Solo travel is the new luxury in travel around the world. The shift from group-focused trips is happening everywhere. Whether for short or long trips around the world.
Traveling alone requires extensive knowledge of places and planning. It can be seen as a challenge in the first place but will become a custom after your first trip.
Many people dream of traveling alone but never do because of fear and uncertainty. Traveling solo can be the best way to discover yourself and grow your confidence.
Are you planning to travel alone to East Africa? You might be thinking of many things about East Africa. Where is East Africa? Is it safe? What to see in East Africa? Where to visit while in East Africa?
In this article, we will discuss in detail solo travel in East Africa. And how Solo Travel can enjoy these beautiful destinations.
Where is East Africa?
East Africa is made up of seven (7) countries. Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, Congo, and Southern Sudan.
What makes East Africa so special for solo travel?
East Africa is the heart of wildlife safaris. With well-known destinations like Serengeti, Maasai Mara, and Ngorongoro. Apart from wildlife safaris. East Africa is home to the highest Mountain in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
The beautiful beaches of Diani Kenya and Zanzibar. These are the key features of these countries. The Mountain gorrila in Rwanda and Uganda is the best experience ever while in East Africa.
The authentic culture of East African people. Is one of the best attractions for many people visiting these countries. A culture like Maasai caught the attention of many visitors to these regions.
As a solo traveler visiting East Africa. You need to get clear information about these countries before you visit. Either for safari, cultural experience, or Mount Kilimanjaro climbing.
9 Things to Know Before Travelling Solo to East Africa
Is East Africa Safe for solo travelers?
The answer is yes. East African countries are safe countries with no political issues or civil wars. The people of East Africa are very kind and welcoming to new people. Whether you plan to visit Kenya or Tanzania, there is nothing to fear as a solo traveler.
Peace and security are maintained across East African countries. This is proved by the increasing number of tourists each year. A sense of respect and safety for foreign guests is developed in the mind of local people.
In case of emergency, the government has set tourism police unit. This unit is responsible to escalate issues related to travel. So as solo travelers feel free to report incidents that you feel are not safe and need attention.
When is the best time to visit East Africa as a solo traveler?
If you’re interested in wildlife, beach tourism, or mountain climbing. The best time to visit these countries is during the dry season. The dry season always starts from June to October and December throughout February.
The dry season is the best time for game viewing. Since the vegetation becomes so sparse. But also because of less rainfall climbing mountains like Kenya, Meru, and Kilimanjaro. Become so easy and safe.
For the best beaches of Zanzibar Island, Diani Beach in Kenya, and Saadani in Tanzania. And other best beaches along the great lakes of Victoria and Tanganyika. The dry season is also the best time to visit when the sun is hot and the sky is clear to create a wonderful paradise.
How much does it cost to visit East Africa as a solo traveler?
Traveling to these countries solo can be either so expensive or less. What matter is the type of trip and services you decide to choose. For example, choosing a budget camping safari. Could be different in terms of price with luxury lodging safari.
But also bare in mind that. Many days determine the amount of cash you should carry as a solo traveler in East Africa. If you decide to book with a tour agency in advance will save you from traveling with cash.
On average if you’re on a safari you need to set $250 – $450 if you will choose the budget for a mid-range safari. For a luxury safari plan for $500- $2000 per day and even more.
You should ask tour operators for customization of your trip. This will help you to save costs while on travel to East Africa as a solo traveler. Learn more about how much it cost to visit Tanzania
What should you pack as a solo traveler?
Great news you are planning on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure in East Africa. Now you are wondering what to pack. We have put together a full list of everything you will need to consider for your solo trip to the East Africa safari.
