Pearls of East Africa – lesser known and cheaper places

10 very cheap or free ways to visit Safaris in Africa

There’s no denying that most people go to Africa for safaris. Where to find cheaper and better safaris is all they write about in the Lonely Plains and on travel forums. We never went on a classic safari and can say with confidence that there is a lot to see in Africa and without it: we learned five East African countries for a month. Not to mention the fact that while white tourists (mzungu) travel in jeeps in pursuit of lions and flamingos for thousands of euros and dollars, sometimes 100 meters from their route there are children with swollen bellies or orphanages. The huge sums of money that whites bring in the pursuit of safaris pass by the treasury because of the total corruption of East Africa. But, if we still haven’t convinced you and you still want to see African animals, here are 10 ways to do it most budget-friendly, if not free. Let’s go in descending order.

1. The classic organized safari.

The cheapest safari options start from Nairobi. You are picked up in the morning, usually near the Hilton Hotel, for two days. You start at 8 a.m., drive half a day to the national park, then lunch, and then, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., finally, the long-awaited safari. Then you spend the night in the park, have breakfast, and are driven back the next morning. Please note: For these two days, the safari will last only three hours! The cost for 2015 for two is 420 euros, includes transfer, park ticket, accommodation and meals.

2. Semi-Independent Safari.

The cheapest, most practical and low-tourism option we found in Tanzania, in Mikumi National Park. You can get here on your own by bus from Dar es Salaam, which goes through the village Mikumi (direction – Iringa). You can stay on a budget at the Genesis Motel or VETA. The latter also arrange transportation to the park with a driver. Admission to the park is $20 per person (with prices starting at €90 at other parks), so overall, this is the cheapest safari in East Africa.

Zoos are one of the cheapest ways to see animals. Clearly, it’s not exactly wildlife, but don’t expect wildlife from the classic popular parks either, where you’ll see more tourist jeeps than lions. The main zoos are in Nairobi.

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3. the Nairobi Safari Walk

is a small green space with a wooden trail in the center, walking along which you can see lions, zebras, leopards, etc. The cost of admission is $22. Official website

4. nairobi national park

is more interesting than just a trail, but the entrance fee is $43 per person. Please note: the stated student discounts are only valid if you apply to visit in advance by mail.

Elephant Farm

Elephant Farm

– for us is the most beautiful place in Nairobi. You can get there on your own by a matatu (shuttle bus) 125 or 126 leaving from the parking lot near the train station. The fare is 50-70 Tanzanian shillings (higher during the rainy season when drivers have to wash the car more often :)). Park gate coordinates are -1.37712; 36.77290. Go through the gate and walk about 1.5 km from there. It is recommended that you arrive by 11am, when feeding begins. Admission is 500 shillings ($7). Travel agencies offer a trip to the sanctuary and the giraffe farm for 65-85 euros.

Elephant Farm

At the time of our visit, there were 30 orphaned elephants in the nursery: their mothers had died, or they had been killed by tusk hunters. Visitors stand around an area bounded by a rope and watch the feeding. The elephants are released in two rounds, 14 babies each, told about them, fed, and then the elephants take mud baths. This helps them from pesky insects and the sun. We will definitely write more about our visit to the park in detail, let’s just note that we enjoyed it immensely.

Elephant Farm

Elephant Farm

6. Giraffe Nursery.

The elephant farm can be combined with a visit to the giraffe nursery, which is very close: 3 km along the highway and 4 km after the turn to the nursery itself. You can, of course, and on foot, but it is better on the piki-piki (motorcycle cab).

Entrance – 1000 shillings, inside 8 giraffes and a place to feed, feed is given out. Those wishing can kiss a giraffe There are also turtles and pigs-pumbs.

Giraffe Nursery

Giraffe Nursery

Giraffe Nursery

Giraffe Nursery

Giraffe Nursery

Free Safari.

Africa is teeming with animals, so you don’t have to pay the triple price to see them

7. Flamingos in Singida

Flamingo in Singida

(Tanzania). You don’t have to pay thousands of euros for a safari in the famous Natron National Park to see flocks of flamingos. There is a lake one kilometer away from Singida (easily accessible by bus) where flamingos and many other birds will pose for your photos for free. Read more here .

