Thinking of taking a wildlife safari in Eastern Africa? The parks of East Africa have got it all. Nearly a hundred national parks, game reserves and wildlife sanctuaries offer some of the best opportunities for game viewing on the African continent. These parks feature wildlife of some sort including the big five, rare mountain gorillas and wild chimpanzees. Please note that the coverage of wildlife species and the varieties differ as the region changes, and therefore you must choose to visit particular parks if you are interested in a particular animal.
Here are some of the best parks where travelers can go for wildlife safaris in East Africa;
Masai Mara National Park – Kenya
This is the most popular park in East Africa. Located along the borders of Kenya and Tanzania, Masai Mara is contiguous with Serengeti National Park. It is found in Narok County, and is globally famous for the wildebeest migration one of the wonders of the world. The prk is renowned given its exceptional population of lions, leopards, wildebeests, zebras and cheetahs etc. You can visit this park for wildlife safaris all year round. If are you are looking to wildebeest migration there are several safaris to observe the wildebeests migrating to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Tanzania
The worse you can call Ngorongoro is amazing. That would be more than that, there is definitely not a word that can describe this conservation area. Ngorongoro is the home of the largest caldera on earth. With walls reaching to 2200 meters high, this is fairly equal to Mount Kilimanjaro before the eruption. Thus the consideration for it being one of the world’s natural wonders.
The caldera itself is not a plain heap of land that stood on its place and make people amazed. No. In fact, once the caldera settled, it began to create pools of water that attract some 30,000 wildlife species at any given time. More like a Garden of Eden, Ngorongoro harbors the largest congregation of games in the entire earth.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – Uganda
Located in South Western Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the most popular of Uganda’s national parks. The park is home to the rare and endangered mountain gorillas, and nearly half of the world population lives within the park borders. The park is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, and it attracts thousands of travelers interested in gorilla trekking in Uganda. The park is also home to 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, several species of chameleons, geckos and many endangered species. In terms of flora, Bwindi is one of the most bio diverse country with more than 1,000 flowering plant species including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns.
Amboseli National Park – Kenya
Located in Loitoktok District, Rift Valley Province of Kenya, Amboseli is on eof the best places to see elephants in Africa. The park’s ecosystem which is mainly composed of savannah grasslands spread across the Kenya-Tanzania border., make it one of the best parks for open vehicle game viewing in Africa. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants as well as other wildlife species. The park offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and you can enjoy photography in this park as well as visits to the Masai People of Kenya.
Tarangire National Park – Tanzania
Elephants, elephants, elephants its obvious. When you want to see large herds of elephants with accompanying buffaloes, your best bet would be the Tarangire. The number of elephants concentrating here is almost 600 individuals during the peak season.
However, less tourists visit here since they are attracted to neighboring national parks such as the magnificent Serengeti and the mighty Ngorongoro. The dry season harbors the largest population of elephants along with other enormous animals and plain beasts, which benefit from the vast water resources of the Tarangire River. They disperse during winter though.
Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda
Also known as Parc National de Volcans (or PNV as it’s known by locals), this is another popular for gorilla trekking on the African continent. The park lies along the Virunga Mountains, in a region called Ruhengeri in Northern Rwanda. With 8 ancient volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the park is a spectacular place. The park is located with in distance of just a two hour drive from Rwanda’s capital of Kigali. It is the most popular park for those interested in short gorilla treks in Africa with quick and easy accessibility. Within this park, you can also pay homage to the legendary scientist and gorilla advocate Dian Fossey, take a local community tour and see the bustling and vibrant markets of Musanze, go for Karisimbi hike or visit the Musanze’s caves!
Lake Manyara National Park – Tanzania
Ask anything about Lake Manyara and collect them all in one heap, tree climbing lions will emerge as the top answer. It is true. Climbing lions that prefer sleeping the day up on the tree branches than lying comfortably in the grasslands as all other lions do. While it gather its fame from the strangely dispositioned lions, it is also popular for its large congregation of lake birds such as the pelicans, Egyptian geese, storks, quelea, flamingos and cormorants.
You may also find the usual wildlife species here complemented by the rare animals such as the lord of the forest- Sykes monkey and the Olive baboon.