here and use their speed advantage to race out herbivores. The big cats are often accompanied by hyenas that like to steal some of the already hunted prey.

Hyenas are also deadly predators that are evenly distributed in the region. These attack in groups to easily maximize their chances of a kill.

The wildebeest Migration Experience

The best way to enjoy the wildebeest migration is on a day game drives in the parks and the respective conservancies. Luckily the migration can be easily predicated month per month which enables travelers to plan accordingly on where to visit at a particular time. Early morning game drives are highly recommended for those who would like to catch up with the early risers.

Evening game drives are ideal for you to see the wild animals retire from a busy hunting and grazing day. You are also able to catch up with the African sunset while on evening game drives. The nocturnal wildlife then start heading out as they are most active at night including the big cats.


Hot air ballon safaris are also highly recommended as they offer a panoramic view of the wildlife. It is always refreshing to observe wildlife from an elevated point of view and in the masai mara and Serengeti it is even more spectacular. The best time for ballon safaris are early mornings and late evenings. For the early morning expeditions, you can have bush breakfast that is prepared and served in the wilderness offering you uninterrupted views of the game.

Accommodation

There are a number of accommodation facilities that are strategically located within and at the outskirts of the parks. Staying at one of these beautiful Wild places ahead of your wildebeest safari expedition is very ideal. You can start your game drives right from your lodge or tented camp and occasionally have wildlife visitors like lions and other big five mammals including elephants.

It is very important to book the appropriate accommodation depending on the wildebeest migration movements. There are temporary safari camps that move with the migration throughout the year. Before you book your tour it is better to be certain where the wildebeest are for you to book the most convenient accommodation option.

The dry season from June to September doubles as the peak tourist season a time when accommodation facilities get fully booked. Incase you plan to travel during this Time it is highly recommended for you to book your accommodation in advance. October is a transition month from the dry to wet season but still busy and features River crossings of the wildebeest from Masai Mara to Serengeti. You would still need to book your accommodation in advance a year or couple months before to avoid missing out.

During the wet season mainly in November, March, April and May, there are high chances of rainfall which makes some game drive trails impassable. This however does not prevent one from enjoying the migration especially with the calving period. A number of lodges also offer discounted rates during this time of the year and could ideal to travel if you want to save some money.

Birding

For birders, the wet season is the best time to visit as the migratory birds set in coming from as far as Europe. General wildlife viewing is also great including the big cats that are spotted hiding in the lush vegetation.

Now that we are in the middle of the peak tourist season, you can plan your safari now and visit towards the end of year or book for the next season come 2023. Visit East Africa for these and much more wildlife adventures.

5 Things to Do on a Tanzania Safari

Tanzania is a world renown safari destination and Tanzanian safari experiences top bucket lists of adventure travellers. The country has a variety of tourist attractions and no wonder it’s among the most desirable East African safari destinations.

Much as there was a lot of travel tension and restrictions because of Corona virus, Tanzania never locked down and tourism activities have been on going in the country. The world is now slowly adjusting to the new normal and international travel resumed following standard operating procedures. All those that had postponed their safaris are looking to travelling now. Below are 5 safari activities you should do while on a Tanzanian Safari.

Wildebeest Migration Safari

This annual animal migration is a must do while on a Tanzanian Safari. The wildebeest migration is a mass movement of wildebeest, zebras, topi, gazelles over the open savannah plains of Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems.

The animals move in thousands a journey that attracts the major predators of the savanna’s including lions, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs among others. The Nile crocodiles encountered while crossing River Grumeti also pose a great obstacle that the herbivores must overcome to continue with their Course.

This adventurous natural phenomenon offers perfect opportunity for savannah wildlife viewing, photography and encounters you might not easily find on any other safari activity. While on any visit in Tanzania, ensure to add the wildebeest migration safaris to your itinerary. Right now the migration is moving towards the eastern edge of Serengeti National Park and it would be a great opportunity to explore other major attractions in the Park.

Wildebeest Migration. Tanzanian Safari Experiences
Wildebeest River Crossing. Photo by George the Explorer

The Ngorongoro crater is one of the most iconic natural wonders of the world located in northern Tanzania. It’s the world’s largest inactive and unfilled caldera. Its very iconic and an attraction itself and offers great scenic views.

