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Top Most Private Conservancies in the Masai-Kenya

Named from Maa language “Mara” meaning spotted, Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular African safari destinations known for offering some of the most authentic safari experiences on the continent.

A Masai Mara Safari guarantee a memorable African safari experience with spectacular game drives, hot air balloon safaris and the stunning landscapes. This reserve forms part of the oldest ecosystems in the world – the Serengeti – Mara Ecosystem which is famous for the Great Migration which is an annual and constant movement of large numbers of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles searching for water and green pastures.

Masai Mara National Reserve located in south-western Kenya covering about 370,000 acres and shares unfenced borders with a number of private conservancies which are administered by the Maasai.

What are now the Masai Mara Private Conservancy areas were originally used for cattle grazing and farming by the local Maasai communities, agreements with safari operators have subsequently turned them into protected wildlife areas. This arrangement has benefits for the local communities providing them with a reliable source of income as well as employment.

There are no fences between the private conservancies and the Masai Mara National Reserve, so the wildlife is free to roam over the whole area.

What is a Conservancy?

By definition, a conservancy means a specific form of land and wildlife conservation whereby landowners enter into lease agreements with safari operators.

In Masai Mara, thousands of residents who own small pieces of land came together, put their land in a collective as well as properties and enter into contracts with safari operators in return for monetary compensation and other assistance, ranging from educational and healthcare programmes to livestock management and grazing management.

Because this land  (conservancy) have had people living on them  and some still have significant villages and have supported agriculture, conservancies are not pristine pieces of land.

Conservancies in Masai Mara “Mara Conservancies” are famous destinations and must visit during your Masai Mara Safari, they consistently offer some of the most reliable and exciting predator sightings in Kenya.

What Conservancies Do for The Local Communities

The local communities voluntarily enter into conservancy agreements with safari operators and all decisions are taken collectively, this means regular meetings are held. No one is forced to rent their land or move away, also different conservancies have different agreements with landholders.

Conservancies are conservation success stories because of the following reasons

  • They offer habitat protection against some activities which are against nature including logging, mining, charcoal production and other developments
  • They have considerable anti-poaching activities
  • They help with criminal prosecution where necessary
  • They help save livestock via predator – proof bomas or enclosures and by ensuring sustainable grazing rights.

Conservancies in Masai Mara offer a more extensive range of activities that are not allowed in the main reserve such as night game drives, guided safari walks and off-road game drives among others.

Note: The conservancies restrict the maximum number of guests and rooms, so seeing many safari vehicles during game drives is less compared to the main reserves.

Conservancies have safari lodges and camps, in-camp guests in these accommodation options are limited, so the room ratio per acreage ranges from one bed to hundreds of acres. The lower tourism activity levels in the private conservancies mean that the animals are more likely to engage in normal behaviors rather than behaviors that result from human presence.

As you are planning on visiting conservancies in Masai Mara during your Kenya Safari, here are the top most private conservancies in the Masai

Mara North Conservancy

The Mara North Conservancy is the largest private conservancy in the Masai Mara with 320 km² (74,000 acres) of land, the conservancy offers the same rolling grass plains and superb game viewing that you find in the main Masai Mara National Reserve.

Mara North Conservancy was founded in 2009 with 788 lease agreement of between 5 to 15 years each.

The exclusive and private Mara North Conservancy only allows a limited number of visitors into the area at any one time, the conservancy features varied landscape, from secret patches of woodlands to vast wide open plains.

The conservancy is location for BBC’s Big Cat Diary series that followed the Acacia and Gorge Pride, the Lemek Hills which are refuge for wild dogs and the Loita Hills see part of the December to May Great Migration are some of the unique features in the conservancy.

Where to stay in Mara North Conservancy

The Mara North Conservancy has some of the most spectacular and luxury accommodation facilities in the whole Masai Mara region with density of 1 tent per 700 acres or 1 guest per 350 acres.

These lodges or tented camps include Elephant Pepper Camp, Kicheche Mara, Kichwa Tembo and Saruni Mara Camp.

Naboisho Conservancy

Founded in 2010 with ownership of 500 Maasai landowners, the Naboisho Conservancy is among the largest private conservancies in Masai Mara with over 200 km² (50,000 acres) of pristine savannah and wild bush. The terrain in Naboisho Conservancy is diverse and quite different to the Masai Mara National Reserve, it features a mixture of rocky outcries, small hills, dry riverbeds, bush and small grassland areas.

Note: the conservancy lacks the vast open grass plains that Masai Mara is famous for.

Naboisho Conservancy offers excellent game viewing experiences with some of the highest densities of lion in the Mara Region, cheetahs and leopards are regularly spotted here as well as other plains game.

The Naboisho Conservancy offers a truly wild and exclusive Masai Mara safari experience, some of the unique features in the conservancy include controlled grazing for cattle, the private Naboisho/Ol Seki airstrip, Enesikiria or KGS pride of 70 to 100 lions.

The Naboisho Conservancy also known as Mara Naboisho Conservancy is an important migration corridor for elephants, giraffes, and zebras, big cats such as lions, cheetahs and leopards and also provides habitat for a number of rare species such as caracals, several cats and honey badgers.

Where to stay in Naboisho Conservancy

The Naboisho Conservancy has a density of 1 tent per 700 acres or 1 guest per 3500 acres, accommodation properties in the conservancy include Encounter Mara and Naboisho Camp.

Ol Kinyei Conservancy

Founded in 2005 by a group of 171 Maasai landowners and Porini Safari Camps, Ol Kineyi Conservancy has a size 18,700 acres encompassing of rolling hills, deep ravines and vast savannahs supporting a diversity of big game species.

The Ol Kinyei Conservancy supports diversity of wildlife, several species native flora species and more than 330 bird species recorded within the conservancy’s bounds, the conservancy is a great place for spotting elephants, cheetahs and giraffes as well the Great Migration herds – wildebeest, gazelles and zebras.

Some of the unique features of Ol Kinyei Conservancy include the livestock exclusion zone, host some of the highest lion density in the country and 90% of lodge staff are from the community.

Where to stay in Ol Kinyei Conservancy

 Ol Kinyei Conservancy has a density of 1 tent per 1,000 acres or 1 guest per 500 acres, lodges/camps found in the conservancy include Porini Mara Camp and Porini Cheetah.

Olare Motorogi Conservancy

The Olare Motorogi Conservancy boasts the highest concentration of lion per square kilometer and is one of the most private conservancies in Masai Mara, the conservancy was founded in 2006 with ownership of 277 Maasai land owners and land size of 35,000 acres of land.

The conservancy encompasses of several riverine valleys and their associated forests, as well as the 12- kilometer-long escarpment of Ntiakitiak Gorge. With its vast open grass plains and superb game viewing, the Olare Motorogi Conservancy offers exclusive safari experience.

Over 50 different species of raptors and predators and prey in the acacia woodland and Olare Orok and Ntiakitak River can be seen in the conservancy. Olare Motorogi Conservancy is home of the Enkoyani lion pride.

Where to stay in Olare Motorogi Conservancy

Olare Motorogi Conservancy has a density of 1 tent per 700 acres or 1 guest per 350 acres, accommodation options in the conservancy include Kicheche Bush Camp, Mahali Mzuri and Porini Lion Camp. Get to visit one of these conservancies with Mantis Africa safaris.

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What are the best safari countries in Africa

Africa is listed among the best destinations in the world and the continent is home to a wide range of safari conservation parks, canyons, deserts and deltas, rivers and ravines creating an ideal canvas for a dream adventure.

Choosing the best destination to visit depends on what you are looking for, animals you want to see in the wild, the type of safari holiday you are interested and who you are traveling with.

Here are to the best safari countries to visit for the best safari holiday.

Overview

1. Botswana

2. Kenya

3. Namibia

4. Rwanda

5. South Africa

6. Tanzania

7. Uganda

8. Zambia

Explore the Best Countries in Africa on Safari

  1. Botswana

Botswana is one of the best safari countries in Africa offering some of the most incredible wildlife experience, several must see- wildlife destination and stunning landscapes.

The breathtaking natural beauty of Botswana presents scenes ranging from start desert beauty to thickets of acacia tree, and the winding waters of the Okavango Delta are one of the reasons to choose Botswana as your Africa safari destinations. With exclusive, adventurous exploration and unforgettable wildlife encounter, Botswana is the ideal destination for any safari seeker on the African continent.

 Whether you are looking for a safari for seniors or interested in a luxury African safari, in Botswana you can find the right place to fit your style of travel and more.

Here are the spectacular destinations in Botswana.

  • Okavango Delta

The famous Okavango Delta is a vast inland Delta in northwestern Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a 15,000 sq.kilometer  of pulsing wetland that is unlike any other on the planet. The Okavango (Kavango) River which flows from the Angolan highlands through Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and into the Kalahari Desert, created the iconic Okavango Delta.

The Delta offers water-and-land based safari experiences.

Highlights of the area:

  • Discover how the channel of the Okavango Delta provide a pathway through reeds and bushes to highlight some of the best birdlife as well as smaller wildlife in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Witness how the landscape shifts from desert-like sand to stony savannahs
  • Embrace unparalleled game experience looking for animals like elephants and lions, lively avifauna and foraging mongoose.

When to Visit: In the months of May to September, the Okavango Delta is at its best with cooler days, low grasses and game viewing is at its prime. These dryer, winter months of the Southern Hemisphere are simply perfect to explore on water or land.

  • Chobe Game Reserve

Situated in the North of Botswana not too far from the Zimbabwe border, Chobe Game Reserve is the third-largest game drives in the country and home to the largest population of elephants on earth – over 120,000.

Highlights of Chobe Game Reserve

  • Great herds of elephants – an incredible sight to witness from within the reserve and from a boat on the Chobe River
  • Proximity to the magnificent Victoria Falls to experience it as a day trip
  • Combines well with the Okavango Delta and Maun to create the overall Botswana Safari adventure

When to visit: The winter months in the Southern Hemisphere are the best time to visit Chobe Game Reserve, these months are drier, cooler months of June to the end of September. Combining Chobe Game Reserve with a visit to the fascinating and famous Victoria Falls works exceptionally well during the winter months as the falls are at their most magnificent from May to the end of July. 

  • Kalahari Desert

70% of Botswana is covered by the Kalahari Desert, this desert crosses several countries starting from the southern border with South Africa and expanding up into Botswana. Kalahari is a dominant ecosystem in Botswana, it is not a typical desert with the dunes often associated with this harsh environment. Instead it is an arid landscape that is mainly defined by areas of grass, bush scrub land and the lunar like Mkagadikgadi Salt Plains.

Kalahari offers some of the typical topography and features you would expect from a desert experience and more.

Highlights of Kalahari Desert

  • Diverse wildlife, flora and fauna during dramatic variations in temperature
  • Visit with the renowned bush men who have lived in the distinctive landscape and temporal conditions for millennia
  • Enjoy stargazing and nature walks to embrace the encompassing majesty of the Kalahari Desert

When to Visit – To enjoy all of the region’s offerings most noticeably the prolific birdlife, consider visiting during the wet season. The prolific birdlife can be seen from December through to March, also animals congregate around the pans so wildlife spotting is good. The cooler and drier months will make road travel easier, so one could say this is a year-round destination.

  • Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Linyanti is a swamp-like safari wonder situated in the northwestern corner of Chobe National Park, near the river border of Namibia. It is remote and rugged and offers exceptional off-the-beaten-track safaris.

This untouched wildlife sanctuary boasts splendid scenery of untouched grasslands, riverine forest and meandering lagoons. Due to its remote location, each corner has something mesmerizing to see for example thousands of exotic birds that migrate to this region during the green season. 

