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.

Wildebeest Migration Safari Diaries

The wildebeest migration safari is an annual mass animal migration in the Masai mara and Serengeti Eco system. The migration involves a movement of millions of wildebeest, Thompson gazelles, zebras across the open plains searching for fresh pastures. The wildebeest migration safari is a wildlife wonder to look out for when visiting Kenya and Tanzania for a classic African wildlife experience.

The annual animal movement features the mating, calving and growth stages that keeps the crowds alive. A number of these are also targeted by the deadly predators the ecosystem has from Lions to the deadly crocodiles in the River Grumeti and Mara. Despite all these challenges, the births along the trail keeps the animals in the migration going year in year out.

All these happen in a particular month transcending into another. This helps travellers to know the best month or stage to catch up with the migration.

Wildebeest Migration Safari. African Safaris
Wildebeest Migration. Courtesy Photo

Wildebeest Migration safari Month by Month

The wildebeest migration being an annual migration gives a unique experience each month or quarter. The calving period is a great time to view the newly borns and how they adopt with the deadly open savanna’s. The River Crossings are the most anticipated as wildebeest struggle crossing the paths of the deadly crocodiles. Let is briefly look the the wildebeest migration safari activity month per month. For anyone planning a safari featuring the migration this would help to know when to visit or what to expect at a particular month.

December to February

The rains in November favours growth of pasture that the wildebeest continue to feed on as they slowly drift south of Serengeti. From mid November throughout January Southern Serengeti is the best place to catch up with the migration. More wildebeest continue calving reaching the peak in February.

A Serengeti Safari around February is humbling as you might get to see wildebeest births in the wilderness. The predators use this time attacking the young and  isolated wildebeest as the crowd slowly moves towards Central Serengeti.

March to April

These months are wet and high chances of rainfall. This however does not deter the wildebeest migration journey in Central and western Serengeti. There is often plenty of pastures to feed on and much it is a low tourist season, the migratory birds set in making a wildebeest migration safari even more enjoyable.

While in Tanzania ensure to book your accommodation strategically to catch up with the live a action wildebeest migration.

May to June

As May sets in, the wildebeest move towards Northern Serengeti always driven by the need for fresher grazing grounds. May is also a transition month from the wet to the dry season and a great time for wildlife viewing.

The wildebeest plus other major herbivores continue sweeping across the north as they prepare for their adventure in the Masai Mara. The rains in March and April increase the water levels of Grumeti River but by June it starts reducing and the wildebeest start their River crossing quest. At the Grumeti River you can spot some crocodiles but River crossings are not as enjoyable as the Mara River crossings. Nevertheless, it is always fascinating to see the bold wildebeests that take the first jump leading the whole group.  

July to September

The July to September period doubles as the peak tourist season and it is very significant time for a wildebeest migration safari. It features the migration River crossings in the Serengeti and Masai Mara Ecosystems. Two major Rivers are Grumeti and Mara. These are home to some of world’s deadliest Nile crocodiles that the Wildebeest have to overcome on their journey northwards to the great Masai Mara.

The wildebeest River crossings start in July as the wildebeest would have reached Western Serengeti. The major first River Crossing obstacle they meet is River Grumeti and tense but quite a sight to see for adventure lovers. Towards the end of July, the surviving herds of the wildebeest continue to northern Serengeti. From early to mid August, the crowds proceed through northern Serengeti into Masai Mara and cross the Mara River yet another obstacle on their journey.

In the Mara region they get to enjoy the lush grasses that act as hiding places for worlds’ fierce predators especially the lions. While in the Mara ecosystem, the wildebeest traverse the northern Mara conservancies before starting their journey back to the Serengeti. Here they once again Cross the Mara River an event that attracts a number of tourists.

For those interested in the River Crossing, the best time to catch up these in Serengeti is early July. From Mid July to September Masai Mara would be place to be.

October to November

By this time the wildebeest start slowly drifting towards northern Serengeti. Those visiting Tanzania during this time of the year the best place to catch up with the migration is the Serengeti Lobo Area. The month of October being a transition month from the dry to wet season, the rains set in especially towards the end. This gives a boost to vegetation growth enabling the wildebeest enough pastures for grazing.

