East Africa is a collection of 5 countries which include Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi. This region has an estimated 436 million population of people and each country has got unique history, culture and wildlife. Such diversity is attributed to the successful regional economic cooperation and tourism sector has brought all that together as Destination East Africa. The single East African tourist visa allows travelers to visit Destination East Africa including Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya with free entry and exit. Some of the famous safari parks like Bwindi for gorilla trekking, Masai Mara and Serengeti for wildebeest migration, East Africa is now as a single destination.

In this big destination East Africa a city means a lot about a country and the diversity East Africa has to offer as a whole region. Here are the top 5 cities to visit in East Africa.

  1. Kampala

Vibrant nightlife, culture and heritage sites, friendly people, and food are just few of the reasons to experience Kampala. The capital of city of Uganda, the pearl of Africa, Kampala has one of the most unique locations, set over 21 hills along the shores of Lake Victoria in central part of the country. It is home to Buganda, one the largest traditional kingdoms in Africa with its well preserved heritage sites including the 130 years old Kasubi Royal tombs, a UNESCO world heritage site.

The people that make up Buganda are the Baganda, however Kampala as a business centers, has a growing population of 1.4 million people from all around the country and houses Ugandan parliament and many banks. It is located 40 km away from Entebbe international airport, Uganda safaris begin in Kampala and that is a great opportunity to visit the city before going to any other part of the country.

Ugandans are one of the hospitable and friendliest people in the world. Thus Kampala is a friendly city where foreigners can walk around or live peacefully with people they don’t even know.

Nightlife experience

The city is best known for its vibrant night life and culture heritage, encompassing the night clubs and cocktail bars in the city center, and sections of the city such as Kololo, Kabalagala, Nakasero. There’s National theatre and various music and live band theatres. Partying and clubbing in this fast paced party city is a custom, it’s hard to resist going out to a club, bar or show and Kampala has been nicknamed the sleepless city of East Africa.

Fun and easy shopping

The city is also great for shopping in Kampala is fun, with plenty of modern shopping malls like Acacia, Aponye, and many supermarkets like Shoprite, food markets like Nakasero, and various craft markets around National Theatre. Visitors will find a wide range of items, products and souvenirs.

Kampala has got modern infrastructure, and though its transport service may not be very efficient, you will never be bored to find lots of Boda Bodas (motor cycles) that can get you through traffic jam and big crowds. You will see what I am talking about as walk around city square or going through downtown to Mengo Royal palace.

Sightseeing

A guided tour in Uganda allows visitors to visit some of the interesting attractions including the Uganda national museum, places of worship, tempting shopping craft markets. Sightseeing bus tour is explores some of the great landmarks such as the ivory tower at Makerere university main building, Mengo Palace, the independence monument and Gaddafi mosque set on old Kampala hill has a 50 meters tall tower, a view point which offers views of the entire city.

2. Kigali -Rwanda

The capital of Rwanda, Kigali is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. In 1962, Kigali had a population of 6,000 people which grew to 1.1 million by 2012. The high population growth rate is attributed to a number of factors ranging from peace and stability, economic development, social and environmental conservation.

Kigali is the 2nd green and clean city in Africa after Windhoek Namibia. Situated in the Albertine rift valley in the heart of Rwanda, Kigali is surrounded by hills such as Mount Kigali and Nyurugenge hill which constitutes the oldest site of the city (now turned into a museum) established in 1907 by Kandt a German imperialist.

Today Kigali Kigali has modern infrastructure and efficient transport service providing easy access to tourist destinations within the country such as volcanoes national park home to gorillas, Lake Kivu as well as those in the neighboring countries like Bwindi impenetrable forest south western Uganda and Virunga national park in easterner DR Congo.

For the business travelers, Kigali city offers world class MICE facilities such as the Kigali convention center with conference facilities along with 5 star accommodation Marriot and Radisson blue hotels.

Kigali international airport is the gateway and a perfect place to embark on Rwanda adventure safari. Travelers upon arrival will be able to find everything from forex bureaus, shops and malls, coffee shops, restaurants, craft markets, as well as get more information at the Rwandan development board offices.

Kigali city tour needs time to enjoy the city’s places of interest such as the Gisozi genocide memorial, natural history museum, art galleries. For the outdoor activities, Nyarugenge Lake has got golf course grounds, biking both on maram and dirt tracks, swimming at Hotel Rwanda.

3. Nairobi- Kenya

Nairobi, the capital city Kenya is near Nairobi national park home to black rhinos and tourists can have wonderful safari memories there. For example, just 10 minutes by car from the city center, a half day tour provides a great safari experience. You can do game drive safari with the guide taking you to particular zone of the park. Depending on the animals you wish to see against the backdrop of the city such as black rhinos, lions, jackals, zebras, giraffes.