Highlights of Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

  • Amazing views of vast herds of elephants which are one of the main highlights of any safari in this reserve
  • Indulge in the stillness, remoteness and incredible birdlife associated with the serene corner of Botswana

When to Visit – September is a peak time to visit the reserve, the best birding months are January and February. The winder in the southern Africa falls from June through to the end of August making wildlife sightings easier during dry months when the grass is low. 

2. Kenya

      Kenya is a gateway to some of Africa’s key safari destinations sitting along Africa’s eastern coastline, this beautiful country comprises of vast savannahs, flourishing lakes and impressive mountains.

      Kenya offers opportunities to enjoy the world’s largest migration of land animals – The Kenya Great Migration Safari or honeymoon safari across the country’s intimate destinations, the country is well known for its alluring parks including Masai Mara National Reserve hosting the Great Migration, Amboseli National Park with large herds of elephants and views of Mount Kilimanjaro among others.

       A safari to Kenya offers fantastic times as you visit the following iconic destinations

      • Amboseli National Park

      Crowned “The Land of Giants”, Amboseli National Park is one of the popular safari destinations in Kenya offering a frontline view of one of the majestic sights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

      The name Amboseli comes from the Maasai word “empusel” meaning a salty, dusty place. Amboseli National Park is relatively a small national park at a size of 150 square miles located in southern Kenya, the park encompasses of wide- open areas of savannah grasslands, tangled acacia forests and the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli. 

      Highlights of Amboseli National Park

      • Enjoy the national park with one of the best panoramic views of Mount Kilimanjaro
      • Explore the wilderness in search for wildlife in the park including four of The Big Five
      • Indulge in the natural landscapes of Kenya as drive through one of Africa’s most scenic national parks

      When to Visit – The drier months of the Southern Hemisphere’s winter are prime time to experience this park of Kenya, the best time to visit Amboseli is from the end of May to the end of September and enjoy mild days and cool nights with quality game viewing guaranteed.

      • Maasai Mara National Reserve

      Masai Mara is the most famous Wildlife Safari Destination in Kenya located in the southwest of the country bordering Tanzania, this iconic reserve offers some of the best game viewing in Africa. Its wide-open plains provide a sanctuary for an abundance of animals like elephants, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, hyenas and Mara’s famous big cats – lion, leopard and cheetah.

      Masai Mara National Park is the quintessential safari destination and the place most first-time safari goers look to experience on Maasai Mara safaris.

      Highlights of Masai Mara National Reserve

      • Witness the Annual Great Migration – the greatest wildlife spectacle on Earth, the largest migration of land animals ever witness on earth
      • Explore the vast savannahs with exceptional safari guides, inviting lodges and premier camps
      • Take advantage to discover the wilderness of Masai Mara in search for the Big Five and herds of other game

       When to Visit – The Great Migration in Masai Mara Kenya usually occurs around July and again in reserve around the end of October to provide the best – game viewing opportunities. Birding in Masai Mara is wonderful in January and February, the Southern Hemisphere’s winter months of June to August are known as the peak safari period.

      Masai Mara is one of the few safari destinations that assures you of a great wildlife experience any time of the year. 

      • Laikipia

      Located in the central region of Kenya, Laikipia County runs across vast open plains, dense hilly areas and impressive mountain ranges. The county overlooks the Ewaso Nyiro River and is home to vast herds of elephants and buffaloes, it is also one of the few places where wild dog populations are on the rise and black rhinos are a huge success story with around half of the country’s population of these critically endangered animals found here.

      Highlights of Laikipia County

      • Find a refuge for large number of endangered black rhinos and other captivating wildlife such as giraffe, kudus, waterbucks, elands and leopards
      • Revel in the wilderness from a different perspective on walking and horseback – riding safaris
      • Discover the active colors, songs and hunting prowess of the impressive avifauna with distinctive bird watching opportunities

      When to Visit – for optimum game viewing, the drier months of June through to September are perfect, if you are an avid bird watcher, the best time to visit is in January and February.

      • Lake Nakuru National Park

      Located in west-central Kenya approximately three hours from Nairobi City, Lake Nakuru National Park hosts a captivating lake in the Great Rift Valley, visiting this destination will add a splash of color to your safari in Africa.

       Highlights of Lake Nakuru

      • See thousands of flamingoes that cover the shimmering waters of the lake as they forage, rest and cast a slightly pink hue across the water.
      • Search the landscape amongst the shrubs and along the shoreline to find vibrant wildlife such as crocodiles and baboons

      When to Visit – the best time to visit Lake Nakuru National Park is during the dry season between June and September. 

      3. Namibia

       Namibia is the soul of Africa characterized by vast open spaces, breathtaking scenery and great contrasts. The country to home iconic and richly rewarding safari destinations, Namibia continues to be safe, friendly and diverse country to visit.

      Namibia has so many incredible places to see and experience, from Red desert scenery, a breathtaking canyon and an eerie yet serene coastline summing up the fascinating country of Namibia.

      The town of Swakopmund has a strong German influences which is fascinating to experience and spending time with the Himba tribes as its people sharing their lifestyle and environment offers you unforgettable experience.

      The ghostly Kolmanskop is a captivating and spending time exploring the Bushmen painting at Twyfelfontein and marveling at the petrified rocks at Vingerklip round up a magnificent experience of the following places. 

      • Etosha National Park

      Situated in the North of Namibia, Etosha National Park is a perfect destination for safari goers who want to explore more than the famous dunes, san culture and quaint coastal towns of Namibia.  

      Highlights of Etosha National Park

      • Witness the Big Five roaming freely through the park during the dry winter months
      • Discover elephants and a variety of buck as they gather at waterholes amid – arid open savannahs

      When to visit: consider visiting during the drier winter months of the Southern Hemisphere between June and September for optimum game viewing. The days are cooler too, making the destination good to visit all year round. 

      • Namib Naukluft

      The Namin Naukluft is the largest game park in Africa covering part of the Namib Desert, the park is situated on the southwest coast of Namibia.

      Highlights of Namib Naukluft

      • Visit the key highlight at Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan surrounded by magnificent rusty-red sand dunes
      • Explore the Sesriem Canyon, an impressive gorge carved by the Tsauchab River

      When to visit – the best time to visit is during the cooler, South Hemisphere Winter months of May to September

      4. Rwanda

       Referred to as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda is one of the best safari countries in Africa thanks to its unique environment and kind, welcoming people providing one-of-a kind experience.

      Rwanda is characterized by its impressive biodiversity, volcanoes and highland rainforests that are home to the gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda combines well with other East African destinations such as Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania or Botswana and others.

      There is also Nyungwe Forest National Park – home to the primates where chimpanzees frolic and the skies are filled with a myriad of birds. In the low lying eastern Rwanda, Akagera National Park offers big game viewing in a diverse savannah setting with iconic safari animals including lions and elephants among others.

      • Volcanoes National Park

      Volcanoes National Park is one of the most iconic places in Rwanda to visit for African safari, the park is located in northwestern part of Rwanda and is part of the Virunga Conservation Area covering more than 48 square miles.

      Volcanoes National Park is home to five extinct volcanoes, the Muhabura, Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Karisimbi, and Bisoke.

      Highlights of Volcanoes National Park

      • Venture deep into the dense jungle of Rwanda to uncover the endangered mountain gorillas
      • Trek through the lush forests and trees to see the rare and rambunctious golden monkeys
      • Enjoy wilderness hikes that take you into the rainforest for unique views and experiences with prolific birdlife

      When to Visit – the best time is during the cooler, drier months of May to the end of August. A shorter dry season runs from Mid-December to early February, a perfect time for bird lovers.

      5. South Africa

        Definitely South Africa is one of the top safari destinations in Africa, and with its unparalleled natural reserves and breathtaking scenery, you can easily be immersed in the wonder of the Big Five and other majestic wildlife. 

        South Africa offers a wide range of malaria-free reserves and parks, and with safari options available options available around the country, a trip to South Africa is easily combined with visit to other parts of the country for a mind-blowing introduction to a South Africa safari for individuals, family or couples, or a safari with South Africa food and wine tour.

        The country has exception wildlife to see and here are some of the best places you can explore on your holiday /tour 

        • Kruger National Park

        This is one of the most famous safari parks in Africa, Kruger National Park lies on the northeastern border of South Africa and Mozambique covering an area of 2 million hectares of unrivaled diversity of life forms.

        Highlights of Kruger National Park

        • Explore the breadth of the Kruger National Park to find some of safari’s most notable wildlife including the Big Five (lion, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos) and so much more.
        • A day of game drives in Kruger National Park takes you deep into changing landscapes across the park’s distinctive ecosystems.
        • Enjoy discovering the Kruger with a specially trained guide as you travel in a private vehicle or an open 4×4

        When to Visit – the best time is during the cooler, drier months of May to September to get optimum game viewing. Avoid visiting the park during school holidays as many locals enjoy the park at this time.

        Generally, Kruger National Park is a year-round destination with fascinating wildlife viewing, regardless of the season. 

        • Sabi Sands National Park

        Lying adjacent to the World-renowned Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands offers a private safari experience with game drives conducted in a small, private area on a very popular safari circuit. 

        Highlights Sabi Sands National Park

        • Indulge in the comforts and attention provided by a private game reserve as you find game viewing on small sections of land
        • Delight in the opportunity to see more wildlife at your leisure and pace, while also seeing fewer vehicles while you traverse this prime safari region

        When to Visit – The best time is during the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere that is from May to September, with mild days, low grass and fantastic game viewing. 

        • Hluhluwe National Park

        Situated in the Kwazulu – Natal Province, inland of South Africa’s east coast, it is about four hours from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.

        Highlights of the Hluhluwe National Park

        • Have an opportunity to spot the rare rhinoceros, Hluhluwe is one of the best destinations for spotting wildlife in their natural habitat.
        • Enjoy the lushness of the hills and the picturesque scenery that creates an unforgettable safari experience in South Africa’s old national park

        When to visit: The best time is during the dry months of June, July and August, these months are best for game viewing. The rainy season from late December through to February hinders wildlife sightings. 

        • Madikwe Reserve

        This fascinating reserve is situated in North West Province of South Africa, near the Botswana Border and the Kalahari Desert. The reserve boasts malaria-free status.

        Highlights of Madikwe Reserve

        • Explore this fascinating reserve famous for wild dog sightings and strong conservation efforts focused on the preservation of wild dog packs
        • Discover the freedom of a safari experience in a malaria-free zone

        When to visit – the best time to enjoy safari is during the Southern Hemisphere winter months from June to September. Daytime temperatures are mild, with low grass offering incredible wildlife sightings.

        6. Tanzania

         Tanzania is one of the biggest safari experiences in Africa with must see destinations such as Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar Islands.

        The Tanzania’s northern circuit is a popular safari circuit and is where most safaris in Tanzania take place, the Serengeti Great Migration Safaris and luxury game adventures in Tanzania appeal to all safari goers, in local and style, with famous game parks fiving way to lesser-known reserves for visitors seeking something more or different.

         There are so much to explore and see in Tanzania during your African safari.

        • Ngorongoro Crater “Ngorongoro Conservation Area”

        The world’s famous intact and unfilled caldera and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro Crater is located in the highlands of Tanzania approximately 110 miles west of Africa and forms part of Tanzania’s northern safari circuit.

