Explore East Africa in 2023

Exploring East Africa in 2023 should be on everyone’s calendar. An East African safari conjures images of vast savannah plains, flat-topped acacia trees, and those postcard-perfect red and orange sunsets on the horizon. It’s no wonder that an East African safari is one of our most frequent requests! At Rhino Africa, we don’t ever copy and paste itineraries, we tailor-make one specifically for you. However, here’s one to get you dreaming, that travel bug biting, and your ideas sparking…

Sunset views at Singita Sabora

That classic East African sunset we love so much

Why You’ll Love East Africa 

Famous for its abundance of wildlife in wildly remote landscapes while at the same time offering ultra-luxurious accommodation, it’s not a surprise that East Africa is at the top of many bucket lists across the globe. Giraffe, elephant, wildebeest, zebra, antelope and many more punctuate grassy acacia-studded plains that disappear into the horizon. Think Lion King; then you’re thinking East Africa! 

But wait, there’s more. You can also easily combine your safari with a beach getaway on the Kenyan or Tanzanian coastline or visit the Zanzibar Archipelago. Gentle aquamarine waves, soft white sands, luxury beach hotels and year-round warm weather make these some of the world’s top beach destinations. 

There are so many different ways to experience an East African Safari in 2023. Here’s just a taste of the adventure, scenery, wildlife and luxury accommodation you can expect…

An East African safari in the Serengeti

Get up-close and personal with incredible wildlife

First stop: Nairobi, Kenya

Recommended Stay: 1 night 

When you explore East Africa in 2023, we suggest you kick off your journey in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. With all the buzz of a major African city, Nairobi is an exciting and vibrant place to begin your East African adventure. With Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro as your backdrop, Nairobi offers museums, markets, restaurants and nature reserves well worth a visit.


Enjoy your breakfast with some special guests, Image Credit: Giraffe Manor

Where you should stay

Depending on the occasion and who you’re travelling with, we’ll recommend the top places to stay for your East African safari in 2023. Here’s one of our go-to luxury lodges in Nairobi.

Giraffe Manor 

Giraffe Manor is a delightful ivy-clad double-storey manor house dwarfed by giant acacias, rambling gardens, indigenous forest and actual giraffes. This elegant boutique hotel is surrounded by 56 hectares of indigenous forest. The birdlife is incredible, and you can visit the AFEW Giraffe Centre to learn more about this incredible animal. Or make a day of it and visit the National Museum, the elephant-centric Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Karen Blixen Museum and the craft markets at Marula Studios.

Why We Love It

  • Resident Rothschild giraffes popping in for a visit at the manor
  • A romantic, historical accommodation option
  • Hugged by an indigenous forest, it makes you feel like you’re far away from the city
  • Perfect first stop on your East African safari as it’s close to the city centre of Nairobi
Giraffe Manor is one of Africa's most instagrammable rooms

Giraffe Manor offers plenty of unbelievable photo opportunities, Image Credit: Giraffe Manor

Next stop: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Recommended Stay: 3 Nights

Next up, safari! Kenya’s flagship game park, the legendary Maasai Mara is a must on any trip to East Africa in 2023. Best known for being host to part of the Great Wildebeest Migration, this animal spectacle takes centre stage during the peak season around August to October. The show runs all year with the full cast of wildlife consisting of wildebeest, zebra, and antelope, with some hungry predators on their heels.  

Hot air balloon safari in Maasai Mara National Park

Wildebeest make their way across the plains 

Where you should stay

When visiting the Maasai Mara National Reserve, we’ll recommend the best place to stay depending on the time of year you’re travelling. Here’s one of our favourite accommodation options.

Governors’ Camp 

When it comes to visiting the Maasai Mara National Reserve, location is key for the best experience. And Governors’ Camp is ideally located in the 150,000ha reserve, so you’re right in the middle of all the action! It also overlooks the Mara River, one of the most exciting routes of the Great Migration. When the wildebeest pass through the Maasai Mara, they also cross this river, offering dramatic sightings. Governors’ Camp is also known as a bit of a legend in the area, dating back to 1972. 

