East African Safaris are the combined safaris that will get you a piece of every country in East Africa that being Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Congo.

east africa safaris

East Africa is found in the eastern region of Africa and is dominated by different geographical features that are considered tourist attractions. Each East African country has unique tourism activities and attractions that once combined together with that of Congo into one safari it creates quite an adventure to the tourists.

East African safaris involve tourists moving around the East African countries like Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and one central African Country Congo. Each of the countries has different packages that are offered to different types of tourists but for a tourist looking for adventure at its fullest then opting for the East Africa Safaris is the best idea.

The East Africa safaris offer a variety of tourism activities and attractions that ensures customer satisfaction through the creation of memories. Some of the tourist attractions that a tourist who chooses the East and Central African safari will be able to see include the following:

Wildlife: The rich biodiversity of all countries has attracted many tourists from all over to carry out tourism activities. The countries mainly attract tourists with interests in wildlife and this has been possible due to the presence of the various animal, plant, and butterfly and bird species.

National parks: Most of the wildlife species are protected under different national parks, game reserves and many more. The national parks have over 200 animal species, over 1000 bird species, 1000 plant species and more than 500 butterfly species which attract different tourists and their different interests.

Some of the famous animals include the big five that is the rhinoceros, elephant, leopard and the rhino these are found in many parts of the different parks of the East and Central African safari countries for example parks like Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Kidepo valley national park in Uganda. 

In Kenya the big five animals can be found in Meru national park, Masai Mara national park, In Rwanda Akagera national park, in Tanzania lake Manyara national park and in Congo  Odzala Kokua national park with the elephants.

Primates: The most common primates in the countries are mainly like chimpanzees, monkeys, gorillas and baboons are other tourist attractions that attract tourists and these can be found in various national parks. The most rated primates which are over 400 in number are the gorillas which have 99% DNA common with human beings. This it has attracted different tourists to study the behaviour of the primates which can be found in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo in national parks like Bwindi impenetrable national park, Virunga national park, Mgahinga national park, and Volcanoes national park.

With a combined number of over 1000 chimpanzees are found in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Congo these have attracted different tourists interested in chimpanzee trekking. East Africa safaris will fulfil the tourists’ desires of chimpanzee tracking and trekking where they will be able to find out the different patterns of the chimpanzees their ways of living, feeding patterns and so many more.

In Uganda chimpanzees can be found in Kibale national park, Gombe stream national park in Tanzania, in Congo Virunga national park and in Kenya the chimpanzees are found in the Ol Pejeta ranch sanctuary. 

Other primates that tourists are interested in are the monkeys the countries are blessed with a variety of monkey species like the vervet monkey, golden monkey, the colobus monkeys, the blue monkeys, patas monkeys, red tailed monkeys, the de’brazza monkey, L’hoest’s monkey, grey-cheeked Mangabeys, that can be found in Uganda in  Kibale national park, Semuliki national park .

In Tanzania, they can be found in Mahale mountain national park and Gombe national park. In Zanzibar jozani Chwaka bay national park, Zanzibar Park, Zanzibar animal and land park where the red colobus monkeys are found.

Other wildlife species that can be found include marine species which are protected in marine parks, and conservation areas these attract tourists interested in studying marine behaviour, scuba diving, snorkelling and many more.

There are marine parks where marine life is protected for instance Chumbe Island marine sanctuary, Mnemba conservation area Menai bay, prison island Misali island conservation area which are found in Zanzibar. In the rest of Tanzania Mafia Marine Park, Dar-es-salaam marine reserves, Mnazi bay marine. 

In Kenya, Kisite Mpungunti, marine park, Marine national park Malindi, Watamu Marine National Park. The marine species found include the sea turtle, Whale shark, Hawksbill sea turtle, Loggerhead sea turtle, Leatherback turtle, Sei whale, Green turtle great white shark and many more.

The East Africa safaris will give chance to birders to have a look at the different bird species with over 20,000 bird species in total the different countries have unique bird species that are interesting to watch among the different bird species that can be seen include; the White bellied-go-away, Cinnamon chested bee eater, Jackson’s hornbill, Jackson’s francolin, Augar buzzard, Eastern plantain eater, white-bellied Canary, knob billed duck, the Egyptian goose and many more. 

