East Africa

East-Africa-2

It actually stretches from the northern arid deserts of Ethiopia to the tropical forests of Mozambique and Madagascar, with 19 countries in between.  While my East African adventure in 2006 only spanned 3 countries, the experience it yielded were quite diverse – from the usual Safari adventures to tracking Chimpanzees to the more extreme, whitewater rafting.  Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, territories that were formerly under British control and each hold common thread yet bear its own unique character.

Highlights:

rhino-and-zebra

Catching sight of the Big Five – Lions, African Elephants, Cape Buffalos, Leopards, and Rhinoceroses.

giraffe

The Big Five aside, Zebras along with giraffes have become favorites.

Witnessing not quite the migration but the start of it.  From July to October, one could witness the great migration where wildebeest and zebra travel to and from the Serengeti National Park to the greener pastures of the Masai Mara National Reserves.

masai-mara

It is perhaps the most breathtaking event in animal kingdom and the whole point of our visit to this continent.  To see them gather together, sometimes in a line is more than thrilling.

flamingos

Witnessing a gathering of Flamingos.  Absolutely a sight to behold, this sea of pink covering a large part of Lake Nakuru.  One of the Rift Valley soda lakes that attract vast quantity of flamingos that feed on the lake’s abundant algae.

Being in beautiful Ngorongoro Crater.  It is the world’s largest intact unflooded volcanic caldera and is home to over 300,000 animals including the rare Black Rhinos.

ngorongoro

An absolutely beautiful place to be on a safari, the crater makes for a stunning backdrop to rich grazing grounds.

zanzibar4

Chilling in Zanzibar.  A semi-autonomous island separated from the Tanzanian mainland.

zanzibar3

Although just a short distance from the Tanzanian coast, it is at the crossroad of Africa, the Middle East and Asia resulting in a culture of diverse ethnicities, more Middle Eastern in its feel than African.  Likewise with local dishes, the rich fragrance of cinnamon, ginger, cumin, pepper and cardamom is synonymous with Zanzibar, also known as the Spice Island.  The streets of Stone’s Town – the capital’s old quarter – is full of the bustle of back street markets and local flavor.

zanzibar2

The charm lies in its labyrinth alleyways and faded buildings redolent of the glories of the old Islāmic empire.

7th-Jul-06-(73)

Rafting the White Nile.  Stretching 31km from just below the Bujugali Falls in Jinja, experiencing the Nile at its source is by far the best heart-pounding whitewater ride of my life.

Getting lost in Uganda.  On a wrong bus, we went the other way and ended up not quite where we wanted to be.

bus-stop-scene-in-Uganda

Best known for Idi Amin or Joseph Koney, getting lost could be frightening but this mishap gave us a taste of the local flare and the kindness of its people.  We eventually found our way but not without the help of the people we didn’t know from Adam.  An impression indelibly marked in my heart.

It is by far one of the best trip I’ve had – a wonderful surprise, considering that it was not even on the priority.  I will be back Africa, sooner than you know.

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19 Responses to East Africa

  1. ewok1993 says:

    this was a trip to trump all trips. how wonderful to witness and enjoy the animals in their natural habitats.

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    • Jenn says:

      Yes, it was. More than the wildlife (which was absolutely amazing), it was the whole “African” experience that really made this a trip of a lifetime.

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  2. jackielynn2013 says:

    Oh my goodness this is just wonderful. I would love to do this. The Flamingos are marvelous!

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  3. jim says:

    What an amzing place. Great shots.
    Sydney – City and Suburbs

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  4. Andrea says:

    This is so amazing, and i am so envious! I wonder why you are so blessed to go to places like these. Can you share me your secrets? I have friends who can house me for my whole stay and yet can’t find the means and will to go there. Would you like to go to Chile, come with me and let’s live with my friend!

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    • Jenn says:

      The whole idea of African came about because a friend who was volunteering in Mombasa invited us to a Safari. We likewise stayed with friends in Nairobi to keep costs down. You are blessed too to have friends all over the globe. Take advantage. 🙂

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  5. kusum says:

    OMG! I love this post! Visiting Africa has been my dream. I love those pictures of flamingos and giraffe! Amazing indeed!

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    • Jenn says:

      Funny that it wasn’t my dream but the opportunity presented itself and I took it. It turned out to be the best adventure ever. 🙂

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  6. domesstique says:

    Now, we’re talking! I am so jealous. Such a very nice photos, too.

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  7. Luna Miranda says:

    these are amazing photos–this must be quite an adventure! i’ve only seen these in NatGeo and Discovery Channels.:p i am also dreaming of Africa–i hope someday, before i get too old to enjoy a safari.:p

    Like

    • Jenn says:

      We backpacked our way around Africa and only splurged on a resort in Zanzibar (our last leg). We took the bus, camped out, stayed in backpackers inn and of course took advantage of kind friends to keep costs down. If there’s a will, there’s a way. 🙂

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  8. ladyfi says:

    Oh, what wonderful shots. Love that pink cloud of flamingos!

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  9. Fun60 says:

    That was an amazing trip. I love the variety of adventures you managed.

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  10. Dana says:

    That must have been such an amazing trip! I enjoyed your photos. 🙂

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  11. Boom & Gary says:

    Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  12. The white water rafting is so high-adrenaline.

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