Top Ten Travel Destinations in East Africa
Last Updated August 19th, 2020
Tourist Attractions in East Africa | Best of East Africa
East Africa is synonymous with safari and wildlife. However, there is so much more that you can enjoy when you travel to the five East African countries. In fact, it is home to some of the most beautiful sandy beaches and spectacular sights to complete any holiday experience.
From the great wildebeest migration, the breathtaking pristine beaches to the hospitable people and magnificent scenery, you can never go wrong with a visit to East Africa.
With so many places to choose from:
Here are the top ten travel destinations in East Africa that you must visit when you travel to East Africa:
– This is one of the cities that are located along the Indian Ocean coast in Kenya. This destination is a favorite for visitors from East Africa and beyond because of the wonderful beaches, rich Swahili culture and extensive reefs. It is ideal for water sports such as snorkeling, deep sea fishing, surfing among others.
The Malindi Marine National Park is a major attraction that is protected along with its fine beaches, clear water as well as colorful fish. You can never have enough of this destination. Malindi is can be accessed by road or flight.
Masaai Mara National Reserve
– This is Kenya’s leading attraction for safari lovers. It is not only ideal for visit at any time of the year because of the numerous animal species housed here but it also hosts the great wildebeest migration that is also named among the wonders of the world.
The park is beautiful and you can be sure to see the big five as well as other animals. The wildebeest migration event is spectacular but only happen once every year where you get to see wildebeests crossing from one side of the Mara river that is infected with crocodiles that lie in wait ready to attack.
– Located in Tanzania, this is one of east Africa’s snow-capped mountains and Africa’s tallest mountain that presents a perfect hiking opportunity. Besides, you also get to enjoy the arctic climate as you engage in fun activities.
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The views from this mountain are beautiful as it has a series of snow crowned peaks. You can also be sure to see herds of elephants among other animals.
– This is Tanzania’s best kept secret and a dream destination that will leave your with memories to cherish forever. Zanzibar is serene yet fun. It’s a source of insight into the African-Arab relations such as the slave trade on Spice Island.
It boasts of pristine beaches with silky white sand that is contrasted with the turquoise waters and colorful coral reefs.
The stone town is also charming as it is a true reflection of the island with colorful markets, cobbled streets as well as minaret lined skyscape that overlooks the beaches. This destination is well worth visiting.
Nyugwe Forest National Park
– A visit to Rwanda is incomplete without visiting the Mountain Gorillas in the Virungas among other primates that are treasured and are found in the Nyungwe Forest National park that is staggeringly beautiful.
There is usually a naming ceremony for the gorillas. The forest also houses monkeys as well as various bird species and is ideal for nature walks and camping.
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– This destination has personal charm as it is a melting pot of many cultures. Kampala has amazing climate that makes it worth visiting at any time of the year. This city has various sights and sounds that include Lake Victoria where you can enjoy a boat ride, fishing and some delicious fish meal by the sidelines of the lake.
– Undoubtedly a central attraction in Rwanda because of its rich historical background. This 100 year old city has erased the genocide history and bounced back to be a safe and friendly capital surrounded by major tourist sites such as the Virunga hills, Kaciyiru hill, Muslim quarter and the genocide memorial site that are its main attractions.
– The capital city of Kenya is a must visit in East Africa as it offers an eclectic mix of culture, wildlife and urbanization.
From a national park located a few minutes from the city Centre, where you can go on safari and see just about all animal species to various conservancies, Nairobi has everything in one basket.
– Ethiopia boasts of wolves that can be seen in the Bale Mountains. However, to see this rare animal species you need to trek up the mountains that also houses hyenas.
Other animal species that you will see here include leopards and lions even though they are rare.
– This legendary spot has white sandy beaches and is ideal for watching celestial sunsets and lighting bonfires by the beach.
Ssese has an archipelago of 84 islands and is also ideal for other activities like swimming, relaxing on the beach front and watching the magical landscape early mornings as the sun rises. You will be surprised how longer you want to stay here.