If you want to experience Nairobi by a game drive, then you may also want to do a city tour if you have just 4 hours to spare.

Nairobi being the 4th largest city in Africa and with the biggest population of 4 million people in East Africa, the city is established as hub for airlines and business in the region. Due to this economic development, the modern city center has seen its skyline changing. The Jomo keyatta internation convention centers, the parliament building, are examples of modern architecture. You can also find the Nairobi city market filled with colorful souvenirs, the national museum with displays of culture and wildlife, the snake park, the 7th memorial park.

Tourists can get their dinning and shopping fix done right. Some of the great places to do so include the Stanley with restaurants, bars, swimming pools, safari park, and 5 star hotels such as Nairobi Serena.

Of course there are many landmarks and attractions in Nairobi city including the national railway station museum. The one you should never miss is the National achieves museum for those who want to read African books and films. The good modern roads and public transportation makes it easy to get to visit the attraction nearby the city such as the wildlife trust, giraffe center, Bomas of kenya, beads factory and Ngong hills.

If that is not enough, Nairobi international airport is the gate way to most of Kenya’s wildlife destinations such as Masai Mara game reserve famous for the wildebeest migration, the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth.

4. Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is located on the shores of the Indian Ocean and thus offers water adventures including surfing, diving, snorkeling, beach and island hoping.

It is the largest city and economic center of Tanzania. It is a port of trade and a location for Tanzania government big offices, as well as diplomatic embassies including the UN East African region headquarters.

Dar es Salaam is famed for its multiculturalism, including Swahili speaking, Arab, Indian and Thai. Therefore it offers a variety of lifestyles and culture to get immersed in on your vacation. For instance dinning in Dar es Salaam range from restaurants that prepare local cuisine to those that prepare international cuisines such as the thai food restaurant where you can enjoy views of the large and tall buildings that dominate its skyline.

Perhaps the most amazing are the white sand beaches and islands off the coast of Indian Ocean like Zanzibar and Bongoyo, as well as fish markets, residential and industrial areas, nature reserve.

Don’t’ miss a visit to the Azania Lutheran church; beautiful both in and outside. From this church it is easy access to various tourist attractions such as Askari monument, national museum of Dar es Salaam, Karioke market.

5. Zanzibar

Zanzibar town is located 25 km off the main land Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. It is made up of two large islands; Zanzibar and Pemba along with other small islands. Though it is a popular honeymoon vacation destination, Zanzibar has much to offer for the travelers. Its waters are home to dolphins while the forests are filled with monkeys, butterflies. Wildlife lovers can enjoy flora and fauna of the islands.

Beach lovers can unwind on its white sand beaches, cool and romantic tropical island climate. Zanzibar is a water spots adventure paradise with activities ranging from snorkeling, swimming, surfing, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, water skiing, kite surfing.

Zanzibar hosts different cultural backgrounds including African, Arab, Indian and European. It is a great place to experience culture, heritage and religion. Especially in the Stone Town a UNESCO world’ heritage site, boasts diverse architectural styles of both old and new buildings including mosques, churches, temples and forts.

Looking for inspirational videos to raise the adrenaline to go on an African safari? Here are 5 interesting inspirational moments to rejuvenate your spirit of Adventure. You will get to know as to why many visitors opt for African safaris.

A lioness and her cub go for a stroll

This video beautifully captures the Kruger experience. A group of amateur cameramen spot a lioness and her cub lazing in tall grass next to a paved road. As they stop to film the event, the lioness stretches and decides to go for a stroll across the road itself, before settling down with her cubs. This up-close looks at the lioness and her babies is sweet and poignant.

Leopard attack on gazelle

This amateur footage was shot in Kenya and captures a leopard as it stealthily hones in on a group of impala and gazelle. The leopard strikes with unerring precision before carrying its prize off into the bush. The camerawork isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly acceptable for an amateur filmmaker, and there’s a slow-mo recap of the moment the leopard gets hold of its prey too. Footage like this is a gritty representation of the unscripted drama that unfolds on a safari.

Lions hunt an elephant

In Zimbabwe, more amateur footage captures an amazing natural phenomena: lions hunting an elephant. It’s never nice to see the majestic elephant brought to the ground and made to suffer, but the lion demonstrates its status as the King of Africa in this video, and it’s awe-inspiring stuff indeed – if a little sad.

Remote-controlled helicopter captures amazing Serengeti footage

The Serengeti spans some 30, 000 km² and is one of Africa’s most interesting bodies of land. In this video, a remote-controlled helicopter (or drone) soars across the skyline, camera trained to the ground below, as it captures some quite amazing wildlife moments, like wildebeest moving in tandem or a hyena dragging its prey through long grass. This amazing footage should be viewed by anyone who doubts the majesty of Africa’s untamed landscape.

