Unlock the Magic of an East African Safari!

by | Feb 18, 2023 | Travel stories

Are you ready for the ultimate East African Safari adventure? This comprehensive guide will show you everything you need to know about planning and booking an unforgettable safari in East Africa. From exploring the best places to go, understanding how much it will cost, deciding when is the right time of year, what animals can be seen on a safari – plus so many other exciting activities that come with this type of vacation. Let’s get started as we explore all there is to see and do on your upcoming East African Safari journey.

Table of Contents:

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What to Expect on an East African Safari

East African safaris are an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Journeying through East Africa will offer you a once-in-a-lifetime view of extraordinary wildlife and vistas. From game drives through national parks to bush walks and cultural visits, there is something for everyone on an East African safari.

Game Drives:

Game drives are one of the highlights of any East African safari. On a game drive, expert rangers will guide you in your vehicle or jeep to witness some of the continent’s most iconic creatures like lions, elephants, rhinos and giraffes.

Bush Walks:

For those looking for a more immersive experience in nature, bush walks provide an opportunity to get up close and personal with Africa’s stunning flora and fauna. Your guide will lead you off-road into areas inaccessible by car so that you can explore at ground level – just remember not to wander too far away.

Cultural Visits:

During your trip, don’t forget about exploring local culture too. Visit nearby villages or townships where you can learn about traditional customs from locals as well as buy handmade souvenirs like jewelry or carvings made by artisans in the area.

Bird Watching:

Bird watching is another popular activity during East African safaris – especially if you’re lucky enough to visit during migration season when thousands upon thousands of birds flock across Kenya’s skies each year. Look out for colorful species like flamingos and kingfishers along with raptors like eagles and hawks soaring above head height.

Last but certainly not least, make sure your camera batteries are charged before embarking on an East African Safari because there will be plenty of opportunities for taking amazing photos. Whether it’s capturing breathtaking sunsets over vast savannah plains or getting close-up shots of wildlife roaming freely around their natural habitats – these memories will last forever so make sure they’re captured properly.

A safari in East Africa is a remarkable, exhilarating journey filled with unexpected thrills and excitement. From exploring the savannahs to spotting wild animals, there’s something for everyone. Let’s investigate the potential destinations for your East African Safari journey.

Important Takeaway: A key takeaway from an East African safari is that it provides a unique opportunity to experience incredible wildlife and landscapes, as well as explore local culture through game drives, bush walks, cultural visits and bird watching.

Where to Go on an East African Safari

East Africa is a land of breathtaking beauty and amazing wildlife. It’s home to some of the world’s most iconic national parks, reserves, and private conservancies. For those seeking an amazing adventure or simply wanting to take in the stunning views, East Africa offers plenty of opportunities for a memorable safari.

One popular destination is Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This vast park covers more than 14,000 square kilometers and offers spectacular views of the savannah grasslands teeming with wild animals such as lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and more. You can also spot rare species like rhinos and leopards if you’re lucky. The annual migration of millions of wildebeest across this landscape is truly a sight to behold.

Another great place for an East African safari is Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This reserve borders Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and offers similar opportunities for spotting wildlife such as lions, cheetahs, elephants and hippos among others. The area also boasts beautiful rolling hills that provide excellent photo opportunities from any angle.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania is another must-visit destination when it comes to East African safaris. Here you’ll find one of the largest volcanic caldera craters in the world which provides refuge for many endangered species including black rhinos as well as other large mammals like buffalo and antelope herds that roam freely throughout its crater floor surrounded by lush vegetation at every turn.

For those seeking something off the beaten path yet still full of adventure, Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great option. Here you can partake in thrilling game drives while keeping your eyes peeled for big cats such as leopards or hyenas, and hundreds upon hundreds of different bird species. Additionally, Kidepo Valley National Park near Uganda’s border with South Sudan provides visitors with sweeping vistas dotted with acacia trees – perfect for capturing some incredible photos during their stay.

Finally, if you’d prefer a more intimate experience then why not consider visiting one of Kenya’s private conservancies? For example, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy,  Ol Pajeta or Ol Jogi wildlife conservancy. These exclusive areas offer guests access to pristine wilderness areas away from crowds while providing luxury accommodations complete with guided game drives tailored specifically towards your individual interests. This makes them ideal spots for those who want an up-close look at Africa’s magnificent wildlife without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

From the plethora of breathtaking national parks and wildlife reserves in East Africa, there are countless possibilities to explore when deciding on your safari getaway. Now that you’ve determined the possibilities, it’s time to figure out when to make your journey through these remarkable destinations.