East Africa has numerous travel destinations that offer something fresh and unique hence you can never get enough of this part of Africa. All you need to do is pack your bags and travel down to a top destination of your choice.
Travel Tips and Stories
Travelling Can Change Your Life
Often after you return from a journey abroad, you feel different coming home. Almost as if you’re not fully there. This feeling probably stems from the changes that pass over you after seeing all the different ways humans express themselves worldwide.
Travel Life Changing
Travelling doesn’t only change you, but also your life, and usually for the best. Exploring the world forces you to become more flexible and adapt, as well as teaching you to live in the moment, making you more “worldly” and teaching you to value experiences over money. All these traits will change your life for the better in the long run.
Flexibility is not a trait that comes easily to most, but travelling almost forces it upon you. If you don’t adapt easily to your situation when travelling, it will be really difficult to enjoy yourself.
Many learn the traits of adaptability abroad, and afterwards choose to embrace them at home as they see the benefits. Being flexible allows you to live in the moment, both while travelling and at home, which is surely a benefit and will change your life for the better.
Living in the moment
Living in the moment is essential when travelling, as you will never be able to interact with your surroundings in a foreign place if you’re stuck in the past or worrying about the future. After returning from your travels abroad you can apply the practice of living in the moment to your regular life. It will allow you to experience life fully without worrying about events in the past or future to the extent that you probably do right now.
Being worldly is a benefit not only when travelling, but also in daily life, whether at the workplace or a social gathering. You will be able to talk to others about your experiences, use them as a conversation point.
People will also be eager to share their world experiences with you, which in turn will make you “more worldly”.
You will be able to bond with anyone, anywhere over shared experiences, different viewpoints on the world, and many more things that you never could before, making worldliness one of the most important traits learned while travelling, and the one with the most potential to change your life.
Money Cannot Buy Experiences
When travelling, you will often have thrilling experiences at extremely unexpected times. This will lead you to understand that often, money cannot buy experiences. Knowing this fact is an essential trait in life. After learning this you will start to see opportunities for valuable experiences that you can’t purchase everywhere, and feel encouraged to participate in those opportunities.
Overall, the traits you learn travelling cannot be learned by staying at home, and are incredibly valuable ideals. Travelling will help you lean flexibility, the art of living in the moment, worldliness and the value of experiences. You can apply all these newfound ideas to your life in many ways, changing it for the better.
Travelling is an exciting time and one that should be an unforgettable learning curve. It should provide the opportunity to learn about new cultures, cuisines, ways of life, and the destination itself whilst having a bit of fun.
Doing a bit of research online can highlight the real possibilities that are open to you, and open your eyes to the things that you could be a part of.
If you want that experience that is going to change your life forever, then a great idea is looking into how to volunteer abroad.
Volunteering can provide the ultimate travelling experience which will consist of; helping others (people or creatures depending on what you want to do), learning about new cultures, trying new things, immersing yourself into other ways of life and giving something back to the countries you are travelling in.
The rewards are nothing that can be described easily; a feeling of pride and the understanding that you have been a part of changing other lives.
What is the best way to volunteer abroad?
You will be a true inspiration to yourself and others. Voluntary work abroad means you get the best of both worlds; travelling and volunteering. You can choose what you do as well so you can help where you are the most comfortable, or the most knowledgeable.
There are options to help developing countries and work with children, assist with the wildlife, or help with an environmental conservation.
Help with education and teach the children, help with community development work, or help care for disabled children; you can make a real difference whilst seeing the most amazing, unspoilt areas of the world.
If you want to get involved in voluntary work abroad, travelling is the perfect vehicle to do so. If you are enjoying a gap year, do it with a difference. Spend your time travelling the world and helping those that you meet along the way whether people or wildlife.
