East Africa Safari Activities

Activities to include on your safari

East Africa is by far the best safari destination for anyone interested in authentic experiences watching wildlife in their natural habitat, cultural experiences, or simply a foodie wanting to partake in different culinary delicacies. 

The safari activities are numerous and diverse making a combination of these countries a prime destination for travellers. A safari can include trekking mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys, bird watching, game viewing. Other activities include hiking the gorgeous mountains, boat safaris, and cultural/community experiences, hot air balloons, nature walks etc.

The numerous activities available will allow you to build an itinerary to suit your interests. The team at Kagera safaris has visited the destinations and accommodation we offer to make sure everything meets our high standards. Although we have sample itineraries, we aim to create custom safaris that give you the experience you seek.

Our safari guests can immerse themselves in Africa’s broad savannahs, mountains, culture, and remarkable wildlife, knowing that Kagera Safaris has organized every detail.




Chimpanzee trekking

Just like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking is done in various forests in Uganda with the most famous being Budongo forest, Semliki reserve, Kalinzu forest, Kyambura gorge, and Kibale forest. In Rwanda, chimpanzee trekking happens in Nyungwe forest where just like gorillas, you are allowed 1 hour with the chimps after locating them while on a chimp trek. In Tanzania, chimpanzee trekking happens in Mahale mountains national park and Gombe national park. 

Gorila Trekking

You can do this is Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and Congo’s Virunga National Park. This requires you to purchase a gorilla tracking permit before you embark on this hike through the jungles with the help of your ranger guide. You are only allowed 1 hour in the presence of the gorillas once you locate them. Alternatively, you can choose a gorilla habituation experience which accords you 4 hours in the presence of the gorillas.

Golden Money Trekking

Golden Monkeys are unique primates only found in the peaks of the Virunga volcanoes where the trekking takes place. They live in groups of about 30 or more and roam over a large territory.  The trekking starts early morning with briefing at 7am at the park headquarters before the different trekkers are placed in different groups. The trekking can take anywhere from 2 hours to several hours depending on where they nested the previous night. 

Colobus Monkey Trekking

East Africa is home to different monkeys among which are Colobus monkeys. Nyungwe national park is home to a large number of the Angola colobus monkeys. This is an activity you can engage in while on safari.  Just like gorilla trekking,  you need to purchase the trekking permit and attend a briefing before the trek. Unlike gorillas, this can be done both in the morning and afternoon. You can only spend 1 hour in their presence after locating them. 

Bird watching

East Africa countries are home to numerous bird species, some of which can only be found here in the entire world. In many ways, it is a birders haven with the several bird habitats from lakes, rivers, wetlands, forests, mountains, savannah etc. The region is said to be home to over 1048 recorded bird species. Bird watching is done in both the protected areas and non protected areas like agricultural lands and several roadside areas. 

Game Drives

For those interested in the Savannah National Parks to watch wild animals as they go about their day, then game drives in the custom-made safari vehicles is what you want. You will have a 360 degree views of the plains in the safari vehicle. Your tour guide drives through different game tracks in search of the most sought after animals like the Big 5 and other big mammals. Game drives are done in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania Savannah parks and reserves. 

Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloon safaris is an alternative way of experiencing safaris on a game drive. You are able to watch different wildlife from above and then compare with the experience when on a game drive. Currently you can have hot air ballon safaris in select national parks in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda. 

Horse Riding

Another way to experience wildlife on a safari is taking on horse ride. Horse riding happens in some national parks where you are joined by a ranger guide and you ride along the different wildlife. It is also done outside of the parks in communities or near attractions like rivers, lakes, mountains etc. 

Boat Safaris

Boat safaris are another way to explore wildlife while on safari in the various national parks and reserves. There are options of hiring a private boat or joining in with other travellers as you explore the lake/river and it’s shores.  While on a boat safari, enjoy bird watching, game viewing of wildlife and simple sunset cruises. 

Canopy Walk

Canopy walks happen mostly in the different tropical forests or across beautiful water falls. The most common canopy walk is in the Nyungwe forest in Rwanda where travellers are treated to amazing views of the forest and birds from the top. This is an opportunity to view the forest from ‘up’ after a nature walk. 

Nature Walks

Nature walks/ Safari walks are another way of experiencing nature and wildlife while on safari. These happen in different forests and savannah areas of national parks or reserves. You are able to watch especially the small animals and plants that you would otherwise miss when on a game drive or balloon safari or horse ride etc. 

Mountaineering/ Hiking

Mountaineering and hiking is a big safari experience in East Africa. You have the highest mountain in Africa – Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, followed by Mt Kenya and Mt Rwenzori in Uganda. There are numerous other mountains in all the East Africa countries including those that can be summited in a day tour. 

Water Rafting

Water rafting happens in Uganda and Kenya all year round. In Uganda, white water rafting is on the River Nile in Jinja with different companies offering this service from different points. Enjoy different grades of rapids on the Nile in Uganda and River Tana in Kenya. 

Kayaking and Canoeing

There are many opportunities of water sports in East Africa. Enjoy Kayaking on River Nile in Uganda, Lake Kivu, Twin Lakes in Rwanda, Lake Naivasha and Diani area in Kenya, Lake Dulutu and Zanzibar for Tanzania. Canoeing is almost available on every small river or lake especially in the local dug out canoes. 

Quad Biking & Bungee Jump

For the adrenaline junkies, Bungee jumping and Quad biking are some activities that will give you the adrenaline rush the you need. You can choose the amazing bungee jump on River Nile in Uganda, In Kenya it is at Sagana, 

When to Visit?

In general, East Africa has the same water patterns except particular areas in each country which are either semi-arid or mountainous. The weather is near perfect all year round, therefore you can visit whenever you want. That said, there are months with higher rains than others. In general, because this is a tropical country, and the sun soon comes out after the rain. Most people prefer to travel here in Jan – Feb, June – September and December. The rains are more common in March – May and then October & November.

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