Why We Love It

  • Africa’s first permanent tented camp, still in its original location since 1972
  • Plenty of exciting activities, from hot air balloon safaris to Maasai cultural visits
  • The bar tent overlooks the Mara River, an exciting Great Migration crossing at certain times of the year
  • Incredible game and bird viewing with a wide range of species calling the area home
Governors' Camp in Maasai Mara

Luxury in the heart of the Maasai Mara, Image Credit: Governors’ Camp

Next stop: Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Recommended Stay: 2 Nights

With the snow-capped Kilimanjaro as its backdrop and teeming with wildlife cohabiting with the local Maasai, Amboseli National Park is an incredible safari destination in its own right. With Kenya’s largest concentration of elephants and the full range of African wildlife living in harmony with the Maasai people, Amboseli offers a fascinating safari adventure.

Elephant herds grazing

Dreamy landscapes in Amboseli National Park, Image Credit Cliff Rosenberg

Where You Should Stay

If you want to be close to all the safari action, here’s one of our lodges we recommend to guests.

Ol Donyo Lodge 

The thatched-roofed luxury safari lodge is ideally located on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills and offers easy access to Amboseli National Park. As a forerunner in sustainable tourism, Ol Donyo Lodge works closely with the local Maasai to positively impact their livelihoods through tourism. The views also make this lodge special, from Kilimanjaro in the distance to the high density of wildlife roaming close to the lodge. 

Why We Love It

  • Plenty of activities, from horse-riding, bush walks, mountain biking, and more
  • This land is owned by and leased from the local community, so your stay contributes to the area and its people
  • The cottage-style accommodation has private roof terraces for incredible sundowner views
  • Swap your room for the star bed and sleep out under the stars 
Ol Donyo camp star bed

Sleep out under the stars, Image
Credit : Ol Donyo Camp

Next stop: Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Recommended Stay: 1 night 

As we continue to explore East Africa in 2023, hop across to Kenya’s neighbouring country Tanzania for a safari intermezzo in Lake Manyara National Park, featuring serene views of the eponymous lake, tree-climbing lions, and herds of bustling elephants plus a bonanza of birdlife.

Flamingos at Lake Manyara

The famous flamingos of Lake Manyara

Where You Should Stay

When visiting Lake Manyara National Park, we’ll recommend the best place suited to your needs. Here’s one we often recommend. 

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

This lodge is one of our favourites not only because it offers many exciting activities but also because of the serene location within an ancient mahogany forest. Wellness is integral to the experience, from the setting to the healing therapies, gym in a basket in each room, a massage sala, and more. If you’re looking for a romantic retreat that replenishes your soul, all while also exploring the vast wilderness of Lake Manyara National Park, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is the place for you. 

Why We Love It

  • Ultimate wellness experience in East Africa
  • Stilted treehouse-style suites offer incredible views 
  • The park is known for its unusual tree-climbing lions
  • Diverse habitat, from the Rift Valley to the soda lake, nine rivers, and plenty of wildlife, birdlife and fascinating vegetation, including baobab trees
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

Where wellness and romance meet, Image Credit: Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

Next stop: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Recommended Stay: 2 Nights 

Ah, the Serengeti. The big one. The mother of all national parks. The one park all other parks are jealous of. Also known for hosting the Great Migration, this flagship national park is an enormous expanse of prime grazing and browsing that sets the stage for one of the world’s greatest mammalian shows. 

Despite this swarm of life, you might not see the migration as it’s seasonal. However, your safari will still be more than worth it! Lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, elephant, wild dog, hyena, giraffe – the smorgasbord of African wildlife – roam these plains as they have done for millennia.