Passport.Travel documents. (visa, flight tickets, etc.) .Vaccination certificate (if needed).US dollars / local currency. ATM/credit cards(let the bank know you are traveling prior)
Socks. Underwear. Tank tops.Short sleeves t-shirts. Long sleeves t-shirts. Shorts. Long pants Fleece jacket. Rain jacket/windbreaker.Swimsuit. Pajamas
Pair of comfortable gym shoes/sneakers. Pair of sandals/flip flops
Sun hat. Warm hat (beanie). Bandana. Sunglasses
Camera & extra batteries.Travel adaptor.Cellphone.Powerbank.Binoculars.Small flashlight/headlamp
Extra (optional) items
Favorite snacks. Reading and writing material. (journal) .Reusable bags to protect certain items or for dirty clothes
Personal & medical items
Toothbrush and toothpaste. Lip balm. Insect repellent. Malaria tablets. (East Africa is a malaria zone). Sanitary products. Shampoo/conditioner.Deodorant. Hand sanitizer. Suncream. Tissues / 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?
There is a big difference between cultures in developed and developing countries. Either you’re in Rwanda or Uganda. People of these regions are still very consecutive when it comes to culture.
You should learn to wear formal or respectful clothes. Avoid wearing short clothes which display most of your body. No bikinis are allowed on public beaches, and no short or min skirts along the street, especially in Zanzibar.
But also remember to pack light. Loose clothes and fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk can be easy to wash and wear again. If you’re visiting East Africa for wildlife safaris. Avoid wearing clothes in black, blue, and dark colors. This is because Tsetse flies are attracted to such colors. And their bite can give African sleeping sickness.
What are the best places to visit for solo travelers in East Africa?
This question needs its article to be able to cover in detail where you should visit East Africa. These countries offer endless opportunities to explore for solo travelers.
Whether you’re interested in nature, beaches, mountains, wildlife, and culture. Despite all the options, below is the list of the best places to visit as a solo traveler in East Africa
What are the best places to visit solo in Tanzania?
Serengeti National park
Serengeti is a natural wonder for Africa. Serengeti national park is the leading wildlife destination in Africa. With the highest number of wild animals than any other park on Earth.
The well-known great migration of wildebeest every year attracts thousands of people. From different parts of the world to see the wildebeest migration to Maasai Mara in Kenya. As a solo traveler, you can arrange a short trip to this park. You can either fly from Nairobi Kenya or arrive in Tanzania. Serengeti is accesible from Arusha, Zanzibar or Mwanza.
Traveling alone to this park can be expensive if you will prefer luxury options. The good news is, that Serengeti is a well-developed park in terms of accommodations. You can either stay at the Seronera campsite. Or book for budget and mid-range camping safari facilities.
But also as a solo traveler, you should plan with tour operators for your trip. The peak season for Serengeti national park starts from June to October. And December to February. Prices during this time tend to be high for hotels, lodges, and tented camps.
Being solo does not limit you to joining other groups traveling to the same destination. While in Tanzania you can ask a tour agency for open groups to the Serengeti. Join these safari groups help you to save costs and even make new friends. Have fun is your holiday
Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m)
Mount Kilimanjaro is an iconic destination in Africa. Is one of the world’s free-standing mountains on Earth at 5,895 meters. Climbing Kilimanjaro is one of the best self-achievements you can make in life.
As a solo traveler, you can choose to climb Kilimanjaro for either 5, 6, 7, or 8 days. Depending on your time for the East Africa trip. Mount Kilimanjaro offers six routes for climbing. Though the well-known and recommended routes are Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, and Rongai.
If you have a tight budget and wish to climb comfortably then choose for Marangu route either for 5 days or six days. You can stay on mountain huts compared with routes that offer camping options.
Other routes are Machame, Lemosho, and Rongai routes. You can learn more about Mount Kilimanjaro. And how you can combine it with a wildlife safari in Tanzania.
There is no doubt in Africa about Zanzibar Island as a paradise for solo travelers. The beautiful sand beaches. The sun and vibrant Swahili culture are the key features of this island.
Sansibar offers solo travelers thousands of options. To enjoy and have fun while on the trip. You can visit Stone town for historical tours. Visit Jambiani, Jozani Forest, and prison island. You can do spicey tours, Safari blue, dolphin tours, or even snorkeling.