These bird species are usually found in some protected area like the national parks in Uganda like Kibale national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo National Park, in Kenya some of them can be found in Maasai Mara, Tsavo East National park, Amboseli National Park and many more.

In Rwanda, Nyungwe national Park, Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park. in Tanzania different bird species can be found in Ngorongoro National Park, Serengeti national park, Lake Manyara national park and many more. In Congo Virunga National Park, Kahuzi Beiga National Park, Upemba national park and so on.

Other attractions a tourist on an East Africa safaris tour won’t miss out on seeing include the following.

Culture: The different countries of the East and Central Africa as explained above have different cultural values, norms, languages, dress code, social etiquette etc. With the different cultural values, this gives the tourists on an East and Central African Safari to explore the different areas with different cultures and values.

Kenya has over 62 languages spoken with over  42 tribes like the Kikuyu, Samburu, Masai, Luhya tribes with each of the tribes having different  for example the Masai who are nomadic pastoralists with unique cultural values although they keep cattle, they don’t eat meat but rather take the cow’s blood and the milk which is quite interesting.

 They also speak the maa language, they carry out lion hunting as a form of exhibiting courage and bravery which is an exciting adventure. Just like Kenya Uganda comprises of different tribes, like the Banyankore, Basoga, Bankonjo and many more.

 Important to note about the country is the fact that the country has got various kingdoms but important to note is the Buganda Kingdom which is one of the most organised Kingdoms with a central leader known as the ‘’Kabaka’’ with different clan heads that help in the monitoring of activities in the kingdom. 

Going on the East African adventure, one is able to see the Buganda parliament, Kabaka Tombs, the Kabaka’s palace, and the torture chambers of Idi Amin dada where he tortured Ugandans that were against his rule. 

In Rwanda, there are two tribes namely the Hutus and the Tutsis these have different cultural values, for instance, the Hutus that speak the Kinyarwanda and Kirundi languages understanding the different variations of cultures among the different countries makes East Africa safaris memorable to the tourists.

In Tanzania, the people speak Swahili and English as their official languages the country has Asian, European and Indian communities in the country. There are over 130 languages that are spoken with 125 ethnic groups with the main tribes being the Masai, the Haya, the Chagga, the Nyamwezi Sukuma etc.

Congo has 4 tribes the Kongo, Mongo, the Luba and the Mangbetu-Azonde in total the different tribes combined speak over 700 dialects and the majority speak the Kikongo, Lingala, Swahili and French. The rich cultural diversity of the Congolese attracts tourists interested in cultural tourism by this it will enable them to understand their dress code ways of cooking, their social values and so on.

In Zanzibar the people have a rich cultural history & the biggest percentage is occupied by African Arabs with Persian ancestry however there are also other groups of people that settled on the island, for example, Asians and Europeans the Bantu from the mainland the people of Zanzibar have unique cultural values. The people in Zanzibar include the Comoronians from the Comoros Island, the Mish Mash of Shirazia from Persia.

History: The East Africa safaris will let the tourists have a great experience when it comes to the countries all of them have a rich history that from the different era, for instance, slave trade, colonial rule and many more which can be explained in museums, different monuments, architecture

Museums: Visiting the different museums in the different countries will enable tourists to understand the history of the different countries and not only will it be an educational  but also entertaining and a fun experience because the different museums in the countries exhibit different historical arts, artefacts some of the museums that can be toured include the following.

Zanzibar has ove2r 10 museums which contain rich history of the island but some of the most import include the Sultan’s palace which was a residence to the sultan and his family was destroyed in the Anglo-Zanzibar war but it was later turned to a museum where there is the display of the furniture and other belongings of the sultan’s family which gives an insight of how they used to live. Other museums in Zanzibar include peace memorial museum, Princess Salme Museum.