Africa is the mother of all wildlife safaris. There are lots of national parks to visit for game viewing in Africa. Here are 10 less known national parks to enjoy wildlife safaris in Africa;

  1. Masai Mara National Reserve

The Maasai Mara national Reserve, also known as “The Mara,” is the venue for arguably the most astounding wildlife spectacle on earth.

Every year during the great migration an estimated 2.5 million animals make a round-trip journey of 2,000 kilometres across the Serengeti ecosystem between Tanzania and Kenya.

The Mara has been described as the most prolific wildlife real-estate on earth and is perhaps Africa’s greatest safari destination.

Similarly, the Serengeti, which is contiguous with The Mara to the south, is one of Africa’s truly untamed wildernesses, with seemingly endless expanses of swaying savannah where plains herds graze and lions and cheetah maintain a vigil from their lookout kopjes

2 Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Game boma in Liwonde National Park (Dreamstime)

Recognising the economic benefits of national parks and game viewing, the Malawi government has made it a priority to rehabilitate Liwonde National Park. Their aim is to make it a Big Five park again, re-introducing rhino, lions and elephants for the first time in decades.

Located beside the Shire River, the park offers the opportunity to track rhinos with researchers, as well as go on walking safaris.

Sunset cruises along the river are popular too, affording great sightings of elephants, hippos, crocs, waterbucks and abundant birdlife.

3 Tiwai National Park, Sierra Leone

You’ve probably seen the forests of Tiwai National Park on television without realising it. The park is a long-term favourite with wildlife documentary-makers, the go-to place for footage of chimpanzees and Pygmy hippos living undisturbed in an environment that hasn’t changed for centuries.

Tiwai remains pristine because it sits on an island on the Mao River, largely cut off from the rest of Sierra Leone. The island is reached by motorboat from Kambama and accommodation is limited – just tents and a shared bathroom – but the advantage is that monkeys frequently stroll through the camp.The park is a UNESCO-listed site, recognised for its lush rainforest, unique and rich biodiversity, and a high concentration of endemic species.

  1. Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

A good place for lion spotters and best for untamed, limitless desert wilderness and the tough Kalahari lions.
Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve is Africa at its rawest. The San Bushmen have lived here for an estimated 30,000 years and the first explorers knew this area as “the plains where courage fails.”

There are only a few lodges that allow an opportunity to explore the reserve without the safety net of a full-blown four-wheel drive expedition vehicle and in this area you could not feel farther removed from the crowds and tour buses of other parks.

In the heart of the Kalahari you camp within earshot of roaring lions, in the certain knowledge that there will rarely be anyone else within 50 kilometres.

  1. 5. Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda

For all your adrenalin-producing needs and is good for: Spectacular landscapes and great buffalo herds.
With sprawling savannah and soaring mountains, Kidepo National Park might be the most picturesque park in Africa.

Sharing borders with Sudan and Kenya’s Northern Frontier District, it is Uganda’s most beautiful, remote and least-explored park. Kidepo was once the playground of the late president Idi Amin and you can still visit the haunting ruins of a lodge that could just as easily have been designed as a massive bunker.

Those who take the trouble to get here are rewarded with phenomenal wildlife sightings and a level of exclusivity that can rarely be had at any cost in neighbouring countries.

  1. Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Tanzania

Near guaranteed sightings of the “Big Five” (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard).
Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater could be the most compact wildlife venue on the planet. From the first spellbinding glimpse of the crater and the stomach-churning descent down the inner walls, your senses are assaulted by Africa at its most intense. During a single morning you can easily rack up unforgettable sightings of elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard.

If this is your first time on safari it can be the perfect choice but aficionados complain that this amazing little “lost world” makes it all too easy. 

  1. Etosha National Park, Namibia

Best for Cheetah spotting and waterhole stake outs.Etosha National Park is Namibia’s premier wildlife venue and one of Africa’s most hypnotic landscapes.

The park takes its name from a local word meaning “Great White Place” and the startling white pan (which was a lake bed 12 million years ago) covers about a quarter of Etosha’s 22,300 square kilometres.

The key to wildlife spotting here is to focus on the waterholes that dot these lizard-baking, mirage-haunted plains.

Etosha is home to the Big Five, vast herds of gazelle and antelope and (depending on season) more than 300 species of birds.

  1. National Parks along Gambia River,

Best for: Bird watching and West African aquatic wildlife.
The Gambia is effectively little more than the opposing banks of West Africa’s greatest river, but the six national parks strung along Gambia River constitute one of Africa’s most unexpected safari venues.

The country has traditionally been written off by safari connoisseurs as “hunted out” but its reputation as a safari destination has been sadly understated.

Not only is it a paradise for bird-watchers (with almost 600 species) but its bush is home to monkey, baboon and chimpanzee, and its crocodile-infested waters offer rarer sightings like African otter and manatee.

