15 Best Things to Do in East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania) – African Safari Bucket List

The Ultimate Guide on the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa Adventure Tours and Holidays. East Africa is a diverse and culturally rich region that offers a wide range of 15 Best Things to do and experiences for travelers. Whether you’re interested in wildlife, culture, adventure, or relaxation, this region offers something for every type of traveler.

East Africa is renowned for its stunning national parks and wildlife reserves. Embark on Africa adventure tours in places like the Maasai Mara in Kenya, Serengeti in Tanzania, or the Ngorongoro Crater to witness the incredible biodiversity of the region, including the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros).

HOW TO TRAVEL KENYA - 10 Days in Paradise

The Detailed 15 Exclusive Best Things to Do in East Africa

Go on a Wildlife Safari

Going on a wildlife safari is one of the 15 best things to do and exciting activities in East Africa. To make the most of your safari experience.

A wildlife safari in East Africa offers the opportunity to witness some of the world’s most extraordinary creatures in their natural environment. It’s a journey that can leave you with lasting memories and a deeper connection to the natural world.

The 15 best things to do in East Africa offers several fantastic destinations for wildlife safaris, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and more. Research and decide which one suits your interests and budget.

East Africa is home to numerous national parks and wildlife reserves, each with its unique features and ecosystems. Popular choices include the Maasai Mara and Serengeti for the Great Migration, Ngorongoro Crater for its dense wildlife population, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for gorilla trekking. Choose a location that aligns with your safari goals.

Determine how many days you’d like to spend on safari. A typical safari can range from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the locations you want to visit and the wildlife you want to see.

Africa Safari of a Lifetime (Serengeti Tanzania)

Visit Zanzibar

Visiting Zanzibar is one of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa. An enchanting island located off the coast of Tanzania, is a wonderful addition to your East African travel itinerary. Zanzibar offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the beach, cultural experiences, or outdoor adventures, Zanzibar offers a diverse range of activities and attractions to make your visit a memorable one.

Start your visit in Stone Town, the historical heart of Zanzibar. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its narrow winding streets, old colonial buildings, and fascinating architecture. Don’t miss landmarks like the House of Wonders, the Old Fort, and the Sultan’s Palace Museum.

Zanzibar is famous for its pristine, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. Head to beaches like Nungwi, Kendwa, Paje, or Jambiani to unwind, swim, snorkel, or take part in various water sports.

Zanzibar is a top destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. Explore the colorful coral reefs, swim with marine life, and discover the diverse underwater world. Mnemba Atoll is particularly famous for its marine biodiversity.

Exclusive Guide to Zanzibar Adventure Holidays

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is a challenging and rewarding adventure. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and one of the world’s most accessible high summits. Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa.

Go Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a physically demanding adventure, and success is not guaranteed. It’s important to be prepared and to listen to your body and your guides. The sense of accomplishment when you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak, is incredibly rewarding, and the memories you make along the way will last a lifetime.

Kilimanjaro offers several different routes, each with its own characteristics in terms of scenery and difficulty. The most popular routes include the Machame Route, Marangu Route, Lemosho Route, and the Northern Circuit. Research and choose the one that suits your experience level and preferences.

Proper acclimatization is essential for a safe and successful climb. Choose a route with a longer duration to give your body time to adjust to the altitude. You must climb Kilimanjaro with Deks Safaris and Tours Ltd. They will arrange your permits, provide guides and porters, and handle logistics.

Journey to the Roof of Mount Kilimanjaro

Go Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is a thrilling and unique adventure that allows you to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. East Africa, particularly Rwanda and Uganda, is one of the best places in the world for this incredible experience.

Gorilla trekking is not only one of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa but also a conservation effort to protect these critically endangered animals. The funds generated from permits go toward the conservation and protection of gorillas and their habitat. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with nature and contribute to wildlife conservation.

Mountain Gorilla trekking permits are limited and in high demand. You’ll need to obtain permits well in advance, often several months ahead of your planned trek. Contact the relevant national park authorities or work with Deks Safaris and Tours Ltd to secure your permits.

