Background information;  by edgardowelelo@yahoo.com

East AfricaEast Africa is endowed with a unique combination of tourist attractions, comprising tropical beaches, abundant wildlife in natural habitats, scenic beauty and a geographically diverse landscape that spark imagination, reward the senses, stimulate the intellect and enliven the spirit. The region is home to some of the biggest populations of charismatic mammals including the elephant, rhinoceros, lion, chimpanzee and mountain gorilla. For those who love fun and adventure, East Africa is not short of opportunities, in the contrary, the region has unusual, exotic, remote and wilderness attractions that meet the expectations and tastes of varied enthusiasts of fun and adventure. One can enjoy adventure ranging from wildlife safaris, bird watching, windsurfing, horseback riding, golfing, canoeing, Kayaking, mountain biking, snorkeling, scuba diving, hot air ballooning, mountain climbing, gorilla trekking, heritage and cultural tours, white water rafting, deep sea diving and fishing, bungee jumping, paragliding and sky diving just to mention a few. For one to really experience the wonders of East Africa, a multi – destination tour combining two or more countries of the East African Community is highly recommended. It is quite rewarding to scale the heights of the tallest mountain in Africa, that is Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and within the same trip savor the spectacle of wildebeest migration between Serengeti in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya. One may also choose to combine gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda or even from Virunga National Park in DRC with a stay in one of the exotic beach hotels along the East African Coast.

Learn more about member countries – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and Tanzania.

BURUNDI (“THE EDEN IN THE HEART OF AFRICA”)

In the heart of Africa sits an amazing landscape which gives the country a soft and temperate climate. Like the explorers of the last century, you, too, will discover and find Eden as you always imagined it were in the beginning. Blessed with rich fauna that includes different animals such as antelopes and buffaloes. Off the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Burundi one can see crocodiles and hippopotamuses. Burundi is a delightful blooming country blessed with different yet intertwining types of vegetation cover. Ecologists will find a great scientific value in some tourist sites of Burundi such as Kibira National Park, Ruvubu National Park and Lake Tanganyika. The country’s tourism industry is still in its infancy and busting with untapped potential in terms of natural and cultural resources. This provides ample opportunity for development. Burundi has launched a campaign to boost its tourism industry and take it to the next level. In spite of the political tremors within the country in the past these courageous people together with their government have entered into peace building initiatives to bring stability in the country so as to promote tourism growth. The government hopes that the industry will help to eradicate poverty. Despite its small size this country has a big heart and a big dream and step by step this nation full of hopeful people are getting there.

Bujumbura city, Burundi
Bujumbura city, Burundi

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KENYA (“MAGICAL KENYA”)

Kenya is the land of diversity and home of Safaris that is privileged to host the world’s only wildlife park located within the capital city limits. A visit to Kenya will throw in an exciting recipe to your holiday menu from its diverse tourism products range: wildlife, spectacular landscapes, unique culture not forgetting that it is the home of Athletics champions and also home to the world’s 8th new wonder of the world at the wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara National Game Reserve, and much more. Also, don’t forget a unique migration – the humpback whale migration which is migratory pods of humpback whales pass by from Southern Africa between July and September and can also be sighted in the Kenya coastline of Watamu. Kenya’s description will not be complete without mentioning its 536 kilometers coastline that has some of the world’s top renowned and award winning white sandy beaches with exciting water activities for your exploration and enjoyment. The activities include Kitesurfing, stand up paddle boarding (Sup), scuba diving, deep sea fishing, whale shark diving among others. The coastline which is lined with pristine palm fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean, is a world of enthralling history and natural beauty. For bird lovers, Kenya boasts over 1,100 recorded species of birds. It is one of Africa’s most outstanding international birding area (IBA). Nairobi is also the birding capital of the world with 600 species recorded in Nairobi city limits and Nairobi National Park. Kenya is good for a birding safari all year round because of the varied habitats from tropical savannahs to snow – capped mountains, good viewing conditions, an extensive transport and communication network as well as skilled bird guides. In terms of accommodation, Kenya has a spectrum of luxury hotels, tented camps, and endless opportunity for adventure and breathtaking moments of discovery wrapped with the warmth of the people is what makes your safari luxurious.

Nairobi city, Kenya
Nairobi city, Kenya

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RWANDA (“REMARKABLE RWANDA”)

Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experience in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It is blessed with extra ordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest and sweeping plains. Travelers come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the magnificent gorillas. The west of Rwanda forms a branch of the Great Rift Valley known as the Albertine Rift. It has many unique, endemic species and is bursting with life. Chimpanzees, golden monkeys and other primates live alongside hundreds of brightly – colored birds, orchids and butterflies. As guardians of many iconic species, Rwanda is committed to safeguarding their existence within her four National Parks. The country is constantly working to ensure that people live in sustainable harmony with the environment, with a clean and green mindset. Ten percent of the income derived from gorilla, safari and other tourist permits, as well as park fees, is spent in partnership with local communities to change lives for the better. The country is full of beauty and managing to explore it all is easy, thanks to an excellent road network linking the core areas. Visitors can rest assured the country is safe as well as stunning and is ranked among the top ten safest countries in the world

by the World Economic Forum. Warm and friendly, Rwandans are also respectful, thoughtful and committed to the idea of progress, starting at the grassroots and running all the way to the top. From the ancient Kingdom to the modern day, creativity is something to be celebrated, whether through traditional dance, unique architecture or works of art.