  1. Ahaggar National Park, Algeria

Best for: Tuareg nomadic culture and vast, sweeping Sahara land scapes.On a map of North Africa, Algeria’s Ahaggar National Park is where the “H” would be in “SAHARA.”

This immense park is 40 times the size of the entire Gambian nation but, far from being a massive wasteland, the center of the world’s greatest desert is a diverse area, boasting classic dunes and a 3,000-meter mountain range.

Despite its reputation, security is rarely a problem in this area: as the local Tuareg people are quick to point out, in this vast country you’re further from Algiers than you would be if you’d stayed in London.

  1. Kruger National Park, South Africa

One of Africa’s more convenient parks and for: best Accessible wilderness.
Kruger National Park, South Africa’s flagship park, is famous for the great diversity of habitats (16 macro eco-zones have been recognized here) that can be found in the 300 kilometres of wilderness that lie between the Limpopo and the Crocodile rivers.

Kruger is the most accessible and best equipped of Africa’s great parks and makes an ideal venue for self-drive safaris, since it is well signposted, well maintained and even boasts restaurants and gas stations.

Apart from wonderful wildlife sightings, other great adventure draw-cards of Kruger are its range of multi-day hiking trails and mountain-biking tours.

One of the adventures not to miss while on a safari in Africa is gorilla trekking, a wildlife experience that can be done in a few countries. Here are the best places where to see the gorillas in Africa;

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The famed Bwindi national park is located in southwestern part of Uganda on the western arm of east African Rift valley, just about 530km from Kampala the capital city of Uganda taking an estimated travel of 10 hours on road. Despite of the travel hours, the park can still be accessed by air, connecting from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kisoro which is close to the southern part of Bwindi. This is one of the two national parks in Uganda that offers the ultimate gorilla safari experience.

The park is divided in to two parts the northern, close to Kihihi and the southern close to Kisoro district. The unique aspect about this park is that activities are done in relation to the sectors such as the Nkuringo sector that lies close to the Buhoma sector which is well known for its impenetrable forest and also offers the best experience for community walks such as visiting a traditional healer, rural homestead, blacksmith and brewers. The Gorilla families that are found in this sector are Nkuringo and Katwe which is the recently opened group for tracking.

The Ruhija sector which is famous for its bird species apart from the gorillas is considered to be the most remote sector among the four sectors. The gorilla families in this sector include; Oruzogo, Bitukura and Kyaguriro.

The Rushaga sector is well known of having the highest number of gorilla families such as Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye, Busingye and Bweza. This sector lies between Kabale and Nkuringo.

The major activity done in Bwindi impenetrable national park is gorilla trekking which is limited to a number of 8 people per particular gorilla group.Other activities include guided forest walks, birding and the primates viewing. One of the most interesting activities is the Batwa cultural experience which is picking up at a high speed since it was introduced in Bwindi national park.

MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK

Mgahinga national park is located in the southwestern Uganda on the border with Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The park covers 33.7 sq. kilometers, and one of Uganda‘s prime habitat for critically endangered mountain Gorillas which move within the park under the forest looking for food. Mgahinga national park is one of the places in the world where the mountain gorillas can be found hence attracting many people to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking safaris.

In addition to that, the park has enough food for the gorillas that’s the reason why some of the families from Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo even migrate to Mgahinga national park making it easy for a visitor to see them in their natural habitats.

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

In Rwanda one can only see mountain gorillas in the volcanoes national park, which is a section of the Virunga Mountains with an approximated number of 400 mountain gorillas residing on an altitude of 2300 to 4500 meters on the southern part of Virunga massif.

The park also has 10 habituated gorilla families that are open for trekkers to visit. Among these groups are; Susa group which Dian Fossey did her research with, Karisimbi family, this family separated from the initial Susa and today it is called Susa b having 15 individuals, Sabyinyo gorilla group is headed by Guhondo a strong Silverback, Amahoro gorilla group is the most peaceful group and it has seventeen individuals, Umubano group which was initial under the Amahoro but separated, the Agasha group, Kwitonda family, Hirwa Group, Bwenge family, and the Ugenda family.

KAHUZI BIEGA NATIONAL PARK

Kahuzi Biega national park is another prominent park in D.R. Congo and it is found 50km west of Bukavu town near the western side of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border. The park was gazetted in order to protect the eastern lowland gorillas, the largest gorilla species in the world.

The park was stretched from to 6000 sq. km to protect the mountain forest and also the virgin forest found in the lower altitudes. The Park is named after the dormant volcanoes Mount. Kahuzi and Mount Biega. Unlike other parks in this region, Kahuzi-Biega is home to only the rare eastern lowland gorillas.

VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK

The Virunga national park is located in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo, south of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border. It is a home for the mountain gorillas and part of the Virunga Massif that is associated with Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park and Uganda’s Mgahinga national park.

Gorilla tracking at Virunga national park is an extraordinary experience with worthy gains that can be achieve by undertaking a tour to this virgin destination.

Remember that in this national park tracking depends on the time you encounter with the gorillas because finding them depends on their location and daily movements but one is given only one hour to interact with the gorillas after meeting them.

Discover the beauty of Virunga national park, coupled with varied vegetation types, views of Nyiragongo volcano, beautiful scenery and a number of primates, mammals and bird species that inhabit this park.

East Africa is that one region with magical natural wonders. And unlike before when most of you have always stopped in South Africa thinking it is all what this beautiful continent has in offer but today, majority of tourists flock to this region for many reason and its abundant natural treasure is a reason behind all this. With a lot more that waits for you to explore, every visitor on safari to this region is never left stranded but has something to enjoy and excite his or her mind and at end of it all, walk away with lots of memorable experiences. The most famous safari destinations you shouldn’t miss to explore in East Africa include among others the magical Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Each of these boast of its unique attractions or they have a lot more in common.

Below are some of the magical things for you to see in East Africa.

1. Mountain gorillas

Mountain gorillas are such exceptional and star attractions you shouldn’t miss to catch a glimpse while on safari in East Africa. They are listed among the very few most critically endangered species and they are only confined in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In Uganda, they are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park; in Rwanda-you will find them in Volcanoes National Park while in the DR Congo, it is only in the Virunga National Park where these dramatic creatures live. Worldwide, there are fewer than 1004 and a face to face encounter with them is such a magical experience of lifetime. To see these rare creatures, you will need $600 to secure your permit in Uganda, $1500 if you are to trek for them in Rwanda and $400 to secure permits in the DR Congo.

2. Witness the Great wildebeest migration

In East Africa, the Great wildebeest migration is such dramatic experience that comes once in a lifetime and should be a must for you to encounter this coming season. It is undoubtedly one of the most sought after experiences by most travelers in Africa. This remarkable experience is usually encountered in spectacular Maasai Mara National Reserve in the magical Kenya and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Where else on earth can you find thousands of wildebeests migrate if it isn’t in East Africa? Usually, the perfect time to encounter is between July and August.

3. Mountains

This area also boasts of its magical mountains and the most notable ones include Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania which straddles at the border area between Tanzania and Kenya. This is the fourth largest free standing mountain on earth and highest in Africa. It is exceptional for hiking adventures and comes with breathtaking views of the surrounding areas. The other exceptional mountains include Mount Kenya-the second highest mountain in Africa and highest in Kenya and if you are on safari in Uganda, Bisoke Volcano, Sabyinyo Volcano, Mount Rwenzori is that one area you shouldn’t miss to explore.

4. Meet the big game

A safari in East Africa is never complete without a trip to see the big game. Where else can you find that natural splendor with African elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinos, Lions, Leopards and wide array of savanna wildlife sprawling in the vast grasslands if not East Africa? You can spot most of these remarkable natural wonders in protected areas like Amboseli, Maasai National Reserve, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda, Akagera in Rwanda, Serengeti National Park, Ngoro Ngoro Conservation Crater and Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.

5. East African Lakes and Rivers

The world without waterbodies is like world without life! Thanks to East Africa’s abundance that you won’t complete your journey without making a stopover at one of its stunning Lakes or River. East Africa is that one region with numerous water bodies including the world’s fresh water Lake and the longest River. It is in East Africa that the source of the mighty River Nile is and besides, you stand a chance to explore the largest fresh water body-Lake Victoria which is also shared between Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. The other notable Lakes and Rivers to explore in this region include Lake Tanganyika, Lake Kivu in Rwanda, Lake Bunyonyi, Lake Manyara, Natron, etc.

6. Birds

East Africa isn’t only exceptional because of its stunning and extensive landscapes but also for its distinct avifaunal species which range from resident, migrant and vagrant species. You can spot most of these interesting species while on your African safari in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. This region boasts of its diverse habitats where most of bird species can be spotted. The amazing bird species for you to look out in this region include among others ostriches, augur buzzards, fiscal shrike, fish eagle, lesser and greater flamingos, white pelicans, ground hornbill, Kori bustard, lilac breasted roller, shoebill stork, long crested eagle, African green breasted pitta, African broadbill, red headed heron, super starling, secretary bird, tawny eagle, white headed buffalo weaver, white headed vulture, yellow throated long claw and many more.

