While its Southern counterpart is known for its glistening beaches and modern beauty, the Eastern region of Africa is all about wildlife and nature trails. East Africa consists of three main regions – Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda – each having its own unique offering. And thanks to this newly introduced itinerary, you can easily explore wildlife at its best on your next travel.
If you’re still thinking of the done-to-death places for your next vacation, we introduce you to the lush green side of Africa. Say hello to Gorillas, hang out with the elephants and rhinos and meet the Big Five of the World.
Trek with Mountain Gorillas
There are only two populations of mountain gorillas remaining in the world. The first lives in the groups scattered between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The second population lives deep in Bwindi. Head to the Bwindi Impenetrable Park – the prime location for gorilla spotting. Now have you heard about ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’? So, here, when in gorilla’s territory, you gotta have some etiquettes matching up to them. On arrival, the guides will explain to you about the gorilla etiquettes, and post that you begin your trek. The trek, deep in the rainforests of the National Park, is stunning with beautiful lush green views. And it might take up to 7-8 hours to spot your Gorilla family, considering they live deep in the jungles. But this one cannot be missed, because why else would you visit Uganda?
Meet the Golden Monkeys
Image courtesy: uganda365
If gorillas weren’t enough, East Africa is also home to the Golden Monkeys. As a wildlife buff, make your way to Mgahinga National Park for the Golden Monkey Trek. The smallest national park of Uganda, Mgahinga National Park offers the chance to track the golden monkeys – a distinctive race. The golden monkeys that live in the groups of 30-80 are known to be a bright orange-gold body, cheeks and tail, contrasting with its black limbs, crown and tail end. There is a habituated family of monkeys in Mgahinga, where tourists can track and stay with them for a brief period.
Hang Out with the Elephants and Rhinos
Wildlife just doesn’t seem to end when in East Africa. When you think you have seen the best in Uganda, there’s The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya. Spend your day with orphan elephants and rhinos in their natural habitat at the Trust. Learn about wildlife conservation as you come face to face with the playful elephants and the endangered rhinos. Witness baby elephants feeding on giant milk bottles and rhinos playing in the most heart-warming sight ever with this special eight-day package of Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
The Big Five
And now comes the most-heard about, and one of the most-visited wildlife tours in the world. Covering an area of 1510 square km, the Masai Mara National Reserve is home to the BIG FIVE. The most popular tourist-destinations in Kenya-Africa is located in the open grassland of the Great Rift Valley. Masai Mara is the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas with breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife and endless plains. The annual wildebeest’s migration involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November, one of the most noteworthy features.
From 400 bird species and 95 species of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, the Wildlife Reserve is one-of-a-kind. The highlight of the Masai Mara Reserve is the Big Five. Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the Big Five. The Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion, and Rhino. The reserve is a photographer’s and naturalist’s paradise, with abundant elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion, and cheetah alongside the migratory wildebeest and zebra. Get your cameras ready because you will be awed by this part of the world where wild animals decide the day.
Take a Break from Wildlife
Image courtesy: flickr
We are sure you’d never be tired of the abundance of wildlife in East Africa, but this region has much more to offer. Having said that, Veena World’s new package will take you to Kigali, where you will explore some historical sites like Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. The place that pays tribute to the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi tribe. Africa is rich in heritage and culture too, and you’ll get a taste of it at the Art and Crafts Centre and Kimirono Market.
Proceed to Kisoro from new Kigali city to spend some time in the lap of nature, and relax amid the green environs complemented by lakes and water bodies. Did you know that you can also experience a cruise here? Take a cruise ride in Lake Mutanda while you see the hills of Rwanda as you pass through Ruhengeri.
Culture Trip in Nairobi
Image courtesy: TnhGlobal
Masai Mara in Kenya has surely overshadowed the other must-visit places in the country, and surely it deserves to! But as a traveler, you should get the best of both worlds – the most visited and the lesser explored. Furthermore, the special itinerary of Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya will make you experience the Kazuri Beads Factory in Nairobi. A perfect place to shop for Hand Made Ceramic Beads, Pottery and Genuine Leather Bags, you can further move to Bomas of Kenya and get an opportunity to interact with local artists, Harambee dancers and enjoy their performances.
Rich in culture, wildlife and nature – East Africa has got a lot to offer. Has it made its way into your bucket list yet?
Written by: Aashima Kadakia
Creative ninja and a true follower of ‘Work, Save, Travel, Repeat’, I love to travel, experience places and bring back stories for a lifetime. Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, I like to visit the same old places, the same cliched tourist spots and destinations, but choose to see the unexplored in the old places. Always inclined towards the mighty mountains in their debate with the beaches!