East Africa Solo Travel Guide : When traveling alone, careful planning and location research are necessary. It might seem difficult at first, but after your first trip, it will become routine. Many people like to travel alone but never actually do so due to anxiety and fear. The best way to learn about yourself and develop your confidence is through solo travel.
Are you arranging a solo trip to East Africa? Numerous things about East Africa might be on your mind. Where is East Africa? Is it secure? Where should one go in East Africa? While in East Africa, where should you go? We will go into great detail about traveling alone in East Africa in this article. And how travelers alone can delight in these lovely locations.
WHAT MAKES EAST AFRICA SO SPECIAL FOR SOLO TRAVEL?
East Africa is made up by Seven (7) nations which includes: Southern Sudan, Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi
East Africa is the epicenter of wildlife safaris with popular Safari destination like the Serengeti, the Maasai Mara, and Ngorongoro crater. Not only wildlife, East Africa is also home to the tallest mountain in Africa (Mount Kilimanjaro) and the second tallest mountain in Africa ( Mount Kenya) which are located in Tanzania and Kenya respectively. East Africa is also home to the stunning beaches located in Zanzibar and it is also home to the fantastic Mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda.
The genuine East African way of life is one of the top draws for many tourists who travel to these nations. The Maasai culture captured the interest of many tourists who came to these areas. As an independent traveler exploring East Africa, before visiting, you must obtain accurate information about these nations.
TOP 9 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING SOLO TO EAST AFRICA
Is East Africa safe for solo travelers?
Yes, that is the answer. There is no political unrest or civil war in the countries of East Africa. East Africans are incredibly friendly and open to visitors. There is nothing to worry about when traveling alone, whether your destination is Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda or Tanzania.
All of East Africa’s nations maintain peace and security. The fact that there are more tourists each year is evidence of this. The local population develops a mental image of foreign visitors as safe and deserving of respect.
The government has established a tourism police unit in case of emergencies. It is the duty of this unit to escalate travel-related issues. You should feel free to report incidents that you believe are unsafe and require attention if you’re a solo traveler.
When is the best time to visit East Africa as a solo traveler?
If you’re into mountain climbing, beach vacations, or wildlife, then the dry season is the ideal time to visit these nations. The dry season always begins in June and lasts through October, December, and February.
The best time to see animals is during the dry season due to how sparse the vegetation becomes. Climbing mountains like Kenya, Meru, and Kilimanjaro, as well as because of less rainfall. So simple and secure.
How much does it cost to visit East Africa as a solo traveler?
It can be expensive to travel alone to these nations. What counts are the services and trip types you select. Choosing a camping safari on a budget, for instance, may be different in terms of cost from a safari with opulent accommodations.
However, keep in mind that many days affect how much cash you should bring with you when traveling alone in East Africa. If you choose to travel without cash, booking with a tour operator such as Focus East Africa Tours in advance will save you money. If you decide to go on a midrange budget safari, you should plan to spend between $250 and $450. Plan on spending $500–$2000 per day or even more for a luxury safari.
What should you pack as a solo traveler?
It’s wonderful to hear that you intend to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey to East Africa. You’re now unsure of what to pack. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need to think about for your solo safari in East Africa. Here is the list:
- Practical items: passport, Travel documents (visas, flight tickets, etc.) Vaccination certificate (if needed), US dollars or local currency ATM/credit cards (let the bank know you are traveling prior)
- Clothing: Socks, Underwear, Tank tops, short-sleeve t-shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts, Shorts, Long pants Fleece jacket, Rain jacket/windbreaker, Swimsuit, Pajamas etc.
- Footwear: A pair of comfortable gym shoes or sneakers Pair of sandals or flip flops
- Accessories: sun hat, Warm hat (beanie), Bandana, Sunglasses
- Technology: camera and extra batteries, Travel adaptor, Cellphone, Power bank, Binoculars, Small flashlight/headlamp
- Extra (optional) items: favorite snacks, Reading and writing material (journal), Reusable bags to protect certain items or dirty clothes
- Personal and medical items: Toothbrush and toothpaste, Lip balm, Insect repellent, Malaria tablets (East Africa is a malaria zone.), sanitary products, Shampoo/conditioner, Deodorant, Hand sanitizer, Sun cream, Tissues or wet wipes
Remember, you’re going on vacation and not moving! Your luggage should be lightweight and easy to handle since you’ll be all alone. Light packing is the ideal plan. If you are not sure what to pack, feel free to chat with us if you have any questions.
What kind of clothes are required while traveling solo in East Africa?
Cultures in developed and developing nations diverge significantly. You ought to learn how to dress formally or respectfully. Do not dress in shorts that expose the majority of your body. Public beaches do not allow bikinis, and short or miniskirts are not permitted on the street, particularly in Zanzibar.