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Flamingo in Singida

8. Hippos in Tagania

Hippos in Taganyika

(Bujumbura, Burundi). Walk down to Taganyika Beach in Bujumbura and find a cafe where you can watch families of hippos swimming a few meters away for free on the pier.

Hippos in Taganyika

9. Monkeys at Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park

Animals in Africa

The park is in Zanzibar, and you can easily get in for free from the trailhead (or pay a paltry $8 for a guided tour). The red colobus are hard to miss here.

Animals in Africa

Animals in Africa

10. And finally, keep your eyes open, there are so many animals here that you are sure to meet them somewhere on the track or wink from the bushes!

Pearls of East Africa – lesser known and cheaper places

Africa is the second most populous continent in the world and is home to over 1.1 billion people: a huge number of nationalities, languages and cultures. Among the conflict-ridden and poor countries, there are also quite peaceful, safe and interesting for tourists. Many travelers are familiar with countries like South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. And we’ll tell you about the places where you can spend a pleasant time south of the Sahara in this article.

Photo: Sierra Leone

1. Sierra Leone .

Perhaps the most unexpected state on this list is Sierra Leone, which not so long ago was torn apart by civil war for ten years. Since 2002, however, Sierra Leone has changed dramatically and is now one of the most peaceful countries in the Global Security Index (GPI). Sierra Leone is considered one of the most religiously tolerant countries in the world, and the life expectancy of the local population is 57 years, not bad by African standards.

Photo: Freetown

Sierra Leone has many beautiful nature reserves, such as the Gala rain forest or the Autamba-Kilimi National Park, clean beaches on the Atlantic coast, and its capital Freetown, the oldest city in West Africa.

Photo: Botswana

2. Botswana.

A leader in security on the African continent. Whether it’s because peace and tranquility is one of the main traits of both the Tswana and the Bushmen, or because the Botswana understand the economic contribution of tourists, but either way there is a very low crime rate.

Photo: Elephants

No one, however, does not promise that you will not be attacked by baboons, so during a safari it is recommended not to feed these belligerent monkeys and not even smile at them. In general, animals in Botswana is very abundant; for example, the largest population of elephants in the world lives here.

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Photo: Safari Camp

One of the popular tourist attractions, along with a safari in the Kalahari Desert and visit to national parks, even with the 30s of last century is the search for ancient treasures hidden from the colonizers in the caves Gchvihaba. The treasure has not yet been found, but the caves themselves, with amazing stalactites up to 10 meters long, are worth the trip to the north for the sake of them.

Photo: Ghana

3. Ghana

Ghana was ranked as the safest country in Africa by the Global Security Index in 2008 and has held the top position ever since. The country has few internal conflicts and peaceful relations with its neighbors. People here are very friendly with tourists and speak English, which is the official language of Ghana.

Photo: Clean Beach

You can visit the numerous nature reserves with elephants, antelopes, monkeys and other exotic animals, visit the ruins of castles and fortresses of Cape Coast and Elmina, enrolled in the World Heritage List of UNESCO, and spend time on clean beaches.

Photo: Namibia

4. Namibia

This country in Southwest Africa is an oasis of stability and security in the turbulent black continent. It was discovered quite late (in 1878) by Europeans, has quickly emerged from all internal and external conflicts and is now one of the richest countries in Africa.

Photo: Himba

Here is the oldest desert on earth – Namib, the legendary Skeleton Coast, many national parks, the site of the fall of the largest meteorite Hob, the second largest canyon after the Colorado Canyon, and much more. Don’t miss: 15 of the most spacey places on Earth

Photo: Luderitz

Namibia has good highways, and The Desert Express tourist train runs between the capital city of Windhoek and the resort town of Swakopmund, making stops at particularly notable places along the way.

Photo: Uganda

5. Uganda

Uganda is considered by both the GPI and public tourist opinion to be a safe country for foreigners. This may be due to the fact that it is not customary here for vendors and beggars to harass people, perhaps because the percentage of urban population in the country is only 13% and the main attractions are not in the villages.