The calving period also starts and with the young ones coming in it reboots and rejuvenates the wildebeest population. The lush vegetation however attracts a number of predators that sometimes target the young ones. Survival in the Serengeti is by chance but many survival despite the attacks from the predators.

Plan your visit to magical Kenya and Tanzania to be part of the never ending Wildebeest migration safari adventures. Remember these feature classic African encounters of major wildlife species including birds and predators.

There are a number of tented camps and lodges where one can stay to enjoy the wildebeest migration. Some tented camps are temporary and change to new locations depending on the movement of wildebeest. Now that the peak season has set in it is time to book your bucket list adventure to either Serengeti or Masai mara. The best time for these safaris are early mornings as you get to see the early risers some returning from hunting. 

Tanzania Safari Tips With What To Know Before You Visit Tanzania

Serengeti National Park. Tanzania Safari Tips
Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti National Park. Courtesy Photo

Tanzania Safari tips are very vital as the country features on top bucket lists of adventure travellers visiting East Africa. It is home to diverse wildlife species with over 20% of Africa’ largest mammal population. A Tanzania safari featuring savanna’s finest wildlife is everyones’ dream but there some information you need to know before you travel to Tanzania. Below are key Tanzania safari tips you Must take note of while preparing your visit to the country.

Visa Requirements

Tanzania has a provision for Visa on arrival as well as an eVisa system where one is required to apply in advance. There are however a number of countries with Tanzania visa exemption. To enter the country one must have valid identification like a passport or a National Identity card.

American citizens entering Tanzania must apply for a Multiple entry visa that has a 1 year Validity. This costs USD 100 per person however holders of this Visa are required to at least leave the country every 3 months.

The ordinary or single entry visa cost USD 50 per person and its validity does not exceed 90 days. Adventure lovers seeking to visit the country for a safari must ensure to apply for the correct visa. You can now apply for an online Visa before visiting Tanzania.

Wildlife

A Tanzania safari is possible because of the country’s wildlife with over 4 million wild animals. There are over 430 mammal and 1100 bird species, amphibians and reptiles often seen on game drives in the country. Tanzania has 17 national parks covering a land area of about 16,000 square miles representing about 40% of Tanzania.

With this, Tanzania stands out as a leading wildlife destination with natural wildlife wonders like the great wildebeest migration. While on a Tanzania safari you can engage in a number of activities to fully what the country has to offer. These include game drives, guided nature walks, ballon safaris, boat cruise, birding expeditions among others.

The great wildebeest migration in Serengeti National park is a must watch along with the big cats and five 5 mammals. The Ngorongoro crater is extraordinary offering great scenic views and is also home to a variety of wildlife. Giraffes, rhinos, buffaloes, wildebeests, gazelles, elands, waterbucks, crocodiles are some of the wildlife seen on a Tanzania safari.

Accommodation

There are a number of safari lodges in Tanzania where one can stay while on a Tanzania safari. These range from Budget, deluxe and luxury facilities giving on a wide range of options to choose from.

Each national park has a number of facilities within or nearby the premises from where one can easily access the park. A number of these feature in worlds leading travel magazines as number safari lodges and Hotels. Notable safari Lodges in Tanzania include
andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, The Highlands Ngorongoro, Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp among others.

Important to note that in the peak tourist season the lodges get fully booked and its advisable to book in advance. Lodges in the low season from March to May offer discounted rates but it’s a rainy season.

Best time to Visit

Tanzania safari adventures can be enjoyed any time of the year. For best savanna wildlife experiences though it’s always better to visit in the dry season. This ranges from June to Late October and from Mid December to Early March. 

In the dry season you get to see a variety of wildlife with minimal rainfall disturbances. The game drives trails are also dry making it easy to do game drives as opposed to the wet season when some trails are impassable. 

Kindly however note that the dry season is the peak tourist season and some camps or lodges charge highly during this time of the year. 

The wet season from November, April, May and great times to visit for those interested in birding. It’s around this time of the year that migratory birds are in the region. With the rains, the vegetation is often lush great and one doesn’t have to drive far to spot wildlife especially the grazers that naturally attract the predators. 

With the limited numbers during the wet season, safari experiences are very exclusive and intimate. Visit Tanzania today and explore the country’s rich and diverse wildlife, culture and heritage. The discussed Tanzania Safari tips are enough to guide in the tour planning process. You can contact us for more information about the different destinations in Tanzania. 