The crater is also a habitat for a number of wildlife species including lions, buffaloes, elephants, zebras, rhinos among others. Game drives on the floor of the crater are very rewarding as you get to see the various wildlife species. For those interested in birding, birding safaris are very possible in the crater. Some bird species spotted here include lesser flamingos on Lake Magadi.

Tanzanian Safari experiences featuring the Ngorongoro crater are very adventurous and a must do while on a Tanzania expedition.

Masai Community Visit

African culture is widely celebrated and while on a Tanzanian safari expedition, a visit to one of the local communities is highly recommended as it enables you enjoy one on one moments with the local people. There are a number of local communities around major protected areas and in places like Serengeti National Park, the local people are fully involved in tourism.

Many sight guides are from the local communities offering all the needed information about the geography and culture of the people. While on safari kindly ensure to add a visit to the local communities especially the Masai. While there you can get to know about the ways of life of the people and have a bit of experiential tourism being apart of their local activities like hunting, grazing among others.

Nature Walks

Nature walks are very ideal as they offer you a chance to get close to the wildlife. Tanzania has a number of national parks and game reserves where guided nature walks are done offering perfect opportunities for sightseeing and photography.

These are best enjoyed in the morning where you can catch up with the sunrise or in the evenings. They are also highly recommended for birders and those seeking for exclusive and intimate safari experiences.

Ballon Safaris

Ballon Safaris are very enjoyable and adventurous offering great aerial and panoramic views of the beautiful landscapes. Tanzania being a renown wildlife safari destination, its one of the best places to enjoy a balloon safari.

They also provide great opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography. Balloon safaris in Tanzania are often done in Serengeti, Selous, Ruaha and other major national parks.

5 Kenya Holiday Cottages To Spend Your 2021 Christmas

Kenya is widely known for its wildlife and the beautiful Holiday Cottages evenly distributed it the country’s wild places. The country is an ultimate African safari destination and many take on safaris there to be apart of never ending adventures.

Accommodation being key, the Kenyan hospitality industry has done a great job and offers a variety of Hotels and holiday cottages at the various safari lodges in the country. Now that Christmas is setting in and majority would love to spend this day in a cool place, lets look at the top Kenya holiday cottages where you can have your Christmas from.

Solio Lodge

This beautiful safari lodge is located in Laikipia and offers some of the best Rhino viewing experiences in Kenya. The property is strategically located in the Solio game reserve and offers great views of the plateau. It also lies between Aberdare ranges and Mount Kenya some of the most iconic attractions in Kenya

Solio Lodge has a very calm ambience and enables one peacefully enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. The cottages at Solio Lodge are luxurious with private decks, a fire place, and an en suite bathroom. There are also many other amenities that makes ones’ stay worthwhile. Each cottage has an interior design of an African setting and definitely where you would want to spend your Christmas holiday.

While at the lodge you can engage in a number of activities including Rhino tracking, horseback riding, game drives and much more.

Solio Lodge
Solio Lodge. Courtesy Photo

Borana Lodge is located in Kenya’s Borana Conservancy one of the famous Rhino sanctuaries in Kenya. The lodge has beautiful holiday cottages that offer endless magnificent views of the Borana conservancy.

The lodge has 6 cottages with four stand-alone with a double beds and 2 family cottages that have a shared sitting area. Each cottage has a fireplace, bath tabs and showers and a veranda offering great views of the surroundings.

Borana Lodge is very ideal for Christmas holidays and if you plan a visit to Kenya this Christmas ensure to add a stay here. The activities you can engage in while here include nature walks, game drives, mountain biking, farm tours, rhino tracking among others.

Borana Lodge
Borana Lodge. Courtesy Photo

Ol Donyo Lodge

Ol Donyo Lodge is perfectly located in Chyulu hills in Amboseli National Park one of the must visit wildlife destinations in Magical Kenya. The lodge has 6 self contained cottages each with a its own plunge pool.

The lodge’s cottages offer exclusive and romantic getaways making Ol Donyo among the top properties in Kenya for a Christmas season. Each cottage also has a roof deck where you can relax as you enjoy the views of Chyulu Hills.

