Today, visiting the whole region of East Africa is no longer a problem since the invention of Ugandan East Africa Tourist Visa (EATV) that allows tourists to entry East Africa unlimited times and more easily.
1. How does East Africa Tourist Visa (EATV) work?
This visa is a result of a joint initiative made by the Heads of States of the respective partner countries (Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda) in order to boost regional tourism and create opportunities for tourists to explore the diversity of East Africa. With the EATV, you are allowed to multiple entry into Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda.
However, a tourist who gets the EATV must start travel from the country that has issued the Visa. In this case, the initial destination must be Uganda if you are applying for Uganda EATV. The EATV is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. This also gives travelers a stay of maximum 3 months and expires automatically if they go outside the regions of the three countries.
2. Top East Africa tourist attractions
East Africa is well-known for the wild and majestic beauty that requires the traveler's great bravery and curiosity to explore it to the full. It is the true home of biggest safaris and untamed forests in the world, where wildebeest, shadowed by zebras, a stampede in their millions across the earth; where lions, leopards, and cheetahs, hyenas roam free in the search of their next meal. Here are the top must-not-miss destinations in each country.
Despite owning a small territory, Uganda packs lots of breathtaking landscapes and home to Africa's tallest mountain range (the Rwenzori), the source of Nile river (the world's longest river), and the continent's largest lake (Victoria Lake).
- Murchison Falls National Park: Known as the largest national park in Uganda. The park is hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds and a lot more.
- Rwenzori Mountain National Park: It is also called as “Mountains of the Moon”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which lies in Western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The park is well-known for its distinctive flora rather than its fauna. That is why hikers always climb through a series of distinct altitudinal vegetation zones; montane forest, bamboo, tree heathers … There are 70 species of mammal, four are endemic to the park and three are rare species. Other mammals include the elephant, chimpanzee, and leopard.
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Being one of the largest safaris, Bwindi covers a land of rocky peaks and oldest primeval forestry, which dates back over 25,000 years. The ecosystem network here is the most diverse in Africa. The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and estimated 320 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population and many birds such as hornbills and turacos.
Rwanda is bordered by Uganda to the South and also home to the largest safaris in Africa.
- The natural forests: As those located in Uganda, Rwanda’s forests serve as homes to a large number of wildlife species. The most well-known forest in Rwanda is Nyungwe forest that stretches in the southwestern part of the country with a number of trees and other vegetation species. Other natural forests in Rwanda include the Gishwati forest and Volcanoes National Park which covers the Virunga volcanoes located in the northwestern part of Rwanda.
- The lakes: Rwanda has a number of lakes including the famous one, methane lake Kivu which stretches along the western part of Rwanda. Tourists from all over the world can pay for a boat trip to enjoy the great view of these serene lakes.
The last country you can visit with your East African Tourist Visa is Kenya. Do not worry since the country’s landscapes can satisfy even the hardest travelers. You may get stunned by numerous national parks, marine areas, and lakes.
- Safari: You may not know that the word “safari” meaning “journey” stems from the Kenyan language. Truly, safari itself is always a part of any adventure in Kenya. Among these safaris, Maasai Mara National Park is the one that famous for “The great migration” from June to September. This is the special time when you have the chance to witness millions of wildebeests and zebras crossing the river which is full of hungry and dangerous crocodiles. They make their legendary 1,800 miles and those who still alive after the jaw of crocodiles in the river will be rewarded with the lush green grazing grass of the Maasai Mara’s vast plains.
- Lakes: Talking about the beauty of lakes in Rwanda, you will not want to miss the Lake Nakuru, where the breathtaking scenery of “Pinky Flamingos” standing in the calm lake that you might have thought you can only see it on TV. Beside flamingos and over 450 different bird species, visitors may also see lions, leopards, ostriches, hippopotami, warthogs, giraffes, black and white rhinos.
- Marine landscape: The fascinating scenes happen not only on land but also underwater. In order to enjoy the beauty of marine life in Kenya, visiting Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park is highly recommended. The complex covers a marine area with four small islands surrounded by a coral reef. In addition, the surrounding waters have well-developed coral gardens and a large variety of fish and marine species.
Coming to East Africa just one time in your life, you may not want to miss any of those suggested tourist destinations. That is why tourists need an East Africa Tourist Visa (EATV) to visit the whole regions instead of spending time in only Uganda. Therefore, these above places will pack a helpful list for your journey.
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