But also bear in mind to travel light. Cotton, linen, and silk are examples of fabrics and loose clothing that are simple to wash and re-wear. If you’re traveling to East Africa to go on a safari in the bush do not dress in dark, blue, or black colors. This is due to the fact that tsetse flies are drawn to such hues. Additionally, their bite can cause sleeping sickness in Africans.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT FOR SOLO TRAVELERS IN EAST AFRICA?
Where in East Africa should you go? For lone travelers, these nations provide countless opportunities for exploration. Whether you have a passion for wildlife, beaches, mountains, or culture, despite the many options, a list of the top destinations in East Africa for lone travelers is provided below.
What are the best places to visit solo in Tanzania?
Serengeti National Park
Africa’s Serengeti is a natural wonder. The premier wildlife destination in Africa is Serengeti National Park having more wild animals than any other park on the planet. Every year, thousands of people flock to see the well-known Great Wildebeest Migration. People travel from all over the world to the Serengeti to witness the wildebeest migration. You are able to plan a quick trip to this park if you are traveling alone. Either fly to Tanzania or land in Nairobi, Kenya. You can travel to the Serengeti from Arusha, Zanzibar, or Mwanza.
If you prefer luxury options, visiting this park alone may be expensive. The good news is that the Serengeti is a park with a lot of developed lodging options. You can either occupy a campsite at Seronera. Or reserve low-cost and moderately priced camping safari amenities.
However, you should plan your trip with tour operators even if you are a solo traveler. From June to October, Serengeti National Park experiences its busiest period also from December to February. The cost of lodging in hotels, lodges, and tented camps is typically high during this time.
Being a solo traveler does not prevent you from joining other groups headed in the same direction. You can inquire about open groups to the Serengeti while you are in Tanzania at a tour operator. Joining these safari groups can help you reduce expenses and even meet new people. Enjoy your holiday and have fun.
Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m)
An iconic location in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro. At 5,895 meters, it is one of the highest free-standing mountains in the world. One of the best self-achievements you can make in life is climbing Kilimanjaro.
You have the option of climbing Kilimanjaro for 5, 6, 7, or 8 days if you’re a solo traveler. Depending on when you plan to travel to East Africa, there are six climbing routes available on Mount Kilimanjaro. Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, and Rongai are the popular and advised routes.
If money is tight but you still want to climb comfortably, go with the Marangu route for either five or six days. In contrast to routes that allow for camping, you can stay in mountain huts. Other routes are the Machame, Lemosho, and Rongai routes.
There is no denying that Zanzibar Island is a solo traveler’s paradise in Africa. The primary characteristics of this island are the sun and the vibrant Swahili culture together with the stunning beaches with sand.
Solo travelers have thousands of options in Zanzibar to delight in and have fun while traveling. For historical tours, go to Stone Town. Do not miss out visiting the prison island, Jozani Forest, and Jambiani. You can go on Safari Blue, dolphin tours, spice tours, or even snorkeling. If you want to experience this African paradise to the fullest, we advise staying for 3, 4, 7, or even 14 days.
Apart from being the largest crater in the world, the Ngorongoro is where you can see the endangered black rhinos. The black rhino is an endangered species that resides in the Ngorongoro Crater. It is a great idea to spend one or two days exploring this reserve alone. You can spend the night in Karatu, a small town which is located outside the park if you’re on a tight budget.
The number of hotels, lodges, and camps available at the Ngorongoro Crater varies. The costs vary according to the type of lodging. On your safari, Ngorongoro has everything you need, whether you’re looking for high-end accommodations or low-cost options.
Ngorongoro safari visit can be combined with other parks like Lake Manyara, Tarangire, or the Serengeti. Exciting game drives are available in Africa. You can look into these excursions to determine which tour is best for your solo trip to Tanzania.
Tarangire National Park
For lone travelers, Tarangire National Park never disappoints. 140 kilometers from the city of Arusha, this park is ideal for day trips and even longer stays of up to two days. Tarangire is an alternative to The Serengeti National Park If viewing wildlife in Tanzania is your main goal.
Booking with Tanzanian tour operators is advised when planning your Tarangire Safari. Avoid being duped by tour operators who offer to take you on a safari. Be sure to inquire about the company’s licenses.
Three (3) significant cities—Arusha, Mwanza, and Dar es Salaam—make up Tanzania most beautiful cities to visit. You should choose which Tanzanian city you want to visit as a lone traveler.
Arusha: The best place in Tanzania can be reached by traveling through Arusha. It is possible to visit the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, Manyara, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Arusha National Park from Arusha city.