        Highlights of Ngorongoro Crater

        • Explore the crater, a key feature in the conservation area and your safari to Ngorongoro as you travel around one of the world’s largest inactive volcanic calderas.
        • Enjoy sightings of the Big Five in an incredible setting that provides a memorable combination

        When to Visit – the best time is during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter months from May through September to enjoy an incredible safari experience. If you want to witness the birthing season of the Wildebeest, visit in January or February and is witnessed in the Ndutu Plains. 

        • Serengeti National Park

        The word famous Serengeti National Park is located in the northern part of Tanzania sharing a border with Kenya, Serengeti is also the most famous safari destination in Tanzania renowned for the Wildebeest Migration and the Big Five. 

        Highlights of Serengeti National Park

        • Embark on game drives in search of an incredible amount of wildlife, open savannahs, rocky outcrops and five famous rivers
        • Wander the exciting stage of the Great Migration as you witness one of the ultimate safari experiences

        When to Visit – to catch the Great Migration, visit in October or November to watch thousands of wildebeest cross from Serengeti to Masai Mara.

        • Tarangire National Park

        The iconic Tarangire National Park known for its spectacular landscape dotted with baobab trees and large herds of elephants is located in the northern part of Tanzania in the Manyara region. The park is named after the Tarangire River that runs through it. 

        Highlights of Tarangire National Park

        • Enjoy game drives with sightings of large herds of elephants and other animals along the Tarangire River
        • Search for the iconic baobab trees doted around the landscape

        When to Visit – the best time is during the dry season from June to October.

        7. Uganda

        Uganda – The Pearl of Africa is one of the top Africa safari countries with a fantastic diversity of landscape, flora and fauna, birdlife, culture and hospitable people.

        Fascinating wildlife encounters in Uganda include gorilla, chimpanzee trekking and game viewing which are a highlight of an Africa Safari to Uganda.

        Uganda is a gem and offers a unique safari and scenery experience at the following must see destinations.  

        • Queen Elizabeth National Park

        Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular wildlife destination in Uganda located in the western Uganda, between the Kazinga Channel and Lake George and Lake Albert.

        Highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park

        • Enjoy the prolific birdlife and sightings of wildlife along the Kazinga Channel on a boat cruise
        • Spot the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector, southern region of Queen Elizabeth National Park

        When to Visit – Queen Elizabeth National Park can be visited any time of the year. However, the dry and cooler months of June and July are the best time for wildlife sightings. For birders, the best time is January and February. 

        • Murchison Falls National Park

        Named after Murchison Falls – the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls National Park is in the northern part of Uganda, just northwest of Kampala – the capital of Uganda. 

        Highlights of the Murchison Falls National Park

        • Experience the alluring thunder of Murchison Falls – the most powerful waterfalls in the world
        • Explore the diverse wildlife habitat

        When to visit – June and July or January and February are the best time for wildlife viewing, the wet months of April and May and August to October are the best for bird watching.

        • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

        Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the best place in the world to see the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, the misty forested park covers around 120 square miles and lies in Southwestern Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.

        Highlights of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

        Spend either one hour or four hours in the presence of the endangered mountain gorillas

        8. Zambia

        Zambia – the land of legendary walking safari is a southern Africa gem blessed with awe-inspiring natural wonders, a plethora of wildlife, huge water bodies and vast open spaces.

        The wide-open spaces and an abundance of wildlife are the two of the country’s major attractions, with walking safaris being a distinct highlight when exploring the best places to visit Zambia.

        Zambia’s incredible safari circuit is accompanied by the majestic Victoria Falls, which shares its glory with neighboring Zimbabwe. The country has many more excellent destinations to discover during your trip. 

        • Lower Zambezi National Park

          The lower Zambezi National Park is located in southwestern Zambia, along the north bank of the Zambezi River. 

          Highlights of Lower Zambezi National Park

          • Travel beneath big skies that offer incredible stargazing opportunities
          • Discover camps and lodges that are unfenced offering a vast exploration experience
          • Enjoy the pristine wilderness of the park and have quality experiences

          When to Visit – the best time is from June to September when it is drier and cooler

          • South Luangwa National Park

          This fascinating park is in the southwestern Zambia, in the valley of the Luangwa River and is referred to by the locals as “the South Park”.

          Highlights of South Luangwa National Park

          • Embark on game drives through grasslands, savannahs, riverine and woodlands discovering the splendor of South Luangwa National Park – one of the most beautiful parks in Uganda
          • For phenomena wildlife sightings, travel near the Luangwa River to find many animals gathering

          When to visit – the ideal time to visit is during the drier months of June through to September. Reach out to our team of knowledgeable safari consultants and let us plan your African safari.

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          Travel News

          The Most Popular Destinations To Visit In Tanzania

          Located in East Africa, Tanzania is known as one of the premier safari destinations in the whole world offering travelers the opportunity to witness the famous “Big Five”, the Great Migration which is an annual spectacular and the towering mountains including Mount Kilimanjaro – the tallest mountain on the planet.

          Tanzania has many fascinating destinations which are amazing to visit, here is the list to the most popular destinations to visit in this beautiful country referred to as the Canvas of Natural Beauty.

          1. Serengeti National Park

          The Iconic Serengeti National Park is one of the world’s most famous wildlife parks located in northern Tanzania and spanning across an impressive 15,000 square kilometers. The park is home to the most spectacular wildlife on earth including the Big Five and is host to the Great Migration.

          Serengeti National Park is named after the Maasai word “Siringet” meaning “endless plains”, the park is home to highest concentration of plain game in Africa and it features a remarkable “super pride” of 22 lions in Central Serengeti. Serengeti also boats over 500 bird species including grey crowned crane, Kori bustard, and Rufous-tailed weaver.

          Highlights of a Serengeti Safari is witnessing the Mara and Grumeti River crossing as animals navigate the challenging waters during their epic journey.

          Tanzania Safari Activities to do in Serengeti National Park include balloon safaris, game drive safaris, witness the Great Migration, walking safaris, camping safaris, cultural safaris

          • Ngorongoro Conservation Area

          Situated west of Arusha City, Ngorongoro Conservation Area covering about 8,292 square kilometers is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 thanks to its impressive Ngorongoro Crater – the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world.

          Ngorongoro Crater is home to diverse wildlife population of around 25,000 animals including ungulate, four of the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros) and other large animals.

          Ngorongoro Conservation Area is famous for hosting one of the densest population of Masai lions and plays a vital role in supporting the Great Migration of wildebeests and other herbivores.

          Tanzania safari activities to do in Ngorongoro Conservation Area include game drive safaris, walking safaris, birding safaris, photography safaris and cultural visits to Maasai Villages.

          • Ruaha National Park

          Ruaha National Park is a wilderness escape covering an area of 20,000 square kilometers, this remote park become Tanzania’s largest national park in 2008 when it merged with the nearby Usangu Game Reserve and is home to around 10% of the world’s lion population and ranks third in Africa for its wild dog population.

          Ruaha National Park is rich with wildlife including over 10,000 elephants, about 30,000 buffaloes, over 20,000 zebras and various other animals as well as 400 bird species.

          Tanzania Safari activities to do in Ruaha National Park include game drives safari, walking safaris, boat safaris, cultural visits and night safaris.

          • Tarangire National Park

          Tarangire National Park – Elephant Haven and Home of Iconic Baobab trees is located in the northeastern Tanzania, close to Arusha covering an area of 2,850 square kilometers.

          The park is named after the Tarangire River which flows through the park, Tarangire is well known for its diverse wildlife especially its large elephant population including impressive tuskers, the also hosts wildlife migration which includes wildebeests, elephants, gazelles, zebras, hartebeests and buffaloes moving to Tarangire River during the dry season.

          This annual migration attracts predators and bird enthusiasts, also the park is home to the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinos.

          Tanzania Safari activities to do in Tarangire National Park include game drive safari, walking safari, night game drives and balloon safaris.

          • Dar Es Salaam

          Dar Es Salaam crowned “The House of Peace” is the Tanzania largest city, located on the east coast of Africa and is a major commercial and financial hub. The city is known for its bustling atmosphere, diverse culture and vibrant markets.

          Originally a fishing village in the mid-19th century, the city has transformed into a popular tourist destination boasting significant ports and trading centers.

          Dar Es Salaam offers a range of attractions, from its stunning beaches along the Indian Ocean to its historical landmarks and museums and acts as a gateway to Tanzania’s famous national parks. Visitors to the city can immerse themselves in Tanzania’s cultural heritage at places like the National Museum and Village Museum. For a taste of authentic local life, the bustling Kariakoo Market provides a colorful and lively experience.

          • Zanzibar

          The capitivating islands of Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, just over 15 miles from Tanzania’s coast. The island is famous for its stunning beaches like Nungwi, Kendwa and Paje as well as its rich history and unique blend of African and Arab culture.

          The historic Stone Town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its fascinating architecture and historical significance.

          Things to do in Zanzibar include guided walk in Stone Town, visiting people’s Palace, eating at the Rock Restaurant, swimming in the dolphins in Matemwe, forested walk in Jozani Forest, beach experience at Mtende Beach, Kendwa Beach, Spice Tour, visiting Darajani Market and Forodhani Gardens.

          • Lake Manyara National Park

          Lake Manyara National Park is located in the Great Rift Valley Region of Tanzania covering about 330 square kilometers, the park gets its name from Lake Manyara – an alkaline lake which covers a significant portion of the park.

          Lake Manyara National Park is renowned for its diverse wildlife especially the large elephant herds and the rare tree climbing lions, the park is home to four of the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard) expect for rhinos.

          Lake Manyara National Park is also home to cheetahs, Masai giraffe, impala, olive baboon, blue monkeys, bushbucks, klipspringer and hippos. The park is also a birder’s haven hosting over 400 bird species including thousands of pink flamingoes near the lake’s shores.

          Tanzania Safari activities to do in Lake Manyara National Park include game drive safari, canoeing, walking safaris, bird watching safari and night safaris

          • Mount Kilimanjaro National Park

          Stretching around the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro – the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is situated in northeast Tanzania covering an area of about 1,688 square kilometers. The park is famous for Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest point reaching 5895 meters at its peak.

          Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is famously known for mountain climbing adventures attracting travelers from all over the world to conquer Africa’s highest peak.

          Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s Rooftop has three volcanic cones – Mawenzi, Kibo and Shira making it one of the Earth’s largest volcanoes.

          Mount Kilimanjaro National Park features various vegetation zones from lower slopes and montane forests to heath and moorland, alpine desert and the summit. The park is home to diverse wildlife habitat including cape buffaloes, elephants, blue monkeys, eastern black and white colobuses, bush babies and leopards among others.

          Tanzania Safari activities to do in Mount Kilimanjaro National Park include Mountain climbing, Mountain Cycling, Game Drive, Nature walking safaris, long walking safaris,

          • Nyerere National Park

          Spanning 30,893 square kilometers, Nyerere National Park located in Southeastern Tanzania is the largest standalone national park in Africa and one of the world’s largest protected areas. This park is greatly unexplored thanks to its immense size and is famous for its abundant wildlife.

          Nyerere National Park hosts a dense population of various wildlife species including the iconic Big Five – lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos, hippos, giraffe, endangered wild dogs, sable antelopes and around 450 species of birds recorded.

          Tanzania Safari activities to do in Nyerere National Park include game drive safari, walking safaris, boat safari in Rufiji river, fishing, hot air balloon and fly camping.

          1. Mikumi National Park

          Mikumi National Park located near Morogoro in Tanzania is a vast wildlife reserve that borders the famous Selous Game Reserve covering 3,230 square kilometers, the spectacular destination provides opportunities to encounter four of the big five animals excluding the rhinos.

