East Africa Safari Destinations: Discover East Africa 

The mere mention of East African safari destinations is enough to induce severe wanderlust. Names like Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Bwindi Impenetrable and Masai Mara ring true for anyone who enjoys traveling, while lesser-known destinations like Akagera, Tarangire, and Samburu promise unique, unforgettable safari experiences.

Wildlife Safari is able to ensure the quality of every moment on safari by offering a carefully curated selection of East African safari destinations. Each itinerary will only include the best of each type of habitat for optimum wildlife viewing. By personally visiting all of the destinations, lodges, and camps included in their itineraries, the Discover Africa Safaris Tours team can confidently make informed recommendations based on over 5 years of safari-industry experience.

KENYA SAFARI

Kenya has as good a claim as anyone to being the country where modern safaris began and where they are done best, and it continues to be high on travel magazines’ “must-visit’ lists. Kenya has been doing what it does best for decades, but on Kenya safaris, there is always something new to discover.

Why travel here?

There are as many reasons to take a safari in Kenya as there are things to do when you visit this incredibly diverse nation. Kenya is a study in contrasts, and they are all wonderful, from the semi-arid north to the Mara plains and the Indian Ocean coast.

 Nairobi is developing into a center for culture and the arts, with its own vibe and energy. From there, light aircraft fly passengers to opulent lodges and traditional mobile camps that are perfectly situated for maximizing exposure to wildlife, passing over mountains, deserts, and even rainforests.

Nearly anything is conceivable in Kenya. On the same day, would you spend the morning watching wildebeest navigate a reptilian obstacle course and the evening strolling through the surf beneath a colonial fort? Kenya is capable of that and much more.

 Even the seismic relocation of the Masai Mara, which is synonymous with Kenya safaris and the Great Wildebeest Migration, is in competition with other famous locations, such as Amboseli, Tsavo, and the irresistibly named Hell’s Gate.

Kenya is a place where the old and the new coexist with a fair amount of comfort. Tribal members of the Maasai and Samburu tribes, both of which dress traditionally, can move about the city and the tree-lined savannah with equal ease.

Through the year

Kenya’s varied landscapes, which are comparable in size to Botswana or France, reflect how widely the country’s climate varies. The semi-arid Samburu region is proof of how much drier the north is, and the warm Indian Ocean waters have an impact on the coastal weather. However, the general pattern—dry, wet, long, short—has a comforting familiarity. Even the cyclical nature of the seasons in Kenya is typical of East Africa.

June to October

There are many reasons why the extended dry season is the best time to take a safari in Kenya. Much of Kenya is lush and green in June, just after the protracted wet season, but hordes of herbivorous animals will soon put an end to this. This is also the time that the migration enters the Mara, with August and September being the busiest months for Mara River crossings.

November

The short rains that arrive in November provide some relief because wildlife can suffer greatly when these rains fail or arrive late. Air conditioning may be necessary due to the high humidity along the coast, but this is countered by the clearer marine waters that make diving and snorkeling excellent. The rains in November are like a brief, tempestuous, and exhilarating love affair between the land and the sky, especially since there aren’t many witnesses.

December to March

Similar weather conditions to those in June to October are produced by the shorter dry season, but without the Mara’s migratory activity. This may be the reason there are fewer tourists this time of year; perhaps they are unaware that they are missing out on the increasing concentrations of game in drier regions like Samburu, the breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro through the clear air above Amboseli, and the resident game in the Mara taking center stage in the absence of the herds.

A more consistent precipitation pattern during the longer rainy season is crucial for both vegetation and wildlife. Now that the national parks and reserves have been transformed, visitors are in for a real adventure. They will also have the chance to virtually experience solitude in the wild and take in incredible cloudscapes. The Amboseli elephants return, causing the ground to tremble—a sight that must be seen.

TANZANIA SAFARI

Tanzania is a safari powerhouse in East Africa because of the Serengeti, one of the largest wilderness areas in the world and the setting for the yearly Great Wildebeest Migration. It becomes clear that Tanzania safaris can appeal to a wide range of people when the Indian Ocean Islands are included as well.

Why travel here?

When it comes to the epic scope of its wilderness, the standards of its opulent safari lodges, or the caliber of its wildlife encounters, Tanzania is a nation that doesn’t cut any corners.

