Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of Africa’s most rewarding safari destinations. Regardless of the time of year, wildlife sightings are both plentiful and diverse. It’s possible to see the Big Five in a single day, and during the July – November dry season the plains are filled with the vast herds of the annual wildebeest migration. In particular, watching the herds crossing the Mara River in their thousands is a spectacle view you will never forget. Cultural visits to traditional Maasai villages are another highlight of this spectacular East African reserve.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Draped in mist and full of lush vegetation, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park nestles deep within the Virunga Mountains. As Africa’s oldest national park, it is one of the best places in the world to encounter the critically endangered mountain gorilla. A subspecies of the wider-ranging eastern gorilla, there are less than 1,000 of these amazing animals left. To share a moment with them in their natural environment is an intensely moving experience, and one that should be at the top of any wildlife lover’s bucket-list. The park provides a home for several other rare species, including 29 endemic species of bird.
Zanzibar is renowned for its fascinating history and its incredible beaches. Located off the coast of Tanzania and surrounded by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar was once a key stop on the spice route. Here, the island’s Arab rulers would trade slaves for spices; and today, Zanzibar’s exotic past is evident in its elaborate architecture. Stone Town is one of the island’s biggest attractions, boasting ornate houses, narrow alleyways, a Sultan’s palace, and many mosques. Zanzibar’s white-sand beaches are postcard-perfect, and its reefs are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Those in search of the ultimate safari experience should consider combining a trip to the Maasai Mara with a visit to Serengeti National Park in neighboring Tanzania. Here, breathtaking open plains are dotted with acacia trees and grazing game. It’s a great place to spot predators like lion and cheetah in action; especially during the January – March rainy season. At this time, wildebeest descend upon the southern Serengeti to give birth, and the newborn calves make easy prey for hungry cats. In April, the herds start their migration to the Maasai Mara, but the game-viewing remains exceptional all year round.
South Coast, Kenya
Kenya’s south coast is accessible only by ferry or air, is an idyllic seaside destination where you receive impeccable, personalized services in some of the luxurious boutique accommodations that are perfect for when you want to retreat into a coastal paradise. The most well-known of the beaches is Diani where you will find most of the south coast resorts, many of which are situated in the clearings of the Diani Forest. There are several other destinations within south coast which include; Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park, Wasini Island, Shimba Hills National Park, Mwalungaje Elephant Sanctuary and Colobust Trust.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area is dominated by the ancient Ngorongoro Crater. Approximately 1,970 feet/ 600 meters deep, the crater is the world’s largest intact caldera, and one of East Africa’s most incredible natural spectacles. Within its rim, countless animals range across the grassy plains of the crater floor – including a significant population of critically endangered black rhino and elephants. Black-maned lions are another impressive sight, as are the flocks of flamingo that appear on the crater’s soda lake during the breeding season.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Perhaps one of the continent’s most iconic sights, Mount Kilimanjaro stands in perfect isolation against the foreground of the African savannah. It is the tallest peak in Africa and the world’s highest free-standing mountain. Those with a reasonable level of fitness and a keen sense of adventure should consider making the climb for the ultimate Kilimanjaro experience. Climbing with a guide is compulsory, and allowing a few extra days to acclimatize to the altitude is advised. Depending on your route, the climb takes five to nine days.
Lake Naivasha, Kenya
Hugged by grassy banks and shingled with cacti and sand olive trees, the Rift Valley’s highest lake (at 1884m above sea level) extends like a vast, sunlit sea. But there’s more to this spot than the lovely blue lake. You can take a boat safari to look for hippos and abundant birdlife on the lake, relax in the garden at Elsamere, the former home of late Born Free personality Joy Adamson, explore the Hells gate National Park, walk with Wildlife at Crescent Island, Climb Mt Longonot, or take a dip at KENGEN Geothermal Spa.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Parts of this park extend to over 2,600m above sea level, providing an astonishing angles of the vast montage of Afromontane forest. This diverse ecosystem has nurtured an abundance of animal and plant life, including 350 birds and 120 mammal species. As with many East Africa destinations, Bwindi offers opportunities for Gorilla trekking, bird-watching, mountain-biking and hiking and visits to nearby villages.
Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
This is the largest National Park in Uganda covering approximately 3,877 sq km and one of the most spectacular in Africa. At the Murchison Falls, the Nile River plunges through a narrow crevice and over a 40-metre drop. East of the Murchison Falls within the park, are the Karuma Falls, where the Nile River cascades over a breathtaking 23 km of rapids. The scene creates one of the most exciting white-water rafting opportunities in Africa. Your cruise upstream the Nile to the fall is would definitely be an unforgettable experience. On the banks of the Nile River you will find prolific wildlife including elephant, crocodile, hippopotamus, lion, giraffe, buffalo, and countless antelopes and birds can be observed.