          The Mkata floodplain in the park is a great place to observe majestic lions, the floodplains also has a thriving population of African wild Dogs, a sizable eland population and unique midget elephants distinct from larger African elephants found elsewhere.

          In size, Mikumi National Park is the fourth – largest park in Tanzania. In addition to the Big Five, the park is home to a unique giraffe species that is the Masaai and reticulated giraffe and over 400 bird species.

          Tanzania Safari activities to do in Mikumi National Park include game drive safaris, walking safaris, night safaris, bird watching safaris among others.

          1. Gombe Stream National Park

          Situated in Tanzania’s Kigoma Region, Gombe Stream Natioonal Park is the smallest national park in Tanzania at just 35 square kilometers. The park is highly significant and is closely linked to the renowned primatologist Jane Goodall who groundbreaking research transformed our understanding of primates as well as wildlife conservation.

          Gombe Stream National Park is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika.

          The wild chimpanzees are the highlight of Gombe Stream National Park and offers a special chance to see the Kasakela Chimpanzee Community, the park is also home to a lively primate population including beachcomber olive baboons, red colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys and vervet monkeys among other various wildlife.

          Tanzania safari activities to do in Gombe Stream National Park include chimpanzee tracking experience, guided nature walks and hiking safaris, boat safaris, visiting Kakombe waterfall among others.

          1. Jambian Village

          Jambian Village is a collection of villages located on the southeastern coast of Zanzibar which is part of the Unguja Island, the village is known for its stunning beaches where visitors can enjoy a relaxed beach holiday.

          Jambian Village is a perfect destination for travelers seeking for a relaxed and slow-paced life amidst the tropical beauty of Tanzania, the village was originally an old fishing village and is a great example of sustainable development and tourism.

          Things to do in Jambian Village include spending a day at Jambian Beach, visiting Kuza Cave, Dhow Sailing, visiting Paje Beach and guided walk in Jozani Forest among others.

          1. Arusha National Park

          Situated northeast of Arusha City, Arusha National Park spans around 552 square kilometers featuring the fifth highest mountain in Tanzania – Mount Meru. This spectacular park is famous for its diverse wildlife particularly the world’s largest giraffe population, though it has no Big Five, the park is home to plenty of other wildlife species including cape buffaloes, elephants, hippos and zebras among others.

          Climbing Mount Meru is a highlight activity in Arusha National Park, other things to do in the park include game drive safaris, walking safaris, canoeing safaris at Momella Lake and Ngurdoto Crater.

          1. Arusha City

          Often dubbed the “Safari Capital” of Tanzania, Arusha City is a beautiful small town nestled in the country’s northern region. Arusha is where most safari to the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit start from including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and exploring the famous national parks – Serengeti, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park.

          Arusha City has a number of amazing sites you can visit including The Cultural Heritage Centre, Arusha National Park, Lake Natron, Uhuru Torch Monument among others.

          Have you been interested in visiting any of these destinations on a Tanzania safari or have you picked interest in any of these destinations? Reach out and let us plan your visit to Tanzania with Mantis Africa Safaris.

          Categories
          Travel News

          A Tanzania Wildlife Safari Experience

          Dubbed as the “Capital of Safari, Tanzania ranks among the must visit African destinations for wildlife enthusiasts. With the famous wildebeest migration in the Serengeti and rich wildlife including the Big 5- lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and cape buffaloes, endemic species of the country in both terrestrial and marine species protected in various protected areas including marine national parks, game reserves and sanctuaries.

          Tanzania is a country in East Africa located on the Eastern coast thus attracting visitors from various coastal activities including those looking for a beach holiday on Zanzibar coast’s crystal white beaches lined with palm trees looking to also experience the marine wildlife.

          Tanzania has designated 25% of its land to protected areas – wildlife sanctuaries, reserves and national park, without doubt it is among the highest in the world.

          Tanzania wildlife safari experiences are majorly done in the Northern Circuit including Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Arusha National Park and Kilimanjaro National Park among others.

          Other circuits of Tanzania where wildlife safari experience are done include

          The Southern Tanzania Circuit hosting the remote parks like Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park and Mikumi National Park.

          The Western Tanzania Circuit hosting Mahale National Park, Katavi National Park and Gombe Stream National Park.

          The Best Places to See Wildlife in Tanzania

          Wildlife is the main reason why Tanzania is visited by millions of travelers from all over the world.

           If witnessing the various species of wildlife in Tanzania during your African safari, here are the best places in Tanzania to visit for wildlife safari experience. 

          1. Serengeti National Park

          Serengeti National Park is not only the oldest national park in Tanzania but the best places to spotting wildlife on a Tanzania Wildlife Safari, the park attracts at least 350,000 visitors every year and was crowned the Africa’s Best Safari Africa of 2024.

          Serengeti National Park is the number one pick for safari destination in Africa to many travelers’ thanks to the World’s largest annual migration of approximately 2 million wildebeests which occurs in the park and abundant wildlife.

          Located in northern Tanzania, Serengeti is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet, stretching to the Masai Mara in Kenya to form the might Mara – Serengeti Ecosystem – the oldest ecosystem in the world. In this ecosystem, the climate, plants and animals have barely changed over the past one million years, making it also one of the least disturbed ecosystems on earth.

          Serengeti is home to all Africa’s Big Five, Serengeti is a wildlife lover’s dream with a chance to see various animals like lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and elands among others. Serengeti is also a haven for bird watchers with over 500 species of birds including Black-headed gonolek, Fischer’s lovebird, Green-backed woodpecker, Grey-backed fiscal, Grey-breasted spurfowl, Grey-crested helmet-shrike, Hildebrandt’s starling, Red-capped robin-chat, Rufous-tailed weaver, Rüppell’s vulture, Schalow’s turaco, Silverbird, Southern ground hornbill, Usambiro barbet, Verreaux’s eagle, Yellow-throated sandgrouse among others.

          Top Highlights of Serengeti National Park

          • One of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
          • The annual Great Migration of more than 1.5 million wildebeest across the plains of the Sernegeti to the Masai Mara
          • One of the best destinations in Africa to spot wildlife, home to all of Africa’s Big Five as well as rarer species
          • Thrilling hot air balloon safaris at dawn
          • Stunning, diverse geography and scenery.

          2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area

          Named as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a unique destination where both humans and wildlife harmonious co-exist.

          Located in the Crater Highlands of Northern Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the most famous wildlife safari spots in Tanzania. Ngorongoro Crater which is the largest intact caldera in the world is home to remarkable abundance and diversity of wildlife, this ancient volcanic caldera spanning 260 square kilometres is surrounded by a 600-meter-high crater wall and is home to over 25,000 large animals.

          Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the few places in Africa where you can see all the Big Five – lion, elephants, leopards, rhino and buffaloes in a single day, the conservation area also protects Tanzania’s last remaining population of the endangered black rhino.

          In Ngorongoro Conservation Area, you will have a chance to see spotted hyenas, cheetahs, the elusive leopard, large herds of buffaloes, gazelles, wildebeests, giraffes, the endangered Africa wild dog, hippos and huge pink flocks of flamingos at the soda lakes such as Lake Magadi in the crater.

          Top Highlights of Ngorongoro Conservation Area

          • One of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
          • Resident population of the endangered black rhinos
          • One of the few places where you can see all of Africa’s Big Five in a single day
          • Incredible wildlife viewing all year round
          • One of the most unique safari destinations with a stunning natural backdrop
          • Visit the local Maasai culture and the ancient hominid fossils of Olduvai Gorge

          3.  Ruaha National Park

          As one of the largest national parks in Tanzania, Ruaha National Park formed after joining the Usangu Game Reserve in 2008 is one of the country’s best kept safari secrets and home to massive wildlife populations.

          Located in Southern Tanzania, the park is only accessible by airplane. The park is wildly remote and bursting with wildlife making it the ideal escape from the well beaten safari track.

          Ruaha National Park’s beautiful landscapes are made up of vast open plains, rolling hills, ancient baobab trees and the Great Ruaha River, the heart of the national park.  Animals in the park are drawn to this great river to drink and hunt for prey and the park is home to an incredible abundance of diversity of wildlife.

          Ruaha is home to about 12,000 elephants, one of the largest populations in Tanzania, you will also find cheetah, leopard, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackal, large prides of lions, giraffe, zebras, buffalo, waterbucks, hartebeests, kudu, impalas, bushbuck, roan, gazelles, the endangered African wild dog and other species of antelope.

          Top Highlights of Ruaha National Park

          • Remote location and only accessible by plane
          • Exceptional wildlife viewing without crowds
          • One of the best destinations to see African wild dogs
          • Home to unusual antelope species
          • Home to some of the largest herds of elephants in East Africa
          • Go fly camping and sleep under the stars.

          4. Tarangire national park

          Ranking as the 6th largest National Park in Tanzania at about 2,600 square kilometers, Tarangire National Park is one of the amazing destinations to visit for wildlife safari experience in Tanzania. The park is renowned for its large herds of elephants compared to any other park in Tanzania, it features amazing landscape with diverse habitats such as wetland, woodland and is dotted with acacia and baobab trees.

          Tarangire National Park is located in the Manyara Region of Northern Tanzania, approximately 2 hours from Arusha.

          Tarangire National Park is home to a variety of wildlife including large herds of elephants, leopards, cheetahs, lions, African wild dogs, hippos, hyenas, zebras and more than 500 bird species including Kori Bustard, Pygmy Falcon, Northern white crowned shrike, Yellow necked spurfowl, Black necked weaver, White faced whistling duckand Ashy Starling making it a birder’s haven.

          Top Highlights of Tarangire National Park

          • One of the biggest elephant population in Northern Tanzania
          • Highly concentration wildlife viewing during the dry season
          • Excellent birding opportunities
          • Night safaris and walking safaris
          • Spectacular scenery famed for its ancient baobab trees

          5. Lake Manyara National Park

          Home to the rare tree climbing lions, Lake Manyara National Park is a great Tanzania Safari Destination to visit for wildlife safari experience located between Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.

          Lake Manyara National Park lies between Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley, sitting on an area of approximately 325 sq.km of which 230 sq.km is occupied by the soda lake – Lake Manyara. The park is renowned for its unique ecosystems bursting with diverse wildlife, at least 11 different ecosystems, groundwater forests, floodplains, hot springs and open savannahs.

          Lake Manyara National Park boasts one of the world’s highest concentrations of large mammals, animals you will spot in the park include the famous tree climbing lions, wildebeests, zebras, buffaloes, giraffe, warthogs, impala and waterbucks. The park is also home to primates include to baboon, vervet monkey, common monkey and nocturnal bushbabies.

          Top Highlights of Lake Manyara National Park

          • The rare tree-climbing lions
          • Huge herds of elephants
          • Highly concentrated wildlife in a relatively small park
          • Excellent bird watching
          • Unique and beautiful natural scenery
          • Night safaris and hiking adventures

          6. Arusha National Park

          Located just outside Arusha City, Arusha National Park is a small yet rich in wildlife national park. The park can be accessed with an easy day trip from the city centre.

          Arusha National Park is one of the country’s most exciting parks with plenty of activities to do such as game drive, canoe safaris and bush camping. Due to lack of predators in the park, walking safari can be done in the park.

          Arusha National Park is home to one of the country’s largest populations of giraffe, buffaloes, zebras, waterbuck, bushbuck and other species of antelope. Other animals to lookout for include elephants, hippos and shy dik-diks and red forest duikers which roam the region.

          In the Ngurdoto Forest, there is a population of primates including blue monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys.