7. Waterfalls

In addition to wildlife, beaches, culture, East Africa also boasts of its spectacular and powerful waterfalls most of which mark territorial border areas or act as an ideal breeding sites for many species. Whereas most of you might have heard of the powerful waterfalls in South Africa, on the other hand, a sight at East African waterfalls equally leaves someone mesmerized. Some of the notably stunning and powerful waterfalls for you to visit in this region include Kalambo falls in Tanzania-just within the southeastern border area between Tanzania and Zambia, Murchison falls in northwestern Uganda, Thomson waterfalls, fourteen falls in Kenya, sipi falls, Sanje waterfalls in Tanzania, Rusumo falls and Kamuranzovu waterfalls in Rwanda and many others.

8. Hot springs

For any plans to spend your next vacation in East Africa, hot springs are some of the most magnificent attractions you shouldn’t miss to pay a visit. Usually, majority of tourists aim at only seeing wildlife thus making these natural wonders less explored and yet they reward travel endeavors with lots of amazing experiences. They are widely distributed in most parts in this region. They include among others the Sempaya hot springs which is situated within Semuliki National Park, amoropii hot springs, kitagata hot springs and you can pay a visit to this on your way to Bwindi to trek gorillas or as you head to Queen Elizabeth National Park. In Kenya, you can visit Loburu hot springs which is next to Lake Bogoria, Chemurkeu hot springs while in Tanzania, you can visit Kitkuletwa hot springs.

9. Magical islands

Perhaps if you are looking for areas to go for your relaxation the East African beautiful islands are the best option. Where else on earth can you enjoy the tropical climate if not on the islands in East Africa? The notable and exceptionally stunning islands in this region include the Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria and comprise of about 84 distinct islands, over 29 beautiful islands on Lake Bunyonyi, Idjwi Island in Rwanda, Funzi and Mombasa Islands, Lamu archipelago, Rusinga Island a mention but a few. What is interesting is that these islands aren’t just naturally beautiful but also inhabit a number of incredible avifaunal species that are worth exploring.

10. Strike your eye with the rare tree climbing lions

If you ever imagine what differentiates Southern Africa from East Africa, the answer is simple. Think of wilderness and think no further than East Africa. Leave alone the Great wildebeest migration-there is a lot more to see. Striking your eyes with the tree climbing lions is one most magical experience you need not to miss in this region. These rare creatures can be spotted relaxed on tree branches of Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania and Queen Elizabeth National Park at Ishasha sector.

Countries where mountain gorillas live that is to say Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo have  come together in partnership with local people and international conservation organizations to put up strong conservation policies and measures that can help to protect and conserve gorillas.

This saw a legally binding agreement called the gorilla agreement where 10 countries have agreed and created solutions to reduce threats and conserve gorillas through strategies including;

Protection of gorilla habitats through effective trans-boundary management,

Supporting local communities living near gorilla national parks through development projects and alternative resources and Putting to an end poaching and illegal trade of gorillas or their products.

Protection of gorilla habitats has became effective when protected areas were gazetted as national parks and transformed into ecotourism destinations and had the ranger based monitoring systems implemented to keep on monitoring gorillas by the park rangers and guides. In the process of conserving mountain gorillas, the other subspecies of eastern and western gorillas in DRC have also received conservation attention including other wildlife that share habitats with mountain gorillas which has made diversity of wildlife relevant besides gorillas.

Due to the genetic similarity between humans and mountain gorillas, gorillas are susceptible to many of the same infectious diseases that affect people. Mountain gorillas are also immune to some diseases, meaning they are particularly susceptible to certain human diseases because of their historic isolation from people. Research conducted by the Gorilla Doctors and other scientists has proven that mountain gorillas have died as a result of infections that originated in people. Infectious disease, after trauma, is the leading cause of death in mountain gorillas. The most common infection is respiratory disease, which can range from mild colds to severe pneumonia. To protect gorillas from such infections, the national park authorities ask that anyone feeling sick or running a fever to not trek gorillas.

In order to reduce the risk of disease transmission and to avoid disturbing the gorillas’ natural behavior, the Gorilla Doctors have worked with national park authorities to establish the rule of staying 7 meters (21 feet) or more from the gorillas at all times. The gorillas themselves, especially young ones don’t know the rules and may approach humans, but tourists should make sure they stay away and avoid touching the animal if possible. The 7-meter rule should be observed at all times, even when gorillas leave the national park and venture on to property owned by tourist lodges and camps in order to reduce diseases.

One of the most effective ways to help mountain gorillas is to donate money to organizations working on the ground to conserve the species. Numerous organizations including MGVP have spent decades finding effective methods for protecting mountain gorillas, and most rely on grants and donations to fund their work. When donating your money to support any cause, it’s important to evaluate the organization you’re considering supporting to determine how successful the group is in carrying out its mission. You should get to know what methods do such organizations use to accomplish their stated goals. This is when you can’t afford to make significant personal donation or travel to Africa.

