Maasai Mara National Reserve
Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve has earned itself a reputation as one of Africa's most rewarding safari destinations. Regardless of the time of year, wildlife sightings are both plentiful and diverse. Watching the wilderbeast herds crossing the Mara River is a spectacle few will ever forget. Cultural visits to traditional Maasai villages are another highlight of this spectacular East African reserve.
Volcanoes National Park
Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park nestles deep within the Virunga Mountains. As Africa's oldest national park, it is one of the best places in the world to encounter the critically endangered mountain gorilla. To share a moment with them in their natural environment is an intensely moving experience and one that should be at the top of any wildlife lover's bucket list.
Serengeti National Park
Those in search of the ultimate safari experience should consider combining a trip to the Maasai Mara with a visit to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It's a great place to spot predators like lion and cheetah in action; especially during the January-March rainy season. In April, the wilderbeast herds start their migration to the Maasai Mara, but the game-viewing remains exceptional all year round.
Omo River Region
The Omo River Region is one of the most remote destinations in East Africa. There are different tribes in this part of Ethiopia, and each one has its own traditional dress, culture and ceremonies. Those willing to make the long and difficult trip will be rewarded with incredible scenery, and the chance to visit villages that have remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak in Africa and the world's highest free-standing mountain. Those with a keen sense of adventure should consider making the climb for the ultimate Kilimanjaro experience. Climbing with a guide is compulsory, and allowing a few extra days to acclimatize to the altitude is advised. Depending on your route, the climb takes five to nine days.
Lalibela is a historic town of great religious importance for the country's Orthodox Christians. It was designed as a 'New Jerusalem'; for pilgrims who were prevented from traveling to the Holy Land. Today, its magnificent rock-hewn churches attract visitors from all over the world. One of them, Biete Medhani Alem, is believed to be the largest monolithic church in the world.
Lake Nakuru National Park
The highlight of this Rift Valley park is the eponymous Lake Nakuru, famous for its incredible flamingo population. During the dry season, numbers of lesser and greater flamingo can swell to as many as two million birds, creating a rose-hued haze across the lake's surface. The park itself is home to a host of other animals, including lions, rhino and approximately 450 species of bird.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Tanzania's Ngorongoro Conservation Area is dominated by the ancient Ngorongoro Crater. The crater is known to be the world's largest intact caldera. Countless animals range across the crater floor, including the black rhino, some of the largest remaining tusker elephants, black-maned lions, and flocks of flamingo that appear on the crater's soda lake during the breeding season.
Coastal Town of Watamu
Located in the middle of Kenya's exquisite coastline, Watamu is small, relaxed and full of history. It is best known for its stunning bays and palm-fringed beaches, and for its prolific coral reefs. On land, beachfront restaurants serve fresh seafood, Mida Creek boasts stunning birdlife, and Gede Ruins offers an insight into the life of the 13th Century Swahili people.