In Uganda the most important historical museum is the Uganda museum which is the oldest museum in East Africa there are displays of different items like musical instruments that were used long ago like the xylophone, the drums, some of the important items displayed is the fossil skull of the great ape which is believed to be 19-20 million years old. Other displays on the cultures of the people of Uganda is unfolded in the back of the museum where different huts for different tribes where put up for example the Banyankore hut has the different daily items that were used long ago, for instance, the wooden pots are also known as the ‘’ebyanzi’’ that were used to store ghee, the grinding stones that were used to grind millet into millet flour and so many more. The East Africa safaris will offer memorable experiences to the tourists once chosen.

Tanzania has over 10 museums with each museum it unfolds the history of Tanzania. One of the most important museums in the Olduvai Gorge where the early remains of early man were discovered. In the museum other displays like maps and charts explaining the fossil excavation process by the leaky family.

 Mary leaky who discovered the proconsul skull an extinct Chimpanzee group and Louis Leakey who discovered the early remains of primate species in the gorge among other discoveries.

Rwanda like the other countries has a number of museums but one to note is the genocide memorial museum which displays how over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists after the death of the then president Habyarimana whose plane was shot down and everyone on board died and a Tutsi rebel group the Rwanda Patriotic Front was blamed this led the Hutu extremists to carry out the slaughters. The museum shows pictures of how people were slaughtered as so on. Other museums include; the ethnographic museum, the museum of environment, the Rwanda Art Museum and so on.

The East Africa safaris will give a tourist to explore  Kenyan museums like Fort Jesus which helps to display the architectural of the Portuguese while on the East African coast, the fort was used as a means to protect the Portuguese while on the coast since different western countries wanted to control of Kenya. Other museums include the Karen Blixen museum, Kisumu Museum, Kitale museum and so on.

In Congo museums like the Mushenge museum, Kisangani museum, Mbandaka museum, Lubumbashi museum, Kananga museum and many more. Important to note is the National Museum of Kinshasa which displays the history of Congo through pictorials and so on.

Other attractions that a tourist on an East Africa safaris may see include plantations, beaches, cities, architecture, festivals.

Festivals: These attract different people with different cultures, languages, lifestyles, ways of dressing and so on, a tourist at a festival is able to learn different traditions ways of dressing, how to make different traditional dishes and so on. Some of the festivals which run annually include the following in Zanzibar the Mkawa kogwa festival which is carried out to celebrate a new year, Sauti za Busara festival which celebrates the culture of Zanzibar here traditional foods are prepared cultural dance are performed in order to celebrate their culture, the jahazi literary and jazz festival the festival is to celebrate the African literacy, jazz, blues which have promoted cultural sustainability on the island.

  • In Kenya, there are different festivals tourists can participate in including the Lamu festival that is carried out to showcase the Lamu cultures and its people which usually takes place in November. Safaricom jazz festival which is a Music festival for music lover here different international acts come to Kenya to showcase their musical talents. Food festivals like the Nairobi restaurant week where different restaurants, hotels and other dining establishments are able to showcase their menus this is a great experience for foodies because they are able to taste a variety of food. Story Moja festival which happens every November is also another festival that tourists interested in art and music can participate in. Cake festival hosted yearly in the Uhuru gardens it gives an opportunity to pastry lovers to taste a variety of cakes. International camel  derby and festival which involves camel riding and races the race is carried out for 3 days and during these days it’s just fun and entertainment and  having lots of food and drinks which can be thrilling for the tourist on an East Africa safaris.
  • In Tanzania as well as different festivals include the Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair which usually takes place at the base of Mountain Kilimanjaro which is one of the major tourist attractions in Tanzania. The fair is the largest tourism fair in East Africa it takes place annually here tourists are able to see different tourism products, different service providers like the tour operators. The Serengeti cultural festival which is carried out to celebrate the culture through music and dance the festival takes place in Serengeti national park and tourists are treated to the different cultural performances, traditional cuisines and so on.
  • In Rwanda, there are different festivals like the Umuganda festival also known as the cleaning festival which usually takes place for a day usually for a few hours here all civilians take part in the cleaning of roads, parks and other areas some go an extra mile of planting trees. Kwita Izina also known as the gorilla naming the festival is quite entertaining and vibrant where baby gorillas are introduced to the communities and this shows the importance of conservation of the wildlife species in Rwanda the festival involves eating drinking and so on
  • In Congo just like other countries there are different festivals that tourists can participate in these include the Golden Tam-Tam it’s a music festival that is held to appreciate the music of the Congolese traditional gospel, contemporary musicians other festivals include commemoration of the martyrs of independence where the Congolese honour the people that were killed during their fight for freedom of the Congolese the festival takes place every 4th of January.
  • In Uganda, different festivals are also held to attract different tourists from different countries. A tourist on an East and Central African safari wouldn’t miss festivals like the Kampala city festival which celebrates the cultures and music of the Ugandan artists, the Bayimba festival of music and arts.  The Amakula Kampala International Festival which celebrates the culture and films of Uganda, The Pearl of Africa tourism expo which aims at boosting tourism in the area through creating awareness it involves service providers from different parts of the country showcasing their services and products offered.

