Tanzania and Kenya are located in East Africa, with coastlines on the Indian Ocean, and are the only locations where you can witness the Great Wildebeest Migration. With great African scenery and diversity of creatures to view, these countries are the world’s top two safari destinations.
Here are the top 10 must visit vacation spots in East Africa:
1. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Containing Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania’s most iconic sight – this park is mostly visited, not for the wildlife, but for the view of the snowy peaks and a chance to climb to the top. Although you can try climbing any time of the year, the best time would be during the dry season, which would take about five to nine days with a compulsory guide due to its short trek!
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Image Source: KilimanjaroParkTanzania.Com
2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Home to the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, this park contains many different species and is on the route of the migration of wildebeests and zebras. You can also spot the Big 5 here. Black rhinos, which are pretty elusive otherwise, are easily spotted at the Conservation Area.
Offering a range of activities from archeological safaris to simple bird watching, this location promises to have entertainment that suits each individual person’s taste.
3. Lake Victoria
Also known as Victoria Nyanza, Lake Victoria is the largest freshwater lake in East Africa and can be visited from either Kenya or Tanzania. As the source of the White Nile, it provides income for the many residents that live along its shore. Boat trips or hikes around the lake are often paired with fishing and/or bird watching. Although it would be best to avoid swimming in the lake due to the dangers that lurk under the water, it is definitely worth visiting even if it’s just to see the majestic view of the sun rising over the lake.
Lake Victoria, Image Source: Lake-Victoria.Net
4. Serengeti National Park
As the second largest national park in Tanzania, the Serengeti is filled with wildlife. It is one of the few places where you can find the Big 5 (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and African buffaloes), and is also the starting point of the Great Wildebeest Migration.
You can also take a hot air balloon ride over Serengeti and enjoy scenic view of the Serengeti’s stunning plains.
5. Lake Nakuru
Protected by Lake Nakuru National Park and lying 1,754m above sea level in the rift valley of Kenya, this lake has the perfect conditions for an abundance of algae to thrive, which in turn attracts fishing birds such as pelicans, cormorants and more than a million pink flamingoes. At the southern end of the lake in the forested area below Flamingo Hill, land walking predators such as lions and leopards are often spotted as well.
Sunset At Lake Nakuru, Image Source: TravelUpdate.Com
6. Tsavo National Park
Occupying 4% of Kenya’s total area, this huge park is divided into two parts, Tsavo East and Tsavo West, with Tsavo East being harder to access and a bit bigger than its counterpart. Both offer great game viewing and gorgeous scenery. Along with the wildlife here, which includes about a hundred different types of animals and over 500 species of birds, there are also many attractions scattered everywhere, such as the Yatta Plaeau, the world’s longest lava flow, and the Mudana Rock, which supplies a natural dam and is an excellent viewpoint to observe all the creatures who come to drink during the dry seasons.
Also known as Unguja, this is the main island of the Tanzanian archipelago and home to many endangered animals. Famous for its diverse culture (a mix of Swahili, Arab and Persian), spices, gorgeous beaches and fascinating history surrounding its main town (Stone Town) which has palaces, mosques and fine houses, this island would be the perfect getaway for luxury travelers but can also be thoroughly enjoyed with any budget.
It's also home to many water sports activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing, fishing and kayaking.
Spices in Zanzibar, Image Source: Tangawizi-Restaurant.Com
8. Ruaha National Park
As Tanzania’s largest and least visited Park, the vast landscape of Ruaha remains almost untouched of human waste and is a way to truly see nature’s beauty. Along with the scenery, this park is also known for having the largest population of elephants in Tanzania.
The Great Ruaha River, which not only provides great views of the resident wildlife, is also Tanzania’s electricity provider through a hydroelectric dam.
You can spot rare and beautiful wildlife species here like sable antelopes, endangered African Wild Dogs, and lesser kudus.
9. Masai Mara National Reserve
Forming Africa’s most diverse eco-systems along with the Serengeti National Park and one of Kenya’s top safari destinations, this park contains breathtaking scenery bursting with large populations of different forms of life ranging from lean predators like cheetahs to the tough but highly endangered black rhinos. The Reserve is mainly famous due to the Great Migration when thousands of gazelles, zebras and wildebeest travel to and from the Serengeti in the months between July and October. Ot also contains the Mara River where Nile crocodiles and hippos reside. There is a wide selection of different luxury camps such as the Mara Engai, Mahali Mzuri and many more for you to have a peaceful and luxurious safari vacation.
Masai Mara National Reserve, Image Source: JacadaTravel.Com
10. Amboseli National Park
Offering stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park is a photographer’s paradise. Capture stunning views of elephants with Kilimanjaro in the back drop!
You can also spot diverse wildlife here including elephants, lions, cheetahs, impalas, buffaloes, hyenas, zebras, wildebeests, and giraffes!
So, what are you waiting for? Head over to East Africa and enjoy your vacation at these beautiful destinations!
Don’t forget to check out the all-inclusive guide on flying in East Africa!