Important Takeaway: East African safaris offer a variety of experiences, from the iconic Serengeti and Maasai Mara to private conservancies for an intimate look at wildlife in luxurious settings.

When to Go on an East African Safari

When it comes to planning an East African safari, timing is everything. The ideal season for a safari holiday in East Africa varies, depending on the sights and experiences you wish to enjoy.


East Africa has two distinct seasons – the dry season and the wet season. Generally, the dry period is from June to October while the wet season starts in November and continues until May. During the dry season, temperatures are cooler and rainfall is minimal making it ideal for game viewing as animals tend to congregate around water sources that remain throughout this period. However, if you’re looking for a more comfortable climate with fewer crowds then visiting during the wetter months may be preferable as temperatures are milder and there will be fewer people competing for wildlife sightings.

Wildlife movements may vary depending on the region of East Africa you intend to visit, however, some of the optimal times for game viewing are late July/early August when predators can be seen hunting their prey; December/January as large herds migrate across Tanzania’s Serengeti plains; February/March when wildebeest calves in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve; April/May as elephants congregate at Tarangire National Park in Tanzania; and June/July with hippos gathering along Lake Manyara’s shoreline in Tanzania.

Accommodation & Prices:

If budget is a concern then consider visiting during low season (April-June) as prices tend to drop significantly compared with peak-seasons (December-February and July – September). Accommodations also fill up quickly so make sure you book early if traveling during these periods.

Overall, deciding when to go on an East African safari largely depends on what type of experience you’re looking for – whether it’s cooler weather or cheaper accommodation. No matter the season, an East African safari promises a wealth of wondrous sights and unforgettable adventures.

When planning your East African safari, the best time to go is during the dry season when wildlife sightings are more frequent and conditions are ideal for game viewing. Now let’s explore how much an East African safari will cost you.

Important Takeaway: The best time to visit East Africa for a safari largely depends on what type of experience you are looking for, as temperatures and prices vary throughout the year. Book early if travelling during peak season.

How Much Does an East African Safari Cost?

When it comes to devising an East African excursion, a critical inquiry is the expense that will be incurred. The cost of an East African safari will vary depending on the destination and activities chosen. Here’s a breakdown of some common costs associated with an East African safari:

Accommodation costs can differ drastically, contingent on the destination and kind of accommodation selected. For example, camping in remote areas can be very affordable while staying at luxury lodges or resorts can be quite expensive. Prices range from around $50 per night for basic camping up to several hundred dollars per night for more luxurious accommodations.


Depending on your destination and length of stay, transport costs can add up quickly. If you opt to travel by car or 4×4, it’s essential to consider fuel costs in your budgeting plan. If flying between destinations then airline tickets must also be factored in as well as any additional fees such as airport taxes or baggage charges that may apply.


Many people choose to book guided tours which usually include game drives, bush walks and other activities such as river cruises or hot air balloon rides – these come at an extra cost but are often worth the expense if they fit within your budget. Other activities like cultural visits or local markets may not require booking ahead but could still incur small entrance fees so make sure to factor this into your overall budget too.

Food & Drink:

Food prices vary depending on where you eat – restaurants tend to charge more than street food stalls but both offer delicious meals that won’t break the bank. It’s always wise to bring along some snacks just in case though – especially if travelling long distances between destinations. Drinks are generally cheaper than food so don’t forget about those either – bottled water is essential for keeping hydrated during hot days out exploring Africa’s wild places.

Overall, an East African safari holiday doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s feasible to have a fantastic time in East Africa without spending too much; there are numerous strategies for cutting costs while still enjoying all the amazing experiences this continent has to offer. With careful planning and research beforehand it is possible to find deals that suit any budget – whether you’re looking for luxury lodges or rustic campsites there is something out there waiting just for you.

The expense of a sojourn to East Africa can be widely disparate, contingent upon the destination, length and pursuits included – yet with thoughtful scheduling, it is possible to secure an excellent offer. Now, let’s explore the wildlife you might encounter on your East African safari journey.

Important Takeaway: Planning ahead and researching different accommodation, transport, activities and food options can help you find an East African safari that fits your budget while still giving you the amazing experience of exploring Africa.

What Animals Can You See on an East African Safari?