Decide on the number of days you want to dedicate to gorilla trekking. It’s advisable to plan for a few extra days in case of delays due to weather or other factors.

While it’s possible to organize your gorilla trek independently, it’s often more convenient and logistically easier to book through Deks Safaris and Tours Ltd. They can arrange permits, transportation, guides, and accommodations.

Go Enjoy Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Africa

Explore Nairobi

Exploring Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, offers a blend of vibrant culture, wildlife experiences, historical sites, and modern urban amenities. Visiting Nairobi is one of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa.

Nairobi offers a mix of urban experiences and opportunities to connect with Kenya’s rich culture and wildlife. Remember to be mindful of your safety and consult local guides or recommendations for the latest updates on attractions and security measures.

Start your visit with a safari in Nairobi National Park, one of the world’s only national parks located within a city. You can see a variety of wildlife, including lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinos, with the Nairobi skyline as a backdrop.

Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to see orphaned baby elephants and learn about their conservation efforts. You can even adopt an elephant and support their rehabilitation.

Get up close to endangered Rothschild’s giraffes at the Giraffe Centre. You can feed and interact with these graceful creatures on a raised platform.

Explore the Karen Blixen Museum, located in the former home of the Danish author famous for her book “Out of Africa.” It provides insights into her life and the colonial history of the region.

Discover Kenya's Capital Nairobi

Witness the Great Wildlife Migration

Witnessing the Great Migration in East Africa is a spectacular natural event that involves the movement of millions of animals, primarily wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles, as they search for fresh grazing land. The migration occurs in the Serengeti ecosystem of Tanzania and the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

Experiencing the Great Migration is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness one of nature’s most incredible spectacles. It’s a journey that will leave you in awe of the natural world and the remarkable wildlife of East Africa. Great Migration adventure in one of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa.

The Great Migration is an annual event, and the timing can vary. Generally, the migration occurs from July to October. During this period, the herds cross the Mara River, providing some of the most dramatic and iconic moments of the migration. Research and plan your visit accordingly.

The Great Migration covers vast areas of both Tanzania and Kenya. In Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is the primary location, while in Kenya, it’s the Maasai Mara. Decide which country and specific locations you want to visit based on your preferences.

To witness the Great Migration, it’s advisable to book a safari with Deks Safaris and Tours Ltd that specializes in this type of experience. They will have experienced guides who can lead you to the best viewing areas.

Choose accommodation that suits your preferences and budget. Options range from luxury lodges to tented camps in both the Serengeti and Maasai Mara. Booking well in advance is recommended, especially during the peak migration season.

The Great Migration of the Wildebeest

Enjoy Water Activities

East Africa boasts stunning coastlines along the Indian Ocean, numerous lakes, and rivers, providing an abundance of opportunities for water activities. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, the region has something to offer water enthusiasts.

Before embarking on water activities is one of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa. Ensure your safety by following local regulations, wearing appropriate gear, and listening to expert advice. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or a bit of both, East Africa’s waters offer a diverse range of experiences for water enthusiasts.

Explore the vibrant underwater world of the Indian Ocean. Destinations like Zanzibar, Pemba Island, and the Kenyan coast offer excellent opportunities to discover colorful coral reefs and a diverse range of marine life.

East Africa’s coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches. Relax on the soft, sandy shores, take a swim in the warm waters, and soak up the sun. Popular beach destinations include Diani Beach in Kenya, Nungwi in Zanzibar, and the coastal areas of Mozambique.

Take advantage of the strong and consistent winds along the coast to enjoy kite surfing and windsurfing. Locations like Watamu in Kenya and the Paje Beach area in Zanzibar are popular for these activities.

East Africa’s waters are known for excellent deep-sea fishing opportunities. You can target species like marlin, sailfish, and tuna. Many coastal towns offer fishing charters and tours.

Inside Zanzibar: The Hidden Gem of East Africa

Experience the Culture

Experiencing the rich and diverse cultures of East Africa is an integral part of any visit to the region. East Africa is home to various ethnic groups, traditions, and customs, making it a fascinating place to immerse yourself in local culture. The different cultures in East Africa is one of the 15 Best Things to Do on Africa Adventure.