Kigali city, Rwanda
Kigali city, Rwanda

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SOUTH SUDAN (“WHERE THE SECOND LARGEST WILDLIFE MIGRATION IN THE WORLD HAPPENS”)

South Sudan is a beautiful tourist destination with vast diversity of fauna and flora, scenic beauty, diverse culture, historical sites and variable climate. It has wonderful wetlands which are inhabited all year round with thousands of bird species including some migratory birds. The vast swamp region of the Sudd covers an area of 320 km wide and 400 km long. The Nile and the other Rivers represent a major attraction and provide a venue for other tourist activities such as cruise launching, sport fishing, white water rafting, birds watching and excellent photography. The rivers have several waterfalls and rapids, the most notable one being the Fulla Falls at Nimule National Park.

South Sudan has an array of 14 national parks and protected areas. The protected area of Bandingilo National Park hosts the second – largest wildlife migration in the world, epic migration of the antelopes. Surveys have revealed that Boma National Park, west of the Ethiopian border, as well as the Sudd wetland and Southern National Park provides habitat for large populations of hartebeest, kob, topi, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, and lions. Indeed, Boma National Park, Nimule, Bandingilo, Sudd and Southern National Parks are some of the parks with thrilling wildlife experience that you can’t miss out. The cultural diversity displayed by several different communities, creates a frontier that draws any one close due to their social aspect. The dressing and some cultural activities performed by South Sudan People are quite captivating. Owing to her ethnic diversity, South Sudan offers great opportunities for cultural tourism. The ethnic groups such as the Dinka, Bari and Zande still preserve their age – old unique cultures.

5 Star hotel in Juba, South Sudan
5 Star hotel in Juba, South Sudan

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TANZANIA (“UNFORGETTABLE TANZANIA”)

Tanzania is home to some of Africa’s most famous national parks and the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the Serengeti. Most visitors will find themselves passing through Dar – es – Salaam and heading out on safaris and various wildlife viewing adventures. For those who want to take a break and spend some time soaking up the sun, the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar beckon. Off Pemba and Mafia islands is a whole other kind of natural wonder, one most appreciated by the scuba divers and snorkelers who come here from around the world to experience the coral gardens, colorful fish, and crystal clear waters. Approximately 120 tribes call Tanzania home hence one expect to find not only diverse but also interesting aspects of this country’s cultural tourism. Despite the fact that there are many tribes with differences, Tanzania is well known for her peace and stability. The tourism industry plays a significant role in the national economy accounting for a growing percentage in terms of contribution to the gross national products, exports in services and employment. The sector also pulls together tourism – based companies and foreign investors so as to devise campaigns aimed at the growth by the sector. A large portion of Tanzania’s land is devoted to conservation areas that are well protected and as such continue to sustain nature – based tourism and eco – tourism in the country.

Dar es salaam city, Tanzania
Dar es salaam city, Tanzania

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UGANDA (“THE PEARL OF AFRICA”)

Its reputation of being Africa’s friendliest country originates from the fact that traditional hospitality is a key element to its diverse population. Uganda is well known for its low level of crime and hassle towards tourists. As one of the mysteries of the Victorian age, you can go back in time as you view the source of the Nile that starts here interrupted by the exhilarating very thunderous Murchison Falls as it flows all the way to Egypt. With an area comparable to that of Great Britain, Uganda is Africa’s most complete bird watching destination with more than 1050 species recorded. Spread across the equator, one can have the opportunity to visit the snowcapped Mountains of the Moon, the Ruwenzoris with its diverse terrains and vegetation to having an opportunity to experience the biodiversity of the various national parks and protected areas across the country including the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Forest National Park which accommodate more than half of the endangered mountain gorillas. Uganda is endowed with beautiful landscapes, rich biodiversity, sparkling freshwater lakes such as Lake Victoria (Nyanza), untamed wildlife in vast national parks and diverse colorful cultures emanating from ancient kingdoms. As famously quoted by Sir Winston Churchill – “The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. The scenery is different, the climate is different and most of all, the people are different from anything elsewhere to be seen in the whole range of Africa…….. Uganda is truly the pearl of Africa”. Come and experience for yourself the richness in the pearl of Africa.

Kampala city, Uganda
Kampala city, Uganda

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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)

The EAC’S newest member, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is set to open up new frontiers and unique opportunities for discovery in tourism product offerings. These range from wildlife reserves, indigenous cultures and geological wonders not easily found elsewhere in Africa. DRC hosts Africa’s largest expanse of tropical forest that includes seven (7) national parks and 57 reserves areas with huge potential for eco – tourism. DRC has four (4) endemic species including Mountain Gorillas, Okapi (Forest giraffe), Bonobos and the Congolese peacock. DRC’S Scenery is punctuated by volcanic mountains and gushing rivers, including the Congo River which is the Second largest river in Africa.

Kinshasa city, Congo
Kinshasa city, Congo

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