Beaches: For tourists that are interested in leisure and relaxation, the beaches are a major attraction to them. The calming sea breezes, the white sands on the beaches, the available services on the beaches offer relaxation. For tourists looking for relaxation then the East Africa safaris are some to look out for and the different beaches they can go to include the following;

  •  Zanzibar is an island with very many beaches that offer different services like accommodation, bar services entertainment dining, sports services and many more. Nungwi Beach, Kendwa beach Paje beach, Matemwe beach, kiwengwa beach, Jambiani beach and others. Some of the activities that are carried out include scuba diving, snorkelling, and fishing, boat races which are quite adventurous and fan.
  • Uganda has got a number of beaches as well for tourists looking for relaxation, and leisure these beaches include; Serena Resort beach found in Kigo  is accessible to tourists that stay at Serena hotel Kigo, Lido beach that is frequented by the locals the beach offers dining services with their famous grilled chicken and numerous events that take place during the weekends which are mainly entertainment.
  • Kenya has a variety of beaches where tourists can enjoy different services like bar services, accommodation, beach sports like beach volleyball,  boat races on different beaches, cultural performances and many more some the beaches include; Diani beach, Tiwi beaches, Ukunda beach, Lamu beach, Msabweni beach and others.
  • Congo as well as a number of beaches where tourists can relax from these include; Mvassa beach which is not frequented by visitors because of its small size but this will guarantee the visitor relaxation and peace of mind. Other beaches include cote Mondaine, Pointe Indienne, La Baie de loango which famous for the hawksbill turtle and others
  • Tanzania is also another spot for relaxation and leisure with a number of beaches that will ensure relaxation these include; Mvuvi boutique beach, Best western coral beach, Mnarani beach Swahili beach resort and many, more.

Plantations: There are different plantations in East Africa and Congo that can catch the eye of the tourists that are interested in agro-tourism but not only agro tourists but also other types of tourists like the foodies that an visit spice farms where after the tours lunch is served using the spices harvested which is thrilling some of the plantations include.

Tea and coffee plantations which grow tea and coffee on large scales here the tourists are taught how to harvest coffee and tea and at the end, coffee is served tom them and tea which is 100 times better than the coffee got from grocery stores that has additives. Aside from coffee and tea plantations, there are sugar plantations banana plantations, spice plantations and so many more.

In Uganda, there are number o plantations like Kirita tea estate. In Kenya, tourists can visit fair view coffee estate in Kiambu, Kiambethu tea farm in Limuru. In Zanzibar, they can visit the spice plantations like Tangawizi spice farm, Kidichi spice farms in Kianga Dole where spices like bell papers are grown, coriander and many more that are interested in culinary tourism. After the tours, lunch is served which exceeds the visitors’ expectations. In Tanzania, tourists can visit the Luponde tea Estate. In Rwanda tourists can visitors can visit Gisovu tea estate located near Nyungwe national park which also offers accommodation to tourists that are interested in touring and participating in the farming activities. In Congo, tourists can visit the Bolingo tea estate.

