When you travel to East Africa, it is expected that you will have at least one safari on your itinerary. Going on a safari is a thrilling and extraordinary experience that will change how you perceive nature around you. The excitement of a safari is not limited to seeing exotic wildlife in their natural habitat or being out in the open and wild. It is a combination of factors that will take your breath away. Any moment in a safari can captivate you, may it be the birth of a newborn wildebeest or the mighty lion hunting its prey down. The safari is as authentic as life gets. East Africa has many beautiful destinations to offer. Here are some of the unusual safari locations in East Africa
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park is located in south-central Tanzania, near the town of Iringa. The Ruaha National Park spans 8,000 square miles. The mesmerizing landscape is filled with grassy knolls, beautiful baobab trees, and the serene Great Ruaha River. The river is at the center of all life at this national park, as it provides the water necessary for the ecosystem to survive. It is the heart of the national park. Its striking beauty will keep you wondering why this isn’t one of the many popular safari destinations.
Apart from its landscape, you will also get to witness the prowess of the exotic wildlife that calls Ruaha National Park home. From June to October, you can catch zebras, giraffes, elephants, and rare antelope species grazing in the National Park, and they can be found wandering near the Great Ruaha River. In addition to this, you will also get to see the jungle’s predators, including the lion, cheetah, leopard, and hyena, circling the grazing animals.
Meru National Park
The Meru National Park is located near Mount Kenya and is approximately 350 kilometers from Nairobi. Although it may be one of the smaller national parks in the region, its biodiversity makes it stand out. You will see an array of wildlife, ranging from mammals to birds, and it has one of the most stunning collections of wildlife in one area that you may witness. You will get to see cheetahs, leopards, Grevy’s zebras, caracals, and aardwolves. One of the main attractions of Meru National Park is the white and black rhinos. Apart from these land animals, you will come across over 400 different bird species.
You may be startled by the biodiversity at Meru National Park. However, the different landscapes are just as mesmerizing. Ranging from thick rainforests to savannahs, Meru National Park is an extraordinary place to experience.
Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve is a hidden gem near the Ewaso Ng’iro River in Kenya. Covering only 64 square miles, this is one of the least visited safari destinations by tourists. Home to an indigenous group, the Samburu National Reserve is a cultural experience unlike any other. Tourists get to meet the Samburu people, interacting with them in their daily lives, watching their grazing cattles and goats, as well as many other fun-filled cultural activities. In addition, you will also see four of the Big Five at the reserve, including the leopard, lion, buffalo, and elephant. You will also see the Somali ostrich, the gerenuk antelope, and the reticulated giraffe. Like Meeru National Park, the Samburu National Reserve boasts a spectacle of over 450 bird species, including the lilac-breasted rollers, orange-bellied parrots, and many others.
East Africa is a beautiful vacation destination that lets you explore the gritty and wild mother nature and where you can forget about the world and witness the unexpected. Although you may be enticed to visit some of the more commercialized safari destinations, keep in mind many hidden gems to be found. It is time to pack and go on the trip of a lifetime. To learn more about East Africa and Kenya, read Five Must Do’s in Kenya.