          The park is a great destination for bird enthusiasts with over 400 different bird species recorded, including the bright pink flocks of flamingoes that cover the shores of the Momella Lakes. With open grassland, dense forest, glittering lakes and the Ngurdoto Crater “known as Little Ngorongoro”, Arusha National Park is scenically stunning.

          To spice up your wildlife safari experience in Arusha National Park, consider climbing the nearby Mount Meru, Tanzania’s second highest mountain.

          Top Highlights of Arusha National Park

          • Excellent populations of giraffes and primates
          • Prime birding destination in Tanzania
          • Walking safaris, canoe safaris and bush camping

          7. Nyerere National Park (Selous Game Reserve)

          Formerly Selous Game Reserve, Nyerere National Park is Africa’s largest game drive at size of 30,893 km ² and an extraordinary amount of wildlife. The park is a perfect destination for an off-the-beaten wildlife safari in Tanzania.

          Located in southern Tanzania, a remote region far from the crowds of the more popular parks in the Northern Circuit. Visitors to the Nyerere National Park will find a much quieter yet just as impressive Tanzania safari experience.

          Nyerere National Park’s abundant wildlife include elephants, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, impalas, wildebeests, eland, hyenas, the African wild dog and the critically endangered black rhinos

          Top Highlights in Nyerere National Park

          • Largest game reserve in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
          • One of the few destinations in Africa to see African wild dogs
          • Excellent lion population and sightings
          • Prime wildlife viewing during the dry season without the crowds
          • Boat safaris

          Best Time for Wildlife Safari Experience in Tanzania

          For a classic wildlife safari experience in Tanzania is during the dry season from June to October, during these months of the year there is no rainfall, wildlife congregates around water holes and rivers creating the best possible game viewing experience. However for the tourists looking for less crowds, the wet season could be the best to visit Tanzania. Get in touch with our knowledgeable team of consultants and let us discuss further.

          Categories
          Travel News

          Best Safari Parks in East Africa

          East Africa is a popular safari region in Africa with extraordinary cultures, people, stunning landscapes, wildlife and historical significance. This amazing safari region has many safari destinations worth exploring including the untamed wonders of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda which make up this region, featuring stirring scenes of wildlife, fascinating human cultures and incredible landscapes.

          East Africa is the birthplace and home of the Africa safari where angulates stampede in their millions across the savannah plains, these amazing destinations offer excellent game viewing experiences, birding safaris, primate trekking experience including the magical encounter with mountain gorillas and golden monkeys among others.

          Here is a list of the top adventurous safari destinations in East Africa

          Serengeti National Park – Tanzania

          Home to the Great Migration and teeming with abundant wildlife and birdlife, Serengeti National Park is a World Heritage Site and one of the adventurous safari destinations in East Africa.

          The Serengeti is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated national parks and a perfect piece of true African wilderness, its great rolling grasslands and golden savannah give an awe-inspiring sense of space and support abundant wildlife including zebras, buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, gazelles and antelopes among others.

          Serengeti National Park is the oldest park in Africa, the park is home to the Big Five and hosts The Great Annual Migration when millions of wildebeests and zebras migrate through its vast grassland plains and tangled riverine forest to Masai Mara in Kenya and back.

          The extensive southern Serengeti plains are the best for watching the wildebeest before they embark on their annual journey, the ungulates congregate in the southern breeding grounds between December and May to feed on the new pastures, give birth and take care of their young before continuing their annual trek to the western corridor. 

          Serengeti National Park boasts the largest population of lions in Africa and is the best destination in East Africa to watch the big cats at their best hunting games.

          Safari activities to do in Serengeti include game viewing, hot air balloon safaris, guided nature walks, witnessing the Great Migration and cultural safaris to the Masai people.  

          Masai Mara National Reserve – Kenya

          Masai Mara is the most iconic wildlife safari destination in Africa offering an “Out of Africa” experience, the “Mara” means “spotted” in the Maa language which is spoken by the area’s ancestral residents referring to how the Mara is dotted with acacia trees and craters.

          Masai Mara’s wide plains provide an oasis-like sanctuary for an abundance of wildlife like lions, leopards, buffaloes, zebras, hyenas, giraffes and host the Great Migration – the largest migration land mammal ever witnessed on earth with over 2 million wildebeests accompanied by thousands of zebras and gazelles.

          Masai Mara National Reserve is contingent with northern Serengeti and is situated in the southwest of Kenya, the land of the Maasai – a semi nomadic pastoralists who live off their herds of cattle and known to be excellent warriors.

           When the dry period starts in June in the southern Serengeti, large herds of wildebeests traverse the Mara River into the Masai Mara National Reserve to feast on fresh and succulent savannah. The herds stay in Masai Mara devouring on its grasslands until November and then cross back into the Serengeti. 

          The Mara River which flows from Kenya through the Masai Mara region and continues across the border into north Serengeti is the greatest obstacle of the migrating, the river is filled with crocodiles which feast on the herds as they attempt to cross. 

          Masai Mara National Reserve is home to a year-round concentration of game thus being a photographer’s and naturalist’s paradise. On a safari in the Mara, you can easily spot elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lion, cheetah, migratory wildebeests, zebras, the endangered black rhinos, hippos and enormous crocodiles found in the Mara River.

          The reserve is also home to over 450 bird species including African finfoot, African wood owl, Ayres’s hawk eagle, Cinnamon-breasted bunting, Denham’s bustard, Giant kingfisher, Grey-crested helmet-shrike, Grey penduline tit, Hildebrandt’s starling, Jackson’s widowbird, Lazy cisticola, Ostrich, Purple grenadier, Red-throated tit, Ross’s turaco, Rosy-throated longclaw, Rufous-bellied heron, Rufous-throated wryneck, Saddle-billed stork, Schalow’s turaco, Secretary bird, Silverbird, Southern ground hornbill and Swahili sparrow among others.

          Safari activities to do in Masai Mara include game drive safaris, birding safaris, witness the great migration, hot air balloon safaris, guided natural works, horseback riding safaris and cultural safaris.

          Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda

          Spreading out on the base of Five of the 8 Virunga extinct volcano mountains, Volcanoes National Park is a dramatic, misty tropical jungle protecting Rwanda’s side of the misty mountain and some of the last mountain gorillas roaming in the forested mountain slopes.

          Volcanoes National Park is one of the best places to see mountain gorillas and is best known for mountain gorilla trekking, in the ancient forest dominating the park is where Diani Fossey established her base dedicated to research to save these gentle giants and is the scene – setting of “Gorillas in The Mist” – a 1998 adaptation of wildlife experience primatologist’s autobiography.

          Volcanoes National Park lies about 3 hours from Kigali – the capital city of Rwanda, the park is part of the Virunga Volcanoes which is shared between Uganda, Rwanda and DR.Congo.

          Gorilla trekking is undeniably the main reason why thousands of tourists chose to visit Volcanoes National Park, the park has 10 habituated gorilla families open for gorilla trekking. Visitors get a chance to spend 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas on this exhilarating jungle adventure. 

          A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $ 1,500.

          Volcanoes National Park is also home to the endangered golden monkeys, there are also over 200 bird species with a number of Albertine rift endemic including Grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori double –collared Sunbird, handsome francolin, strange weaver, dusky crimson-wing, collared Apalis, red-faced woodland warbler and Archer’s ground robin among others.

          Other safari activities offered in Volcanoes National Park include birding safaris, golden monkey trekking, mountain hiking, cultural tours and Dian Fossey Tomb Tour. 

          Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Tanzania 

          Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World HeritageSite and a spectacular wildlife ecosystem spanning vast expanses of highland plains, savannah woodlands and forests, from the plains of Serengeti National Park in the northwest to the eastern arm of the Great Rift Valley in Northern Tanzania.

          Ngorongoro Conservation Area comprises of Ngorongoro Crater – the largest unfilled caldera in the world listed among the greatest natural wonders on earth, there is also the Olduvai Gorge – a 14 km long deep ravine and one of the most important paleoanthropological sites.

           Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the best safari holiday destinations to watch the famous “Big 5” game (elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos). The northern plains of the conservation area “Ndutu Plains” host the ungulates taking park in the Great Wildebeest Migration for their calving with thousands of calves born every day. 

          The Ngorongoro Crater is home to the highest concentration of mammals in the world with a population of more than 25,000 large animals, most ungulates alongside the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa including the densest population of lions ever known. 

          The most fascinating part of Ngorongoro Crater is the semi-nomadic Masai Tribe living and grazing their livestock alongside wild animals within Ngorongoro. 

          Safari Activities to do in Ngorongoro Conservation Area include game viewing safaris, guided nature walks, photographic safaris, visiting the Maasai and birding safaris.

          Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Uganda

          Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most famous safari destination in Uganda renowned for being the best place to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.

          Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to world’s most mountain gorilla individuals making up to over half of the remaining mountain gorilla individuals, the park is dominated by an ancient forest covering an area of 321 km. The forest lies on steep slippery valleys with ridges and hilltops.

          Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 because of its rich diversity different flora and fauna.

          Bwindi Forest is the best place to do gorilla trekking in the world with 20 habituated gorilla families open for gorilla tourism, this experience is done in four different sectors that are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo Sectors.

          Gorilla trekking in the main activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offering visitors a chance to have an encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas for one hour.

          For visitors who wish to spend more time with mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers the incredible Gorilla Habituation Experience on which tourists spend 4 hours with a semi-habituated gorilla family.

          Other safari activities offered in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include bird watching safaris, Nature and waterfalls walks, community walks and cultural experiences.

          Queen Elizabeth National Park – Uganda

          Named after the late ruler of Britain Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular wildlife safari destination in Uganda renowned for its wealth of biodiversity. Queen Elizabeth National Park is also the most visited safari destination in Uganda spanning 1,978 square kilometers, the park is strategically located in the Great Rift Valley between Lake Edward and Lake George providing a majestic overview of nature at its finest.

          Queen Elizabeth National Park is renowned for its diverse ecosystem which includes savannah grasslands, tropical forests, wetlands and volcanic features. The rich habitat supports an extraordinary variety of wildlife including four of the Africa’s Big Five – lions, elephants, buffaloes and leopards. The park is also home to over 600 bird species including African mourning dove, Swamp flycatcher, Grey headed kingfisher, pin-tailed whydah, slender-tailed nightjar and collared pratincole among others.

          Safari activities to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park include game viewing safaris, birding safaris, Boat safaris on Kazinga channel, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge and cultural encounters in the local communities.

          Kibale National Park – Uganda

          Crowned the Primate Capital of the World, Kibale National Park also known as Kibale Forest National Park is an enhancing wonderland beaming with ancient tropical rainforests and woodland.

          Kibale Forest National Park is the last stronghold for the highest concentration of primates on their entire African continent with chimpanzees being the most popular of all of them, the forest is home to 13 primate species including chimpanzees, bush babies, L’Hoest’s monkey, red colobus monkey, red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboon, blue monkey, Vervet monkeys and Potto.

          Kibale National Park is the premier site for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, the park is located in Western Uganda outside Fort Portal – a colonial Town and approximately 310 kilometers west of Kampala – the capital of Uganda.

          Apart from primates, Kibale National Park is home to over 250 species of butterflies, several species of primates and amphibians. There are also over 375 bird species including six endemic species to the Albertine Rift Area, other bird species include Red-chested owlet, Purple breasted sunbird, African Grey Parrot, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Crowned Eagle, little Greenbul, Black Bee eater, White-naped pigeon, andScaly-breasted Illadopsis,Western bronze-napped Pigeon, Nahan’s Francolin, Yellow-throated Nicator, White-headed Wood-hoopoe, Red Headed malimbe , Yellow-spotted barbet , Dusky-blue Flycatcher among others.