 Tanzania, like Kenya, allows visitors to combine beach and bush experiences without needing to add extra stamps to their passports. The islands of Pemba and Zanzibar offer fascinating history, relaxing beach time, and excellent diving.

The Great Wildebeest Migration, an annual event that calls tourists to the Serengeti in the same unwavering manner that it does the wandering antelope, is almost synonymous with Tanzania. 

While local elephants and the “lost world” of Ngorongoro Crater compete for camera time, Tarangire’s baobab trees offer an inspiring descent into an extinct volcano.

Mount Kilimanjaro benevolently scowls down on the plains of northern Tanzania and challenges more daring travelers in silence. There are many opportunities and spaces in southern Tanzania to stray from the path and have an authentic safari experience.

Through the year

Many people prefer the lengthy dry season, which lasts from June to October, because the game is more abundant, especially during the Great Wildebeest Migration. The short rains in November cause a green flush, which is followed by a brief dry season from December to March. The longer of the two annual rainy seasons usually occurs between April and May.

June to October

It makes sense that the long, dry season is the busiest in Tanzania, especially for travelers to the Serengeti, since this is when the migratory wildebeest arrive and must cross the Grumeti River to continue their journey. At this time of year, rain is very unlikely to ruin the show, though a heavy downpour might make the drama less interesting. Mahale’s vegetation is thinned out by lower rainfall, making chimpanzees more visible.

November

The so-called short rains, which usually start and end in November, signal the end of Tanzania’s busiest travel period for safaris. After the migration has left, the savannah reacts immediately to the rains by turning suddenly green and providing a beautiful backdrop for pictures of the local wildlife. Zanzibar and Pemba experience seasonal showers, but because the humidity is tolerable, it is still possible to include some beach time in November itineraries.

December to March

This period offers an experience that is similar to the longer dry season in many ways, but without the higher prices. It is a shorter dry season sandwiched between two wetter ones. This is the best time of year for safaris focused on specific interests and birding because migratory birds flock to Tanzania. The southern Serengeti reverberates with the mass bleating of hundreds of newborn wildebeest before the long trek resumes, and Lake Manyara turns pink with returning flamingos.

April to May

Visitors to Tanzania would do best to stay on the mainland during the prolonged rains so they can enjoy seeing many species’ young or taking in the Ngorongoro Crater’s floral carpets. Electric storms light up the skies over southern Tanzania, and the fresh vegetation enchants the local herbivores.

UGANDA SAFARI

Uganda, the “pearl of Africa,” is a nation in East Africa that welcomes visitors with open arms and provides an incredible variety of wildlife encounters. Safaris in Uganda can include visits to the savannah and the mountains, forays into cloud forests, and the search for the Nile’s origin. This diversity of habitats accounts for Uganda’s astounding biodiversity.

Why travel here?

Within the boundaries of one country, Uganda safaris can capture much of what is wonderful about the continent. Although Uganda is strategically situated between the popular East African safari destinations and the Great Lakes, it sees noticeably fewer tourists than either Kenya or Tanzania. This gives Ugandan safaris a sense of discovery and exclusivity. 

Some of the most evocative place names in all of Africa can be found on a list of Uganda’s major safari locations. Uganda, which is bordered by Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania, offers experiences that are both distinctly different from each of these nations and reminiscent of each.

 Since the time of Winston Churchill, Uganda has earned a reputation as one of the friendliest safari destinations and has dazzled visitors with its hospitality.

Uganda really delivers when it comes to exploring upland habitats with distinctive wildlife, from the towering Rwenzori Mountains—a living botanical laboratory studded with peaks and waterfalls—to the tangled wonderland that is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (home to half of all remaining mountain gorillas).

While Murchison Falls showcases nature’s power in its most unadulterated and undiluted state, Queen Elizabeth National Park offers more traditional safari experiences that are no less captivating.

Through the year

Even though Uganda is distinctive, it is also conventional in some ways. For example, its climate tends to follow the typical East African pattern of having two distinct seasons (wet and dry), with one being noticeably longer than the other. While this suggests predictability, which allows for confident planning and packing, there are regional variations that are important to take note of.

March to May

This is a lovely time of year for Uganda safari because the brief rains refresh and revitalize the savannah. Wildlife has easy access to food and water, so the animals tend to disperse. This makes for a fantastically uncrowded time to tour the nation. Gorilla trekking is also peaceful at this time of year because there are a lot fewer tourists, which makes it simpler to get permits.

