In the next installment of our Photo Diary series, we’re revealing where to eat, stay and play across East Africa. From the endless plains of the Serengeti to the urban safari capital of Nairobi to the picturesque shores along the Indian Ocean, East Africa presents endless ways to experience nature and wildlife at its finest in a variety of landscapes.
WHERE TO EAT
Taste a delectable fusion of African, Pan-Asian and European cuisines at The Talisman, one of the finest restaurants in all of Nairobi, Kenya. This elegant gastro-lounge is, “the best place in town and the most happening place to see the local scene. With its low couches and beautiful gardens, the only thing needed to complete the scene is a Tusker or Dawa in hand,” says O’ Donnell – The Spirited Traveler, New York Times. We also love that this establishment serves produce grown in their organic garden as well as authentic locally sourced ingredients!
pc: The Talisman
Located near Volcanoes Safaris’ Bwindi Lodge, Bwindi Bar offers breathtaking views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda with the sounds of chimpanzees, monkeys and sometimes even gorillas in the background! Head to the Bar to try a variety of coffees and teas as well as delicious breakfast options. When you visit Bwindi Bar, you are supporting Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), the organization that opened the Bar to provide a practical training institution for local disadvantaged youths living in Buhoma!
Head to The Lawns in bustling Kampala, where Head Chef Vijay Singh serves up inventive wild game entrees and tapas in the midst of a lush tropical garden. From smoked crocodile salad to vegetarian barbecue to ostrich burgers, there is something to satisfy every craving.
The Lawns | pc: Ugabox
Savor a gourmet meal and make a toast to your travel companion while taking in the sheer magic of a traditional African sundowner at Azura Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. We can think of no better place to dine while watching nature show off than in the Selous – Africa’s oldest and largest game reserve.
WHERE TO STAY
Retreat to a private conservancy adjacent to Kenya’s Amboseli National Park when you stay in one of Tortilis Camp Amboseli’s 16 makuti-tented rooms. Each spacious room offers breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. Traveling with the whole family? No problem! The camp also offers a private house and a family tented room, each with two en-suite bedrooms and a pool to share.
For a prime viewing spot of the great wildebeest migration, head to the Serengeti Pioneer Camp. Located in a secluded area overlooking the Moru Kopjes in the Southern Serengeti, this camp boasts 11 en suite safari tents and 1 family safari tent. Each tent has the feel of a 1930’s mobile safari camp while still offering modern amenities.
Beyond the vast African plains and forests, the Mozambican coastline provides visitors with a tropical African oasis. Head to Azura Quilalea Private Island to enjoy the Indian Ocean’s clear blue waters, which you’ll be able to see from any one of the property’s nine African-chic villas. And for the ultimate indulgence, you may stay at the cliff-top Villa Quilalea with its extended outdoor deck, private dining area, infinity plunge pool and stepladder right into a private ocean alcove and beach!
Located on the edge of Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park with sweeping views of the rolling savanna, the distant mountains of the moon, and the sunken Kyambura Gorge, you’ll find Volcanoes Safaris’ Kyambura Gorge Lodge. For your accommodations, the lodge features eight unique bandas reflecting the local building style and individually named after the Kyambura Gorge chimpanzees!
WHERE TO PLAY
Embark on a life-changing safari through East Africa with Micato Safaris as your guide. Micato offers both classic and bespoke safaris, each one led by Africa’s best safari guides who educate and amuse. Take the “Heart of Kenya and Tanzania” classic safari, for example. In less than two weeks, you’ll be introduced to the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, the Masai Mara and more, all from luxury accommodations.
Ngorongoro Crater with Micato Safaris | pc: Asilia Africa
At Elephant Pepper Camp in the heart of Kenya’s wilderness, you’ll have the chance to go on a game drive through Masai Mara’s game viewing area, classified as one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.” On your tour, you’ll have the opportunity to glimpse elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, giraffe and more, by day or by night!
Try a myriad of different coffee blends that sate the taste of the most ardent of coffee connoisseurs on a coffee tour with Arusha Coffee Lodge. Your tour takes place within the tranquil grounds of the Burka Coffee Estate, one of Tanzania’s largest coffee estates. You’ll learn the fascinating journey from ‘bean-to-cup’ from your Coffee Guide who will explain how the bean is nurtured, harvested, dried and finally roasted!
Volcanoes Safaris has been at the forefront of reviving gorilla and chimpanzee tourism in Rwanda and Uganda for 20 years, so it’s no surprise that their luxury lodges and safaris offer premier gorilla tracking excursions! Their 7 Day Kyambura, Bwindi & Kimbale Safari is just one example of many journeys that highlights these beautiful mammals. On this safari, you’ll trek through the steep, densely forested hills of the Bwindi Forest to come across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation. Pure magic!
– The JG Black Book Team