Respecting local customs and traditions is essential when immersing yourself in the culture of East Africa. By showing genuine interest and respect, you can forge meaningful connections and create lasting memories of your cultural experiences in the region.

Engage with local people, ask questions, and strike up conversations. Many East Africans are friendly and welcoming, eager to share their culture and way of life.

Arrange visits to traditional villages to witness daily life, local customs, and traditional ceremonies. You can often participate in activities like cooking, dance, and handicrafts.

Check the local calendar for cultural festivals and events. These celebrations offer a chance to experience traditional music, dance, food, and art. Some popular festivals include the Lamu Cultural Festival in Kenya and the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in Zimbabwe.

Explore local markets to discover traditional arts and crafts. You can buy handmade textiles, woodcarvings, beadwork, and other local products as souvenirs.

East Africa's Largest Monarchy: The Buganda Kingdom

Hike in the Rwenzori Mountains

Hiking in the Rwenzori Mountains is another activity of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa. Often referred to as the “Mountains of the Moon,” is a challenging and rewarding adventure for nature enthusiasts and trekkers. Located on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this mountain range offers stunning scenery and unique ecosystems.

Go Hiking in the Rwenzori Mountains is a remarkable adventure that takes you through some of the most beautiful and untouched landscapes in East Africa. It offers a chance to connect with nature, experience diverse ecosystems, and challenge yourself physically while enjoying the natural beauty of the region.

The best time to hike in the Rwenzori Mountains is during the dry seasons, which typically occur from June to August and from December to February. These periods offer clearer skies and more stable weather conditions.

Obtain the necessary permits and pay park fees to enter the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. You can usually arrange this through Deks Safaris and Tours Ltd.

The Beautiful Lives Of The Rwenzori Mountains

Visit the Ngorongoro Crater

Visiting the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is an incredible experience, as it is often considered one of the natural wonders of the world and one of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the crater itself is a prime location for wildlife viewing due to its unique geographical features.

The Ngorongoro Crater is an extraordinary destination for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, offering a remarkable concentration of wildlife against the backdrop of a dramatic landscape. Your visit will undoubtedly leave you with memorable experiences and a deep appreciation for the natural world.

Make sure to visit during the dry season (from June to September) for the best wildlife viewing, as animals gather around the remaining water sources.

You will need a permit to enter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which can be obtained through Deks Safaris and Tours Ltd.

While it is possible to self-drive, most visitors opt to go with Deks Safaris and Tours Ltd who can provide a knowledgeable guide and handle the logistics. This is often the more convenient and informative option.

Tanzania Safari (Ngorongoro Crater)

Explore Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world. It is shared by three East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Exploring Lake Victoria offers a range of activities and opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty and vibrant cultures of the region.

Exploring Lake Victoria allows you to experience the natural beauty and the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa. Adventure cultural diversity, and vibrant communities that thrive along its shores. It’s a region rich in history and offers a blend of relaxation and adventure for travellers.

Explore the charming towns and villages that dot the shores of Lake Victoria. Towns like Kisumu in Kenya, Mwanza in Tanzania, and Jinja in Uganda offer a mix of culture, history, and stunning lakefront views.

Take a boat tour of Lake Victoria to enjoy the serene waters and visit nearby islands. You can also go fishing, as Lake Victoria is known for its diverse fish species. Consider a fishing excursion with local experts.

Lake Victoria is home to a rich variety of bird species. Bring your binoculars and explore the wetlands and shores for excellent birdwatching opportunities.

Discover the islands of Lake Victoria, such as Rusinga Island, Ssese Islands, and Ukerewe Island. Each island has its unique character, culture, and attractions.

How Big Is Lake Victoria Actually?

Enjoy Local Cuisine

East Africa offers a rich and diverse culinary landscape that reflects the culture and traditions of the region. When exploring East Africa, be sure to sample the delicious local cuisine. Local foods is part of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa holidays.

Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy these authentic dishes and flavors while visiting East Africa. Each country and region may have its own variations and specialties, so be open to trying local delicacies and exploring the culinary diversity of the region.

Ugali is a staple food in many East African countries. It is a simple, dense porridge made from maize (corn) flour and water. It is typically served with stews, vegetables, or meat.

Nyama Choma is a popular dish of grilled meat, often goat or beef that is seasoned and roasted over an open flame. It’s usually served with a side of vegetables and spicy sauces.

Sukuma Wiki is a common vegetable dish made from collard greens sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and spices. It’s a flavorful and nutritious accompaniment to many meals. Pilau is a fragrant rice dish cooked with spices like cumin, cardamom, and cloves. It can include meat, vegetables, or both, and it’s a flavorful and aromatic dish.

Chapati is a type of unleavened flatbread, often served as an accompaniment to stews, vegetables, and meats. It’s a popular and versatile bread. Matoke is a dish made from green bananas or plantains cooked with onions, tomatoes, and spices. It is a common side dish in East Africa, particularly in Uganda.

Ugandan Foods

Enjoy Sport Fishing at the Nile

Sport fishing on the Nile River is a popular and exciting activity in East Africa, especially in Uganda. The Nile River is home to a diverse range of fish species, making it a prime location for fishing enthusiasts.

15 Best Things to Do in East Africa include Sport fishing on the Nile is not only an exciting angling experience but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and wildlife of the region. It’s a memorable adventure that combines the thrill of fishing with the beauty of East Africa’s natural environment.

The most popular destination for sport fishing on the Nile is Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. The section of the river around Murchison Falls is known for its abundant fish population.

The best time for sport fishing on the Nile is during the dry season, from December to February and June to August, when water levels are lower, and fish are more concentrated in the river.

Murchison Falls National Park Sport Fishing

Enjoy White Water Rafting in Jinja

White water rafting in Jinja, Uganda, is an exhilarating adventure that offers adrenaline-pumping experiences on the waters of the White Nile. Jinja is known as the “Adventure Capital of East Africa,” and its proximity to the source of the Nile River makes it a prime destination for white water rafting.

White water rafting in Jinja is one of the 15 Best Things to Do in East Africa experience that combines adventure with the beauty of the Nile River and the surrounding natural landscapes. It’s a must-do activity for adventure seekers visiting Uganda.

Upon arrival at the rafting base, you will receive a safety briefing and be provided with necessary gear, including life jackets, helmets, and paddles.

Rafting operators in Jinja offer a range of rafting experiences, from half-day trips to full-day adventures with varying levels of rapids. Choose the one that suits your preferences and comfort level. The Grade 3 to 5 rapids in Jinja provide an exciting challenge for rafters.

Your guides will lead you down the Nile River, navigating through a series of thrilling rapids with names like “Big Brother,” “Super Hole,” and “Silverback.” Each rapid offers a unique challenge and excitement.

Whitewater Rafting on the Nile

Go Chimpanzee Tracking

Chimpanzee tracking is a fantastic wildlife adventure that allows you to observe these intelligent and closely related primates in their natural habitat. East Africa is home to several locations where you can go chimpanzee tracking.

15 Best Things to Do in East Africa Chimpanzee tracking offers a unique opportunity to connect with our closest relatives in the animal kingdom and witness their natural behavior. It’s a thrilling adventure that combines wildlife observation with the beauty of East Africa’s lush forests.

East Africa offers several excellent destinations for chimpanzee tracking, including Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda, Gombe Stream National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park in Tanzania, and Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda.

Obtain the necessary permits for chimpanzee tracking. Each location has its own regulations and permit fees, so check with the relevant national park authority or Deks Safaris and Tours Ltd.

Plan your visit during the dry season when the chances of spotting chimpanzees are higher due to increased visibility. Chimpanzees are active throughout the day, but early morning or late afternoon tracking sessions are often more successful.

Join a guided chimpanzee tracking tour led by experienced guides. These guides are trained to find and habituate chimpanzee families, increasing your chances of encountering them.

Go Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda

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