June to August

According to the four-season pattern, the brief rains are immediately followed by a season that is much drier. Since rain is unlikely during this time, most safaris take place under clear skies and the warm East African sun. The game tends to concentrate once more around the dwindling waterholes as this dry season progresses, and the predators follow their prey here. As forest and mountain paths dry out, getting to mountain gorillas becomes simpler.

September to November

Uganda experiences a rebirth during the prolonged rains, with plants and trees blooming and many plains species giving birth to ensure that their young arrive on a well-provided scene. A safari now undoubtedly reveals Uganda at its most beautiful and lush. Treks to see mountain gorillas are significantly shorter at this time of year because they frequently descend further down the slopes. It’s a great time of year to go bird-watching.

December to February

This is a particularly popular time to visit Uganda, much like the earlier dry season was (although this is all relative, with generally fewer tourists than other East African destinations). The trails are easy to follow at this time of year, making it a great time to go mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Game becomes more concentrated in the open-country national parks, making it simpler to find them.

RWANDA SAFARIS

The country of Rwanda has undergone a remarkable transformation and reinvented itself as a fantastic safari vacation spot. Mountain gorilla encounters have historically been the main focus of Rwanda safari, but travel to the country of a thousand hills also offers more commonplace but no less remarkable safari experiences, as well as insights into its rich cultural heritage.

Why travel here?

Regarding its appeal as a safari destination, Rwanda definitely pulls its weight. Despite being one of Africa’s smallest and most populated nations, it still provides amazing wildlife encounters in pristine habitats because of a forward-thinking conservation philosophy.

 Trekking up a misty volcano to see one of our closest animal relatives is an experience that is both humbling and uplifting all at once. The big draw has long been the presence of a protected and cherished population of critically endangered mountain gorillas.

In terms of the experiences it offers, Rwanda punches well above its weight, so its renaissance is a remarkable African success story that has cemented this nation’s position very firmly on the safari map. With performances by white-maned dancers creating an unforgettable spectacle, the nation’s traditional culture has experienced a resurgence of interest and pride as a result of the nation’s growing self-assurance.

The chimpanzees of Nyungwe Forest and the wildlife of Akagera National Park, including the recently reintroduced black rhino and an incredibly diverse birdlife, can beautifully round out Rwanda safari itineraries, even though the gorillas should not be missed.

Through the year

By all rights, Rwanda should have an equatorial climate, but because so much of the nation is at a high elevation, it has a more temperate climate. The average annual rainfall in Rwanda is about 800 mm, but this is mostly in the mountainous north and west. Though this small country can be considered a year-round destination, there are four distinct seasons in Rwanda, and understanding the specifics of each can help when planning Rwanda safari.

March to May

This is the long, rainy season when there is a very good chance of daily precipitation, though it typically comes in the form of brief but intense downpours that are broken up by periods of bright sunshine. All of Rwanda’s national parks and reserves are still reachable, but going on a gorilla trek might be more challenging given how frequently it rains and how slick the ground is.

June to September

A similar-length dry season immediately follows the lengthy wet season, as if by clockwork. Although precipitation is always a possibility, especially in the Virunga Mountains, rainfall is drastically less throughout the year and temperatures are generally consistent. Due to dry paths and trails, this is the most popular time to visit Rwanda because gorilla trekking is easiest at this time. More preparation is needed regarding gorilla permits.

October to November

Similar weather patterns exist during Rwanda’s brief wet season, with a very good chance of daily rain (especially in the mountains). Although humidity levels can be high, daily average temperatures between March and May range from 15°C to 27°C. The best times to see chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest are during the rainy seasons because they don’t have to move around as much in search of food.

December to February

The brief dry season, which is also a very popular time for safaris in Rwanda, is also a great time to go mountain gorilla trekking in the Virungas. Because of their knowledge of the gorillas’ seasonal movements and the drier trails, trackers and game rangers can hike more easily. In Akagera National Park, this is typically the best time to see game, much like during the longer dry season.

EAST AFRICA SAFARI: CONCLUSION

Tailored-made East African Safaris can be made exploring the Mountain Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Volcanoes National park or exploring the vast Savannah of Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park. Our East African safaris packages are perfect made in order to fit your must-see locations, activities, attractions, spending limit, and preferred lodging options. We strongly advise getting in touch with us at Discover Africa Safaris Tours so that we can tailor these tours to include all the places in East Africa that you want to see.

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