While at Ol Donyo you can do game drives, nature walks, community visits, horseback riding or you can visit Amboseli National park. In Amboseli you will have great views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the many herds of elephants.

Ol Donyo Lodge - Holiday Cottages
Ol Donyo Lodge. Courtesy Photo

Elsa’s Kopje is located in Meru National park one of the most diverse national parks in Kenya. The lodge has 6 en suite cottages and each of these was crafted around the rocks in the area. The cottages are spacious with a large bathroom, a sitting area all overlooking the endless plains of Meru National Park.

Elsa’s Kopje is very exclusive and quiet best for honeymoons and relaxation. A Stay at the lodge offers a great deal of adventurous activities one can engage in. These include game drives in Meru national park, rhino tracking, nature walks, visits to River Tana among others.

There no doubt that the holiday cottages are Elsa’s camp offer one of the unforgettable wild experiences and while in Kenya, add a visit to the lodge.

Elsa's Kopje
Elsa's Kopje's Private House. Courtesy Photo

This historical safari lodge is situated in Lewa wildlife conservancy and its one of the perfect spots for exclusive luxury holidays. The lodge has 6 thatched holiday cottages that offer uninterrupted views of Marania Valley. They are very exclusive and best for those seeking classic African safaris.

Lewa Wilderness Lodge’s interior designs has a rustic and African touch. As the festive days are setting in, it would be great to spend them in an exclusive environment like Lewa Wilderness Lodge. While here you can engage in a number of safari activities that include nature walks, safari game drives, horseback or camel riding and flying safaris.

The year 2021 has also come to an end as the world is still coping up with a new normal because of the COVID 19 pandemic. Many economies are still recovering and with the tourism industry fully open unlike last year, it will be great to take on safaris in Kenya for unforgettable safari moments.

Lewa Wilderness Lodge - Holiday Cottages
Lewa Wilderness Lodge. Photo By Lewa Wilderness Lodge

Why Kenya Should Be Your Next Safari Destination

Kenya is East Africa’s wildlife safari destination and among the Must Visit places while in the region. Kenya has various wildlife species that offer classic safari experiences that one should be part of. The diverse wildlife in Kenya makes the destination magical and you can never get enough of the experiences.

Below are some of the reasons why Kenya Must be your next wildlife safari destination.

Unique Marine Wildlife

Kenya is one of the few East African countries where you can enjoy marine wildlife. The country has over Four Marine national parks with wildlife species that make tours there unique.

Malindi Marine Park is among the most visited marine parks and was established in 1986. The Marine park has wildlife species ranging from coral reefs, turtles, fish species, shorebirds, among others. While here you can engage in activities like snorkeling, deep sea fishing, Kite-surfing and diving.

Watamu Marine, Kisite mpuguti and Mombasa marine parks are other leading marine parks in Kenya. In these marine parks you can see green sea turtles, Manta Rays, Reef sharks, Octopus among others.

Fish in Mombasa Marine Park Kenya
Fish in Mombasa Marine Park Kenya. Courtesy Photo

Kenya is most famous for the wildebeest migration in Masai Mara national reserve. The Wildebeest mass migration is an annual wildlife wonder that involves game like wildebeest, zebras and antelopes looking for pasture.

This migration attracts Masai Mara’s predators from Lions, leopards, Cheetahs and hyenas that hunt the grazers on the wildebeest migration. Safaris in the wildebeest migration can be explored on game drives in the open Masai plains.

Wildebeest migration in Kenya can be best viewed from Mid-August to Late October before the animals head back to Tanzania.

Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara Game Reserve
Wildebeest Migration Kenya. Photo by James Warwick

Africa’s Big Five and More

Kenya has many savanna national parks that are homes to Africa’s Big five Mammals. The Big Five Mammals include Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Buffaloes and Elephants. These were named big five because of how difficult they were to be hunted by trophy hunters.

The Big Five mammals are often seen while on game drives in the different savanna national parks in Kenya. They also occur in large numbers especially buffaloes as many of the other big five populations was affected by poaching.

