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Home » East African Safaris, East African Safari Tours, Best East Africa Safari Tour Destinations

East African Safaris, East African Safari Tours, Best East Africa Safari Tour Destinations

East African safaris or East African safari tours take you to several incredible African safari destinations for an unforgettable safari experience. Each of these East Africa safari tour destinations has unique experiences for everyone who visits them.

The popular destinations to visit on your East Africa safari include Masai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Nakuru National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Tarangire National Park, Amboseli National Park, and Lake Manyara National Park.

East Africa offers incredible wildlife sightings as it is one of Africa’s last true wilderness regions. The bucket list of an East Africa safari is Mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and the Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania.

On your East Africa tours, you will encounter the rich history and culture of the people which makes the destinations an absolute pleasure to visit. There is a myriad of wildlife species including the Big Five and astonishing bird species in every corner.

You get the opportunity to visit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain peak, the Ngorongoro Crater, Virunga Mountains, and Stone Town in Zanzibar when you visit East Africa.

With East Africa safaris, you get to enjoy Uganda safaris, Kenya safaris, Tanzania tours, and Rwanda safaris with full excitement of great adventures.

Where to Go in East Africa for Safari

East Africa tours are designed to take safari goers on an adventure to at least two or more E. African countries in just one safari. Amongst the destinations to explore on East Africa tours are Uganda, Rwanda the land of a thousand hills, Tanzania, and Kenya.

Below are the best East Africa safari tour destinations;

Tanzania Safari Tours

This is one of the best destinations to explore when you visit East Africa. It has several national parks offering incredible wildlife sightings during your safari experience.

Mostly, Tanzania is known for hosting the great wildebeest migration within Serengeti National Park as animals cross the Mara River to Masai Mara of Kenya. It also holds the Ngorongoro Conservation Area having untouched wildlife.

Below are some of the national parks to visit on Tanzania tours;

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

Serengeti National Park is the best place to enjoy a Tanzania safari and it is situated in northern Tanzania. It borders the Maasai Mara National Reserve of Kenya, and it has a biodiversity of wildlife.

It hosts the great wildebeest migration as wild animals cross the Mara River to Maasai Mara National Reserve in search of green pastures, especially in the dry season. You can also enjoy game drives in Serengeti National Park to spot other wild animals like Wild dogs, Elephants, Buffaloes, Cheetahs, etc.

NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the biggest protected areas in the country having the Ngorongoro Crater a nature wonders of the world. There are several animals that you can see when you visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Some of the animals to see within this area include Wild dogs, Lions, Leopards, Elephants, the endangered black Rhino, etc.

TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK

Tarangire National Park is on the northern Tanzania safari circuit near Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This park is known for having large populations of Elephants on the African continent ideal for wildlife viewing.

Some of the animals to spot in Tarangire National Park are Hyenas, Giraffes, Zebras, and Wildebeests.

LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK

On your East Africa safari, this park is one of the national parks that offer amazing wildlife viewing as animals gather at Lake Manyara. It is one of the few destinations having tree climbing Lions besides Queen Elizabeth National Park of Uganda.

Lake Manyara Park also has a healthy population of the endangered black Rhino that you can track when in the park.

Kenya Safari Tours

Kenya is an enticing destination when it comes to East Africa safari tours as it has amazing destinations that you can tour. It is known for the famous Masai Mara National Reserve which hosts the wildebeest migration.

Kenya is the best place to visit if you want to see giraffes up close at Giraffe Manor, for hot air balloon tours over the Masai Mara. You can get sightings of the Big Five when in Kenya and other attractions.

MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE

Masai Mara Reserve is one of the best game reserves in Kenya and one of the most popular conservation places on the continent. The Maasai Mara National Reserve has a wide range of animals including the Big Five that you can see on your East Africa safari.

The endless plains and acacia trees of Maasai Mara National Reserve host the great migration where thousands of wildebeest cross the Mara River to Serengeti. You can enjoy safari drives and balloon safaris while in Maasai Mara National Reserve on your East Africa safaris with sightings of Elephants, Big cats, Rhinos, etc.

AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

Amboseli National Park is on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro known for having free-ranging Elephants. It is also a good place for birding safaris as it has colorful bird species.

