Posted by on 16 Mar 2021
Admire impressive landscapes and experience unparalleled wildlife encounters in the stunning region of East Africa. Trek through exotic rainforests, come face to face with majestic mountain gorillas and marvel at the world-renowned annual migration on safari. Towering mountains, spectacular waterfalls and lush rainforests are waiting to be explored.
Top Places to Visit:
When most people think of Africa, it’s Kenya they are generally imagining. It’s the home of the original safari holiday, the “Out of Africa” landscapes, and the world-renowned annual migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara.
Perhaps the most famous game reserve in the world the Masai Mara is a land of vast savannahs. It is home to Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) and the Masaai people. The reserve offers excellent game viewing throughout the year and not only during the migration; which can be unpredictable as it does not fall on a specific date and depends on when the rains fall.
Visitors to this region are spoilt for choice with luxury safari camps available either in the park or surrounding conservancies that offer a more exclusive experience including game walks and night drives.
Spending time with mountain gorillas is a true bucket list experience! Volcanoes National Park is home to about half the world’s mountain gorilla population, making Rwanda a top choice for a gorilla trekking safari. As for the setting, the country is extremely beautiful with its steep slopes covered in dense tropical rainforest. Don’t limit yourself to gorilla trekking as Rwanda has many other highlights worth exploring; it’s also a safe and welcoming country with friendly people and a growing tourism industry.
Known as the pearl of Africa, Uganda is a dramatically beautiful country with deep lakes, towering mountains, spectacular waterfalls and verdant rainforests. There are 10 national parks in Uganda, the best known of which is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – home to around half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas.
Gorilla trekking is a true bucket list experience and Uganda’s biggest drawcard! But this small East African country has many other highlights that are also worth exploring. Go chimpanzee tracking in nearby Kibale National Park, and visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for a classic safari experience. While up north, the Nile River thunders through a narrow chasm creating the incredibly powerful Murchison Falls.
When to visit
- Summer - The most popular months are January and February when the weather is hot and dry and the wildlife tends to congregate around waterholes.
- The Migration - From June/ July to October the Migration takes place and it’s an extremely busy (and exciting!) time to visit.
- Winter/ Rainy season - During the long rains from March to May travel isn’t recommended.
- Dry season(s) - For gorilla trekking, we recommend travelling during one of Rwanda’s two dry seasons: mid-June to September or December to February.
- Rainy season(s) - For chimpanzee trekking, the rainy season produces lush greenery so chimps move about less and are easier to track.
- The short rainy season – October and November – is great for birding and photography. Rains normally come down in short, heavy bursts.
- During the long rainy season – March to mid-June – gorilla trekking can be tough and muddy.
Dry Seasons (mid-December to February / June to September)- Gorillas can be seen at any time of year. However, since gorilla trekking tends to involve steep slopes and thick mud it is more comfortable to travel in one of Uganda’s two dry seasons. Remember that the gorillas do live in rainforest so conditions will still be humid and wet. And don’t forget your gaiters!
Getting Around Uganda
The Road transport network connecting other countries to Uganda is good for any visitor to reach the country. By road, Buses such as; Akamba, Kampala Coaches, Jaguar, Gaagaa, Easy Coach, Modern Coast, Baby Coaches, run between Kampala to Nairobi, Bukoba, Dar-es-salaam, Kigali, Bujumbura and Juba. There are a variety of standard services from which you can choose to whichever destination you would wish to be. Very often these buses have schedules to the different cities outside Uganda and it is recommended that you check with the respective bus for when they travel to and from a particular city to and from Kampala. Beware of prior booking for these services as last minute bookings may lead to you failing out to get a seat on the bus.
Health & Safety
- Malaria is widespread except in Nairobi and places above 2500m. Consider taking anti-malarial medication. Other insect-borne diseases include dengue, Rift Valley fever, filariasis and African sleeping sickness. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent.
- Yellow Fever is widespread. Get Vaccinated before you travel.
- HIV/AIDS infection rates are high. Take precautions if you're taking part in high-risk activities.
- Polio outbreaks occur in Kenya. Check your vaccinations are up to date at least 6 weeks before you travel.
- Foodborne, waterborne and other infectious diseases include hepatitis, meningococcal disease, measles and cholera. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Avoid raw or undercooked food.
- Medical facilities are very limited. If you're ill or injured, you may need medical evacuation to Kenya. Check your travel insurance covers this.
- Malaria occurs across the country, including in Kigali. Consider taking anti-malaria medication. Other insect-borne diseases also occur. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent.
- HIV/AIDS occurs. Take precautions if you're taking part in high-risk activities.
- Foodborne, waterborne and other infectious diseases include meningitis, meningococcal disease, tuberculosis and rabies. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Avoid raw or undercooked food.
- Many medications are in short supply or not available in Uganda. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
- The first cases of Ebola were detected in Western Uganda in June 2019. Protect yourself against the disease by practising good hygiene.
- Yellow fever and malaria are common. Other insect-borne diseases can occur. Make sure your accommodation is insect proof. Use insect repellent.
- HIV/AIDS is a risk. Take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.
- Medical facilities are very limited outside Kampala. If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll be evacuated to Kenya or another destination. Make sure your insurance covers this.
Interested in Southern Africa? Click here to find out more
Interested in the Indian Ocean Islands? Click here to find out more