          Safari Activities in Kibale National Park include Chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzee habituation experience, bird watching safaris, nature and hiking walks and community walks and cultural experiences. 

          Kidepo Valley National Park – Uganda

          Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Africa’s most magnificent wilderness tucked in the northeastern corner of Uganda bordering Kenya and South Sudan, Kidepo is the third-largest national in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park.

          The park has a remote location in the extreme northeast of Karamoja sub-region, more than 500 km from Kampala, bordering South Sudan to the northwest and only 5 km from the eastern border with Kenya.

          Kidepo Valley National Park is notable for its rugged mountain scenery and compelling wilderness atmosphere which makes it one of the top adventurous safari destinations in East Africa.

          Kidepo’s thrilling game drives through Kidepo Valley plains offer visitors sightings of exceptional wildlife, here you find rare animals (some of which are not found elsewhere in Uganda like greater and lesser Kudu, eland and cheetah). In Kidepo Valley National Park, it is easy to spot lions, leopards, elephants among others.

           At a size of 556 sq (1,442 sq mi), Kidepo Valley National Park contains diverse landscapes, spanning from lush mountain ranges to vast savannah plains which are home to almost 500 bird species and 77 mammals.

          The heart of Kidepo Valley National Park is Narus Valley, a permanent wetland around the Narus Valley that attracts a swarm of wildlife populations from much of the northern Kidepo. In a hidden area of Kidepo Valley National Park is the Kanangorok Hot Springs which are a magnificent attraction.  

          Safari Activities to do in Kidepo Valley National Park include game viewing safaris, birding safaris, guided nature walks and hiking safari and cultural encounters. Mantis Africa safaris offers a number of these safari encounters so reach out to us and let us plan with and for you.

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          Where to spot the birds of East Africa

          Looking to spot the captivating birds of east africa, let us go through the mesmerizing landscapes of East Africa and unravel the breathtaking beauty of its avian creatures. With its diverse ecosystems and rich biodiversity, this region is a paradise for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. From the lush forests of Uganda to the vast savannahs of Kenya and Tanzania, East Africa offers an unparalleled opportunity to spot an astonishing array of bird species.

          As you delve deep into the heart of these extraordinary landscapes, you’ll witness the vibrant plumage and melodious calls of countless native and migratory birds. Whether you’re on a boat safari in the tranquil waters of Lake Victoria, hiking through the misty highlands of Rwanda, or exploring the pristine national parks, each day will be filled with awe-inspiring encounters with the winged wonders of East Africa.

          Guided by expert ornithologists and passionate local guides, you’ll not only witness iconic species like the African fish eagle and the majestic crowned crane but also have the chance to spot endangered and endemic birds unique to this region. Beyond the thrill of bird watching, you’ll also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultures and breathtaking landscapes that make East Africa a truly unforgettable destination.

          Embark on an unparalleled birding safari in East Africa and discover the true essence of its captivating beauty.

          The rich biodiversity of East Africa

          East Africa is renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity, making it a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts. Its diverse ecosystems, ranging from dense rainforests to expansive grasslands, harbor an astounding variety of bird species. The region is home to over 1,000 bird species, including some of the rarest and most sought-after birds in the world.

          In the forests of Uganda, you’ll have the chance to spot the magnificent Great Blue Turaco, with its vibrant blue and green plumage, and the elusive Shoebill Stork, an ancient and prehistoric-looking bird. The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is not only famous for its annual wildebeest migration but also for its abundant bird life, including the Kori Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the world. Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park is a haven for flamingos, with thousands of these elegant pink birds flocking to its alkaline waters.

          Popular birding destinations in East Africa

          East Africa offers a plethora of spectacular birding destinations that will leave you in awe of its natural wonders. One such destination is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Home to over 350 bird species, including 23 species endemic to the Albertine Rift and this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a birding paradise. The park’s mist-covered mountains and dense forests provide a mystical backdrop as you search for the rare African Green Broadbill or the beautiful Regal Sunbird.

          In Kenya, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is not only famous for its iconic wildlife but also for its diverse birdlife. The open grasslands and acacia woodlands attract a wide variety of birds, including the Secretary Bird, Martial Eagle, and Lilac-breasted Roller. The Mara River, which cuts through the reserve, is a hotspot for water birds such as African Jacanas and African Fish Eagles.

          Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is another must-visit destination for birdwatchers. This natural wonder is home to over 400 bird species, including the endangered Grey Crowned Crane and the impressive Verreaux’s Eagle. The crater’s unique ecosystem, with its grasslands, swamps, and forests, provides a habitat for a wide range of birdlife.

          The best time for birding in East Africa

          To make the most of your birding safari in East Africa, it’s important to plan your trip during the optimal time for birdwatching. The region has two main birding seasons: the wet season and the dry season.

          The wet season, which typically runs from March to May and October to December, is a fantastic time for birding in East Africa. During this time, many bird species are in their breeding plumage, making them more vibrant and colorful. The lush vegetation also provides ample food sources, attracting a wide variety of birds. However, it’s worth noting that the wet season can be challenging in terms of accessibility, as some areas may become impassable due to heavy rainfall.

          The dry season, from June to September, is also a great time for birdwatching. The lack of rain reduces the vegetation cover, making it easier to spot birds. Many migratory bird species also visit East Africa during this time, adding to the diversity of sightings. The dry season is typically the peak tourist season, so popular birding destinations may be more crowded.

          There are a number of safaris offered in East Africa that are birding inclusive so you get to take on a wildlife safari and enjoy the birds too. The safari guides chosen for a birder are always knowledgeable about the birds in the different region so don’t be hesitant to ask for a guide who doubles with the skill of birding.

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          The Ultimate Safari Packing List

          Yes, you can have a Stylish and yet practical adventure in the wild enjoying the incredible sights, encounters with wildlife, and unforgettable memories. But before you venture into the wild, it’s important to be prepared with the ultimate East African safari packing list. This guide will not only help you stay stylish but also ensure practicality throughout your journey.

          From clothing to accessories, we’ve curated a list of essential items that will make your safari experience comfortable and convenient. Whether you’re exploring the vast plains of the Serengeti national park in Tanzania or navigating the dense jungles of Bwindi forest in Uganda, our tips will help you pack accordingly.

          Imagine yourself surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of Africa especially the East of Africa, capturing close-up shots of elephants, lions, and giraffes. With our safari packing list, you’ll have everything you need to make the most of your adventure while looking effortlessly chic.

          So, grab your camera, slip on your comfortable yet fashionable Safari outfit, and let’s dive into our ultimate safari packing list. Get ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime!

          The Importance of a Well-Packed Safari Bag

          When going on a safari, having a well-packed bag is crucial to ensure a smooth and hassle-free adventure. You’ll be spending a significant amount of time in remote areas with limited access to amenities, so it’s essential to pack all the necessary items to make your journey comfortable and convenient.

          Start by investing in a sturdy and spacious backpack or duffel bag that can withstand the rigors of travel. Look for one with multiple compartments to keep your belongings organized and easily accessible. Additionally, make sure it’s waterproof or comes with a rain cover to protect your gear from unexpected rain showers.

          Packing cubes are also a great investment to maximize space and keep your clothes neatly folded. These cubes help you separate different items and prevent them from getting mixed up during the journey. Use smaller cubes for undergarments and accessories, and larger ones for clothing items.

          Lastly, don’t forget to pack a lightweight daypack that you can use for shorter excursions or hikes. This will allow you to leave your larger bag behind at your accommodation while still carrying essential items such as water, snacks, sunscreen, and a camera.

          Having a well-packed safari bag will not only make your journey more comfortable but also ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips.

          Essential Clothing for a Safari

          When it comes to packing clothing for a safari, it’s important to strike a balance between comfort, functionality, and style. Keep in mind that you’ll be spending a significant amount of time outdoors, so choose clothing that is lightweight, breathable, and offers protection from the sun and insects.

          Start with a few pairs of comfortable and quick-drying pants or shorts. Go for neutral colors such as khaki, beige, white or olive green to blend in with the natural surroundings. Avoid bright colors and patterns that may attract insects or scare away wildlife.

          Pack a variety of lightweight and breathable tops, such as t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts. These will protect your skin from the sun and insects while keeping you cool and comfortable. You may look for shirts with built-in UV protection for added safety.

          Layering is key when it comes to safari clothing, as temperatures can vary throughout the day. Pack a lightweight sweater or fleece jacket for cooler mornings and evenings, and a lightweight waterproof jacket in case of rain.

          Don’t forget to pack a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to protect your face and neck from the sun. Choose a hat with a chin strap to prevent it from flying off during open vehicle safaris or windy conditions.

          Lastly, invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harsh sun and reduce glare while enjoying the stunning landscapes.

          By packing the right clothing items, you’ll be able to stay comfortable, protected, and stylish throughout your safari adventure.

          Choosing the right footwear for a safari is essential to ensure comfort, safety, and practicality. You’ll be spending a significant amount of time on your feet, walking on uneven terrain, and sometimes even encountering muddy or wet conditions.

          Invest in a sturdy and comfortable pair of hiking boots or trail shoes. Look for ones with good ankle support, a durable sole, and waterproof capabilities. These will provide stability and protect your feet from rough terrain, thorny bushes, and potential snake bites so they are a must add on your safari packing list,.

          If you’re planning on doing more relaxed game drives or walking safaris, a pair of comfortable closed-toe shoes or sneakers will suffice. Make sure they have a good grip to prevent slipping on wet surfaces or muddy trails.

          Pack a pair of lightweight and breathable socks made from moisture-wicking materials to keep your feet dry and odor-free. Avoid cotton socks as they tend to retain moisture and can cause blisters.

          It’s also a good idea to pack a pair of sandals or flip-flops for relaxing at your accommodation or for use in communal areas. Choose ones that are comfortable, easy to slip on and off, and provide good arch support.

          Remember, comfort and practicality should be your main considerations when choosing footwear for a safari. Choose shoes that are suitable for the activities you have planned and can withstand the demands of the terrain.

          Packing for different weather conditions on a safari

          When it comes to packing for a safari, one of the most important considerations is the weather. Depending on your destination, you may encounter a range of weather conditions, from scorching heat to sudden rain showers. It’s essential to pack clothing that will keep you comfortable and protected from the elements.

          Clothing for warm weather

          In many safari destinations, temperatures can soar during the day, so it’s crucial to pack lightweight and breathable clothing. Go for natural fabrics like cotton and linen that allow air to flow freely, keeping you cool even in the hottest conditions. Long-sleeved shirts and pants made from lightweight materials will also protect you from the sun and pesky insect bites.

          Clothing for cooler weather

          While warm weather is common on safaris, some destinations may experience cooler temperatures, especially during early mornings and evenings. It’s crucial to pack layers that you can easily add or remove to adapt to changing weather conditions.

          A lightweight jacket or fleece is a must add on your safari packing list, for cooler weather. Look for one that is windproof and can provide an extra layer of warmth without adding bulk to your luggage. Additionally, pack a pair of long pants and a few long-sleeved shirts to keep you comfortable during the cooler parts of the day.

          Footwear for a safari

          Choosing the right footwear is essential for a safari adventure, as you’ll be spending a significant amount of time on your feet. Go for comfortable, closed-toe shoes that provide support and protection. Avoid open-toed shoes or sandals, as they offer little protection and may expose you to potential hazards.

