Planning an East Africa safari: Where should we go?

By Catherine Soares de Melo  |  Last updated at 22 August 2019, 10:13
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It can be rather overwhelming planning your first safari to East Africa. Do you stay on the beaten path and include all of the highlights of one country – all the sought after and iconic destinations? Or do you turn your back and head to the spots where the crowds don’t? With an endless amount of information online, we’ve tried to summarize some of the most loved and recommended experiences in East Africa.

To see the wildebeest migration

Head to either the Maasai Mara in Kenya, or the Serengeti in Tanzania. Part of one great eco-system, the 1/5 million wildebeest that migrate in search of food and water, rotate in a clockwise direction, and can be found in a different area during each month of the year. Consider an authentic mobile camp that changes location as it follows the migration closely, or a luxurious permanent lodge, usually in a prime location and with added comforts such as a swimming pool and amazing views.

For scenery and abundant wildlife

Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania is impressive when it comes to both of these important components for a memorable safari. With hundreds of ancient Baobabs that dot the landscape for as far as the eye can see, and with quality of wildlife that is a close second after the Serengeti, this beautiful National Park draws many a curious traveler. It’s possible to experience a walking safari at a handful of camps here, and even a night of fly camping under the stars.

For chimpanzees and remote shores

Rubondo Island is one of East Africa’s best kept secrets, a sort of Jurassic Park in Africa if you will… An uninhabited remote island within Lake Victoria, and an hour long Cessna flight to get there, this tropical hideaway offers unique wildlife, birds and an ever-increasingly successful chimpanzee rehabilitation project paired with comfortable accommodation. Switching off and a total immersion into nature is the only option when staying here…

For an exciting safari experience with your children

The Laikipia region of Central Kenya has the most incredibly diverse terrain, and there are numerous lodges on offer. One minute your children will be tubing down rivers and exploring waterfalls, and the next they’re riding camels into the sunrise. The local tribes are hugely focused on family and community and love nothing more than teaching young explorers about how to use a bow and arrow, and how to make a fire.

For a focused walking safari experience

Head to southern Tanzania, to Ruaha National Park and the Selous Reserve where walking safaris are the order of the day. A walking safari in these wild and remote parks allow you to experience the wilderness in a totally different way – detached from the sound of the vehicle, all senses on high alert and with the potential for getting very close to the animals! Not for the faint hearted but a truly incredible way to experience Africa!

Author

Catherine Soares de Melo

Catherine Soares de Melo

Born in Cape Town, Catherine, our Senior Safari Specialist, has spent a lifetime exploring Africa.
Find out more about the Planet Africa Safaris team.

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