East Africa




Month 1

If you’re flying in, you’ll almost certainly be starting at the capital city and centre of the country . You can look around, or you can jump straight on a bus (or fly) to on the shore of the expansive Lake Tana. After exploring those lakeside monasteries, you’ll be ready to head a little farther north to historic and its fascinating and well preserved castles. It’s only a 3-hour bus, and from here you can always arrange trips for multiday hikes into the – which is surely not to be missed at the right time of year. To continue your historic circuit, a long bus or short flight northeast and you’re at the ancient city of . After exploring the countryside, you’ll be wanting to head directly south to and its famous and outstanding rock-hewn churches.

Month 2

By this point, you’ve probably had enough northern-circuit history, so consider flying all the way south to where national parks, animals and tribes are top on most people’s agenda. And for a last place to visit in the country, a stop at the rift valley lakes in is never a bad idea – especially when there’s so much Italian food around!
 
It’s an easy flight from to , where you can spend a few days of comparatively pleasant city exploration before heading inland to the lake at . Though it’ll be tough to tear yourself away from this town’s stunning location, is just a couple of hours’ farther north along the shoreline and gives a different and equally pleasant perspective of the lake. is also just another hour or so inland, and makes for an excellent base from which to explore the – famous for its mountain gorillas. The final stop is the small border town of where you’ll cross quickly into .
 
A short boda-boda (motorbike) journey over the Ugandan border puts you in compact , which has excellent access to the hiking and gorillas in and makes for a good enough base for a few days.

Month 3

From here, it’s only a few hours on the bus to . Although this town doesn’t have much to offer aside from some handy supermarkets, it is very close to which is about as close as the region comes to a backpacker favourite. After a few days of resting there, continue north to the city of where you can fully stock up here before visiting the chimpanzee habitat on the way to . Here is where you’ll finally join the safariing crowds. Renting your own jeep would be a good idea here to properly explore the national park, and it would really help in getting you to and around the and to the pleasant town of . After you’ve spent a few days in this region, head inland to the capital city before making a mad dash northwest to for some of the country’s best safari experiences. Then return back to the capital and press on to the border at with .
 
The first city you’ll come to in will be , which is a good enough place to break the journey before continuing on to for a few relaxed days beside the rift lakes. This is also a great spot from which to explore and and so shouldn’t be missed.

Month 4

After you’re rested up, it’s off to to organise a tour into the , and . These three national parks are all impressive in their own right and should not be missed – althoug it can be a lot of travelling in a short amount of time. A long and tiring bus journey (or short flight) from the capital to marks the end of the safaris and the start of some serious Swahili beach vibes. While this is one of the nicest spots along the Kenyan coast, you’ll not want to miss out on visiting the impressive creek at or the well-facilitated party atmosphere of kite-surfing . From there, it’s only a short hop by bus to the easy Tanzanian border town of .
 
You won’t have to travel south down the Tanzanian coast for long at all before you reach the pleasant and quiet city of . Sure there’s not much to keep you here for long before you fly on a propeller plane to , but it certainly makes for an authentic couple of days. Once your plane touches down in , you’ll soon forget about everywhere that came before anyway. will probably be your first port of call – to soak up the history, culture and flavour of the East African coastline – but you’ll soon want to head north to the powdery white beaches of or east to the kite-surfing mecca of . Either way, you’ll no doubt have to make plans to ferry or fly to to either finish your East African adventure or continue it elsewhere.

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