East Africa is one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Choose to explore Kenya and Tanzania safari camps. Swahili coast, sandy beaches, the Serengeti's Big Five safaris and more. Travelling to East Africa is a trip of a lifetime. There are bucket list experiences like gorilla tracking in Uganda and the iconic Great Migration across Maasai Mara plains. Watch millions of flamingos flock to Kenya's Lake Nakuru, check out Nairobi's Giraffe Centre for encounters with the animals. Zanzibar's scuba diving spots, Rwanda's volcanoes and epic walks in the mountain ranges in Uganda's Lake Mburo are just a few attractions. This ultimate safari destination is made up of six countries - Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Kenya. Visit here for a fascinating mix of East Africa's cultures, traditions and languages. Our travel guide takes you to the best of wildlife, dreamy sunsets and mountain views as you travel to East Africa, a photographer's heaven.
Democratic Republic of Congo | Chad | Zimbabwe | Central African Republic | South Africa
Famous For: Mount Kilimanjaro | Mount Kenya | Lake Nyanza | East African Rift | Lake Tanganyika | Victoria Falls | Maasai Mara National Reserve | Serengeti National Park | Lake Nakuru | Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Time Zone: EAT +3
Ethnicity: Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kamba, Kalenjin 70%, Others 30%
Driving Side: Left
Airports in East Africa: Bole International Airport | Jomo Kenyatta International Airport | Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport | Julius Nyerere International Airport | Kigali International Airport | Kilimanjaro International Airport | Wilson Airport | Aden Adde International AirportNetwork Connectivity
Travelling to East Africa and wondering if you could stay connected while on a safari or amid the Serengeti? Listed are internet service operators in some of the countries in East Africa.Tanzania
The internet service providers on the mainland of Tanzania are Vodacom and Airtel. Zanzibar uses the services of Halotel widely. The coverage is good throughout Tanzania at 30,000 Tanzanian Shillings for 10 GB data for a month usage.Kenya
Kenya has a main service provider in Safaricom that provides 3G coverage in almost all parts of Kenya. So, stay connected even in the Maasai Mara and Diani Beach.Rwanda
MTN is a service provider in Rwanda that offers 7 GB of data for one week at about 5000 Rwandan Francs.Although, data charges are cheap. But the network connectivity is not the greatest, especially during peak hours.Others
There are many internet experiences for internet usage in Africa. It is a good idea to purchase SIM cards and airtime on the go. There are portable pocket Wi-Fi choices that are your ultimate internet travel companion. Rent a Teppy is a pocket-sized Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect to five smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles and tablets with unlimited internet. Rent one that starts as low as $6.95 per day. This will keep you perfectly connected especially during an emergency.
East Africa is considered home to the ancestors of humankind. The region became the greatest crossroads of the world. People were drawn by migration and trade. East Africa was in recent times affected by the struggles against colonialism and the fight for independence. Some 3000 to 5000 years ago, migrations began and the Nilotic and Bantu speaking people converged on the mosaic of East Africa. The Cushitic farmers were cattle herders and settled in the inland and coastlands of today's Ethiopia. Their descendants settled around Tanzania's Lake Manyara while the Gabbra and Rendille community settled in northern Kenya. The influx continued until the 18th century and most of the present-day Maasai and Turkana people are Nilotic descendants. Large pastoral lands were cultivated and many settled in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Migrations are one of the most fascinating aspects of East African history.
Europeans arrived in 1498 as the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama traversed en route to the Orient. Portuguese built forts and controlled the land until the early 18th century. They were displaced by Arabs from Oman for control. Omani Arabs developed strong trade routes that stretched to as far as Lake Tanganyika and central Africa. The Sultan of Oman moved his capital to Zanzibar Island and the trade of slaves grew rapidly. Zanzibar became the largest station for human trafficking by the mid-19th century that passed through the market every year. The horrors of the slave trade and demand by European plantation workers grew. In 1890, Germany and Great Britain signed an agreement on boundaries of influence. The 19th century saw an era of European explorers such as Burton and Speke. Both British and German colonial administrators began establishing their presence by the 20th century. Commerce was encouraged by building roads and railways. There was an influx of Christian missionaries and European farmers settled in the Kenya fertile highlands.Various nationalist movements began and culminated in the freedom of the various regions.
East Africa comprises sub-Saharan Africa composed of two distinct regions. East Africa is made up of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Horn of Africa is made up of Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. This is a land that features the two tallest peaks on the continent, Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The Great Rift Valley is a deep gorge that was formed by tectonic forces that also define the geographic feature of the region. There are numerous water bodies and Lake Victoria is the world's second-largest freshwater lake. East Africa also boasts of Lake Tanganyika, the world's second deepest lake.
