An East African adventure truly is a dream destination for many. This region is well-known for its natural attractions — waterfalls, lakes, deserts, national parks, and, forget not, the wildlife and the hospitable African people. It’s an objective you ought to visit something like once in your life.
Planning an adventure trip in East Africa will make you realize how there can be so much to do with so little time. This is why you must be as thorough as possible when it comes to planning to make the most of each day in your journey. Some attractions are also best booked in advance, like tours to educational East African safaris and similar destinations that may require guides and exclusive transportation to the exact location.
So if you’re ready to give yourself a break from the humdrum of daily life and marvel at the beauty of nature, read on for some of the best adventures to remember for your East Africa list of must-dos.
In this article
1. Find the Big 5
A trip to any African safari is never complete if you don’t get to see the Big Five — the lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos. While there are other places in Africa to make this dream come true, there’s no better place in the world for this than in Eastern Africa. Do your research, time your trip right, and you might just be lucky enough to witness the wildebeest migration season every May or June.
East Africa is also home to the world-famous Maasai Mara, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti National Park. Instead of viewing them in a zoo, you’ll get a chance to see elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, and lions roaming free in their natural habitat.
2. See Lake Turkana
If Kenya is on your itinerary, Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, is worth adding to your list. What’s so special about this lake? This conservation hotspot sits in the shadows of Kenya’s best safaris, with its saline waters serving as the perfect breeding grounds for unique wildlife.
By Lake Turkana, you’ll see Koobi Fora, a famous anthropological site where some of the oldest fossils of the early human species were unearthed, almost as old as a few million years. You also get a chance to see all the Nile crocodiles, hippos, and migratory birds that call this UNESCO World Heritage Site their home.
3. Book a Glass-Bottom Balloon Safari Ride
Those who are up for a thrill will love this first-of-its-kind adventure — the glass-bottom balloon safari. This unique ride will give you an unobstructed view of Tanzania’s Central Serengeti and Tarangire National Park.
Hopping on a glass-bottom balloon safari is also perfect if you want to view the wildebeest migration from up in the air. When you’re done, cap the day with a sumptuous champagne bush breakfast in the Serengeti Plains, a tradition you shouldn’t miss.
4. Relax on Idyllic Beaches
When you think of Eastern Africa, the first thing that always comes to mind is the desert and the safari. But with its boundless landscape, don’t forget that there are stunning, idyllic beaches too. Take a day or two to relax on the white sand beaches of the island of Zanzibar.
If you fancy diving, Zanzibar is an excellent place for this as well. Not only is there a vast stretch of white sand from the shore, but the view from underwater is even better. Zanzibar is home to a diverse range of sea life, making it one of the best diving spots in the world.
If your travel plans include spending a bit more on comfort and extravagance, you’ll love the exclusivity and peaceful ambiance in Mombasa, Kenya, where you can choose among a few exclusive luxury apartments and resorts.
5. Take a Trip to Hell’s Kitchen
Unlike the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ you know from television, East Africa’s Hell’s Kitchen is not a cooking show or the set for the battle of chefs. Rather, it’s a strange but oddly beautiful sandstone canyon, still one of Kenya’s best-kept secrets. For local Kenyans, Hell’s Kitchen is fondly called a ‘place broken by itself,’ where what was once a great sandstone ridge was worn down by wind, floods, and rain into a series of jagged gorges.
There are many overlooked travel gems in East Africa. This list isn’t yet as comprehensive to cover even a quarter of what you can do in the region. With vistas that consist of wild animals moving freely in their habitat, locals who don’t mind stopping for a smile and a conversation, and unspoiled wonders of nature, it’s easy to be convinced that a long journey to Africa is, and will always be, worth it.