Birding Rwanda

Why Visit East Africa

The East African region stands out with a wide range of natural scenery, wildlife and diverse places to visit. From its parks and wildlife to its freshwater lakes and waterfalls, East Africa’s unsurpassed attractions continue to fascinate both locals and visitors. The region is known for its unique tourist attractions including safari parks, special birdlife, volcanoes, mountains, beaches and a variety of cultures and historical sites. The variety of habitats is mainly associated with the rift valleys (Western Rift Valley/Albertine Rift and the Eastern Rift/Gregory) which have vast savannas and high mountains.

The following are some of the unique tourism attractions of the East African Region:

1.⁠ ⁠Unique wild animals and birds

The East African Region has an extensive habitat for large herds of big game animals like Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinoceros, etc. These animals can be seen in Kenya’s savanna parks and reserves like Maasai Mara, Tsavo, Amboseli, Nakuru, Samburu, etc; in Tanzania’s safari parks like Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Arusha, Ruaha National Park, etc; in Uganda’s game parks including Queen Elisabeth, Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo, Kidepo Valley; and in Akagera National Park where the unique big 5 of African Safaris are found in Rwanda. In these savanna parks you can also see other animals like Giraffe, Zebra, Wildbeest, Hippopotamus, Crocodiles, etc. depending on your destination. The Mountain Forest parks in the West Rift Valley are home to great apes like Mountain Gorillas found in Virunga Massif (Rwanda, Uganda and DRC), Golden Monkeys found in Virunga Massif and Gishwati (Rwanda), and Chimpanzees (Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and DRC).

The region is home to over 1200 variety of birds including 41 species endemic to the Albertine Rift region, nine species endemic to Kenya, 36 endemics in Tanzania while Fox’s Weaver is the only endemic in Uganda.

2.⁠ ⁠Beaches and Islands

The Indian Ocean coastline (Kenya and Tanzania) offers beautiful beaches, white sand and panoramic vistas. The ocean also hosts marine animals like humpback whales, sharks, turtles, vibrant corals, and a multitude of bony fish in its waters. You can also experience isolated life in Zanzibar. The region also has different lakes like Victoria, Tanganyika and Kivu where you can experience boat cruises as well as the local canoes ride.


3.⁠ ⁠Mountains and Volcanoes

East Africa has a variety of mountains and volcanoes that you can hike according to your level of fitness and available time. Mount Kilimanjaro (in Tanzania) is the highest mountain in Africa (5895m/19,340 ft). Other mountains not to miss include the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda (5090.16m/16,700 ft.), Mt. Kenya (5199.9m/17,060 ft.), Mt Elgon in Uganda (4,321 m/14,176 ft), Mt. Karisimbi, Rwanda’s tallest mountain (4508m/14,790 ft.), and Mount Bisoke (3711m/12,175 ft).


4.⁠ ⁠Unique and exceptional culture

East Africa has many different people groups including more than 120 tribes in Tanzania, over 70 tribes in Kenya, about 56 in Uganda, 3 tribes in Rwanda and over 200 in DRC. Each of these tribes has a unique culture which makes the region the best cultural safari destination in Africa. One of the most famous tribes in East Africa that you don’t want to miss is the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania and Batwa in Rwanda and Uganda.


5.⁠ ⁠East African Tourist Visa

This is a Joint Tourist Visa and it allows the traveler to travel to Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda ONLY. It can be used multiple times for tourism purposes. The visa prohibits employment and is issued only for tourism purposes