The region has nutrient-rich land ideal for farming. European colonisation took advantage of the fertile land for agricultural resources. This is also the land of the âBig Five'. The large migratory herds are seen across the Serengeti Plain of Tanzania that attract tourists. The dramatic landscape and safari experiences have made Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda popular tourist destinations. Zebra, wildebeest, lions, cheetahs, antelope, gazelle and other wildlife roam the landscape and have made East Africa a safari destination.
East African culture is diverse with the massive region spanning many territories. There is a shared heritage of Islamic influences and western colonisation. East African music relies on simple instrumentation with heavy use of percussion and basic horns. The region is noted for its fusion music that creates mash-ups of traditional and modern music with western elements. East African music also has Arabic influences. Every single nation has many different cultures, a dozen languages and a distinct national identity.Food and Drink
East African foods make use of tubers and grains that are often processed into a mash and eaten with bread or rice. Meat dishes are often accompanied by milk and butter. Pork is hardly used as East Africa has Islamic influences. Sorghum, beans, corn, teff and yams are widely used. Most meat dishes are made of chicken, beef or buffalo.Must-Try East African National Dishes
Ugali (maize flour cooked in water),Tilapia (tender grilled meat), Sambaza (fish served with lemon and French fries), Brochette (chick, mutton or beef cuts), Sambusa (pastry with beef or spiced potato filling), Matoke (baked or steam cooked banana), Chapati(flatbread), Mandazi (bread snack)Must-Try East African National Drinks
Isamaza (liqueurs), Juiced Passion Fruit, Coconut Water, Chai (tea), Coffee, Sugarcane Juice, Soft DrinksHospitality
People in East Africa are the friendliest and getting around is easy. Locals are respectful and hospitable.Travellers can enjoy the vibrant culture and spectacular scenery. The welcoming people attract tourists from far and wide. Learn to say hello (Hujambo) and other simple greetings in Swahili that will make your trip more enjoyable. Maasai people greet each other with âsopa'. Verbal greetings are usually said before a handshake. Another common greeting is poa, a more casual form of hello. Supporting the right forearm with the left while handshaking is considered a form of respect. Take your time to greet and shake everyone's hands. It is common to enquire about each other's families.
Travel to East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda) in the winter months that occur between mid-June and October. Enjoy the sunny weather in the parks and the wildlife sightings are excellent. East Africa has two rainy seasons, the short rains come in November and the long rains arrive in late March. The rains last until the end of May, a time to avoid travel here. For fantastic wildlife experiences, November is a good time to visit withpleasant East Africa weather. The average high temperature is 24Â°C and the average low is 14.9Â°C.The region of East Africa is large, so one thing to be certain is variations from country to country. So, it's a good idea to take the guidance of the East Africa weather forecast experts so you go in the best time to maximise wildlife opportunity. The Great Migration season is also in the dry period between July and August.
Witness incredible wildlife drama in the largest unbroken caldera in the world. Watch as prey and predators graze the open grasslands and swamps of the crater floor.Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a wildlife paradise. Watch the hippos around the Ngoitoktok Springs and the flamingos around Lake Magadi. Commonly found wildlife include warthogs, hartebeests, waterbucks, golden and black-backed jackals among others.
Best Time to Visit: Winter months
Entry Price: $20
Reward yourself with an incredible trek experience through the forests of the Virunga Mountains. Home to the endangered mountain gorillas encounter these amazing animals in the park. Keep company with the family of gorillas in their natural habitat. Follow experienced guides that trek you into the forest in search of the mountain gorillas. The Gorilla Trek is a memorable lifetime and top bucket list activity. This is Africa's oldest national park draped in lush vegetation.
Best Time to Visit: Mid-June to October
Entry Price: $75 (Bisoke hike)
Watch an incredible sight of a coalition of male lions stalk the open plains of Serengeti's grasslands. This is the greatest wildlife destination on earth and truly nature's legacy. Get a chance to get a glimpse of the Big Five in the Moru Kopjes area. Spot predators like lion and cheetah in action, especially during January to March who prey on wildebeest newborn calves. The game viewing experiences are exceptional all year. Serengeti is also an incredible bird-watching destination.
