According to Travel + Pleasure, An East African safari is a must-do at least once in your life, but if you’re only going to go once there’s a lot to pack in. For those after the “big five” (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo), a visit to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is essential, of course, but don’t overlook the plains of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania; together they make up the 11,500-square-mile Serengeti ecosystem.
It’s through this vast corridor that the Great Wildebeest Migration of 1.5 million creatures take place, but it’s an all-year event: the risky river crossings occur in July and August, while from January to March wildebeest calves are born in the southern Serengeti. The latter includes the incredible Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a large volcanic caldera teeming with wildlife.
Other game reserves, scenic stop-offs, luxury lodges, and add-on experiences are usually included to fill up (and add sparkle to) itineraries, which typically involve a driver taking you on a round-trip from Nairobi (Kenya) or Arusha (Tanzania). Hot air ballooning is an obvious example, but there’s also the tempting prospect of a side visit to Rwanda or Uganda to trek to see mountain gorillas … not to mention plenty of other African countries to take a safari.
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