In conclusion, gorilla conservation requires both local and international support; awareness building, strong law enforcement and conservation policies that not only protect gorillas but also motivate people including tourists to understand hoe gorillas should be protected and conserved. Educative programs about the health of gorillas as well as health of people and environmental awareness are such endless important issues that keep highlighting the need for continued conservation efforts to save mountain gorillas.

Are you interested in exploring more about gorillas but you do not know where to find in Africa? Well, with fewer unique tourist attractions that exist on earth today, gorillas are among the very few exceptional creatures you shouldn’t miss to strike your imaginations with while on safari in Africa. They are a few most intelligent, powerful, magnificent and very gentle creatures in the world that you need to explore while on African safari. The famous species for you to strike your eyes with in Africa include the western and eastern gorillas. These unusual primate species are widely distributed within the tropical rainforests in Central and East Africa. Depending on what your travel interests are in Africa, the best places for you to visit to see these remarkable and giant apes include;

Uganda

If you are interested in mountain gorillas then Uganda is one of the only 3 (three) African states where you can catch a glimpse at these rare species in the wild. Note that, nowhere in the world that you will find these rare creatures not even in the zoo but only in the wild. To trek to see them in Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park should be a must in your travel plan. The two parks are located in southwestern Uganda just along the Albertine rift valley. With about 1004 individuals of these critically endangered apes still thriving in the jungles of Africa, Uganda is a home to about 480 individuals making it a true gorilla highland. Besides, about 17 groups have been habituated and can be tracked in Uganda with permits costing $600 per person. For ultimate gorilla adventures in Africa, consider this country a must to include in your travel plan and you won’t regret in life.

Rwanda

This popular Land of a Thousand hills doesn’t only boast for its rolling hills but also for its rare mountain gorillas. In Rwanda, you can find them in Volcanoes National Park, northwestern part of the country. This park consists of about 10 habituated families that are set for visitors to track every day and you can obtain a permit at $1500. Gorilla safaris in this protected became more popular at a time when Dian Fossey was conducting her research on the same Great Apes within the Virunga Conservation Area.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The DR Congo is one of the few unique countries in Africa and not only does it boast as a home to critically endangered mountain gorillas but also the Eastern lowland gorillas. Mountain gorillas in the DR Congo can be trekked in the Virunga National Park and if you are interested in Eastern lowland gorillas, then you must head to Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Gabon

With about 13 national parks that exist in this country, most of its habitats offer refuge to western lowland gorillas. Habituation project for western lowland gorillas was conducted at Mikongo conservation center in Lope National Park and it ended in 2010 but you can still catch a glimpse at them plus several other wildlife species. The other areas include Moukalaba-Doudou National Park with intense gorilla numbers and Loango National Park that also comes with Atlantic beach and rainforest.

Nigeria

In Nigeria, Cross River National Park is the best place for you to catch a glimpse at the western lowland gorillas as well as variety of wildlife species and not to forget thousands of chimpanzees. This country is ideal for cross river gorillas and they are mostly spotted within the cross river state.

Angola

Angola is also popular for western lowland gorillas and only spotted in Maiombe forest. This area is generally unexploited and still remains remote thus offering authentic travel experiences.

The other areas include the Republic of Congo especially the Mbeli Bai area a popular refuge to western lowland gorillas and Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, Cameroon in Campo Ma’an National Park for western lowland gorillas, Central African Republic for western lowland gorillas at Dzanga Ndoki National Park and most importantly, the World Wildlife Fund has also succeeded in habituating family of these creatures meaning, you won’t have challenge in taking pictures or exploring more about their behavior.

In conclusion, when you think of which country to visit to see gorillas in Africa, think beyond Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Africa is a home to distinct gorilla species and all of them are worth exploring.

1. Touched by a Wild Mountain Gorilla

An unforgettable encounter between man and beast! Wish I was there! Would you like to see these great apes in their natural home? You can see the mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo. In Uganda, mountain gorillas are only inhabited in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Southwestern side of the country; in Rwanda, you will head to Volcanoes National Park Northwest and the Virunga National Park, Eastern DR Congo.

2. Battle at Kruger

Perhaps the most popular African wildlife video known on YouTube! Amazing encounters between lions and buffalo and crocodiles. The battle involved fight for life! I won’t say another word, just watch it! The most interesting is that in this video, no animal lost life yet all the characters in the video are dangerous animals.

3. Baby Elephant Steals the Show

It is play time at Hluhluwe Umfolozi, as a joyful herd of elephants is having a refreshing mud bath. What’s so interesting about mud baths, you might say?! Well, you’re about to find out.

4. Mountain Biker Hit by Buck

Crazy footage! Not for the faint of heart!

5. Friendly Cheetah

Did the cheetah mistake the Jeep for a termite mound? This happened in Masai Mara National Park, one of the best national parks in Africa. However on your next safari, don’t try this out.