Zanzibar island is on the top list of safari destinations in Africa. You spend many days as you can on this beautiful island. We recommend 3, 4,7, or even 14 days if you want to explore to the fullest this paradise of Africa.
We have covered many topics about this island on our Zanzibar Travel Advisory page.
Ngorongoro crater is home to the endangered specie of Black Rhino. This beautiful crater in Nothern Tanzania. Provide plenty of food throughout the year for other African big five.
Visiting these parks as a solo traveler is an ideal safari plan for either one or two days. You can either overnight within the parks or outside that park in the small town of Karatu
Ngorongoro crater offers a different number of hotels, lodges, and camps. The prices differ from one accommodation to the other. If you’re looking for something luxurious or budget on your safari we got you covered at Ngorongoro.
The good news about visiting Ngorongoro is. You can combine it with other parks including Serengeti, Tarangire, or Lake Manyara. Enjoy epic game drives Africa has to offer.
You can explore these trips to pick the best tour package which fits your solo trip in Tanzania
Tarangire National park
Tarangire National park never disappoints for solo travel. Sitauted 140 km from Arusha city. This park is the best option for day trips and even extended stays for 2 days. Tarangire is the alternative to Serengeti national park. If your focus is wildlife viewing in Tanzania.
You should book with tour companies in Tanzania. Avoid falling into the trap of tour guides who pretend to take you on a safari. Ask many questions including company licenses. Online reviews can be faked to attract people who are new to these destinations.
Tanzania is well known for three (3) major cities including Arusha, Mwanza, and Dar es Salaam. As a solo traveler, you should decide which city you want to visit in Tanzania.
Arusha is well known as the gateway for travel to the best destination in Tanzania. While in Arusha is possible to visit Serengeti. Tarangire, Manyara, Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha National park, and Ngorogoro crater. Read more about things to do in Arusha
Mwanza city is the best city in Tanzania. The beautiful weather and extended beaches of Lake Victoria add spice to this city. Mwanza is not well developed like Arusha and Dar es Salaam. But is a paradise for solo travelers who do not want the noise of cities.
While in Mwanza is possible to visit southern Serengeti. Rubondo Island National park, Saanane Island national park, and Bujora cultural museum. Read more about Mwanza
Dar es Salaam is the business capital of Tanzania. Don’t confuse it with the capital city which is Dodoma. Dar es salaam has a long trade history since 18 century. No wonder why is quite developed compared with places in Tanzania.
As a solo traveler, this city offers you many opportunities to explore. The marine reserve along the Indian ocean. National Museum of Tanzania, short trips to Bagamoyo and Saadani national park.
Don’t also forget that Dar es salaam is a vibrant city for nightclubs. Festivals like Fiesta and many dining outlets get you refreshed. We have covered this city on our other page. Learn more about Dar es Salaam.
There are so many places to visit in Tanzania. More than 200 places and activities to do. If you need more information about Tanzania. Feel free to contact us. Tanzania Unforgettable
What are the best places to visit alone in Kenya?
Maasai Mara is an iconic destination to visit while in Kenya. Don’t forget to add to your list while traveling solo in East Africa. Maasai Mara shares an ecosystem with Serengeti. Is the best place to visit while in Kenya. You can enjoy wildebeest migration from September, October, and November.
You can combine Maasai Mara and other parks including Amboseli National park. This park is home to the big five and more than 400 bird species. But while in Masai Mara don’t forget to take epic pictures of an African sunset.
Like other parks in East Africa, Maasai Mara offers different levels of accommodation. From budget camps, Mid-range lodges, and luxury hotels and lodges. Consider that on your budget.
You can stay for 2 up to 6 days in Maasai Mara depending on your solo trip time frame in East Africa.
Amboseli national park
The park is famous as the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants and other wildlife. Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet the Maasai people. Also spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world.
While planning your solo trip to Amboseli you should consider visiting during the dry season. Although Amboseli can be visited at any time of the year. The best time to visit is during dry months, which are June to October and January to February.