          A sturdy pair of walking shoes or hiking boots is a must add on your safari packing list, especially if you plan on doing any walking or hiking activities. Look for shoes with a good grip and ankle support to navigate uneven terrains with ease. Make sure to try on your shoes before your trip to avoid blisters or discomfort during your safari adventure.

          Technology and gadgets for a safari

          In today’s digital age, technology and gadgets have become an essential part of our lives. When it comes to a safari adventure, there are a few key items that can enhance your experience and help you capture those unforgettable moments.

          Camera equipment

          A safari is a photographer’s dream, with countless opportunities to capture stunning wildlife photographs. Investing in a good quality camera is crucial to ensure you capture the beauty of the wild accurately. Look for a camera with a high-resolution sensor and a zoom lens for capturing wildlife from a distance.

          Additionally, consider packing a sturdy tripod to stabilize your camera and reduce camera shake. This is especially useful for capturing crisp images during low-light conditions or when using longer focal lengths. Not a must but a plus!

          Binoculars

          Binoculars are a must-have item on your safari packing list,. They allow you to observe wildlife up close, even from a distance. Look for lightweight and compact binoculars that are easy to carry and offer a good level of magnification. A magnification of 8x to 10x is generally sufficient for most safari situations.

          Power bank and adapters

          When venturing into the wild, it’s important to have a reliable source of power for your electronic devices. Pack a portable power bank to keep your phone, camera, and other gadgets charged throughout your safari adventure. Make sure to check the power bank’s capacity and charging capabilities to ensure it meets your needs.

          Additionally, don’t forget to add the necessary adapters and converters for your destination on your safari packing list. Safari lodges and camps may have different plug types, so having the right adapters will ensure you can charge your devices without any issues.

          Get ready to embark on your stylish safari adventure

          With the ultimate safari packing list in hand, you’re now ready to embark on your stylish East African safari adventure. Remember to pack clothing suitable for different weather conditions, opt for comfortable and protective footwear, and don’t forget essential technology and gadgets to capture those unforgettable moments.

          So, grab your camera, slip on your comfortable yet fashionable Safari outfit, and get ready to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and incredible wildlife of East africa. With the right preparation and a touch of style, your safari experience will be nothing short of extraordinary. Happy adventuring!

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          Travel News

          Photography tips on an East African wildlife spotting safari

          Spotting wildlife in East Africa is an exhilarating experience. Here are some tips to enhance your chances of encountering the magnificent creatures that call this region home:

          1. Timing: Animals are most active during the early morning and late afternoon when temperatures are cooler. Plan your game drives or guided walks during these times for the best chance of spotting wildlife. Be patient and keep your eyes peeled for any movement or signs of animals nearby.
          2. Silence and observation: When on a game drive or walking safari, maintain silence and avoid sudden movements. This allows you to blend into the surroundings and observe wildlife behavior undisturbed. Listen for sounds like rustling leaves or alarm calls from other animals, as they can indicate the presence of predators or interesting animal interactions.
          3. Respect distance and wildlife boundaries: While it’s exciting to get close to animals, it’s important to respect their space. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and never approach or provoke them. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to observe them up close without causing any harm or stress.
          4. Patience and persistence: Wildlife encounters are unpredictable, and you may not spot certain animals immediately. Be patient and persistent, as the thrill of spotting a rare or elusive species is well worth the wait. Your guide or ranger will have a wealth of knowledge and can help you track and identify wildlife.

          Accommodation options on a wildlife spotting safari

          East Africa offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences. From luxurious lodges to intimate tented camps, here are some options to consider:

          1. Luxury lodges: If you’re looking for a high-end safari experience, East Africa has an abundance of luxury lodges. These lodges offer spacious and beautifully appointed rooms or suites with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. They often feature amenities like swimming pools, spas, and gourmet dining experiences. Some popular luxury lodges include Singita Grumeti in Tanzania and Angama Mara in Kenya.
          2. Tented camps: For a more authentic and immersive experience, consider staying at a tented camp. These camps provide comfortable canvas tents equipped with en-suite bathrooms and cozy beds. Many tented camps are located in private conservancies, offering exclusivity and a chance to explore wildlife-rich areas. Examples of popular tented camps include Serian in Kenya and &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas in Tanzania to mention but a few.
          3. Eco-friendly lodges: If you’re passionate about sustainable travel, there are several eco-friendly lodges and camps in East Africa. These accommodations prioritize minimizing their environmental impact while providing comfortable and memorable experiences. They often use renewable energy sources, practice waste management, and support local communities. Some notable eco-friendly lodges include Saruni Samburu in Kenya and Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp in Uganda.
          4. Mobile camps: For those seeking a more adventurous experience, mobile camps are an excellent choice. These camps are set up in different locations depending on the wildlife movements, allowing you to be close to the action. Mobile camps offer a more intimate and flexible safari experience, with spacious tents, communal dining areas, and knowledgeable guides. Explore Nomad Tanzania’s Serengeti Safari Camp or Asilia Africa’s Legendary Serengeti Mobile Camp for a taste of mobile camping.

          Cultural and local community experiences to look out for on an East African wildlife safari.

          An East African safari is not just about wildlife; it’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in diverse cultures and interact with local communities. Here are some cultural experiences to consider:

          1. Maasai village visit: The Maasai people are one of East Africa’s most well-known tribes. Visit a Maasai village to learn about their traditional way of life, customs, and vibrant culture. Engage in activities like beadwork, traditional dancing, and even try your hand at spear-throwing. It’s a chance to gain insights into a rich cultural heritage that has withstood the test of time.
          2. Market visits: East Africa’s bustling markets are a feast for the senses. Explore local markets where you can find an array of handicrafts, colorful fabrics, spices, and fresh produce. Engaging with local vendors and artisans not only supports the local economy but also provides a glimpse into everyday life in East Africa.
          3. Community-led conservation projects: Many local communities in East Africa are actively involved in conservation efforts. Take part in community-led initiatives such as tree planting, wildlife monitoring, or sustainable farming practices. These experiences allow you to contribute to conservation while learning from the locals who are directly impacted by wildlife and habitat preservation.
          4. Cultural performances: Experience the rhythm and energy of East Africa through traditional music and dance performances. Many lodges and camps organize cultural evenings where local performers showcase their talents. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the region’s rich cultural diversity and appreciate the art forms that have been passed down through generations.

          By engaging in these cultural experiences and interactions, you not only gain a deeper understanding of East Africa but also contribute to the local communities’ socio-economic development. However, it’s crucial to approach these experiences with respect and a willingness to learn from the locals.

          Now that we’ve covered wildlife spotting tips, let’s discuss safety precautions and responsible tourism in East Africa.

          Safety precautions and responsible tourism in East Africa

          While East Africa offers incredible wildlife safari experiences, it’s important to prioritize safety and practice responsible tourism. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

          1. Follow your guide’s instructions: Your safari guide or ranger is your best source of information and will prioritize your safety. Listen to their instructions and guidelines regarding wildlife encounters, vehicle safety, and camp rules. They are trained professionals who understand the behavior and habits of animals, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.
          2. Respect wildlife and their habitats: When on safari, remember that you are a guest in the animals’ territory. Maintain a safe distance, never feed or touch the wildlife, and avoid any actions that may disturb or stress them. Stay on designated roads and trails to minimize habitat destruction.
          3. Be prepared for the elements: East Africa’s weather can be unpredictable, so pack appropriate clothing and gear. Carry a waterproof jacket, a hat, and warm layers for chilly mornings and evenings. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
          4. Health precautions: Before traveling to East Africa, consult your healthcare provider for necessary vaccinations and medications. Malaria is prevalent in some areas, so take prophylaxis as prescribed and use insect repellent to minimize the risk of mosquito bites. It’s also advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
          5. Responsible tourism practices: Support lodges and tour operators that prioritize responsible tourism practices. Choose accommodations that have eco-friendly initiatives, support local communities, and employ local staff. Reduce your environmental impact by conserving water, minimizing waste, and respecting the local customs and traditions.

          By following these safety precautions and practicing responsible tourism, you can ensure a safe and sustainable East African safari experience.

          An East African safari is an adventure like no other, from witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration to exploring the cultural richness of the region, to enjoying the aquatic wildlife, there is something for everyone in this destination. By packing the essentials, your wildlife spotting and photography skills, and immersing yourself in local cultures, you can create unforgettable memories with your family.

          Remember to prioritize safety, respect wildlife and their habitats, and practice responsible tourism. East Africa’s natural wonders never cease to amuse.

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          Things to see and Do in East Africa

          The top 10 things to see and do in East Africa according to safari experts are wildebeest migration, spotting the Big Five, watching wildlife on from the boat cruise, Masai tribe tour, gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking and walking safari, village walk, hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and hot air ballooning.

          Both of these travel experiences encompass nature, wildlife, adventure and culture of the East African region. Ticking them off your bucket list means gain of lifetime memories. That could be achieved by taking the best of East African safari. This includes visiting Uganda or Rwanda gorillas and chimpanzees trekking safaris then Kenya and Tanzania for migration and Big Five safari. This means undertaking both road-based 4×4 game drives and fly-in safaris.

          With this in mind, lets take a look at the top 10 things to do and see in East Africa according to safari experts.

          The great Wildebeest migration safari

          The first of the top 10 things to do in East Africa is witnessing migration of the wildebeests in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania and Kenya’s Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve. The great migration is the movement of 1.5 million wildebeests along with 200,000 zebras, 500,000 Thompson’s gazelles, 18000 elands. These animals follow their traditional routes in the Serengeti ecosystem in search of water and green pastures. Likely, there’s a high chance of seeing the great wildebeest either in Mara Triangle, Seronera Central and southern Serengeti National Park. However, given that the animals follow seasons, timing for the right season such as seeing the wildebeest at Mara River crossing is important. In addition, there’s need to book a specific type of tour such as Serengeti under canvas mobile camping safari, hot air ballooning and traditional 4×4 game drive safari. Either way, you stand a chance of witnessing the wildebeest migration.

          When it comes timing for migration safari, the events of the wildebeests such as Mara and Grumeti river crossings and wildebeest calving season should be your guide. In addition to areas and safari lodges and camps for staying for wildebeest migration and when to travel. Getting all this right requires a carefully tailor-made east African safari either to Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve or Serengeti National Park.

          Mountain gorilla trekking

          The second of the top 10 things to do in East Africa is going for gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. these are the only places in Africa where the world’s mountain gorilla population of 1063 individuals live. In particular, Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is famous for harboring 459 gorillas which is almost half the world’s gorilla population. Also, it has 22 gorilla families offering both gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experiences at four different regions. The Bwindi gorilla trekking sectors are Buhoma the headquarters with 6 gorilla families, Ruhija with 4, Rushaga with 9 and Nkuringo 4. In addition to Bwindi, gorilla trekking in Uganda is also available in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This park forms part of Virunga Mountain range best for solo travelers intending to do volcano hiking. Uganda gorilla permit cost is $700 per person for foreign non-residents available for booking through Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or registered tour operator. Uganda gorilla safaris take place in western region which has 8 of 10 national parks in the country. So, when your trip is meticulously tailored, there’s a lot of other wildlife and cultural activities you can add to your gorilla safari. For example, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest, Murchison falls boat cruise, Lake Mburo walking safari and spotting the tree climbing of Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

          On the other hand, gorilla trekking in Rwanda is conducted in Volcanoes National Park. With 12 gorilla families, easy accessibility from Kigali city and high-end lodges, Parc National des Volcans provides the best of East Africa luxury gorilla trekking safaris. Rwanda gorilla permit cost is $1,500 per person available for booking through Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or tour operator.