Activities on East Africa Safaris

Game drives: During the game drives in the different national parks as explained above a number of animals can be seen like the Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, leopards can be seen  like for example in the Masai Mara national park Kenya , in the dry season animals can be seen on river Talek searching for water among the animals include giraffes zebra and many more.

Tourists can also opt for night game drives where animals like lions which are hard to see during the day are easily seen. Night game drives take place in Uganda take place in Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national p[ark and lake Mburo national park. in Tanzania it is only done in Manyara National Park, in Kenya night game drives are done in  Masai Mara game reserve. In Rwanda, night game drives can be done at Akagera national park.

Birding: With over a combined number which is over 10,000 different bird species,  birding is common in the different national parks because they are habitats for the bird species  like White bellied-go-away, Cinnamon chested bee-eater, Jacksons hornbill, Jacksons francolin, Augar buzzard, Eastern plantain eater, white-bellied Canary, knob billed duck, the Egyptian goose. These can be seen in different national parks like in Rwanda Nyungwe national park, Akagera National Park in Uganda Kibale national park, Queen Elizabeth National Park. In Kenya, Masai Mara national park, in Congo Virunga national park Kahuzi Beiga national park and so on. in Tanzania Tarangire national park, Selous game reserve, Mahale mountains are also perfect spots for birding, Lake Manyara that is famous for the flamingo birds and so on. In Zanzibar, the Jozwani chwaka national park is a great spot with over 40 bird species.

Gorilla trekking: Gorilla trekking is one of the fun experiences which involve looking for habituated gorilla families. The different families are found in mountainous or hilly areas in east Africa and in central Africa particularly Congo. In East Africa, its only Uganda and Rwanda with gorillas and these can be found in Mgahinga National park and Bwindi impenetrable National Park. In Rwanda, they are found in volcanoes national park and in Congo Virunga national park and Kahuzi Beiga national park.

Gorillas in Uganda
Gorillas in Uganda

Chimpanzee tracking: There is a high number of chimpanzees in different National parks these are habituated which makes them easy and safe to be trekked. In Rwanda, the activity can be carried out in Nyungwe national Park which has two groups of the habituated groups the larger group having 60 chimpanzees that are trekked in and the smaller group of 30 chimpanzees in cyamudongo forest. In Uganda Kibale national park with over 300 chimpanzees in number, in Congo Virunga national park, in Kenya Masai Mara, in Congo Virunga national park in Tanzania the Mahale mountains.

Chimpanzees are always on the move looking for food and by this, before trekking is carried out, pre- tracking is done by guides who are able to locate where the primates were before and after locating the area they are able to know where the chimpanzees would move and are able to take tourists to the spot.

Monkey tracking: Different monkey species can be tracked for example the vervet monkey, golden monkey, the colobus monkeys, the blue monkeys, patas monkeys, red tailed monkeys, the de’brazza monkey, L’hoest’s monkey, grey-cheeked Mangabeys, that can be found in Uganda in  Kibale national park, Semuliki national park . In Tanzania, they can be found in Mahale mountain national park and Gombe national park. In Zanzibar jozani chwaka bay national park, Zanzibar Park, Zanzibar animal and land park where the red colobus monkeys are found. The activity is quite an adventure because of the active lifestyle of the monkeys jumping from one tree branch to the other.

Cultural encounters: Cultural encounters can also be carried out which may involve the tourists engaging with the local communities around the different National parks, they can also engage with people in different towns of the countries whose culture and values are quite interesting. 

There has been the formation of different community based initiatives in a bid to preserve the cultures of people living around national parks for example in Uganda the Kibale association for rural and environmental Development has promoted development in Bigodi village selling hand rafts to the tourists In Rwanda, the Banda village, is promoting cultural preservation through telling stories about the history of Rwanda, cultural dances, cultural dishes and many more.

Engaging with the different people from the different countries will lead to the making of memories, for instance, the Masai people that have different cultural norms and practise like circumcision; they drink cow’s blood but not its meat.