Tourists on East Africa safari trips can visit the local Maasai community who live around the Amboseli National Park.

LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK

Lake Nakuru is a wildlife haven on the Great Rift Valley surrounded by bushy grassland lying within the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park. On your East Africa safari adventures, you will enjoy birding safaris, hiking, and safari drives.

Uganda Safari Tours

An East Africa safari without Uganda Safaris, is not complete as there are many things this country can offer. It is a wildlife and primate safari destination having the Big Five and many unique animals.

It is known for having the strongest waterfalls in the world (Murchison Falls) within Murchison Falls National Park and you can see the falls on a boat cruise. You can spot tree climbing Lions which are only spotted in two national parks of East Africa which are Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Manyara.

Uganda offers Gorilla tracking within Bwindi and Mgahinga as these two have almost half of the world’s endangered Mountain Gorillas and others are within Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mountain Gorilla trekking is one of the safari highlights of most safaris and it cannot be missed.

After meeting the endangered Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat, you can also trek with Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest Park the primate capital of the world for a better experience. Uganda also offers birding safaris as it has several bird species, Golden Monkey trekking, cultural tours, walking safaris, etc.

Rwanda Safari Tours

Rwanda is also an amazing country when it comes to East Africa safari vacations. It is the land of a thousand hills as it has plenty of thrilling hills and mountains. It is one of the few popular destinations where you can enjoy Mountain Gorilla trekking as it is done within Volcanoes National Park.

There are about 12 habituated families of the endangered Mountain Gorillas that you can trek in Volcanoes National Park natural habitat as others are wild Gorillas.

Tourists can visit Nyungwe Forest Park which harbors 13 primate species and you can enjoy Chimpanzee trekking while here on your East Africa safari tours and an amazing boat cruise on Lake Kivu.

These two national parks offer amazing primate safaris in Rwanda. There is Akagera Park the only savannah park in Rwanda offering endless game drives.

In general, Rwanda safaris, offer Gorilla tracking, Chimpanzee trekking, Golden Monkey trekking, canopy walk, visit to Lake Kivu, walking safaris, birding safaris, etc.

Highlights on an East Africa Safari

The highlights make the East Africa safari tour memorable as they offer a great adventure that you cannot miss.

Big Five Safaris in East Africa

The Big Five was used as a hunting term to describe the five most dangerous animals in Africa to hunt. These are the Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard, and Rhino. They are sought-after species on the African continent.

You can see these animals within the savannah national parks in east Africa and sighting one of these animals can change your life forever.

Primate Safaris in East Africa

There are many primate species that you can see within this region, and it is the best area as it holds the largest number. Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo offer astonishing Mountain Gorilla trekking which is a lifetime experience.

You can also enjoy Chimpanzee trekking and Golden Monkey trekking to see Golden Monkeys within the tropical rainforests with sightings of other monkey species.

Walking Safaris in East Africa

This is the best way of discovering the African bush while on foot and moving from place to place within the acacia trees. While safari drives are the fastest way to see wildlife species, nothing is quite like exploring the African bush on foot.

African walking safaris are completely safe and only require a low fitness level and you are accompanied by a ranger who explains the sights and sounds that make the activity enticing.

Trekking up Mountains in East Africa

On your East Africa safaris, you can trek the mountains, rocky ridges, valleys, and volcanic terrain. Trekking up mountains is a popular activity in all the 3 countries, and you can climb the Rwenzori Mountains, Mt Kilimanjaro, and Mount Kenya.

It is an experience that you will enjoy giving you experiences of a great adventure on your East Africa safaris.

The Best Time for East Africa Safari Tour

Tourists can visit East Africa for safaris at any time of the year though there is a specific time for some activities, but the best time is within the dry months when the game parks are dry as the sighting of animals is easy and amazing.

The dry months or dry seasons are the best time for primate safaris especially Gorilla tracking to meet the endangered Mountain Gorillas, game viewing, nature walks, hiking tours, and enjoying the beaches of East Africa.

Travelers who want to witness the great migration between Kenya and Tanzania can come for East Africa safaris in July, August, September, October, and November as this is when the Wildebeests cross the river of Masai Mara to the endless plains of Serengeti National Park.

What Is the Best Month to Go to East Africa? | When Is the Best Month to Travel to East Africa?