          Generally, in both of these countries, the best time for gorilla trekking is dry season. That is from June to September and December to February. But gorillas can be visited anytime of the year. The low / rainy season in particular offers a chance to do gorilla trekking safaris on discounts. For example, the gorilla permit cost for Virunga National Park DR Congo in the low season is $200 compared to $450 during the high season. DR Congo gorilla safari also includes Nyiragongo hiking with Lake Kivu beach vacation.

          Spotting the Big five mammals

          The African Big 5 mammals are lion (the king of the jungle), leopard, Cape buffalo, rhinos and Elephants the largest of the land animals. Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park offer the best chances of spotting all the big five animals in East Africa. Usually, they can be seen with a full day game drive experience.

           On the other hand, Masai Mara wildlife reserve is known for having high number of East Africa’s big cats such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, African wild dogs and hyenas. Besides the national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and conservancies such as Ol Pejeta, Schardrack wildlife sanctuary in Kenya and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda provide more intimate interaction with elephants and rhinos as well as giraffes. These sanctuaries support both wildlife conservation and economic development which is a good thing for responsible travel in East Africa.

          Furthermore, spotting big five mammals in Uganda is not straight forward as in Kenya or Tanzania. Instead, it involves visiting several savanna protected and doing both day and night game drive in places such as Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Parks.

          Walking safaris

          Vehicle based 4×4 game drive safari is great for spotting large mammals without worrying about your safety. But, experiencing the African bush on foot by guided walking safari is magical. Find some of the best walking safaris in East Africa. This is especially in areas with less predators such as walking safari in Uganda’s Lake Mburo National Park and Narus valley in Kidepo National Park north-east. Here, it involves watching impalas, giraffes, zebras and antelopes walk by in the African bush. The best Tanzania walking safari are done in Tarangire National Park. Known for large herds of elephants, Tarangire is in the northern circuit and combines well with safari in Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater. In addition, there are bush walks in Tarangire also include visiting the Masai villages and hiking Oldonyo Sambu Mountain.

          Further, walking safari are available in private game reserves and concessions in Kenya and Tanzania. These provide exclusive and personalized experience. For example, Alex Walker’s original camp in central Serengeti National Park. Masai Mara walking safari is available in Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Elewana Ol Donyo lodge and Ol Kinyei conservancy.

          Masai tribe cultural tour

          The Masai people live only Kenya and Tanzania therefore visiting them is one of the top 10 things to do and see in East Africa. These people speak the masai language and cattle is central to their lifestyles. They are closely related to the Karamojong and Kelenjin of north-east Uganda. In particular, the Masai have distinctive cultural traditions including music, high jump dance and colored dress called Kikoy. As nomadic warriors, the Masai traditionally co-existed with wildlife. But, due to conservation, the government of Kenya and Tanzania has encouraged them to move away from their ancestral lands. As a result most of them now speak English and Swahili due to education. Nevertheless, they remain true to their culture which is now attracting visitors. So, a masai tribe cultural tour takes place in villages outside Masai Mara wildlife reserve. that is where you meet the Masai village elders at their homestead. The cultural experience involves a guided community walk and learning about their lifestyles.

          Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

          With an elevation of 5895 meters (19340 feet), Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa. It’s also unique for being a free-standing strato-volcano situated in northern Tanzania within the Great East African Rift Valley.

           Climbing Kilimanjaro all the 7 routes begin in Tanzania Arusha town. However, its in Amboseli National Park Kenya where the view is most spectacular often with opportunity to capture elephants. Climbing Kilimanjaro requires prior experience in high altitude hiking. However, each route is unique including those that are easier for inexperienced hikers.

          By the way, Kilimanjaro, contrary to Rwenzori Mountain Range, is easiest to climb given that there’s 75% success rate of the 30,000 people who annually climb Kili. For example, the north circuit has the highest success rate and is the most spectacular in regard to scenery.

          Marangu route is best for inexperienced hikers who don’t like camping. Lemoshi route is off-the-beaten path. Longai has high and low treks often with snow caps along the way. Shira, the most difficult route can be used by experienced high-altitude hikers.

          Hot air balloon safaris

          Hot air balloon involves flying above the tree tops in hydrogen-powered balloon for a full hour. It happens preferably in the early morning in order to experience the sunrise which is good for keen landscape photographers. Flying above different habitats such as Masai Mara River and the savanna wilderness below. There’s always a chance to spot mammals such as tall giraffes and wildebeest migration hot air balloon safari in Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve. Though pricy, it includes champagne style breakfast in the African bush plus guided game drive safaris.

          Watching wildlife from the boat cruise

          Contrary to traditional game drives, boat cruise safaris offer wildlife viewing on water bodies. For example, Murchison Falls Nile River boat cruise in Uganda is east Africa’s best water-based safari. Given that boat cruises aren’t available in Serengeti or Masai Mara, Uganda provides the best. In addition to Murchison falls, there are cruises in Lake Mburo, Kazinga channel and Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve on Lake Albert. Boat cruise safaris in Uganda are done in morning, afternoon and sundowner. There are double-decker and medium-sized boats used for different wildlife experiences such as birding especially searching for shoebill stork in Murchison falls and Lake Albert.

          East Africa perhaps has much more to see and do than the list of things mentioned here. Getting a tailor-made East Africa safari package is the best thing to do to have a personal safari experience.

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          Things to see and do in Tanzania

          Tanzania is situated south of equator in East Africa with the Indian Ocean coastline and Zanzibar islands which contain secluded tropical beaches. The largest of the 7 nations in the region, much of the country mainland area is covered by huge African savanna ecosystem. This includes the Serengeti National Park famous for harboring the Big Five mammal species and the wildebeest migration. In this regard, Tanzania offers the best wildlife viewing safari in Africa which is complimented by beautiful tropical beaches and rich culture of the Swahili, Masai warriors, Hazdabe Bushmen and the oldest human fossils at Olduvai Gorge. If you’re considering visiting Tanzania on safari, let’s explore the top 8 things to see and do.

          Safari in Serengeti National Park

          Tanzania has 22 national parks of which the best wildlife is in Serengeti including the big five mammals and the wildebeest migration. These animals live in the savanna plains which itself is a must visit gem for keen nature photographers. Visitors can explore the savanna and take part in several activities such as game drives, hot air balloon safaris, walking safaris and cultural tours. The best time to visit Serengeti depends on what you really want to see. From May to July the wildebeest migration passes through Seronera valley the central part area where visitor center is found. By December to February the wildebeest birthing season happens in southern Serengeti plains. You can plan a fly camping safari exclusively to follow the movement of wildebeests from Tanzania to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Furthermore, whilst on safari in Serengeti, you should visit the local communities and meet the Masai to discover the cultural differences between you and the warriors.

          Game drive inside the Ngorongoro Crater

          Ngorongoro crater is the largest volcanic caldera in the world. The crater floor which contains savanna plains, forests, and alkaline lakes and swamps spans for 264 sq.km and is surrounded by walls that rise 600 meters above. An estimated 30000 animals live within the crater including all the Big Five: lions, leopards, black rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. There are also African wild dogs, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, hippos and over 500 species of birds including the ostrich and secretary bird. The abundance of wildlife in such a small place makes Ngorongoro one of the natural wonders of the world. As a matter of fact, you hope to see as many wild animals as possible by game drive through inside the crater.

          Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

          The tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro has an elevation of 5895 meters above sea level. The journey to reach summit at Uhuru peak offers great hiking adventure, wildlife and beautiful scenery as you pass through different types of vegetation. Getting up Kilimanjaro, there are 7 routes of which Machame has spectacular view but requires experience. Marangu is the best route for beginners intending to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. If you’re not into climbing but want a better view go on safari in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. That’s where you might spot African elephants with big tusks with clear view of Kilimanjaro in the background.

          Cultural tour with the Masai warriors

          The Maasai people have been keen at preserving their ancient cultural traditions despite the modern civilization. They used live a semi-nomadic lifestyle and cattle was the main livelihood. That’s gradually changing with education and conservation that turned much of their grazing lands into protected areas. However, some of the Masai still live in small villages where they have maintained their ancient traditions such as dress code (the glowing Masai Suka) and music and the high jump dance. You can take a tour of the Masai tribe whilst on safari in Masai Mara or Serengeti National Park, meet the family members, take part in their cultural activities or get some of their handmade crafts.

          Chimpanzee trekking in Gombe Stream National Park

          Situated on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream National Park is a place to visit if you need peace and relaxation after Tanzania wildlife safari. The park is part of western Tanzania safari circuit along with Mahale Mountains and Katavi National Parks. There’s accommodation to stay closer to the lake and on Lupita islands. Then embark on guided chimpanzee trekking in the dense tropical forests and search for leopards in woodlands. Since the 1990s, Jane Goodall has been acclimating and studying the chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park. With local guides, you expect to see chimps as well as spot other primate species such as red-tailed monkeys, red colobus monkeys among others. In addition, other activities to do at Gombe Stream National Park include snorkeling and diving and boat cruises in Lake Tanganyika. The park can be reached by air through Kigoma town airstrip. This is the quickest way however, using the train and bus takes about 2 days.

          Dhow boat cruise in Zanzibar islands

          After a safari in Serengeti National Park, Zanzibar Islands offer some of the best tropical beaches in the world, making them an ideal destination for honeymooners and those seeking to relax. Situated 358 sq.km in the Indian Ocean off the coast of mainland Tanzania; you can get there by air through Zanzibar airport to Stone Town the capital city and UNESCO world heritage site. Whilst in Zanzibar for relaxing holiday, there’s a lot history and culture as well as marine wildlife to explore and be active. The dhow boat cruise is not only a leisure water spot to enjoy sunset but also a historical travel experience that will take you back in time when the Arab merchants first traded with the African Swahili on the Indian Ocean coast. This activity is available at Nungwi beach which also has sea turtles and great nightlife at the beach. For rich history, explore the Spice plantations and Stone Town’s markets and sites such as the old dispensary. Matemwe beach has the best sports for marine wildlife, coral reefs, diving and snorkeling. Jozani Chakwa National Park home to the Zanzibar red-colobus monkeys and offers nature walks.

          Discover the world’s oldest human fossils at Olduvai Gorge.

          Olduvai Gorge is located 39 square kilometers (1 hour drive) from Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania. It is a 90-meter-deep valley that stretches for 48 square kilometers through the plains. The site serves as a rest stop between the crater and the Serengeti National Park. Expect to spend at least an hour exploring the museum, which was built in 2017 to preserve archeological artifacts. Dr. Louis Leakey, a Kenyan anthropologist and archeologist, discovered the first human fossils in 1962. Leakey’s discoveries, which included a 1.7 million year old hominin named Zinjanthropus, demonstrated that Africa, specifically Tanzania, was the cradle of humanity. As a result, Olduvai Gorge was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979.The Louis Leakey Memorial Institute for African Prehistory was established in Nairobi the same year. Other important sites of archeological importance include Rusinga islands in Lake Victoria, Kenya, were discovered with crude stone tools and animal fossils of apes related to humans. All of these places can be visited during a safari in Kenya or Tanzania.

          Lions and Baobab trees in Ruaha National Park

          Ruaha National Park, located in southern Tanzania’s safari circuit, is famous for its baobab trees, which are uncommon in East Africa. Boababs, also known as “Tree of Life,” are mostly found in southern African destinations such as Madagascar, making them a must-see while on safari in Tanzania. Furthermore, Ruaha is home to Africa’s largest lion population. Lion prides in Ruaha, like those in Botswana, consist of 12 to 20 individuals.

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