A holiday to East Africa is bound to appeal to the entire family. The diversity of people, cultural sites, adventure opportunities, beautiful landscapes and urban cities ensure that there is something to appeal to everyone!
Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya make up the main countries to visit in East Africa due to their diversity of unique attractions, economic progress, safety and security for tourists.
However, planning is key to a memorable trip to any of these countries, so here is what Wal-Mark Africa Safaris recommends you look into when planning your holiday to East Africa:
Gorilla tracking and primate treks:
This is one of the most memorable experiences, as can be testified by those who have had the chance to track the gorillas. One of the reasons for this is that the gorillas often exhibit behaviours like ours – such us a silverback male guarding its family just like fathers would do, or tiny babies getting up to mischief.
Gorilla tracking is limited to those above 15 years of age and the walks are arranged depending on your level of fitness. Gorilla tracking is only available in Uganda (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park), Rwanda in the Volcanoes National Park and in the DRC in Virunga National Park, with some travellers preferring to do tracking in two of the three countries depending on resources and time. It is interesting to track different gorilla families because each encounter is completely unique.
Uganda and Rwanda are also the main destinations for chimpanzee and primate treks, with some unique species, such as colobus and golden monkeys, found in the forests.
Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park:
These are the two of the main parks in Uganda and are easily accessed with a diverse range of activities. Activities include game drives to see the Big Five and other wild animals, boat cruises at sunset, white water rafting along the Nile River, fishing, hot air balloon safaris, cultural activities and charitable, volunteer activities.
One particular highlight of Queen Elizabeth National Park is the tree climbing lions, which can be seen as they rest in the trees to get out of the hot sun and preserve their energy for the evening hunt.
Murchison Falls National Park’s main feature is of course the waterfalls. White water rafting is offered here for the brave, while boat cruises can be taken to the base of the falls.
Serengeti National Park
This haven for wildlife in Tanzania is a must visit for game lovers. This extensive park stretches from the Kenyan border all the way to the Ngorongoro Crater. Here you can see lion, cheetah, leopard and buffalo but the wildebeest are the main attraction, especially during the migration when they cross the rivers looking for greener pastures while crocodiles lay in wait. A hot air balloon safari is an absolute highlight, giving you a unique perspective.
Maasai Mara Game Reserve
The best time to visit the Maasai Mara is between July and October during the wildebeest migration. Watch the crocodiles waylay the wildebeest as they cross the Mara River while lions wait for the slow and wounded. Kenya also has a variety of other national parks to enjoy once you have got your thrills at the Maasai Mara.
East African beaches
After enjoying the safaris in the various parks, combine your bush safari with a beach break with family as you relax, play and swim.
Rwanda’s Lake Kivu is a serene spot with a variety of hotel facilities along the lake, while Uganda also has various beautiful beaches along Lake Victoria. In Kenya or Tanzania, the coast is lined with amazing beaches at Malindi, Kilifi, Lamu, Zanzibar and Pemba.
Now you have all you need to know to start planning your East Africa safari. We do suggest that you make your booking through a respectable and organised travel agency that can help in advising and designing the best itinerary for your holiday.