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The 5 Must See Things In East Africa

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wildebeest
Wildebeest Crossing Mara River

East Africa is one region on the African continent that encompasses exceptionally breathtaking landscapes, unique cultures and diverse ecosystems. With the region’s diversity, East African safaris guarantee everyone something to explore or experience on a holiday. East Africa can best be explored in 2 ways, either you contact a tour operator and he will draft for you a travel plan that suits your interest and travel dates. On the other hand, you can explore East Africa on your own. All you have to do is hire a car and let’s say you start your self drive in Uganda, then Kenya, Tanzania and end in Rwanda. Check out the top 5 things you must see in East Africa;

Wildebeest migration

wilderbeest migration
Wildebeest Migration

Watching millions of wildebeest cross the Mara River is one of the most powerful things any nature lover wouldn’t want to miss on any African safari holiday. The wildebeest migration is perfectly witnessed on an East Africa safari tour in Kenya or Tanzania. It is an annual event where large herds of wildebeest cross from the Serengeti National Park to the Maasai Mara Reserve and the most remarkable highlight of all is the Mara River crossing.

Over 1.5 million wildebeest accompanied by 1000s of other mammals like zebras, can be observed moving in search of pasture and water. This often takes place once a year around June to August or even till September. The other most significant event calving period when hundreds of wildebeest calves are born and this starts from December to early February.

Big five game

white rhinoThe big 5 games make up the 5 African animals, the most sought-after mammal species on every African safari holiday. They include the cape buffaloes, rhinoceros, leopards, lions, and elephants. The best places to find a complete list of Big Five games in East Africa include the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, Akagera National Park in Rwanda.

Mountain gorillas

mountain gorilla
Silverback Gorilla – Virunga National Park

East Africa is home to the remaining world’s smallest population of endangered mountain gorillas, the Eastern gorilla sub-species. These apes are estimated to be 1063 individuals and thrive only in 3 countries –Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo. With their existence, it is with no doubt that East Africa is a preferred region for tourists to immerse themselves into the African jungles to experience the best gorilla trekking adventure. Trekking with East Africa’s mountain gorillas in the wild is remarkably a lifetime experience.

Where can you find mountain gorillas in East Africa? In Uganda, book a valid gorilla permit at USD 800 and visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These mountain gorilla parks are situated in the far Southwestern part of Uganda and hold about half the total population of these unique apes.

Cross to Rwanda and at USD 1500; expect to immerse yourself in Volcanoes National Park in search of the endangered mountain gorillas. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, these large apes exist in the scenic Virunga National Park.

Unique landscapes

Sight SeeingEast Africa is blessed with a distinct landscape characterized by the Great Rift Valley that extends through the middle of the region right from the North to the South. There are several places linked to the rift valleys including the Serengeti Plains, Africa’s high mountains, large lakes and beautiful highlands.

mount kilimanjaro
Mountain Kilimanjaro

The region comes with an amazingly rare landscape characterized by a vast savanna landscape, perfectly witnessed at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti Eco-system, tropical rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Maramagambo Forest, Budongo Forest in Uganda, Nyungwe Forest and Gishwati-Mukura in Rwanda. The scenic mountains include Mount Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, Mt. Elgon, Rwenzori Mountain ranges, and Virunga Volcanoes.

Birds

Crocodile Alongside Heron
Crocodile Alongside Heron

East Africa holds a huge concentration of birdlife. A long list of distinct birds can be identified in East Africa including the green-breasted pittas, broadbill, baglafetch weaver bird, yellow-billed oxpeckers, ostriches, grey-crowned crane, flamingos, Clarke’s weaver, Taita apalis, papyrus gonoleks, African grey parrot, great blue turacos, Sharpe’s long claw, white-headed buffalo weaver, shoebill storks, Shelley’s crimson wing, silvery cheeked hornbill, rufous tailed weavers, pelicans and many others.

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