Mwanza: This city is made more interesting by Lake Victoria’s expansive beaches and lovely weather. Dar es Salaam is more developed cities than Mwanza, However, it is a haven for lone travelers who dislike city noise. It is possible to travel to the southern Serengeti while in Mwanza. You can also explore Rubondo Island, Saanane Island, and the Bujora Cultural Museum from Mwanza city.
Dar es Salaam: Tanzania’s business hub is Dar es Salaam. It should not be confused with Dodoma, the country’s capital. Dar es Salaam has a long history of trade dating back to the 18th century. It makes sense that it is more developed than other areas of Tanzania.
This city provides you with lots of opportunities to explore if you’re a solo traveler. Exploring The Indian Ocean’s marine reserve, Short excursions to Saadani National Park and the Tanzanian National Museum are some of the worth taking trips from Dar es salaam. Don’t forget that Dar es Salaam has a thriving nightlife. You can reenergize yourself at events like Fiesta and at numerous restaurants.
Tanzania has so many interesting places to see. There are more than 200 locations and things to do. If you want to learn more about Tanzania, please get in touch with us.
What are the best places to visit alone in Kenya?
An iconic place to visit while in Kenya is the Maasai Mara. While exploring East Africa on your own, don’t forget to add it to your list. The Serengeti and Maasai Mara have a similar ecosystem and are the top locations to see while in East Africa. Wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara is available in September, October, and November. The Maasai Mara Safari can be combined with other parks, such as Amboseli National Park. The Big Five and more than 400 different bird species can be found in this park. But while you’re there, don’t forget to get some incredible photos of an African sunset.
Similar to other parks in East Africa, the Maasai Mara provides various tiers of lodging, from low-cost camps to mid-range lodges to upscale inns. Depending on how long you plan to travel alone in East Africa, you can stay anywhere between 2 and 6 days in the Maasai Mara.
Amboseli National Park
The park is renowned as the best place in Africa to get up close to wild animals like free-roaming elephants. The park also offers visitors the chance to interact with Maasai people. Stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, are also available.
You should think about traveling to Amboseli alone during the dry season when making travel plans. Nevertheless, any time of the year is a good time to visit Amboseli. The dry months, which are June through October and January through February, are the best times to visit.
The dry season may offer better opportunities for wildlife viewing. Additionally, there is a greater chance for visitors to see the park’s diverse wildlife. In Amboseli, wildlife congregates around watering holes from July to October. This park provides a variety of activities for lone visitors, such as game drives and birdwatching. Experiencing Maasai culture, viewing the top of Kilimanjaro, and bird watching
Diani Beach, Mombasa
Diani is the crown jewel of beach travel in East Africa. Multicultural tourists from all over the world visit Diani. In Kenya’s Mombasa, Diani Beach is a world-class beach haven. If you’re a lone traveler interested in beach tourism, you’re covered here. You can fly to Mombasa from either Wilson Airport or Jomo Kenyatta Airport while you’re in Kenya. However, you can also take a train for less than $20 for first class and $30 for economy.
Like other beaches around the world, Diani Beach provides visitors with a variety of excursions. Including a tour of Mombasa’s past (The Fort Jesus, Mombasa Marine Park, Cultural Centers, Haller Town, and Old Town)
Cities in Kenya developed faster than those in other countries in East Africa, with major urban areas like Mombasa and Nairobi. Without a doubt, Kenya has a more developed economy than other East African nations. In Kenya, the colonial economy’s characteristics were first introduced. The main force behind its development was Britain.
You have a lot of opportunities when you travel alone to Nairobi. To take pleasure in and make fun of your East African safari, it is possible to plan a safari to Nairobi National Park, Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Lake Nakuru, and Tsavo National Park from Nairobi.
The proud father of ecotourism is Kenya. Visitors have a variety of options for where to stay in this country. If you’re trying to find a place to stay by yourself, Kenya is a worthwhile destination for your independent trip to East Africa. Welcome to magical Kenya if you’re considering traveling alone to East Africa.
What are the best places to visit solo in Rwanda?
Akagera National Park
Rwanda’s top park is Akagera National Park, situated in the country’s eastern region. The Akagera River is where the park gets its name which is regarded as one of the Nile’s far-off sources and the largest river in the world.
The park is traversed by the Akagera River feeding a vast lake system that makes up Akagera’s floor incorporating Lake Ihema, Rwanda’s second-largest lake. You could take part in a variety of activities in Akagera, Rwanda, as a lone traveler. Experience things like early-morning game drives, bird watching, boat safaris, sport fishing, and helicopter tours.
Volcanoes National Park
The ideal location in East Africa for lone travelers is here. The national park of volcanoes is regarded as a haven for the rare and imperiled golden monkeys and mountain gorillas. It is made up of five of the Virunga Mountains’ eight volcanoes Including Sabyinyo, Kirisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, and Gahinga.
