Africa contains a beautiful conglomerate of culturally-rich countries and beguiling wildlife worth experiencing in one’s lifetime. Of all the countries to visit in Eastern Africa, Kenya and Tanzania stand out as the crowd favorite, given their abundance of fauna and thrilling scenery. Forming a game plan can be a tad bit overwhelming when visiting this region, which is why we’ve done the work of listing the top places to visit throughout these countries, all of which are included in our ten-day classic tour for this coveted vacation destination.
Lake Elmentaita, Soysambu Conservancy
At the famed Lake Elmentaita, visitors will be stunned by the flocks of bird species gathering by the pink-tinted waters. Some might deduce that this hue is shadowed by the groups of flamingos gathering in its space, but the water actually gets its color from seasonal changes and continual algae growth. This scenic phenomenon pairs well with a game drive through the Soysambu Conservancy, home to 15,000 wild animals and green plains stretching for thousands of acres.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
A large aspect of both Kenya and Tanzania’s magic is the offering of renowned nature reserves. Maasai Mara National Reserve exists as a haven for a plethora of unbothered wildlife. Peer over your shoulder to find prides of lions, female-led elephant herds, hearty rhinos, and animals native to the region.
Up close and personal is often the preferred viewing point for these vast savannahs. To gain a new perspective, however, our tour offers an optional hot air balloon safari. This incomparable experience provides an aerial view of the wildlife as they embark on their daily morning escapades through the vast grasslands.
Karen Blixen Museum & Giraffe Centre
Where the Karen Blixen Museum is now based, there once stood a farm owned by a Danish author by the name of Karen and her husband. Gaining fame upon the release of Karen’s autobiography and the eventual film titled Out of Africa, the farmhouse still garners international attention and honors its historical significance, as it was eventually donated by the Danish government to the Kenyan government as an independence gift. History buffs delight in touring the rooms and grounds, which still bear witness to the property’s past with original equipment from Karen’s coffee farm.
Located in close proximity to the museum is none other than the Giraffe Centre, an established environmental conservation home to the endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe. This sanctuary has played a large role in the regrowth of this subspecies, providing grounds for breeding and public education. Visitors have the opportunity to feed these long-necked animals from the palm of their hands while learning about the organization’s ongoing conservation efforts.
Tarangire National Park
Across the border, resting in Tanzania, is the Tarangire National Park, a playground for wild animals and home to august elephant herds. Exploring this countryside during the dry season guarantees a diverse wildlife landscape of elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, cheetahs, and buffalo, as the reserve’s Tarangire River provides a permanent water source for its dependent fauna. As you journey along on your safari, feast your eyes on the massive Baobab trees native to mainland Africa. These skyscrapers of the savanna tower over the terrain as the backdrop to a remarkable safari.
Lake Manyara National Park
Continuing on in your pursuit of awe-inspiring views and wildlife, you’ll want to visit Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park. What serves as the quarters for tree-climbing lions, the country’s largest elephant population, and countless pink flamingos, the highly-acclaimed national park is a one-stop destination for nature lovers.
Adding to its charm is its chipper birdlife, where enthusiasts can easily spot up to 100 species in a single day. This borderless atrium of sorts is the perfect place to pull out your binoculars and do some diligent birdwatching.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
An ultimate Kenya and Tanzania itinerary would not be complete without mention of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the residence of the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, and highly anticipated animal herds. Give your trip a proper send-off by descending to the floor of the crater to gain an even deeper look into the innumerable species residing in this space. Typical wildlife sightings include the huntsman lions, majestic elephants, striped zebra, and the occasional lucky spotting of the endangered rhino.
To truly dig beneath the surface of both Kenya and Tanzania, one must enlist in the aforementioned activities and soak in the enriching views accessible only by embarking on a trip hitting all these must-stop highlights. Africa is a continent best explored by opening oneself up to new cultural norms and fearlessly plunging into the diverse landscape and wildlife encounters.