Best Time to Visit: Winter months
Entry Price: $60 (adult), $30 (children age 5 to 16)
This wildlife corridor between Tanzania and Kenya is named after the red-cloaked Maasai people. In the local language, Mara means a play with light and shadow. Experience cloud-studded skies and acacia trees cast shadows on the vast grasslands. Thousands of wildebeest, zebra and Thomson's gazelle travel to and from the Serengeti. July to October is a great time to witness the Great Migration. Don't miss the throngs of hippos and crocs that live by the Mara River.
Best Time to Visit: August to November
Entry Price: $80 (adult), $45 (children upto age 18)
This is a perfect sight of the world's highest free-standing mountain. Make a climb if you are an adventure enthusiast and enjoy the experience with a guide. The climb takes five to nine days, and good fitness levels are a must. Mount Meru nearby is a shorter climb and an option to consider. Mt. Kilimanjaro against the African savannah in the foreground is an iconic scene to witness. The tallest peak in Africa is 5895 meters.
Best Time to Visit: July to October, January to March
Entry Price: $70
ThisRift Valley park is famed for the large density of flamingo flock. As many as two million birds swell by Lake Nakuru during the dry season. Birds feed on algae as the water levels of the lake fall. Witness the rose-hued haze as the lake's surface fills with pink flamingos. Watch also a host of other animals such as rhino, lions and over 450 species of birds. Visit the soda lake famous for its amazing flamingo population.
Best Time to Visit: Dry season
Entry Price: $90 (adult), $45 (children up to age 18)
This beautiful beach on Mahe Island is a famous tourist attraction. The blue waters and white sandy beaches are an inviting excursion spot. Soak in the sun and the beautiful atmosphere in the lively Beau Vallon. Stay in one of the most loved accommodations of Seychelles and walk the stunning sandy beach surface. This is a beach off the coast of East Africa. Enjoy diving and snorkelling the clear waters of the beach and be amazed at the coral reefs.
Best Time to Visit: April and October
Entry Price: Based on the tour
If you can make time, few more places to visit in East Africa are,
Most Popular Regions and Cities to Visit in East AfricaKenya
Kenya encompasses the lake-lands and the majestic savannahs. Known for the Maasai Mara Reserve, tourists flock to the destination to witness the annual wildebeest migrations. The country boasts of mountain highlands and the dramatic Great Rift Valley. It has a coastline on the Indian Ocean with Nairobi as its largest city and capital.
Visit For: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Reserve, Tsavo National Park, Buffalo Springs, Lake Nakuru National ParkTanzania
The safari mecca, Serengeti National Park is a famous tourist attraction in Tanzania. This East African country is famous for the âBig Five' game drives. Noted for its wilderness, it is home to Africa's highest mountain. Kilimanjaro National Park and the tropical islands of Zanzibar are incredible experiences.
Visit For: Serengeti National Park, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar Beaches, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National ParkUganda
This is a landlocked country in East Africa with abundant wildlife. Witness a diverse landscape, the Rwenzori Mountains and the beautiful Lake Victoria. Visit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for fabulous encounters with mountain gorillas. Witness Murchison Falls and wildlife like hippos and rare birds.
Visit For: Murchison Falls National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kibale National ParkRwanda
One of the smallest countries on the African continent it has its capital in Kigali. It is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley. Witness breathtaking scenery in Rwanda, also known as âland of a thousand hillsâ.Kigali is located on the Ruganwa River that offers unique experiences along with warm hospitality.
Visit For: Volcano National Park, Kigali Genocide Memorial, Akagera National Park, Ethnographic MuseumSeychelles
Home to numerous beaches and coral reefs, this is an archipelago of 115 islands. Situated in the Indian Ocean, it is off the East African mainland. Visit for its stunning beaches, giant Aldabra tortoises and mountain rainforests. Morne Seychellois National Park, Beau Vallon, AnseTakamaka are some of the top attractions.
Visit For: Anse Lazio, Curieuse Island, Anse Intendance, Beau Vallon BeachOther Popular Regions and Cities to Visit in East Africa,
This is East Africa's multi-disciplinary cultural event that takes place annually on the islands of Zanzibar. The 9-day festival includes film screenings, art exhibitions, concerts, readings and a lot of talent. Workshops also empower next-generation actors and screenwriters among others.Dhow races take place as well.
Location: Zanzibar, Tanzania
This is a religious festival that takes place across Africa. It is celebrated on the first day of the month of Shawwal and depends on the lunar sightings. The end of Ramadan or Islamic fasting month brings in Eid- al-Fitr festival. Prayers, acts of charity, family reunions and feasting accompany the celebrations.