When pondering a safari in Africa, what creatures come to your imagination? Lions, elephants, and giraffes are the most iconic creatures associated with a safari experience. But there is so much more wildlife that can be seen on an East African Safari. Wild creatures, from the big cats like cheetahs and leopards to zebras and antelopes; eagles, hawks, songbirds; crocodiles, snakes and frogs – all inhabit East Africa’s wilds.

Big Cats:

The “big five” – lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo – are some of the most sought-after sightings for any safari enthusiast. In addition to these large predators, you may also spot cheetahs or caracals hunting across the savannah grasslands.

Smaller Mammals:

Zebras are one of the most recognizable species in East Africa due their distinctive black-and-white stripes. Other diminutive creatures include antelopes (like the impala), warthogs which bear a likeness to swine or wild boar, hyenas that stalk in darkness and jackals who scavenge under sunlight.


There is no shortage of birdlife on an East African Safari. Raptors such as eagles soar overhead while storks wade through wetlands searching for food. You may even spot brightly colored parrots perched atop trees or hear flocks of flamingos honking nearby lakeshores.

Reptiles & Amphibians:

Crocodiles lurk beneath murky waters while monitor lizards scurry across sandy shores looking for food scraps left behind by other animals. Frogs croak loudly near riversides while chameleons blend into their surroundings camouflaged against tree bark or leaves on bushes.

While not always considered when planning a safari trip, insects play a vital role in maintaining balance within ecosystems throughout East Africa’s national parks and reserves. Butterflies flutter around flowers collecting nectar while beetles crawl along branches looking for tasty morsels among foliage leaves. Spiders spin webs between shrubs hoping to catch unsuspecting prey flying by.

From the Big Five to the Little Five, there’s no shortage of wildlife to be seen on an East African Safari. But there’s more than just animal spotting – why not explore what else you can do while on safari?

Important Takeaway: A journey to East Africa provides a plethora of animals, from majestic felines and diminutive creatures to birds, reptiles, amphibians, and bugs – all essential for sustaining the natural environment.

What Else Can You Do While On An East African Safari?

East Africa is an incredible destination for a safari holiday, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy while you’re in the region. From cultural visits to beach holidays, there’s something for everyone.

Cultural Visits:

East Africa is home to many fascinating cultures and traditions. You can explore local villages and learn about their customs, or visit ancient ruins such as Great Zimbabwe or Lamu Old Town. For those interested in wildlife conservation efforts, you can also visit animal sanctuaries like the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust or Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Beach Holidays:

If you’re looking for some rest and relaxation after your safari adventure, why not spend some time on one of East Africa’s beautiful beaches? Kenya offers a serene respite from the safari with its exquisite white sand beaches and translucent waters, perfect for taking a dip or snorkeling. Tanzania also offers gorgeous beaches along its coastlines including Zanzibar Island which boasts pristine coral reefs ideal for diving enthusiasts.

Adventure Activities:

There are plenty of adrenaline-pumping activities available throughout East Africa from bungee jumping off Victoria Falls Bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe to whitewater rafting down the Nile River in Uganda. Other popular adventure activities include mountain biking through Rwanda’s rolling hillsides or zip lining over forests in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

Nairobi City Market is a great place to find souvenirs, from traditional fabrics to carved wooden masks. Head upcountry and you’ll discover vibrant handwoven baskets made by Maasai women living near Mount Kilimanjaro. Dar es Salaam’s night markets are a must-visit; they boast an array of tantalizing street food vendors, ensuring you’ll be entertained until the wee hours.

No matter what kind of journey you seek during your time in East Africa – be it a tranquil beach retreat, an exciting activity outing, or an informative cultural tour – there are plenty of choices to make your safari holiday all the more unforgettable.

From game drives and hot air balloon rides to exploring the local culture, there is so much to experience on an East African Safari. But planning a successful trip takes more than just excitement; now let’s explore some tips for ensuring your safari is truly unforgettable.

Important Takeaway: East Africa offers an array of activities for safari-goers, from cultural visits to beach holidays and adventure activities like bungee jumping. There’s something for everyone.

Tips For Planning An Unforgettable East African Safari

Are you ready to plan an unforgettable East African safari? Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned traveler, there are some tips and tricks that can help make your trip even more special. Here are seven tips for planning the perfect East African safari.

