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Travelling to East Africa

It is a place of myths, dreams, intrigue and adventure.  To some, it seems scary and far away.  To others

it’s a “bucket list” item.  And, to many, it’s hard to even imagine outside of a storybook or movie. 

Whatever it is to you, a trip to East Africa is within reach and well worth the time, money and effort!

“East Africa” is generally considered to be the countries between Eritrea to the north and Mozambique

to the south, and Rwanda to the west.  However, the most frequented countries in this region are Kenya

and Tanzania.  These two countries are so popular because of their accessibility, safety and the wealth

of natural attractions. 

Situated right on the equator on the far eastern coast of the continent of Africa, mountains, savannahs,

beaches and jungles can be found in Kenya and Tanzania.  The climate is greatly dependent on

elevation, proximity to the coast, and the time of year, and ranges from moderate, to arid, to rainy and

even glacial.  This part of Africa is home to some of the world’s greatest biodiversity and scientific

discoveries.  It also contains the highest points on the continent in Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340’), and Mt.

Kenya (17,057’). The largest city in Kenya is its capitol, Nairobi, with about 3.3 million residents. 

Tanzania’s largest city is Dar es Salam and sits on the Indian Ocean with a population of around 4.3

million.

The Serengeti Desert and Masai Mara National Park spans both countries and it is possible to spot

Africa’s “Big 5” (African Elephant, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, African Lion, African Leopard) in these

regions on safari. 

Kenya and Tanzania are former British colonies gaining their independence in 1963 and 1964

respectively.  The official languages of each country are Swahili and English, however knowing some

phrases in Swahili is helpful and also respectful.  This region of Africa has widely diverse demographics

with many different ethnic groups, religious affiliations and regional languages.  Both countries are

technically secular democracies that elect their President by popular vote. 

As previously stated, East Africa is a treasure trove of places to go and things to see.  Choosing from any

number of these options will help to map out your trip.  Flying from the United States will generally take

you through Europe or Dubai and land in Nairobi or Dar es Salam.  From any of the major cities, you can

choose to go on safari in the Rift Valley or around any number of lakes.  You can also climb Mt. Kenya or

Mt. Kilimanjaro or go to the island of Zanzibar. 

The best times of the year to go to East Africa is from December to March.  During these months, the

weather is pleasant and the wildlife viewing is the best.  The rainy season is over and the animals are in

migration patterns making for really exciting game drives throughout the region.  Every year, starting

from the months of July through to October, Travel Wild Tours arranges for Masai Mara safari tour

packages where you have a chance to see the spectacular annual wildebeest migration - dubbed the

"greatest spectacle in the animal kingdom. "  If you are interested in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt.

Kenya, the best time to climb is from mid-June through October.

When preparing for your trip, it is important that you pack for comfort.  It will be humid and warm

during the day, and milder in the evening.  At higher elevations, mosquitos are not as much of a

consideration, however, while on safari or in the Serengeti you will want to take precautions to protect

yourself.  Bug spray is always an option, but treating your clothing with a product called Permethrin is a

great idea.  You also must have a series of inoculations before traveling to this part of the world.  As part

of your entry visa, your shot records will likely be checked upon arrival.  It is incumbent on you as the

traveler to make sure that you have any and all of the current vaccinations necessary.

If you are just doing a safari, you will not be required to bring much with you other than comfortable

clothing, some layers for cooler evening, and a good camera.  If you are going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

or Mt. Kenya, you will need to be prepared for about a week of intense physical activity and be able to

provide some of your own gear such as hiking boots and clothes for a wide range of weather scenarios.

Knowing that traveling to East Africa makes for a long trip and one that can quickly grow in cost, it is

imperative that you pick the right outfitter and guide company.  Travel Wild Tours is one of the leading

tour operators in East Africa and one that is focused on taking care of their clients from beginning to

end.  They understand that for many travelers, this may be their first time in this part of the world or in

a developing country.  The owner, Dunstan, and his team of professional guides are dedicated to

making sure that you are well taken care of and are always on time (in Africa, being on time is not the

norm).

The Travel Wild website has a list of sample itineraries for you to review, but don’t miss some of the

exciting destination in or around Nairobi.  The David Sheldrick Wildlife Elephant Orphanage is a short

drive outside of Nairobi and is an amazing trip for visitors of all ages.  You can also visit the home of

Karen Blixen and tour the old coffee plantation and walk through her home.  A visit to the Nairobi

Giraffe Center is a great way to get a close up view of giraffes at their eye level and learn about

conservation efforts related to their survival.  Finally, with East Africa being a major producer of coffee,

a stop at one of the Java House Coffee locations is a great chance to have a great cup of coffee and get

some to take home with you. 

Give Dunstan a call at +254-720-537340 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to talk about

scheduling a trip ASAP.  For the best trip, with the best service, at the best price, Travel Wild Tours is the

first option to consider!

 

On this page you will find information relevant to your traveling to Kenya. Please check out on the links below. For any clarifications please do not hesitate to contact us.

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