Wildlife watching can be better during the dry season. And the visitors have a better chance to view the abundant wildlife that the park boasts. From July to October, wildlife gathers around watering holes in Amboseli.
This park offers many activities to solo travelers including game drives, and birdwatching. Maasai cultura experience, Kilimanjaro peak view and bird watching.
For details information about this park, you can read more here. But also you can peak our combined Amboseli safari packages
Diani Beach- Mombasa
Diani is the gemstone of East African beach tourism. Diani is home to multicultural visitors from around the world. Diani Beach is an outstanding beach paradise in Mombasa Kenya.
As a solo traveler with an interest in beach tourism, then you get covered here. While in Kenya you can take a flight from Jomo Kenyatta airport or Wilson Airport to Mombasa. But also you can take a train which is less than $ 20 for the economy and $30 for first class.
Diani beach like other beaches around the world offers different excursions to visitors. Enjoy a historical tour in Mombasa. Visit Fort Jesus, Mombasa Marine park, Cultural centers, Haller town, and Old town.
Request for more details about how you can visit Mombasa.
Kenya’s cities developed more than other cities in East Africa. With big cities like Nairobi and Mombasa. No doubt that the economy of Kenya is advanced compared to other countries. The nature of the colonial economy was introduced in Kenya. By British was the main catalyst for its development.
Traveling to Nairobi city as a solo traveler offers you many opportunities. To enjoy and make fun of your safari in East Africa. While in Kenya is possible to organize a safari to Nairobi national park. Lake Nakuru , Tsavo national park and Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Kenya is the proud father of eco-tourism. So once it comes to where to stay, this country offers many options to visitors. If you’re looking for solo-friendly accommodation. Then Kenya is worth visiting for your solo trip to East Africa. If you’re planning your solo trip to East Africa, then welcome to Magical Kenya
What are the best places to visit solo in Rwanda?
Akagera National park
Akagera national park is the best park in Rwanda. Located in the eastern region of the country. The park derives its name from the Akagera River. Which is considered one of the remote sources of the world’s largest river, the River Nile.
Akagera River traverses through the park. Feeding an extensive lake system making up the floor of Akagera. Including Lake Ihema the second-largest lake in Rwanda.
As a solo traveler in Rwanda, you could enjoy different activities in Akagera Rwanda. Enjoy activities like sunrise game drives. Sport fishing, Bird watching, Boat safaris, and Helicopter tours.
Where to stay as a solo traveler in Akagera National Park?
While traveling alone you should consider safety and quality while on your trip. These are the list of accommodations recommended for you. Ruzizi Tented lodge. Akagera game lodge. Dereva Hotel and campsites such as Muyumba campsite, Mutamba campsite, and Shakani campsite.
You can re-customize these trips in Rwanda to fit your solo trip plan.
Volcanoes National Park
This is the best destination for solo travel in East Africa. Volcanoes national park is known as a haven. For the rare and endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. It’s composed of 5 of the 8 volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains. Including Kirisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo.
Despite being known for being Mountain Gorilla. This park is also home to endangered golden monkeys. Is the best destination to visit solo in Rwanda.
Getting to Volcanoes National park is from Kigali city or through Gisenyi. The drive to the park is usually 2 hours from Kigali city. Making it possible to view mountain gorillas and drive back to Kigali after the trek.
You can request more information from our team. Or you can re-customize these safari packages in Rwanda.
Kigali is a clean, safe, and beautiful city all over East Africa. Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda. Is one of the best safari destinations for solo travel and family safaris.
Kigali city offers different options for a solo traveler to explore. As you travel alone you may need to visit cultural centers. Museums and the best places for dining and socializing with other people.
Kigali city is a vibrant city in East Africa. It offers direct flights to Nairobi or Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania.
If you want to stay in either hotels, lodges, or luxury camps. Kigali city is the only choice for your solo trip to East Africa. Talk to our safari experts for more information.
