Trail Africa: 5 Must-Visit Locations In East Africa
East Africa is a wide umbrella for an array of geographies, cultures, politics, and countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Seychelles. While most East African countries are located on the African mainland, some are islands in the Indian Ocean. What is undisputed about East Africa is its unsparing beauty that keeps attracting visitors to the region. Endowed with lush forests, towering mountains, stunning savannahs, serene beaches, and hospitable locals, this region ticks all the nice boxes for tourists. If you’re planning a trip, here are the top tourist attractions in East Africa to impress you.
Check out 5 stunning tourist attractions in East Africa that you should definitely explore…
#1. Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Stone Town is a historic town located in the Zanzibar archipelago that juts into the Indian Ocean. It is a wonderful East African location steeped in history and defined by a robust array of African, Arab, Persian, Indian, and European influences and cultures. This destination is a UNESCO World Heritage Site influenced by its exotic past and defined by its elaborate architecture and eclectic culture. From its houses built of coral stones to its exotic culture and finger-licking cuisine such as the inimitable Zanzibar pizza and the remarkable Zanzibari tea, you’ll certainly have a blast here.
A popular site to savor the town’s first-rate cuisine is the Forodhani Gardens Food Market. Other top attractions include the Old Fort, the Palace Museum, and the House of Wonders. Prison Island is another top spot, too. It is famous for its giant tortoises that are a real delight and wonder to tourists. Stone Town is also the birthplace of the pop icon Freddie Mercury and continues to draw tourists from around the world.
A small East African country located 1,000 miles east of Kenya, Seychelles is a fantastic tourist destination composed of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. These natural islands are some of the best in the world with gorgeous beaches, blue waters, picturesque vegetation, majestic hills, diverse marine life, and captivating sunbirds – a perfect getaway from the hassles and encumbrances of city life. This fine country is blessed with a warm tropical climate all year round, making it your go-to country at any time.
Seychelles is ideal for lots of fun sports to spice up your vacation, such as sailing, surfing, diving, and snorkeling. Birdwatchers will take absolute delight in the lush forests of the country endowed with some of the finest species of birds such as its sunbirds. The region has a low population of around 100,000, and the crime rate is low. The Seychellois society is the most prosperous in Sub-Saharan Africa; it has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita on the continent. Another interesting fact about this Island nation is that under Seychellois law, women enjoy the same social, political, and economic rights as men. It respects the rights of minorities such as LGBTQ people and provides a safe space for them. Travelers to Seychelles have a lot to enjoy in this small but priceless jewel of East Africa.
#3. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Sprawling savannahs, rolling hills, diverse wildlife, and stunning river crossings, epic safaris are apt descriptions for the Masai Mara National Reserve. Located along the Tanzanian border and in southwestern Kenya, this wide expanse of grassland is traversed by the Mara and Talek Rivers and features striking landscapes, hospitable locals – the famous Masai people – and a slew of wildlife such as lions, elephants, hippos, and zebras. The sprawling savannah of the Masai Mara is famous all over the world for hosting 1.5 million wildebeests who make the river crossings from July to October each year into the savannah.
In addition to experiencing the Great Migration of wildebeests, more memorable experiences await you at the Masai Mara National Reserve. You can fly high on a hot-air balloon at sunrise, viewing the breathtaking vistas of the reserve. There’s also a 4×4 safari for you to traverse the jagged and rolling beauty of this place. You’ll see the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and African buffalo). You’ll have the pleasure of meeting and interacting with warm and hospitable Masai people and learning a thing or two about them. At the end of the day, you have a safari lodge to retire to. Undoubtedly, you’ll find the Masai Mara is Kenya’s natural epic masterpiece and one of the top tourist attractions in East Africa.
#4. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda
If you are fascinated by wildlife, especially gorillas, you should consider visiting the place where half the world’s mountain gorillas live – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site with astounding biodiversity. You’ll be thrilled by the park’s thick forest; little wonder why it’s called “Impenetrable Forest,” and sometimes “The Place of Darkness,” thanks to its dense trees and forest cover.
This place is only navigable by foot. It covers 128 square miles, with an often unpredictable terrain; there are no paths or directional signs. That’s where porters are very useful. It helps to engage the services of a porter to guide you through the challenging slopes of the place. They’ll also guide you through river crossings and treks up and down muddy slopes. The exploration of this place is a pure adventure; so come prepared. There’s great fun that rewards the strain: the mountain gorillas. Nothing compares to their grand imposing presence. But you’ll also be greeted by other primates such as the golden monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys.
#5. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The name “Kilimanjaro” is probably one of the most popular names relating to nature’s beauty on the continent of Africa. At 19,340 feet, it is Africa’s tallest mountain. The great Kilimanjaro experience – climbing to its peak – is reserved for those with the fitness of body and mind. You will need to climb with a guide and acclimatize yourself to the mountain altitude before embarking on the adventure, which will take no less than five days. But for those who can’t make this climbing adventure, Mount Kilimanjaro has more than enough to bless them: the terrific and majestic beauty of its presence.
Featured image: @hobopeeba via @missmichuki/Instagram
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A writer fascinated by humanity and diversity. He is the author of Do Not Say It’s Not Your Country.