Kenya wildlife destinations have more than the big five with other wildlife species like Hippos, Giraffes, zebras and Antelope species. Apart from game drives, these can also be seen on guided nature walks or hot air balloon safaris.

Leopard in Masai Mara Reserve Kenya
Leopard in Masai Mara. Photo by Tui De Roy

Rich Culture and Heritage

While on a safari to Kenya, culture is one thing you should ensure to look out for. The country has some of the unique cultural encounters especially with the Masai people.

The Masai people live near Masai Mara national reserve and many are employed as guides. Guided Masai tours are very incredible as the local people are well knowledgeable about the wildlife.

While at the safari lodges and Tented camps in Masai Mara, the local Masai people make folk performances. This enables one to know more about their local culture.

Reasons Why Tanzania is East Africa’s Ultimate Safari Destination

Millions of adventure tourists visit Tanzania every year to be part of East Africa’s ultimate safari experiences. The country is blessed with diverse wildlife species topping bucket lists of many adventure lovers. Here are some of the reasons why Tanzania is East Africa’s number one safari destination.

1. Safari Destination of all Seasons

Many believe that the dry season from June to October is the only best time for a safari in Tanzania. This is totally untrue as the best time is dependent on the wildlife you would like to spot.

Tanzania can be visited anytime of the year and experience varies depending on when you choose to visit. The wildebeest migration is among the leading safari attractions in Tanzania and be best viewed from July to September.

If you are interested in viewing wildebeest river crossings, August to September are the best months for your safari. November to May are best times for those who don’t like crowds. The season is wet but characterised with wildebeest and antelope calving in southern Serengeti.

The scenery of the park is beautiful green and its usually the time for migratory birds. This is the best time for a birding safari and for predator viewing as they take advantage of the calves.

Wildebeest Migration. Tanzanian Safari Experiences
Wildebeest River Crossing. Photo by George the Explorer

2. Vast Wildlife Numbers

Tanzania is one African safari destination where you get to witness wildlife species in large numbers. Serengeti National park alone has an estimated lion population of over 3,000 lions seen in prides of up-to 20 lions. Selous Game reserve in the south has over 15,501 elephants that are usually seen on game drives in the reserve.

over 200,000 zebra, 300,000 Thompson gazelles and 1.5 million wildebeest take part in the wildebeest migration. This makes Tanzania an outstanding safari destination and best place to see wildlife in large numbers.

Most of these large wildlife populations are seen while on game drives or while on hot air balloon safaris.

3. Cradle Land for Africa’s Highest Mountain

Mount Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest mountain at an Elevation of 5,895 meters is located in northeastern Tanzania. The mountain is actually world’s highest single free-standing mountain another wonder to look out for on a Safari in Tanzania.

Those interested in Mountain climbing can take on the Kilimanjaro adventurous hike offering scenic views of the greater East Africa. Visit Kilimanjaro National park a UNESCO World heritage site with wildlife species like elephants, bush-bucks, tree hyrax among others.

A mount Kilimanjaro hike takes 5 days for experienced hikers though at-least seven to eight days are recommended. The best time for the Kilimanjaro hike is in the dry season from with minimum rainfall disturbances.

5. BigFive Safari Destination

You can experience Africa’s big five mammals in Tanzania’s National park while on a safari there. The big Five include Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinos and Leopards. Tanzania’s national parks like Serengeti has all these often seen while on game drives.

These particular animals were named the big five because they were difficult animals to be hunted by trophy hunters. Wild animal lovers on safari are usually eager to see them in the wild and Tanzania gives one that opportunity.

The Big Five can also be seen is the Ngorongoro crater a unique ecosystem and home to other wildlife species. Wildlife here is seen on game drives on the Crater floor that is flat offering endless views over the horizon.

6. Perfect Beach Holiday Destination

Tanzania having a long coastline is one East African destination for beach holidays. The coastline has beautiful white sand beaches perfect for sunbathing and beach sport like Volleyball and beach soccer.

The white sand beaches are usually great getaway destinations after a safari in the Savanna national parks. They are also great for honeymooners as here you just relax enjoying scenic views of the blue waters of the Indian ocean. Most popular Tanzania Beaches include Nungwi beach, Kendwa beach, Unguja beach all along the Zanzibar Island.

