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About East Africa

ABOUT EAST AFRICA INFORMATION

ABOUT KENYA
Kenya has known the presence of humankind since the very earliest development of our species. Moreover, the region has long been a migratory path, passed through by wave upon wave of peoples from all over Africa and, later, from the Middle East as well. By the 10th century or so, the region had developed its own lingua franca, Swahili, which is a Bantu language heavily overlaid with Arabic. Among other familiar words, safari is Swahili, meaning simply travel.

With the arrival of the Portuguese at the end of the 15th century, the East African coastal region was for a time dominated by the Europeans. However, in 1729 the Portuguese were expelled, to be replaced by two Arab dynasties. Arab rule lasted until the end of the 18th century, when Kenya passed into the British sphere of influence. The country became independent in 1963.

ABOUT TANZANIA

This is probably one of the oldest known continuously inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found dating back over two million years. More recently, Tanzania is believed to have been populated by hunter-gatherer communities, probably cushitic and Khoisan speaking people. About 2000 years ago, Bantu-speaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived, and continued to immigrate into the area through to the 18th century. Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and Western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium CE. Islam was practised on the Swahili coast as early as the eighth or ninth century CE.

In the late 19th century, Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into German East Africa. The post-World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate, except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi). British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence.

In 1954, Julius Nyerere transformed an organization into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961. After the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighboring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on 26 April 1964

ABOUT UGANDA 

Country in east-central Africa. About the size of Great Britain, Uganda is populated by dozens of ethnic groups. The English language and Christianity help unite these diverse peoples, who come together in the cosmopolitan capital of Kampala, a verdant city whose plan includes dozens of small parks and public gardens and a scenic promenade along the shore of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater lake. The Swahili language unites the country with its East African neighbours Kenya and Tanzania.

“Uganda is a fairy-tale. You climb up a railway instead of a beanstalk, and at the end there is a wonderful new world,” wrote Sir Winston Churchill, who visited the country during its years under British rule and who called it “the pearl of Africa.” Indeed, Uganda obtained formal independence on October 9, 1962. Its borders, drawn in an artificial and arbitrary manner in the late 19th century, encompassed two essentially different types of societies: the relatively centralized Bantu kingdoms of the south and the more decentralized Nilotic and Sudanic peoples to the north. Uganda embraces many ecosystems, from the tall volcanic mountains of the eastern and western frontiers to the densely forested swamps of the Albert Nile River and the rainforests of the country’s central plateau. The land is richly fertile, and Ugandan coffee has become both a mainstay of the agricultural economy and a favourite of connoisseurs around the world.

EAST AFRICA 

The incredible diversity of landscapes, cultures, wildlife and activities mean endless opportunities for visitors to East Africa. Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania offer a diverse range of environments all within relatively close proximity to one another, and have an excellent domestic travel infrastructure. Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania rich diversity of wildlife means that no two experiences in the wild are ever the same. Visitors to Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania  can experience and see completely different things. In a single trip to Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania, you can visit tropical forests, beautiful beaches, and deserts, climb mountains and explore the wild. In Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania, it is possible to plan a safari that blends adventure and relaxation, luxury and natural simplicity, social experiences and solitude.

Best Time to Visit Kenya

The dry season is considered the best season to visit Kenya. Animals clustered around water points are easily visible through the dry grass and short savanna. In addition, all roads are passable. Thus, most tourists visit from December to March and July to August, while the locals prefer the months of June, September and October as they are quieter. During July and August Masai Mara hosts massive herds of wildebeest that migrate from the Serengeti plains in search of new pastures where they will stay for a few weeks before returning to the Tanzania.

During the rainy season, the days are punctuated by sudden and unpredictable showers. Spectacular storms can easily give way to beautiful sunny weather.  The nights are often cool and the days warm, but not often hot.  Photographers will appreciate the beautiful lights of this period and the green surroundings.  Many species give birth during this period; however the fauna is less visible in the tall grass, and more dispersed because water is more abundant. Many side roads turn to mud, making travel more difficult. Often the journey can take a turn and become a true African adventure! The main advantage of traveling during this season is that there are far fewer people and vehicles, significantly reducing the cost at most accommodation. On the entire Kenya, especially in early April – end of June, during the rainy season the Big Five can still be spotted during the game drive. High season starts from July to end of October. Mid season starts from November to December 23rd – January 3rd to End of March.

Best Time to Visit Tanzania

The best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania are during the dry season from late June to October. The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February. The Southern and Western Circuit Parks are best visited during the dry-season (June to October), unlike the more popular Northern Circuit Parks that can be visited year-round. Tarangire is the only exception, since its wildlife viewing is considerably better in the dry-season as well.

 Best time to go:  June to October (All parks), June-July and January-February (Serengeti for the wildebeest migration & calving)
 High Season:  July to March (northern circuit parks; they get crowded), July to October (southern and western circuit parks; they don’t really get crowded any time of the year)
 Low Season:  April and May (northern circuit parks still get quite a few visitors unlike the southern and western circuit parks, where many lodges close down)
 Best Weather:  June to October (Little to no rainfall)
 Worst Weather:  March and April (Peak of wet season)

Best Time to Visit Uganda
Uganda’s raised topography means a cooler climate than its equatorial setting suggests but if you’re planning a gorilla trek, it’s important to know when to go to Uganda for the easiest trekking conditions. Although it’s regarded as a year-round activity, the best time to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking is during the country’s two dry seasons: January and February and from June to September.

Game viewing in Uganda’s savannah parks is best at the end of the dry seasons – February and March and September/early October – when wildlife is concentrated around water sources. Bird watching is fantastic all year round but is at its peak between November and April when migrant species are present. We’d recommend avoiding a Uganda safari entirely during the heavy rains of April and May.

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