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Country Cognoscenti - East Africa


The Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania is the size of Switzerland although only a small portion is currently open to exploration. A unique part of Africa

Amboseli is best known for its views of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest free standing mountain and the highest in Africa. It also inspired Hemingway's “The Snows of Kilimanjaro"

A wind-up gramophone complete with brass speaker playing Cole Porter, a table set with drinks and glasses and the sun beginning to set. It is no wonder that Sundowners are a ritual on all the best safaris.

A dispute in 1896 between the British and the Sultan of Zanzibar in the Anglo-Zanzibar war, included a bombardment of the Sultan's palace before a ceasefire was declared 38 minutes later, making it the shortest war in history

Nairobi was founded around a water hole in 1899 as a supply depot for the Uganda Railway which runs from Mombasa to the Eastern shore of Lake Victoria. In the Masai language “cool water" is Ewaso Nyirobi from which Nairobi evolved.

Tanzania is one of the oldest inhabited areas on earth with fossil remains of humans and human-like mammals dating back over two million years

Lake Victoria, the world's largest freshwater lake and the source of the Nile is bordered by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. It is at its best at sunset from the open deck of an Arab Dhow

The Reserve at Ruaha is the second largest park in Tanzania after Serengeti but visited by few travelers. Despite poaching in the 1960's subsequent conservation has restored its elephant population to over 12,000.

Samburu National Reserve in Kenya's wild north is surrounded by over 250,000 acres of private wildlife conservancies and is home to the Samburu elephant, leopard, reticulated giraffe, Onyx and Grevy's Zebra

Most visitors opt for a flight to Zanzibar from the mainland but it is also possible to reach there by high-speed hydrofoil. It makes for an interesting alternative by going by sea one way and by air on the return.

Following the rhythm of nature, game drives take place in the early morning and late afternoon. Not only is it cooler for the guests but it is also the time when the wildlife is most active

Ujiji near Gombe National Park and Lake Tanganyika is the location where newspaperman Henry Stanley uttered the immortal words “Dr. Livingstone I presume"?

Game viewing on the Masai Mara is at its best with an early morning balloon ride, low enough to see the animals clearly and quiet enough to hear their sounds.

Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and Tarangire are the best known parks in Tanzania. Gombe National Park in the west is less known but was the location for the studies of chimpanzee behavior by Dr. Jane Goodall.

The Norfolk Hotel has become a Nairobi landmark since its opening in 1904. Past guests include Theodore Roosevelt, Lord Baden-Powel founder of the Boy Scouts and Baroness Blixen the author of “Out of Africa"

During the Great Migration between Serengeti and the Masai Mara, up to 250,000 Wildebeest die each year from exhaustion, big cats and, as they cross the Mara River, crocodiles