East African Combined Safaris

lion game drive

Combined Safaris are great opportunities to experience a slice of everything the East African region offers. Top tourist destinations in Kenya, Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda are visited during the combined safari itineraries. Whether you are in Kenya and Tanzania for the big game and wildebeest migration, or on Rwanda and Uganda tours for wildlife, and primate safaris, you are guaranteed to enjoy what is offered in these places.

There is more to combined safaris than Tanzania’s spectacular Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro, majestic Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park, or Rwanda and Uganda’s mountain gorillas. Travelers have enough time to explore the sweeping plains dotted by various animal species, relishing out-of-this-world boat cruises, friendliness and hospitality of the numerous tribes, savoring the richness of mouth-watering local dishes and delicious freshly brewed African coffee and not missing out on the raw beauty marked by verdant sceneries as well as smooth white sand beaches. For these combined safaris, be prepared for boundless wildlife viewing, primate trekking, unmatched immersive cultural experiences, adventure tours, bird watching, and so much more.

Wildlife and Gorilla Safaris in Uganda

Uganda is one of the best places to explore during combined safaris and is known for a wide range of activities. For travelers looking to enjoy wildlife viewing in Uganda, try out the stunning Murchison Falls National Park in the north-west of the country. This is the premier Protected Area, established in 1952 to protect the unique ecosystem as well as the World’s most powerful waterfalls.

This park alone offers 76 mammal species that include four of the big five, about 450 species of birds, magnificent landscapes and sceneries in the form of waterfalls, escarpments, beautiful Rivers and so much more. It is here that World-class boat cruises, hot air balloon tours, game drives, and walking safaris are relished. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg as Uganda wildlife safaris also involve exploring Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo, and Kidepo National Parks.

Safaris in Uganda also provide the best gorilla trekking experiences in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks in the south-west of the country. Visitors who can’t get enough of primates can add chimpanzee treks in Kibale Forest National Park where over 1500 of these Great Apes are found. There are also 13 primate species in this western-based Protected Area.

Uganda safaris are more than just wildlife as visitors can also add cultural experiences across the country, with each region offering something different from the other and if you are someone open to new things, you will enjoy this melting pot. Take part in different cultural dances, taste all kinds of local dishes and in the end, learn so much about them.

Rwanda tours

Rwanda seldom excites or strikes travelers as a destination for wildlife safaris but if you are the kind of person that relishes beautiful sceneries, then this country is your place to be. Wildlife tours here focus on mainly Akagera National Park, in the Eastern boundary of the country where high concentrations of big five game-elephants, Buffaloes, Rhinos, leopards, and lions can be found alongside other mammals, birds, and many others.

If the idea of jungle experiences moves you, then visiting Nyungwe and Volcanoes National Parks will do wonders. Take a trip to the north-west (home to Volcanoes National Park) where you will get the chance to spend precious time with mountain gorillas in the wild while a trip to the south-west introduces primate lovers to Nyungwe Forest National Park, home to the endangered chimpanzees in the wild. A Rwanda tour isn’t complete without a stop at Lake Kivu for unwinding after the challenging treks in the jungles.

Trips to this country aren’t only about wildlife but an experience of learning about outstanding cultures and traditions of the three ethnic groups. The beauty of Rwanda’s safari destinations is that they are very accessible from Kigali City- between a two and five-hour drive through tarred roads.

Kenya Wildlife Safaris

You can’t talk of combined safaris without mentioning Kenya, the real African wilderness with a wide range of safari destinations that make it possible to encounter unique wildlife species and enjoy unrivaled experiences.

Wildebeest migration safaris in Kenya.

Masai Mara National Reserve in the south-west of the country is popular for the wildebeest migration, popularly known as the “World Cup of wildlife” where millions of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras move through the vast Mara plains before crossing the beautiful Mara and Grumeti Rivers.

This is the real spectacle of this experience but that’s not all to this Park. Game drives are also possible in this Park with excellent views of the big five animals, Masai giraffes, warthogs, Defassa waterbucks, Topis, African wild dogs, bushbucks, aardvarks, impalas, yellow and olive baboons, cheetahs and so many more.