Nungwi Beach Tanzania Safari
Nungwi Beach Tanzania. Courtesy Photo

The Best of Masai Mara Game Reserve’s Wildlife Safari Experiences

Masai Mara game reserve is a popular wildlife safari destination in Kenya located in the rift valley region. The reserve has open grassland favoring a number of grazers that easily traverse the area in search for pasture.

The reserve has over 400 birds and 95 mammal species making it one of the best wildlife viewing destinations. Masai Mara has sectors or conservancies like the Mara Triangle, Lemek, Mara North, Maji Moto among others all with wildlife. A combination of all the conservancies is what forms the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Masai Mara game reserve covers a total land area of 1,510 square Kilometers traversed by the Mara and Talek River. Below are some of the best wildlife safari experiences you can enjoy while visiting Masai Mara.

This wildlife trek of grazers involves over 2 millions animals that move from Serengeti to Masai Mara game reserve. It is usually comprised of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles in thousands looking for fresh pastures over the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystems. Animals on the wildebeest migration arrive in Masai Mara game reserve around the month of July and depart in November.

The wildebeest migration is not your usual wildlife migration as it attracts the land’s leading predators to hunt prey. The major predators in Masai Mara include lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs and the crocodiles. There are also Vultures that are usually ready to feed on the remaining carcass after the predators have left.

Masai Mara’s wildebeest migration is a natural phenomena to look out for by any one interested in wildlife adventures. It offers an insight of life in the wild as grazers look for pasture for survival while predators hunt them.

There are several births on the wildebeest migration journey a hope to life and opportunity to learn more about nature. Best time for the wildebeest migration in Kenya is July to November when the animals have crossed over from Serengeti.

While on the wildebeest migration safari in Masai Mara look out for the River crossings especially around Mara river. Here there are thousand crocodiles that wait in the shallow river waters to take down their prey

Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara Game Reserve
Wildebeest Migration Kenya. Photo by James Warwick

Masai Mara game reserve is one best place in East Africa for safari game drives. The reserve has over 95 mammal species often seen while on game drives. They include world’s largest mammals like elephants, hippos, giraffes, buffaloes, Rhinos, zebras and many antelope species.

The reserve has the major big cats including large prides of lions, leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyenas. These are seen on early morning game drives best to catch up with early risers and nocturnal animals especially cats.  Masai Mara big cats are very fierce that they also make successful attempts in the big mammals like elephants.

Safari game drives in Masai Mara are very rewarding and unpredictable that each encounter offers a whole new experience. These game drives can also be enjoyed in the evening which also offers chance to view the African sun set.

Masai Mara Birding Safaris

As earlier communicated, Masai Mara game reserve has over 400 bird species including the areas endemics only seen there. The reserve is therefore one of the leading birding safari destinations in Kenya and East Africa at large. Commonly seen birds in Masai Mara game reserve include crowned cranes, Marabou storks, Horn-bills, ostriches, Eagles among others.

Birding can be done alongside game drives offering chances of diverse wildlife viewing. There are however tourists interested specifically in birds which can still be done as the reserve has so many species. The best time for birding safaris in Masai Mara game reserve are in the morning and in the evening.

Balloon Safaris

Wildlife balloon safaris have over the years taken trend for adventure tourism and Masai Mara offers great opportunities for this. With the vast size of Masai Mara game reserve, balloon safaris are easily done offering great views of the wildlife.

Aerial views of the open Masai Mara plains offer opportunities for great photography and panoramic views of the reserve. While on the balloon safaris, you also get to see the beautiful landscapes enjoying the sights of nature. Ensure to book in advance to avoid missing out on this Masai Mara adventure experience.

Why You Should Visit Kenya Now 

Lioness and Cubs in Masai Mara. #VisitKenya, #Magical Kenya
Lions in Masai Mara Kenya. Photo by Olivier Ranrigo

Kenya is one of the countries in East Africa with diverse wildlife species and popularly known as Magical Kenya.  Its a Must Visit place for nature lovers and offers classic African safaris featuring a number of wildlife species. The country borders the Indian ocean and has a long coastline giving great chances for beach sports and activities.

