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.
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.
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.
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.