Date: Varies annually
This African celebration brings together the tribal traditions of 14 communities. The festival showcases traditional dancing and dress where locals and visitors get involved. Traditional food and the customs of nomadic lifestyles are all on display to be experienced.
Date: 11 June
The Persian New Year is celebrated with much fanfare in Zanzibar. The festival takes place around the 23rd or 24th of July and the main event is held in the MakunduchiVillage. Folk singing, feasting, drumming, dancing and more are part of the traditional festival. The mganga finally ignites the fire and prays for happiness in the new year.
Date: End of July
The international music festival has the perfect setting of the Nile River. The event has taken place in Jinja, Uganda since 2015. Witness psychedelic jazz grooves and hip-shaking kuduro beats. The event takes place on Nile Discovery Beach with beautiful landscapes. An international line up of musicians from Africa line up to perform. Take a break from all the dancing to take a dip in the Nile.
Date: 21 December to 3 January
Other festivals/events celebrated in East Africa are,
All travellers must have a valid passport to apply for an East African visa. The passport needs to be valid for six months beyond the date of return. The passport must have at least two consecutive blank pages for each country of travel for an East Africa visa requirement.Visa-on-arrival/eVisa/Visa-free entry
Tanzanian diplomatic missions help visitors to obtain visas unless the traveller is from a visa-exempt or visa on arrival country. Citizens of the countries listed below can visit Tanzania without a visa up to 3 months of stay,
All other nationalities that are not visa-exempt can obtain a visa on arrival. Payment for a visa on arrival is $50 or $100 and the length of stay depends on the entry port.
eVisa is also another type of visa for citizens that was introduced on 26 November 2018. The Tanzania tourist eVisa is obtainable online https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/guidelines within 10 working days.
The single-entry tourist visa is valid for a stay of up to 90 days for a fee of $50. The multiple entry visa has a validity of stay of 12 months for a fee of $100.
Transit visas are provided for passengers en route and have a stay validity of seven days. The fee for processing the visa is 30 days.East African Visa
This is a multi-entry visa for foreigners visiting Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The East Africa Visa helps boost regional tourism for tourists who want to explore. Travel must start from the country that has issued the visa. The visa is eligible for tourists who want to visit the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Uganda simultaneously. The visa is issued at the immigration offices of the respective countries. The application can be made manually or online by submitting the EATV Form 1.Types of Visa and Validity
An East Africa Tourist Visa is a single-entry visa with multiple entry use within the three countries. It has a validity of 90 days of stay from the date of issue. The application fee is $100 for a tourist visa within the restricted region. The visa elapses if the traveller moves out of the Partner States. The East African Visa cannot be extended.
Travelling in East Africa by air is guaranteed to be fun. East Africa is connected to the world by a network of international airports in different Partner States. The Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency work closely with the national civil authorities to ensure safety for travellers. East African Air is an airline jointly run by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The airline has its hub in DaresSalaam and has a network to various countries in East Africa. Fly to Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Tabora, Musoma and other important cities in the region. Kenya Airways has a large network between Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The other airlines that fly domestically are Precision Air, RwandAir, and Air Kenya.Private Car
There are plenty of bus services that connect East African capitals and other major cities. EAC has ensured enhanced cooperation between Partner Countries. Travellers can drive across the EAC region across the borders for visits for up to seven days. A valid driver's license is required in any of the Partner States. Also, ensure that your car is insured and a sticker of proof of insurance is good to have. The various ports of entry are Kenya - Uganda border, Kenya - Tanzania border, Tanzania - Uganda border, Tanzania - Burundi border, Tanzania- Rwanda border, South Sudan - Uganda border and South Sudan - Kenya border.Bus
Easy Travel East Africa is a platform that ensures seamless travel in the region. It offers universal ticketing and customer service across the community. There are plenty of operators to choose from such as Modern Coast, Dreamline, Tahmeed, Easy Coach, Riverside Shuttle and Mash Poa. Visit the website and book tickets online.Taxis, a.k.aBodaBoda
Bicycles and motorcycle taxis are commonly found in East Africa. They are commonly referred to as BodaBoda in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Moto taxis are available in Rwanda, DRC and Burundi. Shared taxis that usually carry five to nine passengers, also ply the region. You could hire a taxi in Kenya, Uganda and northern Tanzania. Private taxi services are also available in important cities.Minibus
The minibus is a highly popular form of transport. It is called matatu in Kenya, dalladallas in Tanzania and matatu/taxi in Uganda.Train
Kenya opened a railway gauge in 2017 that serves passengers between Mombasa and Nairobi. Uganda and Tanzania rail network ispoorly developed.Boat
Passenger boats are connecting Mwanza with Bukoba and other lakeside villages. In Kenya, there is a ferry across the Winam Gulf between Mbita Point and Luanda K'Otieno. There are motorised canoes around Mbita Point. In Uganda, small boats ply on Lake Victoria connecting Ssese Islands to mainland villages. Take a boat between Mbamba Bay and Itungi in Tanzania on Lake Nyasa. There is a passenger ferry that connects Kigoma in Tanzania to Mpulungu in Zambia.
