East Africa is best known for its sandy beaches, a variety of wildlife and birds and great food. Traversing through the East Africa countries should be on every travel enthusiast’s bucket list. In particular, Kenya has been voted as the world’s leading safari destination by the World Travel Awards four times. As proud citizens of East Africa’s leading country, we feel like it is only fair we compile a list of the top five lesser known safari destinations in the region.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK, KENYA
If you turn on the National Geographic channel at any given day, you are almost guaranteed to hear the words Masaai Mara, one of East Africa’s greatest national parks. However, the next time you are planning a trip to Kenya try including the Amboseli National Park in your checklist. Are you a photographer? Do you love camping? Are you an enthusiast of bird-watching? Do you love learning about new cultures? If yes, then this is the park for you.
The Amboseli attracts avid photographers due to its abundance in wildlife such as lions, cheetahs, Mongoose, Hyrax, Dik- dik, Lesser Kudu, and Nocturnal Porcupine and buffalo roaming under the shadows of the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak. The park also homes more than 400 species of birds. Tourists can explore through five diverse habitats from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, open plains spotted with flat-topped acacia trees, wetlands with sulphur springs, the savannah and woodlands. In the evening, there is an option to stop at a Maasai village (Manyatta) inside the park to learn about the Maasai culture. The Maasai people are popularly known across the globe as the tall, proud nomads with legendary prowess in battle and acts of bravery in fights with wild animals including lions. It is a beautiful sight, man and animal living together in harmony and co-existing without destruction to the environment.
The Amboseli National Park guarantees you elephant sighting, a majestic dusk/dawn view of the famous snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro. So, if you want variety, visit The Amboseli.
THE SELOUS, SOUTHERN TANZANIA
The Selous is one of Africa’s remote, raw and largest Wildlife Reserve. However, unlike the Serengeti, it is less popular to non-natives. It is a world heritage site where you can see elephants, cheetahs, the endangered black rhinos, African hunting dogs, hippos and crocodiles.
Why The Selous you ask?
- It is largest game reserve in East Africa; its sheer size is four times the size of the famous Serengeti.
- The conservation area is home to Africa’s Big Five among other top predators.
- A game drive in the massive reserve will offer sightings of the endangered black rhino
- The Selous is remarkably wild and stunning with a great view of the Rufiji River which offers even more wildlife sightings.
The Selous has an offer for everyone. Do you enjoy long walks? Well, in the company of your own personal bodyguards of course, you can take a walking safari through the vast reserve guided by armed rangers and expert guides. Do you want an up and close with gigantic crocodiles? Tourists can take their safari by boat through the swamps, wetlands and rivers. Or are you a sit back and relax in an open-top vehicle kinda-person? You can enjoy both day and night drives.
The Selous offers a unique and intimate safari experience because there are fewer restrictions than other wildlife reserves anywhere in East Africa. So, if you are looking for a thrilling and tailored-to-suit-your-needs kind of safari, African Horizons can tailor make a package for you on request.
s offers just that.BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK, UGANDA
Uganda, the pearl of Africa, is one of the most rewarding tourist destinations. Being a landlocked country, its beauty lies in other landmarks different from other East African countries. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of those landmarks. This destination right here is for people who are ready to put on their hiking boots and make some memories. The national park is part of the forest by the same name. The national park lies in 331 square kilometers of jungle forests made up of steep mountains and lowland forest. The best part about it? It is only accessible only on foot.
The main activity in Bwindi is Gorilla tracking at Buhoma and at Nkuringo because more than half of the World’s mountain Gorilla population is resident here. There are over eleven types of primates including chimpanzees, Red-tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus monkeys and Olive baboon. The park is home to 120 mammal species consisting mainly of small mammals such as Rodents and Bats.
Are you a bird watcher? Do not let your friends leave you behind. There is a total of 350 bird species in Bwindi including rare and exotic breeds like the African green broadbill, white-tailed blue flycatcher, brown necked parrot and frazers eagle owl. As if that is not enough, the park offers a wide range of more than 200 butterfly species, including eight Albertine Rift Endemics. Imagine so much beauty in one place. This must-visit national park is affordable, exotic and absolutely captivating.
Check out our exciting Gorilla Trekking Experience
KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL, RWANDA
If you are a fan of football (soccer) then you have definitely heard of the multi-million advertising deal Rwanda made with Arsenal football club. The ad on the Arsenal shirt sleeve reads “Visit Rwanda” and so, you should. Rwanda is one of the most scenic countries in Africa, with beautiful people and the cleanest city. As such, the tourist destinations in Rwanda are very diverse and most of them will take your breath away. However, the most memorable place in Rwanda has to be the Kigali Genocide Memorial site. The site reminds you of how depraved humanity can be. It is informative, thought-provoking and heartbreaking. At the same time, the site is beautiful and offers an unforgettable experience. The site is special because it reminds us of how fragile human life is. If you are looking to make meaning out of your trip and your life visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial and pay your respects to the victims of one of the most tragic events in history.
Feel free to consult African Horizons (we can tailor make a safari for you to experience the migration)