Regardless of being recognized as mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, which are endangered, can be found in this park. You can travel through Gisenyi or the city of Kigali to reach Volcanoes National Park. Typically, it takes 2 hours to travel from Kigali city to the park making it possible to drive back to Kigali after the trek and observe mountain gorillas.
East Africa as a whole enjoys the cleanliness, safety, and beauty of Kigali. The capital of Rwanda is Kigali, which is among the best safari locations for both solo and family vacations. A solo traveler has a variety of options in Kigali to choose from. You might need to visit cultural centers while traveling alone. The best places to eat and socialize with others are museums and public spaces.
The East African city of Kigali is a thriving metropolis. It provides direct flights to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania as well as Nairobi or Zanzibar. If you prefer to stay in upscale camps, lodges, or hotels the only option for your solo trip to East Africa is Kigali, Rwanda.
What are the best places to visit alone in Uganda?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
It is a UNESCO world heritage site Due to its ecological rarity. In addition to its natural beauty, this park is home to about half of the world’s gorillas. One of the richest ecosystems in Africa is found in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park positioned in western Uganda.
This park provides a variety of activities for solo visitors to make their trip enjoyable. Forest walking tours, Gorilla trekking, and cultural tourism are some of the best activities in this park. The best opportunity to experience the Buhoma and Batwa communities is while you are in Bwindi. The good news is that you can include this park in a safari itinerary that includes other East African locations.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
The National Park of Queen Elizabeth is in the Ugandan region of Ishasha, where the renowned tree-climbing lions can be found. When Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to the park in 1952, it was renamed in her honor.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most popular park in East Africa With the widest range of habitats including grasslands in savannas and tropical rainforests, various swamps, as well as volcanic features consisting of deep craters, volcanic cones, and numerous crater lakes
While on a solo trip to Uganda You can enjoy watching games, Canoeing safaris. Exploring crater lakes, Primates tracking, a Kyambura Gorge forest/nature walk, and a visit to the Kalizu forest. You can also explore Jinja, Kampala, The Equator, the Nile River, and Kibale Forest National Park
HOW ABOUT THE CRIME RATE IN EAST AFRICA?
Wherever you are in the world, safety should always come first. Not just in East Africa, but in many other cities around the world, crime is a problem. Being the first guide on your solo trip is the best way to keep yourself safe.
Booking your travel plans with reputable tour operators such as Focus East Africa Tours is advised for you to be safe. Make sure you trust the travel company you use to arrange your solo trip. If you’re planning a Tanzania safari and intend to use a tour operator to organize your safari, Kindly Request permits for compliance and even double-check on official websites, Inquire about a TALA license, look up the business name on the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) website, or even contact the ministry of natural resources and tourism. The same is done in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda, among other nations. Don’t base all of your decisions solely on online reviews. Fake reviews are posted by people to con visitors. If at all possible, avoid flashing your pricey jewelry and leave it at home. Avoid going for a walk at night or in isolated areas.
HOW DO I SAVE MONEY WHILE TRAVELING SOLO IN EAST AFRICA?
Ask for safari joining groups.
This is the most effective method for obtaining inexpensive safari travel packages. These journeys could be for a luxury lodge safari in Tanzania or a camping safari. No matter what kind of trip it is, traveling in a group of 3 to 4 people lowers costs significantly.
Bargain for discounts.
Many tour companies set their prices a little bit higher than what they actually charge. It’s common practice to offer discounts in malls, curio shops, or even car dealerships. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts; you’ll end up with more money to spend on your East Africa safari.
Exchange your currency for Local currencies.
You can use this when shopping around town or even when dining at a bar or restaurant. The exchange rate for dollars or euros may occasionally be significantly better. Then, use the local currency to your advantage and travel more affordably.
Finally, we want to say that we hope you enjoy your time in East Africa to the fullest. Make a note of the costs and the sum of money you’ll require for a solo trip to East Africa. We advise you to shop around for the top tour companies and reserve your package in advance.
If you decide to pay as you go, you should also concentrate on getting in touch with reputable tour operators. When traveling alone in East African nations, safety must always come first. Don’t forget to pay your insurance premiums as well since is far more important than anything else you should consider.
What Next? Africa’s safari is calling…
Outside of your comfort zone, traveling by yourself or with a group can be very frustrating. Uncertain and downright terrifying. Don’t worry; we all experience anxiety and fear in the face of challenges or new changes. Since we are all humans, we cannot hide from our feelings.
We are here to assist because of this. When it comes to solo travel, our skilled team of East Africa specialists knows exactly what to plan. For either a low-cost safari or a lavish tour in East Africa just know that you are in good hands with Focus East Africa Tours. We pay close attention to detail to ensure your satisfaction. In close cooperation with our customers, we design specialized tours. What are you still holding out for? Call us right away.