Best Tourist Cities in East Africa

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Best Cities in East Africa

Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the United Nations Statistics Division scheme of geographic regions, 20 territories constitute Eastern Africa: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan – in Central East Africa, are members of the East African Community (EAC). The first five are also included in the African Great Lakes region. Burundi and Rwanda are sometimes also considered to be part of Central Africa. Among the tourist cities in East Africa include the Kampala, Kigali, Nairobi and the Arusha city in Tanzania.

All about Kampala City Guide

Discover the hidden gem of Kampala City. Find out the must see attractions, things to do, best spots or places and travel tips on travelling Kampala. Practical items such as toothpaste, soap and batteries should be easy to find across the country and these are well displayed in supermarkets and in many towns, though tourists are advised to bring any more unusual items which they may need for instance medication from home.

There are markets and stores that focus on a wide variety of Art crafts and souvenirs where you can buy and remind yourself during your stay in the pearl of Africa. When purchasing these arts and crafts you will impact the lives of those who created it and their families and the person you purchased from. Handmade drums of various sizes, weapons such as spears can be taken apart into a suitcase and curved items using bark cloth and banana leaves.

Arts and crafts do exist in Kampala and these include exposure Africa, Uganda art and craft village, Friday craft market and Nomo gallery among others. At exposure Africa which is the craft market next to Daisy’s Arcade in Kampala along Buganda Road stands as the biggest with over 30 stalls and with almost every item found here is shipped from Kenya and many Ugandan sellers always want to know about that.

There are many stalls that are filled with tourists on their Ugandan tour which include handmade items from Uganda, Rwanda and even Congo and you can find a big range of handcrafts from wood carvings to leather items from Ugandan shirts and dresses, nicely carved with chairs and tables.

There is a Friday craft market in Nsambya on Ggaba Road where one can   practice bargaining skills with the artists and creators of the products and every Friday, there is another option for buying crafts carvings and African style shoes plus sandals which are made locally and even Kenyan items such as soapstone chess sets and many other items.

The prices seem to be a bit lower and here they are compared to those of other markets and banana boat which has three exciting shops in Kampala which are easy to find and less than 10 minutes apart from one another and each shop is different and if you are looking for tribal art, the banana boat shop in Kisementi has the biggest selection. They all have smart local items such as better batiks and jewellery, carvings and metal plus stuff from Uganda and several African countries.

There are many other shops which are found in better shopping malls which include Garden city Mall along Yusuf Lule road, Shoprite Lugogo on Jinja road and Kisementi along Kisementi on cooper road. There are fair trade shows around the world and also run a local crafts store where

Many visitors to Uganda go for a variety of Ugandan, Congolese and Kenyan art and craft pieces. One of the good things is that when you purchase an item you will be supporting the underprivileged such as the widows who are living with HIV, single mothers and those with minimal education as well as people with physical disability.

All about Kigali City Guide

Though Kigali is small and not especially scenic, it is the administrative and financial heart of Rwanda, and home to several interesting attractions like the sobering Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which documents the Rwandan genocide of 1994, and the Hotel Milles Collines (made famous in the film Hotel Rwanda). There are a reasonable number of hotels and a small variety of restaurants in Kigali, and a busy market offering crafts and other souvenirs. There isn’t much in the way of nightlife in Kigali; however there are a few bars and nightclubs. Kigali’s location makes it a convenient stop on multinational treks, with good road links to cities in Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi. Kigali also makes a good base for arranging excursions to Parc National des Volcans, home of mountain gorillas, golden monkey and Dian Fossey’s research station and grave.

The Kigali City Tour offers one an in-depth view of Kigali, past and present, assuring that one feels the genuine heartbeat of the city. Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda, blessed with a year round moderate climate. It is also the country’s vibrant commercial center. Kigali is particularly beautiful at night as the lights glimmer over a few of the country’s “one thousand hills”. The city is divided into three districts—Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge and is inhabited by one million people.

The Kigali City Tour begins as a historic journey through the city with a guided tour from the first modern building from which the capital city was first founded, to the rapidly growing neighbourhoods that are changing the face of the city. Kigali is one of the friendliest, cleanest and safest of Africa’s cities attracting numerous visitors and investors to the capital.

Kigali City was founded in 1907 as a small colonial outpost by Dr. Richard Kandt, the first German colonial resident of Rwanda. His residence at the base of Mount Jali and Mount Kigali in the heart of the city has been converted into the Natural History Museum in honour of Dr. Kandt’s work, and is one of the first stops on the tour.

Along the tour, visitors will pass by Kigali’s older commercial “quartiers”, business and residential areas, visit historic sites commemorating the 1994 Tutsi Genocide, take a guided tour within the Gisozi Genocide Memorial, and learn about the city’s diverse neighbourhoods and local attractions. Come explore this beautiful city for yourself!!

Coffee shops, bars and local and international restaurants ranging from Chinese,   Italian, North African, East African, Thai and Greek cuisine can be found around the city. Resto-bars are a favourite among Kigali’s residents as people enjoy a delicious meal early on and stay to enjoy the music and drinks afterwards. Kigali’s growing nightlife is sure to entertain any visitor to the city.

All about Nairobi City Guide

Easily the largest city in East Africa, Nairobi is also the youngest, the most modern, the fastest growing and, at nearly 1700m altitude, the highest. The superlatives could go on forever. “Green City in the Sun”, runs one tour-brochure sobriquet, “City of Flowers” another. Less enchanted visitors growl “Nairobbery”. The city catches your attention, at least: this is no tropical backwater. Most roads in Kenya, particularly paved ones, lead to Nairobi and, like it or not, you’re almost bound to spend some time here.

