Countries, cities, islands, destinations and getting around
In East Africa, wildlife safaris and adventure travel include sightseeing and wildlife viewing tours to see all Big 5 wildlife animals, also chimpanzee and gorilla tracking, wildebeest migration and mount Kilimanjaro climbing trips. East Africa has generally better-organised transport than southern Africa, but Tanzania has probably the slowest.
Expect the unexpected in the land of the lemurs and the so-called eighth continent.
Mt. Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain, the famous Serengeti National Park and beautiful beaches of Zanzibar.
Wildlife abounds and the best place for tracking the nearly extinct mountain gorillas; holds the source of the famous Nile river.
Well known for its world-class safaris and beautiful beaches.
A group of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar.
Tropical Indian Ocean island.
Africa’s second largest population; an old Christian country, home to castles, beautiful monasteries, and wonderful food.
On the shores of Lake Tanganyika, it’s the beating heart of Africa.
Despite dangers from Pirates, Somalia has many wonderous beaches as it has the longest coastline in Africa. The country has also some game parks to the south.
This relatively small nation has heavy Arab and African influences.
Gorillas in the mist.
Small country separated from Yemen by the Gulf of Aden, and largely Arabic in nature.
Tiny Indian Ocean island group between Madagascar and Mozambique.
The huge capital of Ethiopia and a major hub for NGOs and the African Union.
Also known as Tana, is the capital of Madagascar.
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania’s hot and humid metropolis has little to keep the traveller there but is a major transit point of the region.
The bustling, friendly capital of Uganda.
Aside from the genocide memorials, there is little to interest the traveller in Rwanda’s capital; this is a passing-through city.
The largest city in Malawi is remarkably green.
Historic coastal Kenyan city thought to be more than 2,500 years old.
The capital of Kenya and the largest city in East Africa.
The capital of Mauritius.
The only famous and best place for chimpanzee habituation and tracking.
Huge national park in Tanzania, perhaps the archetypal African game park; becomes the Masai Mara National Park over the border in Kenya.
Simien National Park
Stunning mountain scenery and important wildlife populations in Ethiopia.
Adringitra National Park
One of the most biodiverse areas of extraordinary Madagascar.
Nyika National Park
Large highland national park in Malawi.
The ancient capital of Ethiopia; famous for its stelae and the ruins of various palaces.
Africa’s highest mountain and a great trekking destination in Tanzania.
The quietest, most picturesque and most exclusive island in the Seychelles; home of L’Anse Source d’Argent, one of the world’s top beaches.
It’s in Rwanda, and is full of impressive rainforest and volcanic scenery of the Virunga Mountains, and is perhaps the best place in the world to see rare mountain gorillas. Also crosses into Uganda where it is known as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park .
Getting into the countries
International travel, Kigali – Rwanda, Addis Ababa – Ethiopia, Nairobi – Kenya and Entebbe – Uganda are the busiest travel hubs in East Africa; also popular though, Dar es Salaam – Tanzania. North Americans will likely need to stop off in Europe, as direct flights from North America to anywhere in Africa are seasonal at best. Nonstop flights are available to the major hubs from London, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Zurich, Vienna and many other cities. South Americans will likely connect in Johannesburg – South Africa, which sees daily nonstop flights from São Paulo; a longer but often cheaper option is to connect in Italy or Spain. Visitors from Asia and Oceania will generally connect somewhere on the Arabian peninsula.
Under the right conditions, travel prices are competitive with other destinations, so it might be worth trying different dates, booking an open jaw flight (for instance, arriving in Nairobi and leaving from Addis Ababa) or booking short-jump flights independently from the intercontinental flight.