1. An East African safari is a remarkable journey that will lead you through some of the most spectacular scenery in existence. From spotting wildlife in their natural habitats to experiencing traditional cultures, there’s something for everyone on an East African safari.

2. Where to Go on an East African Safari:

The best way to decide where to go on your safari is by researching different countries and parks within those countries that offer unique experiences such as game drives, walking tours, and cultural activities like visiting local villages or markets. Popular destinations include Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

Timing is key when planning your East African safari, as the peak season runs from June to October and April/May and November/December offer slightly lower prices but still provide great opportunities for viewing animals in calmer weather conditions with fewer crowds. When choosing when to go, reflect on the wildlife you hope to spot and how much precipitation is acceptable for your journey.

4. How Much Does An East African Safari Cost?:

Costs vary depending on where you go and what type of accommodation/activities you choose – budget travelers should expect around $100-$200 per day while luxury travelers could pay up to $1000+ per day depending upon their preferences. Prices also tend to be higher during peak season so consider traveling off-season if possible in order save money without sacrificing quality experiences .

5. What Animals Can You See On An East African Safari?: There’s no shortage of amazing animals across all the different national parks including lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras , wildebeest , buffalo , cheetahs , hippos , rhinos and many more. Be sure not check out any specific park websites before booking so that you know exactly which species are available at each location .

Besides game drives, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy while exploring this incredible region. Hot air balloon rides over the Masai Mara National Reserve, gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, bird watching along Lake Victoria, white water rafting down the Nile River, snorkeling off Zanzibar Island and mountain climbing Mt Kilimanjaro are just some of the exciting possibilities.

Important Takeaway: The perfect East African safari can be tailored to any budget, offering amazing wildlife experiences, cultural activities and other exciting adventures. Through judicious preparation and investigation, you can maximize your stay in this extraordinary area to its fullest potential.

FAQs in Relation to East African Safari

Which country has the best wildlife in East Africa?

Kenya is widely considered to have the best wildlife in East Africa. Its national parks and reserves are home to a variety of animals, including the Big Five: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. Masai Mara National Reserve is a celebrated home of lions and other predators, such as cheetahs and hyenas, renowned for their majestic presence. The reserve also boasts an impressive array of birdlife with over 500 species recorded here. Other popular game viewing areas include Amboseli National Park which has great views of Mount Kilimanjaro; Tsavo West National Park which offers excellent opportunities for spotting elephants; Samburu National Reserve where you can see rare species like Grevy’s zebra; Lake Nakuru National Park known for its flamingos; and Meru National Park with its dense forests teeming with primates.

How much does a 7 day African safari cost?

The cost of a week-long African adventure can differ significantly, depending on the kind of excursion you want. Generally, costs can span from approximately $1,500 to over $10,000 for each individual. Luxury lodges and private guides will be more expensive than budget camping options or group tours. Factors such as location, accommodation quality and inclusions also play a role in determining the overall cost. Ultimately, your budget should determine what kind of safari experience you have – but rest assured that there is something available for everyone.

How much does a high-end African safari cost?

The cost of a high-end African safari can vary greatly depending on the destination, length of stay, and type of accommodation. Generally, a high-end African safari for one person over the course of seven days could cost anywhere from $3,000-10,000. This price range includes all meals and activities as well as luxurious accommodations such as tented camps or lodges with amenities like swimming pools and spas. Additionally, some tours may include airfare or other transportation costs which could increase the overall cost even more. Ultimately, ascertaining a definitive expense necessitates consulting with an African safari tour specialist.

What is the top feature in East Africa safari?

The top feature of an East African safari is the incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. From the vast savannahs of Kenya and Tanzania to the lush rainforests of Uganda, visitors can experience a wide variety of animals in their natural habitats. Whether it’s spotting big cats like lions and leopards or witnessing majestic herds of elephants and giraffes on the open plains, there are plenty of exciting sights to behold. Additionally, many safaris offer unique experiences such as night game drives or guided bush walks for those looking for something extra special. With so much to explore, an East African safari is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.


An East African Safari is an experience like no other. From the incredible wildlife to the stunning landscapes, there’s something for everyone. Organizing an East African Safari, whether for a cost-effective getaway or an extravagant break, can be the journey of a lifetime with sufficient research and preparation. So don’t wait any longer – start researching and booking today to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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Natasha Chapman

Natasha Chapman

Safari planner & Photographer

Follow along with my life in Africa for adventure, photography, wildlife and safari planning.

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