There are a growing number of people who enjoy this type of travelling so you will be sure to make some friends for life during your time in an amazing destination. You will also meet those who have made this their way of life and spend their years helping others and seeing the world.
How much does it cost to volunteer abroad?
The trips allow you to experience the true culture of wherever you go and become wiser for it. Learn the way of life of a community and see the difference you can make with ideas and processes that may seem insignificant at home.
You can find out how to volunteer abroad online and get involved easily.
Make your dreams come true and assist in helping others at the same time. The rewards will be worth it; never forget the people that you meet and the friends that you make. You can enjoy the travel experience of a lifetime and have some fun whilst helping give others a better quality of life as well.
Is volunteering abroad worth it?
In summary, there are experiences waiting for you that can potentially change your life forever.
Have a holiday, a travelling experience, and a lot of run whilst giving a little bit back to the world and making a difference to others.
The Best Places to Volunteer around the World
If you are striving to be one of those honourable people in life, and travel around whilst making a difference, or maybe you just want to hang with turtles all day, no judgement. This list might just piqué the interest of many an aspiring humanitarian.
Turtle Teams Worldwide
We’ll cover the turtles first. Volunteering for turtles will normally mean you get to stay at one of the nesting beaches in places like Mexico. Of course work is involved, but the volunteering itself can be anywhere from 1-2 days to lengths of weeks at a time.
This means that you can pay by the day or in a lump sum to secure you a relatively long term place at camp. You’ll take part in night patrols, collect data, search for nesting females, protect the nests themselves and may even get the opportunity to help out with the baby sea turtles themselves. The programmes will often give you the opportunity to learn a second language while on location, and little experience is actually required to secure yourself a position.
Sudan Volunteer Programme
This is a London based charity that sends volunteers out to teach English in Sudanese schools and universities. Teaching experience is not required here, and the programme states graduates and under-graduates as their main choice of volunteer. The best part about the programme is that, although you pay for your own airfare, you’ll also receive a small monthly wage while out working, and accommodation is sorted for you. Making cultural connections and helping other students with their confidence and English speaking skills is greatly rewarding, and a great idea for British students who previously had no idea how to spend their summer.
If (unlike me) you have a reasonable level of health and fitness, then conservation volunteering may be the way to go. Located in either Australia or New Zealand, the conservation is aimed at several different important factors. Of course endangered wildlife ranks high on the list, as volunteers are there to help species such as the Wombat, Tasmanian Devil, Bandicoot and Tree Kangaroo (seriously the most Australian list of names I’ve ever written).
But coasts and waterways, nature reserves and parks, healthy communities, heritage and disaster recovery are all amongst the lists of important tasks conservation volunteers will undertake. Again, this can be for a couple of nights during a holiday, or for a full few weeks out in the outback.
Of course there are many other volunteering situations you can get involved in – whether your passion lies in saving animals, people or the environment (or maybe all three). Also, saying you played a part in the preservation or education of something or someone, is surely a good way to pick up dates.
Discover 5 Reasons Why Most People Love Going To Africa For Safari
Africa is undoubtedly the number one choice for a safari, even the name of the adventure, safari, comes from the Swahili language spoken by East Africans. It can be quite challenging to think of reasons to visit Africa for someone who has not heard much about the continent, and relies just on news.
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African Safari Tours
What part of Africa has safaris?
For seasoned travellers, safaris are just the best way of enjoying their holidays and if you are wondering why, here are five major reasons for choosing an Africa safari this coming holiday. Africa offers very many cheap destination
How much does it cost to go on a African safari?
Africa is the ideal destination for those who are on a limited budget because it has so many attractions at a relatively low cost, compared to other destinations. The cost of living is quite low and with twenty dollars a day, exclusive of accommodation one can get enough meals and pay for city transport, and still have change to tip on restaurants and cultural attractions attendants.
What is the best country to go on safari?