There are two species of gorillas in this world that is eastern and western gorillas and the species are divided into subspecies. The eastern gorillas have the mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas and the western gorillas have the western lowland gorillas and the cross river gorillas. These gorillas are classified due to the locality they live in. we shall not go deep into other subspecies of gorillas; we are going to concentrate on the mountain gorillas.  These kinds of gorillas are called mountain gorillas due to the fact that they live in cool tropical forest ranges/mountains of the eastern region of Africa. That is at Virunga massif at the border of Uganda, Rwanda and DR. Congo and kigezi highland region of Uganda. The mountain gorillas are very huge and have too much fur on their bodies compared to other gorillas since they live in cooler areas.

The mountain gorillas are endangered species of animals as indicated by the International Union of Conservation for Nature (IUCN) in red list. There are only about 900 mountain gorillas left in the world and if not preserved and conserved they will be no more mountain gorillas yet there are very important in the ecosystem and also as an attraction in the tourism world. Different organizations have come up to save these gorillas from getting extinct both government and non government organization. Some of the notable ones are Diana Fossey foundation, Gorilla Doctors, International Union of Conservation for Nature and Friend a Gorilla amongst the special ones. These organizations are lobbying efforts in order to save the gorillas. Some of the efforts being put up are training a team to monitor the well being of the gorillas and also to protect them from poachers, they are also sensitizing the locals the importance of the gorillas in the wild.

The main effort that was put up is the mountain gorillas were gazetted and protected in their locale in that they do not compete for shelter with people. Their habitats were made national parks that are protected by the governments of the countries where the gorillas exist. There are four national parks in the world where mountain gorillas are found and these are volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Congo and Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks in Uganda. These are the place where a person can get a connection with the mountain gorillas to witness how lovely they are. Thousands of people visit these national parks to hang out with the mountain gorillas.

The activity to meet and watch the gorillas in the wild is called gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking involves hiking through the tropical forested mountains of the east central region of Africa to watch the gorillas in their wild. There are several gorilla trekking expeditions available in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. It takes 2-6 hours to find the gorillas in their locale. The gorillas are normally found in a group of 10-30 individuals being led by the silverback the head of the family. The gorilla trackers/visitors normally spend one hour with the gorillas as they watch the gorillas forage, play, communicate intelligently as though they are real humans. The trackers also take photos of the gorillas in the wild and these pictures are always magnificent to see when you get back home.

Gorilla tours are the biggest tourism packages in Africa as millions of people around the world are soliciting to have an encounter of gorillas in their natural environment. Gorilla tours bring a person more close to the natural and green environment since watching these amazing animals that are almost similar to mankind is very intriguing and cultivating. The gorillas in the wild are only found in Africa and in the eastern central part of it and not all countries that have gorillas offer gorilla trekking tours to people. There are a few countries that carry out the activities and the most notable and conducive ones are Uganda and Rwanda.

The best way of taking a gorilla tour is by visiting Uganda or Rwanda or one can do a double gorilla trekking tour whereby one can visit both of the two countries. These two countires have the most majestic animals called the mountain gorillas. These animals are elusive and intelligent in the way they behave. They are socially organized in that you can think that they are human beings only that they live in the wild areas.

Unfortunately mountain gorillas are endangered species of animals that are getting extinct in the forthcoming generations if not preserved and conserved well as indicated by the International Union of Nature for Conservation. These animals suffer from loss of habitats caused by human activities and also diseases like Ebola that has narrowed down their number and these are only about 900 in population in the whole world.  It is Uganda and Rwanda that has put more emphasis of making these wonderful animals to be visited by promoting gorilla tourism where they can make people know how important these huge primates are to the world. They have reserved the areas where these animals are found so that they are easily spotted by people. In Uganda there is Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park and in Rwanda there is volcanoes national park.

In Rwanda and Uganda is where one can try these gorilla tours and derives the greatest life experience. At a gorilla tour one travels to the gorilla home by a safari car which is most cases the Toyota RAV4, a Toyota land cruiser, or super custom 4WD since they are the most common cars used for safari tours in both Rwanda and Uganda.

At the national parks, visitors hike through the hilly forests in search of the gorillas. Hiking and searching for the gorilla takes around 2-8 hours but this is very adventurous nature walk through the jungle as one encounters lots of fauna and flora. Gorillas are found uphill in the mist of the forest but this is an exhilarating nervous experience as one makes an eye contact with the huge beasts. These animals are so peaceful and gentle so one should not be scared of them.

It is very exciting to come up close with these animals and lots of people make good remarks of trekking the gorillas in their natural environment. They have also influenced their friends and relative to take gorilla safaris in Uganda or Rwanda.

Don’t miss out on watching the mountain gorillas in their natural habitats since at anytime they are getting extinct.