Why Travel Here

There are as many reasons to go on Kenya safaris as there are experiences awaiting visitors to this incredibly varied country. From the semi-arid north to the plains of the Mara, and not forgetting the Indian Ocean coast, Kenya is a study in contrasts – and all of them wonderful.

Nairobi is emerging as a cultural and artistic hub with a vibe and energy of its own. From there, light aircraft wing their way over mountains, deserts and even rainforests to deliver travelers to luxury lodges and classic mobile camps ideally situated for maximum exposure to wildlife.

In Kenya, almost anything is possible. Spending the morning watching wildebeest running a reptilian gauntlet and an evening stroll through the surf in the shadow of a colonial fort – in the same day? Kenya can do that, and so much more besides.

It’s impossible to describe Kenya safaris without referencing the Great Wildebeest Migration, but even the Masai Mara’s seismic relocation faces competition from other iconic destinations, including Amboseli, Tsavo and the irresistibly named Hell’s Gate.

Kenya is a country where old and new rub shoulders with relative ease: traditionally dressed Masai and Samburu tribesmen navigate city streets and tree-studded savannah with equal aplomb.

Why Travel Here

Tanzania is a country that does nothing by halves, whether it’s a question of the epic scale of its wild places, the standards of its luxury safari lodges, or the quality of the wildlife experiences.

Like Kenya, Tanzania offers travelers the chance to combine both bush and beach experiences without the need for additional ink in their passports: the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba offer fascinating history, chilled beach time and excellent diving.

Tanzania’s almost synonymous with the Great Wildebeest Migration, the annual event which draws tourists to the Serengeti in the same unerring way that it calls to the itinerant antelope.

While the Serengeti’s endless sea of grass offers scope for the grandest of safari ambitions to be played out, it’s by no means the only wildlife-viewing hotspot in the country.

The ‘lost world’ of Ngorongoro Crater offers an uplifting descent into an extinct volcano, while Tarangire’s baobab trees compete with local elephant for lens time.

Benignly frowning down on the plains of northern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro issues its silent challenge to more adventurous travelers. Southern Tanzania offers ample opportunities and space to leave the beaten path, and experience safari at its most authentic.

If you’ve ever wanted to sit with mountain gorillas in their natural rainforest habitat then a Uganda safari will deliver on your expectations. Boasting a 90% success rate at finding habituated gorilla family groups in the extraordinary Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, gorilla trekking in Uganda has become one of Africa’s most powerful wildlife experiences and such is its success that the gorilla population is actually increasing.

But don’t think that a Uganda safari is only about gorillas in rainforests: this landlocked East African country is home to a range of diverse national parks and is a strong contender for one of the world’s best bird watching destinations. Head for Murchison Falls or Queen Elizabeth National Park for classic big game viewing, chimpanzee trekking and river cruises.

Kibale, in southern Uganda, forms a massive wildlife corridor with Queen Elizabeth National Park that is used by migrating elephants in search of water. A mixture of tropical rainforest, swamp and grasslands, Kibale supports Africa’s biggest population of chimpanzees as well as at least a dozen other primate species. It is a top destination for those wanting to trek primates, including gorillas, and with over 320 recorded bird species, is also a haven for twitchers.

A green, hilly and elevated country with many lakes and mountains, Uganda’s appeal lies in its simplicity. Infrastructure is limited but growing and there is now a good range of safari accommodation and city-based hotels. Ideal for seasoned safari-goers, bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts, Uganda’s star is on the rise – combine it with Kenya or Tanzania for a holistic East African safari experience.

If you’re looking for a destination that will take you out of your comfort zone and into the heart of nature, consider Rwanda. Gorilla tourism is alive and well in Rwanda and remains the biggest draw for visitors to the region. As Rwanda becomes increasingly more popular, it has also become known as a luxury safari destination, much like Kenya and Tanzania, its eastern neighbors. Travelers to Rwanda will likely fly into the country’s capital Kigali, a vibrant and exciting city.

From there, journey to one (or more!) of the many luxury lodges that await to please and pamper in between gorilla treks. Travel northeast from Kigali to Wilderness Safaris’ new Magashi lodge in Akagera National Park for game drives to see the Big Five. Singita’s new Kwitonda Lodge is set on the edge of Volcanoes National Park and One & Only’s much-anticipated Gorilla’s Nest lodge, located in a lush, fragrant eucalyptus forest, just opened in the region. One & Only’s Nyungwe House rounds out the safari experience—there, guides take guests to the protected jungle in surrounding Nyungwe National Park to spy troops of colobus monkeys and chimpanzees.

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Burundi is the focus of your trip, and you’ll spend eight days getting to know its history, culture and wildlife; including dense forests, lively cities and flora and fauna rich national parks. Even better, you’ll do so without meeting many other visitors, as Burundi is far from the main tourist trail.

Kicking off your trip, you’ll get to grips with local culture and customs with a tour of the suburbs of capital Bujumbura, run by local women. You’ll also learn about the country’s pre- and post-colonial history. Other cultural highlights include a visit to the National Museum of Gitega, which has an impressive collection of artefacts, and watching a performance of renowned Burundian drummers on the royal hill of Gishora.

You’ll also have the chance to explore some of the country’s rich nature reserves and areas of natural beauty, including the wetlands of Rusizi National Park, where you’ll find hippos, sitatungas and many species of bird; the ‘Chutes de la Kalera’, a collection of waterfalls rumoured to have healing powers; and Lake Rwihinda National Reserve, where you’ll take a sunrise tour in a dugout canoe.