Many African countries have placed tourism at the core of their economic plans and therefore do everything to promote their destinations. One way of promotion has been through reduction of visa fees and airline parking fees on their airports during low tourist seasons. As a result, the fares to Africa can be low and one would make huge savings when you combine this with low visa entry fees.
Widest range of attractions
What is the best month to go on an African safari?
You can never exhaust the attractions of Africa even if you take a whole year vacation. There are very many natural sceneries to explore from mountains to escarpments, valleys and rives as well as lakes. There are falls, ox-bow lakes, gorges and volcanoes.
The wildlife also comes in plenty, available at different regions and includes the big five cats, mammals, birds, and amphibians like crocodiles. The culture of the hundreds of tribes has unique attributes that will leave you mesmerized as you sample their ways of life and their artefacts.
Natural interaction experiences
What is best safari in Africa?
Wild animals can be attractive but seeing them live in their natural habitat is very different than watching them in a zoo, where some of them have been tamed. Going to Africa gives you an opportunity of actually driving to game parks and watching carnivorous animals in the wild as they hunt, kill and eat their prey.
You will get a bigger and better experience than what is offered on reality TV, especially when you visit an African village and meet the locals.
strong>Africa provides a welcoming hospitality experience
When you get to Africa, you might be tempted to withhold from interacting with the people because they are strangers, but after a few days, you will realize that their friendliness rubs on you. Soon, you will be making smiles and receiving them in return.
The experience extends to the services offered at various facilities, as staffs are always warm and ready to give you a personalized experience worth going back for.
The destination gives you a wholesome quality experience
African safaris come as a complete package of experiencing culture, interacting with nature and wildlife, experiencing the wild and enjoying the scenery, all in one natural vast place.
Going for a single safari often feels like combining more than three different vacation experiences into one trip, and whether you are a luxury spender or a budget traveler,the wholesome experience is always available when in Africa.
These are only the major attraction points in Africa, and it is recommended that you make an actual safari to the beautiful continent and live to tell others. There are plenty of travel agencies that make arrangements on behalf of their clients, and this is a viable way of making your first safari.
The Pros & Cons of Travel Tours
Taking a guided tour is one of the cornerstones of travelling. Many people participate in tours, whether they be week long bus tours, or month long guided treks. There are advantages and disadvantages to travelling this way, with some of these mentioned below.
There are a lot of pros in taking guided travel tours
- The first of which being that you have a local, expert guide at your service. This guide will guide you throughout your destination and tell you facts and titbits that you probably never would have found out on your own. If you are in a more dangerous setting having a guide is also incredibly beneficial, as they will guide you through the area, and make sure to warn you about the areas that are safe and the areas you should avoid.
Having a guide will also assist you if you’re travelling somewhere that communicates in a foreign language. You won’t worry about having to use hand gestures to communicate and instead will be able to focus purely on your travel experience.
- Another asset of participating in a guided tour is the inclusions. Usually tours have some food included as well as tickets to attractions. Having food included in your tour is great because you will not have to worry about finding somewhere good to eat and instead will be able to have a stress free delicious meal. Usually tours buy tickets for attractions ahead of time, which is an advantage because it allows you to skip the long lines that unguided people have to stand in. Yet another pro is that when on a tour, they will usually handle your luggage, which mitigates fears of theft or loss.
While there are a plethora of advantages to taking a guided tour, travelling independently also has a variety of merits. One of the disadvantages of travelling with a tour group is the tight schedule. Most times you are constantly bussed from location to location without being able to truly see anything.
Tour groups try to do as much as possible in one day, and that can be really tiring and unpleasant for some travellers. Vacations with tour groups are also dependant on the other people who are also taking the tour. This can be both good and bad, as you may be completely compatible with the other travellers on your tour, or not get along at all with them. Overall, the cons of travelling with a tour group are mostly all centred on the organization of the trip and how busy the trip is, and if you enjoy crunching as many attractions as possible into one day or not.