The best months to come for East Africa safaris are the dry months which are the peak season. These are June, July, August, November, December, January, and February.

They are ideal for encountering the endangered Mountain Gorillas during Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Bwindi. If you want to witness the wildebeest great migration between Kenya and Tanzania, then these are the right months.

EAST AFRICA IN JANUARY

January is within Kenya’s rainy season, though there are high temperatures that make clear and sunny days making wildlife viewing great on a Kenya tour. It is also the low season on a Tanzania safari, and it is the start of the calving season.

Mountain Gorilla trekking is great during this time in Rwanda and Uganda.

EAST AFRICA IN FEBRUARY

This is when many calves are born during the calving season within Serengeti National Park. This is when migratory birds are in the countries. The weather in February is favorable for meeting Mountain Gorillas during Gorilla trekking.

EAST AFRICA IN JUNE

This month is dry and game viewing is at its peak in Serengeti National Park. It is also an ideal month for meeting Mountain Gorillas during Mountain Gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda. June offers excellent beach tours in Zanzibar.

EAST AFRICA IN JULY

This marks the beginning of the great migration when hundreds of thousands of wildebeest gather along the Mara River’s banks to cross to Serengeti.

EAST AFRICA IN NOVEMBER

There is a bit of rain this month making it ideal for Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda and Mountain Gorilla trekking. The trails may be muddy, but the apes will be near making the time to locate the endangered Mountain Gorillas short.

EAST AFRICA IN DECEMBER

Thousands of the Wildebeest are within Serengeti National Park on the southern side and start approaching the Ngorongoro Conservation Area as it is nearing the calving season.

Going gorilla trekking in Uganda during the short dry December season is great making it a Christmas adventure.

What to Wear on an East African Safari Tour?

Below is what to wear on your E. African tour.

  • Long-sleeved shirts and trousers (mostly neutral colors)
  • Comfortable shoes
  • A cap or hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sweaters
  • Poncho or rain jacket

What to Pack on Safaris in East Africa?

Below is what to pack for East Africa safaris;

  • A camera with extra batteries
  • Binoculars
  • A day backpack.
  • Insect Repellents
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Personal medical prescription

Accommodation on Your East African Safari Tour

There are many lodges where you need to stay on your East African tours, and they range from luxury, midrange, and budget facilities.

Luxury Accommodation

These are high-end lodges or lavish tented camps and are set in the best spots of the park, you will be right in the heart of the African wilderness where the action is on your trip.

These luxurious lodges have comfortable beds, western-style toilets, hot showers bathtubs, hot showers, and private verandas.

Midrange Accommodation

Midrange accommodation facilities are a perfect combination of value for money and comfort and feature bigger rooms than budget accommodation. Their prices are lower than those of the luxury lodges.

Budget Accommodation

In terms of hotel star ratings, they are taken to be 1 or 2-star facilities as they offer basic facilities and services for a low price. They are usually for solo travelers on a shoestring adventure trip.

Best East African Safaris

Northern Circuit Safari in Tanzania (Including Serengeti)

This is an action-packed safari tour on Tanzania’s northern circuit. Just out of Arusha is Lake Manyara in the Rift Valley. This lake has tree-climbing Lions with a wonderful birdlife.

You will spend a couple of nights in Serengeti National Park with endless plains having amazing grazers having a chance to witness the great migration. You can also visit the Ngorongoro Crater with sightings of the endangered Black Rhino on the crater floor.

Tanzania Safari and Zanzibar Island

This tour features Nyerere Park, Lake Manyara NP, Serengeti, and the Ngorongoro Crater with sightings on the crater floor. You get to explore the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar and get to swim with Dolphins and enjoy the spice tour.

Activities include game drives, walking safaris, and a boat cruise on the mighty Rufiji River.

Masai Mara Safari in Kenya

This tour is 3 to 5 days long and offers amazing wildlife viewing within Masai Mara National Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Park. From August to October, you have the opportunity to enjoy the great migration.

You will also enjoy a night at Lake Nakuru where you get to spot an amazing birdlife with sightings of the white and black rhinos and big cats.

Kenya Safari and Beach Time

This is 5 to 14 days taking you to Masai Mara, Tsavo West, Tsavo East, Lake Nakuru National Park, and Amboseli National Park. You will spend most of the days in Maasai Mara National Reserve with sightings of Lions and Cheetahs.

