East Africa offers a varied and exciting vacation destination. We have compiled a list of our six favourite bucket list activities which can be included in itineraries to this part of the world. Contact our safari specialists for tailor made itinerary arrangements.
The Gorilla Habituation Experience with the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda is a truly once in a lifetime experience. It includes four hours with the gorillas as well as the trek into the forest to the gorilla group with highly trained specialist guides. Gorilla permits are scarce and need to be booked well in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Situated inside Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain on earth. Climbs range from five to eight days, cover various routes and are accompanied by highly trained and registered guides while porters carry food and equipment, set up camp and make food.
Bird watching in Uganda
Kibale National Park in Uganda, with 340 recorded bird species, is considered a birding hotspot because of its varied topography – the majority of the park is covered in forest with the rest consisting of swamps, grassland and exotic plantations. Also worth a visit is the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo Forest for those birders wanting to tick off the “lifers”.
Island of Zanzibar
Located in the Indian Ocean about 40 kilometres off the Tanzanian Coast, Zanzibar is home to Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, consisting of winding alleys, bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses. Swimming, scuba diving and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Indian ocean top the list of activities available while the Jozani Natural Forest Reserve, in the centre of the island, is worth a visit to catch a glimpse of the rare Red Colobus monkey.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The Rwenzoris, commonly known as the “Mountains of the Moon”, are located in southwestern Uganda and are equatorial snow peaks. The park is home to over 70 mammal and 217 bird species and is also known as a hiking and mountaineering destination. Skilled mountaineers can summit Margherita in a nine to twelve day hike. Nature walks, homestead visits and home cultural visits are also available at the neighbouring Bakonzo villages.
Kigali Genocide Memorial
Located in Gisozi, Rwanda, this is the final resting place of more than 250 000 victims of the 1994 genocide. Our recommendation is to have a local memorial guide show you around, many of whom are survivors of the genocide and can give a first hand and intimate, though often harrowing, account of the genocide.