Travelling on a tour can have both pros and cons, but if you find that the pros outweigh the cons, you should definitely travel with a tour group as it can lead to some great experiences. If not, that’s fine and you can enjoy your unguided trip!
Today’s Modern Traveller
It’s not uncommon to see travellers spending more than the recommended daily allowance on their gadgets while on holiday. Our addiction to modern technology, and more specifically, to our smart phones, means that we are incapable of doing without them even when we are supposed to be adventuring through foreign lands.
If you were a Pinterest fan at home a week ago, who’s to say you won’t be tempted to scroll though pin after pin now that you’re in Rome or Rio de Janeiro?
Some people just can’t seem to do without their usual dosage of social media when they’re on the road. It’s an ugly truth about the world we live in today. It’s not uncommon to see a hostel resident remain indoors and online for the majority of their stay. It could be for reasons like my Facebook fans or to keep up with your favourite sport via streaming that would keep a traveler indoor all day while travelling to explore.
Personally, I think it’s important we appreciate the ways in which technology has affected our travels positively. In many ways it has created a simpler and even safer way to travel.
How does technology help us travel safer?
Social media is one of the ways. ‘Checking in’ may sound to some like a lame thing to do, and in certain ways I guess it is. Eva is at –Starbucks, or Eva is at –Barcelona. (The former being a tad more lame than the latter.) But it occurred to me that if you’re travelling solo and for whatever reason, go missing, social media could come in very handy. If you’ve checked in recently – that would be a starting point for your search.
Simply talking a friend or family member online means there’s always someone out there who knows your current location. The same with uploading a photo that you took five seconds ago with your iPhone. The way social media keeps us connected could get annoying if you’re keen to fall off the face of the Earth for a while. But I have a feeling the modern parent wouldn’t appreciate that too much- they’re too used to keeping virtual tabs on us.
Certain apps for smart phones also do a great deal in terms of keeping us safe. One like Citymaps2go is useful for finding your current location without needing to connect to the internet. Simply download the map of the city you are planning to visit and not only will you have the map but a little pin showing exactly where you are. Perfect for avoiding getting lost and ending up on the wrong side of town.
Then there’s the Travelsafe app that contains a database of emergency service numbers for just about every country you’d ever care to visit, plus plenty for those that you wouldn’t. There’s also embassy details should passports go missing and – for the truly paranoid – the option to pin certain services to your home screen as widgets.
Technology also makes travelling that much easier
There are times when I think that my life would be simpler without computers. I’m not the most technology-savvy person and when things go wrong there’s little to no chance of fixing the problem myself. That being said, I can’t deny that my life would be way more complicated without it.
New technologies are very much part of my life and I’m the first to admit that I rely on them a lot. A smart phone that connects to wifi, internet banking and Google Translate are all things that make my life abroad that much simpler (when they work).
Then there are all the apps. Apps, apps and more apps designed purely for the traveler/tourist/person not in a familiar place. One that detects the nearest ATMs, one that help you navigate the New York subway and even one that supposedly sends a cab to your exact location when you click the ‘pick me up’ button. I’ve never been a huge ‘app’ person. Probably a lot to do with my technology-savvy-less-ness. It took a long time and a friend of mine to finally get me onto the Facebook app (now that I have it I don’t know how I went so long without it).
One that took my fancy is Google Goggles (Now Google Lens). If you stumble across an important looking building but have no idea what it is, fire up the app, take a picture of it and so long as what you’re pointing as is famous enough, the app will send you to its Wikipedia page.
Google doesn’t always get every search right but it often does. Plus it’s a fun way to go about enlightening yourself. Although, you may need to find the ‘wifi-finder’ app first so you can get connected.
When our parents travelled or lived abroad in their youth they would find themselves disconnected from home for weeks or even months at a time. I’m grateful that I live in an era that allows me to live out my dream and at the same time not have to live with being so far removed from the important things in life- family and friends. And of course I’m grateful for Google maps.
Post by Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.