If you are planning a fun family vacation, you won’t have to look very far. East Africa is an exotic potpourri of thrill, adventure and delightful scenes. From the golden expanse of Serengeti to the mountain trails along Kilimanjaro and Rwenzori, a trip to East Africa can possibly be the best vacation you have ever had.
1. The wild Serengeti
If you want to see a Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Leopard and African Buffalo in one morning, then make a trip to the Masai Mara National reserve in Kenya. Spawning across acres and acres of golden savannahs, a Masai Mara safari beats all safaris everywhere in the world, hands down.
The big five won’t be just pictorial depictions on your favourite Wildlife channel. You will experience firsthand the big five in their natural habitat.
From July to October (dry season) you will get to see the annual migration of animals that set out seeking streams and water bodies.
Visa can be acquired on arrival. Masai Mara is a 5 hour drive from Nairobi. It is advised to avoid walking on the streets of Nairobi after dark.
2. Lake Naivasha
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake very close to the town Nakuru. This lake is known for its wide display of birds especially flamingos.
Take a boat ride and enjoy being close to hippopotamuses’ and a host of birds. Lake Naivasha and Nakuru are ideal places for photography.
3. Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro can be accessed through Kenya or Tanzania. This mountain is the highest in Africa and the view from the top is said to be one of the World’s most beautiful sights to behold. Even Queen Elizabeth, in her younger days enjoyed holidaying and trekking Mount Kilimanjaro.
Mombasa is along the coast of Kenya. It takes an hour by flight to get there from Nairobi. Mombasa has wonderful beaches and is a tourist hotspot. The blue azure skies and powdery sand make for a fun and relaxing holiday. Also you could plan a boat ride and show your kids the wonders of the aquatic world and coral reefs.
Although touts along the beach usually avoid hassling Indians, it is best to be weary of them.
5. The Source of the Nile
Ever wondered from where the Nile finds its source? The longest river in the World finds its origins in Uganda. Although there is a debate as to whether the source originates from hot springs in Rwanda, the source of the Nile is a slice of mystical geography.
This serpentine river cuts the continent upwards, splits into the blue Nile and White Nile, ultimately converges and then meets the Mediterranean sea.
6. Murchison Falls
Imagine a cruise on the river Nile, watching crocodiles bask in the sun! What a sight to behold. And this cruise ultimately leads to the bottom of Murchison falls.
There’s nothing more soothing to the eyes, nothing more.
Murchison falls is closest to the town Masindi. This falls is around a 6 hours’ drive from Kampala, which is the capital of Uganda.
7. Rwenzori Mountain
Uganda is popularly known as the pearl of Africa due to its lush green landscapes and its magnificence of form. Rwenzori Mountain is located along the border of Uganda and Congo. The range experiences rainfall almost every day throughout the year.
If you want to see Gorillas, you may have to travel south towards the Bwindi impenetrable National Park in Uganda. This forest is at the Rwanda border and just like its name it is dense and impenetrable.
8. Mabira Forest
Legend has it that the Forest is haunted by the spirits of those who were massacred by the previous ruler of Uganda, Idi Amin. Although eerie stories surround this dense forest, many people enjoy camping overnight. There are lodges in Mabira forest that offer comfortable stay.
Food in most Ugandan hotels/lodges will be to the taste of westerns. If you are a vegetarian, you may have to make do with simple food. Most Africans know how to cook basic Indian food, so you may come by dal rice with ‘matoke’ (banana).
Banana is the staple diet of Ugandan’s. Mashed banana with peanut sauce is found everywhere. If you can develop a taste for it, you are good to go.
Zanzibar is an unspoilt paradise. The Zanzibar Archipelago includes a number of islands like the Pemba and Mafia Islands. You may catch a glimpse of dolphins and even take a swim with them. . These islands are a great place for snorkeling.
10. The Selous
The Selous is towards the South of Tanzania. It is not very crowded as compared with the tourist sites in the North. The wetlands at Selous allow tourists to take a boating safari.
So, what’s holding you back? Make East Africa your next family getaway. Take a safari in the savannahs, river raft on the Nile and soak in the sun along the coastline and beaches. Africa is not just about reading but experiencing. And no one can answer this better than those who may have traveled to the marvelous safari destinations.
Looking forward to exploring the wondrous East Africa, get in touch with us. Show some love, share the article, inspire people to travel! :)