Kenya opened its airport to international commercial flights 1st August 2020 after several months of lock down. This was due to the ongoing Corona Virus pandemic that has affected all economies worldwide. With the opening of Jomo Kenyatta international airport, you can visit Kenya for wildlife tours after several months of lock-down.

The variety of the game in Kenya ranges from Big Five animals, birds, reptiles evenly distributed over the beautiful landscapes. Most of these are seen while on game drives in the national parks.

Masai Mara is the most famous of all the national parks in Kenya with large populations of wild animals. Enjoy the wildebeest migration seeing millions of wildebeest move across the Serengeti and Mara Ecosystem looking for fresh pastures. This epic journey is enthusiastically awaited by the predators that hunt down the animals.

The Wildebeest migration is an adventure to look out for when you visit Kenya and East African in general. This can be enjoyed while on game drives in the park on organized wildlife tours.

Wildlife in Kenya can also be explored on Balloon Safaris also in Masai Mara National game reserve. This offers great aerial views of the animals below and the various landscapes the game reserve has.

Guided walking safaris or horseback riding allows you to get closer to wildlife enjoying sights and sounds of nature. Kenya has over twenty national parks all offering unique wildlife experiences. In case you are looking for a best post lock-down destination then Kenyan National Parks are places to be.

Water sport activities

Water Sports activities in Kenya are other alluring activities to this beautiful East African country. Kenya has a number of water bodies from lakes, rivers, the Indian Ocean offering opportunities for water sport activities.

Done activities include diving with sea animals like turtles, dolphins, sharks and to the coral reef gardens under the sea. Diving activities reduce in July and August as there are usually high sea tides and increased silting reducing visibility.

Most of these sea activities are done at Watamu Marine National park situated along the coast. The marine park has a number of diving sites making it an ideal place for even the learners. The reef at Watamu is near the shore and the coral gardens here can therefore be easily accessed.

Thrilling Adventures

Visit Kisite Mpunguti Marine game reserve where you can enjoy thrilling water sport activities with the marine wildlife species. The reserve is south of Mombasa with sea creatures like Manta Rays, the rare zebra sharks and other sea wildlife.

Thrilling adventures like snorkeling, Kite surfing,  sport fishing that can be done along the major water bodies in Kenya. White water rafting is a must for adventure tourists. Rafting is often done along River Tana that is just about 95 kilometers from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. You can also do it along the Ewaso N’giro river where you even encounter the Savannas wildlife like  lions & elephants.

Beach Holidays

Kenya has beautiful white sand beaches ideal for beach holidays and beach sports like beach soccer and volleyball. The beaches offer havens where green sea turtles lay eggs and is ideal for those who want to sea them.

Explore the diverse Kenyan culture and heritage where you can have great cultural experiences while in Magical Kenya. Kenya has a diverse cultural background with a mixture of people including native Kenyans and the foreigners who settled there. They mainly include Asians, Indians, Europeans and other nationalities have continued to live in this beautiful country.

Authentic Kenyan culture can be experienced in the Villages where you get to meet some of the local and native people’s of Kenya.  Some have over the years preserved their culture for example the Masai and Turkana people. 

Cultural experiences are done after wildlife tours but you can still have a tailor made itinerary for culture and heritage. 

The economies are easing the lock-downs after the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic so visit Kenya for amazing wildlife safaris.  You can have game drives, water sporting activities and cultural encounters for the best of the East African travel memories. 

The Great Wildebeest Migration

Wildebeest Migration. Tanzanian Safari Experiences
Wildebeest River Crossing. Photo by George the Explorer

The wildebeest migration is one of East Africa’s great wildlife wonders.  Millions of animals including the wildebeest, Gazelles and zebras move in the open plains of the Masai Mara and Serengeti Ecosystems.

The migration is combined with natural phenomena including reproduction with newly borns during the course of the journey.  Other wildebeests and antelopes are feasted on by the ecosystems great predators. 

The Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti

The wildebeest migration is an amazingly circular journey throughout the Serengeti national park in northern Tanzania. It then transcends to Masai Mara game reserve across the border in southern Kenya and the edge of the NgoroNgoro Crater in Tanzania as the cycle continues. This natural trek attracts a number of tourists who usually visit Kenya’s Masai Mara Game reserve and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and the Ngoro Ngoro crater areas where they get a chance to witness this amazing wildlife experience while on game drives along the major wildebeest tracks.

It should be noted that during the wildebeest migration, an estimated 1.5 millions wildebeest, over 200,000 zebras and over 350,000 gazelles plus other hoofed animals take park in the wildlife trek and up to now its not clearly known how these herbivores know which direction to take up north though some believe that they are guided the animals response to weather including rain and lightening and the growth of new pastures.

What’s more amazing about the grazers of the Serengeti and Mara ecosystems is that they have various eating habits while on their great wildlife trek. The first grazer group feeds on the top to the middle of the tallest grasses followed by the grazer group that feeds on from the middle height grass till the pasture is about to be completely finished and then they continue with the course of the journey looking for fresh pasture a journey that attracts some of the lands deadliest predators including the big cats like Lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and also the large Crocodiles along the major rivers in the ecosystem readily await to take down their prey.

The Migration Per Month

This annual animal migration has no defined start or ending but can be categorised by months depending on the animal movements and characteristics at that particular time. During the early months of the year that are January, February and March its when most births take place where in just a period of about three weeks over 400,000 calves are born. At this time of the year the animals occupy and move along the edge of Serengeti National park moving towards the Ngoro Ngoro crater and around the Olduvai gorge area all in Tanzania.

This area has massive lands covered with pastures and usually great places for the mother animals to raise the calves. Some people actually consider the births as the start of the wildebeest migration as in the process the young ones if not eaten by the predators also join the massive journey and by the end of the year when the animals are back in Serengeti and the Ngoro Ngoro area there are new births and the cycle continues.

The Predators

With the over 400,000 herbivore births, there are usually a number of predators in the area that usually hunt down the young ones with ease and even take down the old ones as well as long as they can manage the attack. The tourists interested in seeing the births and calving can consider visiting southern Tanzania in these early months of the year. During the first quarter of the year that are the months of April and May, the animals move steadily towards central Serengeti that at that time has fresh pastures a key attraction of the grazers.

Central Serengeti national park also has other herbivores like gazelles and zebras that are integrated in the wildebeest crowds naturally and during this time the mating season begins where the male contenders battle for the females. The migration still continues towards western Serengeti when the Month of June and July set in with a dry season and the herbivores on their trek northwards are challenged with having to cross Grumeti River that has many crocodiles that early await for prey.

The Wildebeest Migration River Crossings

This river crossing provides spectacular views as the animals fight for their way to continue with the journey north of Serengeti towards the border and then cross over to Kenya’s’ Masai Mara where they have to cross the Mara River that is even more deadlier with many crocodiles. By the end of July the many animals are usually in the Masai Mara region and more continue with the challenge of crossing the Mara River. In the months of August and September they spread more over the Masai Mara region feeding on the fresh pastures here as some more that initially remained in the northern Serengeti parts also keep crossing over a process where many are eaten by the predators.

The animal crowds continue to move eastwards of the Mara plains during the months of September to October where they are challenged again with the Mara River crossing on their quest southwards. When November and December sets in, the animals spread over Eastern Serengeti and then further south where at this time the pastures are usually lush attracting many of these herbivores. While here, as the first months of the year sets in, the calving process begin once again and the cycle continues.

Other Adventure Activities

While on your journey to destination East Africa and are very much interested in this incredible wildlife Safari experience that also features big five animals, you can choose to visit Kenya or Visit Tanzania depending on the time of the year you plan to come. The East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania apart from the wildebeest migration have other tourist safari attractions that can be explored in the countries’ major national parks.

In case you also want beach holidays then you can add them as a supplementary to the wildebeest migration tours where you can later visit Zanzibar islands or the coastal beaches of Diani, Malindi, Dar es salaam or Watamu that have pure white sands and you can get to enjoy marine wildlife experiences seeing water animals like dolphins, whales, sharks, sea turtles, features like coral reefs and many other outstanding attractions.