 In Zanzibar an island blessed with different cultural groups, with different faith and religions, tourists can interact with the different groups of people and in the process, they can be taught the cultures, ways of dressing, the native delicacies and so much more. In Congo, understanding the Mangbetu culture is fun, for instance, they perform skull elongation which is seen as a sign of beauty in their culture.

Hot air ballooning: With the hot air balloons tourists are able to see the animals in national parks on a wide scale from an ariel view it is quite interesting and relaxing activity with air blowing from side to side vegetation cover can also be seen, water bodies like lakes, rivers, falls and many more in Uganda hot air balloon is carried out in Murchison falls national park and queen Elizabeth National Park. In Kenya, it is done in Maasai Mara national park.

Canopy walk: The activity can only be carried out in Nyungwe National Park Rwanda. Tourists are able to experience an adventure that is found nowhere else in the east African region. On the walkway, different butterfly and bird species are seen and animal species can also be seen it also enables one to see different animal species and also different water bodies like lake kivu.

 The different monkey species namely; the white colobus, Angola colobus, red tailed monkey, blue monkey, owl faced monkeys other animal species like the golden cats, duikers,, giraffes, lions, buffalos chimpanzees jumping from tree to tree.  Butterfly species, for instance, the graphium- gudunesi, metisella- articolla, zenonia-crasta, charaxes-mafuga among others which offers a breathtaking experience to the tourists that take part in the activity of canopy walk.

Visiting capital cities and important towns.

Tourists on an East and Central African safari should visit the different capital cities of different countries and other major towns like the old towns of Zanzibar have rich history once they are visited, a tourist is able to find out about the history of each one of them, and how they came about, what was the purpose of them being established. For example towns like stone town, Prison Island whose purpose of construction was to punish rebellious slaves but was later changed to a hospital.

Tourists can also visit the capital city of Tanzania Dar-ES Salaam, Kampala city, Nairobi, Kinshasa which is the economic hubs of the countries. Tourists that are interested in Urban Tourism can visit the city to find out how the Tanzanians operate their businesses.  The cities has different people from different tribes and countries which is quite interesting learning how they co-exist.

Other activities that can be carried out include; snorkelling, Snorkelling is an activity that involves diving in deep waters and usually this is carried out on the clear waters of Zanzibar for instance at Mneba and Tumbatu islands waters which offer a great view of the marine life like tortoises crabs, lobsters, octopuses and many more. Scuba diving that is carried out on the clear waters in Zanzibar.

Elephants in Tarangire
Elephants in Tarangire

Accommodation on East Africa Safaris

Accommodation will caters for different classes of tourists the low, mid-range tourists and luxury tourists. The accommodation facilities are hotels, cottages, apartments and camps. Services that are offered at the different facilities include WIFI, ample parking space in case the tourists hired vehicles, bar services with both hard and soft drinks, overnight stays, entertainment, gymnasiums for tourists to exercise, swimming pools to relax conference rooms for business tourists.

Some of the facilities include Serena Hotel Kampala, Speke hotel, Speke apartments, Sheraton hotel, Hotel Africana and many more in Uganda. In Kenya, Sarova Panafric Hotel, Jacaranda Nairobi hotel, Mamica homes etc. In Zanzibar, the Swahili house, Riverman Hotel, Asimin Palace Hotel, Zanzibar Serena hotel, in Tanzania, iris hotel, Peacock hotel, Best western coral hotel. In Rwanda, Radius guest flats, Okapi hotel, Kigali Serena hotel and in Congo Hotel Finesse, hotel Pour Vous, Kalz guest house and so many more. 

FEES

Gorilla trekking permits

  • Uganda   $600
  • Rwanda  $1500
  • Congo    $200

Chimpanzee trekking

  • Uganda    $150 per person per trek.
  • Rwanda    $100 per person per trek.

Golden monkey tracking

  • Uganda $50
  • Rwanda $100

Canopy walk

  • Rwanda $60

Hot air ballooning

  • Uganda $380 for adults and $180 for kids
  • Kenya   $410 for adults $350 for children under 12

In conclusion, East Africa safaris are what tourists should opt for because it involves different activities and a variety of attractions to see and this will engage the tourists making their stay memorable and quite adventurous.

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