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.

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

Beautiful Less Explored East African Wildlife Destinations 

There are many less explored East African Wildlife Safari destinations despite the popularity of the region. Wildlife safaris in East Africa have gained momentum over the years becoming a new normal for nature lovers.

East African Countries because of their diverse wildlife have become Africa’s leading safari destinations as seen in increasing tourist arrivals. Local tourists in East African Wildlife destinations have also increased as people seek to reconnect with nature.

Most visited national parks include Serengeti  and Masai Mara ecosystems for Wildebeest migration and the Big Five mammals.  Bwindi Impenetrable  in Uganda and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda are famous for Mountain gorillas. Ngoro Ngoro Crater in Tanzania is famous for the Big five and the beautiful scenic views.  Murchison falls National Park in Uganda is famous for the diverse wildlife species, the strongest waterfalls among others.

Many other East African wildlife destinations remain less explored yet they equally offer great wildlife one on one safari encounters. Lets look at some of these places.

Selous is Africa’s largest game reserve situated in Tanzania covering a total area of 50,000 square kilometers. The reserve has undisturbed diverse wildlife making it East Africa’s must visit destination for those seeking intimate and classic safaris.

Common animals in Selous Game Reserve include Africa’s big five that are the Elephants, Rhinos, Lions, Buffaloes and leopards. Others include Giraffes, Nile crocodiles, Hippos, wild dogs, spotted hyenas, wildebeest, Zebras and antelopes like impalas, elands, water-bucks and bush-bucks. 

Eland in Selous Game Reserve Tanzania. Tanzania Wildlife Safaris
Eland in Selous Game Reserve Tanzania. Courtesy Photo

Wildlife Activities

Game drives are most common with encounters of Africa’s Savanna wildlife.  Boat cruises are also done along rivers and channels enabling tourists to see animals like Crocodiles and Hippos.  Selous game reserve has one of the highest hippo populations in East Africa thus an ideal place to see hippos. 

Nature walks are great options for those interested in close one on one encounters with wildlife. Wildlife you see while on foot guided nature walks include elephants, buffaloes, zebras and sometimes lions. There are overnight fly-camping excursions for those interested in nocturnal wildlife and like to sleep out hearing animal roars.  These are arranged by lodges therefore ensure to book in advance.

For Birders, Selous Game reserve has over 440 recorded bird species.  Various bird species are often seen flying around the Miombo woodlands, lakes, Swamps and rivers in Selous game reserve. Commonly seen birds include Fish Eagles, Turacos, white-crowned plovers, Ibises, yellow-billed storks, horn bills, Egrets, herons and so many others.

To avoid humans and wildlife conflicts, no local human settlement is allowed in the game reserve. This has enabled wildlife conservation and its why the reserve has large populations of different wildlife species.

Best time to Visit

The best time to visit Selous game reserve is in the dry season from July to November. During the dry season its a easy to do the major wildlife activities with no or minimal rainfall disturbances. Selous game reserve can also be visited in the wet season as they are usually good times for birding.

Accommodation

There are a number of tented camps and lodges that offer great services and are always ready to compliment safaris. Many of the accommodation facilities are concentrated in the northern  part of the reserve. Some of them include; Selous Serena Camp, Sand Rivers Selous, Selous Rufiji River Camp and many others.

Depending on where you are in Tanzania, the game reserve can be accessed by road or a domestic scheduled flight.

Located in southwestern Rwanda, Nyungwe forest national park has one of Africa’s oldest rain forests.  The forested park is a home to primates like chimpanzees, Vervet monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, owl-faced monkeys, red-tailed and blue monkeys. There are over 320 bird species in the forest and most of which endemic to the Albertine rift valley.

Nyungwe park has well developed  trails that are followed while on adventures seeking to explore the parks’ hidden wildlife treasures.  The tourism potential of Nyungwe national park has not been fully explored as there is still so much uncover.  There are over 70 mammal species recorded here including the rarely seen Mongoose, Serval cats, leopard and giant forest hogs.

Activities in Nyungwe Forest

Chimpanzee tracking is the common tourist activity done in Nyungwe forest national park. There are other primate trekking in search for Colobus and L’hoest monkeys plus other primates in the Park.