Sundowners in the Serengeti

Sundowners in the Serengeti

Where You Should Stay

When you’re in the Serengeti, you want to ensure you get the best seat in the house to admire the famous national park and its wildlife. Here’s one such place. 

Sanctuary Kichakani

The name “Kichakani” means “in the bush” in Swahili, and it’s fitting as this luxury tented camp takes you right into the wilderness of the Serengeti. However, these luxury tents don’t stay put all year long! No, the Sanctuary Kichakani tented camp packs up like 19th-century explorers used to. Because the Great Migration is a journey instead of a single stationary event, this camp follows them along their path for the best viewpoints.

Why We Love It

  • Unique, environmentally-friendly camp that packs up and follows the Great Migration for the best sightings
  • All the luxury you could desire but in an authentic East African style that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time
  • Each tent was a wooden deck for incredible views as you sip your morning coffee
  • Own personal tent attendant to take care of your every need
Santuary Kichakani

Sip a sundowner while admiring the view from the main tent, Image Credit: Santuary Kichakani

Next stop: Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Recommended Stay: 2 Nights

If the Garden of Eden needed a modern-day setting, nobody would deny the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater first rights. The world’s only intact volcanic caldera is the safari equivalent of the Super Bowl: a giant stadium 16km in diameter and crammed with wildlife. Elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, wildebeest, hundreds of birds – classic Africa in a super-fertile cauldron.


Wildlife roaming the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

Where you should stay

If you want to experience the best the Ngorongoro Crater offers, here’s one of our absolute favourites, especially for a romantic getaway.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge 

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offers Versailles-style romance in the unique setting of an ancient volcanic caldera. This lodge is what honeymoon dreams are made of! Think rose petal bubble baths, romantic candlelit dinners in the crater floor banquet, your own private butler, and more.

Why We Love It

  • Nicknamed “The Lodge at the Top of the World”, you have unbelievable views over the Ngorongoro Crater
  • Plenty of activities, from safari game drives to bush walks and cultural Maasai and Hadzabe tribe experiences 
  • Personal butler and ultra-romantic turndown service
  • Interact with the KopeLion conservation team to learn about lion conservation and how the Maasai live side-by-side with wildlife
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Otherwordly beauty and luxury, Image Credit: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Last stop: Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Recommended Stay: 1 Night

An unexpected delight awaits your final night as we stop at Tarangire National Park, a lesser-known safari destination in East Africa. With nothing but parched grasslands for miles during the dry winter, wildlife congregates in great numbers – friend and foe alike – to sip from the park’s only water source, the Tarangire River. As a result, the game viewing is excellent, making for a spectacular finale to an unbeatable safari through East Africa in 2023.

Elephant herd strolling through Tarangire National Park

Elephant family in Tarangire National Park

Where you should stay

For the best experience of Tarangire National Park, here’s one of the accommodation options to consider.

Sanctuary Swala Camp

The very remote Sanctuary Swala Camp offers an ultra-exclusive safari experience. With only 12 luxury tented rooms all overlooking watering holes, you don’t even have to venture out into the bush to spot wildlife. You can even watch the wildlife go about their daily business from your private verandah.

Why We Love It

  • Very secluded and located in the Tarangire National Park 
  • Get up-close sightings of the resident elephant herd walking through the camp
  • All the tented rooms overlook a watering hole for wildlife sightings from your room
  • Various activities, from day and night game drives and bushwalking excursions 
Sanctuary Swala Camp

Venture into the wild, Image Credit: Sanctuary Swala Camp

Get Ready to Explore East Africa in 2023

Why would you trust anyone other than the very best to plan your East African safari in 2023? Well, Rhino Africa is officially the World’s Leading Safari Company. With first-hand knowledge of everything we recommend and plan for you in your tailor-made itinerary, you can rest assured that you’re in for a real treat! 

Contact our African Travel Experts now, and let’s create the East African safari itinerary of your dreams! 

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