RWANDA BURUNDI UGANDA TANZANIA KENYA Samburu Meru Aberdare Maasai Nakuru Mara Serengeti Lake Manyara Mt. Kenya Tarangire Selous Ruaha Saadani Game Reserve Mikumi Mahale Mountains Kitavi Amboseli Tsavo East Tsavo West Pemba Island Zanzibar Island Kidepo National Park Ngorongoro Conservation Area Queen Elizabeth National Park Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Lake Victoria Parc National des Volcans Budongo Forest Reserve Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve Kibale Forest Kampala Nairobi Lamu Great Ri ft Vall ey Mt. Kilimanjaro Mombasa Dar es Salaam East Africa 36 F O R R E S E R V A T I O N S C A L L U S O N 0845 130 6982 The Migration The migration of millions of White-bearded Wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of Burchell’s Zebra is a sight to behold. Following the rains, these mammals are regularly on the move between Kenya’s Maasai Mara and the Serengeti region in Tanzania, enabling visitors to observe this amazing spectacle at various times of the year in different places. Zebra usually lead the way, with gazelles accompanying the herds for short distances. They move by instinct, nature dictating when to move where, and with grazing taking up some sixteen hours each day, the grass plains are left bare within a matter of days. It is a hazardous journey, with Lion, Leopard, Hyena, Wild Dog, jackal and countless birds of prey constantly on the look out for their next meal, and of course Nile Crocodiles lying in wait at the fast-flowing river crossings such as the Grumeti and the Mara. Rutting occurs along the way, with a peak in births occurring in January and February in the southern region of the Serengeti and the north-western region of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Although this further debilitates the herds of wildebeest and zebra, it is known that less than half a percent of new born calves are taken at this time. So although many a life is lost, millions live on, offering us what probably remains the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet!
East Africa conjures up images of endless grassy plains teeming with game and dotted with umbrellalike acacia trees - the classic 'Out of Africa' safari experience. Easy flights from the UK, fabulous game parks with guaranteed wildlife sightings, and breathtaking scenery, combine to make this one of the world’s top wildlife-viewing areas. It is consistently popular with first time visitors and regular safari enthusiasts alike, yet despite its popularity there are still secrets to be discovered and surprises to be had. The timeless movement of the great wildebeest migration across the plains and the famous 'northern circuit' of Tanzania draw many enthusiasts, but this should not deter you from visiting other areas, and at other times of the year when animal sightings are still fantastic and visitor numbers lower. There are some spectacular parks throughout the whole region including those in southern and western Tanzania, and central Kenya. Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is once again offering some superb game-viewing, the Rift Valley Lakes offer wonderful birding and any visit to the area is easily combined with a trip to view the magnificent populations of Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees in their final strongholds of Uganda and Rwanda. Many visitors choose to finish a safari relaxing on one of the beautiful palmfringed beaches along the coast or off-shore islands – do have a look at our beach extensions on pages 30 & 31 for more details. Highlights Year Round • The wildebeest migration is a constant and gigantic movement of animals around the grass plains of the Serengeti and Maasai Mara. January • Calving of the wildebeest in the southern Serengeti. They will stay in the southern and western areas of the park until late June when they begin to head north. July • The wildebeest cross the Grumeti River and head into the Maasai Mara where they stay until around October. [N.B. that it is impossible to know the exact timing of the river crossing.] October • The last dry month and a great time for viewing large concentrations of game around the main water courses. November • The wildebeest cross back down the eastern corridor of the Serengeti when they smell the rains approaching. Climate Most of East Africa follows the same weather pattern with a tropical climate and plenty of year-round sunshine. It is hot and humid at the coast and more temperate inland in the highlands. The long rains generally occur from April to June and short rains from November to December. When the rain comes it normally falls in the afternoons and evenings. Many people actually choose to travel in the wet seasons, which bring clear skies, fewer visitors, beautiful sunsets and the birth of many young. It is hottest from February to March and coldest July to August, when the highlands can become very cold at night and in the early mornings. Uganda’s rainforests have higher annual rainfall – they are rainforests after all! S E E U S O N T H E W E B AT wildlifeworldwide.com 37 Africa / East Africa Rock Hyraxes White-bearded Wildebeest