East Africa: Fascinating Sights and Attractions

Dan Rang - Jun 30, 2014
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East Africa made up of 19 nations including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda is home to isolated terrain and rugged landscape which makes it a popular destination for all outdoor enthusiasts. It has grown in popularity especially with tourists who love conflict aftermath or wildlife. Travelers to this region of the world enjoy spectacular scenery, welcoming people and a vibrant culture. The attractions range from discovering ruins, hiking and safari tours.

Kenya

Kenya is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. If you visit Kenya, be sure to go to Maasai Mara in Western Kenya. Here, Maasai culture and wildlife sightings are unparalleled. For an outdoor adventure, you can take a hike around Mt. Kenya or go to the Nandi Hills located at the edge of the Great Rift Valley.

For the people who love the coast, there are several resort towns along Kenya's eastern coast. The beaches here feature white sands and tourists can hire glass bottom boats for an offshore trip. Bamburi Beach is a popular resort destination and is home to a vibrant night-life and fine dining.

For the wildlife lover, Haller Park is the best destination at the coast. It is a wildlife sanctuary home to giraffes, crocodiles and hippos. Another common destination is the Bamburi Forest Trails. Bamburi Forest Trails features walking and bike trails, panoramic views and hiking. Other popular spots include Lake Nakuru, Hell's Gate National Park and Amboseli National Park.

Tanzania

Tanzania is home to diverse landscapes and wildlife. Safari tours can be taken from several different locations in Tanzania. You can head to Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is the highest point in Africa, for a scenic drive or a long hike to the summit. You can also head to the Serengeti National Park for the breathtaking wildebeest migration, visit the Ngorongoro Crater and the country's national parks for a spectacular wildlife viewing. The wildlife here includes zebras, gazelles, lions and over four hundred bird species.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the largest countries in East Africa and home to the Simien Mountain National Park, a World Heritage Site. It is home to a wide range of animal species including the caracal, gelada baboon and the rare Ethiopian wolf. There are several mountain peaks that exceed 13,000 feet and offer a challenging climb. Ras Dashan is the highest of these peaks.

The Ethiopia's Blue Nile Falls is twenty miles from Bahir Dar. The waterfall has a 150ft drop and is one of the most popular attractions in the country. Another popular tourist attraction in this country is Ethiopia's first stone bridge. It was built in 1626 and is downstream from the Blue Nile Falls.

Burundi

Although civil unrest makes Burundi a dangerous location for foreign visitors, nationals hope that there is peace on the way. Tourists to this country will enjoy Bujumbura, the capital city. From there, they can head to the beaches of Lake Tanganyika. Attractions like Kasumo and Saga Beach are popular places to visit when the country is safe.

Rwanda

Up until 1996, Rwanda was engaged in brutal civil war and related conflicts. Since then, this country has been open to foreign tourists. You can go for the gorilla trekking for an up close and unforgettable experience with mountain gorillas in Parcs de Volcans in Rwanda. If you would like a sobering experience, you can visit churches at Kigali and St. Famille to sign up for a personal tour by survivors of the mass murders that occurred here. The guides are passionate about the program since they believe that awareness decreases the repetition of atrocity.

Uganda

Uganda is still under the radar of many visitors due to the ongoing violence. However, this East African country has many enjoyable attractions for the bold tourists. Visitors can get to experience the amazing white water rafting in Jinja, which is the source of River Nile. They can also visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and see the elusive mountain gorillas. For the lovers of adventure, the Mountains of the Moon located in Rwenzori National Park will offer the best experience. These are the highest mountain ranges in Africa.

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