Birding, guided nature walks and canopy walks are also available in the park where you get to meet rarely seen wildlife species.

There are extensive tea plantations at the edge of the park giving opportunities for one to learn about tea growing. You also get to interact with local people in the area getting to know more about their ways of life. Those interested in exclusive primates, birding and nature encounters, Nyungwe forest national park is an ideal place to visit.

Nyungwe National Park Rwanda. Land of A thousand Hills
Tropical Rain-forest in Nyungwe. Courtesy Photo

Getting There

The park can be accessed by road from Kigali in a long drive taking a 6 to 7 hours.  This gives one an opportunity to explore the Rwandan countryside and beautiful scenery of the interlocking highlands. You can fly to Kamembe airstrip and connect to the park in an hours drive to avoid the long drives.  

Accommodation

While visiting Nyungwe Forest Park you can stay at Gisakura guesthouse which is the main budget accommodation option available. Nyungwe Top View hotel and Emeraude resort are mid range and Only&Only Nyungwe House is the luxury option. All these are within the vicinity of the park and offer great services.

This national park is located in Aberdare mountain ranges in central Kenya about 160 kilometers from Nairobi Kenya’s capital city. The park is located east of the great East African rift valley.  It’s very mountainous with altitudes ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 meters above sea level.

Aberdare national park has various landscapes which makes it a unique East African wildlife destination. The park offers scenic views of the steep slopes, V-shaped valleys that are crossed by water streams and rivers. 

Some rivers and water streams form waterfalls in the national park the most popular waterfalls being Karuru waterfalls. Different vegetation types flourish in Aberdare national park ranging from Savanna grasslands and tropical rain-forests at the lower mountain slopes. Bamboo forests, heath and moorland vegetation flourish as you go to the higher mountain slopes.

Elephants in Aberdare Mountain National Park. East African Wildlife
Elephants in Aberdare National Park Kenya. Courtesy Photo

Wildlife & Activities

Aberdare national park is home to various wildlife commonly seen being forest elephants, buffaloes, black rhinos, lions and forest hogs. Rare animal sightings include leopards, elands, duikers, Jackals, wild-dogs, bush-bucks, African golden cats and bongos.

There are over 250 bird species recorded in the park. Common birds include Sun-birds, plovers, Sparrow hawks, Aberdare Cisticola, African yellow warblers, crowned eagles, African goshawk and African paradise flycatchers.

Primates also exist in Aberdare and some of them include Olive baboons, sykes monkeys, colobus monkeys and olive baboons. 

The wildlife here is seen while on game drives, guided nature walks, birding and mountain hiking.

This is the most isolated national park in Uganda located in the northeastern part. With a land area of 1,442 square kilometers, the park is home to over 77  mammals and 475 birds species.

The northeastern part of Uganda is semi arid but very magnificent with unique wildlife.  With this, Kidepo valley national park has often been referred to as the True African Wilderness. 

Giraffes in Kidepo Valley NP, East African Wildlife
Giraffes in Kidepo Valley NP. Photo by Jonathan Benaiah

Wildlife & Activities

Kidepo valley national park is a ideal place for rewarding game drives and an excellent East African Wildlife destination.  While here look out for Lions often seen sitting on rock outcrops within the park. 

There are buffaloes, zebras, elephants, leopards, jackals, bush pigs, giraffes, antelopes that include elands, Uganda kobs, oribis and many others.

Most of these animals live in the Narus valley that has the park’s permanent water points throughout the year. The Narus valley is thus an ideal place for game drives and birding. There are also guided nature walks in Kidepo valley to the mountain areas for those interested in mountain climbing.

Some walks are also done through the Narus valley to the neighboring Karamojong communities which offer a unique cultural experiences.  The Karamojong are some of the few African communities that have over the years stuck to their original cultural practices. 

Getting there

Given that the park is isolated, it takes an 8 to 10 hours drive to get there. This involves en route stop overs for photography and also for a lunch break. Once can also fly from Entebbe international airport or other airstrips into the park and then head to the lodge.

Accommodation

The lodges in the park offer great service and include Apoka Safari Lodge, Adere Safari Lodge and Ngamoru Safari Lodge.

Anyone seeking intimate and less crowded African safaris should include Kidepo valley national park on the bucket list.