To round off the safari, you will visit Amboseli National Park with sightings of Elephants. You spend a few days in Tsavo East and West for a true wilderness experience.

Uganda Safari and Gorilla Trekking

A Uganda Gorilla trekking safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This safari is between Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park home of the tree climbing Lions. Following the Gorilla tracks, you will see the Gorilla family for one hour with sightings of the other East African primates.

Gorilla and Chimp Trekking in Rwanda

This is 3 to 5 days within Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest Park. You will be staying just outside of Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains as it is a great place to see the endangered Mountain Gorillas and other East African primates.

Other activities here include Golden Monkey trekking to see Golden Monkeys and hiking one of the Virunga volcanoes. You have the opportunity to see 13 primate species present in Nyungwe Forest, including Chimpanzees.

Zanzibar Stone Town tour

When you visit Zanzibar, the expert guide will guide you through the stone town city. You will take a walk around the historic buildings of the city and see the old slavery market, the Anglican cathedral, the home of the wonder.

7 Tips for Going on Safari in East Africa

Below are some of the important tips to know when you are coming for your safari;

  • Charge your camera.
  • Use a reliable tour operator
  • When coming for a safari, buy travel insurance
  • Dress in layers
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Expect dust roads and tracks within the game parks.
  • Follow the instructions of your guide.

East African Safari FAQ

How Much Would a Tour of Africa Cost? | How Much Does an African Tour Cost? | How Much Would It Cost to Go on a Safari in Africa? | How Much Is a Safari in East Africa?

A safari to Africa costs anywhere between $125 and $1,500 per person per night. A budget safari averages $150 per night, mid-range $350 and luxury $750. Safaris can be more costly for solo travelers than when in a group.

What Is the Average Cost of An African Safari Trip?

The average cost of a safari in Africa costs between $125 to $1,500 per person, per day or $625 to $7,500 per person for a 5-day safari. This price may or may not include accommodations, transportation to and from the safari camp, tips, and meals.

How Many Days Do You Need for East African Safari?

There is no specific number of days for an East African safari though you need a minimum of at least 5 days to explore a tour.

If it is more days, you can enjoy a combined safari and visit Maasai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Hell’s Gate National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Amboseli National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park, etc.

Why Is Kenya Safari So Expensive?

It is expensive as you have to pay for park entrance fees which are expensive, you have to pay for the vehicle every day, the lodges are expensive as most of them are luxury, and you have to pay for most safari activities.

Everything is paid in US dollars and not in local currency.

What Is the Best Country in Africa to go On Safari?

Tanzania is the best country in Africa to go on safari. It boasts most of the renowned national parks and game reserves with the Big Five like Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, etc.

Is Safari Better in Tanzania or Kenya?

Both destinations have amazing safaris as they are home to the annual wildebeest migration which takes place between Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Kenya is more rewarding in culture tours than Tanzania as it is home to the Maasai warriors.

These 2 countries have several national parks apart from the Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve. Kenya has Amboseli National Park, Tsavo East, Mount Kenya, Lake Nakuru National Park, Hell’s Gate National Park, Aberdare National Park, and Lake Naivasha.

Tanzania has Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara, and not forgetting the Ngorongoro Conservation Area with remarkable sightings on the crater floor.

If you have fewer days and you are on a budget, then you can visit Kenya as Tanzania is a luxury safari.

What Is the Best Country to Visit In East Africa?

Tanzania is the best country to visit in East Africa having amazing East African safari tours. You can explore Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, etc.

Why are Africa Tours So Expensive?

African tours are expensive because of distance and infrastructure, the remote locations of lodges, the national park fees and conservation levies, the rates are all inclusive of accommodation rates, etc. All safaris are paid in US dollars, not in the local currency.

In summary, East Africa safaris give you a great adventure as you combine countries with different unique experiences.

You get to visit several national parks with sightings of epic wildlife like Queen Elizabeth National Park with sightings of tree climbing Lions and a superb boat cruise on Kazinga channel, Masai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Aberdare National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, and among others.

For a better experience, East Africa safari tours can be combined with southern Africa tours to visit some of the natural wonders like Victoria Falls.

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