Flights arrive from Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in Africa and other parts of the world. Nairobi in Kenya is Africa's major hub while Dar es Salaam and Arusha in Tanzania are well connected. Entebbe in Uganda, Kigali in Rwanda, Zanzibar in Tanzania and Bujumbura in Burundi are some major international airport destinations.You get cheap charter flights to Mombasa (Kenya) from Europe. Air Mauritius, African Express Airways, British Airways, Brussels Airlines are some of the major airline operators. Ethiopian Airlines, Fly 540, Kenya Airways also have a wide network in the region.Via Road
Getting to East Africa by road can be accompanied by a road itinerary within East Africa. Visit parks, game reserves and plot a short route that takes you to travel through East Africa. Rent vehicles on a minimum budget and traverse through for an exciting road journey.Via Sea
You could combine a Kenyan or Tanzanian safari with an Indian Ocean cruise experience. The wildlife of Africa combined with the tranquillity of the idyllic islands of Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius is very tempting. You could choose from the many cruises such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Ponant Cruise Yacht and more.
Visit D R Congo, a country in Central Africa that is the second largest in all of Africa. The Virunga NationalPark, Mount Nyiragongo, Kahuzi- Biega National Park, Congo Rainforest and other attractions are inviting. Interacting with wilderness and gorillas are unmissable.Zimbabwe (672km from Mozambique)
Experience excellent boat rides and game viewing in Zimbabwe. The top things to see include Mana Pools National Park, Lake Kariba, Victoria Falls and more. Wonderful beaches are accessible via Johannesburg such as Mauritius, Seychelles and Mozambique. Enjoy a coastal safari destination.Chad (1668 km from South Sudan)
Visit Chad in Central Africa for the Ennedi Plateau, Emi Koussi, Zakouma National Park and more.The capital N'Djamena is a blend of modern and traditional cultures. Lake Chad, the Grand Mosque and other points of interest such as the Tibesti Mountains are great travel spots.Distance Between Places Of Importance In And Around East Africa
Central African Republic (2021 km from Kenya), Botswana (1200 km from Mozambique), South Africa (1832 km from Mozambique)
CALLING CODE: +257 Burundi, +254 Kenya, + 211 South Sudan, +250 Rwanda, +255 Tanzania, +256 Uganda.
EMBASSY Of UAE in NAIROBI: + 254 2022 65066 | For more info united-arab-emirates/embassy/kenya/
Fire brigade: 999 (Kenya toll-free number)
General Emergency Number: 999
East Africa currency is the East Africa Shilling. The East Africa Shilling money is broken up into 100 cents. The most stable currency in East Africa is the Kenyan Shilling. The Libyan Dinar is the strongest currency in Africa. The East Africa 1 Shilling 1924 value is $7.14 in that year. It is a collector's item today. There is a crowned portrait of King George V on the obverse and a lion in landscape on the reverse. The East African Shilling was the currency used in East Africa controlled by the British from 1921 to 1969. A new version of East Africa Shilling to be proposed by the EAC is slated to be in circulation in 2024. The East African Community consists of Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan. The currency used in some of the popular East African countries are,Tanzania Currency:
The currency code for Tanzanian Shilling is TZS. The Tanzania Shilling currency symbol is Tsh. TheTanzania Shilling exchange ratefor some of the popular currencies are,
The currency code for Kenyan Shilling is KES. The Kenyan Shilling currency symbol is Ksh. TheKenyan Shilling exchange ratefor some of the popular currencies are,
The currency code for the Rwandan franc is RWF. The Rwandan franc currency symbol is RF. TheRwandan franc exchange ratefor some of the popular currencies are,
Some of the other currencies used in East Africa are Ugandan shilling (Uganda), Burundian franc (Burundi), South Sudanese pound (South Sudan). The strongest currency in East Africa and the most stable is the Kenyan Shilling.
*Please note that the ROE is subject to change.