East Africa is renowned for the concentration of wildlife and home to one of the most famous wildlife events in the world - the Wildebeest Migration between the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. This annual event tat sees two million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle migrating, congregating and travelling along an ancient circular route between the Serengeti and Masai Mara in search water and suitable grass to feed on.
East Africa is also home to Africa's highest mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro. At 5,985m it's the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Getting to the top of Kilimanjaro does not require mountaineering, however a good level of fitness is required as well as a strong will with a positive attitude. To reach the summit is a mental, physical and emotional challenge but worth every step.
Why choose an East African safari?
The Greatest Show on Earth - the annual wildebeest migration involving millions of animals
Classic postcard African scenery of rolling savannas and acacia trees
Large numbers of wildlife on the open plains
The views of, or the chance to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain
Cultures, such as the Maasai, that maintain a traditional way of life
Gorillas and chimpanzees in the mountains and forest areas of Uganda and Rwanda
A beautiful coastline makes the region ideal for a bush and beach vacation
When to travel to East Africa? This really depends on the type of holiday you would like to have, specific wildlife and animals you wish to see or the activities you would like to partake in. Certain game reserves and national parks have good game viewing all year round, whereas others the game-viewing is more seasonal. Weather also plays an important role in some destinations as the short rains (November) and long rains (May/June) can cause some areas to close for short periods of time.
September – November
This is a popular season to travel as temperatures are comfortable, but it can get very busy, so be sure to book well in advance. If you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, September/October is a good time to do it.
December – March
Game viewing in the Serengeti is excellent, as this is when the wildebeest are back in the Serengeti/Ndutu area to calve. Temperatures are warm with an average high of 28 degrees celsius and an average low of 15 degrees celsius. January, February and early to mid March are excellent months for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
April – June
The long rains are from early April through early June. Some camps and lodges close during this period, but do not be put off as safaris are still good in the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and the Masai Mara. During these months, wildlife concentrations are at their highest in the Southern Serengeti, and the landscape is a lush green. With less crowding and lower prices, this can be the best time to go on safari.
July – August
This is winter, when the weather is cooler and dry. Generally this is the best time for game viewing, especially in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. This is also the busiest time of the year in East Africa as the wildebeest migration makes its way from the Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) into the Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya). Climbing Kilimanjaro is also good during this season.