East Africa Safari Trip Report

November 2010

leopard in east Africa © Karen O'Neill, Mass Audubon
© Karen O'Neill, Mass Audubon
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Since 1972, I have led trips in 13 African countries (14 if you include Madagascar). All of these countries offer great rewards for the traveler interested in wildlife and African culture, but I have often told others that if they could visit Africa only once and wanted to experience the best the continent had to offer, then they should spend their time in East Africa.

Specifically, they should follow the itinerary we have completed with its great diversity of habitats, landscapes without equal (especially in Serengeti), a matchless abundance and diversity of large mammals and arguably the best birding in the world - if seeing a variety of spectacular species exceptionally well is the key criterion.


  • The Golden-winged Sunbirds above the treeline on Mt. Kenya.
  • Our first (we observed 5) stately Leopard on the Rocks at Samburu.
  • The pink wash of flamingoes at Nakuru.
  • Waking up in the Mara after a long dark drive in the rain the night before to a seemingly limitless vista filled with Wildebeest and zebras.
  • Many visits with lazing lion families (overall total of lions viewed was well over 50).
  • The vivid color and unique hospitality of a Maasai manyatta.
  • The world within a world of the Ngorongoro Crater.
  • The lush peaceful gardens of Gibbs Farm.

Overall the group observed 410 bird species and 52 mammal species. And the good humor and high spirits of the group made the trip particularly pleasurable.

- Chris Leahy