What are the best places to visit alone in Uganda?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Declared a UNESCO world heritage site due to its ecological uniqueness. And natural beauty, roughly half of the world’s total gorilla population lives in this park. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa. Located in southwestern Uganda.
For solo travelers, this park offers different activities to make your solo trip fun. Gorrila Trekking, Forest walking tours, and Cultural tourism. While in Bwindi you can have the best chance to experience Buhomwa and Batwa communities.
The good news is, that you can combine this park with other East African safari destinations.
Queen Elizabeth National park
Queen Elizabeth national park. Is home to the famous tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector in Uganda. In 1952, it was renamed after Queen Elizabeth 2 when she visited the park to commemorate the Queen’s visit.
Queen Elizabeth National park is the most scenic of all. Making it the most visited with a big variety of habitats. Including savanna grassland mixed with tropical rainforests. Different swamps, and volcanic features. Comprising volcanic cones and deep craters, and many other crater lakes.
While traveling solo in Uganda. You can enjoy game viewing. Boat safaris. Exploration of crater lakes. Primates tracking, forest/nature walk in kyambura gorge, and kalizu forest.
Uganda offers a lot to solo travelers. You can visit Jinja and Kampala cities. Nile river, Kibale forest national park, and the Equator.
How about the crime rate in East Africa?
Safety should be your priority anywhere in the world. Crimes prevail in different cities across the globe not only in East Africa. The best way to keep yourself safe is by being the first guide on your solo trip before anyone.
We recommend booking your trips with reliable tour operators. Make sure you have confidence in the travel agency you book your solo trip with. Request for compliance permits and even cross-check on government sites. For the countries, you’re going to visit.
If you’re visiting Tanzania for Safari or climbing. Ask for a TALA license or even search for the company name on the Tanzania Tourism site. ( TTB) or even the Ministry of Natural Resource and Tourism. If the company is not listed. Don’t trust the company or agency.
Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and other countries do the same. Don’t rely on online reviews only to make your final decisions. People post fake reviews to scam visitors.
Avoid show-off your expensive pieces of jewelry if possible leave them at home. Avoid walking at night or through lonely streets. Safety comes first.
How to save money while traveling solo in East Africa?
Ask for safari joining groups
This is the best way to save money and travel in budget safari packages. These trips can be for Tanzania camping safari or luxury lodge safari. No matter what type of the trip is, being in a group of 3 to 4 people cuts a lot of costs down. Because of sharing costs for hotels or lodges.
Bargain for discounts
Many tour operators set prices a bit higher compared with the actual price. Is normal either in curio shops, malls, or even car deals to offer discounts. Don’t feel shy, requests for discounts can save you some bucks to spend while on a safari in Tanzania.
Exchange your currency for Tanzania shillings (TZS)
This will help you while shopping around in town or even dining out at local restaurants or bars. Sometimes the exchange rate for dollars or euros could be much better. Then the local currency, take advantage of it and save more on your trip.
To conclude, we wish you to enjoy yourself to the fullest being in East Africa. Take note of the cost and the amount of money you should need in East Africa while on a solo trip. We recommend you do your research for the best tour operators and book in advance for your package.
In case you choose to pay as you go, you should also focus on contacting reliable tour companies. Safety comes first while on a solo trip in East African countries.
Also, remember to pay for your insurance coverage. Is very important than anything you should think about. As we close this topic about “East Africa solo travel guide”
What Next? Africa safari is calling …
Traveling alone or with a group outside of your comfort zone can be so frustrating. Doubtful, and even terrifying. Don’t worry about that we all feel anxious and afraid of new changes or challenges. We are all human and we can not run from our emotions.
That is why we are here to help. Our experienced team of East Africa Specialists knows just what to plan when it comes to Solo Travel. Either for a budget safari or luxury tours in East Africa.
With Blessing Safaris, you’re in safe hands. We are very conscious about details for your satisfaction. We create bespoke tours in collaboration with our clients. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today. Karibu to Blessing Safaris.