Strolling around the malls in West lands or negotiating Kenyatta Avenue at rush hour, it’s also perhaps easy to forget how quickly you can leave the city and be in the bush.

Apart from being the safari capital of the world, Nairobi is an excellent base for Kenyan travel in general. To the coast, it’s as little as six hours by road, an overnight train journey, or an hour if you fly. It takes about the same time to get to the far west and barely two hours to get to the great trough of the Rift Valley or the slopes of Mount Kenya.

Nairobi County, an area of some 690 square kilometres, ranging from agricultural and ranching land to Savannah and mountain forest, used to stretch way beyond the city suburbs, but the city is increasingly filling the whole county. For visitors, most of the interest around Nairobi lies to the south and southwest, in the predominantly Maasai land that begins with Nairobi National Park, literally on the city’s doorstep – a wild attraction where you’d expect to find suburbs, it makes an excellent day-trip – and includes the watershed ridge of the Ngong Hills just outside the city in neighbouring Kajiado County.

It’s a striking landscape, vividly described in Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa. Southeast, beyond the shanty suburb of Dandora, are the wide Athi plains, which are traditionally mostly ranching country but nowadays increasingly invaded by the spread of Nairobi’s industrial and residential satellites. In the southwest, meanwhile, a much overlooked trip to Lake Magadi takes you into a ravishingly beautiful and austere part of the Rift Valley.

Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. In addition to its urban core, the city has Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve known for breeding endangered black rhinos and home to giraffes, zebras and lions. Next to it is a well-regarded elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Nairobi is also often used as a jumping-off point for safari trips elsewhere in Kenya.

All about Arusha City Guide

Arusha is one of the fastest growing cities in Tanzania. Located halfway between Cape Town and Cairo, the city is perfectly suited to give you easy access to Tanzania’s most spectacular wilderness areas, such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Tarangire and many others. The exceptional proximity to the prime wilderness areas has earned the city the nickname of “Safari Town,” and every day you will see safari vehicles with visitors who are just beginning their northern circuit safari experience, making Arusha the center of tourism in Tanzania.

Located at the base of Mount Meru, the city gives you endless views of this iconic mountain, as well as Mount Kilimanjaro. From Arusha and Moshi, you can easily access and climb these two majestic peaks with Uhuru Trails by African Mecca or spend the day at Arusha National Park or even the west plains of Kilimanjaro National Park for a game drive tour of the Amboseli ecosystem.

In addition to safari in Tanzania, Arusha is also known for being a significant business center, and its role in diplomatic affairs is represented by the presence of the International Criminal Tribunal for many of the governments in East Africa. You will also find an intriguing blend of cultures in Arusha, such as Swahili, Indians, Europeans, Americans and local native peoples like the Waarusha. With so many cultures in one metropolis, you also have the chance to sample foods from around the world, as well as local favourites. Arusha offers street cafes, restaurants and bars where you can savour African and international cuisine, wines and beers. From Arusha airport you can easily connect to the nearby East African regions like Uganda, Democratic republic of Congo in Central or Rwanda for the gorilla trekking safaris experience in Africa.

The convenient shops, Maasai Market, farmers market, museums and historic sites within the city allow you to explore almost endlessly. Local communities offer their wares and produce at the street markets, and you may even participate in workshops to learn traditional skills, such as Makonde carving. To learn more about the native peoples in the region, you may choose one of many Arusha cultural programs that are available, or you may spend some time working with the community programs that support efforts to enhance the quality of life for Tanzanians.

Sightseeing Arusha during your safari holiday in East Africa gives you the opportunity to experience the rich historical attractions and cultural heritage of the city. Whether you want to learn about the earliest signs of mankind, learn about the city’s history or interact with the local peoples, there are many ways to enjoy your exploratory trip in Arusha. The Clock Tower in Arusha sits at the halfway point between Cairo and Cape Town.

Today, the tower marks the central business district of the city. The tower was built by a Greek resident and is the oldest landmark in the city. You may also choose from several cultural tourism programs around or close to Arusha to learn about the local peoples. These full-day tours takes you to the best places to visit the local villages where you will learn about farming, craftsmanship, family structures, traditions and much more.

From Arusha, your northern Tanzanian tour of Serengeti and Ngorongoro may include Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli, a prime pale anthropological site, where one of the oldest hominid fossil bones, tools and footprints were found by varied archaeologists including the Leakeys’. The Museum of Natural History in Arusha is a good place to start and features many photo exhibits of the digs, as well as other print relics from Tanzania’s history.

Tanzanite, a blue-purple gemstone, is not only spectacular, but it is also rare. The stone is only found in Tanzania, and the Tanzanite Experience Store is where you may interest yourself and learn all about the mining and properties of the gemstone. The Maasai Market, Central Market and Tinga Tinga shops in Arusha display the craftsmanship and artwork of the native peoples of Tanzania. You may buy souvenirs for yourself or gifts for friends and family back home. The Shanga Shangaa Project is a local community program that helps Tanzanians who struggle with disabilities to learn new skills and gain confidence in their abilities. Your discerning tour of Arusha with African Mecca may include a visit to this valuable and heart-touching program. The Meserani Snake Park may be a fascinating part of your nature travels in Africa.

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