A tour to East Africa, through the countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Congo is one amazing adventure of a lifetime. The countries are splendidly gifted by nature from the fine sand beaches along the coast of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar el salaam in Tanzania, the impressive landscapes gain altitude through the savannah grasslands of Serengeti and Masai Mara, towards, Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world. In Uganda, the pearl of Africa, true adventure comes alive like no other with the world famous gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, to the land of thousand hills through the Volcanoes and Virunga massif, in the Congo.
Here in detail is what to expect on an East African Safari.
Here the funnels of the migratory wildebeests plunging themselves into the Mara river, to escape drought on one end, into lush green vegetation on the other end in Tanzania is a spectacle equivalent to none. Kenya is a place of abundant beauty, which can be lived through the Masai-Mara National Reserve game drive where lions, leopards, giraffes, elephants, and hyenas are at an impressive display of survival tactics. Interactions with the cultural life of the Masai fully compliments the game experience while sun bathing at the white sand beaches of Mombasa coastline in reflection of the wonderful adventure is a dream come true.
The Serengeti National Park, the origin of the great wildebeest migration is the crown jewel of Tanzania’s safari, with 15000 square kilometers of vast landscape. The plains, scattered trees and short savannah grasslands are controlled by 1000 lions, 550 cheetahs, 1000 leopards, preying over 2 million ungulates. Over 500 bird species hover over the plains to the amusement of bird watchers. Serengeti is the most iconic park to visit in Tanzania. The Saadani National Park whose bushes kiss the beaches ocean offers a complimentary tour of Tanzania, along other parks like Gombe National Park, Mahale Mountain National Park among others.
Chances are that when you thought of an African Safari, Uganda came first to your mind. True to its nickname, Uganda is truly the pearl of Africa with a record 10 national game parks. Uganda is a place of astonishing wonders like River Nile, the longest river in the world, Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world. However, perhaps the most popular adventure is the gorilla trekking experience in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park. Whereas gorilla trekking is an hour long experience, Bwindi offers the additional package of the Gorilla habituation experience which is four hours long. The intimate four-hour experience is unique only to Uganda, which hosts atleast half of the entire world gorilla population. After which, a Queen Elizaberth national park game drive to see the tree-climbing lions, buffalo herds, and the K kazinga channel bio diversity would be appropriate. Other game drives like through parks like Muchison fall national park, Budongo forest trail, would live a tourist spoilt for choice.
Uganda is the most culturally diverse country in East Africa with 56 tribes and 9 indigenous communities whose recognition arose from the 1995 Constitution. With such diversity comes an aura of mysterious cultural activities like the grand circumcision festivities among the Bamasaba on the slopes of Mt. Elgon, the Karamojong hunters and gatherers, whose lives are largely untempered by civilization or the pygmies deep in the Bwindi forest.
Whether in the wild, amongst beasts or in the communities amongst joyful people, Uganda is a place to visit and live in the true realm of beauty.
The land locked land of a thousand hills competes favorably as a top travel destination with the rest of the East African countries due to its breathtaking scenery of gently raised hills and slopping valleys. Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator and covers 26,338 square kilometers of land with a population of nearly 13 million people, perhaps the smallest in East Africa. For 100 days, between 7th April and 15 July 1994, Rwanda experienced one of the world’s deadliest crimes against humanity through the genocide against the Tutsi however that tide has since passed and the country beams with numerous success stories that have attracted tourist from across the entire world. The neatly maintained streets of Kigali are graced by a splendor of warm and welcoming people groomed by a culture of compassion that exudes from the people of Rwanda.
Like Uganda, Rwanda is famous for its gorilla trekking experience in the moist and thick forests of the Volcanoes national park, a section of the bigger Virunga Mountains that cut across to Congo.80 permits are available per day for the 10 gorilla groups found in the park. The trek lasts almost 6 hours however, the tourist is allowed just one hour in close proximity with the gorillas. Permits cost USD 1500
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Volcanic Mountains are alive and active, with plumes of smoke from boiling magma visible from as far as Rwanda. Nothing like the Serengeti, where dreams are lived or Masai Mara, in the realm of the fret wildebeest migration. Congo is overwhelming gifted with thick tropical forest; endless rivers punctuated by beautiful waters and breathe taking landscapes.
The endless River Congo irrigates the country in a clockwise direction, rising from the highlands of northern Tanzania, flowing to the north east of Congo, then west and finally south into the Atlantic Ocean at Banana. The largest country on the African continent and 11th largest in the world, covers an area of 2.346 million square kilometers, much of which is a forest cover of over 112 million hectares of African teak, African cherry, Ebony, African mahogany and tiger wood. In the thick forest of Virunga National Park is a home to the eastern gorillas and the mountain gorillas. Congo is the only country in the world to host both types of gorillas.
What is music without Congo, its authentic rhythms and beats have kept Africa dancing for centuries, the distinctively soothing rhythms a companied by captivating dancing strokes take one to a place of reflectiveness, irrespective of age.
When you settle after a heartfelt dance, the Congolese delicacies take you to a completely new world, the local dishes introduce you to a whole new Africa, until then you haven’t tasted Africa!