Kenya safaris also combine the beautiful Amboseli National Park where huge free-ranging African bush elephants are spotted at the backdrop of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, Tsavo East and West National Parks, Mount Kenya National Park, Nairobi National Park and Mount Elgon National Park among others.

Tanzania Wildlife Safaris

Take a trip to Tanzania for more wildlife tours, mountaineering experiences, village or community visits, and bird-watching tours during the combined safaris. No Tanzania safari is complete without a visit to Serengeti National Park, in the north of Tanzania. This offers the genesis of the great annual migration that starts at the beginning of the rainy season and draws most visitors to Tanzania wildlife tours. This Park is undeniably the host to the second-largest territorial mammal migration in the whole World and a sight not to miss during African safaris.

Other top tourist destinations explored during Tanzania tours include Ngorongoro Conservation Area known for sheltering the World’s largest unbroken and intact Caldera which also shelters the country’s highest concentration of big mammals. Don’t miss Tarangire National Park, Selous National Park, Arusha National Park, and Lake Manyara National Park for the tree-climbing lions. Add Zanzibar Island to experience the azure of the Indian Ocean, smooth white sand beaches, and tranquil Islands. The Archipelago is rich with history and culture, dating back to Slavery in the region in addition to having some of the oldest buildings in the East African region.

Also included in combined safaris are Congo tours, mainly centered on mountain gorilla trekking and Mount Nyiragongo hiking within Virunga National Park as well as lowland gorilla trekking within the beautiful Kahuzi-Biega National Park. The Democratic Republic of Congo is more than just gorillas because visitors can also visit Garamba National Park for wildlife safaris, Salonga National Park, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Lomani National Park as well as Upemba National Parks for remarkable wildlife viewing experiences. Afterward, a tour of Goma Town or Lake Kivu will be a perfect way to unwind after gorilla trekking adventures.

Accommodation options during East African combined safaris

When it comes to places of lodging, all these countries boast remarkable options ranging from budget to luxury Hotels, Tented Camps, Safari Lodges, Hotels, and Apartments. These places of stay depend on your tastes and preferences as well as your overall safari budget. Some of the accommodation facilities offer bar services, gymnasiums for fitness addicts, spas and massage centers, swimming pools, Airport transfers, conference centers for business travelers, Internet connection, and parking space for guests among others.

Best time of the year to undertake Africa combined safaris in East Africa

Combined safaris are enjoyed throughout the year but the dry season-June to October favors a lot of activities. For travelers who expect classic wildlife viewing experiences, this season is the best as numerous animals gather at permanent watering sources or are easier to spot, given the shorter grasses. Not only that, these months bring along promises of witnessing the remarkable great annual migration where over 1.5 million wildebeests accompanied by zebras and gazelles move from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, entering Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

This seasonal movement follows the search of lush pastures hence driving these animals northwards towards Mara River in Kenya, where huge and aggressive Crocodiles wait patiently for the wildebeests to make the treacherous River crossing. Not only that, big cats especially lions wait along the banks to grab unsuspecting animals crossing the River.

The dry season also offers more comfortable and thrilling gorilla trekking experiences, as the absence or reduction in rainfall levels means forest trails are drier, not muddy or slippery. This explains why the dry season is the peak of gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo, thus gorilla permits are in high demand. However, if you are the kind of person who enjoys privacy and detests crowds, then the wet/low season- March to early May or October to November will be perfect for gorilla trekking adventures. These tours when combined with wildlife experiences mean you will face challenges in finding animals hidden in taller grasses.

Packing for your combined safaris

Since the combined safari involves different activities (mountaineering, wildlife tours, primate treks, and others), care has to be emphasized. Therefore, bring a lightweight rain jacket, warm sweater, rainproof backpack, long safari pants, wide-brim hat, long-sleeved shirts, sturdy hiking boots with ankle support, gardening gloves, long cotton socks, t-shirts, and shorts for wildlife viewing, sandals, swimsuit, camera, toiletries (hand sanitizer, hair gel, hair combs, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrush, face towel and others), first aid kit and others.