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Photo: African landscape

Tourists in Uganda have a lot to see: one of the oldest in Africa Queen Elizabeth National Park, botanical garden Entebbe, where the first movie about Tarzan was filmed, the mountain range Ruwenzori – most likely, they were called the Moon Mountains by ancient Egyptians. Here are sailing on Lake Victoria and rafting on the Nile, which originated in Uganda.

Photo: Mountain gorilla

While locals here do not cause much disturbance to tourists, you have to be careful with animals, especially if you see an elephant with a baby elephant. By the way, Uganda is located on the main migration route of northern birds: eagles, cuckoos, swallows, kites, and many of our usual birds winter here.

Photo: Cape Verde

6. Cape Verde

Cape Verde or Cape Verde Islands – an archipelago off the west coast of Africa. Tranquility, peacefulness, relative cleanliness and reasonable level of service (European companies are invested in the local tourism) await tourists here, in the homeland of the famous singer Cesaria Évora.

Photo: Picturesque landscape

The islands have enough picturesque landscapes: extinct volcanoes, mountain ranges, where you can do tracking, blooming meadows, which is worth simply strolling. But the main feature of Cape Verde, of course, is the ocean – it is used to its full potential: from beaches with black volcanic sand, continuing to dive to the sites of shipwrecks and ending with windsurfing, which schools are on every island, but they are especially famous island Sal.

Photo: Kenya

7. Kenya

Kenya, the country of the Maasai tribe and the calling card of the real African nature is very beautiful, friendly and touristy. Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain on the continent after Kilimanjaro. Throughout the country you can watch schools of migrating birds, and the view of the highest mountain in Africa (Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania) from Kenya’s Amboseli Park, perhaps even better than the view from the mountain itself. See also: The Charm of the African Continent. Magical Kenya.

Photo: People of Tanzania

8. Tanzania

The people of Tanzania are friendly and smiling, but like everywhere else, travelers shouldn’t let their guard down – there are plenty of muggers. But in Tanzania there are still many tourists who travel here without fear. Here, in the homeland of Freddie Mercury, there is a lot to see.

Photo: Beach

Firstly volcano Kilimanjaro, to the top of which there are numerous hiking trails. Secondly, the island of Zanzibar – a resort area, where the beautiful Stone City, founded by the Arabs in the IX century. From here go on tours for spices, during which you can cut cinnamon and try strange spices. Thirdly, the famous Serengeti National Park, which covers a huge area and is home to more than three million large wild animals.

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Photo: Ngorongoro Nature Reserve

Fourthly, the biosphere reserve Ngorongoro, located in a colossal (21 km in diameter) the crater of an extinct volcano. It is home to about 25 thousand different animals and there is the highest concentration of predators in Africa.

Photo: Madagascar

9. Madagascar

Madagascar is a separate continent in miniature: so it looks like neither Africa nor any other place on earth. It has amazing landscapes, and 80% of the animals and plants found nowhere else.

Photo: Beautiful Beach

The island has many natural parks and protected areas. The largest reserve is Cingy de Bemaraha, which, like many others, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country is rich with beautiful beaches, and it is traditionally considered safer to swim on the west coast – there are fewer sharks. Take a look at this: 6 endangered tourist spots

Photo: Zimbabwe

10. Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa: it is here, on the border with Zambia is the famous Victoria Falls. In Zambia, by the way, there are fewer tourists, so those who prefer a more secluded setting are recommended to admire the wonder of nature there. It is definitely worth seeing: The most amazing places to swim in the world

Photo: Victoria Falls

Zimbabwe has a very good conservation structure and animals are unusually abundant here even for Africa, so hunting is allowed in some places (almost everywhere else on the continent is already banned).

Photo: Ruins of Greater Zimbabwe

In addition to countless national parks, there is a unique historical site – the stone ruins of Greater Zimbabwe: a pagan temple complex built more than a thousand years ago.

Photo: African Child

Tourists going on a trip to Africa, be sure to do all vaccinations, their list is usually on the website of embassies. Even in those countries for which travel to vaccination is not required, you must take anti-malarial pills, and start taking them before your trip. It is strictly forbidden to drink raw water, even for brushing your teeth.

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