Reasons Why should I visit East Africa?
Arguably the best place in the world for spotting wildlife, East Africa is home to the world-famous Queen Elizabeth National Park, Maasai Mara Game Reserve, the vast Ngorongoro Crater, and UNESCO-listed Serengeti National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Expect to see lions, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, and other wildlife species spreading in their savannah grassland. Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the only countries in the world blessed with the last population of the highly endangered mountain gorillas.
Maasai Mara Game Reserve
Lying next to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is Maasai Mara National Reserve, locally known as The Mara. It is a 1,510 km² area of preserved savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya established in 1961 and named in honor of the Maasai people who are the ancestral inhabitants of the area.
Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and spectacular wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa, world-renowned for its exceptional populations of Lions, African leopards, Cheetah, and African Bush elephants. It also hosts the Great Migration, which secured it as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the 10 Wonders of the World. This Great annual Migration takes place between the month of July to the end of August where over 2 million wildebeests and Grant’s Zebras cross Northwards from the adjacent Serengeti National Park at the border through the crocodile-infested Mara River into the park in an attempt to find new fresh pasture and water. Together with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, it forms Africa’s most diverse, incredible, and most spectacular eco-systems and possibly the world’s top safari big game viewing eco-system. Other wildlife species noticeable in the park include zebra, buffalos, Orbis, crocodiles, giraffe, impalas, eland, hippos, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, and the rarely sighted black rhino. Other wildlife species include the serval, spotted-hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hippo, crocodile, baboons, warthog, topi, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck, Orbis, reed-buck, zebra.
Serengeti National park
Serengeti National Park is located in the Mara and Simiyu regions of Tanzania. It has an area cover of 14,763 square kilometers and is prominently known worldwide for the massive annual wildebeest migration. In 1930, it was established as a game reserve where sport hunting was allowed until 1937. The national park itself was established later in 1951.
Tourists come to Serengeti National Park to witness millions of migrating wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras as this can’t be watched anywhere else. These animals migrate in search of fresh water and pasture. The best time to visit and get a glimpse of the wildebeest migration is between May to June and December to March.
Serengeti National Park has a great endowment of wild animals ranging from herbivores like wildebeests, zebras, antelopes, buffaloes, and elephants. Carnivores such as lions, spotted hyenas, jackals, African bush dogs, cheetahs, leopards, Primates such as the low land baboons, the great olive monkeys, Reptiles such as crocodiles, rock pythons, monitor lizards amongst others. This can all be viewed during your game drive. The protected area has a variety of activities for tourists to enjoy such as birding, hot-air balloons, game drives, and community visits among others.
At 5,89m Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the world’s highest single free-standing mountain, rising above cultivated farmland on the lower level and protruding up through lush rainforests to alpine meadows and finally across a lunar landscape to the twin summits of Kibo and Mawenzi. Kilimanjaro’s third and lowest volcanic cone; Shira is on the mountain’s western side. The lower rainforest is home to many animals, including buffaloes, elephants, leopards, monkeys, and elands are occasionally seen in the saddle area between Kibo and Mawenzi.
A hike up Kilimanjaro Mountain lures a huge number of trekkers yearly because it’s possible to hike to the summit without ropes or technical climbing experience. However, the climb is a serious (and expensive) undertaking, and only worth doing with the right preparation. There are also many opportunities to explore the mountain’s lower slopes and get to learn about the Maasai and the Chagga, two of the main tribes in the area. Book with Jewel Safaris today for this arrangement to be made.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Situated in the Western part of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s second-largest, most diverse, and popular conservation area first gazetted in 1952 as Kazinga National Park and two years later, renamed Queen Elizabeth National Park to commemorate the first visit by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
With over 95 mammal species, Queen Elizabeth National Park is also home to over 600 bird species and prides in varied ecosystems including savannah grasslands, leafy forests, lakes, and wetlands which attract the biggest variety of mammals in the country.
With an area coverage of over 1,978 square kilometers, Queen Elizabeth National Park straddles the equator, with two constructed monuments on both sides of the road where it crosses latitude 0°. The park also offers a background view of the ragged snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel whose banks are coated with large schools of hippos, herds of buffaloes, and elephants, and spectacular scenery of multiple craters set into the undulating lush hills.
The boundless plains in the Southern sector of the park harbor the tree-climbing lions, lazily hanging out in the fig trees as they monitor the movement of their unsuspecting prey. Kyambura Gorge hosts the largest number of chimpanzees for habituation in East Africa while the Kasenyi Plains offer the best game drives in the park plus other activities such as salt production.
In addition to its exceptional wildlife, Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts a charming cultural history where visitors can indulge in a variety of cultural activities including storytelling, dance, music, and much more.
The Volcanoes National Park
Situated in the southwestern part of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is the oldest national park in Africa, first gazetted in 1925. The park covers an estimated area of 160 square kilometers of rainforest and encloses five (5) out of the eight (8) volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains.
This protected area lies next to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and is also home to not only the endangered mountain gorillas but also golden monkeys, spotted hyenas, buffaloes, elephants, Black-fronted duiker, and bushbuck. Volcanoes National Park has about 200 bird species including 29 endemic species to the Rwenzori Mountains and the Virungas. The park was the base for the American primatologist Dian Fossey as she established the Karisoke Research Centre between Karisimbi and Visoke to carry out her research into the gorillas.
Murchison Falls National Park
Located in the northwest and settled at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, first gazetted in 1926 and covering an expansive area of about 3,840 square kilometers. Together with the contiguous Bugungu Wildlife Reserve (748 sq. km) and Karuma Wildlife Reserve (720 sq. km), it forms the Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA).
Murchison Falls National Park hosts over 451 bird species and 76 mammal species and is split into two by the Victoria Nile to form the Northern and Southern Banks. The Victoria Nile squeezes through an 8m narrow gorge and plunges over 45m, creating the thunderous Murchison Falls; the most powerful waterfall in the world, and from which the park gets its name.
Other than the falls, the park is also famous for the Albert Delta where the tranquil Victoria Nile flows into Lake Albert, Buligi game tracks where the parks’ most game is viewed, Kaniyo Pabidi Forest that harbors a habituated chimpanzee group, Rabongo Forest famously known as the birders’ paradise and the biodiverse Budongo forest.
Jewel Safaris offers perfectly organized East Africa holiday packages of both budget & luxury.
Jewel Safaris offers perfectly organized East Africa Holiday Tour Packages both Budget & Luxury for Wildlife, Wildebeest Migration, Balloon, Mountain Hiking.